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What'd They Say: Redskins Talk About Vikings

As Washington prepares to host Minnesota Sunday, Redskins Head Coach Jay Gruden is paying close attention to the Vikings offense, which has undergone a number of changes through the first half of the season.

Gruden acknowledged the offensive coordinator switch from Norv Turner – who announced his resignation last week – to Pat Shurmur but said that he doesn't expect too many changes in Minnesota's offense.

"I think it's hard to make wholesale changes in a week. So I think they're pretty much doing what they were doing before, [but] Pat will probably add a few spins to his offense as the weeks come up," Gruden said. "More and more you'll see more of a change, I think, but right now I think they're sticking with their standard concepts. They were pretty sound when they won five games in a row at the beginning of the season.

Although he's not expecting anything too drastically different from the Vikings offense, Gruden also said it's a situation that could keep Washington's defense on its toes.

"You have to be ready to make adjustments for anything an offense can do in a given week – especially with a new offensive coordinator," Gruden said. "You have to go back maybe a couple years and go back and watch when Shurmur called plays and try to get a gauge for what he likes and go from there. We feel like we have a good, sound scheme and we'll be ready for just about anything, I hope."

Gruden said that Bradford, who will start his eighth game for Minnesota after joining the Vikings via trade on Sept. 3, is the type of player who's proven that he can adjust to midseason shakeups.

"Sam, he's dealt with a lot of change in his career and he's handled it with class and done his job," Gruden said. "It's not easy for quarterbacks to deal with all this change. All of a sudden you get into a season and there's a new offense or he's moved to a different team. But he's handled it well, and he's obviously a good player."

In five career games against Washington, Bradford is 121-of-199 passing for 1,359 yards with nine touchdowns and two interceptions for a passer rating of 92.1.

Here are some highlights of what the Redskins said about the Vikings this week.

Gruden on working with Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer in Cincinnati:

"He's a very competitive guy. He taught me a lot about football. We never really sat down and talked Xs and Os, but every day at practice I had to be prepared and ready. Training camp, OTAs, rookie minicamps and all that stuff, we had to be sound in what we did because he threw a lot at us. And he made me a better coach and he helped us win a lot of games in Cincinnati. So I'm very grateful for all the things I learned from him."

Offensive Coordinator Sean McVay on Vikings defense:

"They're excellent all-around, both from a personnel standpoint and a schematics standpoint, they present a lot of issues. They've got great players all across the board, really on all three levels. Coach Zimmer does a great job mixing it up. Some of their different blitz packages, when they get you in some of those obvious passing situations. So, you can see why they're one of the top defenses.

"[Zimmer] does a great job situationally. He's mixing up some of his coverages where they're playing some split-safety looks, they're playing some single high coverages, and then when they get you into those obvious passing situations, he's obviously infamous for the double-A package, and they do a variety of things out of that."

Quarterback Kirk Cousins on toughest Vikings defensive player to game plan for:

"Really, I look at it as a unit. Because ultimately, football is the greatest of team games, and it's really never 1-on-1, especially for me as a quarterback, it's really 11-on-11, and that's how it ends up getting played. Certainly Harrison [Smith] is one of the key pieces, but you can go down the line of guys that they have, and if I started naming them, I'd probably leave somebody out who can really make a difference for them and be a challenge for us.

"Ultimately it's going to come down to our 11 versus their 11, and it rarely is just a 1-on-1 deal over the course of a 70-, 80-play game."

Safety/linebacker Su'a Cravens on facing the 5-3 Vikings:

"We have to be physical. We can't forget that they're a team that was undefeated at one point. They're on a little losing streak now, and they're hungry for a win. We just have to be focused and make sure that we're physical."

Center Spencer Long on the Vikings defense:

"They have a really good pass-rush threat, and not only with their d-linemen but with their linebackers, as well. They do a lot of different stuff on third down, and we just want to keep things in manageable situations so they don't have the opportunity to throw a lot of stuff at us.

"I think that's part of the reason their defense has been so good. But they're also very stout up front. They're able to [control] teams by not giving them very many yards on first and second down and putting them in those tough situations."

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