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Need to Know: Secondary of the future on display?


Need to Know: Secondary of the future on display?

RICHMOND—Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, August 7, one day before the Redskins open their preseason against the Titans.

Joins us for our game chat

It’s been 213 days since the last one so we know that you can’t wait for our game chat tomorrow. We’ll get going at about 7:30 to get ready for the 8:00 kickoff against the Titans. We’ll have yours truly from Ashburn, J. P. from the Bethesda studios and an occasional visit from Tarik, who with be at LP Field in Nashville.

Check back right here on Thursday evening and join in the fun.

Secondary of the future

On Monday morning, the Redskins released the team’s official depth chart. That afternoon, the entire defense listed as the first team on that depth chart made it on to the field together at the same time for the first time since training camp began on July 25.

The front seven has been solid. The issue has been getting the secondary together. Josh Wilson started camp on the PUP list, DeAngelo Hall suffered a sprained ankle in the early going and Brandon Meriweather has been in and out of practice as he is recovering from a torn ACL. On Monday the three of them were in the backfield with rookie free safety Bacarri Rambo and the starting 11 was on the field.

Indications at training camp yesterday were that the group would not be intact tomorrow in Tennessee. In fact, the starting defensive backfield could have a decidedly 2014 or 2015 look to it.

Rambo, the Redskins’ sixth-round pick, is likely to start along with cornerback David Amerson and strong safety Phillip Thomas, the team’s second- and fourth-round choices respectively. The Redskins hope that those three will be fixtures in the backfield in the future. On Thursday night, they will be the team of the present.

It remains to be seen how long they will play. Mike Shanahan indicated earlier this week that he was thinking about playing his starters for 10-15 plays. But Amerson and Phillips aren’t “starters”, they are rookie reserves who need the work. And even though Rambo is the starter for right now he certainly could use more than about a dozen snaps if he is to remain the starter until the Redskins take on the Eagles in the season opener.

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Today’s schedule

No availability today, team travels to Nashville for tomorrow’s preseason game.

A look at depth at running back

In case you missed it

Days until: Redskins @ Titans preseason opener 1; Final cuts 24; Redskins @ Cowboys 67

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Ryan Grant reportedly signing with Colts after failed physical with Ravens

USA Today Sports Images

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.


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Redskins bring in another defensive lineman for free agency visit, per source


Redskins bring in another defensive lineman for free agency visit, per source

The Redskins hosted Sylvester Williams for a free agency visit on Tuesday morning, per a source with knowledge of the situation. 

Williams played in 2017 with the Titans, logging 20 tackles in 11 starts. Tennessee released Williams this offseason, just one year into a three-year, $16 million deal. 

Drafted in the first round by the Broncos in 2013, the 6-foot-3, 313 lbs. Williams' stat line has never really popped. That isn't uncommon for a nose tackle though, as the job is less about tackles than it is holding leverage against the interior of an offensive line. 


Should the Redskins sign 29-year-old Williams, it would represent the first true nose tackle free agency addition since Terrance "Pot Roast" Knighton joined the team in 2015 from Denver. In an ironic twist, Williams took over at nose in Denver when Knighton left for Washington, and posted his best season as a Bronco. 

Washington restructured its deal with Terrell McClain, reported first by ESPN, which could allow more flexibility to add another defensive lineman. That could come in the draft, but the club has been very active talking with free agents to play on the defensive front. 

On Monday, Johnathan Hankins and Pernell McPhee visited with Redskins officials in Ashburn. Hankins would carry the heaviest price tag, but his past performance would also indicate the most promise. 

McPhee is an edge rusher with enough bulk to play against the run as well. Williams compares more with Hankins, and could be seen as the secondary option.

Among 79 nose tackles Pro Football Focus graded, Williams ranked 36th. For comparison, Bengals star Geno Atkins ranked No. 1, Dontari Poe ranked 26th, former Redskin Chris Baker ranked 65th and current Redskin Ziggy Hood ranked 79th. 

It's also worth noting that since the Titans released Williams, should the Redskins sign the nose tackle, his contract would not count towards the NFL compensatory pick formula. 

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