RICHMOND, Virginia – The chance to see New England’s secondary get a high-level preseason challenge will have to wait.
Washington wide receiver Pierre Garcon will definitely be out of Thursday night’s preseason opener against the Patriots while DeSean Jackson will probably be held out after leaving the walkthrough on Wednesday.
“Pierre hurt his hamstring before the Patriots got here. …DeSean just had a fluke thing today in a walkthrough, which we have walkthroughs all the time – the guy stepped on his foot, so it was a fluke.”
Also out for the Redskins will be loquacious safety Ryan Clark (hamstring) and backup safety Phillip Thomas.
Gruden said after Wednesday’s 90-minute walkthrough that his starters would play eight-to-10 plays against the Patriots.
There was no pre-planning with the Patriots about matching starters for a period of time.
“It ends with the end of practice (Wednesday),” said the first-year head coach. “We’re going to play our guys. He’s going to play (his) guys. I don’t think we’re going to see a lot of crazy things. It’s all about playing football, letting these guys play. We’re not going to try to trick them and do any kind of crazy Wildcat, Pistol, any of this crazy stuff. We want to line up, see if our guys can come off the ball and block for the running backs, see if our running backs can run, break tackles, fall forward, make people miss, see if our receivers can get off the jam and run some routes, see if our quarterbacks can stand in there and throw it.
"Defensively, we’ve got to line up and smash them and get off blocks and pursue the football and find out who can cover and run and tackle. That’s what it’s all about in the preseason, and then we’ve got to make our decisions accordingly moving forward for the Houston Texans.”
As he walked away from the podium, Gruden leaned over and whispered, “We’re definitely running some Wildcat..” and walked away chuckling.
Keep ‘em guessing.