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Need to Know: Five things on RG3's offseason to-do list

Need to Know: Five things on RG3's offseason to-do list

Here is what you need to know on this Friday, February 7, 12 days before the NFL Combine.

Nickel coverage

According to Pierre Garçon, Robert Griffin III has set up a number of players-only offseason passing camps already. Here are five more things that are on his to-do list between now and the start of the season.

Take care of the knee—Griffin is now about 13 months removed from the surgical repairs to his right knee. While the healing is nearly complete he needs to be sure that he is 100 percent comfortable running and cutting on it and that it is strong enough minimize the chances of reinjuring it.

Get onto the same page with Jay Gruden—The fates of Griffin and Gruden are inexorably tied to each other. Neither one can succeed without the other.

Think before speaking to the media—Maybe he should speak to the media less but the starting QB is required to have media availability during OTAs, minicamp, and training camp. It only makes sense to set up a press conference so everyone isn’t crowded around his locker or in a scrum as he comes off the practice field. As for the other stuff, well, I don’t see there being much media demand for magazine cover stories or one-hour documentaries.

Learn to slide—Denard Span of the Nationals has offered to teach Griffin how to slide to avoid injury. He’s practically pleaded with Griffin to take him up on it. Whether it’s from Span or elsewhere or if he slides or uses some other method to protect himself when large men seeking to do him harm are in close proximity he needs to do it.

Read and react—It’s telling that after Griffin was benched after taking 25 sacks in five games, Kirk Cousins was sacked just four times in three games playing behind the same offensive line. Griffin needs to get rid of the ball quicker and that means trusting what his eyes tell him and reacting instead of thinking.

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Here’s the thing
Reserve running backs are supposed to be key contributors on special teams. Jawan Jamison was moved up from the practice squad for the last three games of the season and he was on the game day active list all three games. But he didn’t play a single play on special teams. If he can’t do that or is unwilling to do that, why is he on the roster?
Timeline

—It’s been 40 days since the Redskins played a game; it will be about 212 days until they play another one.

—Days until: NFL Combine 12; NFL Free agency starts 32; Offseason workouts start 59; NFL Draft 90

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Redskins Playbook: Beyond Jordan Reed, questions mount as training camp opens

Redskins Playbook: Beyond Jordan Reed, questions mount as training camp opens

RICHMOND - Everything seemed cool at the Bon Secours training facility when Jay Gruden left the podium on Wednesday, but that quickly changed when the Redskins released their  Physically Unable to Perform list a few hours later. Jordan Reed landing on the PUP list was an unexpected bomber, a big deal even if the star tight end returns to the field quickly.

On Thursday, the Redskins will take to the field for their first day of training camp. There will be plenty of questions:

  1. When and why? Reed on the PUP list for the first day of camp does not mean Redskins fans should panic, but it also doesn't mean there isn't reason for alarm. Reed has a distinct injury history and it seems the team is being smart trying to handle an injury rather than let it linger. The Washington offense is at its best with Reed on the field. Jay Gruden will be asked about Reed a lot in his Thursday press conference; perhaps their will be some clarity.
  2. D-Line questions - Rookie Jonathan Allen should immediately help the 'Skins up front defensively, but beyond that, there are no sure things in the trenches. The Redskins added Stacy McGee from the Raiders and Terrell McClain from the Cowboys in free agency, and both are expected to have a significant role right away. Those guys have had productive flashes in their past, but injuries have been an issue. The Redskins need them to be good, and healthy, right away.
  3. Time to shine - Josh Doctson hardly had a rookie season as he dealt with Achilles injuries. He played just two games in 2016. With DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garçon gone, the Redskins need last year's first-round draft pick to produce in 2017. A strong training camp, develping chemistry with Kirk Cousins, could help calm fears about the revamped 'Skins offense. 

Stay with CSN all day for updates from the Redskins first training camp practice of the 2017 season. Football is finally here.

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Reed on PUP is not a reason to panic, at least not yet

Reed on PUP is not a reason to panic, at least not yet

RICHMOND—Redskins fans got into a panic when the news that Jordan Reed will start the season on the PUP list with a sprained big toe. But the injury is no cause for great concern. At least not for now.

It’s not that Reed isn’t an important cog in the offense. Of course he is. He was No. 2 in our ranking of the Redskins who will have the most impact in 2017. But there is every indication that the move is precautionary. History indicates that toe injuries tend to linger. Similar to hamstring injuries, the best path often is to rest and rehab until the pain is gone and then rest and rehab a little while longer. That minimizes the chances of the injury coming back.

RELATED: Reed one of four to start camp on PUP

The irony here is that Reed did not go to OTAs in order to work on conditioning in Miami. Most areas of his body probably are bullet proof. But there is not a lot you can do to prevent a toe injury; it’s just not one of those areas of the body you can fortify with conditioning.

We don’t yet have a timetable for Reed’s return. They will not be in any hurry. Reed knows the offense and he has good timing and rapport with Kirk Cousins. After missing OTAs he came in a dominated the two-day minicamp. The Redskins could choose to have him work on rehab and conditioning until the third preseason game one month from today. They can let him get a little tune up against the Bengals and then put him back in bubble wrap until they open the season against the Eagles on September 10.

MORE REDSKINS: Ranking the Redskins roster, the final update

That sounds like a good plan but there is always the possibility of a relapse. These injuries are tricky. And while it’s too soon to panic, some great concern would be warranted if Reed still is on PUP in a month.

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerCSN and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.