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Need to Know: Redskins personnel decisions top camp priority for Gruden


Need to Know: Redskins personnel decisions top camp priority for Gruden

RICHMOND—Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, July 24, 14 days before the Redskins open the preseason against the Patriots..

Nickel coverage

Training camp starts today so three and out goes out the window and we are back to doing things in groups of five as standard operating procedure. Jay Gruden addressed the media on Wednesday afternoon; here are some quotes and notes on what he said.

—Maurice Hurt was placed on the non-football injury list. “He came in a little bit out of shape,” said Gruden. “We’ll just go from there and make sure we monitor his condition moving forward.” Hurt was not in shape last year, either. He spent the entire season on PUP after getting a knee scope before minicamp. I don’t see any way he makes the roster; in fact, I’m not sure why they are even keeping him now. If he comes back and then gets injured the team could be on the hook for his entire 2014 salary.

—Jason Hatcher, Stephen Bowen, and Leonard Hankers were all put on PUP. Asked if he expected Hatcher to be back sooner than the other two, Gruden said, “It probably is. I think he’ll be ready quicker than the others.” Bowen and Hankerson have more serious knee injuries and it will be a while before we even get a good handle on what the status of each of them is.

—His most important job during training camp? “I want to make sure we make the right decisions on players, No. 1,” he said. “We have to make sure we get a good look at all the young guys, all the free agents, all the undrafted free agents, the draft picks, the veteran free agents, and make sure when we make our final cut-down we make the right choices and hopefully these players will make it very difficult on us in making those decisions.” Earlier this week I wrote a list of the players I believe are locks for the roster. There are 21 spots up for grabs and 58 players fighting for them. Gruden doesn’t want anyone he released to come back and “kick [our] ass”.

—Gruden does not expect to have any problems motivating his players. “Any time you lose the last one – whether you go 2-14 or we were 11-5 in Cincy and lost the last one – you should have a chip on your shoulder,” he said, referring to the Bengals’ first-round playoff loss. “You should want to get back on the saddle and compete.” He said that the team didn’t bring in anyone from the champion Seahawks so all 90 players on the roster should have chips on their shoulders. The Redskins have seem complacent some seasons even when their performance the year before didn’t warrant it. We’ll see if Gruden can make this a thing of the past.

—Gruden doesn’t have his own mistakes as a head coach to learn from yet so he has to learn from others. “You try to learn from history, coaches’ past mistakes, not only here but every other franchise in the NFL,” he said. “And you learn as a coach. We’ll learn from what we did in Cincinnati, what we did right, what I think we did wrong, how we ended the season, how poorly we finished and what we can do to rectify that.” The last coach gave the impression that he had all the answers and, given his experience, that’s not surprising. Gruden doesn’t know everything but he seems to know what he doesn’t know and that’s a good start.

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Today’s schedule: Full practice 8:35; Jay Gruden media availability 3:45; Walkthrough 4:10; Robert Griffin III media availability time TBD; players availability after both practices.

—It’s been 207 days since the Redskins played a game; in 45 days they play the Texans in their 2014 season opener.

Days until: Preseason opener vs. Patriots 14; Final cuts 37; Redskins @ Eagles 59

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Instant analysis: Eagles outclass Redskins as Carson Wentz continues stellar year


Instant analysis: Eagles outclass Redskins as Carson Wentz continues stellar year

Here are my observations made during the Redskins’ 34-24 loss to the Eagles.

First quarter

— The Redskins’ got into the red zone on their first drive with Kirk Cousins passes to Vernon Davis for 31 yards and Jamison Crowder for 20 keying the advance. But they had to settle for Nick Rose’s first NFL field goal.

—Defensively, the Redskins dominated in the first quarter. The Eagles had no official plays before having four penalties, leading to a first and 33. Quinton Dunbar ended that possession with his first interception of the year. The Eagles got their first third-down conversion of the day in the last minute of the quarter.

Second quarter

—The Redskins gifted the Eagles three points by committing consecutive facemask penalties during Carson Wentz runs. Three weeks ago against the Chiefs, a penalty-laden drive helped KC score a touchdown. Not as costly this time but the score is tied 3-3.

—Did you have a parlay bet on Vernon Davis getting two 31-yard receptions tonight? If so, you hit it. His second such catch was the key in the Redskins’ second scoring drive. This time, they got it in from the red zone when the Eagles forgot to cover Chris Thompson, giving him the easiest seven-yard TD reception you’ll see.

—After a sack, the Eagles got the equalizer with a 64-yard bomb from Wentz to Mack Hollins. The Redskins rushed only four for one of the few passing downs so far and Wentz had plenty of time to launch the long pass.

—In the first half, Cousins was 0-3 passing on third down with one or two yards to go. He was 12-13 for 167 yards in all other situations. 

—That third failure to convert on third and short eventually cost the Redskins. A few plays after taking the punt Wentz went to Zach Ertz for 41 yards to the Washington 18. That led to a four-yard touchdown pass to Ertz to put the Eagles up 17-10 at the half.

Third quarter

—Jason Peters, the Eagles’ former All-Pro tackle who is still playing well, was carted off the field early in the third quarter with a leg injury. Meanwhile, Wentz completed four passes and scrambled for 21 to set up first and goal at the six. On third and goal at the nine, Wentz escaped a heavy rush and pitched a touchdown pass to Cory Clement. The Redskins just can’t get off the field on defense and they are down 14 points.

—At that point, the Redskins had run six plays since they took a 10-3 lead. The Eagles had run 23.

—The Redskins cobbled together a drive after getting the Eagles to go three and out for the first time since the first quarter. Cousins scrambled for eight yards, and then he passed to Doctson for 17. It was goal to go after Jordan Reed went up and caught Cousins' pass for a gain of 20 to the five. On the next play, it was Cousins to Reed for the touchdown. It was Reed’s first score of the year and it made it a ballgame again at 24-17.

Fourth quarter

—The Redskins seemed to have the Eagles stopped with another three and out but somehow Carson Wentz got out of a crowd of several Redskins, avoided the sack, and converted a third and eight. That put the momentum back onto the side wearing the green jerseys and they completed the drive with a TD pass from Wentz to Nelson Agholor to restore Philly’s two-touchdown lead.

— The Redskins’ last chance at a miracle rally ended when Kirk Cousins threw a third and six pass right into the arms of Philly safety Corey Graham. Cousins was hit on the play but it still wasn’t a good pass. There was no Redskins receiver in the area. We will await an explanation from Cousins after the game.

—Washington got a cosmetic score with 3:17 on a 75-yard drive that ended with another Reed touchdown reception.

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

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Redskins fans go crazy after refs miss unnecessary roughness call involving Brandon Scherff


Redskins fans go crazy after refs miss unnecessary roughness call involving Brandon Scherff

Last week vs. the 49ers, Brandon Scherff was penalized 15 yards for unnecessary roughness after the guard pushed a San Fran defender to the ground around the same time that the whistle blown.

A week later against the Eagles, Scherff was the one who was shoved. But this time, there was no penalty.

Derek Barnett played the role of aggressor in the Week 7 matchup. On a third-and-9, Kirk Cousins was hit as he threw, and players pursued the loose ball with some thinking it was a fumble. That's when Barnett came up and laid a late hit on Scherff, sending him to the turf.

Here's what it looked like:

The refs were chucking flags left and right in the early stages of the rivalry game. This one, though, somehow wasn't called.