USA Today

Coachspeak: Gruden happy with defensive execution

Even though the Redskins had their most complete game statistically, Gruden wants more.

The Redskins are 4-2 to start a season for the first time since 2008 following a 27-20 divisional win over the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday. Head coach Jay Gruden discussed the win afterward. Here are the highlights:

* Earlier in the season, Kirk Cousins did not scramble enough, but now the Redskins quarterback is making moves with his legs. Gruden took note and admired his quarterback's play.

"That's something you can't really emulate, you can't really practice, but he did a great job. I think the play of the game for Kirk was the third-and-7 backed up when he scrambled and got the first down. We were really backed up and we are punting to [Darren] Sproles, but we end up getting that first down and methodically going down and scoring and taking a 14-point lead. He made some big time third down plays, kept plays alive, moving his feet, and then threw the ball away when he had to. Play before the 50-yarder that [Dustin] Hopkins hit. Third down and 12, he could have waited, waited, felt pressure, threw it away, kicked the field goal, didn't make a big mistake by taking a sack. Those are big plays."

* The Washington defense outplayed the Eagles offense during the first half and throughout much of the game. Washington's defense held Philadelphia to 12 net yards passing in the first half and just six points during the entire game. A combination of sound coverage and pressure deserves credit.

"Defensive coordinator, defensive players they are doing a great job of executing."

"Number one, change up the coverage a little bit. We can play some man-to-man and cover up his first or second progression and if he tries to get off to his third then you got to get pressure on him. And I think that's what happened. I think our defense did a good job."

* The Redskins 230 yards on the ground was the most since Week 17 against the Dallas Cowboys in 2012. Matt Jones led the way with 135 yards on 16 carries including the game clinching 57-yard burst on third-and-7. Robert Kelley had a career high 59 yards on five carries, while Chris Thompson rounded out the group with 9 rushes for 37 yards.

"I think they are all good players. Chris [Thompson] can give you a little something different. He's our third down back but he can do some first down carries. Matt [Jones] is the big plugger. And a great change up is Fat Rob [Kelley]. He's got great vision, he runs through tackles. I like all three of them really. If you are dressed and you are on our team, I like you and you are going to get an opportunity to play more than likely."

* Tight end Vernon Davis might have been to blame for theoretically allowing the Eagles to turn the tide with a kickoff return for a touchdown following his unsportsmanlike conduct, celebration penalty. The head coach does not however and was quick to defend him.

"We still have to get off blocks and make a tackle. I'm not going to blame Vernon for them returning a kickoff for touchdown. He would never do anything that would jeopardize a 15-yard penalty He didn't know. I showed all the video of the illegal celebrations the other day and shooting a basketball through the goal post wasn't one of them. I might have done the same thing. Now we know and he won't ever do it again."

* Statistically speaking, especially before the fourth quarter, the Redskins were making the Eagles look silly. At the end of the day, Gruden still is not pleased and knows there are rarely going to be perfect performances.

"Probably, if you compare it to the other games, I would say so, but you still give up an interception for touchdown, a kickoff return for touchdown and that's not good. I think statistically probably, but still, I have made this point many a times before, our games are going to be grinds, they're going to be coming down to the wire a majority of them that we play. And our guys have got to stay resilient through the good times and bad and they have done that over the past four weeks."

Follow Neil on Twitter @NeilDalal96.

Follow Breaking Burgundy on Twitter @breakburgundy and on Facebook and become a subscriber to receive access to premium content and discounted Redskins tickets.

Be sure to check out the ever-growing benefit package of being a Breaking Burgundy Insider! Check it out HERE.


Breaking Burgundy Top Stories