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Camp preview: Safety in numbers?

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Camp preview: Safety in numbers?

The Redskins start training camp on Thursday. Were going around the team to let you know what were looking for when practice gets underway. Yesterday we looked at the offense (line, backsreceivers). We started the defense today with the line and linebackers and now well look at the defensive backs.Anticipated starters:CB Josh Wilson
CB DeAngelo Hall
SS Brandon Meriweather
FS Tanard JacksonHall and Wilson return as starters on a secondary that ranked among the teams most disappointing units last season. After those two, well, theres not a whole lot of certainty for position coach Raheem Morris, whos in his first season in Washington. Morris will rely on newcomers Meriweather, a two-time Pro Bowl selection, and Jackson, a playmaker, to replace Oshiomogho Atogwe, who was cut, and oft-injured LaRon Landry, who was placed on the Jets physically unable to perform list Monday.Key reserves: S DeJon Gomes
S Madieu Williams
CB Cedric GriffinIf either Meriweather or Jackson falter, Gomes and Williams could challenge for significant playing time. Griffin, meantime, is a hard hitter who should see plenty of playing time and add some much needed depth and snarl to the position.On the bubble:CB Kevin Barnes
CB Chase Minnifield
CB Richard Crawford
CB Morgan Trent
CB Brandyn Thompson
S Reed Doughty
S Jordan Bernstine
DB Travon BellamyBarnes struggled in slot-corner coverage last season, while Doughty, who has been counted out often during his Redskins tenure, once again finds himself fighting for a job. Thompson showed some promise last year but he will have to fight off Crawford, Trent, and possibly Minnifield if he is going to stick around this season.Three things to watch:Who survives?When practice begins Thursday, there will be 15 defensive backs on the roster. When the regular season begins in New Orleans on Sept. 9, there will be nine. There is no obvious camp fodder here; every player except Bellamy either was drafted by the Redskins or has NFL playing experience. In other words, it figures to among the more intriguing position battles.Whats Minnifields status?Signed out of UVA in May, Minnifield was expected to start the season as a reserve. But hell reportedly start training camp on the PUP list as he continues to recover from microfracture knee surgery in January. He has a very good chance of contributing to the team at some point, but will it be this year or in 2013?Can D-Hall rebound?In 2010, Hall made six interceptions and 95 tackles and earned a spot in the Pro Bowl for the third time in his career. In 2011, however, he might have cost the Redskins two wins against the Cowboys. He let Dez Bryant slip away from him on third and 21 situation in their September meeting, then he slipped in man-to-man coverage on Bryant in overtime two months later. Which DeAngelo will show up this season?

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Need to Know: The five Redskins under the most pressure entering camp

Need to Know: The five Redskins under the most pressure entering camp

Here is what you need to know on this Friday, July 21, six days before the Washington Redskins start training camp in Richmond on July 27.

Timeline

The Redskins last played a game 201 days ago; they will open the 2017 season against the Eagles at FedEx Field in 51 days.

Days until:

—Preseason opener @ Ravens (8/10) 20
—Preseason vs. Packers at FedEx Field (8/19) 29
—Roster cut to 53 (9/2) 43

Five Redskins who are under pressure going into training camp

QB Kirk Cousins–Going first with the most obvious. He’s under pressure to get this team back to the playoffs. Rob Kelley and Samaje Perine will help the running game and perhaps the defense will improve. But this team still will rise and fall by scoring points through the air. From his point of view, he’s on a one-year deal. If he is going to get a record long-term deal next year–or get the Redskins to cough up $35 million on the franchise tag–he’s going to need to play well.

WR Terrelle Pryor–He also is in the one-year contract situation so he needs to impress all 32 teams to drive up his value. He’s also being counted on to replace the 1,000-yard production of either Pierre Garçon or DeSean Jackson. Or maybe both. That’s a lot to put on the plate of a player in just his second full-time year at his position.

CB Josh Norman–Cousins has the highest 2017 salari on the team but Norman has the biggest contract on the team and he didn’t have the impact to match it last year. It’s not that he had a bad year but it’s reasonable to expect more interceptions and fewer penalties. It’s fair to give him a pass with it being his first year in the system. However, the Redskins have a window to release him without a debilitating cap hit after this season and if the value isn’t there you can’t rule out them pulling the trigger.

S Su’a Cravens–Everyone knows that Cravens is perhaps a step slow for a safety. He needs to make up for it with anticipation, which means paying attention to all the details in practice and doing a lot of extra film study. There is no questioning his work ethic but it’s a lot to absorb in a hurry.

OLB Preston Smith–When he is on, few are better. When he’s off, he can disappear for games on end. Consistency is the key for Smith this year. If he catches on and starts playing at his best all the time, he may be in line for a lucrative contract extension next offseason. If he falters, Trent Murphy, Junior Galette, and Ryan Anderson all will be waiting to lay claim to his snaps.

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerCSN and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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Rob Kelley hopes cutting out his favorite fast food restaurants means a better 2017

Rob Kelley hopes cutting out his favorite fast food restaurants means a better 2017

While his job and athletic ability separate him from most commoners, Rob Kelley is just like you and me when it comes to his diet. Well, when it came to his old diet, actually. 

Like many, the second-year Redskins running back loves him some crispy fried chicken, buttery, pillow-like biscuits and piping hot french fries. He also can get down with piles of nuggets, double cheesburgers and creamy milkshakes. 

But during this offseason, Fat Rob is looking less and less so, and that improvement is largely due to some new eating habits.

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"Changed the diet up," Kelley told CSN Redskins Insider JP Finlay this week at the former's youth camp (full video above). "Slowed down on the fast food and processed food and tried to eat more healthy."

When asked what places he's specifically cut out from his rotation, Kelley answered with a laugh. It wasn't a happy laugh, though — it was like one of those laughs people let out when they're feeling major pain but not trying to show it.

"Popeyes. McDonald's," he said. "Not trying to discredit those fast food places, but just, it's not working well for me."

Limiting trips to those establishments can no doubt be a difficult task (it's OK to nod your head in agreement) but it's also working for the 24-year-old. He told Finlay he thinks he's lost about six pounds since OTAs and now checks in at 229 thanks to his workouts and an increased reliance on Whole Foods, vegetables and his grill. 

But just because he's shedding pounds doesn't mean he's shedding the moniker that caught on during his rookie campaign. He may be trending closer to Svelte Rob than he is to Fat Rob these days, but No. 20 is going to keep his nickname moving forward anyway.

"It's always accurate," he said.

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