LANDOVER, Md. —Some are predicting that Jay Gruden will be “pass happy” as coach of the Washington Redskins. If his first preseason game was any sort of indicator, those folks may be rethinking their views before too long.
Gruden called 42 rushing plays and 27 passes in his NFL debut. Washington piled up 177 yards on the ground on the way to a 23-6 preseason win over the Patriots.
It started with their opening drive. Although everyone in the stadium was anxious to see Robert Griffin III throw the ball around FedEx Field some during his limited playing time, Gruden called seven runs and four passes and his team moved 35 yards to a field goal.
The running backs shared the wealth. Six running backs had four or more carries. Rookie Lache Seastrunk was the game leader in both carries (12) and yards (63). Fellow rookie Silas Redd had nine carries for 45 yards.
Gruden liked what he saw from the two of them. “I was impressed with both of them,” he said. “You know, Redd between the tackles, he’s a good power runner. He’s got great vision. He’s shown in practice so far and we want to see him carry it over into the game and he did it today.”
“Lache is obviously known for his big play ability. He popped a couple again today.”
Seastrunk had one run of 21 yards and another that covered 19 yards.
Gruden would be happy to have a combination of power runners like Redd and Alfred Morris and scatbacks like Chris Thompson and Seastrunk. But he just wants to move the ball.
“We’d like to have thunder and lightning, so to speak,” he said. “Or just a couple of thunders, it doesn’t really matter.”
One thing is for sure; Gruden and the other coaches will have a tough time deciding who goes and who stays at running back. Morris, Roy Helu, and fullback Darrel Young are locks to make it. That leaves one or maybe two more jobs for Thompson, Seastrunk, and Redd to compete for. The competition is likely to go down to the last quarter of the last preseason game.