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Receivers try to gain separation from the pack

Receivers try to gain separation from the pack

It is important for wide receivers to get separation.But for most of the past month none of the five players chasing after the remaining wide receiver jobs with Redskins has been able to gain any separation from the pack.That is, until last Saturday.Since the spring, the identities of the top four wide receivers have been known. They gave Pierre Garon and Josh Morgan big contracts. They have been waiting to see Leonard Hankerson reach his potential since his season ended prematurely with a hip injury last year. And if there were any doubts about the 33-year-old Santana Moss, long the teams leading receiver, he put them to bed by showing up 15 pounds lighter and catching everything in sight.Most figure that the Redskins will carry six wide receivers this season. The number is not set in stone; last year they had seven wideouts on the roster for most of the year plus return specialist Brandon Banks. But they could do that in part because they only carried two quarterbacks and it seems nearly certain that both Kirk Cousins and Rex Grossman will back up starter Robert Griffin III.If we go with six wide receiver roster spots there are two up for grabs. And through training camp and the first preseason game, none of the five realistic candidates for those two spotsBanks, Anthony Armstrong, Aldrick Robinson, Terrence Austin, and Dezmon Briscoeperformed well enough to put in a legitimate claim on one of the two jobs. They all had enough good moments to stay in the conversation but enough negative plays on film to keep the competition wide open.That changed on Saturday night in Chicago. Robinson caught six passes for 104 yards and touchdown. Briscoe had 51 yards on three receptions including a nice grab at the goal line for a touchdown. And Banks didnt see any action at receiver but he helped himself with a 91-yard punt return.Meanwhile, Austin caught just one pass for 11 yards and Armstrong, still ailing from a shoulder in jury that kept him out of the first preseason game, played very little.Robinson seems to have helped himself the most of all, at least in the eyes of Mike Shanahan. On Monday and again on Tuesday the coach raved about his touchdown catch and run, which came on a deflected pass.It looks like Robinson took a giant step towards earning a roster spot and Briscoe and Banks helped their cases a great deal. And it looks like Armstrong and Austin are on the outside looking in. Nothing, however, is set in stone. Armstrong should get more playing time against the Colts and over the past two years Austin has had a knack for coming through with a good performance just when he needed it most.The competition will continue through practice next week and the preseason finale against the Bucs. Making the final decision here will have the coaches up late into the night.

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Redskins quarterback Colt McCoy sends a gift to one Texas police department

Redskins quarterback Colt McCoy sends a gift to one Texas police department

BY JEREMY FIALKOW (@JeremyFialkow)

July has been a month filled with heartbreak for the officers that serve and protect the state of Texas, so the last thing the Leander Police Department expected was a gift from an NFL quarterback.

Redskins' backup Colt McCoy, a University of Texas alum, surprised the officers in Leander with a thank you of the highest order: Dunkin' Donuts and coffee.

Along with the police-friendly treats, McCoy left an endearing note to the department, taking time to appreciate what they do for their community, and thanking them for their dedication

RELATED: DAN SNYDER PAYS FOR CHIEF ZEE'S FUNERAL

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Dan Snyder displays heart of burgundy and gold; pays for Chief Zee's funeral

Dan Snyder displays heart of burgundy and gold; pays for Chief Zee's funeral

BY JEREMY FIALKOW (@JeremyFialkow)

A Dan Snyder headline displaying his charitable heart of burgundy and gold — what planet are we on?

On Wednesday, the world learned the Redskins owner had been outed as the anonymous donor that paid for the funeral of superfan 'Chief Zee.'

News of Zema "Chief Zee" Williams passing away earlier this month proved a crushing blow to both Redskins' fans and current and former members of the organization to which Chief Zee pledged his allegiance.

To recap how beloved the unofficial mascot is, first, longtime Redskins wide receiver Santana Moss left a bouquet of flowers next to Zee's casket, and then Snyder makes all right in the world by covering the funeral services. 

The services, by the way, closed the book on the life of Williams in the only way it could: Singing "Hail to the Redskins."

RELATED: GRUDEN SAYS COUSINS IS FOCUSED ON FOOTBALL

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Redskins will try in-house options to replace Galette

Redskins will try in-house options to replace Galette

RICHMOND—The Redskins are going to go with the younger players on the roster to fill the void left when outside linebacker Junior Galette went out for the season with a torn Achilles. At least that is the plan for now, according to head coach Jay Gruden.

Gruden tried to make it clear that the team was not down about the loss of Galette except for feeling bad for the player as a person.

We're upset, obviously, more so for him as an individual,” said Gruden. “Just watching him work, getting ready from the previous injury, how hard he was training, the attitude he came into the building with and the excitement that he was going to bring to this football team only to see it cut short with another Achilles, I'm devastated . . . for him.”

But Gruden said that the organization is taking the proverbial “next man up” approach.

“As far as this football team, injuries are part of the game,” he said. “We have to rebound. We have Ryan Kerrigan, we still have Preston Smith, we have Lyndon Trail, we have some young guys, Houston Bates. They're going to have to fill the void that he so-called would have filled for us. We still have some good pass rushers in here who are going to produce.”

What about the possibility of converting Trent Murphy, who moved from outside linebacker to the defensive line this offseason, back to a linebacker?

“That could happen,” said Gruden. “But there's so much nickel pass rush nowadays, the amount of time we're in a true 3-4 alignment is very slim, about 30 percent now. We have guys that can fill that void, we want to keep Trent inside for now to play defensive end in our nickel and our sub packages.”

In other words, they aren’t going to make any major moves until they have a good idea of what they have in house.