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Jay Gruden defends putting Bashaud Breeland on Antonio Brown

Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown (84) pulls in a touchdown pass under pressure from Washington Redskins cornerback Bashaud Breeland (26) during the first half of an NFL football game in Landover, Md., Monday, Sept. 12, 2016. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon) AP

Monday night’s game in Washington was billed as a matchup of a star receiver, Antonio Brown, with a star cornerback, Josh Norman. But it didn’t end up being that.

Instead, Brown had eight catches for 126 yards and two touchdowns but made most of his big plays with Washington’s other starting cornerback, Bashaud Breeland, covering him. That led to questions after the game about why Norman didn’t shadow Brown, but Washington coach Jay Gruden defended Breeland and the game plan afterward.

“He’s a good corner and he got beat by a great player today, and some great passes that I don’t know what corner could defend,” Gruden said.

Gruden did acknowledge that the team might look at the possibility of having Norman shadow the opposing team’s No. 1 receiver going forward, but he defended his defensive assistants’ game plan last night.

For his part, Norman called the game “a good, old-fashioned butt-whipping” but said he believes in his coaches.

“That’s why the guys brought me here. Faith in me to do my job and not question one thing in the game plan,” Norman said.

Norman won’t question the game plan, but others will. After a 38-16 loss, Washington has to make some changes.

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71 Responses to “Jay Gruden defends putting Bashaud Breeland on Antonio Brown”
  1. bettis3636 says: Sep 13, 2016 6:29 AM

    Norman call himself a shut down corner and the best in the league … Then there’s no reason he didn’t shadow AB.. EVERYONE in the football world knew AB would blow Breeland outta the water.. And he did… I think Norman is a waste of $$$ and a huge mouth that brings too much distraction.

    I mean come on man… Ike Taylor always shadowed a teams top WR…

  2. blackqbwhiterb says: Sep 13, 2016 6:35 AM

    Let’s just settle down. Show me what corner in the NFL has been able to stop Brown? Breeland is young but real good & getting better. Brown caught a few long balls that were spot on, nobody could have knocked them away. Before we throw the Redskins coaching staff out of town, let’s take a deep breath and watch the film.

  3. demskinsbaby says: Sep 13, 2016 6:52 AM

    Another game in which it seems Redskins made NO attempt at adjustments I what seems as predictable as last year…Pittsburgh had there whole game plan figured out in the first quarter.

  4. blueballzny says: Sep 13, 2016 6:54 AM

    Not when they play the Giants, otherwise Norman will be burnt like toast trying to cover OBJ

  5. demskinsbaby says: Sep 13, 2016 6:56 AM

    Come on Jay.. You put our number 2 corner on their number 1 receiver…this is what happens. I’m not liking these coaches.

  6. demskinsbaby says: Sep 13, 2016 7:02 AM

    Joe Barry is some garbage.

  7. escapedconvict says: Sep 13, 2016 7:05 AM

    I dont know why we wasted two picks on a WR and a QB. I dont agree with the “best available” strategy in the draft. We need pressure. We need linemen. We need a center. We dont need receivers or qbs.

  8. jgo304 says: Sep 13, 2016 7:16 AM

    You can’t defend this kind os stupidity.

    Especially since it didn’t work in fact it blew up in his face.

    Absolutely mind boggling coaching by Jay & his DC.

    Not to mention if Josh Norman is that good wouldn’t he make it a point to want to guard AB??

  9. bronco1991 says: Sep 13, 2016 7:19 AM

    After getting torched all preseason and training camp Gruden didnt want to see their big $$$ free agent get embarassed. Coward move by Gruden.

  10. demskinsbaby says: Sep 13, 2016 7:23 AM

    Should’ve gotten Wade Phillips…*smh.

  11. thetroofishere says: Sep 13, 2016 7:39 AM

    Breeland is a good corner that can cover big WRs. He is very physical against slower guys but Antonio is quicker so it’s hard for him to use his size.

    But then again, Antonio is one of the quickest players in the league.

  12. baddawg02 says: Sep 13, 2016 7:42 AM

    He also knew that Brown would torch Norman also.But don’t feel too bad,after all the redskins d was torched by the best.

  13. myopinionisrighterthanyours says: Sep 13, 2016 7:51 AM

    The definition of insanity. Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Hey, Jay, expect Dez to line up on the offensive left side 99 percent of the plays this week. Smh

  14. sportoficionado says: Sep 13, 2016 7:51 AM

    well, everyone not drinking the burgundy kool aid said Norman(and really the team)would bust and so far it is proving to be true–real question is, why did Washington pay this man and not their own man in Breeland (soon to be free agent), who they feel is capable player and a player they continue to utilize as a number 1 corner because they have to protect Norman by giving him help.

  15. amaf21 says: Sep 13, 2016 7:55 AM

    Same crap different season.

  16. elmerbrownelmerbrown says: Sep 13, 2016 8:18 AM

    There is no defense and his annoying brother in the booth last night stated the reason when the question was asked “there is just a lot more to it then just moving him over ” OHHHH OK JOHN so the way you neutralize a high paid corner is put the best receiver on the opposite side of the field ,,, WOW JUST TO THINK THESE COACHS SLEEP IN THE FILM ROOM AND COME UP WITH THIS LOLOL

  17. TheodoreBabyHandsBustAqua says: Sep 13, 2016 8:19 AM

    To be fair, Deion Sanders in his prime would have his hands full with Antonio Brown. It’s like he’s on rocket fuel and everybody else on the field is operating on 89 unleaded.

  18. mack2x says: Sep 13, 2016 8:25 AM

    It wouldn’t have mattered, then Norman would’ve been exposed.

  19. RealDeal15 says: Sep 13, 2016 8:26 AM

    If I was a ‘skins fan I would be astounded at Gruden’s response. You sign a corner to a $75M contract give him $15M guaranteed! and he’s NOT assigned to the opposing teams No 1 receiver each and every week!
    LOL that’s why their called the Deadskins.
    People criticize Garrett for being JJ’s puppet, you must be kidding. Gruden is clearly Danny Boys puppet the difference is Danny stays behind the scenes so you can credit him for being smarter.

  20. jimmysee says: Sep 13, 2016 8:28 AM

    Washington confirmed last night where they stand in the football universe.

  21. richardernsberger says: Sep 13, 2016 8:30 AM

    So you go out and spend huge money to get a great cornerback–and then you don’t use him to cover a great receiver who burns you big-time and you lose the game? Eh, not smart.

  22. classyjacklambert says: Sep 13, 2016 8:33 AM

    If Norman starts shadowing the other team’s #1 cornerback… More people are gonna question Gruden’s sanity.

  23. TheDPR says: Sep 13, 2016 8:34 AM

    When you’re outcoached by Mike Tomlin then you have a problem.

  24. jamaltimore says: Sep 13, 2016 8:38 AM

    Idiotic. You sign a “shutdown” corner for 15 million and then don’t put him on the other teams best receiver? I doubt most people could name pittsburgh’s other receivers besides brown before last night’s game.

  25. theageofquarrel says: Sep 13, 2016 8:39 AM

    I can still smell the smoke coming from Washington

  26. gotitan says: Sep 13, 2016 8:44 AM

    Only a matter of time till Norman explodes.

  27. 2since96 says: Sep 13, 2016 8:45 AM

    Did anyone ask kirk why he couldnt throw more than 3 yards down the field until the last drive of the game? Ive never seen a QB take so many 7 step drops, just to throw it back to the line of scrimmage.

  28. getyourownname says: Sep 13, 2016 8:47 AM

    “Gruden did acknowledge that the team might look at the possibility of having Norman shadow the opposing team’s No. 1 cornerback going forward,..”

    Not sure that’s gonna help matters.

  29. 23rdusernameused says: Sep 13, 2016 8:48 AM

    joe barray is worse than y’alls old DC! Which I thought was impossible!~

  30. pft264 says: Sep 13, 2016 8:53 AM

    1 player does not a team make. But Breeland got schooled by Antonio Brown & missed a bunch of tackles (that last TD run he whiffed bigtime). It was painful to watch.

  31. metalman5150 says: Sep 13, 2016 9:05 AM

    Yeah – Changes like, Tackling 101.

    Changes like – less self-inflicting penalties.

    This are two great places to start; both of which have nothing to do with moving players around / or benching players.

  32. beerbudsnbevo says: Sep 13, 2016 9:07 AM

    The Redskins were a product of a very weak NFC East last year, as winning the Division…

    They overpaid for Norman, and still don’t have a QB.

    Dez Bryant will own Breeland next week, and if they do put Norman on Dez, Williams, Witten and Beasley will ruin the rest of the Skins DBs…

    Alfred Morris will gash them.

    Bank it.

  33. magicmtndan says: Sep 13, 2016 9:07 AM

    There was no stopping the perfect passes Big Ben was throwing to AB. Tough to blame any CB for getting torched like that.

  34. jfholdforth says: Sep 13, 2016 9:11 AM

    Redskins. Always Redskins.

  35. ninjapleazee says: Sep 13, 2016 9:11 AM

    So why put a good player on a great player? Why not put your great corner that you spent a fortune on on Brown?

  36. vikingsdefineaverage says: Sep 13, 2016 9:15 AM

    Don’t worry everyone. Josh Norman will be happy to guard Dez Bryant next week with a backup QB. The media will run with that and talk about how he’s worth every penny if he stops Dez.

    Last night was clearly a cowardly move by Gruden because he doesn’t want to deflate Normans ego too early in the season

  37. dallasdoesntdoitright says: Sep 13, 2016 9:18 AM

    Sean Mcvay and Joe Berry are the two worst coordinators in the league! No in game changes, no smarter than the other team type of coverages. This is going to be a long year Skins fans. I think I am going to bail on it already.
    Kirk looks terrible. Now I am thrilled they didn’t give him a big contract. My biggest question would be…. Why in the hell do you draft a WR at no.22? A WR that doesn’t make a difference. Your biggest deficiency is on the D line and you draft a WR that can’t get off the bench? Come on Scott. New coaches, new QB coming in 2017.

  38. dallasdoesntdoitright says: Sep 13, 2016 9:21 AM

    There was no pass rush…. So why not drop 8 and play a cover two. That way they don’t beat you deep, and its contained. No d-line. Kerrigan isn’t a third of the player Von Miller is. This team has a VERY long way to go. The fans have got to be sick of this by now. I know I am. Danny just sell the team, and leave town.

  39. FoozieGrooler says: Sep 13, 2016 9:23 AM

    I like the way you wrote that…

    “a good, old-fashioned butt-whipping” … “that’s why the guys brought me here.
    – Jay Gruden

  40. renocarolina says: Sep 13, 2016 9:28 AM

    Anyone consider it may not have been Gruden’s decision?

    I smell FO shenanigans and a head coach more focused on offense than defense.

  41. sidepull says: Sep 13, 2016 9:32 AM

    That was Joe Barrys game plan, not Normans and not Breelands.

    Barry should be looking for a job. Nice hire Gruden.

  42. orivar says: Sep 13, 2016 9:35 AM

    “bettis3636 says:
    Sep 13, 2016 6:29 AM
    Norman call himself a shut down corner and the best in the league … Then there’s no reason he didn’t shadow AB”

    Players ‘don’t’ make the game-plan. It doesn’t matter what Norman called himself. Players do not make the game-plan. I’ll repeat it; Players. Do. Not. Make. The. Game-plan. The comments from you casual people that never played the sport is getting ridiculous. The same criticism was on Sherman that one game, but, players do not make the game plan.

    “B-but Ike Taylor,” doesn’t matter. They line up where coach decides they line up. If the plan is that you’re on the left side…you’re on the left side! If the plan is for you to shadow a certain player, you shadow! Money doesn’t matter, opinions don’t matter, player statements don’t matter. Players do not make the game-plan!

  43. uab9253 says: Sep 13, 2016 9:36 AM

    The game was ugly all around. No excuse for two false starts on Kory, and one on Matt Jones? Ridiculous.
    Add that to the fact that we thought we had a strong defensive backfield that got lit up, and a D-line that cannot stop the run. They ran over us all night with an old man. That’s not going to go well if we can’t stop the run.

    It wouldn’t have mattered anyway, but the “catch” that was reviewed and the call on the field held up that it was an incomplete pass was BS. The NFL needs to define what a catch is because apparently on the field, and in NY, they still don’t know.

    Most disturbing was that Kirk did not look comfortable at all out there. Low throws, off target throws, he got lucky with a couple of throws that should have been picks. You can’t keep throwing the ball to Jordan Reed, five yards or more short of the first down marker, on third downs and expect him to work magic and get the first every time. I was really really shocked at how bad we looked after that first quarter. We looked like fools out there.
    It’s going to be a long season.

  44. 69goatboy says: Sep 13, 2016 9:37 AM

    The few times that Norman did cover AB, he did it fairly well.
    But not to do that the whole game defies logic.

  45. rufustfireflyjr says: Sep 13, 2016 9:40 AM

    The problem was not that the Redskins’ coaches didn’t have Norman “shadow” Brown. The problem was that Joe Barry called for single coverage on Brown, with no help from anyone else, on too many occasions. Breeland is a very good CB and I’m not sure that Norman would have done any better. In fact, I’m not sure that there is a CB who can shut Brown down in single coverage over the course of an entire game. With Pittsburgh’s #2 and #3 receivers missing the game, it was inexcusable for Barry to not give more attention to Pittsburgh’s lone real threat in the passing game.

  46. 3yardsndust says: Sep 13, 2016 9:43 AM

    The Redskins stink on ice. Heh.

  47. RegisHawk says: Sep 13, 2016 9:57 AM

    Show me what corner in the NFL has been able to stop Brown?

    Richard Sherman. Held him to 6 catches for 51 yards (no TDs) out of 12 targets in Seattle last year.

  48. connfyoozed says: Sep 13, 2016 10:00 AM

    The Redskins’ problems are a lot more than just not having Norman cover the other team’s best WR. I was watching as a Steeler fan, but I couldn’t help but be shocked at the huge number of self-inflicted, stupid mistakes Washington kept making to kill drives and sabotage momentum. The amount of pre-snap penalties and substitution issues was ridiculous, first game of the season or not. Kirk Cousins seemed to constantly feel pressure that wasn’t there: why any QB would consistently throw the ball away facing a 3 or 4 man rush that wasn’t getting near him, I have no idea. The entire team seemed disorganized and confused way too much of the time… and the Steelers not only weren’t making those kinds of mistakes, they were taking advantage of Washington’s errors nearly every time.

  49. jvw1982 says: Sep 13, 2016 10:10 AM

    In todays NFL the rules favor the WR, nobody is covering AB successfully an entire game….my problem is, if you are man up with AB with your #2 cb you would think you could shut down everything else but you didn’t, they ran on you, TE caught balls, backs caught balls, other WR caught balls couldn’t get to the QB, couldn’t tackle….nothing worked, putting Josh Norman on AB would not have solved the problem….Skins got problems on that defense they need to fix

  50. tomtravis76 says: Sep 13, 2016 10:14 AM

    Move Jay Gruden to the front of the line of first coach to be fired. Snyder won’t be able to stay out of football decisions. The return of The Daniel Snyder is coming to the DMV.

    Cousins will walk and Bring Back Bob!!!

    What a terrible franchise the Skins are with Snyder as the owner.

  51. megabeast37215 says: Sep 13, 2016 10:25 AM

    blackqbwhiterb says:
    Sep 13, 2016 6:35 AM
    Let’s just settle down. Show me what corner in the NFL has been able to stop Brown? Breeland is young but real good & getting better. Brown caught a few long balls that were spot on, nobody could have knocked them away. Before we throw the Redskins coaching staff out of town, let’s take a deep breath and watch the film.

    Did you see the Seattle game last season? Richard Sherman kicked his butt. It’s the only game I’ve seen AB get done like that.

  52. firesnyder says: Sep 13, 2016 10:32 AM

    Settle down folks. Damn, people swing from “we are going to win the Superbowl” to “OMG, we are a disaster”. Football is streaky and win streaks run on confidence. I think this loss is a wake up call, and I’m glad it came early. The players and the coaching staff will find a way and the confidence will come. Just give it some time. Don’t forget how young this team is.

  53. thegenoatkinsdiet says: Sep 13, 2016 10:34 AM

    AJ Green showed respect to the team he torched.
    AB twerked.

  54. theageofquarrel says: Sep 13, 2016 10:37 AM

    AB is a way better WR than Green will ever be

  55. boysroll says: Sep 13, 2016 10:38 AM

    cowboys 31 4skins 7….We are going to run, run and run some more against that horrid 4skin defense with some play action to our stud receivers. I don’t think the 4skins will win a game this year is my prediction.

  56. tonebones says: Sep 13, 2016 10:49 AM

    The team with the better players won. The team with the better QB won. Was it Norman’s job to stop DeAngelo Williams? If the coaching staffs switched teams, the Steelers would still win. Did you see some of the throws Roethlisberger made? You can’t coach that. Gruden is a great coach. It’s not like he took over a dynasty.

  57. crownofthehelmet says: Sep 13, 2016 11:14 AM

    You Redskins fans are being too hard on your team. There’s no shame in losing to the eventual 19-0 SB Champions.

  58. donbat67 says: Sep 13, 2016 11:17 AM

    I know everybody loves Jon Gruden but he is a terrible analyst ,he speaks gibberish .When he tries to explain a replay it makes no sense at all .

  59. demskinsbaby says: Sep 13, 2016 11:33 AM

    One man outperformed all of the redskins (so called) weapons… Not even counting the run game. Their DBs are young but cousins managed to make them look like Pro Bowlers.

  60. PegulaBucks says: Sep 13, 2016 12:09 PM

    didnt matter who the DB was…that person was getting torched. AB was ready

  61. zakkwyldeslespaul says: Sep 13, 2016 12:14 PM

    Donbat, just turn the sound off. I’ve been doing it for years on Monday night.

  62. bowenfootdoc2013 says: Sep 13, 2016 12:18 PM

    I feel sorry for you Redskins fans. Glad I’m not on your side. I only watched the first half but saw Norman involved in one defensive play / assist and on the other he had the deer in the headlight look. Gettleman isn’t a dummy and he must know something about player evaluation that we aren’t in-on. Hope J.N works for you! Without him the Panthers were only one missed fielld goal (and a little help from the lifeless refs) from beating the Bronks in their own crib.

  63. bigbluefan56 says: Sep 13, 2016 12:42 PM

    Maybe because Breeland can do his job and he isn’t the headcase that Gordon is!!! This guy is the new Jimmy Hart, Mouth of the South!! But in the East…

  64. clintonite44 says: Sep 13, 2016 1:01 PM

    And some Redskin commentator had the NERVE to say that “the good news is that Dallas is up next on the schedule.” As if you think this Redskin team is better than the Cowboys? Even without Romo, the Prescott-led Cowboys are much better than this lackluster Redskin bunch. And when are you Skin fans going to call out your sorry Coach? If Jay Gruden were any other guy (especially a minority) and not Jon’s brother, he’d have been fired today! If not, certainly after next week’s loss to Dallas. This guy is one of the worst coaches in football. What does he do at halftime? He certainly doesn’t make any adjustments. Felt sorry for Breland. But you got a superstar cornerback that you refuse to use to cover the best wide out in football?? Gruden is just garbage as a head coach. It’s like he’s lost out there.

  65. clintonite44 says: Sep 13, 2016 1:13 PM

    “It wouldn’t have mattered, then Norman would’ve been exposed.”

    ___________________________________
    At $15 million per season, Josh Norman is being paid to be exposed!! Put up or shut up. If he’s not deserving of such a contract maybe that should be found out sooner rather than $60 million later!

  66. clintonite44 says: Sep 13, 2016 1:23 PM

    “Add that to the fact that we thought we had a strong defensive backfield that got lit up, and a D-line that cannot stop the run. They ran over us all night with an old man. That’s not going to go well if we can’t stop the run.”
    _________________________________________

    With the Dallas Cowboys up next, with their elephant-style offensive line, you better bet that Ezekiel Elliot and Alfred Morris are licking their chops!!

    And Alfred Morris may be the best of the two!!

  67. bombacim says: Sep 13, 2016 1:32 PM

    Norman isn’t a cover corner. Learn the game before you look too much like fools. He is a zone corner and plays better on that side of the field. That is why he was there. He’s only as good as the front 7 are. Like every other zone corner in the league.

  68. pensfan1 says: Sep 13, 2016 2:24 PM

    “He’s a good corner and he got beat by a great player today, and some great passes that I don’t know what corner could defend,” Gruden said.
    ———————————————————-
    Can’t be called a liar in that assessment. We’ll just never know if THE corner could have done anything. Why hire the NASCAR driver if you’re going to put him in a go cart? I agree with the guy above that said put Norman wherever the #1 receiver is on the field. Forget the lanes and zones of defense. You want to win a game or die with a system?

  69. briang123 says: Sep 13, 2016 2:54 PM

    Defending the indefensible. After he gets fired he can stay in D.C. and work for one of the political parties.

  70. jmethane says: Sep 13, 2016 3:02 PM

    To be fair, Deion Sanders in his prime would have his hands full with Antonio Brown. It’s like he’s on rocket fuel and everybody else on the field is operating on 89 unleaded.

    ——————————————————-

    Last year the Seattle Seahawks put Richard Sherman on Antonio Brown and he shut him down.

    “As it turned out, Seattle put Sherman on Brown for most of the game, and it worked. Brown was held to six catches for 51 yards (three catches for 24 yards against Sherman), and the Seahawks won in a shootout, 39-30.” -PFF

    I guess Richard Sherman IS a shutdown corner. Better than Norman anyway. The Dolphins didn’t even try to throw Richard’s way this weekend.

    After watching Revis get torched this weekend by A.J. Green, and Patrick Peterson get torched by…well everyone, Richard was the only top corner that DIDN’T get torched this week.

    Patrick Peterson was terrible his failures deserve an entire paragraph but I’ll spare you the pain of having to read it.

  71. thesmartestmanever says: Sep 13, 2016 7:24 PM

    Whatever… My kool aid is sweet baby. Half the team’s that played week one lost. These are mostly fixable problems. Breeland played against the best receiver he will see this year. If Norman shuts down one side then there’s 10 guys who better cover the rest. We are on to Dallas.

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