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Gruden turns the tables when asked about RG3's comments

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Gruden turns the tables when asked about RG3's comments

Jay Gruden turned the tables a bit when he was asked about Robert Griffin III’s comment about thinking he is the best quarterback in the league.

“I didn’t really make a lot out of it,” said Gruden when asked about what Griffin had said during an interview with a local reporter. “You guys [the media] did.”

Griffin used to word “firestorm” to describe the reaction to what he said as internet columnists and radio and TV talk shows took aim at what they perceived to be out of line comments by Griffin.

But Gruden didn’t think it was any big deal.

“I think all players strive to be the best,” said Gruden. “That doesn’t change. DeSean Jackson said that he was uncoverable. Whether he is or not, that’s the way he feels.”

Gruden was referring to Jackson saying during a training camp press conference that he couldn’t be covered, even by top corners like Darrelle Revis or Richard Sherman. That remark raised some eyebrows but didn’t create anywhere near the uproar than Griffin’s “best” comment did.

“Robert has high goals for himself,” said Gruden. “I don’t fault anybody for having high goals for himself. We don’t want anybody to strive to be average. The key thing he said, he’s got to go out and prove it.”

Gruden also addressed some on-field football matters:

—Colt McCoy will be behind center after Griffin leaves Thursday’s preseason game against the Lions. Griffin and the other starters will exit sometime around the end of the first quarter, according to Gruden, and McCoy will play into the third quarter. During training camp Gruden said that the backup quarterback competition would be decided in preseason games. “Kirk had a very strong performance against Cleveland,” said Gruden. “So Colt’s just got to parlay a solid performance when he played in the games last year, and see his grown and see what he’s all about.”

—LB Keenan Robinson was held out of practice with a sore Achilles. Per Gruden, he is day-to-day. Cornerback DeAngelo Hall did not practice with an ailing toe and his availability for Thursday’s game is in doubt.

—Tight end Jordan Reed (hamstring) will not play against the Lions. “I’m hoping that he’s going to be ready for Baltimore,” said Gruden, referring to the team’s third preseason game on August 29. Rookie wide receiver Jamison Crowder (hamstring), who participated in individual drills today, will “probably not” play against the Lions but if he can get in a couple of good practices he may go against the Ravens.

—Gruden said the team is looking a rookie running back Matt Jones as a back who will work primarily in relief of Alfred Morris on first and second downs. “If he earns the reps, he will get his fair share of carries,” said Gruden. He also said that Chris Thompson is doing “an excellent job” as the third down back. 

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Redskins OTA practice report—QB Alex Smith sharp

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Associated Press

Redskins OTA practice report—QB Alex Smith sharp

Even though it was a bright, warm Wednesday in Ashburn the Redskins held their OTA session in the practice bubble because recent rains have left their outdoor fields to soggy to use. Here are my observations from the practice:

—A few Redskins were not present and a few who were there were not participating in the drills. Jay Gruden said that OT Trent Williams is rehabbing in Texas and that LB Zach Brown is in the process of relocating to the Washington area. RB Chris Thompson and OT Morgan Moses were present, but both were spectators. 

— It should be noted that even though Moses didn’t practice and is still rehabbing after ankle surgery, he still participated in the sideline-to-sideline running the team does at the end of practice.

—At rookie camp, RB Derrius Guice was first in line to do every drill. Today, he gave way to the veterans to all take their reps and then he went first among the rookies. 

— “Fat Rob” Kelley never really was fat but he is now lean and mean. He also seems to be a half step quicker than he was in the past. Added competition in the form of second- and fourth-round picks being added at your position will do that to a player. 

—The “starting” offensive line from left to right was Geron Christian, Shawn Lauvao, Chase Roullier, Brandon Scherff, and John Kling. The interior could well start the season; the tackle position awaits the returns of Williams, Scherff, and Ty Nsekhe. 

—RB Byron Marshall, who was on the team briefly last year before getting injured, looked very quick with good acceleration.

—CB Josh Norman was back with the group fielding punts. I seriously doubt that he will handle any kicks in games, even preseason games, but perhaps with DeAngelo Hall being gone he wants to be available as an emergency option. Also back with the punt returners were CB Danny Johnson, CB Greg Stroman, WR Maurice Harris, WR De’Mornay Pierson-El, and, of course, WR Jamison Crowder.

—S D.J. Swearinger spent most of the special teams practice on the sideline working on catching passes with his hands extended away from his body. A little while later, he had a chance to make an interception with his arms extended. Of course, he dropped it. 

—It seems like QB Alex Smith and Crowder have some good rapport built already. Once on the right sideline and a few minutes later on the left, Smith threw a well-placed ball into Crowder, who was well covered on both occasions. 

—Eventually, CB Orlando Scandrick caught on and he swatted down a quick out to Crowder. 

—With Brown out, Josh Harvey-Clemons was with the first unit at inside linebacker. He’s still skinny but less so than he was last year. The second-year player was impressive in coverage, staying with Crowder step for step on a deep pass down the middle.

—The play of the day was a deep pass down the right side from Smith to WR Paul Richardson. Stroman was with the receiver step for step on the 9 route but Smith laid the ball out perfectly and Richardson made a lunging catch. Even though it doesn’t have to under the new rule, the catch did survive the ground. 

—WR Cam Sims had a few impressive plays. On one, QB Colt McCoy lofted one high in the air down the right side. Sims kept his focus on the ball while two defenders lost it and made the catch. 

—WR Trey Quinn had his moments. He made a good grab while being bumped by Scandrick. But a while later he dropped a fairly easy one. 

—The running backs all looked good but Guice looked the best of all of them. He had an ability to cut and maintain his speed that not many have. With the warning that they were playing with no pads with no contact and not at full speed, Guice’s vision appeared to be outstanding. 

More 2018 Redskins

- 53-man roster: Player one-liners, offense
- Tandler’s Take: Best- and worst-case scenarios for 2018
- The draft: Redskins should get 4 additional picks in 2019 draft
- Schedule series: Gotta beat the Cowboys

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

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NFL owners unanimously approve new national anthem policy

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USA TODAY Sports

NFL owners unanimously approve new national anthem policy

NFL owners have unanimously approved a new national anthem policy that allows players to remain in the locker room if they prefer but requires players to stand if they are on the field during the performance.

This new policy subjects teams, but not players, to fines if any team personnel do not show appropriate respect for the anthem. 

Teams will also have the option to fine any team personnel, including players, for the infraction separately though. 

The NFL Players Association released it's own statement after the news was made official.