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Need to Know: 5 notes and quotes from Redskins players after OTAs

Need to Know: 5 notes and quotes from Redskins players after OTAs

Here is what you need to know on this Friday, June 6, 11 days before the start of minicamp.

Nickel coverage

Here are five notes and quotes from various Redskins players following Wednesday’s OTA session at Redskins Park.

—Even though Kory Lichtensteiger has been the starting left guard when healthy since about midway through the 2010 season, he has been ready to slide over to play center, his college position, all along: “It’s something I’ve stayed up on the whole time,” he said. “There’s really never been a year since I came into the NFL where I wasn’t snapping the ball in practice. Shotgun snaps, having to take that big step, gaining ground. That’s not really too much.”

—Players tend to be very confident about being able to bounce back from injuries. Hamstring strains, however, are an exception. As are most players, DeSean Jackson was very cautious when discussing his. “It’s a hamstring, a slight pull,” Jackson said Wednesday. “That’s the most I can tell you.” When might he be back? “I don’t know, maybe next week. We’ll see. It’s going good, so we’ll see how it feels next week.”

—The fact that Brian Orakpo doesn’t have a new long-term contract seems to be eating on him a bit; the Redskins hope that he takes out whatever frustration he has on the field. “Once I signed on the dotted line, I don’t have to be here,” Orakpo. “I could still [stay away] like the majority of NFL players do when they [get tagged]. But nothing in my DNA wants to do that. I love my teammates. I wasn’t going to miss this opportunity.”

—It’s hard to blame fans and media for tagging linebacker Keenan Robinson with the “injury prone” label; he has logged 21 games missed due to two torn pectoral muscles in his first two seasons in the league. But Robinson insists the shoe doesn’t fit. “In college I never got hurt. In high school I never got hurt,” Robinson said. “I never had to deal with injuries, especially injuries that kept me out for, shoot, six games my first year; my second year, the whole season. Coming back from it I learned to really appreciate the game.”

—The Redskins have been very careful to note that Doug Williams would not be coaching Robert Griffin III about on-field techniques but would be there to serve as a mentor to the young QB. Griffin was asked about Williams on Wednesday. “He’s been great. I get to stop by his office and talk to him whenever I need to. I’ve been doing some things with him here off the field in the community. It’s a pleasure to have him here and I’m glad they brought him back.”

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Timeline

—Redskins Hall of Fame receiver Bobby Mitchell was born on this date in 1935.

—It’s been 159 days since the Redskins played a game; it will be 93 days until they play the Texans in their 2014 season opener.

Days until: Minicamp starts 11; Training camp 48; Redskins @ Eagles 107

In case you missed it

Tandler' OTA observations

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Redskins coaching staff believes backups on O-line will be 'ready to roll'

Redskins coaching staff believes backups on O-line will be 'ready to roll'

All signs point to the Redskins starting Arie Kouandjio at left guard this weekend against the Eagles, and the coaching staff knows it's a big chance for the second-year man.

Incumbent starter Shawn Lauvao injured his groin last week against the Cardinals, and has not practiced all week. Assuming he doesn't play, this would mark Kouandjio's second start this season. He also got the start against the Browns in Week 4.

Washington coach Jay Gruden did not speak glowingly of Kouandjio's play against Cleveland, but it wasn't a negative review, either.

"He’s played one game, he played OK," the coach said. "He has another great opportunity for him. He’s waited his turn, done what’s asked of him. Practiced hard, played hard, and it’s a great opportunity.”

With center Spencer Long currently in concussion protocol and backup John Sullivan started to go in the middle of the Redskins offensive line, the group will have a number of new faces against the Eagles. The right side of the line, with guard Brandon Scherff and tackle Morgan Moses, will be the same as its been all year, though both of those players are nursing ankle injuries. 

"We have confidence in the guys that if some of those guys that are backups need to step up and be ready to roll," offensive coordinator Sean McVay said. 

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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One stat that should make DeSean Jackson very dangerous against Eagles

One stat that should make DeSean Jackson very dangerous against Eagles

The Eagles defense is on a big-play streak, but not one that defensive coordinators will like very much, and it could be very good news for the Redskins and DeSean Jackson. 

At this stage of his career, Jackson is a well-known deep threat. While much of the 2016 season has been disappointing for Jackson, in back-to-back weeks, the vertical passing attack has worked. In Arizona last Sunday, Jackson only caught one pass, but it went for 59 yards. On Thanksgiving in Dallas, Jackson hauled in a 67-yard touchdown pass from Kirk Cousins as part of his season-high 118 receiving yards.

"What he brings to this football team, he brings something that not a lot of people can bring, and that’s obviously the speed and the big play ability," 'Skins head coach Jay Gruden said of Jackson.

The last two games moved Jackson's yards-per-catch average back in normal range with the rest of his career at 16.5. Halfway through this season, Jackson was averaging below 14 YPC, which would have been by far the worst of his career.

"A lot of people think that we haven’t utilized his speed quite like we should, but I think he has had a major impact on this football team," Gruden said. "His deep threat has an impact on the defense. It opens up areas for Jordan Reed and Jamison Crowder and the backs sometimes. He’s been a major influence for this football team in a good way."

Beyond just the big plays, the Eagles defense has given up 645 passing yards in their last two games. Cousins has historically played well in Philadelphia, and should be in good position to do the same this weekend.

And based on the Eagles' past six games, expect Jackson to have another big game at Lincoln Financial Field. 

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!