Redskins wake-up call

The Washington Redskins practice Wednesday, though it won’t be a typical mid-week session because of the short week, having just played on Monday night. Still, they’ll have a walk-through and then an open locker room session at 11:15 a.m., followed by practice. So Thursday and Friday will be heavier days. Here are three areas of interest:

  1. The mood. There certainly should be happier faces around the facility after two straight wins, especially after the huge nature of Monday night's win. But they have to realize Monday was one game and can be a start -- but it’s not a guarantee of anything other than they’ll win at least three games this season. That’s the approach they must take. “For us to look past the Vikings at 3-5 would be pretty stupid,” Redskins coach Jay Gruden said. As Gruden said of Monday’s win, “It proves we aren’t dead. We still have a pulse.” Yes they do. Regardless if they climb back into playoff contention, the Redskins have plenty to figure out over the next eight games.

  2. The quarterbacks. In truth, there’s not a whole lot we’re going to see in practice Wednesday considering it’s not a full one. But it’s another chance to discuss when Robert Griffin III will return. If there’s any doubt about him this week -- physically or mentally -- the Redskins need to err on the side of caution, as I’m sure they will. Colt McCoy proved he could win a big game on the road and that would give Griffin a lot of time to prepare for his eventual return. But if the coaches and Griffin know he’s ready, and the players see it in practice, then he needs to play. If a coach says he’ll play you when you’re ready and then doesn’t, he loses credibility.

  3. Lessons learned. I’ll be curious to hear from young players, not only Wednesday but throughout the week, on what they learned -- especially linebacker Trent Murphy and right tackle Tom Compton. And, of course, corner Bashaud Breeland. I love talking to players about what they learn from their mistakes. Did Compton do enough to start another week? The Redskins do have to do something at backup outside linebacker, as Everette Brown struggled when he played a few snaps for Murphy.