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Need to Know: Free agency changes look of many of Redskins '15 opponents

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Need to Know: Free agency changes look of many of Redskins '15 opponents

Here is what you need to know on this Friday, March 13, 48 days before the Washington Redskins go on the clock at the NFL draft.

What have the 2015 opponents done in free agency?

The Redskins’ 2015 schedule won’t come out until next month but we know who they will play. Let’s take a look at how free agency will affect the some of the teams the Redskins will play in 2015.

Eagles—Chip Kelly is not done making moves but we do know that he’ll have a different starting quarterback (probably Sam Bradford), running back (DeMarco Murray), and No. 1 wide receiver (nobody knows) in the lineup. Crazy? Genius? Both? We’ll start to find out.

Giants—It’s easy to see Shane Vereen catching swing passes out of the backfield from Eli Manning and creating death by a thousand paper cuts. Well, until Manning throws it up for grabs and Odell Beckham Jr. comes down with it.

Falcons—I’m not sure if Leonard Hankerson will strike fear in the hearts of defenders but it will be interesting to see how he can do with a stable QB situation. Former Texans linebacker Brooks Reed will be interesting to watch as he tries to put pressure on the QB in Dan Quinn’s defensive scheme.

Saints—The Redskins always have trouble covering tight ends so the absence of Jimmy Graham will be welcome.

Rams—Nick Foles lit the Redskins secondary up pretty well in their meeting in Philly last year so we’ll see how he does with offensive weapons not quite as good as the Eagles have (or had, anyway).

Bills—They’ll only have to face him once this year and won’t have to do it again until 2019 if he stays with the Bills but they do have to go up against Shady McCoy this season. They have done a fairly good job of containing him but the focus frees up others on offense.

Patriots—They lost Darrelle Revis and they could lose Brandon Browner. But something tells me that as long as they have that guy named Brady behind center they’ll be just fine.

Dolphins—The interior of the Redskins’ line is not their strong point and there’s no question that Ndamukong Suh will be quite a load to handle.

Jets—The Redskins don’t get out of facing Revis Island; it's now located at Met Life Stadium. They also brought back his ex-backfield mate Antonio Cromartie.

Timeline

—It’s been 75 days since the Redskins played a game. It will be about 184 days until they play another one.

Days until: Redskins offseason workouts start 38; 2015 NFL Draft 48; Redskins training camp starts 139

If you have any questions about what's going on at Redskins Park, hit me up in the comments. And I'm always on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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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!