Moss, Portis slam Gruden over Peterson decision

Ben Krimmel
September 10, 2019 - 9:35 am

The Washington Redskins lost in Week 1 and stirred up a healthy amount of drama.

The cause of the drama: Head coach Jay Gruden's decision to keep running back Adrian Peterson inactive in favor of extra bodies on special teams and going with Derrius Guice and Chris Thompson in the backfield.  

Right tackle Morgan Moses told The Sports Junkies Monday the decision was a "slap in the face." 

"Any time you've got a Hall of Fame guy that doesn't dress, man, it's a slap in the face," Moses said on 106.7 The Fan. "And obviously, we've gotta figure out what the reason is. And it's my job as one of the older guys on the offensive line to speak up and say, 'Hey, we need him."

Later Monday, Santana Moss told Chad Dukes the decision to not dress Peterson was ridiculous.

"First, I thought it was a ludicrous decision," Moss told 106.7 The Fan. "You know? I mean this is ludicrous."

“When you have a guy with that capability, that can go out there and be a difference-maker, regardless of how old he is, you find a way for him to be on your field, or at least dress,” Moss said Monday. “I don’t care if you start him, but have him in uniform, because you never know when you want to lean on a guy like that. Adrian Peterson shouldn’t have to even experience that, being that he’s a future Hall of Famer and he just showed you last year that he carried that offense the whole entire season when we didn’t have anything.”

Moss added the decision to sit Peterson is puzzling because Guice had yet to play in the NFL before Sunday after missing his rookie season due to an ACL tear

"If you want to make sure that this guy who supposed to be your future running back, that we have so much to look forward from," he said. "I want to make sure that I give him less stress as possible right now. So that's another reason you have a guy like Adrian Peterson start the season off or share the reps with him."

Prior to Week 1, Gruden said the plan was to "see where (Guice) goes and then we'll determine who gets (how many carries) after that."

"The issue is you’ve got one ball and if you're going to hand the ball off 25 times a game, only so many carries can go around. You've still got Chris Thompson up and Adrian." Gruden said. "The big thing is we just gotta make sure we got somebody ready for the mother load and everybody else will be ready for whatever else they can get."

Former Redskins running back Clinton Portis also criticized the decision on Monday while speaking with Grant & Danny.

"Allow these guys to battle instead of turning the keys over,” Portis said on 106.7 The Fan. “Competition is healthy, especially at the running back position. Because if you’re competing, then you know you have to go out and make plays. But when you just dangle keys and hand ’em over and say, 'Hey, here’s the new car’ to a kid that hasn’t worked... they take it for granted."

"Although Guice has worked hard, he hasn’t competed on the field. He hasn’t made plays on the field. You’re talking about sitting a guy who saved a lot of jobs within the organization last year,” Portis said.

After the game Sunday, Gruden explained his decision based on the numbers of possible carries.

"We'll have to wait and see numbers-wise really. He's a first, second down back and so is Derrius. Really, where If we have about 20 first downs a game and probably eight of those are passes and 12 of those might be runs -- and Derrius can handle those 12, so if we have a game where we think we can run the ball 55 times in a game in an I-formation, then sure, I’ll get him up," Gruden said Sunday.

For Gruden, the decision over running back got simpler after it was revealed Guice will likely miss some time due to a knee injury. And Peterson will have his chance to prove his head coach wrong in Week 2 vs. the Dallas Cowboys.

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