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Need to Know: Redskins camp hot topics—Expectations vs. Ravens

Need to Know: Redskins camp hot topics—Expectations vs. Ravens

Here is what you need to know on this Monday, August 7, 26 days before the Washington Redskins cut their roster to 53 on September 2.

Timeline

The Redskins last played a game 218 days ago; they will open the 2017 season against the Eagles at FedEx Field in 34 days.

Today’s schedule: Walkthrough 10:35; Jay Gruden press conference 2:45; Practice 3:00; players available after both practices.

Days until:

—Preseason opener @ Ravens (8/10) 3
—Preseason vs. Packers at FedEx Field (8/19) 12
—Sunday night Raiders @ Redskins (9/24) 48

Redskins hot topics

RICHMOND—Here is a look at what’s going on at Redskins training camp just a few days prior to the team’s first preseason game.

—Jay Gruden was asked about the performance of Bashaud Breeland so far in camp. He was very hesitant to answer. The transcript from PR read, “He’s doing good… He’s such a competitive guy. He gets in trouble sometimes, he’s so overly competitive, but for the most part, I like what he’s doing, man.” That ellipsis was an awkward moment of silence. The “overly competitive” part is what my main observation has been. He seems to gamble too much and he may be out of position sometimes. There is time to work it out but for right now the fourth-year player is not looking good.

—Gruden took a peek at the roster cut situation regarding head count at each position. He mentions what areas have the key battles. "Yeah, I've thought about a lot of different scenarios, both outside linebacker, safety, corner, inside backer. I mean, we have some issues we're going to have to deal with as far as the 53-man roster,” said Gruden. “I think it'll all play out. You know, everybody's happy with everybody right now, but at the end of the day, people are going to have to perform in the preseason.” There will be a lot on the line in the preseason games starting Thursday night in Baltimore.

—The two last items are questions from fans via Twitter and Facebook.

I’ll take one on each side of the ball. The offensive side is easy. RB Mack Brown will get a lot of chances to shine. Rob Kelley was dealing with some neck pain last week and he might not play at all. Chris Thompson’s snaps will be limited. Samaje Perine may get six carries. That will leave a lot of work for Brown, who averaged 5.8 yards per carry in the preseason last year.

On defense, I’ll go with a more obscure player. Inside LB Pete Robertson has been making plays all over the field in practice. I don’t think that the first-year player out of Texas Tech has much of a shot to make the roster but he will make his case for a practice squad spot or perhaps a look by another team.

Gruden was asked that on Sunday and his answer was, well, not an answer. "Not yet. We’ll see how we get through the next two practices, see where we are,” he said. But there is no reason to think that he will vary from what he has done in the past. In the first preseason game last year Kirk Cousins, Pierre Garçon, and DeSean Jackson each played the first possession, which lasted eight snaps. The starting offensive line stayed in and protected Colt McCoy for another series, a total of 17 snaps. So the correct answer here is one or two series, eight to 15 snaps.

If Galette doesn’t start he will play about the same number of snaps that the starters do. Brown should come in for nickel situations early and play some base defense later. Regardless, he will be on the same snap count as the starters.

Don’t ask me to figure out Jim Tomsula’s D-line rotation. There is no apparent pattern to go on. Watch and learn with the rest of us.

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerCSN and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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2017 NFL Power Rankings: Both conferences are wide open through six weeks

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2017 NFL Power Rankings: Both conferences are wide open through six weeks

Through six weeks of the NFL season, it's clear who the Super Bowl favorites are.

In the AFC, it's, um, well, OK, let's do the NFC first. In the NFC, you have to watch out for — actually, nevermind, this isn't that easy.

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The Chiefs and Eagles are the only two teams standing at 5-1, but there are quite a few 4-2 squads right behind them, as well as talented 3-win teams who can take any opponent down if they bring their best stuff. That means that as the halfway point approaches, both conferences are still open races.

And those races got a lot more interesting after a fun Week 6. The power rankings look a lot different than they did before the weekend because of Week 6's results, too.

So, click the link above or below to see who's moving up and who's sliding back. Or, in the case of the Browns, who's sliding but staying in the same spot simply because they can't be dropped any further.

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Five things that aren't being talked about enough from the Redskins-49ers game

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Five things that aren't being talked about enough from the Redskins-49ers game

Did you guys know C.J. Beathard is related to former Redskins general manager Bobby Beathard?

Of course you do, because that storyline, as well as others like the Vernon Davis fumble(?) and Pierre Garçon penalty have been talked about plenty following the Redskins' 26-24 W over the 49ers on Sunday.

But there are other angles that have been under analyzed from the Week 6 matchup. So as fun as it is to celebrate Chris Thompson's brilliance, put that on hold for a minute and think about these five discussion points.

1) A big recovery by a big man 

One of the most underappreciated plays in football is a fumble recovery by an offensive player. Most of the time, players and fans are just mad that the offense fumbled and ignore the fact that the outcome could've been a whole lot worse.

Do you remember Trent Williams falling on a Chris Thompson fumble early on the Redskins' first drive? Maybe some of you do, but plenty of others probably don't. But because Williams was aware and smothered the ball before a Niner defender could, the Redskins were able to continue their possession and eventually finish it with a touchdown.

MORE: WHERE JONATHAN ALLEN WILL BE MISSED MOST

2) Kirk's questionable decision

Kirk Cousins provided what proved to be the game's deciding points with his fourth quarter read option touchdown. But it was an earlier run that could've been much more important, and not for the right reason.

On Washington's previous possession — which concluded with a 21-yard field goal — Cousins scrambled for an 18-yard gain, but instead of sliding at the end, he decided to take on San Fran safety Jimmie Ward. The two collided and thumped each other pretty hard, and while the QB may have earned some respect, he also said postgame that Williams immediately reminded him that he should've slid instead.

Was it entertaining to watch a signal caller try and run over a safety? Sure. But was it smart? Not at all. The Packers saw their star quarterback come out on the wrong end of a punishing hit Sunday, and the Redskins just as easily could be feeling their pain.

3) Samaje's second effort

Samaje Perine has a long way to go before he becomes the player many hoped he'd be when the Redskins snagged him in April's draft. But it was him traveling a short distance in the fourth quarter against the 49ers that was a crucial yet overlooked play.

Six snaps before Cousins' rushing TD, the rookie barely converted on a third-and-2 by pushing the pile and refusing to be brought down short of the sticks. Again, his first year as a pro hasn't been excellent, but that was one he deserves credit for.

4) A way too powerful punt

The Redskins' execution after recovering that late onsides kick wasn't just bad on offense. Tress Way's touchback was unsightly, too.

Even after Washington took a delay of game penatly to give their punter more room, Way booted his kick well into the end zone instead of forcing the Niners' returner to fair catch or giving his gunners a chance to down it. Next time, Way needs to use a little less club and force the opposing offense to start farther back than their own 20.

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5) Dunbar delivers

Perhaps because of all the injuries in the secondary, as well as an abundance of other things to chat about, a really strong performance from Quinton Dunbar isn't getting the necessary recognition. 

The visitors threw at Josh Norman's replacement often — 14 instances, to be specific — but he more than held his own, ending the contest as PFF's highest-graded 'Skin. Jay Gruden said earlier in the week Dunbar thinks he can cover "anybody, anywhere, anytime," and for the most part on Sunday, No. 47 did just that.