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Redskins Pressure Points: Focus is on Jay Gruden like never before

Redskins Pressure Points: Focus is on Jay Gruden like never before

In the weeks leading up to training camp, Redskins Insider JP Finlay will look at specific people facing increased pressure for the 2017 season. 

Pressure Point: Redskins head coach Jay Gruden

Heat is on: After two straight seasons of slight success, Gruden received a contract extension this offseason. That move made sense, providing the organization with stability at head coach and letting players know that Gruden will be running the team for the long haul. Without that extension, Gruden would have been coaching in the fourth year of a five-year deal, and questions would have come about his job security after the first slight rough patch of the season. 

With the extension, however, the pressure will still mount.

Gruden lost his offensive coordinator from last season when Sean McVay took over as head coach of the LA Rams. The Redskins coach doesn't lack for offensive knowledge, and the system in place will remain in tact. 

Losing McVay also means Gruden will take back over playcalling duties. The Redskins struggled in 2016 with clock management issues, and with the head coach calling plays, it could be even tougher for Gruden to make the split-second decisions often required in tight games. 

On the other side of the ball, Gruden had to fire Joe Barry as defensive coordinator after two subpar seasons. In his place, Gruden promoted former outside linebackers coach Greg Manusky.

If the Redskins defense struggles again, many will wonder why Gruden didn't find a new DC with experience running top defenses. There were strong candidates available. 

Beyond all that, there are the additional personnel duties Gruden has taken on. He handled all of the player interviews at the NFL Combine, and with Scot McCloughan gone, Gruden's role in the front office has increased as well. 

In just his fourth year as a head coach, is Gruden ready for all the additional responsibilities? Ever cool with the media and players, Gruden faces a lot of pressure in 2017. 


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Terrelle Pryor, DJ Swearinger get into heated exchange during Day 3 of Redskins-Jets practice

Terrelle Pryor, DJ Swearinger get into heated exchange during Day 3 of Redskins-Jets practice

The Redskins' joint practices with the Jets have been nothing short of entertaining.

Day 1 of practice brought a couple of brawls between the two teams, with one spilling into the sideline where fans were standing. 

Day 2 was relatively calm, but Day 3 has brought another altercation, this time between former teammates Terrelle Pryor and DJ Swearinger. 

During a one-on-one rep, safety Monte Nicholson broke up a pass to Pryor. As Pryor started walking back to the sideline, a very hyped-up DJ Swearinger had more than a few things to say about it. As the two inched closer, Swearinger fakes a punch, causing Pryor to flinch and creating roars from the Redskins sideline. 

It's clear the Redskins' DBs have strong feelings towards their ex-teammate. Back in June, inside linebacker Zach Brown said the 'Skins would "have it out" for Pryor during their joint practices. 

While Pryor won't be playing in Thursday's preseason game, let's hope the competition continues over nonetheless.


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Redskins release CB Orlando Scandrick

Redskins release CB Orlando Scandrick

RICHMOND—Orlando Scandrick’s career with the Redskins ended without him even playing a game.

Head coach Jay Gruden confirmed reports that the team has released Scandrick on the last day of training camp. He did not play in the Redskins’ preseason opener against the Patriots last Thursday.

While reasons for the release will become clearer with time, it is apparent that the Redskins have a great deal of faith in their young cornerbacks, particularly second-year player Fabian Moreau. With Scandrick on the team, Moreau was slated to be the backup slot corner. With Scandrick now gone, the Redskins likely will go with Moreau as the slot cornerback.

The team also apparently has confidence in Quinton Dunbar to start opposite Josh Norman. They also like rookies Greg Stroman, Adonis Alexander, and Danny Johnson. As of now, those three are the backups at cornerback.

Scandrick signed a two-year, $7 million contract in March. The only guaranteed money was a $1 million signing bonus. The move will save the Redskins $2.1 million in cap space this year. They will take a $500,000 dead cap hit next year to account for the prorated portion of the signing bonus.

Redskins 2018 training camp news

-Teammates react: Thompson gets emotional talking about Guice
-Redskins-Jets brawl: A dangerous situation

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

This article has been updated from a previous publish.