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Redskins Tuesday minicamp report, offense: Griffin sharp

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Redskins Tuesday minicamp report, offense: Griffin sharp

Earlier I took a look at what the Redskins did during their Tuesday minicamp on defense and special teams earlier today. Now, here’s a look at the offense.

—They have mixed up a lot of linemen on the second and third teams so don’t read too much into this but in the early going the second-team offensive line was, from left to right, Willie Smith, Arie Kouandjio, Josh LeRibeus, Tyler Larsen, and Ty Nsekhe.

—Chris Thompson and Trey Williams would both like to be the third-down back and they both showed the ability to hit the hole quickly on plays up the middle within a few snaps of each other. The rookie Williams was a bit more impressive, making a spin move to avoid contact.

—Robert Griffin III had a good day. He was mostly decisive and accurate when dropping back into the pocket, two qualities that have been seen inconsistently in the offseason practices that have been open to the media this year.

—Matt Jones displayed some good hands on a short throw from Griffin. The QB fired the ball in from close range and Jones caught the bullet without a problem.

—On a throw to Silas Redd, Griffin was not quite as smooth as he was most of the day. He spotted Redd in the flat, cocked his arm and had just a little bit of hesitation before firing the pass. It was complete but if he was facing a live rush or if Redd had been tightly covered the consequences of the slight hesitation could have been disastrous. He still has some work to do.

—Colt McCoy got most of the second-team work in the previous practices open to the media. Today, Kirk Cousins got most of the work with the second unit. He looked pretty impressive, zipping some passes into receivers. His only interception was not his fault; a pass right into the hands of Colin Locker bounced out and was picked off by Tajh Hasson.

—Receiver Quinton Dunbar also had a bad drop, this one on a pass from McCoy. Bubble players like Lockett and Dunbar can’t afford many mistakes if they want to stick around.

—Andre Roberts, who is in a battle with rookie Jamison Crowder for the starting job at slot receiver, helped his cause with a diving catch of a McCoy pass. Later on, Crowder dropped a fairly easy catch over the middle. Advantage, Roberts.

—Offensive tackle Morgan Moses, who has not taken part in any on-field offseason work while he recovers from a Lisfranc injury, was doing some running along the end line. He appears to be moving well but the real test will come when he needs to cut and put pressure on the foot. The 2014 third-round pick is expected to be ready for training camp.

—Griffin made a nice play on the move, rolling to his left and finding Niles Paul down the sideline. A few snaps later he got the ball out of his hand very quickly on a short throw to DeSean Jackson.

—In some 11-on-11 work the offense was coming out the end zone, Griffin stood in the pocket and found Pierre Garçon for about 10 yards and a first down. This drew some loud praise from Jay Gruden. “Robert, way to stand tall, big boy,” the head coach bellowed.

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Need to Know: Final thoughts on Redskins vs. Eagles

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USA Today Sports Images

Need to Know: Final thoughts on Redskins vs. Eagles

Here is what you need to know on this Monday, October 23, six days before the Washington Redskins play the Dallas Cowboys at FedEx Field.

Timeline

Today’s schedule: Redskins vs. Eagles, 8:30 pm, ESPN

Days until:

—Redskins @ Seahawks (11/5) 13
—Giants @ Redskins Thanksgiving (11/23) 31

Final report on injures of note:
Out
: CB Josh Norman (rib),
Questionable: OT Trent Williams (knee)CB Bashaud Breeland (knee), S Deshazor Everett (hamstring), RB Rob Kelley (ankle),
See the full injury report and analysis here

Final thoughts on Redskins vs Eagles

—The first time these teams met, both scored defensive touchdowns. Ryan Kerrigan got the first Redskins points on the board with a pick six of Carson Wentz in the second quarter. With a minute and a half left, Fletcher Cox wrapped up the game for his team with a 20-yard return of a very controversial fumble. The difference tonight could well be a defensive or special teams score.

—In that game, the Redskins never let the Eagles get any sort of running game going. The Eagles rushed for 54 yards, the second-lowest total for a Washington opponent this year. And they had 24 attempts (2.4 yards per) so it wasn’t as though they didn’t try. The Redskins could use another strong effort against the run this time as well.

—I examined third downs in the first look at this game a few days ago. Since then, this was bought to my attention.

Third downs could be a fatal flaw for the Redskins. The Eagles’ ability to convert third and long situations was a key to them being able to survive without much of a running game in the opener. The Redskins need to hold the Eagles to 40 percent or less on all third downs and to 25 percent or less on third and long. And they will have to do it without Josh Norman, their best defensive back.

—In the first meeting, the matchup of the Redskins’ offensive line and the Eagles’ defensive front went decidedly in Philly’s direction. Washington rushed for just 64 yards and Kirk Cousins was sacked four times. There were plenty of concerns about the line, especially RT Morgan Moses, who gave up two sacks, and RG Brandon Scherff, who gave up four total pressures. Those two and the unit as a whole have been better since that game. The Redskins’ front will need to win that battle this time around.

Prediction: A Week 7 game is not really a must-win when you have a winning record. There is a lot of season left to be played. But if the Redskins are going to take the next step and stay in the thick of things for the ideal playoff seeding, they need to take this one. This year in the NFL, just when everyone thinks they have things figured out something happens to flip the script. Everyone now figures that the Eagles are the best team in the NFC and perhaps the best in the NFL. They are ripe for an upset.

Redskins 24, Eagles 20

Season prediction record: 2-3

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.

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Trent Williams needs knee surgery eventually, but the timeline has many factors

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Trent Williams needs knee surgery eventually, but the timeline has many factors

PHILADELPHIA — Arguably the Redskins best player, all of the NFL knows that Trent Williams can still play at a high level while dealing with injury. 

How long Williams can play though injury seems the more important question though as reports emerged the left tackle will need knee surgery at some point. That could come in the next few weeks, or as Redskins fans hope, perhaps at the end of the season.

Currently playing with a torn medial patella-femoral ligament in his right knee, the six-time Pro Bowler has not practiced since sustaining the injury three weeks ago in Kansas City. He was able to gut out a strong performance last week against the 49ers, and is expected to do the same Monday night against the Eagles.

One factor that might be pushing Williams to play with such a damaged right leg is that backup tackle Ty Nsekhe is also out after having surgery on his core muscles. 

MORE: REDSKINS WEEKLY MVPS FOR EVERY GAME THUS FAR

Nsekhe is expected back relatively soon, but the timeline remains murky. When he can come back, perhaps Williams will reconsider his options. 

Surgery for the torn MPFL will leave Williams with a five or six-month recovery. 

It's obvious the Redskins' offense is best with Williams on the field. Nsekhe, however, proved a capable backup last season when Williams served a four-game suspension. 

Without Nsekhe, the Redskins would go to veteran T.J. Clemmings should Williams be unable to play. Nsekhe has not played since a Week 3 win over Oakland. The Redskins added Clemmings to the roster in early September, after their fourth preseason game. He spent the last two seasons with the Vikings. 

For now, the Redskins will continue to hope Williams can play through the pain.

"Trent is a tough guy, so we will see how it works, see how feels tomorrow and go from there," Jay Gruden said of Williams on Saturday. 

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