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Manage those early expectations for Redskins Josh Doctson - 'I'm rusty'

Manage those early expectations for Redskins Josh Doctson - 'I'm rusty'

ASHBURN - Redskins head coach Jay Gruden joked that Monday marked the first time the organization saw first-round rookie wide receiver Josh Doctson wearing shoulder pads. Ever. Doctson's prolonged absence - three months - due to an Achilles injury kept the rookie out of training camp and all preseason action.

That has changed now as Doctson took part in practice, and sounded an interesting blend of encouraged to be back on the field though apprehensive to play after such a long period away. 

First came the encouragement: "It felt good, it's been three months," Doctson said. "It's always good to come back out there and play football with my teammates."

Then the apprehension: "I'm rusty, obviously, three months not being able to run," Doctson said. 

Considering the elongated period of time he missed, Doctson explained that his focus is on practicing every day and being a playmaker, not neccessarily playing against Pittsburgh in a week.

"I'm not going to step foot on Monday night or put the uniform on, run out there and get myself embarrassed," Docston said. "We got guys Pierre [Garçon], [DeSean] Jackson, [Jamison] Crowder, [Jordan] Reed, we got guys who are going to get it done. If somebody gets tired, [I can] go in there and help out."

Doctson did not rule himself out for the Steelers game, but made clear he needs to perform on the practice field before he can consider game action.

"That's just who I am - I feel guilty going out there and playing without practicing. I just got to practice," he said. "I got to get some reps under my belt."

Needing to get back in the "feel" and "rythym" of the game, Doctson explained that when he can make plays in practice means he's ready to be the player he showed last season at TCU. Asked when he will know - Doctson said it's just a feeling.

"Making plays out here in practice. That's my biggest thing - I got to make plays out here before I can make them on Sunday or Monday."

Fans, and coaches, will want to see Doctson making plays in games for the 'Skins soon. For the player, though, he's managing his expectations.

"My expectations right now are just to get back to a feel for the game. It's been three months," he said. "Coming in playing receiver as a rookie, going against guys like [Josh] Norman and [Bashaud] Breeland, I got to get back in the mix and back in the rhythm."

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Fans, Redskins pay tribute to longtime NBC Sports Washington reporter Rich Tandler

NBC Sports Washington

Fans, Redskins pay tribute to longtime NBC Sports Washington reporter Rich Tandler

NBC Sports Washington lost an important piece of its family this week when longtime Redskins reporter Rich Tandler died on Tuesday. He was 63.

Tandler joined NBC Sports Washington in 2011. He began his writing career in his 40s after working in restaurants and created his blog, Real Redskins, in 2004, which became the longest-running blog on the team. He also wrote three books on the Redskins and posted an estimated 2,300 consecutive “Need To Know” posts, becoming a must-read for Redskins fans as part of their morning routine.

“We’re devastated to learn of the loss of one of our most loved and valued media members, Rich Tandler of NBC Sports Washington,” Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder said in a statement. “His dedication to covering the Redskins over the past 14 years has made him an irreplaceable presence among our media corps, and he will be in our hearts. Our thoughts are with his family, our family at NBC Sports Washington, and the entire Redskins community. He will be truly missed.”

The team will hold a moment of silence for Tandler before its game against the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday and will keep his regular seat on press row empty. On Wednesday, Redskins quarterback Alex Smith offered his “thoughts and prayers to his family.”

“Rich’s kind and warm nature made him a good friend and an especially close colleague to many of us at NBC Sports Washington,” NBC Sports Washington General Manager Damon Phillips said in a statement. “His passion for his work and the Redskins was inspiring and made him a critical part of many of our successes over the past seven years. This is a very big loss for the sports community. Our thoughts are with his family and his many friends.”

Fans, Redskins players, fellow reporters, and friends of Tandler paid tribute to him on social media.

“Incredibly saddened by the sudden passing of NBCSW’s Rich Tandler. He was a great talent and an important voice in the DC sports community. Our thoughts are with his wife @MissSkeetersmom, his family and his family at @NBCSWashington,” Washington Wizards and Capitals owner Ted Leonsis wrote on Twitter.


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2018 NFL Power Rankings: Patriots prove they still got it, Rams remain top dog

USA Today

2018 NFL Power Rankings: Patriots prove they still got it, Rams remain top dog

In a thriller in Foxboro, the Patriots handed Kansas City its first loss of the season.

It wasn't pretty but the Rams slipped past the Broncos to remain the lone unbeaten in the NFL.

Remember when the Lions beat New England on Sunday Night Football and folks were ready to bury the Patriots? Yeah... how did that 'hot take' work out?


Will the real Redskins please stand up? A win over the Panthers moved the Skins up three spots. Give the Redskins this, they are consistently unpredictable.

The Ravens are on the rise and Marcus Mariota is happy the Titans won't have to play Baltimore again.

So the Cowboys have an offense now? Or does Jacksonville not have an elite defense anymore?

And the Bears let Brock Osweiler throw for 380 yards. Yes. You read that correct. 380 yards. 

How far will the Bears drop because of that dreadful defensive performance?