Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, August 16, two days before the Redskins host the Browns on preseason Monday night football.
—It’s not yet certain that Colt McCoy will make the Redskins’ 53-man roster. But Robert Griffin III likes having him around, despite the fact that McCoy is from the University of Texas, arch rival to Baylor, Griffin’s alma mater. “He brings another smart guy, seen a lot, played in a lot of games, he’s got a lot of NFL experience,” said Griffin. “He brings that to the table every time we step into the meeting room. I that’s valuable, I think our quarterback room is great with Kirk, Colt, Jay, and Sean and myself. It’s been a great thing, we’re learning new things every single day.” McCoy has played in 28 NFL games, starting 21. He came into the league in 2010, two years before Griffin.
—We’ll have to see if Keenan Robinson will be able to get it done on the field week in and week out but he sure has absorbed a lot of knowledge while spending a season and a half on injured reserve. “We’ve got to do our angles,” he said in response to a question about how the team can improve tackling. “As long as we do our angles right, once they do a checkdown and we’re breaking top down from zone coverage, we’ve got to make sure we’re enforcing the ball, someone’s on the outside, someone’s on the inside so the ball carrier has nowhere to go. We kind of vice him in there in traffic. As far as pursuit to the ball, the backside corner has to pursue the backside, the linebackers have to pursue, obviously, and the D-line has to help us out and get six, seven, or eight heads to the ball by the time the play’s over we’re doing a good job. If we don’t do that, that’s where we have missed tackle and that’s where we get into a problem.”
—Here a little more from Keenan on tackling, talking about how the linebackers have to help out and not leave a defensive back on an island. “You’ve still got to make the big boy tackles, it’s the NFL,” he said. “At times you can limit those situations. We can help out the safeties, we can help out the corner. The corners, they get paid to cover. Some corners can tackle but they get paid to cover so we can at least get to the ball and make their life easier. They might grab onto a leg and some of us complete the tackle. That’s how we can also get turnovers. You get guys wrapped up, you can get a helmet to the ball, the ball comes out, there’s a turnover.”
—A good showing from Robinson at Mike linebacker is one thing that could improve the defense. Another is a breakout year by cornerback David Amerson. Jay Gruden like what he’s seen. “Well, I obviously wasn’t here, but watching him on tape I see a different player,” he said. “There’s no question, and that happens a lot of times. You hope that happens with the rookies who are forced to play that struggle, that the second year they come into their own a little bit and play with a little bit of confidence. When you have more knowledge with the system, more knowledge of the situations and who you’re going against, the more confident you are at corner. I feel that’s what David’s coming to now.”
—Gruden has generally sounded somewhat annoyed when he talks about Chris Thompson, who is sitting out with an ankle injury. He was asked if Thompson being out helped the other running backs competing for spots on the roster. “It gives them an opportunity, it really does,” he said. “Every rep that he doesn’t take, somebody is going to take it. Unfortunately for him, his ankle, it’s a sprain. It’s a high ankle, low ankle, I don’t know where it is but it’s holding him out. It’s unfortunate for him because he was doing a great job, but it does open up a window for other guys that perform and we’ll see what they do with it.”
If you have any questions about what's going on at Redskins Park, 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.
—Today’s schedule: Closed practice at Redskins Park, no availability
—It’s been 230 days since the Redskins played a game; in 22 days they play the Texans in their 2014 season opener.
—Days until: Redskins at Ravens 7; Final cuts 14; Home opener vs. Jaguars 29
Redskins look to return of Kyle, appearance of Manziel
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