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Need to Know: Many Redskins hard at work two weeks before start of camp

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Need to Know: Many Redskins hard at work two weeks before start of camp

Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, July 10, 14 days before the Redskins start training camp.

Three and out

Here are a few tidbits and updates as we are two weeks away from the first practice of Redskins training camp 2014.

—Players are off but there were at least a dozen cars in the players lot at Redskins Park yesterday and the weight room was active. Other players, like Robert Griffin III, are working out at various locations around the country. Talking about quarterbacks putting in work in weeks leading up to camp, Jay Gruden said, “You have got to take care of yourself when nobody is watching you in order to be great. I know that Drew [Brees] is going to do it, I know Tom Brady does it, Peyton Manning does it.” And Chris Baker knows that the guys who are going to be blocking him are probably in a weight room somewhere and Niles Paul knows that whoever is going to be covering him isn’t lounging on a beach somewhere.

—The assistant coaches are also officially off but some of them have been around the building getting ready for camp. I ran into Jim Haslett, who seems to be pretty pumped about the way the defense is coming together. When I mentioned that the preseason opener is four weeks away, he said that his guys could line up and play tomorrow.

—That preseason opener against the Patriots will be preceded by three days of joint practices with Tom Brady, Bill Belichick, and company. At that point the Redskins will have practiced for nine days against each other and they will be happy to compete against anyone from a different team. We don’t really know what this will look like but I think we’ll see a lot of one on one competition (O-linemen vs. D-linemen, wide receivers vs. cornerbacks) as well as a lot of seven on seven and 11 on 11 drills.

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Timeline

—It’s been 193 days since the Redskins played a game; in 59 days they play the Texans in their 2014 season opener.

Days until: Preseason opener vs. Patriots 28; Final cuts 51; Home opener Jaguars @ Redskins 66

Haslett: Defense will improve via turnovers

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Need to Know: Five Redskins under pressure vs. the Eagles

Need to Know: Five Redskins under pressure vs. the Eagles

Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, December 6, three days before the Washington Redskins play the Philadelphia Eagles.

Timeline

Today's schedule: Joe Barry news conference 12:40; Practice 1:05; Jay Gruden and Sean McVay news conferences and open locker room after practice approx. 3:00

Days until: Panthers @ Redskins 11; Redskins @ Bears Christmas Eve 16; Giants @ Redskins, New Year’s Day 24

Injuries of note vs. Cardinals:
Out:
G Long (concussion), S Blackmon (concussion), DE Baker (ankle), DE Jean Francois (knee/foot), G Lauvao (groin)
Limited: TE Reed (shoulder), G Scherff (ankle
Wednesday injury report

QB Kirk Cousins—It’s on his shoulders. Not just this game but the entire playoff run. He can’t have an off day, not even one like the Arizona game where he was off for just part of the game. Cousins doesn’t have to be perfect on every throw but for this team to win he has to be very good every quarter.

OT Trent Williams—Back from his four-game suspension, Williams can’t miss a beat in returning to his All-Pro form. Any mistake, much less any sacks allowed, will open him up to further criticism that he left the team in a bad spot. 

WR DeSean Jackson—The dynamic here has become more intriguing since media reports of mutual interest between Jackson and his former team have emerged. Jackson has done his thing the last two games, catching passes for long gains. But if he is going to be of value down the stretch (and of value to any other team next year) he is going to need to get his hands on some shorter and intermediate passes as well.

OLB Preston Smith—He was a regular on this list until he came up big against the Vikings. But he has since disappeared again and needs to come on strong for the team’s stretch run.

ILB Will Compton—He has been coming under fire lately for ineffective play, including missed tackles and being out of position on occasion. The Redskins need him to raise the level of his game if they are going to land in the postseason.

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Reed catches a pass. Staying away from contact. #Redskins

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Long injury list hampers Redskins practice

Long injury list hampers Redskins practice

As Jay Gruden stepped to the podium to read the injury report, he warned, “This will be a while.”

He was right, as he rattled off one the longest injury reports of the season.

Out were G Spencer Long (concussion), S Will Blackmon (concussion), DE Chris Baker (ankle), DE Ricky Jean Francois (knee/foot), DE Anthony Lanier (lower leg), G Shawn Lauvao (groin), OT Ty Nsekhe (ankle), and S Donte Whitner (illness).

Of that group, all but Jean Francois, Lanier, and Nsekhe are starters. Between them and the limited players listed below it was difficult for the Redskin to conduct a normal practice.

“It was a challenge,” said Gruden of getting through it. “Practice was modified quite a bit today. We did more walkthrough today than we ever have on a Wednesday.”

“Sometimes you have to taper back just a hair to make it through practice, try to get the mental reps in with walkthrough and then hopefully the physical part will come maybe tomorrow. Friday we can open them up a bit.”

Limited in practice were TE Jordan Reed (shoulder), OLB Preston Smith (groin), ILB Will Compton (hip), G Brandon Scherff (ankle), and TE Derek Carrier (knee).

READ MORE: FULL UPDATE ON JORDAN REED

Reed returned to practice for the first time since suffering a Grade 3 sprain to the AC joint in his left shoulder in the game against the Cowboys on Thanksgiving. He missed the game in Arizona. While his limited participation was a good sign for his return it’ is way too early in the week to say with any degree of certainty that he will be playing against the Eagles.