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Jay Gruden sarcastic after Alex Smith hit: ‘Another great call by me’

August 17, 2018

LANDOVER It might have been Week 2 of the preseason, but Redskins coach Jay Gruden was in midseason form after his team’s 15-13 win Thursday over the New York Jets.

Asked about quarterback Alex Smith being drilled on his first snap, Gruden took responsibility but used his wit to keep things light.

“I tried to call a simple play, a little bootleg away from all the pressure and he got hit right in the mouth,” Gruden said. “So that was another great call by me. But yeah, I think he can handle a hit. He’s been playing for 25 years. He’ll be fine.”

Smith was indeed fine and he finished the game with 4-of-6 for 48 yards on the Redskins’ opening drive.

The 34-year-old didn’t take issue with the hit which drew a roughing the passer penalty saying it was good to get back into “football mode” and shake off the cobwebs.

“We’ve been wearing those yellow jerseys too long,” Smith said. “So it was nice to be a football player again.”

Of Smith’s four completions, three went for a first down. Smith led an 11-play, 71-yard drive and the Redskins settled for three points. Rookie wide receiver Trey Quinn dropped a pass in the end zone.

Gruden said the Redskins played with good tempo.

“I thought it was good,” Gruden said. “The first play was a great play. You always expect the worse case when you do a naked bootleg or a peep around the end. We kind of messed up the blocking there on the side that he booted too, but he made a great throw to Paul [Richardson] and Paul made a good job of making something happen.

“And then he made a couple of other good throws. I was impressed. It was good.”

The Redskins limited Smith to just one series. Washington was without left tackle Trent Williams, tight end Jordan Reed, running back Chris Thompson and wide receiver Jamison Crowder all of whom figure to be important parts of the team’s offense.

Next week, the Redskins take on the Denver Broncos on Aug. 24 at FedEx Field. That game will be considered the “dress rehearsal” for the regular season.

“Plenty of stuff for us to work on, but some good things as far as that first drive,” Smith said.

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