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Need to Know: Jay Gruden's epic Hard Knocks rant

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Need to Know: Jay Gruden's epic Hard Knocks rant

Here is what you need to know on this Monday, January 6, 122 days before the NFL draft.

Offense or defense? How about neither?

Jay Gruden appears to be a strong candidate for the Redskins’ head coaching job, perhaps the favorite to land the position.

When Bruce Allen talked about his ideal candidate for the job, he twice mentioned that he wanted a coach with “fire in his belly”. Does Jay Gruden fill the bill? Read this rant that was captured during last summer’s Hard Knocks series on HBO (h/t NFL.com for the transcript).

 "Some of the s--- that happened yesterday you wouldn't expect on the first day of rookie OTAs. We had three dropped snaps and a couple things that were my fault. That is Mickey Mouse horse---- football right there, and we all had our hand in it. Everybody had their hand in it, and it can't happen for us to be as good as we want to be. Ever.

"I can handle a drop every now and then. I can handle a guy beating you with a good pass-rush move. I can handle certain things, but I can't handle mental f---ups time and time again. Andy (Dalton)'s been a quarterback here for three f------ years and hasn't had one dropped snap. Not one. We had three in one day!

"Concentration, poise. You gotta have it on every snap in this game. Otherwise, you're going to get your ass beat time and time again. You're going to be 18th-ranked in offense. You're going to be 9-7 or 8-8, and you're going to be f-----' watching the playoffs at home every year. Yesterday, we took a major step backwards, and now today, we gotta take two steps forward.

"You gotta have great attention to detail, not just on Sundays. On Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesday, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. If you want to mull around at .500, f-----' then come out here and f--- around and f--- up. But if you want to be great, then you have to set your standards high and come out and go after it every f-----' day."

Sounds like a lot of fire in that belly to me.

Note: Here is a video of Gruden's talk to the offense. In case you can't tell from the transcript, it's NSFW. (h/t @jodybhaile)

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Timeline

—On this date in 1971, George Allen was hired at the Redskins’ head coach.

—Days until: NFL free agency 64; 2014 NFL Draft 122; 2014 Opening Sunday 244

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DY talks about the coaching search

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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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