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Tarik's Training Camp Checklist: What to watch on Day 1


Tarik's Training Camp Checklist: What to watch on Day 1

Well, the first walkthrough of training camp 2015 is in the books. Next up is the first full practice of camp at 3 p.m.—and it promises to be a hot one.

Here are the five things I’ll be looking for/monitoring:

1-The big story of the day, of course, is former Saints’ pass rusher Junior Galette, who is scheduled to meet with Redskins brass today in Richmond. Galette, 27, is immensely talented and productive, having racked up 22 sacks the past two seasons. It’s also likely the Redskins could also get him at a bargain rate, relatively speaking. But he’s got baggage—a lot of it, as Rich Tandler detailed this morning.

Just because Galette is visiting Richmond doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll sign. He would, however, represent an upgrade over youngsters Trent Murphy and Preston Smith, who are battling for the right to start across from Ryan Kerrigan.

2-How does Robert Griffin III look in his first practice? He extended his edge over Kirk Cousins and Colt McCoy this offseason, and Jay Gruden says he’s excited about Griffin’s progress. But…and there’s usually a “but” when talking about Griffin considering his struggles the past two seasons, everyone would benefit greatly from Griffin enjoying a solid camp. And it all begins today.

3-There are two battles on the defensive side of the ball that get underway in a few hours—Murphy vs. Smith, which I mentioned earlier, and, at strong safety, Duke Ihenacho vs. Jeron Johnson. Who lines up with the first team? Can anything be gleaned from the rotation?     

4-DeAngelo Hall is 31 and coming off an Achilles that he ruptured twice. He was a non-participant this offseason and he agreed to remove a $1 million guarantee from his contract, which means his $4 million salary is only guaranteed if he makes the 53-man roster. Hall said after the walkthrough that he’s full go and does not expect to be limited once the practices begin later today. He'll be aiming to win back his starting job from Bashaud Breeland.

5-As for the other players coming off injury, I’ll be keeping a close eye on them, too. Trent Williams (ankle) said he’s fine and will be good to go later. He also said he’s managed to keep off the weight that he dropped earlier this offseason by eating better. Ryan Kerrigan (knee) also told me that he’ll be full go. I didn’t get a chance to catch up with Jordan Reed (knee), but Gruden said Wednesday that he’s been medically cleared to practice.   

But keep this in mind: Just because a guy is cleared, that doesn't mean he'll be allowed to do everything. We’ll start getting some definitive answers soon.

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Need to Know: Redskins stock watch—Three up, three down

Need to Know: Redskins stock watch—Three up, three down

Here is what you need to know on this Friday, June 22, 34 days before the Washington Redskins start training camp.  

Redskins stock watch: Three up, three down

For some Redskins players, the outlook looks much brighter now than it did when last season ended. Others have seen their stocks decline. Here is a look at three players in each category.

Stock up

CB Quinton Dunbar—His rise started the day after the season ended when he signed a three-year, $10.5 million contract. It continued when the departures of Kendall Fuller and Bashaud Breeland opened up more opportunity at his position. Then the only additions at corner were veteran Orlando Scandrick and seventh-round pick Greg Stroman. Dunbar has a clear path to a starting job, perhaps for the next few years. 

G Shawn Lauvao—At the end of the season, he was coming off of injured reserve. It was the second time in his four seasons in Washington that he finished the season on the sideline. He turned 30 last year and as the prime weeks of free agency passed he didn’t get much attention. His fortunes started to turn when the team didn’t sign or draft a guard. Then on May 4 when he signed a one-year, $1.5 million contract with Washington. Shortly after that Arie Kouandjio, his primary competition at left guard, was lost for the season with a quad injury. While there is no guarantee that the Redskins won’t look at other options at left guard, for right now it’s Lauvao’s job to lose. 

S Montae Nicholson—It was hard to make much out of his rookie 2017 season as he spent half of it on the sideline with injuries. But early in the offseason, Jay Gruden said that Nicholson was as important to the defense as Jordan Reed is to the offense. Given that Reed has made one Pro Bowl on his resume and could get more if he stays healthy and that his presence on the field tends to lift his teammates, that’s high praise. It means that Nicholson is at the top of the depth chart in Sharpie. He still needs to stay healthy but he is not a player who is at risk of losing his job due to an injury. 

Stock down

RB Rob Kelley—This one of pretty obvious. He finished the year on injured reserve and a couple of the running backs signed as injury replacements, Kapri Bibbs and Byron Marshall, looked pretty good. Then came the draft and Derrius Guice as the second-round pick. Right now, he looks like the No. 4 back and he will have to fight hard to keep a roster spot. 

DL Ziggy Hood—Most expected the Redskins to draft a nose tackle early and that’s what happened when they took Daron Payne in the first round. That didn’t hurt Hood’s stock much. But they followed up by taking Tim Settle later in the draft and that made the depth chart very crowded. Hood is the seventh D-lineman and they usually only keep six. Even if he makes it he could spend a lot of time on the game-day inactive list. 

S Deshazor Everett—Nobody expected the Redskins to draft a safety, but they found the speed and athleticism of Troy Apke too attractive to turn down in the fourth round of the draft. The rookie needs some work on his game, so it appears that Everett, who started eight games last year, will be the first safety off of the bench early in the season. But it’s likely that they will want to get Apke in games as soon as he’s ready and that could leave Everett on the bench. 

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

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Former Redskins Pro Bowl cornerback Champ Bailey was born on this date in 1978. 

Days until:

—Training camp starts (7/26) 34
—Preseason opener @ Patriots (8/9) 48
—Roster cut to 53 (9/1) 71

The Redskins last played a game 173 days ago. They will open the 2018 NFL season at the Cardinals in 79 days. 

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Derrius Guice continues to ingratiate himself with Redskins fans with new fundraising effort

Derrius Guice continues to ingratiate himself with Redskins fans with new fundraising effort

For most college players, being a part of the NFL Draft experience is a dream come true, but for Derrius Guice, it was becoming a nightmare. Originally projected as a first round pick, Guice saw his name falling fast on draft boards due to questions raised about his maturity and high-maintenance personality.

Two months removed from the Redskins selecting him 59th overall, Guice has erased any doubt regarding his character. Whether it be taking fans out to the movies, shooting the breeze while signing autographs, or even the occasional leap frog over two practice barrels and a trainer, Guice has ingrained himself as a Redskins fan favorite. He's done a great job at making himself popular, now he's focused on making change for others. 

On June 20th, a day before his birthday, Guice announced he would be running a fundraiser for the Mary Bird Perkins center, a cancer foundation in his hometown of Baton Rouge. Inspired by his best friend's mother who "rang that bell,"—an indication that a patient has beaten cancer—Guice wants to help others do the same. 

Guice has utilized his newfound popularity to entice other peope to donate. If you donate $5, you can play him in Fortnite. For $50, you guys can go bowling together. Anyone willing to donate $100 or more will be entered in a raffle for tickets to the Redskins Monday Night Football game against the Saints. 

If Guice can match his off the field popularity with on the field production, he'll be in contention for Rookie of the Year. Anyone interested in donating can click here