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Need to Know: 5 Redskins notes and quotes after Thursday's OTA

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Need to Know: 5 Redskins notes and quotes after Thursday's OTA

Here is what you need to know on this Friday, May 30, 18 days before the start of minicamp.

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(Still on vacation, enjoying some beautiful sunsets in the Outer Banks. But fresh content is back in your Need to Know. I still might be slow in approving first comments and responding.)

Here are five key notes and quotes on Jay Gruden’s remarks following yesterday’s OTA.

When Gruden was asked about how Robert Griffin III performed, he was sure to spread some praise to all three QB’s on the roster: “Robert, all the quarterbacks, have done a great job as far as terminology is concerned. We tried to have some carryover from last year, there’s a lot of new plays, formations. He’s done an excellent job as far as his command of the huddle – that’s always been a positive of his – spitting out the plays and not having many mentals at all. So we’re impressed with all three quarterbacks, the way they’ve handled it – Colt [McCoy], Kirk [Cousins] and Robert.”

I’ve been saying all offseason that the organization would like for Keenan Robinson to step into the inside linebacker spot vacated by London Fletcher’s retirement. Gruden offered some very encouraging words when asked about Robinson: “Mentally he’s in good shape. [Inside Linebackers] Coach [Kirk] Olivadotti has done a great job with him getting him up to speed. Physically, he looks excellent to me. He’s running, he’s long and he can run sideline to sideline in pass coverage. He’s disruptive. He gets into zones and is a big guy to throw over. He can cover tight ends, he can cover backs. We have high hopes for Keenan and we love the progress he’s making. Just from a short period of time, he’s one of the guys on the field that stand out, ‘Is that Keenan again?’”

Speaking of players the organization are counting on, here’s what Gruden had to say about Phillip Thomas: “Phillip’s done a great job also. He had a great interception today. He’s just getting back in the flow and [Defensive Backs Coach] Raheem [Morris] is working with him and doing a good job, and between he and [safety Brandon] Meriweather, we expect good things from that safety spot.”

Gruden appreciates good tight end play and he sees great things for Jordan Reed: “No question he has done an excellent job. He is obviously a force in the passing game. We got to work him a little [on] being more stout in the running game because it is important for a guy like that. But overall I think he has had no drawbacks from his concussion…knock on wood . . . If people want to crowd DeSean or crowd [wide receiver] Pierre [Garçon], he’s a guy that is very much needed in the passing game, so we just got to keep him healthy and get him going.”

Gruden has been pumping the brakes on Morgan Moses all along and he did it again on Thursday. “We’ll see. All these rookies right now, they’re obviously just, like we brought it up earlier, they are struggling a bit mentally but you can see some talent there. Him and [guard] Spencer Long both have done a great job with the offensive line. There’s a lot to learn as far as offensive line play, picking up the stunts, all the run schemes that we have – inside zones, outside zones and then the pass protections we have. We have nine or 10 pass protections already and maybe more, so it’s a grind for them mentall,y but you can see the talent is there.”

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Timeline

—It’s been 150 days since the Redskins played a game; it will be 100 days until the play the Texans in their season opener.

Days until: Minicamp starts 18; Training camp 54; Redskins @ Eagles 114

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New #RedskinsTalk Podcast - A.J. Francis talks Jay Gruden, Greg Manusky and Kirk Cousins

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New #RedskinsTalk Podcast - A.J. Francis talks Jay Gruden, Greg Manusky and Kirk Cousins

Redskins defensive lineman A.J. Francis opens up to JP Finlay on what it's like to play for Jay Gruden, his pick for defensive coordinator, and the latest on Kirk Cousins' contract.

Listen below, and if you'd like to hear more from Francis, check out his pro wrestling podcast Jobbing Out Show here

RELATED: 2017 NFL MOCK DRAFT 1.0

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 set to interview new defensive coordinator candidate in Dennis Thurman, per report

Redskins set to interview new defensive coordinator candidate in Dennis Thurman, per report

The Redskins have conducted interviews with a number of candidates at defensive coordinator, but a new name emerged Thursday morning. 

Thurman played cornerback in the NFL for nine years from 1978 to 1986, recording 36 career interceptions in 137 games. The bulk of his playing career was spent with the Dallas Cowboys, but he played his final season with the then St. Louis Rams. 

In coaching since 1988, Thurman's coaching career started working with the secondary for the Cardinals before an eight-year run at his alma mater, Southern Cal. From there, Thurman came back to the pros, joining the Ravens coaching staff in 2002 working under Rex Ryan. In 2008, Thurman moved on with Ryan to the New York Jets, and in 2013, was named Jets defensive coordinator In 2014, he went to Buffalo with Ryan to serve as their defensive coordinator when Ryan was named head coach.

In four seasons as a coordinator, two in New York, two in Buffalo, Thurman's defenses ranked no worse than 19th, per Pro Football Reference.

A football lifer like Thurman likely has connections all over the league, but it's interesting to note he has worked with new Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn since 2009. The two were on staffs both with the Jets and the Bills. Another Redskins coordinator candidate Gus Bradley has often been linked with Lynn, though the two have never been on the same staff.

Meeting with Thurman will satisfy the NFL's guidelines to interview minority candidates for coordinator positions. The Rooney Rule, as it was instituted, requires NFL teams to interview minority candidates for head coaching jobs, but only suggests that teams extend the practice to coordinator positions. Washington had set an interview with Carolina's Steve Wilks, but then he was promoted internally to be the Panthers defensive coordinator and the meeting never took place. 

RELATED: 2017 NFL MOCK DRAFT 1.0

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!