Quarterback Alex Smith played his worst game since coming to Washington when he went 23-of-39 for 275 yards and an interception in Monday night’s 43-19 loss to the Saints.
Smith wasn’t the only player to struggle in the loss, something head coach Jay Gruden referenced on Tuesday when he said there’s “a cloud looming over our head.” Quarterbacks always stand out, however, and Gruden talked a lot about the need to find better situations for Smith to succeed.
Smith said they’ve discussed how to do that in terms of gameplans and playcalling, but added “there was a lot I could do better” when discussing the lopsided loss. Among those things is communicating better with his receivers despite the fact that they haven’t had a lot of time to work together.
“We’ve got to get ready to play,” Smith said, via the Washington Post. “Yeah, are there reps where maybe more time would have helped? Maybe. But at this point that doesn’t do us any good. . . . I do feel comfortable in what we are doing, I feel great about the guys that are doing it, our relationship and the reps we have together. I think there is always going to be those things, and it’s a process that never ends. I think whether you’ve played with a guy for five years in the same system, those things always happen. I think you are fine-tuning those things.”
Sunday’s game against the Panthers will provide a look at whether Smith has found a way to improve on what went wrong against New Orleans. Two divisional games will follow, so it would be a good time for things to straighten out in Washington.