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Need to Know: Five Redskins who need good practice weeks

Need to Know: Five Redskins who need good practice weeks

Here is what you need to know on this Monday, August 24, five days before the Washington Redskins play the Baltimore Ravens.

Five players who need good weeks in practice

After a day off today, the Redskins start preparation for their preseason game in Baltimore on Tuesday. Here are some players who need to have good weeks in practice.

QB Robert Griffin III—This is quite obvious but too essential to leave out. After playing fairly well against the Browns, Griffin had plenty of issues with his mechanics on Thursday. Of course, he didn’t have much of a pocket to work from.

RG Brandon Scherff—He now knows that the days of being able to physically dominate the guy lined up across from him are over. The No. 5 pick in the draft will have to work overtime with line coach Bill Callahan to polish his technique.

OT Willie Smith—Scherff needs a lot of work but he is going to make the team. Smith needs to do something to erase the stain of his poor performance against the Lions if he is going to go from the bubble to the 53-man roster on September 5. The thing is, he might not get into the Ravens game and first cuts are a few days after that. A good showing in practice this week would help his chances of surviving until the fourth preseason game.

TE Derek Carrier—Yes, he just got to town so he doesn’t have any errors he has to atone for. But he needs to learn the offense in a hurry so he can step in and contribute right away. It would be good if he can get some offensive snaps in on Saturday against the Ravens. With Jordan Reed constantly ailing he might be needed to start sooner rather than later.

OLB Houston Bates—He has had three sacks in the two games so far. A roster spot a linebacker came open when Adam Hayward was lost for the season with a knee injury. It’s all there for him to grab but he needs to show that he’s not a flash in the pan.

Timeline

Today’s schedule: Off day, no availability

—It’s been 239days since the Redskins played a game. It will be 20 days until they play the Dolphins at FedEx Field.

Days until: Preseason Redskins @ Ravens 5; final cuts 12; Redskins @ Giants Thursday night 31

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In case you missed it

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New #RedskinsTalk Podcast: Comparing Redskins training camp with the New England Patriots

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New #RedskinsTalk Podcast: Comparing Redskins training camp with the New England Patriots

After a poor first preseason showing and some questions about the physicality of Redskins training camp, JP Finlay talks with Patriots Insider Phil Perry from CSN New England to discuss the differences between Washington's camp and how they run things in New England.

<<CLICK HERE FOR PHOTOS FROM REDSKINS TRAINING CAMP>>

Want more Redskins? Click here to follow JP on Facebook and check out @JPFinlayCSN for live updates via Twitter! Click here for the #RedskinsTalk on Apple Podcasts, here for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!

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Redskins Playbook: Jay Gruden calls Ryan Grant "Mr. Consistent"

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Redskins Playbook: Jay Gruden calls Ryan Grant "Mr. Consistent"

Few Redskins players draw more heated fan reaction than Ryan Grant. In three seasons with Washington, Grant has never missed a game, but he also hasn't produced much. His career stats: 39 catches for 412 yards and two touchdowns. 

Regardless, Jay Gruden and the Redskins coaching staff appreciates Grant in a way few fans understand. Grant is able to back up both the slot and outside receivers, and knows the roles of all the players.

"He’s really strong, he’s in great shape, and he’s Mr. Consistent," Gruden said of Grant. "Everything we ask him to do he does, and he does it right."

When Jamison Crowder missed time in Richmond with a hamstring strain, Grant stepped into Crowder's slot role. When Josh Doctson hurt his hamstring and missed time, Grant stepped into his role on the outside of the offense.

Throughout camp, Grant has displayed good hands and an adept knowledge of the offense. 

"No matter where he lines up, no matter what we ask him to do, he can come in the core and block the safety, whatever we want him to do, he can run whatever route from whatever positon and he runs at the right depth, perfect angles coming out of them," Gruden said. "He’s just ‘Steady Eddie,’ and that’s why I like him. I like consistent, smart players and that’s what Ryan is."

Against the Ravens in the Redskins first preseason game, Grant hung on to a tough catch over the middle to give the team one of very few offensive sparks. The problem for fans as it relates to Grant has not been preseason play. It's been inconsistent play in regular season games. 

Gruden believes that could change this year.

"I think people may be surprised with how many balls Ryan Grant might catch. Either way, could happen, I don’t know. I can’t foresee the future there, but I would be just fine with Ryan Grant being the target of a lot of balls."

To state the obvious: Grant is definitely making the roster. Behind Terrelle Pyror, Crowder and Doctson, Grant is the Redskins fourth wideout and one of the few players on the roster that is interchangeable among the Washington receiver positions. 

Grant's career best season came in 2015 when he caught 23 balls for 268 yards and two TDs. Based on his preseason, it seems Grant could surpass those totals in 2017. Much of his early season work has been a result of injuries to Doctson and Crowder, but make no mistake, Grant has been impressive in practice. 

Will it translate to the real games? The opprotunity seems only likely to arise if the Redskins deal with injuries at the receiver spot. 

Last year, Cousins threw for nearly 5,000 yards, but DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garçon accounted for more than 2,000 of those yards. Doctson, Crowder and certainly Pryor are likely to be the major recepients of Cousins' aerial prowess. Jordan Reed, Vernon Davis and Chris Thompson accounted for another 1,618 yards last year.

Keep in mind, this is the last year of Grant's rookie contract. If there was ever a time to show in games what coaches have long seen and loved in practice, this would be the year. It seems only an injury would give him a major opportunity. If the situation came to pass, Gruden would have faith in Grant. 

<<CLICK HERE FOR PHOTOS FROM REDSKINS TRAINING CAMP>>

Want more Redskins? Click here to follow JP on Facebook and check out @JPFinlayCSN for live updates via Twitter! Click here for the #RedskinsTalk on Apple Podcasts, here for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!