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Need to Know: Two to watch during Redskins rookie camp

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Need to Know: Two to watch during Redskins rookie camp

Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, May 13, 78 days before the Washington Redskins open training camp in Richmond, VA.

Nickel coverage

Five thoughts about the buzz around the Redskins.

—It looks like the Redskins and the agents for both Ryan Kerrigan and Trent Williams are moving towards contract extensions for the two players. That doesn’t mean that anything is going to get done any time soon. There is no deadline this year to drive getting these deals done since both players are under contract for this season. The real deadline is the start of the next league year in March. The worst-case scenario for the Redskins is to have both of them unsigned then and only one franchise tag to use. They re working to avoid that dilemma but nothing is guaranteed.

—It also should be noted that if and when either of the deals are announced it will probably seem like Williams and/or Kerrigan got overpaid. They are both very good players but a cut or two below the All-Pros at their positions but they could well get paid close to what some of the best in the game are making. Both sides know that the salary cap will continue to go up in the neighborhood of $10 million per year or more. What looks like big deal today won’t look as costly in a couple of years.

—To more immediate concerns, there are two players I’m looking forward to seeing on Saturday. On is wide receiver Jamison Crowder. It’s hard to judge return ability with no pads and against a bunch of other rookies so I’m not look at that as much as I am his pass routes. If he is a polished route runner he may be able to push Andre Roberts for some snaps at slot receiver this year and possible take the job in 2016.

—The other is 5-7, 195-lb. scatback Trey Williams out of Texas A&M (if you’re not up to speed on him, this article will give you the story). It’s usually better the wait until the pads go on to reach any conclusions about a running back but it should be fun to watch the quick, elusive Williams in shorts. He may or may not have a realistic shot at making the team but it should be interesting to watching him try.

—Jay Gruden has said that he wants to spread out the rushing attempts among more running backs and a look at Alfred Morris’ numbers from last year indicate why. Morris rushed for 4.0 yards per carry in the first quarter and he improved to 4.8 in the second. But in the third period his average fell to 3.9 per attempt and it bottomed out in the fourth quarter at 3.2. Gruden wants to run the ball more while keeping Morris fresher and that, along with an improved offensive line, will greatly benefit the running game.

Timeline

—It’s been 136 days since the Redskins played a game. It will be 123 days until they play another one.

Days until: Redskins minicamp starts 34; Redskins training camp starts 78; Thursday night Redskins @ Giants 134

If you have any questions about what's going on at Redskins Park, hit me up in the comments. And I'm always on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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Zach Brown says Redskins defense will 'have it out' for Terrelle Pryor during joint practices

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Zach Brown says Redskins defense will 'have it out' for Terrelle Pryor during joint practices

Terrelle Pryor made a number of highlight reel catches last year during training camp, and it appears the Redskins defense didn't like it. 

Washington's marquee free agent signing last season, Pryor came into Richmond with sky-high expectations. Throughout the training sessions last August, Pryor put on one-handed displays at the Jugs machine and often made big catches in team drills. It's also important to remember there was never any live tackling during these drills, leaving defenders at a distinct disadvantage. 

Zach Brown remembers the scene quite well, and thinks it will look very different this summer when Pryor comes to Richmond as a member of the New York Jets. 

"That’s going to be something right there. The boys are gonna have it out for him. We can put hands on him now," Brown said on Inside the Locker Room on the Team 980 (full audio here).

Brown explained that Redskins coach Jay Gruden would not allow the defense to hit Pryor last year, even when the wideout did some showboating. 

"Jay ain't here to protect you anymore," Brown said.

The Redskins linebacker explained that he tried to explain to Pryor that the one-handed catches from training camp would not translate in the NFC East, where players get hit hard. It doesn't seem like Pryor listened, as he finished the season with only 240 receiving yards on 20 catches in nine games. 

"The boys were already hot for what he was doing last year," Brown said. He added, "Try to one-hand something while you’re with the Jets, you’re gonna catch a forearm."

One incident that supports Brown's comments came when Bashaud Breeland got thrown off the practice field last training camp. Breeland got mad that he wasn't allowed to get physical with Pryor at the line of scrimmage, and the scene blew up. Breeland eventually got sent off the field after arguing with coaches. 

The Jets visit the Redskins for three days of practices beginning August 12th. The two teams then square off in the second preseason game on August 16th. 

Brown will get his chance at Pryor, assuming the wideout plays. Pryor finished the 2018 season on the injured reserve, but is expected to be fine once training camp begins in New York. 

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Need to Know: The Redskins' best players who are 25 or younger

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Need to Know: The Redskins' best players who are 25 or younger

Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, June 17, 39 days before the Washington Redskins start training camp.  

The best Redskins players 25 or younger

Here is a look at the best Redskins players who have played at least one season and will be 25 or younger as of Week 1 this year. 

WR Jamison Crowder, 25 as of Week 1—Crowder hit the ground running in his first year, with 59 receptions, a team rookie record, and gaining 604 yards. He has been very dependable in his three years, averaging 64 catches, 747 yards, and four receiving touchdowns per year. 

OLB Preston Smith, 25—Since he came into the league, no player but Smith has at least 20.5 sacks, three or more interceptions, and four or more forced fumbles. His sack numbers tend to be up and down from week to week, but Jay Gruden has said more than once that Smith is very consistent in getting pressure on the quarterback even if he doesn’t always get home for the sack. 

DL Matt Ioannidis, 24—A year ago it was thought that he would face an uphill battle to make the 53-man roster. Now goes into the season as a starter and key contributor. The 2016 fifth-round pick got much stronger between his first and second seasons and he took well to the coaching of new defensive line coach Jim Tomsula. Only a broken hand that cost him two games and had him playing with an awkward cast for a few more kept him from threatening to make double-digit sacks. 

DL Jonathan Allen, 23—The Redskins were just starting to get a hint of what Allen could do early in the season. Pro Football Focus credited him with a total of three sacks in the Redskins third and fourth games. But in their fifth game, he suffered a foot injury that ended his season. Allen was a full go for the offseason program and there is no reason to think that he won’t pick back up right where he left off. 

S Montae Nicholson, 22—Like Allen, Nicholson’s rookie season was shortened due to injuries. He took advantage of the absence of anticipated starter Su’a Cravens and made an impact from the beginning. While the 2017 fourth-round pick and free-agent pickup D.J. Swearinger were in the lineup the decade-long struggles the Redskins have had at the safety position were suddenly gone. 

Best of the rest: WR Josh Doctson (25), C Chase Roullier (25)

It should be noted that DL Daron Payne turned 21 in May and RB Derrius Guice will the 21 later this month so they could be joining this list soon. Assuming those two start, the Redskins will have nine quality starters aged 25 or younger this year. 

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page, Facebook.com/TandlerNBCSand follow him on Twitter  @TandlerNBCSand on Instagram @RichTandler

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Timeline  

Redskins wide receiver Jamison Crowder was born on this date in 1993. 

Days until:

—Training camp starts (7/26) 39
—Preseason opener @ Patriots (8/9) 53
—Roster cut to 53 (9/1) 76

The Redskins last played a game 166 days ago. They will open the 2018 NFL season at the Cardinals in 84 days. 

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