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Need for speed? Jay Gruden confident in Redskins options at safety

Need for speed? Jay Gruden confident in Redskins options at safety

The Redskins struggled at the safety positions in 2016, dealing with position changes and injuries, and the front office moved early in free agency to address the back end of the secondary.

Washington signed D.J. Swearinger away from the Cardinals in the opening days of the 2017 league year.

Swearinger will likely join second-year Redskins player Su'a Cravens in the back of Greg Manusky's defense. Cravens played linebacker as a rookie, but word came out late last season he would play safety in 2017.

Both Swearinger and Cravens are playmakers and big hitters, but the question has emerged if either player contains the speed neccessary to keep up with some of the elite receivers that play in the NFC East. At his USC Pro Day in 2016, Cravens ran a 4.69 40-yard dash. At the NFL Combine in 2013, Swearinger ran a 4.67 40-yard dash.

For Redskins coach Jay Gruden, there isn't much reason to worry.

"Knowing Su’a, I don’t think there’s a lot of things he can’t do so I’m excited to see him back there," Gruden told to reporters during the NFL League Meetings. "I think he’s going to have a lot more range than people give him credit for right now. He didn’t run the greatest 40 time, but he plays fast on the football field and that’s more important."

Gruden allowed that the team has some questions with Cravens simply because he hasn't played safety yet in the NFL. Other Redskins players have voiced plenty of confidence in Cravens' ability in the back end, and much of his work from college would suggest he should be capable.

Swearinger has a stronger track record at safety, though he's also on his fifth NFL team since being drafted in the second round in 2013 by the Texans.

"D.J., when you watch him in his career, he maybe disappointed a little bit early, but last year I think he played as good as any safety in the NFL," Gruden said. "He’s done it in different spots, wasn’t just a box safety, he played in the hole, he played half the field, he played corners, he played everything. Very productive, brings a great energy."

RELATED: UPDATED 2017 NFL MOCK DRAFT 6.0

Beyond Swearinger and Cravens, the 'Skins have options on the roster in Will Blackmon, Deshazor Everett and DeAngelo Hall. 

"That’s the one thing with D-Hall, when you watch him play safety he sticks his face in there. He’s a very physical guy so we have to get him right," Gruden said. "We have Will Blackmon who came a long way last year too and Deshazor. I really liked what he did when he came in the game. We matched him up against tight ends and he had a big interception against Philadelphia. He did some good things. He’s a factor on special teams so he won’t be going anywhere."

Hall's offseason will be interesting to watch. The former Pro Bowl cornerback has dealt with injuries in each of the last three seasons and is still working on his conversion to safety. In the NFL since 2004, Hall acknowledged he might have to re-work his contract to stay with the team, but most signs point to that happening. 

Improved safety play, and just improved tackling from the safety position, could lead to an improved Redskins defense this fall. 

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2018 Redskins Training Camp Schedule: Dates, times, location, how to attend

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USA Today Sports

2018 Redskins Training Camp Schedule: Dates, times, location, how to attend

Redskins training camp is almost here, which means preseason football is not far off, with the 2018 NFL regular season coming into view.

On Tuesday afternoon, the Washington Redskins released its 2018 training camp schedule, set to begin July 26. Once again the activities will take place at Bon Secours Training Center in Richmond, Va., the Redskins training camp venue since 2013.

The Redskins' 2018 training camp is sure to be an intriguing one. The Redskins have a new quarterback in Alex Smith, a new running back in Derrius Guice, and a litany of players returning from injury.

Here is everything you need to know about the 2018 Redskins training camp, from location to times, dates, ticket prices and more.

Who: The Washington Redskins

What: Redskins 2018 NFL Training Camp

Where: Bon Secours Training Center in Richmond, Va.

When: July 26 until Aug. 14

When is Redskins training camp?

The Redskins training camp begins on Thursday, July 26, 2018.

What time does Redskins training camp start?

The typical schedule opens with a morning practice from 9:45-11:45 a.m. and an evening walkthrough from 4:40-5:40 p.m. Exceptions are noted below.

Where is the Redskins training camp located?

At the Bon Secours Training Center at 2401 W. Leigh St., Richmond, Va. 23220.

How much does it cost to attend the Redskins training camp?

The Redskins training camp is free and open to the public. For more information on logistics, head to the Redskins’ official training camp page. (https://www.redskins.com/schedule/training-camp/)

Redskins training camp schedule

Date — Camp Opens — Practice — Walkthrough — Camp Closes

Thurs. 7/26 — 8:30 a.m. — 9:45 to 11:45 a.m. — 4:40 to 5:40 p.m. — 6:00 p.m.

Fri. 7/27 — 8:30 a.m. — 9:45 to 11:45 a.m. — 4:40 to 5:40 p.m. — 6:00 p.m.

Sat. 7/28 — 8:30 a.m. — 9:45 to 11:45 a.m. — 4:40 to 5:40 p.m. — 6:00 p.m.

Sun. 7/29 — 8:30 a.m. — 9:45 to 11:45 a.m. — 4:40 to 5:40 p.m. — 6:00 p.m.

Tues. 7/31 — 8:30 a.m. — 9:45 to 11:45 a.m. — 4:40 to 5:40 p.m. — 6:00 p.m.

Wed. 8/1 — 8:30 a.m. — 9:45 to 11:45 a.m. — 4:40 to 5:40 p.m. — 6:00 p.m.

Thurs. 8/2 — 8:30 a.m. — 9:45 to 11:45 a.m. — 4:40 to 5:40 p.m. — 6:00 p.m.

Sat. 8/4 — 11:30 a.m. — 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. — N/A — 3:30 p.m.

Sun. 8/5 — 8:30 a.m. — 9:45 to 11:45 a.m. — 4:40 to 5:40 p.m. — 6:00 p.m.

Mon. 8/6 — 8:30 a.m. — 9:45 to 11:45 a.m. — 4:40 to 5:40 p.m. — 6:00 p.m.

Tues. 8/7 — 12:30 p.m. — 1:35 to 3:35 p.m. — N/A — 3:35 p.m.

Thurs. 8/9 — PRESEASON WEEK 1 AT NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS 7:30 P.M.

Sat. 8/11 — 12:30 p.m. — 1:35 to 3:35 p.m. — N/A — 3:35 p.m.

*Sun. 8/12 — 12:30 p.m. — 1:35 to 3:35 p.m. — N/A — 3:35 p.m.

*Mon. 8/13 — 8:30 a.m. — 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. — 10:35 to 11:35 a.m. — 3:35 p.m.

*Tues. 8/14 —  12:30 p.m. — 1:35 to 3:35 p.m. — N/A — 3:35 p.m.

*The last three training camp dates will be a joint practice with the New York Jets

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With Barry Trotz out, Jay Gruden is now your longest-tenured major head coach in D.C.

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USA TODAY Sports

With Barry Trotz out, Jay Gruden is now your longest-tenured major head coach in D.C.

Jay Gruden is many things, including honest, witty, one of the greatest Arena League quarterbacks in the history of the universe and, as of June 18, the longest-tenured head coach of a major D.C. sports team.

With the Capitals and Barry Trotz parting ways, Gruden is now officially the area's most experienced boss (while Gruden was actually hired a few months before Trotz back in 2014, they both have led their teams through four seasons up to this point, which is the number that matters here).

Scott Brooks, meanwhile, has overseen the Wizards for two campaigns, while Nats manager Dave Martinez is in the middle of his first year at the helm.

This designation will pair nicely with the fact that Gruden will also be the first 'Skins headman to hold his job into a fifth season in the Dan Snyder era. You don't need to make plans to visit his statue yet, of course, but this is some uncharted territory the 51-year-old is currently hanging out in.

Now, his overall record of 28-35-1 certainly needs work, or else he'll be in danger of handing the longest-tenured distinction over to Brooks. However, Gruden does deserve credit for bringing an amount of stability to the Burgundy and Gold, a franchise that is usually as stable as Metro's Wi-Fi connection.

So, with all due respect to DC United's Ben Olsen, the Kastles' Murphy Jensen and whatever legend is in charge of your kid's dynastic flag football team, when you think of the man who's been roaming the sidelines longer than anyone else in D.C., be sure to think of this man and only this man:

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