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Need to Know: Next steps for Redskins' Williams and Moses in 2016?

Need to Know: Next steps for Redskins' Williams and Moses in 2016?

Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, June 7, 51 days before the Washington Redskins start training camp in Richmond.

Timeline

—The Redskins last played a game 149 days ago. It will be 97 days until they host the Steelers in their 2016 season opener.

Days until: Redskins training camp starts 51; Preseason opener @ Falcons 65; Final roster cut to 53, 88

Player quick hits

Here are some quick thoughts on some Redskins players based on what I’ve heard and what I’ve seen in OTAs.

—We will learn a lot about OT Morgan Moses this year, whether he will continue to improve and work his way into the upper echelon of right tackles in the league or if he will be an adequate player who the team will look to replace on an annual basis.

—A healthy offseason is a good sign for OT Trent Williams. He will almost certainly make his fifth straight Pro Bowl appearance and if the Redskins exceed expectations serious All-Pro consideration is a strong possibility.

—DE Stephen Paea is set up for a solid season, with a year in the system under his belt and a realization that he will have to earn his snaps; nothing will be handed to him because of his contract.

—I don’t think that WR Rashad Ross is in much danger of not making the roster but he is in danger of being stuck on the bottom of the depth chart again. He had some issues handling the ball during OTAs, something that conveys a lack of focus.

—I am wary of talk of how well OLB Junior Galette is recovering from his torn Achilles. Assessments coming from the rehabbing player and his teammates are generally highly optimistic. I’ll be convinced when I see him on the field.

—I’m very interested in seeing how the rest of DB DeAngelo Hall’s career shakes out as he changes positions coming off of two injury-riddled seasons. If he stays healthy and plays well at safety he could add a few more years into his career but if he can’t play at least a dozen games his future will become very cloudy.

Stat of the day

The Redskins were out rushed by 396 yards last year, gaining 1,566 yards on the ground while giving up 1,962. They haven’t been that bad in net rushing yards since 2010 when they gave up 580 more than they gained (1461-2041).

In case you missed it 

 

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Redskins RB Thompson still will be nervous on cut down day

Redskins RB Thompson still will be nervous on cut down day

You would think that after spending two years as the team’s third-down back, playing more snaps than any other running back last season, and getting a second-round restricted free agent tender that will pay him $2.7 million this year, Chris Thompson might feel comfortable as the Redskins start up the final phase of their preseason program. But he says that he is as nervous about making the team as he was when he was a fifth-round in 2013.

“Even after the last preseason game when you guys talk to me I’m going to still be nervous when that time comes around because I never forget that feeling,” he told reporters on Monday prior to the Redskins charity golf tournament at Army-Navy Country Club. “For me, I’ve just got to come out here and work every day to try to secure my job.”

The approach has worked for him in the past. He struggled with injuries his first two years in the league, playing a total of just six games. In 2015 he found his niche as the third-down back and he hasn’t given it up.

In fact, he may get more opportunities on first and second downs.

“I have a feeling that I might get a little more this year,” he said. “He [coach Jay Gruden] knows that I’m healthy and I can stay healthy. I think that was one of his biggest concerns, that I can handle the load. I think I’ll get a lot more opportunities.”

Rob Kelley is expected to be the starter and fourth-round pick Samaje Perine should get a significant number of carries. If Gruden plans on Thompson getting more work on the ground, that likely means that the Redskins anticipate running the ball more ofent than they did in 2016, when they were 27th in the NFL with 379 rushing attempts.

Health is key for Thompson. He not only played in all 16 games for the first time in his career last year, he came out of the season in good health. Not having the need to rehab is allowing Thompson to work on refining his game.

“[Being healthy] helps me to get away and focus on the little things that I need to work on,” he said. “Having a full offseason, being able to get away, I’ve been able to focus on those things. Just like my quickness, my route running. I know my route running is big for me to make it in this league so I work on that. . . that was my main goal.”

Thompson’s work ethic and his mindset where he takes nothing for granted have served him well. He will be an unrestricted free agent in 2018 and if he continues to produce he will be setting himself up for a nice payday. 

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RB Matt Jones reportedly not part of Redskins' 2017 plans

RB Matt Jones reportedly not part of Redskins' 2017 plans

Matt Jones entered the 2016 season as the Redskins undisputed starter at running back.

That lasted seven games.

By Week 8, Jones landed on the inactive list, and he never took another snap all year.

With OTAs beginning for the 2017 season, it looks like Jones might not play with the team. 

NFL POWER RANKINGS: WHO GOT BETTER AFTER THE DRAFT?

In April at the NFL Draft, reports surfaced that Washington was trying to trade Jones.

Weeks before that, at the NFL Owner's Meetings in Arizona, Redskins head coach Jay Gruden had to be reminded that Jones was still on the roster as the coach talked about the running back situation for this fall.

Robert Kelley surpassed Jones as the top running back on the team last season with Chris Thompson secure in his third down back role. 

Mack Brown even moved past Jones on the depth chart. When the Redskins drafted Samaje Perine in the fourth round, that signaled even bigger trouble for Jones' roster situation.

The Redskins will likely only keep four running backs this fall, and with Kelley, Perine, Thompson and Brown, it sure seems like Jones is the odd man out.

It's remarkable considering Jones has size, speed and an NFL resume that has three 100-yard games on it in just 20 games. The Redskins spent a third-round pick on Jones in 2015, and he largely ousted fan favorite Alfred Morris from the RB1 role as a rookie. 

Life comes at you quick in the NFL.

Jones is a clear example of that. 

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ROSTER BATTLES: Left guard | Tight end Nickel cornerback  | Inside linebacker | Running back