Redskins facing a dual challenge in Watt and Clowney

Redskins facing a dual challenge in Watt and Clowney
September 3, 2014, 5:15 pm
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One of the Redskins’ biggest challenges on Sunday will be limiting the impact of pass rushers Jadeveon Clowney, the first overall pick in May, and J.J. Watt, a two-time Pro Bowl selection.

Adding to the challenge is the fact that Jay Gruden and Co. don’t have much film of Clowney and or Watt from the preseason, since they did not play much. Clowney played only 29 snaps in two exhibition contests and Watt played only 19 snaps.

“Clowney and Watt have been on the field for about 20 plays this whole preseason,” Gruden said Wednesday. “So, it’s been very difficult to really try to get a good feel for where they are going to be all the time.”

Gruden acknowledged they know even less about Clowney, who maximized his limited playing time in the preseason, registering a sack and two highlight reel tackles. 

“We have a general idea, but, you know, it’s difficult to really envision the type of speed and size and power that he has,” Gruden said. “We assume that he’s going to be on [Trent Williams’] side [but] if he moves over to [Tyler Polumbus’] side, then so be it. We just have got to do a good job of knowing where he is, where his strengths are as a pass rusher and go from there.”

Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III said he doesn’t need to watch film to know what Clowney is capable of doing.

“You don’t need to watch much film on Clowney to see what he can do,” Griffin said. "He’s a phenomenal athlete, a big strong, fast guy that’s a special pass rusher. We’ve seen clips of him in college. We’ve seen a little bit of him in the pros, and he’s looked phenomenal.”

Right guard Chris Chester conceded that the Redskins' best bet will be to make some adjustments after the first couple of series.

“We don’t really, entirely know how well he plays standing up vs. how he plays with his hand on the ground, or in space, or close quarters,” Chester said. “It’s going to be a lot of adjusting on the fly.”

Right tackle Tyler Polumbus added of Clowney and Watt: “You can’t necessarily game plan matchups for one or the other because you don’t know where they are going to be. If they move them around, maybe they are on opposite sides of the ball. That’s certainly a challenge."