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Redskins OTA to-do list: Wide receivers and tight ends


Redskins OTA to-do list: Wide receivers and tight ends

The busy portion of free agency is completed. The draft is history. Rookie minicamp is in the rearview. The 90-man offseason roster is full, as well. Now comes the difficult part for second-year head coach Jay Gruden: putting it all together. With OTAs set to begin next Tuesday, Redskins Insiders Tarik El-Bashir and Rich Tandler are going examine the top items on Gruden’s to-do list as he prepares the Redskins for training camp in Richmond later this summer.

Up today: Wide receivers and tight ends

Tandler: Unlike many other positions, the Redskins have some degree of roster certainty and stability among the pass catchers. It seems certain that tight ends Jordan Reed, Niles Paul, and Logan Paulsen will form the tight end trio for the third year in a row. Rookies Jamison Crowder and Evan Spencer will join holdovers Pierre Garçon, DeSean Jackson, Andre Roberts and Ryan Grant in the wide receiver corps. They won’t be competing for jobs but there could be some movement on the depth chart if Crowder lives up the billing the coaches have given him. The big fundamental emphasis will not be pass catching as much as it will be run blocking as the Redskins push towards an emphasis on a power running attack.

El-Bashir: I’m not so sure the Skins' corps of pass catchers is as set as it appears. Remember, GM Scot McCloughan didn't pick the overwhelming majority of them. Let’s start with the tight ends. Reed and Paul figure to be the first and second options. Paulsen? In addition to taking the third most penalties (9) on the team in 2014, his stats declined significantly (he had only 78 yards receiving) and was used a lot less in Jay Gruden's first year. He is, however, a solid blocker. But I suspect Paulsen will be looking over his shoulder this offseason. Fortunately for him, the tight ends behind him on the depth chart have little experience. As for the wide receivers, the players I’ll have my eyes on during OTAs and minicamp are Grant and Crowder. The departure of Leonard Hankerson and Santana Moss has opened the door for a fourth player to step in and seize some significant snaps. Can Grant push for playing time in 2015? Coaches like him but he’s still a bit of an unknown quantity after seeing only 187 snaps as a rookie. He needs to show he's ready. Can Crowder replace Roberts as the punt returner? Can the pint-sized playmaker push for significant playing time on offense, too? We’ll have a good idea of where these two youngsters stand after June's minicamp.  

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Derrius Guice saw 'Avengers' on Monday night — and brought a bunch of Redskins fans with him

Derrius Guice saw 'Avengers' on Monday night — and brought a bunch of Redskins fans with him

Those who are worried about Derrius Guice's character picked up some added evidence when, on Monday night, the Redskins rookie invited a bunch of fans to watch Avengers with him in Ashburn.

Man, what is this guy's deal?

First of all, not everyone likes superheroes. So how did he know that those who joined him actually wanted to see Avengers?  Did he even ask? What if they wanted to see that really successful, really funny, really well-regarded Amy Schumer comedy, instead?

Then, there's the issue of Guice buying tickets and concessions for those who showed up.

Some people enjoy buying movie tickets — which are absolutely reasonably priced these days — and, as far as the concessions, seriously? Candy? Popcorn? He could've at least offered to buy something healthier, like broccoli. All movie theaters have broccoli.  

Thankfully, those who took Guice up on his invitation weren't grateful for the experience at all, which hopefully means this will be the last time he orchestrates a dastardly deed like this one:

At this point, it's a surprise Guice didn't slide even farther down in the draft, like to the 15th round. Unbelievable.



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Redskins G Arie Kouandjio likely out for the season

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Redskins G Arie Kouandjio likely out for the season

The news about Arie Kouandjio’s quad injury didn’t sound good when NBC Sports Washington broke it a couple of weeks ago. It didn’t sound any better when Jay Gruden said that they were seeking a second opinion. 

And now we have word that Kouandjio will be out for the season, per multiple media reports. While there was some initial hope that he might be able to play at some point this season, he is likely to be put on injured reserve soon. 

The corresponding move is expected to be the signing of guard Isaiah Williams, per JP Finlay of NBC Sports Washington. He spent training camp with the Redskins in 2016 and 2017 before being released in the final cuts. Last year he also spent time with the Chiefs and the Colts but he has yet to appear in an NFL game. 

At worst, the Redskins have lost their starter at left guard. Kouandjio was set to compete with Shawn Lauvao for that job. Lauvao, who has been the starter at left guard going into the season for each of the last four years, would have been tough to unseat, but the 26-year-old Kouandjio may have had the inside track.

And at best, the Redskins lost experienced depth. Last year, when injuries hit hard along the offensive line, Kouandjio was re-signed and he started six games. It’s tough to lose experienced depth before the players even put pads on.

We will see if the Redskins make a move to shore up the guard position. Over the next couple of weeks, teams will be evaluating their veteran players and their rookies to see if they have younger and cheaper options. That could lead to some serviceable players getting released or some quality options being put on the trading block. 

The Redskins likely are set to get four compensatory draft picks in 2019, which would give them a total of 11 selections. They certainly could afford to deal one of those picks if they are offered a chance to upgrade at left guard. 

More 2018 Redskins

- 53-man roster: Player one-liners, offense
- Tandler’s Take: Best- and worst-case scenarios for 2018
- The draft: Redskins should get 4 additional picks in 2019 draft
- Schedule series: Gotta beat the Cowboys

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