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Gruden pleased with Redskins training camp except for one thing

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Gruden pleased with Redskins training camp except for one thing

RICHMOND—Nineteen days after starting training camp here, Jay Gruden was pleased with what the Redskins were able to get done.

“I think we got a lot accomplished,” said Gruden, shortly after the conclusion of the team’s final practice on Monday. “We got a lot of young guys a lot of quality repetitions. Learned a lot about our guys, how the competed every day. Despite being hot, tired, and sore they came out everyday and competed.”

Gruden was particularly pleased with his players’ punctuality.

“Did not have one guy late to any meetings at the hotel,” he said. “It was a great experience all the way around.”

When you consider that there are 90 players and dozens of meetings at all hours of the day, that is quite a good record.

Camp was not quite as physical as it was last year. In 2014 there were regular sessions of one-on-on tackling, a drill popular with the fans. Such drills were few and far between this year.

“We had some guys banged up in the secondary, that was really the main part of it,” said Gruden. “We couldn’t afford to lose anybody else, we wouldn’t have bodies to practice . . . I think we got enough in.”

The Redskins did have some issues with injuries during camp. They had 12 players ruled out of last Thursday’s preseason game due to various nagging injuries. During the game they lost two players for the season, tight end Niles Paul (dislocated ankle) and running back Silas Redd (knee).

Although most of the other injuries are more of the nagging variety than serious, Gruden was still disappointed by them.

“I just wish we didn’t have as many of the nagging little hamstrings, the little ankles and the calves and the obliques,” he said. “We’ve got one that I’ve never even heard of – Will Compton, I don’t know what that injury is. That’s the one thing you hate to have happen but every team goes through it. It’s a physical day out here and you’re going to have those. That’s the only thing you regret, just the chance for our secondary to really gel with [Bashaud] Breeland and [David] Amerson and D-Hall [DeAngelo Hall] missing some time, I thought that was a very important time for us. This was an important time for them to do that. That’s the one thing that I’m not happy about but we can’t control that.”

MORE REDSKINS: Gruden makes decision on Crowder, Jackson for Thursday's game

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New pieces on offense lead to plenty of questions for Redskins at OTAs

New pieces on offense lead to plenty of questions for Redskins at OTAs

Alex Smith in, Kirk Cousins out.

That's certainly the headline, but there are plenty of other questions for the Redskins, particularly on the offensive side of the ball.

For the last two seasons, most of the questions going into OTAs for Washington came from the defensive side of the ball. After consecutive drafts with a first-round defensive lineman selection, the defense should be much improved. 

On offense, however, there are a lot of new parts. 

  1. The headliner - No position in sports is as important as NFL quarterback. This will be Alex Smith's first action in a Redskins uniform with media present. The 34-year-old veteran is coming off the best season of his career, and if he can continue that level of accuracy and play-making, the Redskins could be poised for an explosive year.
  2. The speedster - Washington's wideouts lacked separation in 2017. It was apparent through much of the year, and likely played a roll in some of Kirk Cousins' reluctance to make tough throws. Free agent addition Paul Richardson is supposed to help, immediately. He has elite deep speed and the 'Skins brass hopes he can bring a similar element to the offense that DeSean Jackson provided a few years back. Time to prove it Paul. 
  3. The injuries - There are big reasons for concern, namely two very large men in Jordan Reed and Trent Williams. Reed will not participate in OTAs, and has been dealing with a foot/toe injury for the better part of a year. Williams, who seems highly unlikely to attend OTAs, underwent knee surgery in January. Beyond Smith, Reed and Williams are probably the two most important offensive players on the Redskins. OTAs aren't important, Reed and Williams participating, or even attending, OTAs is not important. Both men being healthy and ready to go in September is quite important. 
  4. The Rookie - Has Derrius Guice become the most popular player on the Redskins? Maybe. The dynamic rookie running back, with an interesting draft weekend slide, has the charisma and ability to be a star. The "off-field concerns" that hurt his draft status seem like myths at this point, but there was some injury concern his junior season at LSU (see video above). Guice has an opportunity to be a huge part of the Redskins offense, and all eyes will be watching the rookie. 
  5. The leap? - In 2017, Josh Doctson showed flashes of the player that warranted a first-round pick in 2016. Will 2018 be the year he proves it, week after week, game after game? Getting off to a good start with Smith should help, and even more important would be an injury-free offseason. 

There are questions for the defense too, particularly at cornerback after Josh Norman, but this year, the offense has more new parts. 

MORE REDSKINS NEWS:

— Contract years: Redskins face 5 tough decisions 

— Dead Money: Trades, misses and mistakes hurt Redskins salary cap

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Derrius Guice saw 'Avengers' on Monday night — and brought a bunch of Redskins fans with him

Derrius Guice saw 'Avengers' on Monday night — and brought a bunch of Redskins fans with him

Those who are worried about Derrius Guice's character picked up some added evidence when, on Monday night, the Redskins rookie invited a bunch of fans to watch Avengers with him in Ashburn.

Man, what is this guy's deal?

First of all, not everyone likes superheroes. So how did he know that those who joined him actually wanted to see Avengers?  Did he even ask? What if they wanted to see that really successful, really funny, really well-regarded Amy Schumer comedy, instead?

Then, there's the issue of Guice buying tickets and concessions for those who showed up.

Some people enjoy buying movie tickets — which are absolutely reasonably priced these days — and, as far as the concessions, seriously? Candy? Popcorn? He could've at least offered to buy something healthier, like broccoli. All movie theaters have broccoli.  

Thankfully, those who took Guice up on his invitation weren't grateful for the experience at all, which hopefully means this will be the last time he orchestrates a dastardly deed like this one:

At this point, it's a surprise Guice didn't slide even farther down in the draft, like to the 15th round. Unbelievable.

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