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It's 'conceivable' de la Puente will get nod for Redskins on Sunday


It's 'conceivable' de la Puente will get nod for Redskins on Sunday

It’s 'conceivable' that new center Brian de la Puente could start Sunday against the Saints, but the Redskins won’t make a final determination until later this week, Coach Jay Gruden said.

De la Puente was signed Tuesday and practiced with the team for the first time on Wednesday.  

“We’re going to throw it at him and see what he can do, see how much he can pick up,” Gruden said. “But again, like [cornerback Will] Blackmon we wanted to bring in a veteran guy who’s played, made the calls, knows the offense a little bit. He’s got to pick up the terminology, which is going to be hard for him.”

The Redskins added de la Puente, 30, to take the roster spot of Kory Lichtensteiger, who was punt on injured reserve/designated to return because of a nagging neck ailment. Lichtensteiger’s replacement the past three weeks, Josh LeRibeus, has struggled in run blocking and with the location of his shotgun snaps.

[De la Puente is] more of a true center,” Gruden said. “LeRibeus has done fine job in substitution of Kory. The snaps are a little awry; we’re trying to work on it and fix that issue. And Spencer Long has never really played center, either. So we wanted to get a true center in here with Kory’s injury, so that’s why we went out and got a veteran guy like de la Puente, and he’s got to pick it up quickly.”

Added Gruden: “[LeRibeus’] blocking has been pretty good in pass protection. In the run game, he’s had his share of issues there. …But the big thing, the biggest concern is the location of the shotgun snaps. They’re all over the place and we messed up a few snap counts, which gave [the Patriots] their only sack.

“We’re not giving up on Josh, but we just want to have more consistent snaps from the shotgun. It doesn’t say that Josh is going to second team. It doesn’t de la Puente is going to start. We just have to get a guy in here with more proven experience at the center position.”

Asked if there’s a chance de la Puente could start against the Saints, Gruden said, “It’s conceivable, yes.”

Meantime, quarterback Kirk Cousins spoke as though he expects de la Puente to be his center against New Orleans.

"We're not going to be as far down the road this Sunday as we will e three Sundays from now," Cousins said. "It takes time. But I'm really impressed with Brian's recall and how quickly he's picking things up."

De la Puente, who has started previously for New Orleans (2011-13) and the Bears (’14), said he’s fully recovered from the ankle injury that cut short his only season in Chicago. He also conceded that it was getting “frustrating” as he waited for an NFL team to give him a call in recent months but said he never lost faith that his phone would ring, eventually.

Earlier this week, it did. And the San Clemente, Calif., native was brought to Redskins Park on Monday for a tryout.  

Asked about his approach to preparing for Sunday, de la Puente said the key is studying the playbook and asking a lot of questions.

“Keeping my head in the playbook, sitting with the coaches, getting with the quarterbacks, talking with the other linemen. ‘What are your tricks? How do you see this,’” he said. “It’s just a matter of getting on the same page as quick as possible. If have to play, I’m going to be prepared as possible.”

Asked if he thinks four days of practice gives him enough time to be fully prepared, he said he thinks it’s possible.

“We’re just going to have to see,” he said. “I just have to keep preparing and I think if they feel comfortable with me, they might let have a shot. But that’s not my call.” 

MORE REDSKINS: Compton, Johnson will see more action on Sunday

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The Kerrigans are having a baby and, WOW, this is all so very exciting


The Kerrigans are having a baby and, WOW, this is all so very exciting

The Kerrigan family is about to make a big-time addition to its roster.

Ryan and his wife, Jessica, already have two very, VERY, very, very cute bulldogs in their household. 

But on Tuesday, the two announced in separate Instagram posts that Jessica is 18 weeks pregnant and that a third human Kerrigan will arrive in 2019.

"Can I eat dis sign aftur da picturr iz over?" George the bulldog said when reached for comment on the news.

"How did dey gett such a smawl jerzey for da baby alreddy?" Franklin the other bulldog added.

This is all very wonderful.

Come next March, the world is about to get a little precious-er.


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Adrian Peterson's impressive day vs. the Panthers wasn't exactly supposed to happen

Adrian Peterson's impressive day vs. the Panthers wasn't exactly supposed to happen

When you don't hear from someone you wanted to hear from, you typically follow up.

But on Sunday during the Redskins' 23-17 win over the Panthers, Jay Gruden actually didn't follow up with Adrian Peterson about a plan the two first discussed leading up to kickoff.

Everyone associated with burgundy and gold should be OK with that, however, after seeing how things played out.

During his weekly, exclusive interview with JP Finlay on the Redskins Talk podcast, Gruden explained how Peterson's injury situation almost prevented the running back from posting his crucial 17-carry, 97-yard stat line. 

"I talked to him before the game, had a sit-down with him," the head coach said. "I told him I was probably only gonna use him on short-yardage and goal line if that, you know? Because I want him to heal, we have a long season ahead of us." 

Heading into Week 6, Peterson was dealing with shoulder, ankle and knee issues. Plus, he's 33 years old at a position where that number is way more common on a player's jersey than in his bio under "age."

So, Gruden's concern made some sense, especially considering how necessary a productive Peterson has been to the 'Skins' success in 2018. Problem is, the two never connected again, so the coach's pitch count was never executed.

"He says, 'Oh, just let me go early, I'll let you know how I'm doing,'" Gruden recalled. "We let him go early and I never heard from him so I just kept him in there. He played great. He's a pro, he's a stud."

For those of you now wondering if this means you should start ignoring emails from your boss or not text your buddy back and still expect success, let's not get too carried away here. In this instance, a lack of communication worked for the future Hall of Famer, but that doesn't mean it's going to work for you.