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Gruden expects 'significant strides' from RG3 in 2015

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Gruden expects 'significant strides' from RG3 in 2015

Jay Gruden says he expects Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III to make “significant strides” in 2015.

The reason? Familiarity. With both the coaches and the scheme.

“You know, playing in the same system for the second year, usually that second year you have a little bit more confidence, a little bit more of an air about you that you should show improvement, lots of improvement,” Gruden said. “Hearing the concepts and seeing the plays over and over again and dealing with the pressure and all that good stuff.”

“I think Robert’s going to be fine," Gruden added, "it’s just that we have high expectations for the quarterback position and Robert in general. We expect significant strides to take place from Year 1 to Year 2.”

Gruden named Griffin the No. 1 quarterback entering the offseason back in February. And when the first meaningful snaps took place Tuesday—the first day of OTAs at Redskins Park—Griffin was under center for all of the first team reps.

“I think the word of the day from Coach Jay was, ‘Get better,’” Griffin said after the two-hour practice. “Every day, you’ve got to come out and get better. As football players, you get tired of throwing [to uncovered receivers], but as some people have told me, you never want to get tired of doing things the right way. So you continue to do it and continue to do it, and then we get out here and we get to get in a competitive environment. No pads and no tackling or anything like that, but at least you’re going against other players and you can see how guys react when someone is actually covering them.”

Griffin echoed Gruden’s sentiments on the importance of familiarity.

“To have that consistency with your staff and the offense and all those things only helps,” Griffin said. “It’s been a couple crazy years, and we look forward to making sure that we don’t have that constant change any more.”

Griffin also indicated that he received a bit of a boost from being named the No. 1 quarterback entering the offseason.

“For me, you have got to focus on what you can control,” he said. “Apparently Jay felt like I was the best option that he had at quarterback, and I’m happy about that.”

But now comes the hard part for Griffin: holding onto the starter’s job as Kirk Cousins and Colt McCoy battle with one another for the backup role while simultaneously attempting to apply some pressure to the starter. Both Cousins and McCoy, of course, started games in 2014.

Gruden said he was pleased with Griffin’s first day. But he was quick to point out that he'll need to see the fourth-year signal caller perform solidly throughout OTAs, veteran minicamp, training camp and then the preseason before making any further pronouncements.

“You know, today was his first day and last week—last couple weeks—we were throwing routes versus air,” Gruden said. “He’s doing fine. We’ll see how it goes. He’s just got to continue to put practice after practice together and show the consistency that we’re looking for.”

Gruden did, however, say that he’s confident that Griffin has put in the work necessary to prepare himself for what amounts to the most important stretch of his NFL career.

“Robert’s got great work ethic, No. 1,” Gruden said. “That’s never been a question, you know? He works extremely hard. So I’m satisfied in that regard. He comes to work every day trying to get better. The rules allow us to do certain things and don’t allow us to do certain things, but he does a lot on his own. He gets himself in physically good condition to get ready to go.”

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Trent Williams was definitely not playing Sunday against Houston, but now he might

Trent Williams was definitely not playing Sunday against Houston, but now he might

On Wednesday, Redskins head coach Jay Gruden said that six-time Pro Bowl left tackle Trent Williams would not play on Sunday against the Texans. 

"That's for sure," the coach said. 

By Friday, the tune had changed. Drastically. 

Gruden said that Williams' status on Sunday will come down to the medical staff. The coach added that Williams has to be comfortable in whatever cast will support his dislocated thumb.

As for Williams, he would not say for sure that he's going to play. But after talking with him for a few minutes in the Redskins locker room, it seems like the medical staff will be hard pressed to keep him off the field. 

Williams missed the Redskins last two games after injuring his thumb in a victory over the Giants. Without him, the Redskins offensive line performed admirably, but both tackles Morgan Moses and Ty Nsekhe are fighting through a number of injuries. 

The thumb injury required surgery, which happened about two weeks ago and came with a rough four-week timetable for recovery. Williams is attempting to cut that in half. 

Asked about Williams possibly playing Sunday, Redskins running back Adrian Peterson said he wants his friend and teammate to be smart about his future. Peterson said "there's a lot of football left" but the running back also added that there were situations watching Texans film this week where "it'd be real nice to have Trent out there."

Williams himself said that it must be tough for Peterson, as the two are close friends. Obviously, the running back wants the star tackle out on the field, but he also cares about his long-term future. 

Notes: Redskins K Dustin Hopkins landed on the injury report earlier with a groin injury in the week and the team brought in other kickers for tryouts on Tuesday. On Friday, Hopkins said he was pain-free and planned to "give it a go" Sunday against Houston. 

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With Samaje Perine ruled out for Week 11, expect Byron Marshall to be activated off IR

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With Samaje Perine ruled out for Week 11, expect Byron Marshall to be activated off IR

The main news on Friday at Redskins Park was the surprising return to the practice field by Trent Williams. 

That wasn't the only notable development when it comes to injuries, though. 

During his end-of-the-week podium session, Jay Gruden ruled Samaje Perine out for Sunday's game against the Texans. The second-year back has a calf injury and won't be able to go in Week 11.

As of Friday afternoon, that leaves the 'Skins with just two healthy running backs in Adrian Peterson and Kapri Bibbs. Chris Thompson is on the active roster as well, but he's dealing with rib issues and he's going to be absent when Houston visits.

This means you should expect to see Byron Marshall in Burgundy and Gold come kickoff. Marshall has been on IR with an ankle injury since the start of the year but said he's been healthy for a while now and would be ready to step in as the third back.

The majority of offensive snaps the past few weeks have gone to Peterson and Bibbs, so Marshall shouldn't figure into things too much when the Redskins have the ball. He showed flashes in some spot duty in 2017, though, so if need be, he could be productive for Gruden.

With Trey Quinn already back on the 53, if/when the team elects to bring back Marshall, the Redskins will be out of IR activations. NFL rules stipulate each club only gets two per season.

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