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Need to Know: How much will Jones line up with Redskins' first team?

Need to Know: How much will Jones line up with Redskins' first team?

Here is what you need to know on this Friday, July 10, 20 days before the Washington Redskins start training camp.

Nickel coverage

We’re a shade less than three weeks away from the start of training camp and I’m starting to review my “what to look for” notes. Here are five of them on the offense side of the ball, I’ll look at some on defense in the next few days.

Will the walking wounded be in action? Trent Williams (ankle), Jordan Reed (knee), and Morgan Moses (foot) missed most or all of OTAs and minicamp with injuries. Although we got the usual happy talk that they should be fine for camp, I don’t believe it until I see them lining up in pads for 11 on 11 work. Missing Williams, of course, would be a major problem. They have kind of gotten used to playing without Reed given his injury problems and Moses is slated for a backup role.

Does Robert Griffin III continue the progress he displayed in the spring? He was not razor sharp in what we saw but it looked like most of what was wrong was fairly easily correctable. However, the eye can be deceiving when they are playing in shorts and helmets. The speed and intensity pick up when the pads go on and we’ll see if Griffin continues to look good.

Who wins the backup quarterback battle? From what we saw in OTAs and minicamp Colt McCoy and Kirk Cousins were fairly even with Cousins perhaps holding a slight edge. They also seemed to split the reps with the second team. But the media wasn’t there for all of the OTAs and it will be good to get a day-to-day picture of how they are performing in pads.

How much does Matt Jones line up with first offense? The third-round pick was in there with the first team early and often this spring. That could have been in part because Alfred Morris doesn’t need that much work and Jay Gruden repeatedly said that Morris was still the primary running back. But I want to see it and if Jones gets a lot of time with the first team in practice I have to think he’ll get a lot of snaps when the games count.

How is the revamped right side of the line doing? Spencer Long has scant NFL experience and Brandon Scherff has none. The will be counted on to upgrade the pass protection on that side and handle run blocking on a team that is tends to be right handed in the running game (144 rushes to right, 120 to the left). They looked fine in shorts but, again, pads will reveal much, much more about their progress.

Timeline

—It’s been 194 days since the Redskins played a game. It will be 65 days until they play the Dolphins at FedEx Field.

Days until: Redskins training camp starts 20; Preseason opener @ Browns 34; final cuts 57

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Need to Know: Will the Redskins be interested in C Mangold, RB Murray?

Need to Know: Will the Redskins be interested in C Mangold, RB Murray?

Here is what you need to know on this Monday, February 27, 2 days before the March 1 NFL franchise tag deadline.  

Timeline

Days until:

—NFL Combine (3/2) 3
—Start of NFL free agency (3/9) 10
—Redskins offseason workouts start (4/17) 49
—NFL Draft (4/27) 59
—First Sunday of 2017 season (9/10) 195

Monday morning Redskins musings as free agency approaches

1. It appears that the Raiders are going to let Latavius Murray, who rushed for over 1,800 yards combined in the last two seasons, test free agency.

I’d be surprised if the Redskins showed any interest. I’m not sure that they will be jumping into the RB free agent pool, at least not into the deep (expensive) end of it. They might draft a back to compete with Rob Kelley, Matt Jones, and Mack Brown. Chris Thompson will remain the third-down back.

2. Do you wonder why the Redskins have been reluctant to draft a safety?

Eventually, someone will need to figure out the safety position in the NFL. With all the spread offenses that safeties face in college the safeties have become more like additional corner. Also, the better defensive backs in college want to be cornerbacks because it pays better in the pros. The pool coming out is generally small to begin with and then it shrinks even further for each team due to the scheme factors that Farrar discusses. Su'a Cravens could be the solution to one safety spot for the Redskins but they continue to be in search of someone to pair with him. 

RELATED: NFL Mock Draft Version 4.0

3. The Jets allowed C Nick Mangold to announce his own release. He was one of the best centers of the past decade; Mangold went to seven Pro Bowls and was named first-team All-Pro twice. But I don’t see him being of interest to the Redskins. They are happy with Spencer Long and even if they weren’t, Mangold is 33 and he missed half of last season with an ankle injury. Those factors likely will make the Redskins steer clear.

4. Maybe some fans don’t care if they are getting information from the team through the media at the combine. Or at the Senior Bowl. Or anywhere. And it is the team’s option to have someone available or not during most of the offseason (a press conference prior to the draft is mandatory). But they are missing out on a chance to give their side of the story.

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.

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

5. We have another D-lineman signed as the Panthers retained DE Mario Addison.

Addison, who was with the Redskins for five games in 2012, also had six and 6.5 sacks the previous two year, not bad for a guy who has started just one game in the last three seasons. That average of just over $7 million per year sets another data point for the Redskins to use to try to retain Chris Baker. Addison is a 4-3 end while Baker is a 3-4 end so it’s not an apples to apples comparison but it will help figuring out what a reasonable contract is. Without seeing the details, it looks like Addison gave the Panthers something of a hometown discount as that’s a good price for a guy who was half a sack away from double digits.

In case you missed 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.

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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>>>

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