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Gruden likes Spencer Long's versatility

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Gruden likes Spencer Long's versatility

Jay Gruden is continuing the process of transforming the Redskins’ offensive line. The Redskins were first and fifth in the NFL in rushing yards in 2012 and 2013, respectively but the line that opened the holes for Alfred Morris and protected Robert Griffin III and gave him some running room is mostly gone.

They took the next step in the line’s transformation last week when right guard Chris Chester, who played virtually every snap at right guard since the start of the 2011 season, was released. Spencer Long is lining up with the first team at Chester’s spot and Gruden is expecting the second-year player to start there this year and perhaps for a long time to come.

“He’s a big man. He’s tough and he’s smart,” said Gruden after Wednesday’s OTA session at Redskins Park.” I think he missed a lot of the season at the University of Nebraska his senior year. Coming back last year it was important for him to slowly get into it. I think having a year under his belt, knowing the system, I think the confidence coming into Year 2, we feel good about his progress.”

Gruden said on multiple occasions during the 2014 season that Long was close to pushing past Chester on the depth chart but as a rookie he never did break through. Perhaps the injury to which Gruden alluded, a torn ACL that ended his 2013 senior season at Nebraska in mid October, had something to do with it. But now they are going to entrust him with the position.

One of the things that the Redskins like about Long is that they believe he can be effective at both zone blocking and power blocking. Gruden said that the team will run a mix of both zone and power this season.

“Spencer is a very powerful man and very good for the power running game, the gap-style blocking, but he also has some great movement skills,” said Gruden. “That’s what drew us to him in the first place because when we drafted him, we were an outside zone team here in the past and we wanted to try to get to more gap-style, and we thought he could do both, which is what drew us to him.”

Gruden is under some pressure for his O-line changes to work. As noted, the Redskins ranked in the top five in rushing the two seasons prior Gruden’s arrival. They slipped to 19th in Gruden’s first season in Washington.

Quarterback sacks also increased under Gruden, from 43 in 2013 to 58. Some elementary film analysis shows that the sacks were not all the fault of the line, that the quarterbacks themselves and the other blockers were responsible for a share of them. That said, it was clear that the line could have done a better job protecting the passer.

This is the way that the NFL succession planning is supposed to work. Chester is 32 and had a salary cap number of well over $4 million. Long is younger (24) and cheaper ($673K cap number). He was drafted in the third round with the idea that he would be able to take Chester’s job sooner or later. We will see if the organization picked the right guy for the job.

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Chris Simms: Why Dwayne Haskins has 'Big Ben Roethlisberger-type talent'

Chris Simms: Why Dwayne Haskins has 'Big Ben Roethlisberger-type talent'

It did not take long for Dwayne Haskins to win approval from the media and the Redskins coaching staff in a short amount of time at OTAs. 

That excitement from the Redskins OTAs has reverberated across the country and made him the feature of NBC Sports' Chris Simms QB School series. There, the current NFL analyst and former NFL quarterback made big comparisons to the No. 15 overall pick Haskins to Super Bowl champion Ben Roethlisberger. 

Simms was enthralled with the skillset that Haskins possesses and his potential. Citing his arm talent and the small mechanics of the 22-year-old, Simms thinks he has all the tools to be a top-tier NFL QB.

"He reminds me a lot of a big Ben Roethlisberger with his style of football play. [Haskins] arm is special, there's no doubt about that," Simms said. 

Comparing a rookie QB to a two-time Super Bowl winning quarterback that has made six All-Pro teams is not too shabby. Roethlisberger has thrown for over 54,000 yards in his career with 363 touchdowns across his NFL career. They both wear No. 7, both played their college ball in Ohio, and both are known for their ability to hurl a football down the field. 

Some of the strong qualities of Haskins that Simms highlighted were his tight and quick arm motion, his controlled body rotation, and the accuracy down the field. At the same time, he pointed out that Haskins has a tendency to drop his elbow on passes, forcing his passes to sail high. 

"[Haskins] has Big Ben Roethlisberger-type talent and I know he's already wowed some people down there in Washington in his first few practices." 

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Redskins 2019 Training Camp Schedule: Dates, times, location, how to attend

Redskins 2019 Training Camp Schedule: Dates, times, location, how to attend

Before you blink Redskins training camp will be here, which means preseason football is not far off and the 2019 NFL regular season will come with it.

On Friday afternoon, the Washington Redskins released its 2019 training camp schedule, set to begin July 25. Training camp will take place at Bon Secours Training Center in Richmond, Va. for the seventh straight year. 

This year is set to be the most intriguing training camp since Robert Griffin III was drafted by the team in 2012. Playing in his first NFL training camp first-round draft pick Dwayne Haskins will be the center of attention with the team's quarterback position still up in the air. There will be competition from trade acquisition Case Keenum and Redskins mainstay Colt McCoy. 

More to watch:

-Derrius Guice will be in the backfield practicing with Adrian Peterson for the first time.
-The return of the Alabama Wall in Darron Payne and Jonathan Allen.
-Which wide receiver(s) will step up into holes in the offense.

Here is everything you need to know about the 2019 Redskins training camp.

When is the Redskins 2019 training camp?

The Redskins 2019 training camp begins on Thursday, July 25 at 9:45 a.m. ET and runs to the team's final practice on Saturday, August 11. 

What time does the Redskins training camp start?

Most days of the Redskins training camp schedule starts with a practice at 9:45 a.m. ET with a late afternoon walkthrough at 4:40 p.m. ET.

Where is the Redskins training camp located?

The Redskins 2019 training camp is located at the Bon Secours Training Center at 2401 W. Leigh St., Richmond, Va. 23220.

How much does it cost to attend the Redskins training camp?

The Redskins training camp is free and open to the public. For more information on logistics, head to the Redskins’ official training camp page

Redskins training camp schedule

Date — Camp Opens — Practice — Walkthrough — Camp Closes

Thurs. 7/25 — TBA — 9:45 a.m. — 4:40 p.m. — TBA

Fri. 7/26 — TBA — 9:45 a.m. — 4:40 p.m. — TBA

Sat. 7/27 — TBA — 9:45 a.m. — 4:40 p.m. — TBA

Sun. 7/28 — TBA — 9:45 a.m. — 4:40 p.m. — TBA

Tues. 7/30 — TBA — 9:45 a.m. — 4:40 p.m. — TBA

Wed. 7/31 — TBA — 9:45 a.m. — 4:40 p.m. — TBA

Thurs. 8/1 — TBA — 9:45 a.m. — 4:40 p.m. — TBA

Fan Appreciation Day:
Sat. 8/3 — TBA — 1:00 p.m. — No Walkthrough — TBA

Sun. 8/4 — TBA — 9:45 a.m. — 4:40 p.m. — TBA

Mon. 8/5 — TBA — 9:45 a.m. — 4:40 p.m. — TBA

Tues. 8/6 — TBA — 1:35 p.m. — No Walkthrough — TBA

Thurs. 8/8 — PRESEASON WEEK 1 AT CLEVELAND BROWNS 7:30 P.M.

Sat. 8/10 — TBA — 1:35 p.m. — No Walkthrough — TBA

Sun. 8/11 — TBA — 9:45 a.m. — No Walkthrough— TBA

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