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As injuries linger at WR, Jay Gruden believes a trade might help Redskins

As injuries linger at WR, Jay Gruden believes a trade might help Redskins

The Dallas Cowboys traded for Amari Cooper on Monday, and with that, alarms go off around the NFL that it's wheeling and dealing season. The trade deadline hits in one week, and for teams looking to bolster their squad before the second half of the year, it's time to see what areas could improve. 

For Redskins head coach Jay Gruden, the injury situation at wide receiver means that his team could use help at the position. 

"We could probably use one more there if we could," Gruden said Monday on the Redskins Talk podcast. 

Asked if there was one area the team could bolster via trade, the coach explained that if wideouts Jamison Crowder or Paul Richardson could come back from injury right away, the Redskins would have no need to trade for another receiver. Unfortunately for the Redskins, neither injury situation is very clear, and some reports show that Crowder could miss a few more weeks working back from an ankle injury. 

"I think if you look at our team right now with the injuries to Crowder and obviously the uncertainty with Richardson you might want to add another receiver, but I like what [Michael] Floyd’s done coming in here," Gruden said. 

Floyd had one catch for 20 yards in the Redskins win on Sunday over the Cowboys, but he's a physical veteran that has the coach excited. Gruden also complimented what Maurice Harris and Brian Quick have done in the absence of Richardson and Crowder.

While the Cowboys struck first in the receiver trade market, more players remain reportedly available, including Broncos WR Demaryius Thomas and Dolphins WR DeVante Parker. 

Thomas is a five-time Pro Bowler in Denver, but at 30 years old and with some trade value, it makes sense for John Elway to consider his market. The Broncos are 3-4 and have an underperforming offense. 

Parker was a first-round pick in 2015 but has not had a 1,000-yard season in Miami. Making matters more complicated, Parker's agent Jimmy Gould called Dolphins head coach Adam Gase "incompetent" to a host of different media outlets. Parker has only been active twice this season though he contends health is not an issue. 

Gruden remains confident that 2016 first-round pick Josh Doctson will get going, and he is a similar big target as Thomas and Parker. Should Richardson miss significant time, the Redskins would lack a true speed threat.

There's certainly no clear indication that Washington will make a move before the NFL trade deadline, but as things stand now with injuries, there is a need. Remember, too, the Redskins are long on 2019 draft picks with 10 selections in seven rounds.



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Redskins want to get Antonio Gibson touches but still see a role for Adrian Peterson

Redskins want to get Antonio Gibson touches but still see a role for Adrian Peterson

New Redskins offensive coordinator Scott Turner will take over an offense armed with versatile running backs and pass catchers, but despite all that, veteran ball carrier Adrian Peterson will still play a big part in any Washington success this season. 

"I’ve got a ton of respect for Adrian. I spent three years with him in Minnesota. In 2015, he led the league in rushing," Turner said Wednesday. "I wasn’t calling the plays, I was the quarterback coach, but that’s the offense that we’re going to run to an extent."

While Turner worked together with the Vikings from 2014 to 2016, injury cost Peterson the bulk of two of those seasons. In 2015, however, Peterson excelled, rushing for nearly 1,500  yards and 11 touchdowns. Clearly, that made an impact on Turner. 

"With Adrian and his skillset, when he’s rolling, there’s a role for that type of back."

It's no secret that Turner's offense last year in Carolina centered around passing the ball to running back Christian McCaffrey, but he was arguably the best offensive player in the league. The offense should center around getting him the ball.

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For the Redskins, the running back room looked crowded before the NFL Draft in April, and then with their third-round pick, Washington selected another ballcarrier in Memphis' Antonio Gibson. That decision allowed some people to wonder about the future in D.C. for Peterson, but it doesn't seem like Turner sees things that way. 

"He’s capable of catching check downs and those types of things," Turner said of Peterson. "He’s great when you have him in there for play-action passes, when you’re trying to throw the ball down the field. I’m not concerned with that."

The new Redskins coaching staff was in charge when the club elected to pick up Peterson's team option worth nearly $3 million. Ron Rivera, and in turn Turner, brought Peterson back on purpose. 

At the same time, the Redskins drafted Gibson and signed J.D. McKissic and Peyton Barber on purpose too.

"That’s the beauty of offensive football is you get to ask the players to do what you want to do," Turner said. "If someone’s not good at something, regardless of who it is, they don’t have to do it."

Turner also brought up the success Gibson had lined up as a wide receiver in college, so expect to see some of that this fall. 

The simple message when it came to Peterson from the Redskins new offensive boss: We like him. He's got a role. He's a part of the plan. In politics, like sports, the old saying is to follow the money. Peterson had a role when the team picked up his option back in March. Now it just sounds that much more official. 

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Even virtually, Scott Turner sees mental and physical progress from Dwayne Haskins

Even virtually, Scott Turner sees mental and physical progress from Dwayne Haskins

If current times resembled anything of the least bit normal, the Redskins would be conducting OTAs right about now. But due to the novel coronavirus, nothing about the 2020 offseason has been normal.

Redskins offensive coordinator Scott Turner and quarterback Dwayne Haskins have yet to work together in-person, as all traditional offseason activities have been prohibited due to the pandemic.

While the communication between the two is primarily via Zoom video conferences, the offensive coordinator is already seeing significant growth from his second-year passer.

"Obviously we can't see him do it on the field," Turner said Wednesday in a Zoom call with the local media. "But we're putting a lot of work in. We're throwing a lot at him. You can tell he's putting work in away from the meeting time. He's working at it as much as he can."

Haskins has been tasked with learning Turner's offensive system this offseason, a system that his new quarterback mate, Kyle Allen, explained took several weeks to master last year in Carolina. To do so, the offensive coordinator has given the passer multiple tests and quizzes, as his way to see if Haskins is keeping up with all the information.

"At the beginning of every meeting, we do some quizzes, tests, test the retention," Turner said. "When we're talking to him, is he speaking the language? It's pretty easy to tell if they get it or not, and Dwayne is doing a great job."

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Turner explained he's been impressed with Haskins' grasp of the system so far.

"We'll ask him a question, 'Hey, what is this coverage?' and he'll give you the correct answer," Turner said. "When you can have that dialogue and they give you the correct answer, they're repeating the things you talked about in earlier sessions, that's when you know it's really starting to click."

It's not just Haskins' strides in the classroom this offseason that Turner has been impressed by. The offensive coordinator also specifically praised the QB for the changes that he made to his body. 

Haskins has cut over 10 pounds this offseason and significantly lowered his body fat percentage, too. In a recent episode of the Redskins Talk podcast, the 23-year-old explained he's in "the best shape of [his] life."

Additionally, the quarterback has spent time this offseason training with two of his primary pass-catchers from a year ago, Terry McLaurin and Kelvin Harmon hoping to build that chemistry even more.

"The physical side of it, he's doing a lot on his own. You guys have seen the pictures, he looks like he's in great shape," Turner said. "The time he's putting in with the receivers, Terry and Kelvin, they all have been throwing for some time now. That's all positive."

Haskins had plenty of struggles as a rookie in 2019, but the quarterback finished the season by playing his best football. Over his last six quarters, Haskins threw for nearly 400 yards, four touchdowns and zero interceptions while completing 72 percent of his passes. That stretch was by far his best of the season.

Turner explained that so much about succeeding in the NFL is about confidence, and Haskins proved to himself in the final month of the season that he can play in this league.

"It takes a while for guys to truly believe, 'Hey, I can do this. I can play in this league.' It's highly competitive and it humbles everyone," Turner said. "I think just that adjustment period with Dwayne and working his way into that, what he did that last month of the season, he allowed himself to truly believe "I can go out and do this.'"

Now that Haskins has that valuable confidence, the offensive coordinator explained that it's his job to find what Haskins does well, and then expand his offense to cater around the quarterback's strengths.

"Watching him, spending time with him, getting to know him as I have over these past couple months, you want to build on those things," Turner said. "You want to look at the things Dwayne does well and have him do those things. That builds confidence within itself, and as you do that, you can expand on what you're doing offensively and what you would ask him to do."

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