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Watt vs. Scherff will highlight Redskins-Texans practices

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Watt vs. Scherff will highlight Redskins-Texans practices

Although nothing has been announced as of now, it looks like the reported joint practices between the Redskins and Houston Texans are on. They will be held August 6-8 at the Redskins’ training camp site in Richmond.

Those dates include a Saturday, a nice perk for fans who want to come see the Redskins go up against J. J. Watt and Airan Foster. The three days of joint practices with the Patriots came on a Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.

Washington and New England played a Thursday night preseason game at FedEx Field immediately after finishing up the practices. The Redskins and Texans aren't scheduled to play each other in the preseason so they had flexibility in scheduling the practice sessions. 

The matchup that will get the most attention is Watt against right tackle Brandon Scherff. The Redskins’ top draft pick will have spent a little over a week in pads in an NFL camp before going up against the man who has been the NFL defensive player of the year two of the last three years.

Watt and Scherff will tangle both in 11-on-11 work and almost certainly in one on one pass blocking drills. The advantage is with the defensive player in the latter since he knows he has to pass rush and he doesn’t need to worry about being double-teamed. It will be a great test for Scherff.

The joint practices also will be another look at the way the Patriots do business, albeit a secondhand look. Texans head coach Bill O’Brien worked under Bill Belichick from 2007-2011.

Last year they saw the Patriots being dissatisfied with any result that was short of perfection, listening intently to their coaches, and running sprints across the field at the end of practice. Earlier this year, Robert Griffin III said that the Redskins didn’t change much of anything in the immediate wake of last year’s exposure to the Patriot Way. Perhaps they will try to glean some tips from a Texans team that finished the 2013 season with a worse record than did the Redskins but improved to 9-7 last year and put them into practice. 

Update: The Redskins have officially announced the joint practices with the Texans, confirming the reported August 6-8 dates. 

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Trent Williams will not report to Richmond to open training camp, per report

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USA Today Sports

Trent Williams will not report to Richmond to open training camp, per report

Trent Williams will not report to training camp this week when the Redskins head to Richmond to officially begin their 2019 season, according to NFL Network.

The news comes as no surprise, as Williams missed all of the Redskins voluntary offseason workouts and skipped the team's mandatory minicamp in June. Reports streamed out that Williams was upset about his contract and looking for a new deal -- not to mention reports that he was angry with the team's medical staff after a missed diagnosis with a growth on his scalp. 

Williams has made no official statements, and the Redskins organization offered very little in terms of a timeline for his return. Washington team president Bruce Allen said he knows "the truth" about Williams' situation, and head coach Jay Gruden said he hoped things would be resolved before Week 1 in Philadelphia. 

A seven-time Pro Bowler, Williams is arguably the best left tackle in the NFL. He's an immensely talented offensive lineman with two years remaining on his deal. Beyond the medical situation, Williams could be upset that in 2020, the final year of his deal, there is hardly any guaranteed cash. The team could release Williams with less than $2 million in salary cap penalty and save nearly $13 million against the cap. 

Without Williams, the Redskins could be in real trouble. Second-year pro Geron Christian did not seem capable of playing at a starting tackle level last fall, and that was before a knee injury landed him on IR. Morgan Moses should be locked in as the right tackle, but opposite him in Williams' spot will be dicey. 

Multiple sources with the Redskins and around the NFL suggested more cash could change Williams' mind before Week 1, and for now, it looks like the 31-year-old will be waiting for that increased payday. If Williams missed actual games, he would begin to lose money from this year's $14 million salary.

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Does Adrian Peterson want Case Keenum to start at QB? Sure sounds like it

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USA Today Sports

Does Adrian Peterson want Case Keenum to start at QB? Sure sounds like it

The Redskins coaching staff intend to use their practice time in Richmond to determine the team's starting quarterback for the 2019 season, but for Adrian Peterson, that determination has been made. 

"Offensively, we really look good with Case Keenum back there. He’s a veteran," Peterson said last weekend at SportsCon in Dallas

Peterson's comments came just 10 days before the Redskins open training camp with what's expected to be an open battle at quarterback between Case Keenum and Dwayne Haskins, not to mention Colt McCoy if he's healthy. Of that group, Keenum has had the most success in the NFL, particularly his excellent 2017 campaign in Minnesota where he completed 67 percent of his passes for more than 3,500 yards with 22 touchdowns against just seven interceptions in 14 starts.

It's important to point out that Keenum has only hit that level of play one year out of eight seasons in the NFL. The rest of his career has been marked with more interceptions and a lower completion percentage. 

Still, watching Redskins minicamp in early June when Keenum and Haskins got the majority of the snaps, it was clear the offense ran smoother with the veteran instead of the rookie.

"He’s been in the league for a long time. He’s a gunslinger. He’s a guy that’s going to throw the ball and spread it around," Peterson said of Keenum.

That doesn't mean the future Hall of Fame running back didn't speak well of Haskins, or more accurately, Haskins' potential. 

"I'm looking forward to seeing what he'll do in training camp," Peterson said of the rookie from Ohio State. "Once he gets more under his belt and becomes more comfortable, he'll be able to play faster as well."

In minicamp, the pace of the NFL - calling plays, adjusting at the line of scrimmage, and most of all, the speed of the pass rush - seemed to overwhelm Haskins at times. Those are all things he can learn, and his arm is already the best on the team. Once the mental game catches up, his physical traits are absolutely capable of winning big in the NFL. 

What might make the most sense in listening to Peterson's comments is how he looked at the 2018 season. Last year, Washington lost a lot of talent to injuries, including their top two QBs in Alex Smith and Colt McCoy, and still finished in the playoff hunt. 

"The most important thing for us is guys staying healthy. Last year we had 22 guys on IR, and was still one game away from making the playoffs if we would've won the last two," Peterson said. "That's the thing that impresses me the most. We really went through a grind in losing our first-, second- and third-string QB throughout the year, and still had a chance to make the playoffs. I feel like the mindset is there."

For a team with the mindset of grinding wins and getting into the playoffs, Keenum makes more sense than Haskins. At least it does for Peterson. 

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