Quick Links

Need to Know: Gruden, Redskins may not get 4th QB for camp

neyer-rookie-camp.png

Need to Know: Gruden, Redskins may not get 4th QB for camp

Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, May 17, 74 days before the Washington Redskins open training camp in Richmond, VA.

Nickel coverage

Five notes and quotes from rookie minicamp on Saturday:

—Gruden believes that there is no pressing need to find a fourth quarterback after rookie free agent Connor Halliday decided to give up football. “Well, we brought in two quarterbacks here to look at for that fourth spot, but there’s no law that says we have to bring four,” Gruden said. “We have three guys who are going to really fight for every rep as it is, so in a way it’s not bad to have three.” Hutson Mason of Georgia and Anthony Neyer of USC are the two QBs trying out.

—What happened to Halliday, whom GM Scot McCloughan scouted pretty heavily? Gruden was light on details. “Connor, I can’t speak for the decision that he made,” he said. “He just chose to jump on a plane and head to the house. I haven’t had a chance to talk with him yet. He just left me a voice message, but I’m sure he had personal reasons behind it.”

—Gruden is very impressed after working with new offensive line coach Bill Callahan. “He’s detailed, for sure, and he’s a grinder,” he said. “That’s two things about him that are two great qualities, and our line needs it. They’re going to work their butts off, not only on the practice field, but in the classroom. And every drill, every waking moment they’re awake and they’re in this building and out on this practice field, he’s going to be in their ear, working them. And they’re going to get better as a result.” That last part is what everyone is looking for.

—Gruden likes what he has seen out of Arie Kouandjio and it looks like they plan to test him in training camp. “Kouandjio is a detailed guy,” he said. “He loves football, man. He practices hard. He wants to hear every ounce of criticism, every ounce of coaching that he can get and he tries to translate that onto the next rep . . . Come training camp time, we’re going to have [Stephen] Paea go against him one time and then here comes [Jason] Hatcher. It’s going to be some tough days for him.”

—Gruden likes the way that Blake Sims, who quarterbacked Alabama to the national championship playoff semifinals last year but is trying out as a running back, has translated his scrambling ability to the running back position. “He runs a little upright, but he’s got some natural running ability,” he said. “You saw that in college at the quarterback position. When he breaks contain, I never, ever saw the first guy tackle the guy. He always made the first guy miss and the second guy miss and he always got the four or five yards needed for the first down.”

Timeline

—It’s been 140 days since the Redskins played a game. It will be 119 days until they play the Dolphins at FedEx Field.

Days until: Redskins minicamp starts 30; Redskins training camp starts 74; Thursday night Redskins @ Giants 130

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.

Like Real Redskins on Facebook!

Follow Real Redskins on Instagram @RichTandler

Quick Links

A Redskin fan's guide to the NFL Draft Combine

A Redskin fan's guide to the NFL Draft Combine

This week in Indianapolis the NFL world will converge at the Scouting Combine to watch college football players work out, sprint and lift weights in anticipation of the upcoming draft. For the Redskins front office, this draft needs to be a win.

The 2016 Draft could still yield strong results for Washington, but overall the class did not play particularly well as rookies. This year, Scot McCloughan has nine picks at his disposal, with the extra picks late in the draft in the fourth, fifth and sixth rounds.

It's no secret that the 'Skins need help along the defensive line, a lot of help. That should be a major area of focus for the Redskins scouts and coaches, and that will make next Sunday arguably the most important of the week in Indianapolis. 

The combine divides players into 11 position groups, but Groups 7, 8 and 9 will matter most. Groups 7 and 8 represent defensive linemen and 9 are the linebackers. That group officially arrives on Thursday but won't work out on the field until Sunday. The days in between include interviews, psychological testing and the bench press.

Obviously the Redskins won't spend all nine picks on only defensive linemen. The team will likely invest in the offensive line as well, and that group will arrive earlier in the week and work out on Friday. Cornerbacks and safeties are the last to work out on Monday, March 6. 

With the likely departure of at least one of DeSean Jackson or Pierre Garçon, and the possible departure of both, it would make sense for the 'Skins to bring in another receiver via the draft. They work out on Saturday, and should the Redskins decide to take a quarterback in the draft, the passers will work out that day too. 

Running back could be another spot the 'Skins invest. Jay Gruden said that Robert Kelley is locked into the RB1 role, but still the team might want increased competition at the position. The backs will work out Friday.

<<<LOOKING AT REDSKINS DRAFT PROSPECTS>>>

Want more Redskins? Check out @JPFinlayCSN for live updates or click here for the #RedskinsTalk Podcast on iTunes, here for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!

 

Quick Links

Why won’t Redskins brass talk to the media at the NFL Combine?

Why won’t Redskins brass talk to the media at the NFL Combine?

The NFL has released the official schedule of when NFL coaches and executives will take the podium and address the media at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis. You can find it right here but I’ll save you a click—nobody from the Redskins is scheduled to talk.

NFL teams are not required to have a representative speak at the combine but most do. This year only the Saints and Patriots are joining the Redskins in avoiding the media.

Bill Belichick never talks at the combine and I believe that the Saints have bypassed the opportunity to do so in the past. However, the Redskins head coach traditionally has gone to the podium in the past. Joe Gibbs spoke when he was in his second stint as the head coach. Mike Shanahan, as tight lipped as anyone, met with the press in Indy each of his four years as head coach. Jay Gruden has spoken during each of the three years that he has been head coach.

RELATED: NFL Mock Draft Version 3.0

And last year Scot McCloughan held a small media gaggle with local reporters in his hotel in Indianapolis.

This year the Redskins are going somewhat dark. McCloughan did not speak to reporters at the Senior Bowl (Gruden held a brief availability in Mobile), a departure from his first two years with the team. And now no Redskins representatives at the combine.

One of the problems with changing what has been a longstanding practice and going into radio silence is that it leaves people speculating. If the team doesn’t want to put any information out there that is the organization’s option. But if you choose not to fill in the blanks, the fans and media will.

So why aren’t they talking? The best bet is that they are in a delicate stage when it comes to dealing with the future of quarterback Kirk Cousins. He is a pending free agent who is likely to be hit with the franchise tag on Wednesday, the day before the combine starts. At that point, the clock will be ticking on Cousins either signing a long-term contract or getting traded to a team that is willing to meet his asking price. It’s my guess that Jay Gruden does not want to face questions about Cousins’ future.

More Redskins: #RedskinsTalk podcast: Is Kirk too nice for his own good?

Gruden is not a very good liar; his poker face needs a lot of work. Perhaps that is a good quality for a human being but not a very good attribute for someone who would need to go out and talk about Cousins as the long-term quarterback for the team, or at least the QB for the coming season, when his status may be very much in doubt.

This is not to say that there is definitely going to be a trade of Cousins worked out at the combine. But it is very possible that a deal will be discussed with Kyle Shanahan and the 49ers and any number of other quarterback-needy teams. And perhaps there is concern that Gruden will let something slip or, more likely, say a lot on the subject of Cousins by not saying anything.

Again, this is just reading the tea leaves on my part. But by going silent the Redskins are sending an invitation for people to fill in the blanks. I am just taking them up on it.

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.