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Gruden impressed by Hall, thinks he can become a top safety

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Gruden impressed by Hall, thinks he can become a top safety

The 2015 season held a lot of change for Redskins' veteran DeAngelo Hall. The 32-year-old made his way back from a ruptured Achilles tendon only to be sidelined by a toe sprain from Week 4 to 10.

Young players stepped up in his absence, so Hall was moved from cornerback to free safety upon his return. And he really excelled. So much so that head coach Jay Gruden predicted big things for Hall's future. 

"I think what he did in that role, mid-season, I think he's going to solidify himself as one of the top safeties in the league," Gruden said. 

"He's got the skill set for it. He showed that he is not afraid whatsoever to tackle, number one. He's got the range to cover sideline to sideline. And he can come out of the box and cover tight ends or receivers."

"I'm really excited about having him there from day one in OTAs and learning the position," Gruden said. "Moving forward I think it's going to put a lot of years on his career if he wants to and it's going to be a huge benefit for us."

That's high praise for a player of Hall's age. But it's small consolation for a competitor smarting from a first-round playoff exit. 

After Sunday's loss, Hall noted how much adversity he and his teammates faced this season. 

"The group of guys in this locker room overcame a lot. We overcame a lot of injuries. We overcame a lot of bad situations," he said.

"I'm proud of these guys. I'm proud to be a part of what we did this season. It just sucks that it's over." 

MORE REDSKINS: Redskins' Paul hopes to be back for OTAs

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Injuries to Marshall and Perine will open the door for Kapri Bibbs to make the Redskins

Injuries to Marshall and Perine will open the door for Kapri Bibbs to make the Redskins

Following the Redskins' Week 2 preseason win over the Jets on Thursday, Jay Gruden said both Byron Marshall and Samaje Perine were "OK" after the two running backs each left the game with injuries. Marshall's was labeled a lower-leg issue, while Perine's injury was called a twisted ankle.

Timetables for their recoveries were then reported on Friday, and while the two members of the backfield escaped anything too severe, they will each be sidelined for decent chunks of time.

Perine will miss a week, according to Mike Garafolo. Marshall, meanwhile, is looking at a longer two-to-four week recovery, per Tom Pelissero. Those pieces of news hurt them in more ways than one.

Derrius Guice's torn ACL in Week 1 of the team's exhibition schedule meant that Marshall and Perine both had a big-time opportunity to step up and earn a spot on Washington's 53-man roster, spots that were harder to envision for them when Guice was healthy.

Overall, the two were slated to compete with Kapri Bibbs for what will likely be two spaces on the depth chart behind the absolutely safe Chris Thompson and Rob Kelley. Now, though, they'll be forced to sit until they're healed up, giving Bibbs more chances in practice and the two remaining August contests to earn Jay Gruden's trust.

Against New York, Bibbs struggled on the ground but led the offense with seven grabs, including a 29-yard gain off a screen play. That performance absolutely brought him closer in the race with Marshall, who scored vs. the Patriots a week earlier. Next, he'll need to prove he can run effectively between the tackles vs. the Broncos in Week 3, which will put some heat on Perine as well.

The 'Skins have 15 days left until they have to finalize their regular season roster. As things stand now amongst the running backs, Bibbs presently has a real shot at stealing a job from the two shelved RBs. But with the way this race has unfolded thus far, that can all change in a split second. 

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Redskins 53-man roster projection, ver. 2.0

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Redskins 53-man roster projection, ver. 2.0

<< Click here to see Redskins 53-man roster projection ver. 2.0 >>

The Redskins are halfway through the preseason and the first two games may have done more to muddy the waters when it comes to who will make the 53-man roster than they did to clarify things. 

Here is my second training camp prediction of who will make the final cut for the Redskins. See where players are safe and where the hot spots are for competition. 

Among the big battles taking shape:

—An injury and one player’s impressive preseason have juggled the wide receiver depth chart. 

—With Orlando Scandrick cut, the cornerback position looks set but the rookies had better not do anything to shake the coaches’ confidence in them. 

—There are seven safeties who may be worthy of roster spots, but only four are likely to make it. 

—Despite the Hogan-led rally last night, it still looks like the roster will have only two QBs. 

<< Click here to see Redskins 53-man roster projection ver. 2.0 >>

Redskins 2018 news:

-Redskins vs Jets: Must-see photos from the game
-Analysis: Five Redskins-Jets observations

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