WASHINGTON — Washington Redskins head coach Jay Gruden is a stickler for ball security on offense, which made his team’s first preseason performance all the more bewildering.
“It’s very concerning. Four fumbles and a couple of dropped balls,” he said. And that was just in the first half. “That’s not good. I think one was on a punt return also. We’ve got to really concentrate on ball security. We focus on it, we fundamental it and we drill it.
“Now we need to make sure that it’s pounded into our heads a little bit more.”
In the official box score, only Will Blackmon, Colt McCoy and Samaje Perine were credited with fumbles, with none lost. None of these three is expected to be in the starting lineup when the regular season arrives.
However, turnovers were at least a constant distraction from the offense finding any sense of rhythm.
McCoy also threw a floating interception and the three quarterbacks (Kirk Cousins and Nate Sudfeld) combined for a paltry 41.1 quarterback passer rating.
Perine led the team with 15 rushing yards, but did so on six carries, averaging 2.5 yards per carry. Only Chris Thompson averaged more than four yards per carry, with Robert Kelley and Matt Jones combining for one yard on six carries.
The best play of the night was a pass from Sudfeld to rookie receiver Robert Davis, a 31-yard connection that made him the team’s top receiver. Unfortunately, he was targeted five other times and came up empty.
One of the biggest disappointments of the night was missing out on the first completion between Cousins and new top target Terrelle Pryor Sr. Pryor was targeted just once in the starting offense and will likely be used extremely carefully in the remaining three exhibition games.
Look for offensive tempo and ball security to be major points of emphasis in training camp as the team has nine days to prepare before hosting Green Bay one week from Saturday.