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Examining red flags surrounding LB who will visit Skins

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Examining red flags surrounding LB who will visit Skins

RICHMOND—The Redskins locked up one pass rusher on Wednesday. Now they have their eyes on another one.

Yesterday, Ryan Kerrigan signed a long-term contract extension to stay with the Redskins. Today the team is going to take an up-close look at former Saints linebacker Junior Galette. He became the starter in New Orleans in 2013 and in the past two years the 27 year old has 22 sacks, only one fewer than Kerrigan has in the same period of time.

Albert Breer of NFL.com reported last night that Galette will be at the Redskins’ training facility today to take a physical and talk to team officials.

Good 27-year-old pass rushers don’t hit the streets very often and there are multiple red flags regarding Galette. The Saints, who brought him in as an undrafted free agent in 2010 and slowly developed him into a star performer, took a major financial hit to release him last week. They will take a dead cap hit of $5.45 million this year and another hit of $12.1 million in 2016.

RELATED: Report: Redskins to meet with recently cut Saints standout

The issues with Galette that led to his expensive release were both on and off the field. In January he was arrested on a domestic violence charge. Last month a 2013 video that seemed to show Galette hitting a woman with a belt emerged. The NFL is still investigating both incidents.

Galette has a lot hanging on the investigation. Even a first-time domestic violence offender gets a six-game suspension under the NFL’s new, tougher standards.

There also were reports that Galette was getting to be a locker room distraction. His brash personality rubbed some the wrong way. There was a report that he got into a fight with a teammate and that he became lazy after signing that contract extension last year.

The Redskins and new general manager Scot McCloughan generally have played it safe this offseason when it comes to acquiring players with character issues. If they do end up signing Galette it would clearly be a risk and a departure from the precedent established this year.

Where would he play? He certainly would not supplant Kerrigan at left outside linebacker. The team has spent is second-round draft picks each of the past two years on Trent Murphy and Preston Smith to man the right side. They say that you can’t have too many good pass rushers and sorting out snaps for a talented group is a problem that few Redskins defensive coordinators have had and that Joe Barry would be happy to tackle.

It should be noted that while coming to town for a physical and meetings indicates more than casual interest in signing a contract, it doesn’t mean that a deal will get done. Galette may want to visit more teams to try to develop a market for his services. The Redskins might not like what they hear when they talk to Galette. And, of course, money can always become an issue.

It will be interesting to see how this one develops. Stay tuned.

MORE REDSKINS: Kerrigan first Redskins first rounder extended since Chris Samuels

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Need to Know: Redskins training camp preview—Offense

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Associated Press

Need to Know: Redskins training camp preview—Offense

Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, July 22, four days before the Washington Redskins start training camp.  

Training camp preview: Offense

Here are some of the big topics surrounding the offense at Redskins training camp along with some of the things I’ll be observing closely when training camp gets underway on Thursday. 

Alex Smith

The subheadline here doesn’t need any elaboration. The Redskins gave up a top-100 draft pick, a promising player, and $71 million in guaranteed money to get him. When asked about the timetable for Smith picking up the offense, Jay Gruden said, “He has got to get it down by the first game.”

That first game is seven weeks from today. Of course, the process has already started as Smith appeared to have a solid grasp of things in the offseason practices. There is every reason to think that he will look good in Richmond. 

The question is, how much will the coaches push him? Will they focus on him having success on shorter, easier throws to build his confidence? Or will they call plays that test his ability to throw deep? Last year in Kansas City his ability to hit on long passes helped transform him from being an above-average quarterback to an MVP candidate. The Redskins need him to be effective deep starting Week 1 and training camp needs to be the starting point. 

The running back rotation

This is primarily about Derrius Guice, who is the most anticipated rookie running back in team history. The Redskins were 28th in rushing yards last year and they bring back the same offensive line (although hoping for better health) and three of the same running backs. They are counting on Guice to be the difference maker. 

But Guice can’t do it by himself. Gruden will be wary of overworking his rookie, who has an aggressive running style and who was banged up for a lot of his last year at LSU. He also may give Guice a light load if he struggles in pass protection early on. Chris Thompson’s role is set. Where do Rob Kelley and Samaje Perine line up? Does one or the other take most of the first-team reps when Guice is getting a rest? 

The difference between being the third back and the fourth is big. The fourth back on the depth chart is unlikely to be active most game days. The active back could get five to 10 carries per game.

Who’s at left guard?

Is Shawn Lauvao going to be the left guard? It doesn’t seem logical that they would put all their eggs in Lauvao’s injury-prone and frequently ineffective basket. Will Ty Nsekhe line up there? Do they think that Tyler Catalina or Kyle Kalis can push for the starting job? Is a trade in the offing? 

Jordan Reed’s health

This does not need much explanation if you’ve been paying attention the last several years. It would be both a good sign and a major surprise if he starts camp healthy and doesn’t miss any time due to injuries. If he’s out there, there is no question that he and Smith will quickly develop chemistry. 

Wide receiver depth chart

The stakes at wide receiver are similar to those at running back. The top backup behind the three starters, who could be any of Maurice Harris, Robert Davis, Brian Quick or Try Quinn, will have a regular role in the offense line Ryan Grant had last year. The fifth guy will rarely play, the player who has the sixth spot will rarely play, and the seventh won’t have a job. 

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

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Apparently, some teams are worried that their players are playing too much of the video game Fortnite. No, seriously.

Timeline 

Happy birthday to Redskins running back Quinton Dunbar, who was born on this date in 1992.

Days until:

—Training camp starts (7/26) 4
—Preseason opener @ Patriots (8/9) 18
—Roster cut to 53 (9/1) 41

The Redskins last played a game 203 days ago. They will open the 2018 NFL season at the Cardinals in 49 days. 

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Jay Gruden shown no love in preseason coaches ranking

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USA Today Sports

Jay Gruden shown no love in preseason coaches ranking

Yahoo! Sports ranked all 32 head coaches in the NFL and Washington Redskins fans may not be too happy with where Jay Gruden ended up.

Entering his fifth year as head coach, Gruden was ranked as the No. 27 head coach in the NFL. Here's Yahoo!'s rationale behind his ranking:

"Four years, one playoff berth, one plus-.500 season, one franchise quarterback run out of town."

All that is ... not false, but the whole franchise quarterback being run out of town thing is at least debatable. And even if the ranking is fair, it's still okay to be upset because it's the middle of July, training camp hasn't started yet and the offseason is the perfect time to get irrationally angry about things like these.

Elsewhere in the NFC, Giants head coach Pat Shurmur checks in at No. 23, Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett is No. 17 and the Eagles' Doug Pederson is No. 2.

Unsurprisingly, Bill Belichick was ranked No. 1; he may be the greatest of all time when all is said and done, if not already. The top five rounds out with Pederson at No. 2, New Orleans's Sean Payton at No. 3, Minnesota's Mike Zimmer at No. 4 and Pittsburgh's Mike Tomlin at No. 5.

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