Here's five takeaways from Redskins head coach Jay Gruden's Thursday, Dec. 4, 2014, press conference at Redskins Park in Loudoun County, Va.:
1. There were several changes to the Redskins' injury report on Thursday.
Among them: defensive end Jason Hatcher (knee) went from not practicing on Wednesday to a limited role on Thursday; cornerback E.J. Biggers (concussion) and linebacker Keenan Robinson (knee) went from limited on Wednesday to not practicing on Thursday; linebacker Will Compton went from limited participation on Wednesday to fully practicing on Thursday; and tackle Tyler Polumbus was
not at the facility Thursday as he tended to a "personal family matter," Gruden said.
As it pertains to Robinson, Gruden said the linebacker didn't suffer any kind of setback to his knee, but the staff decided to "peel him back a little bit, give him some more rest and see how he does tomorrow – more rehab – and go from there."
"It's just a painful injury for him right now."
Gruden said that he is "very concerned" about the playing status of "all these guys that have the 'DNP' by their name, other than Polumbus," which include Biggers, Robinson, defensive lineman Kedric Golston (foot/back), wide receiver DeSean Jackson (shin), safety Brandon Meriweather (toe) and cornerback Chase Minnifield (concussion).
Jackson, Gruden said, does not have any structural damage to his leg, but "it's just kind of painful."
"It's nothing major – just painful, bruise-ish-type thing in the fibula," Gruden said. "So, it's just a wait and see if he can handle the pain or what have you come tomorrow, Saturday. We'll see."
READ MORE:Full Redskins Week 14 Injury Report
2. The Rams' are not limited to just one extremely talented pass rusher.
Sure, Robert Quinn is a perennial candidate for Defensive Player of the Year – that's what collecting
19 sacks a year ago will do – but Gruden said that as he watches Rams game film, "it stands out that they're very good, and it's not just one guy."
"Obviously Robert Quinn is as good a pass rusher as there is in the NFL… Then Aaron Donald is a rookie, he's relentless, man," Gruden said. "He has a very low center of gravity, he's got a great move – he's always working up toward the quarterback. Then they have got Chris Long back and they have other guys who can get home too."
Gruden said the Rams have "the whole kit and caboodle when it comes to rushing the passer."
"They can get home with three, get home with four," he said. "It's going to be a great challenge for us offensively and all the more important reason to try and stay out of third down and long. That'll be a grind as it is every week, but these guys are special when it comes to rushing the quarterback."
3. Yes, the Redskins want to improve their tempo, but it's not always easy to do in practices.
"I think you can try to pick it up a little bit in practice," Gruden said. "But sometimes in practice when you're trying to show cards of what the other team is doing, it's hard to have a great tempo in practice."
Gruden said all aspects of the playcalling process – those selecting the play, those relaying it to the quarterback, those subbing players in and out, those executing the play, etc. – can improve moving forward, however.
"We are going to work on our tempo a little bit, but there are times in the game where we want to slow it down a little bit – snap it with 10, nine, eight, seven, six, whatever it is depending on the situation," he said. "But we also want to try to speed it up a little bit early in the game."
READ MORE:McCoy: Catching Up ‘A Hard Game To Play’
4. Quarterback Colt McCoy has "had a great week" of practice so far.
McCoy will start his second-straight game and third overall under center for the Redskins on Sunday when they take on the Rams at FedExField.
"He's been really decisive with his throws and done a nice job," Gruden said about McCoy's practices this week. "He has done a good job with the protection. There's a lot of things we have to handle from a protection standpoint this week, obviously."
McCoy, Gruden said, "has got great command right now, and I think he is playing with a lot of confidence."
"So hopefully that will carry over," he said.
READ MORE:5 Takeaways: Colt McCoy Dec. 3 Presser
5. Hiring a quarterbacks coach in the offseason is a possibility, but…
Both Gruden and offensive coordinator Sean McVay have spent a ton of time during the offseason, preseason and regular season with McCoy, Robert Griffin III and Kirk Cousins, so they figured they "didn't want to have too many voices preaching" the quarterbacks this year.
"But I think next year if we have that spot on staff there is a possibility we could add another guy to that area," he said.
As for now, however, Gruden said "I think we have enough people in house that are coaching the quarterbacks."
"That's not an issue, but if we have a spot next year then we can address it, like we will at every other position," he said.