Redskins offensive coordinator Sean McVay, defensive coordinator Jim Haslett and special teams coordinator Ben Kotwica give their thoughts heading into Sunday's Week 3 matchup against the Philadelphia Eagles.
Offensive coordinator Sean McVay
On how quarterback Kirk Cousins has improved:
"I think it's just confidence playing the position, getting used to seeing different defensive looks, some of the calls he'll make up front with protection, recognizing coverages and how you progress based on whatever concept we're calling. He's a conscientious guy that continues to take it upon himself to prepare even when he isn't playing. When an opportunity presents itself like it did last week, that's why he's able to step in and do some really good things."
On seeing a big difference in Cousins from last year to now:
"I think it's a different situation. I think anytime that you're a veteran player that is conscientious, you're going to get better with that experience and I think he felt real comfortable out there, did a great job recognizing some of things Jacksonville was doing. While there are definitely some things we can clean up as far as communication pre-snap, we're very pleased with what he did last week when he stepped in there."
On what they're doing to cut down on interceptions:
"I think it's just continuing to emphasize decision making each and every snap, play each down as its own entity, understand that defensive coordinators are going to mix up coverages and things like that, just being patient with the football and getting it where the coverage dictates."
On how difficult it is to communicate on the road against the Eagles:
"It's very difficult. That's one of the things you emphasize, especially, when you go on the road in a hostile environment like Philly. Coach Davis does an excellent mixing it up, especially once you get into some of those third down situations and that's definitely going to be a big challenge for us."
On throwing different situations at Cousins during practice:
"You try your best as a coach to help prepare these guys for what looks they've shown on tape and what we think we're going to get, but they do an excellent job mixing it up and you want to make sure that you have sound rules that give you answers versus some of the different things that they do, and hopefully he's able to handle it when in the heat of battle."
On wide receiver Ryan Grant:
"You can tell it's definitely not too big for him. He's definitely got a quiet confidence about himself. Coach Gruden calls him "Clinic," I'm sure he's told you guys that, where every route that he runs he's precisely at his depth, snaps down, does a great job separating, great aggressive hands. He's a very mature football player for a rookie and when he stepped in, I think a lot of people were surprised, but the coaches and I know his teammates weren't because that's what he's done consistently since he's got here."
On fullback Darrel Young and his versatility:
"It's big time. It gives you some versatility as offensive coaches where you got a fullback that can catch a go ball down the sidelines. Credit Kirk for reading out the coverage right and DY for making the play. You can see even later, I don't know how many fullbacks you see when he's catching a hitch out aggressively, step to the football and get vertical right away. He's a special talent at the fullback spot."
**Defensive coordinator Jim Haslett
**On preparing for Eagles' Darren Sproles and LeSean McCoy:
"You just got to work at it and try to emphasize it. We've done a good job up to this point and we'll see how we handle it during the game. Obviously, they're two explosive players and they find ways to get their balls in their hands and they did a good job last week with it. They hurt us the last game with it. The last time we played them, that's how they beat us."
On how difficult it is to recognize a screen play as a pass rusher:
"There's ways to see it. We'll see how we handle it in the game. Obviously, there's indicators that tell you what's going on. If we can see them fast enough, we'll play well, and if they don't we won't play them very well."
On up tempo and running a lot of plays being two different concepts:
"I think you got to research that a little more. They do get a lot of plays off when they want to. There's time when they get a lead and they're up 24-0 and they don't want to get a lot of plays off. They up the tempo when they want to and they can slow it down when they want to. They do an excellent job with it and they manage the game very well. I disagree with that assessment of it because it's where they want to go. If they want to go up tempo the whole game, they'll get 100 in. "
On if there's a magic number of plays to limit the Eagles to:
"I got a number in mind. We'll see if we can stick to it. They can score a lot of points in the fourth quarter, Philadelphia, and there's a reason why. They've won two games in the fourth quarter, the first two games."
On team speed helping that matchup:
"We'll find out. I like the way those two (Perry Riley Jr. and Keenan Robinson) run and they did an excellent job last week, but they got a lot of speed on their side of the ball. It'll be a good matchup."
On Eagles tight end Zach Ertz:
"I thought he was a heck of a player last year and I think he's a heck of a player this year. He's a wide-eyed, slash tight end. He's a good blocker. He does everything really well. That was a great pick up for them."
On Philadelphia starting slow in Weeks 1 and 2 and if there's anything he's picked up on:
"We look at the whole thing and they score a lot of points. It's going to be a great challenge for us."
On not having to game plan for DeSean Jackson this year:
"Yeah. That was an excellent pick up for us. He's got great speed and all that. The kid they drafted from Vanderbilt is a good player and they do a good job with what they have, they really do."
On if Sproles and McCoy are interchangeable:
"They use them interchangeably. They'll replace each other and Sproles will do a lot of things they did with receivers last year. They'll put him in the backfield, motion him out and doing a lot of different things. So you got to be on top of your game when both them are in and when one of them are in, you got your hands full, when two of them are in, it makes it a little bit worse."
On if Sproles is doing what DeSean Jackson did last year:
"He does some of it, but again they mix and match so well, and when you go back to the Oregon tape, when you watch them at Oregon and they ran the two-back system, there's a lot of similarities. There's a lot of concepts that are the same. It's not so much what they're doing, it's who they're doing it with."
On Nick Foles:
"I don't think he's been struggling that much. I think he does an excellent job running the offense and they should be glad they have him. Obviously, they won a lot of games last year, he did a good job and I think he's picked up from where he was at, especially in the second half of both these games."
On former safety Bacarri Rambo not working out:
"It's a shame because we gave him every opportunity and I feel bad because we drafted him and we thought we was going to pan into a good player, kind of like Keenan and Perry and some of these guys drafted that turned into good football players. It didn't work out. I think the big play last week was the dagger and, again, we try as a coaching staff to give him every opportunity to be successful. Hopefully he'll go somewhere else, calm down, relax, because I think he was so nervous to make a play that he couldn't make the play. Hopefully he'll get another opportunity."
On the envisioning 10 sacks against the Jaguars:
"Those guys did an excellent job last week rushing. It's not just those guys. Perry, Keenan, the secondary rushed well, we mixed it up between rush and blitz. Those guys want to rush every snap, obviously, because they would do a heck of a job and hopefully we can continue to do that. I know that number's ridiculous. That doesn't happen too often, so we're realistic, but we want to keep the pressure on and if we can do that and we let those guys go, who knows what can happen?"
On getting safety Brandon Meriweather back:
"He's a guy that we recruited a couple years ago and just haven't had him full time. He can do a lot of different things. He can go out and cover like a corner, that's what he did in college. He can do a lot of different things for you, so we want to keep him on the field and I think he'll help us win some games."
On it being big having Meriweather back for the Eagles in particular:
"I would like to have him back for all the games, but yeah. I know he's excited and his teammates are excited to have him back."
On the Eagles' screen game and why it's so good:
"It's who gets the ball … A screen is a screen. You throw to a tight end screen, they got a lot of those. They got a lot of half back screens. They got a lot of receiver screens. It's really the guys that get them that make them go."
On if the Redskins are in a good position to cover the multiple screen plays:
"We'll find out. That was one of our offseason goals was to handle screens better. We were awful last year, I thought, in that area. We've had screens up to this point, but we'll be challenged this week."
On if he's satisfied being the No. 1 defense in the NFL through two weeks:
"When we're done with Week 16, if we're in there, I'll be happy. Right now, we're just trying to beat Philadelphia."
**Special teams coordinator Ben Kotwica
**On punter Tress Way handling kickoff duty vs. the Jaguars:
"He was okay. He's got a little bit of experience doing it in college. He's a great young man. I can't speak highly enough of him. He did fine. He's doing a great job of punting the ball and we've been happy with what he's done so far."
On using Way on kickoffs moving forward with kicker Kai Forbath battling a groin injury:
"We'll see how it goes moving forward. It's nice to know that if you need Tress, he's got the ability to help us out there."
On sticking with Tress even if Kai were healthy:
"We'll see. We're going to do what's best for the football team. I couldn't tell you right now and as we move forward, later in the week we'll see how it shakes out."
On Akeem Davis and Trenton Robinson and what they've done for the special teams units:
"Both have done a nice job. Akeem is a guy that we saw during the training camp. He's got some physical skills that end up transcending into the special teams game. He's done a nice job. Trenton's been here for a while. Those guys are just two speed players that help us out and end up bringing a little bit of physical play, make something that the opponent needs to think about."
On Davis' personal foul penalty vs. the Jaguars:
"It's unfortunate there. I think when you look at it, there's a technique where he can slide his helmet to the side. He's an aggressive player. Hopefully he'll learn from it."
On Davis' style of play that makes him ideal for the Redskins' special teams units:
"Not the penalty, obviously. We're not looking for that. We've had enough of them, so we don't need anymore. But, yes, that physical skill set, I like his attitude, he's a good young man, he works hard, and then the physical skills. He's a strong guy that can run and that helps in our part of the game."
On considering pulling Andre Roberts off returner duties after DeSean Jackson got injured during the Jaguars game:
"No. We didn't have those discussions."