Redskins

Improving Indiana looks to break through with win

Improving Indiana looks to break through with win

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) The age-old question has arisen for Indiana's football program: ``Are we there yet?''

Three weeks ago, Indiana trailed Northwestern 27-0 in the second half, rallied to get within eight points before losing 44-29. The next week, the Hoosiers led Michigan State 27-17 at the end of the third before losing 31-27.

Last week, the Hoosiers (2-4) trailed No. 7 Ohio State big before scoring two late touchdowns and losing 52-49.

So, are the Hoosiers there yet?

Coach Kevin Wilson's answer is a resounding no.

``I told my kids the other day as a team, `Don't start acting like my kids when they were little, and every time we were going somewhere, they say, `Well, when are we going to get there?''' he said. ``My answer was, `We're going to get there when we get there. We've got to keep going because we're not going to win, we're not going to get there until we get there, and we've got to keep going.

``So, just like my little kids complaining about it, if we stop, we're never going to get there. So quit worrying about it, quit complaining about it, let's keep fighting, let's keep going down the road and see if we can get there.''

Wilson believes there is something to be said for almost being there, he just doesn't want his team to be satisfied with it. There's some buzz in Bloomington because the program hasn't been successful enough in recent years for fans to be too upset with the losses, and being close is an improvement.

Competitive might be good enough for the fans, but not for Wilson.

``We're trying to address it just internally that too many people maybe around here can congratulate you on almost winning because we have struggled,'' he said. ``And at the same time, that needs to be a sign of confidence. You're getting better. You should feel good about yourself, but you need to keep pushing.''

It won't be easy Saturday at Navy. The Midshipmen (3-3) have bounced back after getting pummeled 50-10 against Notre Dame in Ireland and 34-7 against Penn State and have won three of four, including a 28-21 overtime victory over Air Force two weeks ago.

Coach Ken Niumatalolo's team averages 231.7 yards rushing per game using the triple option; the Hoosiers are allowing 221.2 yards rushing per contest and have struggled against mobile quarterbacks. Northwestern's Kain Colter ran for 161 yards and three touchdowns against the Hoosiers. Last week, Ohio State's Braxton Miller rambled for 149 yards and a score.

Navy quarterbacks Keenan Reynolds and Trey Miller have combined for 390 yards on 128 carries in six games this season.

Wilson said he went out to Air Force over the summer to learn how to run the option in hopes of figuring out how to stop it. He said Navy's wishbone is tough to defend because it is capable of gaining chunks of yardage on play-action passes. Reynolds passed for 134 yards on just six completions last week in a 31-13 win over Central Michigan.

``This team is very difficult,'' Wilson said. ``Everybody talks about their option, their wishbone, but what really makes it difficult is how they put it all together.''

If the Hoosiers don't play disciplined defense against Navy, the positive vibes built from three weeks of improved football could vanish. Wilson said this week's game will offer a test of his team's mental approach.

``Just because you got close or just because you made some strides, if you don't keep coming, you were just a pretender,'' he said. ``You gave a nice try, but you gave in. Really good teams get tougher, stronger, better down the stretch. As we build, the guys have to embrace that. We'll see if we can.''

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Need to Know: Post-minicamp Redskins 53-man roster projection—Offense

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Various sources

Need to Know: Post-minicamp Redskins 53-man roster projection—Offense

Here is what you need to know on this Monday, June 18, 38 days before the Washington Redskins start training camp.  

Redskins 53-man roster projection—offense 

It may still be early to project the roster, but things are coming into focus after the round of practices in helmets and shorts. Here is my look at who I think will make it on offense; defense up tomorrow. 

Quarterbacks (2)
Alex Smith, Colt McCoy

I think that Kevin Hogan is very much on the bubble as the third quarterback. They got along with two QBs last year, and with Alex Smith having demonstrated great durability during his career, Hogan may well get bumped off. 

Running backs (4)
Derrius Guice, Chris Thompson, Samaje Perine, Rob Kelley

I’d say that this is 95 percent locked in. Maybe Kapri Bibbs or Byron Marshall can make a push for Kelley’s roster spot but his history with Jay Gruden will make it very hard for him to get knocked out. 

Wide receivers (6)
Josh Doctson, Paul Richardson, Jamison Crowder, Maurice Harris, Robert Davis, Trey Quinn

The first time I did this back in April I didn’t have Quinn on the roster. That was before he was a man among boys at rookie camp and a player who looks like he belongs when the veterans showed up. I don’t know if he’ll have the impact that many fans think he will, but he’s certainly going to get his chance. Brian Quick could steal a roster spot from Harris or Davis.

Tight ends (3)
Jordan Reed, Vernon Davis, Jeremy Sprinkle

The Redskins did not draft a tight end or sign one in free agency so there seems to be faith that Reed will be healthy. We’ve heard that before and it seems somewhat risky to leave Davis, who has Father Time nipping at his heels, and the inexperienced Davis as the only two backups. They may try to make room for an undrafted rookie like Hudson Garrett.  

Offensive line (9)
Trent Williams, Shawn Lauvao, Chase Roullier, Brandon Scherff, Morgan Moses, Ty Nsekhe, Geron Christian, Tyler Catalina, Tony Bergstrom

I think that Gruden is probably happy with the starters here but the depth is shaky, especially in the interior. The key could be whether Christian is ready for prime time as the swing tackle. That could allow Nsekhe to fill in at guard. Bergstrom is fine as the backup center, although I wouldn’t want to have to count on him for more than a few games. 

Offensive players: 24
Rookies (3):
Guice, Christian, Quinn
New to the organization in 2018 (5): Rookies plus Smith, Richardson 
Not on 2017 Week 1 roster (11): Rookies plus new plus Harris (practice squad), R. Davis (practice squad) and Bergstrom (not on the team). 

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

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An Indiana state police officer tweeted that he pulled a driver over for going too slowly in the left lane. I believe this person is a national hero. 

Timeline  

Days until:

—Training camp starts (7/26) 38
—Preseason opener @ Patriots (8/9) 52
—Roster cut to 53 (9/1) 75

The Redskins last played a game 167 days ago. They will open the 2018 NFL season at the Cardinals in 83 days. 

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Zach Brown says Redskins defense will 'have it out' for Terrelle Pryor during joint practices

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USA TODAY Sports/@TerrellePryor

Zach Brown says Redskins defense will 'have it out' for Terrelle Pryor during joint practices

Terrelle Pryor made a number of highlight reel catches last year during training camp, and it appears the Redskins defense didn't like it. 

Washington's marquee free agent signing last season, Pryor came into Richmond with sky-high expectations. Throughout the training sessions last August, Pryor put on one-handed displays at the Jugs machine and often made big catches in team drills. It's also important to remember there was never any live tackling during these drills, leaving defenders at a distinct disadvantage. 

Zach Brown remembers the scene quite well, and thinks it will look very different this summer when Pryor comes to Richmond as a member of the New York Jets. 

"That’s going to be something right there. The boys are gonna have it out for him. We can put hands on him now," Brown said on Inside the Locker Room on the Team 980 (full audio here).

Brown explained that Redskins coach Jay Gruden would not allow the defense to hit Pryor last year, even when the wideout did some showboating. 

"Jay ain't here to protect you anymore," Brown said.

The Redskins linebacker explained that he tried to explain to Pryor that the one-handed catches from training camp would not translate in the NFC East, where players get hit hard. It doesn't seem like Pryor listened, as he finished the season with only 240 receiving yards on 20 catches in nine games. 

"The boys were already hot for what he was doing last year," Brown said. He added, "Try to one-hand something while you’re with the Jets, you’re gonna catch a forearm."

One incident that supports Brown's comments came when Bashaud Breeland got thrown off the practice field last training camp. Breeland got mad that he wasn't allowed to get physical with Pryor at the line of scrimmage, and the scene blew up. Breeland eventually got sent off the field after arguing with coaches. 

The Jets visit the Redskins for three days of practices beginning August 12th. The two teams then square off in the second preseason game on August 16th. 

Brown will get his chance at Pryor, assuming the wideout plays. Pryor finished the 2018 season on the injured reserve, but is expected to be fine once training camp begins in New York. 

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