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Scherff making two transitions as he settles in with the Redskins

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Scherff making two transitions as he settles in with the Redskins

Redskins offensive line coach Bill Callahan now has a star pupil to work with so he and Brandon Scherff worked some overtime this weekend.

There were two rookie minicamp sessions on Saturday and after each of them Callahan and Washington’s top draft pick stayed on the field long after the others had headed to the locker room. They appeared to be working on some pass protection techniques along with rookie guard Arie Kouandjio.

Scherff is trying to absorb as much as he can from Callahan, who has a reputation for being one of the best at what he does.

“You have to learn each day from coach Callahan, he’s a heck of a coach,” said Scherff. “I’ve learned so much from him this past week. Just got to come in, keep improving every day . . . He’s taught us different hand drills, different technique drills, so it’s good.”

“It’s been great, he’s taught us a lot, he’s put a lot on our shoulders and he expects us to know it. You’ve got to go to meetings, come out and practice, and go to your hotel room and study.”

Scherff is making two transitions as he joins the Redskins. Along with the other players at rookie camp he is moving up from college ball to the NFL. At Iowa, Scherff could handle most defenders with strength and determination. But in the NFL he’ll be facing the equivalent of an All-American defender every single week. Getting the job done at that level requires mastering the finer points of the game.

“Just technique, you know,” he said when asked what he’s learning from Callahan. “Things are a little different, they’re a lot faster so you’ve got to be ready to go.”

The other transition Scherff is making is from left tackle, where he played most of his career at Iowa, to right tackle. It’s not as easy as remembering to go to the other end of the line after breaking the huddle.

“Obviously, moving over to right tackle is not just a transition that’s going to be immediate and easy for him,” said head coach Jay Gruden. “He’s going to have to take some lumps, but the good thing about Brandon is he’s a very focused individual. He studies very hard, he takes coaching extremely well and he’s got the best coach to coach him up.”

To Scherff, successfully making the transition from left to right is just about practice. In fact, he’ll keep working on his day off even though he won’t go on a football field.

“It’s all just repetition,” Scherff said when asked about moving from left to right. “You’ve got to just keep repping it, repping it. That’s what coach Callahan said. We have a Sunday off tomorrow so he said go to your hotel room and rep your pass set in your hotel room so might as well do that, too.”

Kouandjio is Scherff’s roommate in the hotel near Redskins Park and it’s likely that Callahan made the same suggestion to the team’s fourth-round pick. Given that they weigh a combined 634 pounds, you have to believe that the hotel managers hopes that they conduct their workouts separately. 

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Need to Know: The five best teams the Redskins will play in 2018

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Need to Know: The five best teams the Redskins will play in 2018

Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, July 15, 11 days before the Washington Redskins start training camp.  

The best teams the Redskins will face in 2018

This week we’ll be looking at the best of what the Redskins will face during the 2018 season. Most of the focus will be on individuals such as quarterbacks and pass rushers, but we’re going to get started with the best teams on the schedule. These are roughly ranked by Football Outsiders’ DVOA, although I did some juggling based on offseason moves and other factors. 

1. Eagles (13-3, Super Bowl champs)—They were fifth overall in DVOA and the second-ranked team on the schedule. But DVOA is calculated for the regular season only and you have to say that by the time the playoffs were over that the Eagles had taken their game up a few notches over everyone else. They haven’t lost much over the offseason, putting them at the top of the heap and the Redskins play them twice. 

2. Saints (11-5, lost in divisional round)—New Orleans was the top team in DVOA in 2017. After a couple of mediocre seasons, the Saints have retooled, and they will make a push to get Drew Brees his second Super Bowl ring. They play in Week 5, which means that Mark Ingram will be back from his four-game suspension to open the season and he will be alongside Alvin Kamara in the Saints backfield. They both had over 100 yards from scrimmage when the teams played last year. 

3. Jaguars (10-6, lost AFC title game)—They finally made the jump after failing for the last few years as the trendy preseason pick. It was no fluke as they outscored their opponents by 149 points on the season. Their quarterback situation is far from ideal with Blake Bortles, but they are strong enough defensively (first in defensive DVOA) to rely on their running game. 

4. Panthers (11-5, lost in wild-card round)—They certainly have had the Redskins’ number, winning the last six matchups, a streak going back to 2009. This doesn’t seem to be one of those fluke situations. The Redskins simply have problems matching up with Cam Newton. Carolina also is solid defensively (No. 7 in DVOA). 

5. Falcons (10-6, lost in divisional round)—Even though the Cowboys ranked a couple of notches ahead of the Falcons in DVOA, I’m putting the Falcons ahead of them. Dallas doesn’t have a good enough defense to win with their running game. I’ve always been a big Matt Ryan fan and a lot more people would be too if he hadn’t been victimized by poor defense and bad play calling in the Super Bowl a couple of years ago. Add in Julio Jones and their running backs and you have a scary offense. Defensively they are not that good but I still like their unit better than that of the Cowboys.

Rest of top 10:

6. Packers—Almost put them ahead of Falcons, their DVOA suffered last year with Rodgers out.
7. Cowboys—Even with problems on D, still have the Redskins’ number.
8. Texans—Way down the DVOA rankings last year but they will the tough with J.J. Watt and Deshaun Watson back. 
9. Titans—I’m not sure if they’re ready to take the next step up but they will be hard to beat. 
10. Bucs—The bolstered a defense that already with tough with Jason Pierre-Paul and Vita Vea.  

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 

Days until:

—Training camp starts (7/26) 11
—Preseason opener @ Patriots (8/9) 25
—Roster cut to 53 (9/1) 48

The Redskins last played a game 196 days ago. They will open the 2018 NFL season at the Cardinals in 56 days. 

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Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—Breaking down the Alexander pick

Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—Breaking down the Alexander pick

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, July 14, 12 days before the Washington Redskins start training camp.  

The Redskins week that was

Is Junior Galette hinting at a possible return to the Redskins? I would be very surprised if Galette ever wears a Redskins uniform again although it would make sense for them to talk to him. I think the Redskins should be very nervous about their depth at outside linebacker. Pernell McPhee can get them some pressure, but he has missed 10 games over the last two seasons. Ryan Anderson’s next NFL sack will be his first. You can’t have too many pass rushers; the Redskins could well find themselves in a spot where they don’t have enough. 

Upside outweighed risk in Redskins' selection of Alexander—The selection of Adonis Alexander wasn’t quite a no-brainer, but it was not a tough call for the Redskins to make. Torrian Gray, who recruited and coached Alexander at Virginia Tech, gave the green light so it came down to his potential and what draft pick they were willing to give up. They have two in the fifth round next year and they had three in the sixth. They might as well get one of those late Saturday afternoon picks in a year early and see what they have. We have more analysis of the Alexander pick here and here

If Guice is legitimate, the Redskins running game could explode—With the exception of the 2012-2013 seasons, when quarterback Robert Griffin III was kicking in a lot of yards on the ground, the Redskins have not been in the top 10 in the league in rushing yards since 2008. Derrius Guice could help change that. Read the post for my in-depth look at the running back position. 

Madden has a clear answer for the Alex Smith-Kirk Cousins debate—I don’t know much about Madden ratings, so I don’t have a lot to add here. It doesn’t look to me like the difference between the ratings of Smith and Cousins constitute and “clear” advantage but, again, what do I know?

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Joe Jacoby belongs in the Hall of Fame. If you’re reading this, I think you know that. 

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

Timeline 

Days until:

—Training camp starts (7/26) 12
—Preseason opener @ Patriots (8/9) 26
—Roster cut to 53 (9/1) 54

The Redskins last played a game 195 days ago. They will open the 2018 NFL season at the Cardinals in 57 days. 

In case you missed it