The 6-2 Vikings are coming off of a bye and heading out east to face a 4-4 Washington squad.
Redskins Head Coach Jay Gruden spoke with Twin Cities media members via conference call this week in addition to his podium sessions with media in Washington. Gruden touched on a number of topics related to his upcoming opponent, including the Vikings revamped offensive line.
Gruden can relate to Minnesota's 2016 season in which the offensive line was hit by a barrage of injuries. Washington's offensive line has struggled to stay healthy this season, with all five of its starters listed on this week's injury report. Starting left tackle Trent Williams and backup Ty Nsekhe both have been sidelined, which could lead to the Vikings seeing a familiar face in T.J. Clemmings.
Gruden said the Vikings have "done a nice job" with the unit they focused on during the offseason.
"The center from Ohio State that they got in the draft (Pat Elflein) is a good player," Gruden said. "Riley [Reiff] is doing a good job, and Mike [Remmers], so they have a good offensive line.
"They're playing well together. They're protecting the heck out of Case [Keenum]," Gruden continued. "I think Case has only been sacked five times this year, and obviously when Sam [Bradford] got hit around a little bit [at Chicago], that was a little misnomer, but for the most part, I think they're coming together and playing well together."
Gruden also complimented the play of Keenum, who is slated to make his seventh start in Purple on Sunday.
"He's very efficient," Gruden said. "He's come in there and obviously replaced Sam and did some really good things. They're playing well offensively. He distributes the ball to different people and does that very well. He avoids the rush … He does a good job."
When asked if the offense has changed much with Keenum in the huddle, Gruden said he doesn't believe Offensive Coordinator Pat Shurmur has had to drastically adjust anything.
"Coach Shurmur does a good job with them offensively and puts them in good situations to get the ball out of [Keenum's] hands quickly, and they do have the ability to do some play-actions, take some shots," Gruden said.
Here are some other highlights of Washington talking about Minnesota this week:
Defensive Coordinator Greg Manusky on Stefon Diggs:
"Well I think the best thing he does, he's a vertical threat; the quarterback likes him; he's got speed to take the top off. So you know, sometimes you've got to roll to him and make sure you have a safety over the top. He's a good football player, and we have to do the same thing we did last week and try to stop those explosive plays."
C Spencer Long on facing the 6-2 Vikings
"We've got to execute on all cylinders, that's what it's all about. We have to establish a good running game and be able to throw, as well. We have to balance the attack and execute."
Gruden on Minnesota's defense under Zimmer
"I just think those guys are starting to, the more time you get to play together, you talk about [Danielle] Hunter is now playing a lot. Obviously Everson [Griffen], and Anthony [Barr] has played some time now there, and Eric [Kendricks], Trae [Waynes], Harrison [Smith] and Xavier [Rhodes], those guys have all played together for multiple games and seasons now, so they have great confidence in the system and they know where to go.
"They know every formation that hurts every coverage. They're good players, number one, and they have a great system, number two. They're very effective. They all play hard, and Coach Zimmer, as I know from the Cincinnati days, does a great job with Xs and Os, but he also has great talent to work with."