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Why Mack Brown could mean more than your average practice squad addition

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Why Mack Brown could mean more than your average practice squad addition

Maybe one week down the line the Redskins won't have to make a move at running back. But so far in 2018, doing something in the backfield every seven days or so feels almost required.

This time around, the transaction of note is adding Mack Brown to the practice squad. Brown was in D.C. from 2015-2017 before spending the latter half of last year and the offseason this year with the Vikings.

Sitting down in the familiar locker room at the 'Skins' facility in Ashburn, Va., the 27-year-old expressed relief to have an NFL job again after being let go by Minnesota in early September.

"I'm just thankful to be back playing football," he said. "Ready to get my game back."

Most practice squad moves don't warrant a blog these days, considering how often those players are picked up and dropped. But Brown's arrival feels a bit more significant once you tie it to Adrian Peterson's sore ankle.

While Peterson has been perhaps the best part of the Redskins' campaign so far, there's always a question about how long he can stay on the field and keep producing. And now he's dinged up, though he said Monday he doesn't expect to miss the matchup in the Superdome. 

After Wednesday's practice, Jay Gruden explained why he's happy that Brown is back in town.

"Mack is a good guy to have on our practice squad because he knows the system pretty much and we know what he can do with the football," the head coach said. "Having Mack Brown out there with Adrian's ankle the way that it is, is a good get for us. Just for a little insurance for us down the line if we need it. Hopefully we don’t have to use him, but if we do, Mack will be ready."

Of course, Gruden will turn to Chris Thompson and Kapri Bibbs should something happen to Peterson. Then there's Samaje Perine, too. But it's not outrageous to imagine Brown suiting up on game days at some point down the line. He's well-liked by the organization.

Aside from an increase in run-pass option plays, Brown agreed with Gruden's assessment regarding the RB's familiarity with the offense. He also admitted that Peterson is his all-time favorite player and he can't wait to learn from him in many ways both on and off the field.

However, there is one thing that's already bothering him in his second stint with the Burgundy and Gold: His new number, 47. That could use some work, according to Brown.

"I'm definitely trying to change this," he said. "Shoulder pads big, cleats are big, helmet's too big. I feel like Rudy."

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Nate Orchard was installing windows prior to signing with the Redskins

Nate Orchard was installing windows prior to signing with the Redskins

A week ago, many Redskins fans were not familiar with the name Nate Orchard. But after No. 54's exceptional performance in the Redskins' Week 13 victory over Carolina, he's turned into a feel-good story in an otherwise tough season in Washington.

As many Redskins fans know by now, Orchard was signed just days before the Week 13 game. Due to injuries to linebackers Ryan Kerrigan and Montez Sweat, as well as Ryan Anderson being ejected, Orchard was forced to play meaningful snaps towards the end of Sunday's victory. He finished with a sack, recovering a fumble, and two tackles for loss in the win.

The former star on HBO's Hard Knocks while he was with the Cleveland Browns had worked out for 10 (!!) teams this season, but none chose to sign Orchard until Washington did last week. It makes sense why he was so emotional postgame.

So, how was Orchard spending his time before joining the Burgundy and Gold? 

Orchard, who spent most Mondays and Tuesdays this season working out for NFL teams, was installing windows in Utah a few days during the week, according to 106.7 The Fan.

"A typical week for me, I would leave for a workout Monday, get back Tuesday night," Orchard said on 106.7's Grant and Danny"Wednesday morning, I'd hit the gym early, then go and install windows from 7 [o'clock] until about 3 [o'clock], then come back to my family and rest up. [I would] repeat that Thursday and Friday."

Orchard admitted that he questioned whether he should continue to train and wait for a call, but says his wife encouraged him to stay motivated and continue to workout.

They say hard work pays off, and Orchard's whirlwind of a season thus far ended up being very rewarding for him this past Sunday.

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Newly signed WR Jordan Veasy credits Colin Kaepernick for opportunity with Redskins

Newly signed WR Jordan Veasy credits Colin Kaepernick for opportunity with Redskins

Quarterback Colin Kaepernick held a workout in November for a handful of NFL teams with the hopes of returning to the NFL, but the workout helped someone other than the former Super Bowl QB get a job.

Little known 24-year-old wide receiver Jordan Veasy, whom the Redskins signed to their practice squad this week, was on the receiving end of a 50-plus yard pass from Kaepernick at the workout that went viral on social media.

Veasy was undrafted out of the University of California in 2018 and has spent time with the Titans, Jaguars, Colts and Bills organizations, but has never played in an NFL game. He had previously met Kaepernick in 2016, when the two took a class in black representation in pop culture at Berkeley, according to the Washington Post.

"It helped," Veasy said to the Washington Post on the workout that led to him getting another chance in the NFL. "That’s one of the reasons I wanted to be a part of it. Just being a part of the history of it, and I knew it was going to help me."

After being released by the Bills, Veasy had been training in his hometown of Gadsden, Ala., just two hours away from Atlanta, where the workout was held. It was an easy drive for Veasy, who figured that he might as well run routes in front of scouts when given the opportunity.

Just a week or so after the workout, the Cleveland Browns brought him to town, but Veasy left unsigned. He had not heard from any NFL teams since then until the Redskins called this week, according to the Post. 

While Kaepernick remains without a job, at least someone else was able to benefit from the workout.

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