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Need to Know: Redskins camp news and notes, Day 9--Orakpo says there's a lot of work to do

Need to Know: Redskins camp news and notes, Day 9--Orakpo says there's a lot of work to do

RICHMOND—Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, August 3, four days before the Redskins open the preseason against the Patriots.

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News, notes, and quotes from Day 9 of Redskins training camp.

—Sacks tend to get blamed on the O-line but a back who misses a blitz pickup can be responsible for the QB going down just as well. Jay Gruden was asked to evaluate how his backs have been doing in pass protection. “In the team period, it has not been bad actually,” he said. “[Running Backs Coach] Randy Jordan has done a good job with them and the one-on-ones, it’s always tough. You guys look at the one-on-ones and you see they got a chance to go inside, gap outside, gap in. In team periods, they don’t have much space to work. But I think we’re just working with technique on them and they’re going to get better. It takes time and it takes work.

—Kory Lichtensteiger will be the starting center against the Texans on Sept. 7. After 51 NFL starts at guard it will be his first regular season NFL start at center. He has made a few snaps in regular season action. “I have played it,” he said. “Cleveland, two years ago, I finished the game at center. I’ve never started one before.” He did say that he has worked as a backup center the whole time he has been with the Redskins so the position is completely foreign to him.

—We think we know who the starters will be and chances are that we’re right. But reserves aren’t necessarily willing to concede those jobs to veterans. Here’s what Phillip Thomas said about being behind veterans Ryan Clark and Brandon Meriweather. “I’m trying to take their spot, there’s not question about it,” he said. “Anything I can do to make it interesting or make the coaches maybe feel I should be in.”

—Brian Orakpo was asked what the ceiling is for this defense. He gave the answer you would expect but he tempered it by saying that they have a lot to do. “It’s very high,” he said. “But we’ve got to keep working. Everybody feels great right now all around the country with different camps, everybody feels like they’re going to be the best. We do, too. We want to strive to be the best but it’s going to take a lot of work out here in Richmond to get to that point.”

—Back to what Thomas said, it seems that competition for jobs on this team is very real. Nobody is being “benched” by not being given any reps. Gruden strongly believes in giving everyone a chance. “You know what, we bring in these guys for a reason,” he said. “They’re here to get a chance, a legitimate opportunity. You don’t get a legitimate opportunity if you don’t get asked to play or get reps. We’re trying to get everybody ample chance, and some guys will play themselves out of a position quickly.”

If you have any questions about what's going on at training camp, hit me up in the comments. I'll answer all questions as soon as I can get to them. And I'm always on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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Today’s schedule: Players off, no practice

—It’s been 217 days since the Redskins played a game; in 35 days they play the Texans in their 2014 season opener.

Days until: Preseason opener vs. Patriots 4; Final cuts 27; Redskins @ Eagles 49

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Redskins make contract offer to pass rusher Pernell McPhee, per report


Redskins make contract offer to pass rusher Pernell McPhee, per report

Free agent pass rusher Pernell McPhee visited the Redskins on Monday, and by Tuesday night a report emerged that Washington offered the veteran outside linebacker a contract.

Last week, Trent Murphy signed with the Buffalo Bills and things remain uncertain between the Redskins and Junior Galette. That means the organization has a need for an edge rushing linebacker, and that's exactly the role McPhee can play. 

A 29-year-old that played the last three seasons with the Bears, McPhee posted 14 sacks while in Chicago. Prior to his time with the Bears, McPhee was a solid contributor on some good Ravens teams. 


His best season in Baltimore came in 2014 when he posted 7.5 sacks. That's also the last season McPhee played a full 16 game schedule. He's missed 12 games over the last three years in Chicago. 

McPhee could provide the Redskins with solid veteran depth at outside linebacker, and he's also considered a plus defender against the run. With Ryan Kerrigan and Preston Smith cemented as the starting outside linebackers, if signed, McPhee would pair up with Ryan Anderson on Washington's second unit. At 6-foot-2 and 275 lbs., McPhee carries more weight on his frame than either Kerrigan or Smith. 

Pro Football Focus gave McPhee a strong grade for the 2017 season. He notched a +11.5 and ranked 13th out of 46 outside linebackers graded. For comparison, Broncos star Von Miller ranked 1st at +57, Kerrigan ranked 8th at +22.9 and Galette ranked 10th at +16.2.

It's unclear what a move for McPhee would mean between the Redskins and Galette, but it's hard to imagine it helps.

Free agent Johnathan Hankins also visited Washington on Monday, and while he plays an interior defensive line position different from McPhee, it's also unclear what this offer would do to any negotiations between the Redskins and Hankins. 

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Ryan Grant reportedly signing with Colts after failed physical with Ravens

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Ryan Grant reportedly signing with Colts after failed physical with Ravens

It looks like Ryant Grant has found his new home, again.

After a failed physical with the Ravens, James Jones of NFL Network reports Grant plans to sign with the Colts.


Grant originally agreed to a four-year, $29 million deal with the Ravens, before the team pulled the offer citing an ankle injury that dated to the Redskins' final regular-season game, according to reports.

Baltimore eventually signed Michael Crabtree to a three-year deal, while Grant had visits with the Colts and Raiders.

His agent, Rocky Arceneaux, says Grant has been working out, running routes, and his ankle had been cleared by Dr. Robert Anderson in a second opinion.

In 2017 with the Redskins, he appeared in all 16 games, with 45 receptions for 573 yards and four touchdowns.