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More talk emerges of Su'a Cravens changing from linebacker to safety

More talk emerges of Su'a Cravens changing from linebacker to safety

Su'a Cravens has emerged as a playmaker for the Redskins defense, but he's also dealing with the second injury of his rookie season. He missed two games earlier this year after sustaining a concussion, and has been ruled out for Monday night's game as he works back from an elbow injury sustained in last week's win over Philadelphia.

When the Redskins drafted Cravens, the only question about the 6-foot-1, 226 lbs. USC star was what position would he play. In college, Cravens played a hybrid role, lining up at linebacker and safety and working all over the field. Thus far in the NFL, the rookie has worked exclusively as an inside linebacker.

Still working all over the field, serving as a spy on quarterbacks and running backs, there is still some question if Cravens would not be better suited for the strong safety position. Washington coach Jay Gruden has been asked about a position change for Cravens a few times this season, and was asked again after the linebacker was ruled out for the Panthers game. 


"That’s a good question. I think if we were to make a position switch, it would be because we think he would be better at that position, not be because of the injuries," Gruden said. "I think there’s fluky-type things."

For the year, Cravens has 23 tackles to go with one sack, five passes defensed and an interception. His Week 3 pick of Eli Manning may prove to be the most important play the Redskins defense has made this season, as the rookie sealed Washington's first win of the year in New York. That victory launched the team on a four-game win streak that got them back in the playoff picture. 

It's his ability in the passing game that could make a position change inevitable, especially as the Redskins don't have a long-term answer at strong safety. 

Since signing with Washington in early October, Donte Whitner has dominated snaps at strong safety. His play has been spotty, but the coaching staff has confidence in his situational knowledge as a long-time NFL vet. If the staff was to make a change for 2017, giving Cravens a full offseason to learn the strong safety position would make sense.

"We’re not concerned about his longevity whatsoever, but if we did make that switch, it would be because we think he would be really good at the other position," Gruden said.

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Redskins365 Episode 1: The Future Starts Now

Redskins365 Episode 1: The Future Starts Now

Over the 2019 offseason, the Washington Redskins periodically released episodes to a new series called "Redskins 365". Here, viewers can get an all-access look into all the important moments leading up to the 2019-20 season. In episode 1 titled "The Future Starts Now" the Redskins begin their journey toward improvement following the conclusion of the 2018-19 campaign.

The episode begins immediately following the disappointing end to Washington's season as players participated in locker cleanout day. A somewhat somber atmosphere, the likes of Shaun Dion Hamilton, Adrian Peterson, Ryan Kerrigan and Trent Williams reflect on the season and look ahead to 2019.

Following that, it's on to the additions and changes on the coaching staff. Head coach Jay Gruden gives his thoughts on new defensive staff hirings Ray Horton and Rob Ryan as well as Kevin O'Connell's jump to offensive coordinator. Ryan and O'Connell also explain their excitement for next season in their respective roles.

With the coaching staff puzzle becoming clear, the episode transitions to the NFL Combine. Gruden along with Senior Vice President of Player Personnel Doug Williams, President Bruce Allen and Director of College Scouting Kyle Smith take you through the Combine process. Discussions about the interview process and what the Redskins are looking for in players give insight into how evaluations are done. 

The Combine portion has a heavy focus on players Kyler Murray, D.K. Metcalf and Montez Sweat among others. Released on March 20, one can see and hear from Sweat before the idea of him becoming a Redskin came to fruition and listen to Metcalf's thoughts on Jay Gruden.

Head Strength and Conditioning Coach Chad Englehart also makes an appearance, discussing his viral moment with Ed Oliver at the combine and the fraternity-type bond conditioning coaches in the NFL share.

Washington's journey toward success in 2019 began the moment the clock ran out on the 2018 season. Episode 1 of "Redskins365" picks up right in that preliminary stage.


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Trent Williams will not report to Richmond to open training camp, per report

Trent Williams will not report to Richmond to open training camp, per report

Trent Williams will not report to training camp this week when the Redskins head to Richmond to officially begin their 2019 season, according to NFL Network.

The news comes as no surprise, as Williams missed all of the Redskins voluntary offseason workouts and skipped the team's mandatory minicamp in June. Reports streamed out that Williams was upset about his contract and looking for a new deal -- not to mention reports that he was angry with the team's medical staff after a missed diagnosis with a growth on his scalp. 

Williams has made no official statements, and the Redskins organization offered very little in terms of a timeline for his return. Washington team president Bruce Allen said he knows "the truth" about Williams' situation, and head coach Jay Gruden said he hoped things would be resolved before Week 1 in Philadelphia. 

A seven-time Pro Bowler, Williams is arguably the best left tackle in the NFL. He's an immensely talented offensive lineman with two years remaining on his deal. Beyond the medical situation, Williams could be upset that in 2020, the final year of his deal, there is hardly any guaranteed cash. The team could release Williams with less than $2 million in salary cap penalty and save nearly $13 million against the cap. 

Without Williams, the Redskins could be in real trouble. Second-year pro Geron Christian did not seem capable of playing at a starting tackle level last fall, and that was before a knee injury landed him on IR. Morgan Moses should be locked in as the right tackle, but opposite him in Williams' spot will be dicey. 

Multiple sources with the Redskins and around the NFL suggested more cash could change Williams' mind before Week 1, and for now, it looks like the 31-year-old will be waiting for that increased payday. If Williams missed actual games, he would begin to lose money from this year's $14 million salary.