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Gruden on DJax: 'He wants to block, he just is little'

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The Washington Redskins did not sign DeSean Jackson to be a road-grater.

The 5-foot-10, 178-pound wide receiver gets paid to make big plays, not clear the way for them. But that didn't stop several D.C.-area media members from calling Jackson out for his apparent lack of effort in blocking situations during Sunday's loss to the Arizona Cardinals.

Perhaps the loudest voice came from former Redskins tight end Chris Cooley, who offered up a stinging critique of Jackson's game after some film study.

"Do not allow number 11 to ever be involved in blocking for screens, blocking for bubbles, picking for players in the pass game, (or) run plays to his side of the line of scrimmage," Cooley said, via the DC Sports Bog. "He WILL NOT TRY on them. Do not put him in those situations."

Cooley cited "four or five" situations against the Cardinals in which Jackson's lack of committment as a blocker hindered a Washington play call. Redskins coach Jay Gruden provided a logical explanation when the topic came up during his Wednesday news conference.

"I think he wants to block, he just is little," Gruden said with a laugh, via CSNWashington.com. "He's a little son-of-a-gun, man. He looks tough with his visor on, but he's quite the little guy. I think it's hard for a guy like that who runs as fast as he does and the playmaker that he is to try to convince him, 'Hey, it's important to block that safety right there. Kam Chancellor, he's 6-5, 228 pounds.'

"But it has to be done and it's something we have to preach. Andre (Roberts), Pierre (Garcon), DeSean, Jordan Reed when he's in there. When it's time to run, we gotta run and we all gotta buckle up and we got to do a better job, all of us."

Gruden's comments underscore a very real issue for Washington's offense. Running back Alfred Morris has been held to 3.3 yards per carry or fewer in three of the last four weeks. A solid running game is a necessity when you're trying to win with an inexperienced quarterback.

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