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Need to Know: Redskins Park Notes and quotes--RG3 anticipates intense matchup vs. Texans

Need to Know: Redskins Park Notes and quotes--RG3 anticipates intense matchup vs. Texans

Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, September 4, three days before the Washington Redskins open their season against the Texans.

Redskins Park notes and quotes

The buzz from Redskins Park on Wednesday:

Darrel Young on Texans DE and highest paid defensive player in NFL history J. J. Watt: "He's everywhere, there's not one play that he's not around the ball. He's great at what he does."

—The Texans and Redskins both went from the playoffs in 2012 to the two worst records in the league last year. Robert Griffin III sees both teams fighting on Sunday to get the new season going right. “There’s going to be some hot tempers in this game because everybody wants to right their ship,” Griffin told the Houston media in a conference call.

—It sounds as though Young is anxious to get out there and show that what we saw in the preseason doesn’t represent what the offense is capable of. “We have a game plan. We didn’t game plan at all during the preseason,” he said. “We’ll see what happens.”

—Just before going out for his first full practice as a member of the Redskins, safety Duke Ihenacho said that it doesn’t look like the defense in Denver and the one here are all that different. “A lot of the same things, the same concepts, different terminology,” he said. “I think that’s the hardest thing about it, you communicate with your teammates out there, the rest of the guys. It’s just terminology. Once you get the terminology down and everything we should be good.”

—I seemed as though Jay Gruden was not very concerned about the possibility that a hamstring strain will keep nickel corner Tracy Porter sidelined on Sunday. “If he can’t go we’re okay,” Gruden said, referring to Porter. “We have some good enough players here that are ready and have been taking a lot of work because he hasn’t been available that often in training camp and preseason. So we have guys that are ready to step up and play if he’s not ready.”

—Gruden gave us a thumbnail look at what the passing game will look like. “Our intent as an offense is to make sure we have enough passing plays where he [Griffin] doesn’t have to hold the ball that long. We’ll take some shots here and there, too, where he has to hold it a little bit longer, but for the most part, let’s get him into some rhythm – unlike we did against Baltimore – and try to get the ball moving.”

—Griffin on the running game: “You’ve got to run the ball, and I think that’s the key to success any time. We know that if we want to do what we want to do, we have to be able to run the ball effectively. We have one of the best run blocking offensive lines in the league – very athletic guys that can get to the next level – so we’re definitely going to try to do that.”

If you have any questions about what's going on at Redskins Park, hit me up in the comments. I'll answer all questions as soon as I can get to them. And I'm always on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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Tandler talks Texans strategy

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Timeline

Today’s schedule: Open locker room player availability 11:15; Practice 1:00 open to media for first 30 minutes; Jay Gruden news conference after practice (approx. 3:00)

—It’s been 249 days since the Redskins played a game; in three days they play the Texans in their 2014 season opener.

Days until: Home opener vs. Jaguars 10; Redskins @ Eagles 17; Thursday night Giants @ Redskins 21

In case you missed it

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Crowder, Richardson headline long list of injury questions for Redskins during Dallas week

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USA Today Sports

Crowder, Richardson headline long list of injury questions for Redskins during Dallas week

Redskins head coach Jay Gruden joked about optimism when going over the team's injury report, but that might be the coach's only way to deal with the current situation. 

Receivers Jamison Crowder and Paul Richardson did not practice on Thursday, and their status for Sunday seems murky at best. Crowder was spotted at Redskins Park using a scooter to keep his weight off his injured ankle, and while Richardson was seen walking around, his knee remains an issue. 

There was some good news, however, that Chris Thompson and Shawn Lauvao practiced, albeit in a limited role. 

Getting Thompson back on the field would be a big help for the Redskins offense, and alleviate some pressure off Adrian Peterson. The future Hall of Famer did not practice Wednesday as he is dealing with a host of injuries, including his shoulder and knee. 

The one player Gruden said he did not have optimisim in a return this week was rookie safety Troy Apke. There has been some conversation about possibly moving him to the injured reserve, but that has not happened yet. 

The Redskins currently have one open roster spot as the team released veteran defensive lineman Ziggy Hood earlier this week. With all the concerns at wideout, maybe Washington uses that spot to bring up a practice squad player to support the unit. 

More Redskins news

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Reflections on Rich Tandler and a life well lived

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NBC Sports Washington

Reflections on Rich Tandler and a life well lived

I haven’t felt this way since my father passed last April. I’m not comparing the two, at all, but there were some similarities.

Rich Tandler had life experience. Few people accomplish what he did; total life reinvention. 

Think about that. 

After raising his two successful children and a lifetime in the restaurant business, Tandler created a blog. That blog became big enough to eventually become a full-time job, and over time, put him on television and send him all over the world. 

That’s wild. 

We get so caught up in the “startups” and “disruptors” from Silicon Valley that we missed a true internet success story in Rich Tandler. Our world has become extra cynical. The loudest snark wins, especially on the internet. 

Tandler didn’t trade in those currencies. 

He provided good, quality information. He provided insight and analysis from six decades of obsessing over a football team. 

And fans loved him for it. 

The outpouring from folks that read "Need to Know" or listened to the podcast has been incredible. I’ve been flooded with messages from people, and one overwhelming response is that while they didn’t really know Tandler, they feel like they did.

Well, I was lucky to know him pretty well. And his persona on air was the same way off air. 

Tandler helped me a in a lot of ways. I can be impulsive and have a temper, Tandler would calm me down. Whenever I had something important to say, news to break or a sharp angle of criticism, I would run it by Tandler first. Sometimes, maybe often, I would say too much, and he would reign me in. 

Tandler loved pointing out mistakes. If the universe gave honorary degrees for pointing out minor math errors in salary cap blog posts, Tandler would have a Ph.D. 

He was smart and he was sharp. Good natured but feisty. 

He could dish it out plenty in a media room full of alphas. And he literally dished it out; Tandler controlled all the plastic utensils and paper plates that every media member used at Redskins Park. When we were running low on forks, Tandler would put out some not too subtle calls to action. 

I think for a while he considered the podcast an annoyance, but somewhere along the way, we had a breakthrough. He realized its potential, and everywhere we went, listeners came up and told us how much they enjoyed it. 

That made an impact on RT. And seemingly overnight, he was all in. That’s when things really started to gain steam. Wherever I am in my career, Tandler played a huge role in it. 

But that kind of doesn’t matter now. We will keep the pod going but it will never be the same. Not better, not worse, but way, way different. Same thing with writing and TV. The show will go on, but it won't be the same. It will never be the same. 

In the hours since I learned of Tandler’s passing, I’ve done some reading. I drank a bunch. And I ended up landing on some YouTube videos. 

The one I kept going back to was Jimmy V’s famous ESPY speech. Before he died, Jimmy V implored us all to think, laugh and cry every day, and that would lead to a good, full life. 

If there was ever a dude that laughed, it was Rich Tandler. 

His belly laugh was contagious, and his wit was superior. There were the wacky Tandler’s Got Jokes, and the sly one liners about players, plays and our road antics. 

It wasn’t all laughter either. Tandler was smart as hell, and he was always thinking about new ways to present content for Redskins fans. 

Seriously, our organization employs an army of young and talented digital-first thinkers. And Tandler generated more web traffic than all of them. He constantly tried to figure out why people would read something, or the optimal time for us to drop a new podcast. 

Where I’m an idea guy, Tandler was all execution. I’m a terrible planner and constantly late. Tandler would be on time and busting my chops about our lack of schedule. It’s just how we operated. 

As for crying, Tandler didn't do it much. I did see him tear up from laughing a few times, and once because it was real windy when we were taping a segment and something got in his eye. 

I’m not much of a crier either. I’m glad that Jimmy V was, but it’s just not me. 

Thinking about Tandler though in the last 36 hours, there have been some truly hard moments. He was kind and gracious. A true gentleman. 

He never took personal shots at the team we cover, or their front office. Plenty do. He would certainly say when things were bad, and say it loudly. He was binary in a world full of context. 

He was a good dude. He was my coworker, my partner and my friend. 

And damn if it isn’t getting dusty in here all of a sudden.