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Need to Know: Meriweather still recovering from ACL

brandon-meriweather-rehab.png

Need to Know: Meriweather still recovering from ACL

RICHMOND—Here is what you need to know on this Friday, August 2, six days before the Redskins open their preseason against the Titans.

Don’t worry about Meriweather--yet

The Redskins have had seven days of training camp practices and Brandon Meriweather has participated in very few of them. Although the starting strong safety often dresses in pads, he usually can be found in an area off to the side called the drill field, working out with other walking wounded such as Donte Stallworth (hamstring), and Chris Thompson (knee).

Meriweather is still recovering from the torn ACL that ended his year early after a number of other knee issues forced his season to start late. That ACL injury occurred in the Redskins’ Week 11 game on November 18. If you do the math you have a recovery period so far of about eight and a half months.

The “normal” rehab period for a torn ACL is seven to nine months. It seems that Robert Griffin III will be recovered from his knee injury in closer to seven months while Meriweather needs more like the high end of the recovery range.

“When a guy practices, you have a gut feeling of what he can do as you watch him in individual drills and team drills,” said Shanahan yesterday. “He is not ready to go in team situations yet . . . Right now, he is still getting individual work. We are still running him but we are not going to put him in team situations until we feel like he is ready to compete.”

While there is some cause for concern here there is no need to panic that the team’s best option at strong safety won’t be available on opening day. The benchmark to start doing that is about nine months after the injury. The Redskins play their second preseason game against the Steelers on August 19, one day after the nine-months past the injury mark. If Meriweather can play in that game, or the key third preseason game against the Bills on August 24, he should be good to go for the opener. If he misses both of those games, there will be some doubt.

There are more than five weeks to go until the Redskins’ season opener. Meriweather is close to being ready but the last stages of his rehab are taking some time. For right now, the Redskins have the luxury of that time but in a couple of weeks it will be running very, very short.

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Today’s schedule (all practices open to the public at the Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Center)

10:00—Walkthrough practice, players available to media coming off the field

After walkthrough (approx. 11:30)—News conference with player TBA

3:20—Full practice, players available to media coming off the field

5:30 (approx.)—Mike Shanahan news conference

Can the Redskins reverse fortunes in the secondary?

In case you missed it

Days until: Redskins @ Titans preseason opener 6; Final cuts 29; Redskins @ Cowboys 72

Tandler on Twitter
IMO, if Thompson can be practicing in time for PITT preseason game and can stay healthy, he'll have a good shot. Later or relapse, iffy.

— Rich Tandler (@Rich_TandlerCSN) August 1, 2013

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Need to Know: Redskins' Gruden's fate hinges on Manusky, McCloughan

Need to Know: Redskins' Gruden's fate hinges on Manusky, McCloughan

Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, January 24, 36 days before the NFL franchise tag deadline.

Timeline

Days until:

NFL free agency starts 44
—NFL Draft 93
First Sunday of 2017 season 229

Gruden's fate rests on Manusky, McCloughan

In his press conference the day after the Redskins lost to the Giants to end their season, Jay Gruden talked about the decision-making process that would unfold if there were changes in the coaching staff.

“Ultimately I would think it is my call – our call,” he said. “Bruce [Allen] will have some input, Dan [Snyder] will have some input, Scot [McCloughan] will have some input, but from a staff standpoint, I like to think I have a lot of pull on that one.”

That doesn’t make it sound like he was completely free to replace the fired Joe Barry and new Rams head coach Sean McVay with whomever he chose. Others could make suggestions and have input and possibly veto power.

The decision to make Greg Manusky the defensive coordinator likely was influenced by and/or had the approval of, McCloughan. Manusky ran the defense in San Francisco when McCloughan was the GM there. McCloughan was instrumental in getting Manusky to come to the Redskins to coach the outside linebackers a year ago, after he was fired as the Colts’ defensive coordinator.

Related: Redskins defensive coordinator resume: Greg Manusky

Having McCloughan’s approval for the hire provides Gruden with some degree of security. If it doesn’t work out, if the Redskins upgrade the talent on defense and still don’t get better results, the heat will be on McCloughan as well as Gruden.

Still, Gruden will be the one in the spotlight this season. When the annual media lists of coaches on the hot season in 2017 come out, Gruden is sure to be atop many of them. It’s simple math, really. In Gruden’s three seasons the team has gone 4-12, 9-7, and 8-7-1. A return to double-digit loss territory would be a regression and there would be legitimate concern over whether Gruden is the guy who can make progress and then maintain it and build on it.

Did Gruden get his first pick for the job? Probably not. It seems that Gus Bradley was the favorite, having built the aggressive Seattle defense and having ties with McCloughan from there and with Gruden and Allen from Tampa Bay. But he decided to head west and take over the Chargers’ defense, perhaps wondering about Gruden’s job security. If Bradley didn’t top the list, then Gruden’s top choice probably was Cincinnati defensive coordinator Paul Guenther. But he is under contract and the Bengals denied permission for him to talk about making a lateral move.

More Redskins: Redskins stay in house

Wade Phillips decided to go to the Rams, who have decidedly better defensive personnel than the Redskins, before he had a chance to meet with Washington. We’re not sure how seriously Gruden pursued Phillips but it’s possible that he would have taken him over Manusky if he had the chance. That means that Manusky was at best Plan C or Plan D.

But that’s water under the bridge. Gruden’s fate now lies in the hands of Manusky and in the hands of McCloughan, who must set out to get the new defensive coordinator a significant talent upgrade. If Gruden gets a better defense and can maintain a top offensive attack (given Kirk Cousins’ contract status, he needs McCloughan’s help there, too) and the Redskins can take the next step he should be expecting to start serious extension talks in 2018.

If the Redskins spin their wheels and end up around .500 again or if they regress and post double-digit losses like they did for five out of six years from 2009-2014 they could be cleaning house and starting over again. That wouldn’t be a good scenario for anyone. The organization is counting on Manusky, who was Plan C, and McCloughan to help Gruden get things on track.

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Stay up to date on the Redskins! Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page www.Facebook.com/RealRedskins and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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The Redskins newest coach has a rap video in his honor

The Redskins newest coach has a rap video in his honor

On Monday morning, the Redskins made several new coaching hires official, including Jim Tomsula as the new defensive line coach.

Tomsula was out of football in 2016 after serving as the 49ers head coach for the 2015 season in which the team finished 5-11.

Despite struggling as a head coach, Tomsula gained an odd, if not heavy cult following. It made little sense considering he has the look and demeanor of someone who was put on this earth to coach football and coach football only. But through the glories of the internet came this:

The Jimmy Tomsula rap song.

RELATED: MOST IMPORTANT REDSKINS' FREE AGENTS

It's just a demo, and I suppose the full version could be out there somewhere since this song is over a year old. But there's something hypnotizing about 60 consecutive seconds of "Open up my shirt like im Jimmy Tom-Sula."

How long before we begin hearing this song at FedEx Field on Sundays?