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Starters May Play 'At Least' Quarter Thursday


Redskins head coach Jay Gruden said quarterback Robert Griffin III and the No. 1 offense could play a quarter in Thursday's preseason opener against the Browns.

Head coach Jay Gruden doesn't have a set plan in place for the starters in the preseason opener against the Cleveland Browns on Thursday, but he does want to see them out there for more than a series or two.

"I would think at least a quarter right now, just off the top of my head, but we'll see," he told the media on Monday. "Could be longer. Just depends on how many plays you get. We'll probably have a pitch count on him and go from there."

Preseason snap counts for starters and backups vary depending on situations, with most of the first-team's action coming in the third preseason game while the backups and guys right on the cut line play mostly all of the last game.

Gruden said he's "excited, especially to see some of these young guys," but also wants to see how the some of the veteran players look, too, after months away from game action.

"I want to see our veteran guys progress, however much they play – if it's a quarter, if it's a half, I don't know yet – but I want to see how they're progressing in Year 2 of our system," Gruden said. "And then obviously the young guys, I want to see how they step up when the lights are on. You've got the Cleveland Browns' players fighting for jobs, we're fighting for jobs. We'll see how we compete and how we fare against another team, so it'll be exciting."

On Sunday, the team released its first unofficial depth chart of the season.

While its release is a team requirement, Gruden doesn't want the players reading too much into the current placement.

If they outperform other players at their particular positions, changes will be made.

"It's important for these guys to continue to compete, let them know we've got our eyes on them," Gruden said. "If they perform better than the guy in front of them then they'll play. Being a starter, you've got to deserve that right, you've got to earn that right and you've got to keep that right. We just put that out there for y'all, but for us, we're letting our guys go out there and compete every day and we can make changes as necessary."

The Washington Redskins conducted their tenth day of training camp practice Monday August 10, 2015, at Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Center.

All eyes will be on Robert Griffin III when he's out on the field on Thursday, as the former second overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft tries to rebound from two difficult seasons.

Gruden simply wants to see him operate the huddle and show progression.

"Really the big thing is tempo – in and out of the huddle and getting plays called and then making good decisions and accurate decisions and then just delivering the ball on time and accurately," Gruden said. "So we'll see. I don't expect him to go a perfect 20-for-20 for five touchdowns or any of that matter, but I do expect him to have more confidence in the system, get us in the right play when we ask him to do so and make good sound decisions. It's up to the rest of the guys to do work around him." 

And while the coaches have seen a lot out of the players during the last two weeks in training camp, Gruden and his coaching staff wants to come out of the preseason slate with the best 53-man roster they can have.

"The outcomes of the games, you always want to win whenever you step out onto the field but the big thing is coming out of there healthy and then finding your best 53 guys," Gruden said. "However you do that – 4-0, 0-4, 2-2 – they don't count. They are important as far as your confidence is concerned, possibly. It would be nice for us to get some wins in there but ultimately it is about finding our best 53 guys."




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