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While wearing a No. 71 jersey, Morgan Moses explains he expects Trent Williams to return at some point

While wearing a No. 71 jersey, Morgan Moses explains he expects Trent Williams to return at some point

RICHMOND — Trent Williams' jersey finally appeared at Redskins training camp on Sunday. Problem was, Morgan Moses was the one who was wearing it.

After the team's fourth practice, Moses took his turn at the podium to answer questions from the media. That's when he emerged donning No. 71's white uniform, and he was even kind enough to act like the left tackle during the press conference's first few exchanges.

"I just asked for a couple of pizzas and a Pepsi," pretend Williams explained. "It didn't work out, but I'm here now so that's all that matters. It's time to get ready for the Eagles Week 1." 

It was well-executed by Moses and certainly quite the contrast to the report that came out just before the presser claiming Williams' relationship with Washington is "totally fractured." Eventually, though, he got serious and discussed the situation that's been a distraction for the Burgundy and Gold all summer long. 

"I mean, I expect him to come back," Moses said. "He loves football, just like every one of us does. I am pretty sure he wants to be here. Obviously, he has to figure out some things and they have to figure out some things that are above my pay grade. Once they figure that out, he'll be here."

Multiple times, Moses expressed optimism about Williams' return and told reporters he's been in touch with his teammate a good amount. Of course, when you match that up with CBS' report that Williams never intends to suit up for the Redskins again, it's difficult to nail down who to believe.

Well, if you're (understandably) lost, just consider this: It'd be weird for Moses to be so adamant that Williams will at some point take his spot along the line if he knew from talking to Williams that the Pro Bowler truly had no intention of doing so. If that was the case, Moses could be less detailed and use more general cliches when pressed about the topic. But he's remaining optimistic and open.

Overall, it feels like this holdout isn't coming to an end anytime soon, so Sunday might be the last time for a while you see Williams' name and number here. In fact, there's a chance it carries into the regular season. Yet Moses doesn't see that being the outcome, and thinks that when Williams re-joins the franchise, it'll be a smooth reunion.

"I just know when he gets here we're going to welcome him with open arms," he said. "He's our brother. We love him. When he gets here, we'll rock out."

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Clinton Portis among group of NFL players charged by Justice Department with defrauding NFL health care program

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UA Today Sports

Clinton Portis among group of NFL players charged by Justice Department with defrauding NFL health care program

The Justice Department charged Clinton Portis and nine other former NFL players with defrauding a health care program for retired players.

The news broke Thursday morning when the Eastern District of Kentucky alleged that the retired players submitted fraudulent claims for medical equipment costing between $40,000-50,000 to the Gene Upshaw NFL Player Health Reimbursement Account Plan. 

Former Redskins cornerback and first-round pick Carlos Rogers is also charged along with Robert McCune, John Eubanks, Tamarick Vanover, Ceandris Brown, James Butler, Frederick Bennett, Correll Buckhalter and Etric Pruitt. Joe Horn and Reche Caldwell are also expected to be charged with conspiracy to commit health care fraud.

Portis' attorney Mark Dycio said of the charges (via The Washington Post): "Clinton Portis had no knowledge that his participation in what he believed to be an NFL sanctioned medical reimbursement program was illegal. He is completely taken aback by this indictment and will move forward with the process of clearing his good name and those of his fellow NFL alumni."

According to the indictment, the claims filed between June 2017 and December 2018 totaled $3.9 million and the health care plan paid out more than $3.4 million.

Portis played seven years for the Redskins from 2004 to 2010, rushing for nearly 7,000 yards and 46 touchdowns. He remains a fan favorite and currently works for the Redskins Broadcast Network. 

A Redskins spokesperson was not immediately available for comment. 

Stay tuned as this is a developing story. 

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The Redskins' offense has been bad all year, but they're atrocious on opening drives

The Redskins' offense has been bad all year, but they're atrocious on opening drives

No matter how you break it down — by quarter, by month, by time of day, by location, by whether the opponent has an animal mascot or a human mascot — the numbers show that the Redskins have a really ineffective offense. Currently, they're last in the NFL in points per game and yards per game.

They're bad all the time, honestly.

However, they're downright atrocious when it comes to their opening drives.

In Week 1 against the Eagles, the Redskins scored a touchdown on their opening possession. It was fun. The players had fun. The fans had fun. Everybody had fun.

But since then, they haven't notched a single TD on a first drive. In fact, they haven't converted a field goal, either.

Overall, in their 13 game-opening possessions on the year, Washington has that single end zone trip to go along with a missed kick, seven punts, two fumbles and two interceptions (one of which was taken back for a score).

What's the opposite of coming out hot? The 2019 Redskins' offense.

"I'm tired of the slow starts, our guys are, too," Bill Callahan said Wednesday. "That's the goal of the first drive of the game — try to jump ahead, get ahead, find a way to get on the board early. We haven't succeeded at that." 

The issue is registering with Dwayne Haskins, too. So, what can they possibly do to try to improve?

"Just trying to figure out a way we can move the ball early, not getting behind the chains, finding lanes and getting the ball out fast," the quarterback said. "It helps our defense when we come off fast and move the ball down the field and not put them in a tough scenario with having a short field."

Many have complained about the offense's run-first approach being too predictable under Callahan, and that's something that could be plaguing them at the beginning of their contests. Since he took over as interim coach, for example, the offense has run the ball on their first snap in six-of-eight matchups, including four-out-of-five with Haskins under center.

Of course, this is an area where Jay Gruden struggled as well, but his tendencies weren't as obvious. Plus, and yes, this is minutiae now, he did call two play-action shots in Weeks 2 and 4 that schemed up wide-open receivers that Case Keenum simply missed. He was also in charge for that lone touchdown in Philly.

The most obvious explanation for the problem, however, is one that can explain a lot of things this season: an overall lack of talent. As mentioned at the start of the story, it's not like the offense gets into a rhythm at any point, so their numbers will be underwhelming in any situation or sample.

That said, even with an inexperienced and undermanned group, there should be more production than one TD in 13 chances. Callahan told the media that "we put a lot of thought, focus and concentration" into the early-game plan. Clearly, it's not paying off.

In many ways, the Redskins have fallen behind the rest of the NFL over the past few months. The stats above show that, at least in one way, that's literally very true.  

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