Jay Gruden talks read option, Shawn Lauvao, Pierre Garon and more

Jay Gruden talks read option, Shawn Lauvao, Pierre Garon and more
July 30, 2014, 6:45 pm
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RICHMOND—Jay Gruden reiterated that the zone read option will remain a part of the Redskins’ playbook. Just how often Robert Griffin III calls his own number in 2014, though, is still to be determined.  

“We’re still working on that balance right now. Today, he had the option to pull it. He pulled it and made a heck of a run," Gruden said, referring to a long touchdown run by Griffin in Wednesday’s practice. "So he’s obviously very good at read option. How much we’ll do is going to be on a game plan basis and how he feels about it and how we favor offensively.”

Gruden also said noted the read option plays don’t need to be run seven or eight times a game in order to be effective. Just the threat, he said, can affect an opposing defense’s preparation and game-day strategy.

“I’d view it as, if you run it just a few times through the course of the game, maybe three or four times in two games, it’s just something for the defenses to have to worry about and practice," he said. "They have to practice their fits. It gives them problems and it’s something they have to work on diligently at practice.”

[RELATED: Trent likes O-line cohesiveness, but how long will it last?]

Some other highlights from Gruden’s daily press conference:

  • Wide receiver Pierre Garçon, who left Monday’s practice with a strained right hamstring, took part in individual teams but did not participate in 11-on-11 drills. “He probably wanted to go, but it’s important for him to make sure he’s fully recovered,” Gruden said. “Some of these leg pulls, you think you’re okay, then all of a sudden you burst out sprinting and you re-injure it.”  
  • Despite the increase in contact and the injuries to Garçon and safety Phillip Thomas (hamstring), Gruden feels like the Redskins are in good shape health-wise. “Most of our injuries have been soft tissue,” Gruden said. “It’s just a matter of [the players] making sure they're stretched and lubed up and ready to go. …I think we’ve been pretty fortunate so far with the injury bug—knock on wood.”
  • Gruden said the most improved player this offseason is left guard Shawn Lauvao. “In OTAs, we were a little worried,” Gruden said. “I’m not going to lie. He struggled a little bit but he’s probably the most improved played on this team from OTAs to now.” (CSNWashington.com will have more on Lauvao Thursday.)
  • Asked if Pro Bowl left tackle Trent Williams could play another position, Gruden cracked: "Emergency quarterback? No. We’d run a read option with Trent. …He could probably play tight end. He could probably play three-technique if he wanted to. There’s not a lot he couldn’t do. But I think as good as he is at left tackle, he’ll never move from there.”
  • Evan Royster, sidelined the previous four days with a hamstring strain, returned to practice.
  • As we mentioned earlier, undrafted rookie cornerback Courtney Bridget was waived after suffering a shoulder injury that will require surgery. He was replaced on the roster defensive lineman Jake McDonough, who split last season between the Arena Football League and the Colts’ practice squad.
  • Gruden confirmed that right tackle Tyler Polumbus missed Wednesday’s practice for personal reasons. “We expect him back soon,” the coach said.