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El-Bashir: Gruden needs to make a move, now


El-Bashir: Gruden needs to make a move, now

It’s time for Jay Gruden to make the biggest decision of his NFL coaching tenure.

For the sake of the Redskins—and their 2015 season—he must settle on a starting quarterback. And he needs to do it, like, yesterday, because his team can’t endure another drama-consumed week (or two) and start the regular season the way it wants. It’s too draining. It’s too distracting.

Now is the time to begin focusing on the Dolphins and that’s going to be a nearly impossible task if the staff and locker room aren’t united behind one quarterback.

If Robert Griffin III is going to reclaim the No. 1 job once he’s medically cleared, then say so. If it’s going to be Kirk Cousins, hand him the keys and let him take ownership. They deserve to know. Their teammates deserve to know.

Following Saturday night’s 31-13 victory in Baltimore, Gruden said he could make a decision on his Week 1 starter once Griffin is examined by doctors later this week. But when asked point blank if there’s a scenario in which a healthy Griffin would sit against Miami, he tap danced.

“We have to check on Robert first, and go from there,” Gruden said.

Sure, Griffin’s concussion clouds things a bit. I get that. But Gruden also seemed to indicate that the decision will not be solely based on Griffin’s health. 

“I know what you’re trying to get out [of me] and all that,” the second-year coach said when pressed on the issue. “I’m not going to announce anything right now. First of all, I need to read [Griffin’s neurological] reports. These reports are confusing. We need to sit down and talk to all the players involved and make our decision. Meet as a staff and check out this film.”

He added: “Kirk played great. Colt [McCoy] played great. The offensive line played excellent. The defense got some turnovers. So I’m happy with the way with the way we played. The rest of this stuff will sort itself out shortly.”

It needs to be really shortly. Because after a day off Sunday, the Redskins will have only 13 days to get ready to host Ndamukong Suh and Miami.

Gruden also acknowledged Saturday night that the quarterback decision will be his to make, saying, “I’ve always been told that I have the final say on who plays quarterback, and I don’t think that’s changed.”

He already has enough information to make the decision.

The Redskins had more than a dozen OTA and minicamp practices this spring. They had 13 practices in Richmond, including three against J.J. Watt and the Texans. Griffin’s made two preseason starts—one went okay, the other went disastrously. Cousins, meanwhile, performed solidly in his only start against the Ravens. It wasn’t pretty, but it was effective. Cousins rebounded from an early interception at M&T Bank Stadium, and the Redskins owned a 14-13 lead when he and the first team offense were pulled at halftime.  

I don’t know what Gruden will ultimately choose. And I’m not making an argument for either player; that’s a column for another day.

But I am certain of this much: Allowing the quarterback question to linger (fester actually might be a better word here) would be a mistake. Gruden needs to tune out the noise and get his group focused and pulling in the same direction. And that’s not going to happen as long as there’s uncertainty at the most important position on the team.  



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Terrelle Pryor, DJ Swearinger get into heated exchange during Day 3 of Redskins-Jets practice

Terrelle Pryor, DJ Swearinger get into heated exchange during Day 3 of Redskins-Jets practice

The Redskins' joint practices with the Jets have been nothing short of entertaining.

Day 1 of practice brought a couple of brawls between the two teams, with one spilling into the sideline where fans were standing. 

Day 2 was relatively calm, but Day 3 has brought another altercation, this time between former teammates Terrelle Pryor and DJ Swearinger. 

During a one-on-one rep, safety Monte Nicholson broke up a pass to Pryor. As Pryor started walking back to the sideline, a very hyped-up DJ Swearinger had more than a few things to say about it. As the two inched closer, Swearinger fakes a punch, causing Pryor to flinch and creating roars from the Redskins sideline. 

It's clear the Redskins' DBs have strong feelings towards their ex-teammate. Back in June, inside linebacker Zach Brown said the 'Skins would "have it out" for Pryor during their joint practices. 

While Pryor won't be playing in Thursday's preseason game, let's hope the competition continues over nonetheless.


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Redskins release CB Orlando Scandrick


Redskins release CB Orlando Scandrick

RICHMOND—Orlando Scandrick’s career with the Redskins ended without him even playing a game.

Head coach Jay Gruden confirmed reports that the team has released Scandrick on the last day of training camp. He did not play in the Redskins’ preseason opener against the Patriots last Thursday.

While reasons for the release will become clearer with time, it is apparent that the Redskins have a great deal of faith in their young cornerbacks, particularly second-year player Fabian Moreau. With Scandrick on the team, Moreau was slated to be the backup slot corner. With Scandrick now gone, the Redskins likely will go with Moreau as the slot cornerback.

The team also apparently has confidence in Quinton Dunbar to start opposite Josh Norman. They also like rookies Greg Stroman, Adonis Alexander, and Danny Johnson. As of now, those three are the backups at cornerback.

Scandrick signed a two-year, $7 million contract in March. The only guaranteed money was a $1 million signing bonus. The move will save the Redskins $2.1 million in cap space this year. They will take a $500,000 dead cap hit next year to account for the prorated portion of the signing bonus.

Redskins 2018 training camp news

-Teammates react: Thompson gets emotional talking about Guice
-Redskins-Jets brawl: A dangerous situation

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

This article has been updated from a previous publish.