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Redskins’ First-Team Offense Logs ‘Effective Drive’

Posted Aug 8, 2014

Redskins head coach Jay Gruden and offensive coordinator Sean McVay elected for the first-team offense to play just one 11-play scoring drive Thursday evening against the Patriots.

Get ‘em in, get ‘em out.

That was the motto for the Redskins’ first-team offense Thursday night in their preseason opener against the New England Patriots.

Led by quarterback Robert Griffin III, the offensive starters were out for just one 11-play scoring drive that culminated in a Kai Forbath 39-yard field goal to give Washington an early 3-0 lead.

“We came out and did what we wanted to do,” Griffin III said after the game. “We got the ones in and out – we had an effective drive.”

Washington took over at the 12:48 mark in the first quarter after the Redskins’ defense forced a three-and-out on the Patriots’ opening drive of the game.

From there, head coach Jay Gruden and offensive coordinator Sean McVay elected to let the team’s deep running attack dictate the drive, as third-year running back Alfred Morris – who was selected to his first Pro Bowl last season – took the opening handoff seven yards off the left end.

In all, the Redskins ran the ball six out of their 10 plays on that initial drive, collecting 31 yards between Morris (27 yards) and running back Roy Helu Jr. (four yards).

Griffin III, meanwhile, completed two short passes to tight end Logan Paulsen (two yards) and Helu Jr. (seven yards) on the drive, which was par for the course when it came to the original game plan, Gruden said.

“We had a whole plan for him the first five or 10 plays,” the first-year head coach said of Griffin III. “[We’re] trying to get some runs going, trying to get him outside of the pocket.”

Griffin III said he was more than happy to hand the ball off and let his running backs and offensive linemen do what they do best.

“I think (Gruden) wanted to get his guys in and out and keep us healthy,” the third-year quarterback said. “And those offensive linemen like to run the ball. Let them get their hands dirty in there for a couple plays and get [running back] Alfred [Morris] some touches. We played off that really well.”

Gruden said he never considered putting the No. 1 offense back onto the field for a second drive Thursday evening.

“We (wanted) about eight to 10 plays with the ones, and we got it on the first drive, so they were done,” Gruden said. “That’s what we wanted, just wanted to get them out there.”

Gruden said he hopes to see the same effectiveness out of the No. 1 offense in an expanded role Aug. 18 against the Cleveland Browns so that they’re clicking on all cylinders in the regular-season opener at Houston.

“It’s about getting them out there with the pregame warmup, put their pads on, come out of the tunnel and understand what it takes to start the game,” Gruden said of the first preseason game. “Give them a few plays, and get them out. Tomorrow and next week, they’ll have a few more plays and in the third preseason game they’ll have more plays, and then we’ve over there to Houston.”

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