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Need to Know: Who makes the call on RG3?

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Need to Know: Who makes the call on RG3?

Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, August 25, two days before the Washington Redskins play the Baltimore Ravens.

Question of the day

Today's question is from the Real Redskins Facebook page:

First off, I don't know for certain what the decision making process regarding Griffin is and I doubt that anybody outside of the Redskins' chain of command does. But there are tea leaves that can be read and this is how I read them. Again, to be clear, this is not reporting hard facts, this is my informed speculation.

The decision to forego a quarterback competition and make Robert Griffin III the starter was an organizational decision. As is often the case, not everyone in the organization necessarily agreed with the decision. It seems likely that Bruce Allen and Dan Snyder favored giving Griffin another year since they were involved in the decision to pay a record price to move up in the 2012 draft to take him. Jay Gruden probably either wanted a competition or to declare either Kirk Cousins or Colt McCoy the starter.

Where did Scot McCloughan stand? He may not have liked what he saw from Griffin on tape. He may not have liked what he saw from any of the three quarterbacks. But he also looked at a roster full of holes and realized that the getting a better option at quarterback into the building would not be possible without sacrificing the draft choices or cap dollars necessary to rebuild the team. Logic says that he was OK with keeping the same group of quarterbacks and giving Griffin one last shot. He proceeded to build the defense and bolster the running game in hopes that the team could be competitive in games without relying so much on the quarterback playing well.

Why not a QB competition? Those aren’t always the best thing for the team. For one, a competition can create divisions in the locker room. But perhaps the worst aspect of a competition is that the two or three players split the first-team reps through OTAs, minicamp, and training camp. That means that the winner of the competition will have had only a third to a half of the first-team reps. That has your starter starting off the season behind the eight-ball.

The other thing is that competitions are all too frequently not really competitions. You’re going to have a hard time convincing me that Ryan Mallett, whose two-year contract with the Texans pays him $7 million with $1.75 million guaranteed was ever going to start in Houston over Brian Hoyer, who got two years, $10.5 million with $4.75 million guaranteed. They had “competition” that Hoyer “won”. Now he gets to play catch up thanks to all of the reps with the starters he has missed.

But back to the Redskins. While the decision-making process that ended with Griffin being named the starter is interesting, it's academic. It's done, history. What matters now is who will be involved in the decision to pull the plug, should that call need to be made. If a decision to keep a struggling Griffin on the field is made by Allen and Snyder over the objections of the football people, McCloughan and Gruden, things could get ugly. The good news is that that the contracts of McCloughan and Gruden give them the authority to set the lineups and say who is on the roster. Of course it may not be wise to go against the wishes of the team owner and president but they can do it if they have the guts.

It doesn’t have to be ugly. The best-case scenario is things working out for Griffin and him showing that he can be the quarterback of the future. But if he shows that he can’t get it done, the optimal scenario is that all of the key decision makers agree on best time is to pull the plug.

Timeline

Today’s schedule: Practice 11:10 a.m.; player availability and Jay Gruden news conference after practice (approx. 12:30)

—It’s been 242 days since the Redskins played a game. It will be 17 days until they play the Dolphins at FedEx Field.

Days until: Preseason Redskins @ Ravens 2; final cuts 9; Redskins @ Giants Thursday night 28

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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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