The 1-1 Chicago Bears, fresh off their come from behind win at Denver, travel to the nation’s capital to take on the winless Redskins. Washington dropped their first two games, both against division opponents. Here’s what the players and coaches had to say in advance of this contest.
Jay Gruden, Redskins coach: We’ve got to get a better in the riunning game. for sure. htat;s been one of our issues on offense. We’ve had five or six runs called back because of holding plays.That kils your momentum. Your ability to call playus. in order for us to be successful we need to control the clock, we need to run the ball a bit better. And Adrian Peterson is a big part of that going forward. we rely on Adrian big time.
Gruden: They are a very difficult team to run the ball against. We might have to wait until next week (laughs) They are very physical up front. Their interior players are very good. Their linebacker can run. They set edges with their outside backers, Mack and Floyd. They tackle well in the secondary. So they are very sound in what they do. Not overly complicated A very physical brand of football. Old Chicago Bear football.
Kyle Long: It starts up front. There’s a lot of things I can do better. A Lot of blocks I’m not making. Lot of guys unaccounted for. I need to make it my personal goal not to allow my matchup to make the play. We got to get back to the basic. When we use our basics, not many people can beat us. Got to stay patient. People have compared it to boxing matches a lot. It’s not too often you’re going to knock somebody out in the first round. What you see a lot of is guys get worn down throughout the game. You see the big punches land in the later rounds. And if we can fight a way to impose our will physically early in the game, we’ll have opportunities to have those big chunk plays in the game.
Matt Nagy: My message to mitch is to stay focused. I didn’t say a whole lot the last game. I let him have his space and do his thing. If I feel like there’s something where we’re not clicking on a play, or he’s not seeing something, I’ll go over and talk, or if I think he did really well, I’ll go over and tell him ‘hey nice job.’ But other than that, I let [QB coach Dave] Ragone sit there with him, Chase Daniel, Tyler [Bray]. Those guys. He’s got a lot of people in his ear. I just want to make sure we don’t make it too much.
Nagy: (on team confidence) For Mitch, myself and our offense. Making sure we have the ear muffs on and the blinders. I mean that. It’s hard in this world today. Because It’s everywhere. People are talking and saying things. When you’re doing really well, everyone’s all about it, When you’re not doing well, everyone’s all about it. So, we have to make that sure we control what we can control. And that’s today’s practice. Then when you get into a big game like a Monday night game and everyone’s watching, and there’s no other games going on, you can’t make it bigger than what it is. In my opinion.
Mitch Trubisky: A balanced offense and a steady run game always opens up shots in the pass game. Getting the running backs going. Pounding that ball with David [ Montgomery] and getting the o-line going, letting them come off the ball and do their thing. I think it keeps the defense honest, and hopefully sucks those defenders up and we can open some stuff up with play action and shots downfield. That’s where we want to be as a balanced attack.
Trubisky: My confidence is good. You just got to believe that this week is the week. We haven’t been executing that way we want to. There’s definitely some things that we’re missing on film. But we’re coming together and we’re correcting them. The most important thing to me is that my guys still believe in me. I believe in myself, and that we’re one unit. We’re sticking together. We’re going to do what we got to do to correct it. We got to believe that this offense can explode at any minute, because of the playmaker,s and the special guys we have in the locker room. We got to believe in the plan. Have a great week of practice, and go out and execute on game day.
Eddie Jackson: We have to limit big plays, limit missed tackles. The mental errors. Just every little thing that you can think about. And when you go watch film with your coach, that you see on film, that you feel like you can correct. So for us, create turnovers. We have one turnover so far, in two games, and last year we led the league in turnovers. So that’s something we are trying to emphasize a lot more this week. We got to go out and play disciplined football.
Prince Amukamara: If we would have lost last week, I fee like l the mood in here would have been different, and the defense would have felt like it was our fault, so we have to do better with closing games, and just improving in different areas. It’s good that it’s early in the season. We are doing pretty well, but we’re not where we want to be. Even though we are a great group, we’re still trying to build our chemistry. Trying to just learn each other’s strengths and build off of that.
Roquan Smith: (on Adrian Peterson) I think we all know the challenge the guy presents. Looking forward to it, the guy’s been running the ball the way he’s been running for many, many years. It will be great for our defense and it will get us all better. Going into the year knowing what to expect, it means a lot to myself. (Having a full training camp) was a smooth transition. I’ve been enjoying that.
Trey Burton: We are extremely confident (with Mitch) He’s going to continue to get better, and continue to have better games. But it’s not just him. I’m sure coach Nagy told you. I’m sure other guys have told you about that. We take a lot and put it on our shoulders as well. So we got to play better as a unit. We played really well last year. I think we were top ten in the red zone last year. So I think that’s the confidence we have.