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Need to Know: Redskins Park notes and quotes--Trent Williams doesn't feel the pressure

Need to Know: Redskins Park notes and quotes--Trent Williams doesn't feel the pressure

Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, September 5, two days before the Redskins open their season against the Texans.

Redskins Park notes and quotes

The buzz from Redskins Park on Thursday:

—With four years under his belt and some freakish athletic ability, Trent Williams does not feel like he’s under the gun to perform. “I don’t feel pressure personally,” he said when asked about his responsibility in controlling J. J. Watt and Jadeveon Clowney on Sunday. “I want to perform well and I want to block my guy to the best of my ability but I don’t feel pressure.”

—It looks like the players are looking forward to playing for Jay Gruden on game day. “Just a calming presence,” said DeAngelo Hall when he was asked what he expected from Gruden on game day. “He hasn’t been the screamer-yeller type so far so we don’t plan on seeing that on Sunday. Just a guy who’s going to manage the offense, manage the defense, put us in position to make plays, keep the game running smoothly. You know, he’s a quarterback so he’s definitely going to go out there and manage the situation and put us in position to make plays and win the game.”

—Chris Baker came into the league undrafted in 2009. On Sunday, he starts for the Redskins for the season opener. “It means a lot from where I started from as an undrafted free agent, I ended up on the bottom of the depth chart each year each camp, always being at the bottom of the depth chart, just having to work my way onto a roster every year,” he said. “Being able to come in as a starter is a blessing for me and a huge opportunity for me to show the coaches and show the rest of the people that I’m a hell of a football player.”

—I asked Gruden about his comment that I related here yesterday about watching so much film on the Chiefs in order to study what Romeo Crenell does as defensive coordinator that he thought he was playing the Chiefs this week. Is this over analysis? “It could be, but you’re trying to just find some tendencies of the coaching staff and trying to do the best you can,” he said. “But overall I think it’s still about the players and who the players are on the Houston Texans and trying to attack them and the schemes of the defensive coordinators.”

—DE Jason Hatcher believes that the Redskins will rotate heavily along the defensive line to keep everybody fresh both for the game and for the long term. But he don’t mind if he plays a ton. “I think it’s a good thing you don’t wear down early in the season then when playoffs come you don’t have no juice,” he said. “It’s very important not to put a lot of reps on guys. At the end of the day I love playing football. Whether it’s 30 or 70 [snaps] I’m going to be happy with it.”

—WR Ryan Grant has gone from being a fifth-round pick to a member of the Redskins who is likely to line up on some key plays this year. His story is even more amazing when you hear him tell you about his football background. “Coming out of high school I was a two-star recruit,” the Tulane grad said. “I didn’t go to any college camps, I couldn’t afford it. I was just all about putting good stuff on tape and having the scouts look at game film at the high school level and the college level.”

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.

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Timeline

—Former Redskins quarterback Billy Kilmer was born on this date in 1939; Redskins quarterback Colt McCoy was born on this date in 1986

Today’s schedule: Practice 11:00 (open to media for first 30 minutes); Open locker room player availability and Jay Gruden news conference after practice (approx. 12:45).

—It’s been 250 days since the Redskins played a game; in two days they play the Texans in their 2014 season opener.

Days until: Home opener vs. Jaguars 9; Redskins @ Eagles 16; Thursday night Giants @ Redskins 20

In case you missed it

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New free agent Doug Martin unlikely fix to Redskins' woeful run game

New free agent Doug Martin unlikely fix to Redskins' woeful run game

News broke Tuesday that the Tampa Bay Bucaneers released former Pro Bowl running back Doug Martin, and while the name certainly triggers value, his play of the last two seasons should calm the excitement. 

Since a 2015 season where Martin rushed for 1,400 yards and averaged nearly 5 yards-per-carry in 16 games, Martin has been suspended, undergone substance abuse rehab and missed games due to injury.

In the last two seasons, Martin has played in 16 of 32 games, rushed for 827 yards and averaged less than 3 yards-per-carry.

Over his six year NFL career with the Bucs, Martin has only played two full seasons. Those two seasons were great, in 2012 and 2015, but the other four have been largely disappointing. 

RELATED: WHAT SHOULD THE REDSKINS DO AT RUNNING BACK?

The Redskins averaged just 3.6 yards-per-carry last season, and could definitely use a boost in the run game. It's entirely possible Washington might look to upgrade their offensive backfield this offseason, either in free agency or in the 2018 NFL Draft, but Martin does not look like the player to help. 

Early in the 2017 season, it appeared the Redskins run game might be a strength for the offense. After a disappointing effort on the ground to open the year in a loss to the Eagles, the Redskins rushed for at least 111 yards in their next three contests, including nearly 230 yards on the ground in a Week 2 win over the Rams. 

Injuries undid the run game, however, as Rob Kelley got hurt and the offensive line lost players, too. Over the course of the season, rookie Samaje Perine sustained minor injuries and Chris Thompson was lost for the year with a broken leg. 

Going into 2018, Kelley, Perine, Thompson and Kapri Bibbs are all on the roster and expected for now to stay with the team. That's yet another reason why the Redskins are likely to stay away from Doug Martin.

RELATED: 2018 NFL MOCK DRAFT 5.0

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Need to Know: Redskins' Junior Galette will be a valued free agent

Need to Know: Redskins' Junior Galette will be a valued free agent

Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, February 20, 22 days before NFL free agency starts.

I’m out this week so I’ll be re-posting some of the best and most popular articles of the past few months. Some may have slightly dated information but the major points in the posts still stand. Thanks for reading, as always.

Galette to be a valued free agent

Originally published 12/13/17

Like the Redskins, the Broncos are no longer relevant in 2017. Both teams’ fan bases have started to look towards the coming offseason.

To give their readers what they want, the Denver Post published an article by Mike Renner of Pro Football Focus that discussed some of the top pending free agents who have done the most to increase their values in the past year. There were two Redskins named, one you would expect to see on such a list and one that might surprise some people.

Kirk Cousins is at the top of the list. “The Washington signal-caller is grading as a top-10 quarterback (82.8), and soon he’ll have the long-term contract of one,” Renner wrote. “Only this time its value will be exponentially higher than any one he would have signed back when he first became a free agent in 2016.”

But the surprising name is that of Junior Galette. After missing the last two seasons with two torn Achilles tendons, he played this year on a one-year, $800,000 deal. And while he hasn’t been on fire in the sack department with just two on the year, he has been getting pressure on the passer.

“He’s accumulated the 27th-highest pass-rushing grade of any edge defender this season, but in only 264 snaps,” wrote Renner. “At 29 years of age, it’s doubtful he ever gets back to the level of the contract that he once had on the table with New Orleans. With how he’s played this season though, some pass-rush-needy team will pay handsomely for his services.”

One team that could be considered to be pass rush needy is the Redskins. Preston Smith is the starter and supposedly one of the Redskins’ top pass rushers. But in 100 fewer pass rush snaps this year, Galette has only three fewer quarterback hits than Smith and six more hurries.

And after missing those two seasons, Galette has remained healthy. Although he was limited with a hamstring during much of the preseason, he has not missed a practice or appeared on an injury report this year.

But would the Redskins be willing to pay him “handsomely”? Perhaps a good comp would be Connor Barwin, who moved from the Eagles to the Rams this past offseason at the age of 31. He had five sacks in Philly in 2016. That got him a one-year deal worth $3.5 million.

Barwin likely will have more sacks on his ledger going into free agency so let’s say Galette could command around $3 million. Perhaps he could offer Washington a bit of a hometown discount and agree to something in the $2.75 million range. If that is the case, the Redskins would be smart to keep him around for another year.

Plenty of things could alter the equation. If Galette gets hot in the last three games and posts a few more sacks his price could rise. With Smith and Ryan Kerrigan both back next year, perhaps Galette will want to go somewhere that he might get more playing time.

The details need to be sorted out but don’t be surprised if Galette gets a lot of attention in free agency, as much as teams need pass rush, and if the Redskins have to make a very tough decision about how much he is worth.

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

Timeline  

Days until:

—NFL Combine (3/1) 9
—NFL Draft (4/26) 65
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 201