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Redskins Pressure Points: Focus is on Jay Gruden like never before

Redskins Pressure Points: Focus is on Jay Gruden like never before

In the weeks leading up to training camp, Redskins Insider JP Finlay will look at specific people facing increased pressure for the 2017 season. 

Pressure Point: Redskins head coach Jay Gruden

Heat is on: After two straight seasons of slight success, Gruden received a contract extension this offseason. That move made sense, providing the organization with stability at head coach and letting players know that Gruden will be running the team for the long haul. Without that extension, Gruden would have been coaching in the fourth year of a five-year deal, and questions would have come about his job security after the first slight rough patch of the season. 

With the extension, however, the pressure will still mount.

Gruden lost his offensive coordinator from last season when Sean McVay took over as head coach of the LA Rams. The Redskins coach doesn't lack for offensive knowledge, and the system in place will remain in tact. 

Losing McVay also means Gruden will take back over playcalling duties. The Redskins struggled in 2016 with clock management issues, and with the head coach calling plays, it could be even tougher for Gruden to make the split-second decisions often required in tight games. 

On the other side of the ball, Gruden had to fire Joe Barry as defensive coordinator after two subpar seasons. In his place, Gruden promoted former outside linebackers coach Greg Manusky.

If the Redskins defense struggles again, many will wonder why Gruden didn't find a new DC with experience running top defenses. There were strong candidates available. 

Beyond all that, there are the additional personnel duties Gruden has taken on. He handled all of the player interviews at the NFL Combine, and with Scot McCloughan gone, Gruden's role in the front office has increased as well. 

In just his fourth year as a head coach, is Gruden ready for all the additional responsibilities? Ever cool with the media and players, Gruden faces a lot of pressure in 2017. 


Want more Redskins? Click here to follow JP on Facebook and check out @JPFinlayCSN for live updates via Twitter! Click here for the #RedskinsTalk on Apple Podcasts, here for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!

ROSTER BATTLES: Left guard | Tight end Nickel cornerback  | Inside linebacker | Running back

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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. 

Want more Redskins? Click here to follow JP on Facebook and check out @JPFinlayNBCS for live updates via Twitter! Click here for the #RedskinsTalk on Apple Podcastshere for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!

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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.