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Need to Know: Redskins' Garçon stays late, shows leadership

Need to Know: Redskins' Garçon stays late, shows leadership

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, August 1, 12 days before Washington Redskins open their preseason against the Browns.

Garçon demonstrates Leadership

RICHMOND—On Thursday, I was observing some of the Redskins receivers as they practiced making catches from the automatic ball thrower called the JUGS machine. The receivers line up about five yards away from the machine and it fires balls at the player at a fairly high rate of speed.

After Pierre Garçon spent some time catching balls, Andre Roberts, who currently is the team’s top slot receiver, took his turn in front of the machine. Roberts was struggling to catch the ball and I tweeted the following:

The tweet drew a lot of retweets and comments from fans who wanted to see Roberts cut or at least benched. The calls certainly are premature but disappointment in Roberts’ ability to hold on to the ball is certainly justified. Among NFL receivers who were targeted at least 55 times last year, Roberts had the worst drop rate at 11 percent; none of the others in that group had even a 10 percent drop rate.

But Roberts isn’t the story here. Garçon, who could have gone inside and hit the showers when he was done, stayed out and gave Roberts some pointers. He demonstrated the proper technique, watched as Roberts didn’t quite get it, and then explain and demonstrated again.

I was standing with my CSN Washington colleague Brian Mitchell while this was going on. “That’s leadership,” said Mitchell. “That’s how it’s done.”

Earlier in the offseason there was some talk on social media and in the media that the Redskins may consider releasing Garçon to save the $5.3 million in cap space that such a move would create. But the reality was that the Redskins never even considered putting Garçon on the waiver wire.

And the leadership he displayed after practice on Thursday is a big reason why he remains in burgundy and gold. Between that and his on-field productivity, writing out the checks for his $7.1 million salary this year was a very easy decision.

Timeline

Today’s schedule: Redskins walkthrough, 10:35 a.m.; Jay Gruden news conference approx. 2:45; Redskins practice, 3 p.m.

—It’s been 216 days since the Redskins played a game. It will be 43 days until they play the Dolphins at FedEx Field.

Days until: Preseason opener @ Browns 12; final cuts 35; Redskins @ Giants Thursday night 54

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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).

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.

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Robert Griffin III set to start Sunday for Browns vs. Bengals

Robert Griffin III set to start Sunday for Browns vs. Bengals

RGIII is finally getting another chance to play.

Plagued by injury after injury — most recently breaking a bone in his left shoulder in the Brown’s 29-10 loss to the Eagles in their season opener — the former Redskin is set to start for Cleveland against the Bengals on Sunday, ESPN’s Dan Graziano reports.

Griffin was cleared for contact last week after missing the majority of the Browns’ 0-12 season, and the team is coming off a bye week after its last loss to the Giants over Thanksgiving weekend.

In 2015, Kirk Cousins replaced Griffin as starting quarterback, and the Redskins released him at the end of the season. He signed a two-year, $15 million contract with Cleveland in March.  

In Griffin’s absence, the Browns have relied on Cody Kessler and Josh McCown, who boast a 65.5 and 54.5 completion percentage, respectively. The two combine for just 12 touchdowns this season.

Will Griffin be the key to ending the Browns’ winless season? We’ll find out Sunday.

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