Here is what you need to know on this Friday, July 31, 13 days before Washington Redskins open their preseason against the Browns.
Getting their priorities straight
RICHMOND—A year ago, on the eve of his first training camp as an NFL head coach, Jay Gruden was asked what would make a successful Redskins training camp.
“I want to make sure we make the right decisions on players, No. 1,” he said during a press conference in July of 2014. “We have to make sure we get a good look at all the young guys, all the free agents, all the undrafted free agents, the draft picks, the veteran free agents, and make sure when we make our final cut-down we make the right choices and hopefully these players will make it very difficult on us in making those decisions.”
That is all well and good but Gruden seemed to have his priorities off a bit. Certainly finding the best 53 players is important. But games are not won or lost with the last dozen or so players on the roster. The focus of any training camp should be to prepare the team for the upcoming season.
And Gruden would be hard pressed to say that the Redskins were properly prepared for the 2014 seasons. A record of 4-12 is all you really need to know.
The good news for the Redskins is that it appears that Gruden learned from his mistake. When asked a similar question during his pre-camp press conference on Wednesday, he changed his top priority.
“We’re trying to improve as a football team, number one,” he said. “That’s all we’re trying to do every day is improve a certain area of our game. Then, we’re also trying to critique our players and find out who our best 53 are.”
It is smart to worry more about getting ready to play than giving everyone a fair shot. Your season is going to succeed or fail based on your top 35 to 40 players. If you get to the point where you’re relying on the bottom dozen or so guys on your roster to win games, well, you’re probably not going to win a whole lot. You need to get your front-line players ready to play and not worry as much about the final roster spots, your sixth cornerback and eighth offensive lineman.
—Today’s schedule: Redskins walkthrough, 10:35 a.m.; Jay Gruden news conference approx. 2:45; Redskins practice, 3 p.m.
—It’s been 215 days since the Redskins played a game. It will be 44 days until they play the Dolphins at FedEx Field.
—Days until: Preseason opener @ Browns 13; final cuts 36
In case you missed it
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- News and Notes: 2015 Redskins training camp, Day 1
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- Gruden: Redskins will draw own conclusions on Galette
- Gruden: Hall 'deserves right' to begin camp as starter
- Redskins veteran DeAngelo Hall is confident he'll start in 2015
- PFT Live: Rich Tandler talks Junior Galette and the Redskins
- Tarik's Training Camp Checklist: What to watch on Day 1
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- Examining red flags surrounding LB who will visit Skins
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