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Jay Gruden praises Robert Griffin III's progress

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Jay Gruden praises Robert Griffin III's progress

After a particularly strong practice for Robert Griffin III on Tuesday afternoon, Coach Jay Gruden did something he's avoided in recent months: he lavished praise on the quarterback, noting Griffin's work habits, attention to detail as well as his growing confidence.

“Every day he is doing something a little bit better, and that’s all we can ask, man,” Gruden said of Griffin following the first of three minicamp practices at Redskins Park. “We’re just taking baby steps right now. We’re all getting better together. You can see that [he’s] starting to have confidence in the pocket and going through his progressions.”

“That’s got to be a consistent theme with him, and not always is that possible with the pocket the way it is," Gruden continued. "But for the most part, he’s coming along at a good rate right now. He’s doing a great job of exhausting all of his progressions, playing the quarterback position with good fundamentals and getting better. That’s all we can do.”

Griffin wasn’t perfect by any stretch. But the effort was indeed sharper than his previous performances during OTA sessions that have been open to reporters.

The fourth-year signal caller appeared more decisive and comfortable. He also made a number of on-target throws, including impressive completions to Niles Paul, DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garçon.

One play in particular stood out late in the day. During 11-on-11 drills, with the offense backed up deep in its own end, Griffin calmly scanned the field and before rifling an intermediate pass to Garçon for a first down. Gruden quickly voiced his approval, yelling, ‘Robert, way to stand tall, big boy.’”

“I hope so,” Gruden said later, asked if Griffin has begun to display more confidence in the pocket. “You know, that comes. He’s got to continue to just play the position, and the more he plays, the more success he has, the more confidence he’s going to build as a player and the more confidence this whole offense is going to be with him under center.”

Gruden added: “That comes with reps and that comes with time. I don’t think anybody lacks confidence with him as a quarterback. I think the transition for him into a new system last season was a little bit rocky for all of us. But when you have the same system going in for Year 2, I think he’s going to get better. You can see the progress every day that he makes and it’s exciting to watch—it really is—with all three quarterbacks, actually. Robert especially is doing an excellent job every day. He’s not perfect; nobody is. I’m not perfect. But he is really striving to be perfect and he’s doing a great job of working.”

Hearing Gruden describe Griffin with words such as “excellent” and “great”—even after a no-pads practice in June—certainly is a departure from the lukewarm responses the coach has typically made when asked about the quarterback’s progress.

They are, however, just words. But they do make you wonder if Griffin, at long last, is starting to do things they way Gruden wants them done.

Time will tell.

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Redskins sign linebacker Jon Bostic to try and help make up for the loss of Reuben Foster

Redskins sign linebacker Jon Bostic to try and help make up for the loss of Reuben Foster

Two days after losing Reuben Foster for the year, the Redskins made a move to at least provide reinforcements to a weakened linebacker group.

On Wednesday, Washington announced that they have signed Jon Bostic, a six-year veteran. The 'Skins also officially placed Foster on injured reserve.

Bostic was a 2013 second-round pick of the Bears out of Florida. He's since bounced around to New England, Detroit, Indianapolis, and Pittsburgh, where he started 14 times for the Steelers in 2018 and posted 73 tackles. He's been traded twice in his career and missed all of 2016 with a foot injury. 

So, what does the move accomplish for the Redskins?

Well, Bostic — or any other free agent signing at this point — isn't going to have close to the level of talent and potential that Foster had. However, getting another option at linebacker was necessary for the Burgundy and Gold, and the 28-year-old has played in 30 contests over the past two years, so he's relatively established. 

Yes, he's far from a gamechanger, considering he has just one interception and 5.5 sacks as a pro. But he's regarded as a solid run defender and tackler and should at least push Mason Foster and Shaun Dion Hamilton. His presence also could alleviate some of the pressure that would've been on rookie Cole Holcomb. 

Signing a defender who's been with five franchises in six years isn't exactly inspiring, but Bostic has experience as a starter and could give the Redskins useful snaps on first and second down at a minimum. Now it's on him to take advantage of the opportunity he's been given.

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Landon Collins is thrilled to be with the Redskins and can't wait to get revenge on the Giants

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Landon Collins is thrilled to be with the Redskins and can't wait to get revenge on the Giants

You may not know the exact dates of the Redskins' two matchups with the Giants this season, which will take place Sep. 29 and Dec. 22 in 2019. But Landon Collins sure does.

"I'm gonna circle it for the next six years," the 'Skins new safety told ESPN in a recent interview. 

No, Collins isn't circling those dates from now until 2024 because he wants to be very organized and ensure he doesn't have any scheduling conflicts. He's doing it because he's dying to get revenge on his former team, who let him leave as a free agent in part because of their "culture change," according to him.

"All we wanted to do was win, and we spoke up because we had to get them to listen to us," Collins told ESPN, referring to himself and other now ex-Giants like Odell Beckham and Damon Harrison. "I think we were too vocal, and that platform was bigger than the Giants... If it's not good media, they don't want that kind of media."

In addition to the organization wanting to go in a different direction culture-wise, New York didn't want to pay the amount of money the Redskins ended up paying for Collins because he wasn't an ideal fit in their defense. The 25-year-old pushes back against the idea that he's strictly a "box safety," though, as do current and former players.

Interestingly enough, Collins isn't the only member of the Redskins' secondary who's in D.C. thanks to a decision by Dave Gettleman. Gettleman was also the same guy who decided the Panthers needed to move on from Josh Norman in April 2016.

Collins, for one, doesn't sound like he'll miss Gettleman at all. The defender didn't love how the GM consistently failed to make an effort to connect personally with his players. 

"I don't know him, he don't know me, that's kind of how it just kind of was," he explained.

All that, however, doesn't matter anymore. Collins is going to be the foundation of the Redskins' defense for quite some time, and that's a challenge he's ready to accept.

"I'm on a team that loves me and wanted me here," he said.

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