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Briscoe just looking to catch on

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Briscoe just looking to catch on

A season ago, Dezmon Briscoe was a young NFL player whose career was on the rise.Right now, hes just trying to land a job.Briscoe caught six touchdown passes for the Buccaneers in 2011, but was waived late last month after reportedly failing a conditioning test. Twenty-four hours later, the 22-year-old found himself on the Redskins, hoping to snag one of the final spots.Once you get cut, you want to prove that the other team was wrong as well as everybody that feels that this guy slacked off in the offseason and is out of shape, which is not true at all, he said this week. I guess I wasnt fitting in their program and they made their decision. Im okay with it. Im just trying to seize my opportunity now.Asked about his goals for the upcoming season, Briscoe was humble.Big break out year? he said, shrugging. I dont want to go that far with it. Right now Im just trying to make the team and get a job.Although Briscoe was not targeted in the Redskins preseason-opening victory in Buffalo, he has impressed Coach Mike Shanahan with his playmaking ability in practice. Secondary coach Raheem Morris, who was the Bucs head coach last season, likely played a role in convincing Shanahan to take a chance on Briscoe.You can see he is a football player, Shanahan said. He has made plays throughout training camp and practice, and he will get a chance.That chance could arrive Saturday in Chicago. And, if it does, Briscoe said hes had enough time to familiarize himself with Shanahans offense and will be ready.My comfort level is very high, Briscoe said of learning the Redskins offense on a truncated schedule. I go out there confident, knowing that I know what to do and put good stuff on film.Coaches are critiquing everything, whether its a key block or a big catch, he added. Youre just trying to do the little things to surprise the coaches.Briscoe is battling Anthony Armstrong, Brandon Banks, Aldrick Robinson and Terrence Austin for the final two spots on the Redskins roster at wide receiver. The others also contribute on special teams; Briscoe does not. Which means the Texas native must prove himself to be a superior pass-catcher in order to claim a spot.Two things are working in Briscoes favor: at 6 foot 2, 210 pounds, hes bigger than his competition, and he caught more touchdowns last season than the others have combined in their careers.I think my height is probably my biggest thing, Briscoe said. Me and Leonard Hankerson are the biggest receivers we have. So that helps me out a lot.After having a limited role against the Bills, Briscoe knows hes got to start showing what he can do in games. But hes not sweating it yet.We got three games left, he said. I still got a little more playing time this preseason. Thats my opportunity and I have to take advantage of it.

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Gruden presser wrapup: Even he's not sure what a catch is

Gruden presser wrapup: Even he's not sure what a catch is

ASHBURN, VA—Here is a look at what Jay Gruden covered in his Monday news conference after the Redskins’ win over the Giants.

—We hit on some of the major injury news but there is the complete list: “DeAngelo [Hall], torn ACL, has surgery – he’ll be out for the season. [Bashaud] Breeland, he got an MRI, he has strained tendons in his ankle – he’ll be week to week. Shawn Lauvao has a moderate ankle sprain, we’re going to evaluate him on a week-to-week basis. [Kory] Lichtensteiger has a moderate calf strain, again, week-to-week. [Josh] Doctson went out to pregame warmup and could not push off the way he wanted to, his Achilles was too sore, so we’ve just got to continue to treat him and figure out the roots of the problem and try to get it fixed. DeSean Jackson aggravated his knee and ankle, came back and finished the game. And [Dashaun] Phillips has a hamstring strain. That is it.”

—Gruden said that the loss of a veteran leader like Hall was a big one. “It’s a lot. He’s a captain, you know? He’s coming along, playing a lot better and better at safety, so it’s pretty significant.”

—He tried to sell the 0-3 Browns as a big threat but he wasn’t very convincing. “It’s a tough opponent, very good coaching staff, and got a lot of work to do.”

—Kirk Cousins was pretty good according to the coach but they need to get touchdowns in the red zone. “We tried a quarterback draw one time and we missed the hole a little bit. Had a couple throws that were covered, just couldn’t get it done. Can’t put a finger on one person in that area. It’s not all on Kirk,”

—Going into it, Gruden was about as confident as a coach could be on the fake punt play in the third quarter. “We did it in practice and Tress Way has a great arm – very accurate. Coaching staff on the special teams side of it saw that it was a possibility. We practiced it. He caught it every time but the first day in the walkthrough.”

—A majority of those in the press box plus the TV broadcast crew all thought that David Bruton had made a spectacular interception when he ripped the ball away from Odell Beckham in the end zone. So did Gruden. “I’ve heard that everybody says it was an interception except for the replay guy. I don’t know what the rule is. We just have got to live by it. I thought his elbow was down, I thought his butt was down, I thought he had control of the ball.” Gruden admitted that, like most of us, he doesn’t know what a catch is.

—The Redskins aren’t thinking about cranking out another winning streak like the one late last year that got them into the playoffs. “Yeah, I think the only thing you can do is… the ultimate clich√© is take it one game at a time. That’s the only thing can do. You can’t look ahead.”

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Why all options are on the table for Redskins' offensive line

Why all options are on the table for Redskins' offensive line

Facing multiple injuries, all options on table for Redskins O-line, including Trent Williams at guard.

For the second year in a row Redskins left guard Shawn Lauvao got injured playing against the New York Giants in Week 3. Lauvao's injury, combined with an injury to center Kory Lichtensteiger, left the Washington offensive line in disrepair. 

Redskins coach Jay Gruden said that both offensive linemen are now on a week to week basis, and it sounds quite possible neither player will go next week against Cleveland. The coach called both injuries "moderate" - ankle sprain for Lauvao and calf strain for Lichtensteiger. 

The injuries mean the 'Skins are likely to bring in new linemen, particularly at center. 

"We're going to have to," Gruden said when asked about new help for the line. 

Once Lauvao and Lichtensteiger were injured in the Giants game, Gruden was forced to try an interesting combination. Veteran left tackle Trent Williams slid down to guard and Ty Nsekhe took over for Williams at tackle.

Importantly for the 'Skins, the results weren't bad.  

"He's so good at tackle but he actually played pretty darn good at guard," Gruden said of Williams. 

"He's a great athlete, probably be a good center too," the coach joked. 

MORE REDSKINS: NEXT MAN UP IS ROOKIE IN WASHINGTON

But Williams playing more guard should not be laughed at. The Redskins showed some of their best run game of the season late in the win against New York with Williams lined up next to Nsekhe.

Further, the coaching staff has repeatedly talked about how much they like Nsekhe as a tackle but that there was no spot for him with Williams and Morgan Moses healthy. As unusual as it sounds, with Williams at guard allows Nsekhe to get on the field at tackle. 

The Redskins do have another option in house: Arie Kouandjio. In his second year out of Alabama, Kouandjio has the size needed to play guard, but he is yet to be active on gameday this season and has been considered more of a development project than a player that is ready to roll. 

If Kouandjio is ready, he can play left guard and Williams stays in his normal spot at left tackle, protecting Kirk Cousins' blind side. 

"We'll just have to evaluate that situation and see how it goes, see how Arie does at left guard," Gruden said. "Ty is an excellent player, there's no question about it, but to move your Pro Bowl left tackle out of the mix to guard is something that's a little unique and hard to do."

Scot McCloughan made some strong moves last season bringing in players as injuries impacted the Redskins. Looks like the GM will again have that opportunity, this time on the offensive line.