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Need to Know: Light workload for starters on Saturday

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Need to Know: Light workload for starters on Saturday

Here is what you need to know on this Friday, August 23, one day before the Redskins take on the Bills at FedEx Field.

Nickel coverage

Five items from Redskins Park:

1. The dress rehearsal will feature a lot of understudies. Mike Shanahan said that the starters will play about 20 snaps on Saturday. That’s considerably fewer than most teams around the league will have their front-line players in. And although he did leave himself some wiggle room, it looks like the starters will sit out the fourth preseason game as they usually do. That means that the starters will play a total of about a single game’s worth of football in practice games.

2. Maurice Hurt is still on the PUP list and it doesn’t look like he’ll be off of it anytime soon. “We’re just going to keep on working him,” said Shanahan. He’s got a knee. We’re trying to get him in football shape. I’m afraid if we put him in there too quick there will be a setback, especially with a short week, so we’re constantly evaluating him day-by-day.”

3. The annual Welcome Home Luncheon is today at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center. It’s always a nice event with some alumni and all of the players there and some awards given out. I wonder who is the favorite to win offensive player of the year?

4. Nick Barnett has yet to play a down but he may have locked up the award for the best quote of the year: “If they let the lion off the chain, I’ll be out there roaming the jungle.” Jim Haslett said that he should be let off the chain, rather, that he should play, on Saturday.

5. It sounds like Robert Griffin III is doing more than he did last week in Richmond. “It has been a full practice for him,” said Shanahan. “He’s had two excellent days, same thing he would have during the regular season.

Stat of the day

The Redskins were the worst defense in the league on third down last year, allowing conversions 44.2 percent of the time. So far in the preseason they have allowed just five of 20 third downs to be converted, a rate of 25 percent. Of course there is huge caveat in the quality of the opposition. They faced Charlie Batch Bruce Gradkowski and Landry Jones for a good chunk of Monday’s game, not Big Ben. But it’s a step in the right direction if they can get into a habit of shutting teams down on third down.

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Timeline

One week from today the Redskins will be done with their preseason and a day away from having their 53-man roster finalized.

Days until: Bills @ Redskins 1; Final cuts 8; Eagles @ Redskins 17

Today’s schedule—No availability, Bills at Redskins tomorrow at 4:30 p.m., Comcast SportsNet

Tandler and Tarik talk about the Bills game

In case you missed it

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Redskins' Doug Williams presents a special jersey to family of Jim Vance

Redskins' Doug Williams presents a special jersey to family of Jim Vance

On July 22, legendary D.C. broadcaster Jim Vance died at the age of 75.

During the first day of training camp on Thursday, Washington Redskins VP of player personnel Doug Williams, presented NBC4 sports reporter Carol Maloney with a gift for Vance's family.

RELATED: REMEMBERING JIM VANCE

The gesture by the Redskins was one filled with much respect for the award-winning anchor.

Vance was a staple for many D.C. locals, being a full-time anchor since 1972 for NBC4. 

Last summer, Vance revealed he had been diagnosed with cancer but never stopped working. 

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LIVE Redskins training camp practice report: Day 1

LIVE Redskins training camp practice report: Day 1

RICHMOND—The Redskins took the field for their first practice of the season. Jordan Reed is missing as was the usual stifling heat at the Bon Secours training center.It's warm but the humidity is down from the normal late-July sauna here. 

Here are my observations from practice as it unfolds. Come back and refresh often for the latest:

—Jamison Crowder still appears to be the No. 1 punt returner. Also fielding kicks off of the leg of Tress Way were Maurice Harris, Chris Thompson, and Will Blackmon. 

—The Redskins are practicing without pads per collective bargaining rules. A few are wearing shells. 

—New tight end EJ Bibbs just introduced himself to Vernon Davis as they were getting ready for some individual drills. Reminds me of a few year ago when a just acquired player was participating in stretching and they brought his contract out onto the field for him to sign. He wouldn’t have been able to practice otherwise. 

—Kirk Cousins just acknowledged a fan lined up near the sideline. ‘How’s it going, Derrick?” Derrick’s friends were properly impressed. 

—Maurice Harris showed good form in catching a Cousins pass over the middle against no defense. Nothing spectacular but but a good job reaching forward to pull in a pass that was ahead of him. 

—Harris with another nice catch, this time guarded over the middle by Will Blackmon. He is off to a good start in competing for playing time.

—Torian Gray is admonishing his defensive backs to “wake up, wake up.” On one rep he wanted Tevin Homer to “drive to the ball.”

—It looked like Josh Doctson had a step on Bashaud Breeland on a deep pass but the CB recovered and knocked the pass away. 

—A few plays later Doctson got deep again, this time against Quinton Dunbar. This time the CB couldn’t catch up and Doctson hauled in the pass.

—In the early going in 11 on 11, Will Compton and Mason Foster are the inside LBs with the first team and Joey Mbu is at nose tackle. Both situations could change over the course of the next few weeks. 

—Nice cut by Keith Marshall on a run around right end. He planted his foot and cut upfield with some serious burst. He’s a dark horse when it comes to making the roster but I’m keeping an eye on him. 

—Cousins with a dart to Terrelle Pryor along the sideline. A sharp and accurate throw. 

—Rain is approaching but it should hold off until practice is over. Meanwhile, the clouds and breeze are cooling things down. Nobody is complaining.  

—Pryor was assigned to block Josh Norman on a running play. Norman made a business decision not to contest the block and there was light contact as Norman backed down the field.

—Rookie Robert Davis made a solid back-shoulder catch on the sideline. I’m not sure if Colt McCoy intended for the pass to be back shoulder but that was where it went and Davis reached to make the grab. 

—What was that? Nate Sudfeld heaved one downfield to nobody in particular. Kendall Fuller got an easy interception, his second of the day. 

—That is from Richmond for today. Come on back tomorrow, we’ll do it again.