With plenty of problems to fix, Skins look ahead to Saints
After all, there were so many things that went wrong in Washington's 27-10 loss at the New England Patriots on Sunday that dwelling on it probably would do little good.
''Well, clearly, we're disappointed with the outcome of the game, but I think it's important that we move onto New Orleans,'' Gruden said Monday at Redskins Park. ''We've got to make sure that we turn up the heat a little bit, challenge these guys, try to get more out of them as coaches. Hopefully we play better, because we are right in the thick of things as far as the division is concerned.''
Well, technically that is true, but it's due more to the NFC East's general ineptitude than anything Washington (3-5) has done right so far this season, Gruden's second in charge. The New York Giants are in first place at 5-4, followed by the Philadelphia Eagles at 4-4. After Washington, Dallas (2-6) is last.
Next Sunday, the Redskins host the Saints (4-5). One bit of good news for Washington: The game is at home. Under Gruden, the Redskins are 1-10 on the road.
Plenty of problems contributed to the lopsided loss at the Patriots.
''Hopefully,'' Gruden said, ''we got them all out of our system yesterday.''
There was the latest example of an inability to move the ball on the ground: The Redskins ran for a paltry 37 yards. And the latest example of an inability to stop opposing running backs: New England rushed for 161 yards, 129 by LeGarrette Blount.
''It's a group effort, No. 1. As a group, we haven't been very good,'' Gruden said.
''From a schematics standpoint, I feel like we're in the right places,'' he added. ''We've just got to finish some plays. We've just got to hustle to the ball and wrap up. That's a couple weeks in a row, three or four weeks in a row. We'll keep working.''
This was also the second consecutive game in which Washington trailed big at the outset. It was down 14-0 before running its second offensive play, and 17-0 in the second quarter. In their previous game, the Redskins fell behind 24-0 against Tampa Bay before using the biggest comeback in franchise history to eke out a 31-30 victory.
''We can't keep digging ourselves into 17-0 holes and expect to have a successful season or games,'' Gruden said. ''So we've got to make sure we do a better job of coming out of the tunnel and strapping up, being ready to play quicker, play faster and start faster, so we can implement our game plan and we can play with a lead and play to our strengths.''
NOTES: Gruden said DT Terrance Knighton, who missed Sunday's game because of migraine headaches, ''could be back'' at practice Wednesday, but there is no way to know yet. ... Gruden did not rule out the possibility of a change from Perry Riley Jr. to Will Compton as a starting linebacker. ... S Dashon Goldson injured a hamstring Sunday. ... The Redskins signed WR LaRon Byrd, LB Carlos Fields and DL Anthony Johnson to their practice squad and released WR Corey Washington from the practice squad.
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