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Starters To Play One Quarter Vs. Browns

Posted Aug 15, 2014

Redskins head coach Jay Gruden confirmed Friday that he plans to play the team’s first-team offense and defense one quarter in Monday night’s preseason game vs. the Cleveland Browns.

Washington Redskins head coach Jay Gruden confirmed Friday that he plans on playing his starting offense and defense for one quarter in Monday night’s preseason matchup against the Cleveland Browns at FedExField.

“I'm shooting for at least a quarter,” Gruden said after Friday’s practice. “See how it goes.”

The Redskins’ No. 1 offense and defense each were effective in limited action in their preseason opener against the New England Patriots Aug. 7.

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.

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).

Asked what he wanted to accomplish in Monday’s game vs. the Browns, Griffin III said he hopes to “move the ball, be efficient and score points.”

“We want to go out there and win a football game,” he said. “So when I’m in the game, it’s doing the best I can to make sure that happens. When he takes us out, we’ll make sure that we’re in the ear of all the guys that are playing, helping them out so we can continue to try to win games.”

The Redskins’ offense is also expected to receive a boost from its two top receivers – Pierre Garçon and DeSean Jackson, both of whom missed the preseason opener with minor injuries.

Gruden said he’s happy to get his whole offense onto the field together under the lights for the first time to see how it responds to various scenarios.

“If certain situations come up, we’ve got to handle them – third-and-long, third-and-short, whatever they might be, red zone, goal line short yardage,” Gruden said. “All those are very important for us to try to get a test on moving forward to the regular season, but if they don’t come up, they don’t come up.”

The Redskins’ defense, meanwhile, had two successful drives against the Patriots Aug. 7. On the first drive, they forced a three-and-out and a punt, as New England could not advance the ball farther than its own 22-yard line. The second drive was another three-and-out, highlighted by a third-down sack by outside linebacker Brian Orakpo.

Defensive coordinator Jim Haslett said he was happy with the overall performance of the defense vs. New England, but knows a lot more work is required to get where they want to be.

“We did a good job in the run game last week, I thought we did a nice job pressuring the quarterback,” Haslett said. “It's a process. You're always working on everything to get better, with the coverages and all that. We've got to keep improving in all facets. You'd like to keep improving the run game, the pass game, the rush, and it's early, but we're happy with where we're at right now.”

Who's out?
Gruden also confirmed injuries will officially keep few players out of Monday's Browns game, while another defensive starter's status remains in question.

The list of those out of the game include defensive end Jason Hatcher (knee), running back Chris Thompson (ankle) and linebacker Darryl Sharpton (ankle).

Safety Brandon Meriweather -- who suffered a minor toe injury -- missed Friday's practice and has "a chance to play" vs. the Browns, but Gruden said the training staff will continue to monitor his progress.

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