Redskins offensive coordinator Sean McVay and defensive coordinator Jim Haslett give their thoughts heading into Thursday's Week 4 matchup against the New York Giants.
Offensive coordinator Sean McVay
On quarterback Kirk Cousins' performance Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles:
"I think Kirk did a lot of good things. Anytime you're able to have the production we were offensively, you're really pleased with a lot of things and the thing that is encouraging is that there's a lot of things that we can do a lot better. When we get into crunch, we got make a couple of those plays that we didn't, and that includes us as coaches putting them in a little bit better situations and then him making those decisions and reading out the coverage for whatever they play."
On what Cousins can do better:
"I think just continue to play one game at a time. There was a couple plays I thought he did a great job standing in there when they did bring pressure and throwing on rhythm, and then there was a couple where he saw a little bit too much, got his feet a little bit out of whack and then that always affects your accuracy as a passer. I think just being able to consistently feel, be able to keep your eyes down the field when you are getting rushed, and read the concept out based on what coverage they're playing behind it."
On the team's wide receivers' performance against the Eagles:
"Those guys did an excellent job. I thought the receivers played really well as an overall group. When they did get man coverage, they all separated and made plays. Pierre and DeSean both had some big-time games. I thought Andre Roberts was kind of an unsung hero and third down, it might not show up on the stat sheet, but he's winning on some of those underneath routes being able to move the chains for us on third down, so those guys did an excellent job."
On tight end Niles Paul:
"He's done a great job. It's really fun to see the progression that's he's been able to make. I think, going into the third year playing the position, he's much more comfortable. I think Wes Phillips has done a nice job with him where some of the things in the run game and just seeing his confidence – being able to make those plays he's made in the pass game, how aggressively he's stepping to the football and catching it. It's been a real pleasant surprise to see how Niles has played."
On what trips plays do to free up wide receiver Andre Roberts:
"Anytime you're able to get in those bunches and stacks and teams play some man coverage principles, you're able to create leverage and do some things that you like and they actually did a little bit different thing than what we expected, but Andre did an excellent job recognizing where Nate Allen came off pressing that point man initially and ran a great route and Kirk delivered a good ball."
On Cousins' skillset and what it brings to the offense:
"I think the thing about Coach Gruden's offense is does a great job giving them concepts that have answers versus whatever the defense plays. As long as he reads it out, recognizes what's going and he's able to progress accordingly, I think it's going to give him a chance to have success and he did a good job last week with that."
On his role during games:
"We have constant communication throughout. Jay is the play caller, but there might be certain situations that come up within the context of the game where he'll say what do you like here and then we'll do that or different things as far as what do we think in this situation, what do we want to start with to open a drive. He's calling it, but we have great communication throughout."
On not running the ball as much in the second half Sunday:
"I think they did a great job loading the box up. They were playing heavy eight-man fronts, a lot of single safety and that's one of the reasons we were able to have success throwing it, and we do need to stay patient with the run and keep them honest, but I think that's probably why we were throwing it more in the second half."
On the improvement in offensive lineman Josh LeRibeus:
"It is tough. Anytime you get some injuries up front, you want to try to maintain that continuity. Fortunately, when Shaun Lauvao did go down, Josh LeRibeus came in and did a nice job. Chris Foerster has done an excellent job developing some depth where we feel good about those down the line guys where if they do have to step in and you always want to keep your top guys healthy, but that's why you prepare and when those other guys are called upon, we expect them to play very well for us."
On whether a lack of sacks can be credited to quick release or offensive line play:
"I think it's a combination of both. I thought the line recognizing because Philly does an excellent job presenting a bunch of different looks where they pressure you and I did think Kirk did a nice job throwing on rhythm and the line did well. I think it was both."
On wide receiver Pierre Garçon, and whether he's a "forgotten man" behind Roberts and DeSean Jackson:
"We don't feel that way as coaches. He comes in and has a big game. The coverages weren't really dictating him getting the ball the previous week against Jacksonville, but you look when he gets his opportunities he has 11 catches, made some big-time conversions for us, going down the field making plays, we feel excellent and we know that Pierre's a great player."
On Jackson's route running:
"He does a great job on some of those down-the-field routes. I think anytime that you are a wide receiver you always want to challenge those guys to be sharp and crisp in everything that they do and he certainly has as much ability as anybody and we'll coach him hard, but he does a great job running all those types of routes, but there's definitely some times where we say, 'Hey man, let's be a little bit sharper on some of these.'"
On the short week to prepare for the Giants:
"It's tough because you're condensing all that week work that you do throughout the course of the week into a couple days and that's why it's good to have players like we have that are able to absorb a lot of material. Sometimes you do carry a little bit more than you would in a normal game plan so that you can carry it over if they're doing some of the same things in certain situations. It is a little bit tougher, but that's why you want to make a big emphasis on the mental aspect and approach this week."
On Cousins' progressions:
"He does a good job. Those defenses backs and a lot of the coverages are really going off your eye and keying that hard and he does an excellent job holding his eyes down the middle and then getting them to whatever his read is based on the play and the timing so that he's not late and he's on rhythm."
Defensive coordinator Jim Haslett
On losing cornerback DeAngelo Hall and the state of the secondary:
"Obviously, that's a big blow. He's been playing really well. I'm looking forward to Bashaud (Breeland) stepping up and playing, and Tracy (Porter) to have an opportunity. We feel good about that situation. We went into camp with five corners that we thought, at one point on this team, was a weakness that we've turned into a strength. We feel good. I'm excited. I think the kid (Breeland) brings something to the table. He's tough, got a little mean streak to him, he's got good coverage ability, he's long, he's the kind of guy you'd like to have on your team. Him and David (Amerson) will be two good looking ones out there, that's for sure.
On losing Hall's veteran leadership:
"He's your captain of your defense. Other guys have to step up and we've got some guys we feel will be – Ryan Clarks and Jason Hatchers of the world – that will step up and take that role over."
On being able to stop the run:
"Our guys are excited about the opportunity, the challenge of stopping a running back every week. That one, last week, is kind of crazy. We went into the game with a couple thoughts: stopping the run was No. 1, two was to make sure we didn't give up and cheap screens, which we didn't do. We gave up the one, which isn't a disappointment. We thought if we did those two things, tackle well, we'd have an opportunity to win the game and we did two of the three, we gave up one bad one and if you could have that one back, you would have won the game. Those guys, they like the challenge and get another good challenge this week. Jennings is a heck of a running back. We played against him last year at Oakland. I thought he did a nice job. We'll have another challenge again. They have a little different running game than the Eagles.
On not getting any sacks last week:
"I give it to Nick last week, he was on. He was on. We hit him 15 times, we had 15 quarterback hits, but we didn't get him down. He had pressure. He threw two great balls and he had two guys draped on him; I don't even know how he got it off. The reason they won the game is because he was on. They had a couple down the sideline and the one in the end zone with Perry and Brandon on him and it was an unbelievable throw. I give it to Nick on that, but we hit him. I guarantee you he's sore."
On any concerns about not getting sacks in 2-of-3 games:
"If you can get pressure and hit the quarterback and disrupt him enough, we hit him, we didn't disrupt him enough because he made some great throws."
On outside linebacker Brian Orakpo:
"He'll be fine. He dislocated his finger and we just moved him over there because of that. He'll wear a splint and have it taped up and he'll be alright."
On Tracy Porter playing Thursday:
"I think he will."
On Breeland's biggest hurdle:
"I don't think he really has any hurdles. He's a student of the game. He's here all night. He stays here till 8 or 9 at night watching tape. He loves football. He loves the game. He's tough. He's got great skills. He's long. He's got good speed. He's a lot faster than I gave him credit for coming out, so we'll find out."
On Porter playing the nickel:
"I don't know. We kind of work him in. Bigg's (E.J. Biggers) is in right now, so we'll figure it out."
On the Giants' new offensive system:
"Their offensive coordinator, Ben (McAdoo), I hired him in New Orleans. That was his first job and he's been with Mike McCarthy the whole time. That's the offense he knows and obviously it's identical to what Green Bay and Mike's done and what we did in New Orleans. It's not like we don't know what's coming. It's can you stop him, is the big thing. We went to the same college."
On if he'll take it easy on McAdoo:
"I'm hoping it's the other way around."
On his concerns with defensive end Jason Hatcher's hamstring:
"I'll talk to Jason at the appropriate time, but right now I'm not planning on anything different, but we'll see how it goes when we get to the game. We still got a couple days. I don't know who scheduled, who came up with these Thursday night games."
On if it's easier to prep on a short week against a familiar team like NYG:
"They got a new offense, so you got to do a lot of studying. I think the coaches on the defensive side have done a nice job. We actually … game planned for them in training camp. We crossed over to see what they were doing in preseason so there's a lot of carry-over from what we did back in training camp."
On Thursday night games:
"I don't like night games period. It's after my bed time."
On Giants quarterback Eli Manning:
"I think he's an exceptional quarterback. Obviously, he's got Super Bowl rings. That's No. 1. He's been to the big show, he's been to the playoffs, and I think that's how you judge quarterbacks in this league. He's got all those credentials. He can make all the throws. He's elusive enough to get out of his way and make plays on his feet. if you're looking for a classic dropback quarterback, him and his brother fit the mold."
On cornerback Chase Minnifield:
"I'm a fan of Chase's. Chase has got great football instincts. He probably came out of the womb with football in him because of his daddy. I think the guy's got really good football instincts, studies the game, understands it, has good skills, and he'll be up for us and we'll see what happens."
On if he's worried about Brandon Meriweather being rusty:
"Anytime you don't play for two weeks straight and then you go out there after two days practice, it's not easy. I don't think Brandon was 100 percent running around, but the more he gets in and with the practice, he'll get better and better."