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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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In case you missed it

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Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—Who will surprise, who will play NT

Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—Who will surprise, who will play NT

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, May 27, 17 days before the Washington Redskins start minicamp on June 13.

Timeline

It’s been 146 days since the Redskins played a game. Their season opener against the Eagles at FedEx Field is in 106 days.

Days until:

—Redskins minicamp (6/13) 17
—Training camp starts (7/27) 61
—Preseason opener @ Ravens (8/10) 75

The Redskins week that was

Here are some of the most popular post from the last week on www.CSNmidatlantic.com and on www.RealRedskins.com

How well will the Redskins' defense adjust to six new starters? The Redskins unquestionably got an infusion of defensive talent but as we have seen in the past that does not guarantee better results. Throw a new defensive coordinator into the mix and it could take some time for this unit to reach its full potential. I think that there will be struggles early in the season and a better (but not dominant) unit by the time November rolls around.

Which Redskins will surprise in 2017? Every player carries expectations into the season. Some will be better than we believe right now (think of what many thought Vernon Davis would do last year) and some will play worse (Josh Doctson). I take out the crystal ball to figure out who will exceed expectations and who will fall below them.

Don't count out 3rd straight franchise tag for Cousins—Yes, Bruce Allen said that he is willing to franchise tag Kirk Cousins for a third time next year, a move that would cost $34 million for one season. But I think that’s a total bluff; the Redskins’ salary cap situation for 2018 would make such a move very difficult for them to pull off. The best hope for Cousins being a Redskin in 2018 is getting him signed to a long-term contract by July 15 of this year. The tone of the conversation regarding a new deal has been positive lately but the team must come up with a serious offer for a deal to happen.

For Redskins, finding a nose tackle needs to be a priority—Well, it’s up to Jim Tomsula to “make” a nose tackle. Phil Taylor is a true NT and he will get a shot. But he hasn’t played a snap since 2014. Undrafted free agent Ondre Pipkins also has nose tackle size at 6-3, 325. But he is a long shot, as are the Redskins’ chances of being significantly better against the run if they don’t find someone, anyone to be an adequate solution as the nose tackle.

Did Vernon Davis make the NFL change celebration rules? Although I prefer the John Riggins way of celebrating a touchdown—hand the ball to the referee because you’ve been in the end zone before and you expect to be back again soon—elaborate celebrations don’t bother me. After a TD in a game I’m covering I’m focused on writing about the scoring drive. When I’m watching at home, my attention goes to Twitter or to the refrigerator. I do think that it was dumb for the Redskins to lose 15 yards of field position because Vernon Davis put a jump shot over the crossbar so that’s why I’m glad that the NFL changed the celebration rules.

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.

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85-year-old woman unafraid to coach Kirk Cousins

85-year-old woman unafraid to coach Kirk Cousins

Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins is always open to some coaching no matter who it comes from. On Friday that coaching came from Veronica, an 85-year old woman who works at Congressional Country Club and is a die-hard Redskins fan.

Cousins posted a picture of the pair together on his Instagram account Friday afternoon. 

Veronica made some solid suggestions, especially the one about him getting the ball out of his hands quicker. 

Despite the rocky contract situation with the team, there's no question that Cousins loves the passionate Redskins fan base. 

More Redskins: After four teams in five seasons, DJ Swearinger knows what it takes to make the Redskins home