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Redskins coaches hint Josh Norman could travel to cover Larry Fitzgerald

Redskins coaches hint Josh Norman could travel to cover Larry Fitzgerald

Few players cause more problems for opposing defensive coordinators than Larry Fitzgerald, and, perhaps most impressively, the Cardinals wide receiver has been doing it for more than a decade.

Now playing in his 13th season, Fitzgerald has more than 800 yards receiving through 11 games, well on his way towards another 1,000 yard campaign.

On Sunday, the Redskins will be tasked with stopping Fitzgerald, and Washington coach Jay Gruden knows how difficult that challenge will be come Week 12 when the Redskins head to Phoenix

"He’s a great player. He uses his size, he uses his physicality and nobody talks about what a blocker he is," Gruden said. "He’s the best blocker in the NFL as a wide receiver and it’s not even close. So he’s just a great all-around football player. We’re just going to have to man up and body him up and try to get physical with him."

It's no secret that Josh Norman is the Redskins best cornerback, and on Wednesday, Gruden hinted that Norman might cover Fitzgerald regardless where the wideout lines up.

"He could in certain situations, there’s no doubt about it, and we have the luxury of possibly matching him up," Gruden said when asked if Norman could follow Fitzgerald into the slot. 

RELATED: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE CARDINALS

The Cardinals, smartly, deploy the 6-foot-3, 225 lbs. Fitzgerald in the slot more now than ever before in his career, and it's working. Last season, he went for more than 1,200 yards and nine touchdowns, and is on pace for similar numbers this season. 

Gruden did not exclusively commit to Norman covering Fitzgerald all over the field, but the 'Skins coaches have been reluctant to move their $75 million corner into the slot. While saying 'he could in certain situations' hardly guarantees Norman moves inside, it's noticeably different from things said earlier in the season.

It's also worth pointing out that Gruden then spoke highly of Bashaud Breeland, Kendall Fuller and Quinton Dunbar as slot corner options. In the end, the coach believes the Redskins best bet to slow Fitzgerald is to get to QB Carson Palmer.

"It’s going to start with the pass rush," Gruden said. "If Carson [Palmer] has all day to throw and give Larry time to do double moves and stem you inside and vertical and then get back out or break it back across, I don’t care how big you are or how fast you are, it’s going to be hard.”

RELATED: REDSKINS' WEEK 13 PLAYOFF SCENARIOS 

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Colin Kaepernick, NFL reach settlement in collusion case

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Colin Kaepernick, NFL reach settlement in collusion case

NEW YORK  -- Colin Kaepernick and Eric Reid have settled collusion lawsuits against the NFL.

In a three-sentence statement released Friday, the NFL said:

"For the past several months, counsel for Mr. Kaepernick and Mr. Reid have engaged in an ongoing dialogue with representatives of the NFL. As a result of those discussions, the parties have decided to resolve the pending grievances. The resolution of this matter is subject to a confidentiality agreement so there will be no further comment by any party."

Kaepernick's lawyer tweeted an identical statement.

Kaepernick and Reid filed collusion grievances against the league, saying they were blacklisted because of protests during the national anthem at games. Kaepernick has not played in the league since 2016, while Reid missed three games last season before signing with Carolina.

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Oddsmakers expect one of the Gruden brothers on Hard Knocks this summer

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Oddsmakers expect one of the Gruden brothers on Hard Knocks this summer

Every summer, football fans get entertained by Hard Knocks. The specific team doesn't matter; the access brings fans inside an NFL training camp in a way that only players and coaches get to experience. 

For the teams, most bristle at the possibility of going on the show. There are plenty of reasons. Coaches are more secretive than CIA employees, but even more than, going on Hard Knocks means the team missed the playoffs the year before but did not have a coaching change. 

Well, the Redskins fit that criteria. So could the Burgundy and Gold land on the HBO show this August? The oddsmakers have weighed in.

It makes sense that the Raiders would be the favorite for Hard Knocks. Their coach, Jon Gruden, is probably one of the most recognizable faces and names in the NFL. They'll have plenty of drama, both on the field as Gruden looks to rebuild the organization, and off, as the team is in turmoil about where to play games in 2019 before a planned move to Las Vegas in 2020. They even have Mike Mayock, the former NFL Network star turned Oakland GM.

Nobody wants to watch the Lions. Be honest. 

Then come the Redskins. Word is the front office wants to avoid the show, and the team lacks the star power of other organizations. But it could be fun. Jim Tomsula mic'd up. Jay Gruden has a great sense of humor. Josh Norman and Derrius Guice would be fan favorites, and the HBO producers excel at creating characters out of rookies and undrafted types. There could be a rookie QB.

The Giants and Niners also present compelling stories. New York has major star power in Odell Beckham and Saquon Barkley. San Francisco has Jimmy Garoppolo working back from an injury and a staff that might be soon feeling the heat after two years missing the playoffs. 

Looking at the options, the Raiders make sense being the favorite, but don't count the Redskins out either. Hard Knocks will be here soon, and a Gruden seems likely to be on it.

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