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Need to Know: Redskins camp, Day 3 notes--Gruden hates 'buddy football'

Need to Know: Redskins camp, Day 3 notes--Gruden hates 'buddy football'

RICHMOND—Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, July 27, 11 days before the Redskins open the preseason against the Patriots.

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News and notes from the third day of training camp for the 2014 Redskins, which played out under partly cloudy skies and fairly mild late-July temperatures.

—Training camps under Mike Shanahan were not exactly Camp Cupcake but there weren't many comments or complaints that camp was too physical either. If Gruden’s comments on Saturday are any indication, the contact will pick up for the Redskins compared to the last four years. “I just like the competition,” he said. “I think it’s very important for the defense to give the offense the best look possible and vice versa. We can’t do that if we are just muddling around playing buddy football.” You have to respect a coach who hates “buddy football”.

—But this doesn’t mean that they will pound each other every day. Gruden will take it day by day. ““I think it’s dependent on how we are doing as far as health-wise, how much we feel like we are getting in,” he said. “I think right now we are to a point where we are going to do pads today, pads tomorrow and then pads on Monday. And then we will take a day off (the scheduled off day on Tuesday) and then we will see where we stand.”

—We’re only three days in but so far training camp has been distraction free. Last year by this time we had the coach and quarterback exchanging passive-aggressive comments, a season-ending injury to Keenan Robinson and a four-game PED suspension for Jarvis Jenkins. Barry Cofield appreciates the difference. “Yeah, it’s definitely about football right now,” he said. “It’s definitely about football and that’s it. We’re not in the headlines. I don’t see us on the SportsCenter ticker at the bottom every day. It’s a good feeling to just be focused on football, focused on getting better and only fielding questions about players and their activities on the field.”

—I talked to Richard Crawford on Saturday. It surprised me that he took the field 11 months after a pretty serious knee injury without a brace or sleeve. He’s looking forward to competing for a role. “Competition is always going to be there,” he said. “It’s the NFL, you’re going to see the best of the best at all times. I’m kind of happy they did bring them in because you learn a lot from those guys and I’m becoming a better player myself. I’m just trying to be the best I can be and help this team win.”

—Since it’s becoming popular to declare yourself to be the best in the business, Cofield was asked if he thought he was one of the best nose tackles in the game. He wanted no part of that discussion. “I'm not interested in ranking myself. I just want to help the team win and I want to be the starting nose tackle for the Super Bowl champions,” he said. “That's my main goal. I come to work every day and work hard. I love that my coaches support me. I'd be happy if Perry Riley and Keenan Robinson went to the Pro Bowl instead of myself and they just buy my something – just a gift to give me a little recognition.”

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Timeline

Today’s schedule: Full practice 8:35; Jay Gruden media availability 3:45; Walkthrough 4:10; players availability after both practices.

—It’s been 210 days since the Redskins played a game; in 42 days they play the Texans in their 2014 season opener.

Days until: Preseason opener vs. Patriots 11; Final cuts 34; Redskins @ Eagles 56

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One stat that should make DeSean Jackson very dangerous against Eagles

One stat that should make DeSean Jackson very dangerous against Eagles

The Eagles defense is on a big-play streak, but not one that defensive coordinators will like very much, and it could be very good news for the Redskins and DeSean Jackson. 

At this stage of his career, Jackson is a well-known deep threat. While much of the 2016 season has been disappointing for Jackson, in back-to-back weeks, the vertical passing attack has worked. In Arizona last Sunday, Jackson only caught one pass, but it went for 59 yards. On Thanksgiving in Dallas, Jackson hauled in a 67-yard touchdown pass from Kirk Cousins as part of his season-high 118 receiving yards.

"What he brings to this football team, he brings something that not a lot of people can bring, and that’s obviously the speed and the big play ability," 'Skins head coach Jay Gruden said of Jackson.

The last two games moved Jackson's yards-per-catch average back in normal range with the rest of his career at 16.5. Halfway through this season, Jackson was averaging below 14 YPC, which would have been by far the worst of his career.

"A lot of people think that we haven’t utilized his speed quite like we should, but I think he has had a major impact on this football team," Gruden said. "His deep threat has an impact on the defense. It opens up areas for Jordan Reed and Jamison Crowder and the backs sometimes. He’s been a major influence for this football team in a good way."

Beyond just the big plays, the Eagles defense has given up 645 passing yards in their last two games. Cousins has historically played well in Philadelphia, and should be in good position to do the same this weekend.

And based on the Eagles' past six games, expect Jackson to have another big game at Lincoln Financial Field. 

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