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Need to Know: Around Redskins Park—No more Davis doubters

Need to Know: Around Redskins Park—No more Davis doubters

Here is what you need to know on this Friday, November 18, two days before the Washington Redskins play the Green Bay Packers at FedEx Field.

Timeline

Today's schedule: Practice 12:05 p.m.; Jay Gruden press conference and player availability after practice, approx. 2 p.m.

Days until: Redskins @ Cowboys on Thanksgiving 6; Redskins @ Cardinals 16; Redskins @ Eagles 23

Injuries of note
Out:
LS Sundberg (back)
Limited practice: WR Jackson (shoulder)
Full: OT Moses (ankle)
Thursday injury report

Redskins vs. Packers
NBC 8:30 p.m., Mike Tirico and Chris Collinsworth
Line: Redskins -3

Around Redskins Park

—There were some Vernon Davis doubters at Redskins Park when the team signed the veteran tight end. “It has been surprising quite frankly,” said Jay Gruden said of Davis’ effectiveness. “I wasn’t sure what we were going to get with Vernon.” Kirk Cousins also had his doubts. “I guess I wondered how much he had left in the tank, didn’t know,” said the quarterback. Davis wiped out those doubts quickly; he has been a productive player at age 32 with and without Jordan Reed in the lineup.

Su’a Cravens is playing more snaps and in more positions as the season goes on. He got a season-high 37 snaps against the Vikings. The rookie told me that he played Sam linebacker, Will linebacker, inside linebacker, rush end, and even a snap or two as a three technique, lined up over the guard. Some snaps at safety could be coming soon. The effectiveness of the defense down the stretch here could depend on the playmaking abilities of Cravens and Preston Smith, who had a breakout game on Sunday.

RELATED: REDSKINS WORK TO STEER CLEAR OF RODGERS’ TRICKS

—Things seem to be going smoothly for DeSean Jackson as he tries to get back in the lineup. He looked like his normal self on Wednesday and Thursday. Jay Gruden is being very noncommittal which I read is one part uncertainty about the possibility of a relapse and four parts gamesmanship. Jackson declined to talk about it in the locker room after practice.

—The Redskins are going to have to expend some draft and free agent resources on their defensive line next year. But they may have a couple of young players on the roster now who could turn out to be useful rotational pass rushers. Anthony Lanier has played a combined 30 snaps in the last two games. Joe Barry said he’s “raw” but he has “so much natural ability, natural instincts” that he’s “scary”. Former Seahawks third-round pick Jordan Hill is explosive and he has the ideal size for a rush defensive end. The two of them could contribute a play or two down the stretch but the organization is looking for more out of both of them in 2017. It should be noted that Hill may not be around; he will be an unrestricted free agent. Lanier is under team control through 2019.

MORE REDSKINS: TEAM COULD SCRAMBLE FOR A SNAPPER

—This isn’t a must-win game but a victory would give the Redskins a much easier path to the playoffs. Sizing up things right now and knowing that things could change in a heartbeat it looks like a record of 9-6-1 will be good enough to qualify for the NFC playoffs. If they win and are 6-3-1 they would just have to split their remaining six games to get to nine wins. They’d like to do better, of course, but they would have some margin for error. If they lose they need to go 4-2 to get where they need to be. That’s not drawing to an inside straight and the Redskins are capable of doing it but it would be much tougher.

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Arizona State punter Michael Turk dominates the bench press at NFL Combine

Arizona State punter Michael Turk dominates the bench press at NFL Combine

As far as reputations go in the NFL, punters are not generally known as the tough, strong guys on the team.

Arizona State punter Michael Turk is working to change that.

At the NFL Combine on Thursday, Turk stepped up to the bench press with 225 pounds on the bar waiting for him. What did he do? Just casually ripped off 25 reps.

Yes, you are seeing that correctly. A punter just put up 25 reps on the bench press. That number is impressive as is, for anyone of any position. However, let's put it in context to show just how strong Turk is.

Jadaveon Clowney, Chandler Jones and Rob Gronkowski are all known as some of the strongest humans to ever hit the football field. Their bench reps? 21, 22 and 23, respectively. Michael Turk, the punter, out-did them

Turk will need his legs to impress teams and scouts as he looks to head to the NFL, but he clearly has plenty of power in the upper body as well. If whatever team he lands on wants to run a fake punt, defenders won't have an easy time taking him down.

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Report: Trent Williams wants a new deal or a trade from Redskins

Report: Trent Williams wants a new deal or a trade from Redskins

INDIANAPOLIS -- While recent meetings between Redskins head coach Ron Rivera and disgruntled left tackle Trent Williams helped repair the relationship between star player and team, the situation isn't resolved.

In fact, Williams still wants to be traded if he can't get a new contract, according to a new report from NFL Network.

Williams did not play a single snap for Washington in 2019. Not one. That came as the result of a cancer scare that he didn't believe was adequately handled by the Redskins medical staff. He also lost trust in former team president Bruce Allen. Importantly too, Williams wanted a new contract with lots of guaranteed money. 

Rivera has overhauled the Redskins medical staff and Allen is obviously gone from the team, but the contract hurdles remain. 

For the Redskins a new deal for Williams might not make a lot of sense. He will turn 32 in July and hasn't played a full 16-game season since 2013. He's also a great player, so perhaps an extension could make sense. 

The best read on the situation is Williams likely won't play on his current contract, which has one-year remaining and a salary-cap charge of $14.5 million. None of that money is guaranteed. 

Right now, it seems like both sides are playing nice. The Redskins don't want to come out and say they're not going to pay Trent. And Trent's side doesn't want to come out and demand a trade. The meetings with Rivera and Williams mattered in that a resolution that pleases both sides is possible. 

What seems impossible, or at least unlikely at this point, is that Williams wears the Burgundy and Gold this fall unless a new contract emerges.

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MORE REDSKINS NEWS