REDSKINS HEAD COACH JAY GRUDEN
"As far as injuries are concerned, they all came back to play – Trent [Williams] and Brandon [Scherff] and Morgan [Moses]."
On why the line struggled today:
"Well, you know, hats off to [the Indianapolis Colts]. First of all, credit to Coach [Frank] Reich. Congratulate him on his first win. They came in here and outplayed us [on] both sides of the ball, special teams. Got in some tough situations, but we didn’t handle the movement you know, again in the running game more than the passing game. We couldn’t get any runs going. We had a lot of negative plays in the running game, which is unfortunate, and in the passing game, we couldn’t handle a lot of their stunts."
Follow up on if the struggle was due to play calling or execution:
"Well, I think they were executing and we weren’t – period. You know hats off to them like I said. They did a good job. We didn’t do a very good job out there in the second half. We weren’t on track. We were off track a little bit, lost our balance, never really had it really. We were kind of one-dimensional throughout the game. Our running game suffered and we were pretty much one-dimensional."
On what concerned him in the passing game:
"Well, they were very, very loose in their zones. It's not easy to get down the field in that defense. You're going to have to check the ball down a lot. We had some shots designed and they took them away with their linebacker dropping deep, their two deep safeties. You know, they played a lot of that. Cover 3 with deep safeties, deep corners. [If we] had to do it all over again, we'd have been more, obviously, probably less ambitious with some of our deep game and more geared towards moving the ball and getting the ball out of our hands and let the playmakers do their thing. As it turned out, we failed. "
On the pass rush:
"They were in positive down and distances pretty much the whole game. Third and two, third and four, and hit a lot of nice crossing routes. They had one third and 12 backed up and hit a nice bubble screen for goodness sakes for a gain of 15. It was just one of those days we could not really get home and didn’t have the opportunity to rush a whole lot. I thought Preston [Smith] had a couple good rushes. [Pernell] McPhee was short a couple times. I saw Jonathan [Allen] back there just a little bit short. We have to get back there a little bit quicker, possibly. I’ll check it out."
On changing his protection based on the offensive line’s performance:
"I try to keep on track with what we were doing. We were down. We got down a little bit once we gave up that last touchdown in the fourth quarter with nine minutes. We had to go no huddle and that is all she wrote. The first three quarters I tried to stay on track with our running game but just didn’t have much success."
On the running game:
"Like I said, we didn’t have a very good run plan [and] did not execute very well in the running game [and] did not get many good looks. We had one or two good looks that [Adrian Peterson] fought through there. We have to go back to the drawing board and talk about what runs we can hit against a moving front like that."
On not converting on third down:
"It hurts a lot, you know, it hurts a lot. Last week we were able to get some third down conversions and keep drives alive. That does two things; it keeps your offense on the field, keeps you on track as a play caller and it keeps your defense fresh. We were not able to do that today at all. Third downs were a huge, huge problem for us. We’ll have to go back and look at that."
On the need to get receivers involved:
"Probably. Like I said, there were a lot of cover two shelves out there. They’re doubled basically. The corner jams them and the safety over the top. There’s some holes in there that we can try to get in there. From time to time we did. Josh [Doctson] made a couple catches. Paul [Richardson Jr.] made a couple catches. [Jamison] Crowder had a couple there late. Overall, it’s about taking what the defense gives you. Taking shots when they are available. We just did not have any available to us today. We’ll have to try next week."
On positive takeaways from this game:
"Well, more than one, obviously. We were excited and upbeat as a result of last week, we are probably a little down this week, and that is pro football, and you have to handle the good with the bad, and see what type of team you’re made of, how we handle adversity - and this is an adverse situation. Never like to lose at home ever, but we did and now we have to bounce back in a big way. And get ready for Aaron Rodgers’ led Packer team."
On struggling with offensive picks:
“Well, we got picked, you know that is good design by them - had a couple of them. We have to do a better job at getting on different levels possibly, and not getting picked. On my part, that should have been called, but you know, that’s pro football, and if you are going to play a lot of man-to-man, you have to expect some pick plays. And we did not do a very good job at passing those off or switching them in and out.”
On dropped passes:
"I don’t know. We had no chemistry at all today, and it’s myself as a play caller. Really it’s my fault. I couldn’t give any rhythm calling plays. The inside zone wasn’t working, the outside zone wasn’t working, our read options weren’t working very well. We became one dimensional. And our play passes? We got sacked on two play passes for goodness sake. So they did a nice job, credit defense, they helped execute."
On play of the secondary and D.J. Swearinger interceptions:
"That’s a whole thing. D.J. [Swearinger] gave us some great opportunities to get some points on the board; touchdowns and we failed to do so and it’s unfortunate. We just got to go back and look at the film and see what happened. I thought we had a couple of good plays down, but they took them away. I’ve mentioned all along situational football, they executed, we didn’t and that’s it.”
REDSKINS QUARTERBACK ALEX SMITH
On the team chemistry:
"In the first half, I think a lot of things, certainly chemistry, rhythm; I didn’t think we had any of that. I didn’t think we were great on first or second downs. We gave ourselves some tough third downs in the first half, and then we didn’t convert so it was tough. Towards the end of the second half, I thought we finally did get in a rhythm but situationally even though we did put some drives together, but we stalled out, we stalled in the red zone. I think those are the two big things looking at it. Third down, red zone, it’s one of those days when you’re looking at a ton of opportunities but we needed to be better down there."
On if Indianapolis Colts pressure or run defense was the factor in slowing down the Redskins offense:
"Yeah probably, I think they both played into it. I thought both had timely pressure by them on third downs that cost us on conversions – certainly had a lot of penetrations at times with the run game as well. I think that played into it a lot, especially in the first half."
On incorporating outside receivers and handling the switch:
"I thought the guys did a great job in staying with it when we were making adjustments. It’s easy to get frustrated there. I think guys did stick with it that were able to get some things there in the second half and then move the ball a little bit. They made it apparent they were not going to give up the big play the way they were playing. I think making a smart and sustained drive, and it seemed like every time we got one going and got some rhythm going, something would happen. It’s easy to talk about right know but in hind sight, I wish we had some something different. There’s going to be a lot to look at and be better from."
On the lack of attempts downfield:
"I mean, I think that was the deal, they were playing pretty soft and weren’t going to give up big plays, make you check it down, they were going to rally and tackle, be disruptive up front and I think they did a great job with all of those things.”
"I mean that’s most of the NFL to be honest with you. I feel like it's really hard every single week and that’s the challenge, a great challenge every week. We had a chance here for the home opener and do that and we didn’t get it done. At the same time, I think we can use this constructively, build off it and find ways to get better and improve so we are more consistent."
"I think today is a good example of that and that we didn’t find it. I guess that speaks to what Jay [Gruden] called chemistry, I guess. I’m saying rhythm, finding what that is. The great thing is we have a lot of weapons. We have a lot of tools and we can find something no matter what. And it took a while tonight to get to it and I’m sure we will be looking at film and more will come up that we wish we had gotten to or wish we could’ve done differently. That’s kind of the nature of it."
On handling the blitz:
"I guess some great timing or unlucky timing for us and great timing by them. It’s hard to say on all of those. We’ll look at it."
REDSKINS WIDE RECEIVER PAUL RICHARDSON JR.
On what the Colts were doing in pass defense:
“Yeah basically what I think is they were just disguising their help. They had help in different areas, and they were just switching it up. So, one time they will have help over the top, next they will have help over the middle with deep help. They always kept somebody deep, you just didn’t know if the help was coming from the outside or the inside, or was it no help then a rush. It’s just a combination of things.”
On what the safeties were doing for pass defense:
“Yeah a lot of it is the safeties and the linebackers and what they are doing inside. It’s hard for the corners to decide if the safeties are intersecting with the linebackers.”
REDSKINS RUNNING BACK CHRIS THOMPSON
On what the Colts were able to do to be effective:
“They just played better than us; that’s it. There isn’t really much to say about it, we just have to execute better.”
On what the team needs to do for next week to prepare:
“Look at the film, see where we went wrong, and just find a way to come out fast next week.”
On what prevented the team from getting any rhythm in the running game:
“They just played harder than we did. That’s it.”
On why the Colts were able to get in the backfield so often:
“They just played harder than us. I’ve got to play better. We’ve all just got to find a way to be consistent.”
REDSKINS LINEBACKER ZACH BROWN
On what the defense figured out early that wasn’t working:
“They were just doing certain things different and the scheme as well, so after that, after the first drive, we had to settle down and just figure out what it was that they were doing.”
On how disappointing it was to give up the last touchdown drive after seemingly pulling the defense back together:
“We’ve just got to make sure we just communicate better and be on top of our game. The coach came out and they did what they had to do.”
On the reason the pass rush wasn’t as effective getting to Andrew Luck:
"We were only playing whatever was being called. At the end of the day, we just have to win. We just have to find that way to win somehow."
REDSKINS LINEBACKER MASON FOSTER
On how disappointing it is not being able to start at home with a win:
“Super disappointing, you know what I mean? All aspects of the game, all phases, you want to come out and have a big game in front of your home fans and we didn’t. We didn’t play good at all. It’s about adversity now. It’s going to be about how you respond and how you can bounce back and how you’re going to come in tomorrow morning working. Just got to come in and keep working because this is not a good way to start your home stretch - losing at home on national TV. So we’ve got to get stuff corrected and let this be the last one.”
On what the Colts’ offense was able to do well against the defense:
“Just little things here and there. I really can’t even put my finger on it. It was just little rub routes, little pick routes, stuff like that that they had schemed us up. We’re going against man, running different schemes, but we’ve just got to play better. We’ve got to get the ball back more. It’s something that we pride ourselves on but we didn’t do a good job of that. We’ve got to get them off on third downs and take the ball away.”
On if he can explain the difference between the team’s performance this week and last week:
“It’s the NFL. Teams are going to come out and have different looks for you, different things they want to do. Each week is going to be a dogfight. This week, we lost it. So, we have to bounce back and continue to work, take the coaching and watch the film. [We] can’t let this happen again because it feels terrible. You just want to throw up. You’ve just got to go get it corrected and find a way to get this taste out of your mouth.”
REDSKINS CORNERBACK JOSH NORMAN
On the emotion about not being able to get the home opener win:
"Obviously it’s disappointing. You know what your capabilities are and we just didn’t show it tonight. We didn’t play Redskin football. And that’s the most disappointing part about it. In all phases of the game, when you get in opportunities like that, you can’t get them back. So you’ve got to capitalize when you get the opportunity. We did and we just didn’t do it today. That’s the most frustrating part about it all."
On if the Colts offense did anything different to throw the defense off:
"Defensively, I don’t think they did anything different. They wanted the shots, they wanted the deep ball and we didn’t give it to them. They got little under routes, pick plays that ended up hurting us a little bit, but we were able to counteract later on in the game and it’s just one of those plays where you’ve got to have some adjustments to. Time ran out so we couldn’t really adjust that quick. We’ve just got to be better and understand and try to create those things out there, and when they happen, try to keep some defensive plays open."
On the difference between the Arizona Cardinals and the Indianapolis Colts:
"Tale of the tape – I said earlier, those plays, those pick plays, you’ve got to be better at them and have something to play off in certain situations. Like I said before, pass, the rushing, backfield go hand-in-hand. Rush there has to get there. We’re not holding up; rush can’t get there. We’ve got to do a better job of taking the back just all around, just making those situations a little bit better than what we have been, whether a guy’s up or a guy’s off. It’s just got to be discipline, knowing the plays and coming out playing. You’ve just got to look at the overall scheme of everything that we’ve put into place. Hopefully you make adjustments as you go."
REDSKINS-COLTS GAME NOTES
The Washington Redskins lost to the Indianapolis Colts, 21-9, at FedExField on Sunday.
The Redskins gained 334 total yards on offense and have now recorded 300 or more yards on offense in consecutive weeks for the first time since Weeks 10-12 of the 2017 season.
The Redskins defense recorded two interceptions and now has forced two or more turnovers in five consecutive games dating back to Week 15 of the 2017 season.
Quarterback Alex Smith completed 33-of-46 pass attempts for 292 yards and a passer rating of 88.3. Smith has now gone four consecutive weeks dating back to Week 16 of the 2017 regular season in which he has not committed a turnover.
Smith's 33 completions were his most in a single game since completing 34 passes against the San Diego Chargers in Week 1 of the 2016 season. His 46 pass attempts were his most since attempting 50 passes against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 4 of the 2016 season.
Wide receiver Jamison Crowder finished with two receptions for eight yards and a career-high 29 rushing yards on two attempts. On the Redskins first play from scrimmage, Crowder rushed for a career-long 25 yards.
Right tackle Morgan Moses made his 50th consecutive start.
Running back Adrian Peterson (14,507) recorded 50 scrimmage yards to pass Matt Forte (14,468) for 28th on the NFL’s all-time list.
Tight end Jordan Reed registered 55 receiving yards from six receptions and is now 14 receiving yards shy of passing No. 15 Bill Anderson on the Redskins all-time list.
Wide receiver Paul Richardson Jr. finished with four receptions for 63 yards. With his first catch of the game, Richardson recorded his 100th career reception.
Running back Chris Thompson recorded a career-high 13 receptions for 92 yards. The 13 receptions is tied for second in Redskins lore and now ranks tied for ninth in a single game in NFL history among running backs. Thompson fell one reception shy of tying Roy Helu Jr. for first on the all-time list. Helu recorded 14 receptions against the San Francisco 49ers on Nov. 6, 2011.
Linebackers Mason Foster and Zach Brown combined for 21 tackles. Foster finished with 11 tackles (eight solo) and Brown collected 10 (four solo).