Redskins offensive coordinator Sean McVay and defensive coordinator Jim Haslett give their thoughts heading into Sunday's Week 6 matchup against the Arizona Cardinals.
Offensive coordinator Sean McVay
On if he's seen enough from tight end Jordan Reed (hamstring) for him to play on Sunday:
"We'll see. It'll be a game time decision. Obviously, Niles Paul been playing really good football for us and it was good getting him back after getting the concussion a couple weeks ago, and Logan [Paulsen], so we'll see how Jordan fits this week."
On if there's a lot of change in the game plan with Reed as opposed to Paul:
"I would say it's very similar. You feel good about him as a pass catching option, but you see some of the good things Niles has done this year and you feel really confident in both of their abilities, but I would say the game plan is very similar based on both of them playing."
On how much McVay can open up the game plan with both of them playing:
"It gives you a little more versatility because you got two guys that can run and put some stress on the defense, but we'll see how he feels on Sunday, and we're hoping that he'll be able to go, but that'll be a game time decision."
On Paul's struggles in the Week 5 game against the Seahawks:
"I think it was kind of based on some of the looks that they were playing. It wasn't really predicated to where he was getting a lot of opportunities in the pass game. Certainly he knows he can clean up some of things in the run game. Give credit to Seattle because they're obviously a very physical defense that does an excellent job against the run."
On having poor field position and how it alters what he wants to do as a playcaller:
"It's tough anytime that you have to go 80-plus yards against real good defenses like Seattle, but some of those things are out of your control, and our job is obviously to move the football regardless of where we start with that -- and we need to do a better job of that."
On how to get the running game on track:
"You need all 11 guys, and for whatever reason, it usually is one breakdown somewhere, and we've got to figure out a way to develop some continuity. We can be a little bit more consistent with sticking with it and Alfred [Morris] can create a little bit better, we can do a better job up front. I think everybody collectively has a hand in it and we're optimistic and hopeful that we'll be able to run the football this week."
On if they're stressing flipping the field:
"Absolutely. Last week, you look at a couple drives where our defense did an excellent job holding them and we'd get it back and we weren't able to really convert and get us back to where you're talking about flipping that field, and that's something that you always emphasize, because when they are doing a good job on defense, we got to make sure we're putting them in good field position so now we give ourselves a chance to start better when we do get the football back."
Defensive coordinator Jim Haslett
On preparing for three different Cardinals quarterbacks:
"Well, we've looked at all of them on tape and discussed what we think they're strengths and weaknesses, but you really don't know. We'll play it by ear when we get there and figure out those strengths and weaknesses, and the only thing we can do is try and figure it out as we go."
On the Cardinals defense not having Calais Campbell:
"That doesn't really affect me because he's on the defensive side, but I know he's a heck of a football player."
Follow up question on same topic:
"Again, I'm not really sure. I'd like to have him on my team, though."
On what he did to clean up any communication issues:
"I don't think we had any communication errors in the game. I thought those guys did a good job with that. Our issue was trying to tackle Russell Wilson. The guy's a heck of a football player and did some flag football follies. He did a nice job. He's a heck of a player."
On if that's where you just shake your head while you're watching the game tape:
"He's amazing. We could have a done a better job containing him and a couple things, guys were chasing him and let the coverage go. Again, he improved and did a good job."
On if he expects middle linebacker Perry Riley Jr. to play, and if he doesn't, how much of drop there is at the position without him:
"I don't know if we'll have Perry. That'll probably be a game time decision I would think, at this point. We get [Will] Compton and Adam Hayward, both of them, Adam's started in the league and played, Compton's earned the right to be here and play. One of those two will start and we feel good about either one of them."
On what kind of progress he's seen in Will Compton:
"Just from the way he's grown up since he's been here in a short time. He's on the practice squad the first year and we just didn't have a spot for him. He's grown into the third guy that can play both positions. So a smart guy, active, and I expect if he's the guy that plays, he'll do a great job."
On defensive lineman Frank Kearse:
"We got a lot of young guys. I think he did a nice job last week. He's another one, he's got some things to work on, but I think he's active and I thought he showed up last week in the game."
On the upside/downside to not having developmental years with young players like Bashaud Breeland and Kearse:
"We don't have that. You don't have that because of injuries and that's part of the National Football League, and the guys stepped in and have done a pretty good job. I'm proud of the way they've stepped in. Bashaud, Frank, Will, it's good for them in the long run."
On the challenges of preparing for Arizona despite not knowing who their QB will be:
"Well, if you would have showed up, I've already answered that before. No, I'm only kidding you. It's hard because you're not really sure. All three of them, obviously Carson's got a lot of skins on the wall, you got the young guy from Virginia Tech who's a heck of an athlete and can throw the ball, Stanton's a good football player, we're not really sure who's going to play. We got our guys prepared to handle all three of them, but you can't simulate all three in practice."
On if the plays change that much between the three or if it's more how those guys operate in the pocket:
"One's been in the league, a Pro Bowler and a heck of a football player, and you got young, obviously, and a young guy that's got some skins on the wall. All three of them are a little different from that standpoint."
On if there's something different about Arizona's offensive system that creates some problems:
"The system's awesome. They ran it when I was in Pittsburgh and they ran the same type of system. They got heck of a football players to run it. They got really good skill players, good running back, molded their offensive line around what they want, so I think the system's awesome. I think they do a great job with it. All the option routes, the choice routes, getting balls to the guys, I think that's why they score a lot of points against everybody. They've done a good job with it."
On what they can do differently to get more takeaways:
"We got to keep plugging away. We got to try to get a lead here, try and get some balls. The thing that's probably the most disappointing last week, we started around midfield a bunch of times and we were trying to flip the field and we wanted to get a turnover and we going get a turnover to flip the field. That was probably the thing that affected the outcome because you're 17-10, you're starting the 40, the 50, the 40 because we couldn't flip the field. We needed a turnover to flip it and we just couldn't get one. We need to keep emphasizing trying to get those things."
On if there are ball stripping drills that they can be doing or adding:
"We do them all the time. We worked on them last week. We worked on tackling every week. We work on stripping every week. We work on catching the ball. We work on them all the time, we emphasize it and they come and we just haven't gotten a bunch of them yet."
On getting a pass rush and not having to blitz and crank up the pressure all the time:
"Those guys got to roll. I think we got to get in a situation where we can give them opportunities to rush and call a better game where they can get opportunities to rush, we just haven't done that."