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Need to Know: Gruden explains Redskins' Richmond practice time switch

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Need to Know: Gruden explains Redskins' Richmond practice time switch

Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, June 17, 43 days before the Washington Redskins start training camp.

Gruden talks about practice schedule

Yesterday in this space I wondered why the Redskins decided to change their practice schedule in Richmond this summer. On most days they will have their full practice in the afternoon and have their walkthrough in the morning. That is the opposite of the way they did it last year.

I said that the change may have been for financial reasons tied to the Redskins agreement with the city of Richmond as much as for football reasons. Yesterday Jay Gruden was asked for the reasons behind the schedule change. Here is his reply in its entirety.
“We have two practices: one walkthrough and one practice in pads that you can do in training camp. Whether you do one in the morning and one in the afternoon, that’s really up to us as a staff and what we decided was… to install in the morning in meetings, walk through the installation, practice in the afternoon, watch the practice tape, and do it all over again as opposed to trying to install in the evening and practice in the morning. When you install in the evening, sometimes guys are so tired and rundown that you don’t get their attention. We’re hoping that when they wake up bright and early, get a cup of coffee and a good breakfast, we’ll install our stuff, go out to the walkthrough, we walkthrough what we just installed, and then we practice it. I think that transition will be better and more learning-conducive for the players. The reason I didn’t do it last year, quite frankly, is I worried about the rain in the afternoon. But after going through it, I think we would’ve only missed one, maybe two days. If it is a chance of rain or something in the afternoon, we can always flip-flop the practices depending on it. From a learning standpoint, for the players, I think meeting, walkthrough, practice, watch tape is the best way to do it.”
So, there you have the football reasons for making the switch. And, as I should have mentioned in the post yesterday, in 2013, the first year that training camp was in Richmond, Mike Shanahan had the walkthough in the morning and the padded practice in the afternoon. So there is a rational case to be made for the padded practices in the morning and for having them in the afternoon.

Did the financial considerations figure in pushing the decision towards having the heavy, more entertaining practice in the afternoon? You’ve heard what the coach said and you’re also familiar with the way this organization does business. You can decide.

Timeline

Today’s schedule: Minicamp practice 1 p.m.; offensive coaches available coming off the field. Jay Gruden news conference approx. 3 p.m.

—It’s been 171 days since the Redskins played a game. It will be 88 days until they play the Dolphins at FedEx Field.

Days until: Redskins training camp starts 43; Preseason opener @ Browns 57; final cuts 81

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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Need to Know: Another big day on the ground on tap for the Redskins?

Need to Know: Another big day on the ground on tap for the Redskins?

Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, December 11, eight days before the Washington Redskins host the Carolina Panthers.

Timeline

Today's schedule: Redskins vs. Eagles 1 p.m.

Days until: Panthers @ Redskins 8; Redskins @ Bears Christmas Eve 13; Giants @ Redskins, New Year’s Day 21

Injuries of note:
Out:
G Long (concussion), S Blackmon (concussion), DE Lanier (leg)
Limited: TE Reed (shoulder), G Scherff (ankle), DE Jean Francois (knee/foot), DE Baker (ankle), G Shawn Lauvao (groin)
Final injury report

Final thoughts on Redskins vs Eagles

—The Redskins have not stopped a team in a goal to go situation since September. The Eagles are good in such situations, converting TDs 84 percent of the time. If the Redskins can get a stop and force a field goal try when the first time the Eagles get down there that would be a big psychological boost for the visitors. Or, better yet, maybe they can just not let the Eagles get any first and goal opportunities. That’s what happened when the teams played in Week 6.

—In that Week 6 meeting the Redskins rushed for 230 yards, their best performance on the ground this season by 79 yards. Matt Jones picked up 135 yards on 16 attempts, Rob Kelley had 5-59, and Chris Thompson kicked in with 9-37. It’s unlikely that Jones will be active so it will be up to Kelley to get things rolling on the ground.

—For all the talk about Kirk Cousins having the Eagles’ number, he had one of his worst statistical games of the year against them in Week 6. He completed just 52.9 percent of his passes, his lowest completion percentage of the season. Cousins also threw perhaps his worst interception of the year, a pick six that tied the game at 14 in the second quarter. The bottom line was that he made some plays and the Redskins won but he likely will have to play better this time for his team to prevail today.

—Carson Wentz has six interceptions in his last three games, including three last week against the Bengals. Josh Norman is due to get an interception, overdue, in fact. Don’t know what will happen but the chances seem good that a Redskin will get his hands on a Wentz pass today.

—We saw last week that the Redskins are not a lock to go on the road and win against a team that is desperately fighting for its playoff life. Fortunately for the Redskins, the Eagles do not have players who are the equals of David Johnson, Larry Fitzgerald, and Patrick Peterson. While plenty can go wrong I think the Redskins come away with with the win.

Redskins 28, Eagles 24

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Redskins bring former starting center back to active roster

Redskins bring former starting center back to active roster

The Redskins officially brought Kory Lichtensteiger back to the active roster, and while the move is now for depth, it could have other ramifications down the road. 

The move is on the NFL's transaction report for Saturday. To make room for Lichtensteiger, the team released defensive lineman A.J. Francis. 

Dealing with injuries up and down the line of scrimmage, Lichtensteiger's return could give the offensive front more flexibility. When Lichtensteiger got injured Week 3 and sent to the injured reserve, third-year pro Spencer Long stepped in and performed well at center. Last week in Arizona, Long sustained a concussion.

That injury opened the door for John Sullivan, who will start this week in Philadelphia with Long ruled out. Sullivan was brought in as a backup to Long once Lichtensteiger was put on IR. With Long now in the NFL concussion protocol, the Redskins need another center should Sullivan get hurt. Alas, Lichtensteiger's return from the IR. 

Left guard Shawn Lauvao also sustained an injured groin, and that's where things could get interesting. Long is capable of playing guard, as is Lichtensteiger in a pinch. Should Lauvao's injury persist, Lichtensteiger might be able to help there.

Against the Eagles, the plan certainly appears to be second-year man Arie Kouandjio starting in place of Lauvao. Kouandjio made one earlier start this season - Week 4 against Cleveland - and the results were mixed.

If Kouandjio stumbles and Lauvao needs more time, Lichtensteiger's return to the roster gives Jay Gruden and Bill Callahan more flexibility, especially when Long returns from injury.

In fact, once the team has Long, Lichtensteiger and Sullivan healthy, there could be a bit of a logjam roster-wise on the offensive line, but considering all the injuries, bumps and bruises that are part of O-line life by the last four games of the season, the Redskins staff likely won't mind figuring that out. 

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