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Need to Know: 5 Gruden notes and quotes from Wednesday's Redskins OTA

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Need to Know: 5 Gruden notes and quotes from Wednesday's Redskins OTA

Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, June 5, 12 days before the start of minicamp.

Nickel coverage

Here are five quotes and notes from Jay Gruden following the Redskins’ OTA session on Wednesday.

—Some think that Kory Lichtensteiger could get pushed out at center at some point but Gruden appears to be a big fan: “Kory's done a great job at center. He's coming, it’s a natural transition for him. He's great in the run game, he gets up to the second level with ease and in the pass protection with the calls that he's making already, he's done a great job already. We're excited about what he brings to the table, both in the run game and in the pass game.”

—For the second week in a row, Gruden indicated that you’d be a fool to bet against Keenan Robinson starting at inside linebacker Week 1 in Houston. “He's a lot further ahead than we anticipated, stamina-wise, mentally. He's doing a great job, obviously, but the linebacker position is hard to judge in shorts. But it is exciting to see him run around, he's a very fluid athlete. Like I said last week, I think he's active in the passing game and his run fits have been outstanding.”

—At some point Morgan Moses might be the starting right tackle but he’s going to have to learn how to play both sides first: “He needs to know both tackle spots. Right now, we have him at the right. He’s obviously more comfortable on the left side right now because that’s what he’s been doing the last few years in college. You can see the right side he struggled a little bit and then went back to the left side, he was a lot more natural. But he’s going to have to learn both and that’s what rookie tackles have to do.”

—Moses isn’t the only O-lineman who will have to learn multiple positions: “You have to have guys able to play left tackle, right tackle, center, right guard, left guard and that’s why we kind of brought the people in that we brought in. It’s very important for each position to not just know one spot, but to be able to move around because throughout the season you see injuries happen and the guys have to fill in at spots they’re not used to playing.”

—Like every coach, Gruden would like to see his defense get pressure without having to throw the kitchen sink at the QB: “I think the big thing is if you get pressure with four guys, you have a much better chance. You saw the success Seattle had – they had a very seldom blitz. They just got pressure with their four guys. They were able to mix their coverages up, play good sound defense. That starts right there. We have the ability, I feel like – with four, five guys that we have being able to rush the passer, keeping them fresh – that we can get pressure.”

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Timeline

—It’s been 158 days since the Redskins played a game; it will be 94 days until they play the Texans in their 2014 season opener.

Days until: Minicamp starts 12; Training camp 49; Redskins @ Eagles 108

In case you missed it

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Redskins plan to 'spy' Cardinals' David Johnson with rookie Su'a Cravens, per source

Redskins plan to 'spy' Cardinals' David Johnson with rookie Su'a Cravens, per source

Facing one of the NFL's best running backs in Arizona's David Johnson, the Redskins plan to use rookie linebacker Su'a Cravens as a spy in nickel coverage to slow down the Cardinals' threat, per a source close to the team.

Johnson ranks third in the NFL with 921 rushing yards, but it's the variety of ways the Arizona offense uses their second-year running back that makes him so difficult to handle for opposing defenses. Johnson also has 55 catches for 613 yards, and that's just through 11 games.

Cravens comes into the game with momentum as perhaps the Redskins most dynamic defensive threat. With size to play linebacker and enough speed to play coverage, the 6-foot-1, 220 lbs. rookie out of USC will be put in a tough position covering Johnson. The reality of his assignment is to try and contain Johnson as the Cardinals offense is so reliant on the runner that he will get a number of chances.

In their last two games, Johnson has gone for more than 150 total yards in each contest and scored multiple touchdowns. For his part, Cravens has proved a playmaker in his rookie season. To go with 29 tackles in nine games, his stat sheet has sacks and an interception listed.

Getting to Carson Palmer is the best path for the Redskins defense - especially considering the Cardinals' offensive line woes - but using Cravens to try and limit Johnson is a smart course of action for the 'Skins.

One member of the Washington defense explained that Johnson is "going to make plays" but that the key is to limit the damage. If the running back catches a ball out of the backfield, Joe Barry's defense will be focused on making a stop after a five-yard gain, instead of a 20-yard gain.

Want more Redskins? Check out @JPFinlayCSN for live updates or click here for the #RedskinsTalk Podcast on iTunes, here for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!

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Redskins vs. Cardinals Live Updates: Score, stats, highlights, analysis, video

Redskins vs. Cardinals Live Updates: Score, stats, highlights, analysis, video

The Redskins and Cardinals highlight the Week 13 schedule with a showdown in the desert with heavy NFL playoff implications on the line.

If the Redskins (6-5-1) can score a victory over the Cardinals (4-6-1), the team can move closer to solidifying one of the top two Wild Card spots in the NFC playoff race.

Depite the Redskins' difficult Week 12 loss to the Cowboys, Kirk Cousins is playing the best football of his career as of late, and earned the NFC Player of the Month honors for his efforts.

While running back Robert Kelley did have a slip-up against the Cowboys, the team's run game still looks vastly improved from the early season, which allows the passing game to thrive even more. Jamison Crowder continues to impress, and although Jordan Reed will miss the Cardinals game with an injury, Vernon Daivs has proven to be an excellent option for Cousins.

The most entertaining matchup of Week 13 might be Redskins DB Josh Norman vs. Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald, but the most important matchup will undoubtedly be the Redskins defensive line vs. Cardinals RB David Johnson. 

RELATED: NFL PLAYOFF SCENARIOS HEADING INTO WEEK 13

Johnson trails just DeMarco Murray and Ezekiel Elliott -- who finished with 83 yards and one TD in Week 12 -- in total rushing yards with 920 and trails just Elliott and Legarrett Blount in rushing touchdowns with 10. The Redskins rank 25th in rushing defense, and have given up an average of 108 rushing yards in their last five games.

Redskins vs. Cardinals kicks off at 4:00 p.m. ET on Sunday, Dec. 4 on FOX. Redskins Kickoff gets things started at 3:00 p.m. ET on CSN Mid-Atlantic. (Channel Finder)

CSN is providing all the live updates, stats, scores, highlights, videos and analysis from Redskins vs. Cardinals. Got a comment on the game? Be sure to let us know in the comment section and join Santana Moss and Sebastian Salazar at halftime for the Facebook Live Q&A.

RELATED: BEST & WORST REDSKINS ALTERNATE UNIFORMS

Redskins vs. Cardinals Live Updates

PREGAME:

10:30 AM: Game Preview: The five things you need to know before Redskins vs. Cardinals.

1. Keep it moving
2. Missing in action
3. Consider the source
4. Problems don't go away
5. Harder they fall

10:15 AM: Be sure to follow CSN Insiders J.P. Finlay and Rich Tandler, who are at University of Phoenix Stadium in Phoenix, Ari. Also, give our CSN Redskins Twitter account too. Come for the analysis, stay for the dank memes.

10:00 AM: Welcome to CSNMA's live updates blog of Week 13 Redskins vs. Cardinals. As always, I am Troy Machir and today I will be your online guide to Redskins vs. Cardinals football in the painted desert of the southwest. If you have an issue with me, you can cuss me out on Twitter, 140 characters at a time. It's fun.