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Need to Know: 5 players to watch during Redskins minicamp

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Need to Know: 5 players to watch during Redskins minicamp

Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, June 17, 37 days before the Redskins start training camp.

Nickel coverage

Minicamp really isn’t that much more than OTAs except that attendance is mandatory and, by league rule, the media can attend all of the sessions. Here is who I will be keeping an eye on over the next three days.

QB Robert Griffin III—Of course, the spotlight is always on the quarterback. Griffin’s performance was spotty when I saw him at the OTA two weeks ago, better last week. Over three days we can get an indication of if he’s consistently improving or still up and down with some rough spots that need to be smoothed out.

OLB Ryan Kerrigan—He could be the most important player on the defense. We pretty much know what we’re going to get out of Brian Orakpo. Will the much-needed boost in the pass rush have to come from a third-year leap from Kerrigan? I want to see where they’re lining him up and how they’re using him.

RB Lache Seastrunk—How’s he coming along as a pass catcher? Let’s remember that he didn’t have a reputation for having bad hands, his hands were unknown since Baylor rarely threw to backs. If he can contribute anything in the passing game he could be a very valuable addition.

WR DeSean Jackson—Is he back to 100 percent? This isn’t so much concern over being able to fully participate in minicamp. It’s about seeing how quickly he can rebound from the hammy strain. It’s been about three weeks since he sustained the injury.

S Akeem Davis—He’s generating some buzz as a potential dark horse candidate to make the roster. It’s hard to tell much about safeties before the pads go on but I want to observe what I can and talk to him after practice.

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Timeline

—It’s been 170 days since the Redskins played a game; it will be 82 days until they play the Texans in their 2014 season opener.

Days until: Training camp 37; Preseason opener vs. Patriots 51; Home opener Jaguars @ Redskins 91

In case you missed it

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Redskins' Doug Williams presents a special jersey to family of Jim Vance

Redskins' Doug Williams presents a special jersey to family of Jim Vance

On July 22, legendary D.C. broadcaster Jim Vance died at the age of 75.

During the first day of training camp on Thursday, Washington Redskins VP of player personnel Doug Williams, presented NBC4 sports reporter Carol Maloney with a gift for Vance's family.

RELATED: REMEMBERING JIM VANCE

The gesture by the Redskins was one filled with much respect for the award-winning anchor.

Vance was a staple for many D.C. locals, being a full-time anchor since 1972 for NBC4. 

Last summer, Vance revealed he had been diagnosed with cancer but never stopped working. 

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LIVE Redskins training camp practice report: Day 1

LIVE Redskins training camp practice report: Day 1

RICHMOND—The Redskins took the field for their first practice of the season. Jordan Reed is missing as was the usual stifling heat at the Bon Secours training center.It's warm but the humidity is down from the normal late-July sauna here. 

Here are my observations from practice as it unfolds. Come back and refresh often for the latest:

—Jamison Crowder still appears to be the No. 1 punt returner. Also fielding kicks off of the leg of Tress Way were Maurice Harris, Chris Thompson, and Will Blackmon. 

—The Redskins are practicing without pads per collective bargaining rules. A few are wearing shells. 

—New tight end EJ Bibbs just introduced himself to Vernon Davis as they were getting ready for some individual drills. Reminds me of a few year ago when a just acquired player was participating in stretching and they brought his contract out onto the field for him to sign. He wouldn’t have been able to practice otherwise. 

—Kirk Cousins just acknowledged a fan lined up near the sideline. ‘How’s it going, Derrick?” Derrick’s friends were properly impressed. 

—Maurice Harris showed good form in catching a Cousins pass over the middle against no defense. Nothing spectacular but but a good job reaching forward to pull in a pass that was ahead of him. 

—Harris with another nice catch, this time guarded over the middle by Will Blackmon. He is off to a good start in competing for playing time.

—Torian Gray is admonishing his defensive backs to “wake up, wake up.” On one rep he wanted Tevin Homer to “drive to the ball.”

—It looked like Josh Doctson had a step on Bashaud Breeland on a deep pass but the CB recovered and knocked the pass away. 

—A few plays later Doctson got deep again, this time against Quinton Dunbar. This time the CB couldn’t catch up and Doctson hauled in the pass.

—In the early going in 11 on 11, Will Compton and Mason Foster are the inside LBs with the first team and Joey Mbu is at nose tackle. Both situations could change over the course of the next few weeks. 

—Nice cut by Keith Marshall on a run around right end. He planted his foot and cut upfield with some serious burst. He’s a dark horse when it comes to making the roster but I’m keeping an eye on him. 

—Cousins with a dart to Terrelle Pryor along the sideline. A sharp and accurate throw. 

—Rain is approaching but it should hold off until practice is over. Meanwhile, the clouds and breeze are cooling things down. Nobody is complaining.  

—Pryor was assigned to block Josh Norman on a running play. Norman made a business decision not to contest the block and there was light contact as Norman backed down the field.

—Rookie Robert Davis made a solid back-shoulder catch on the sideline. I’m not sure if Colt McCoy intended for the pass to be back shoulder but that was where it went and Davis reached to make the grab. 

—What was that? Nate Sudfeld heaved one downfield to nobody in particular. Kendall Fuller got an easy interception, his second of the day. 

—That is from Richmond for today. Come on back tomorrow, we’ll do it again.