Here is what you need to know on this Friday, March 27, 34 days before the Washington Redskins go on the clock at the NFL draft.
Question of the day
A few days a week I’ll give an in-depth answer to a question submitted by a fan on my Twitter feed, via the Real Redskins Facebook page, or in the comments section here. On Twitter address the questions to me at @Rich_TandlerCSN with the #NTK hashtag. There will be a comment thread set up on the Facebook page and if you’re asking your question here, put “for NTK” at the start of the comment.
Today’s question is from Twitter but I don’t have the tweet to embed as I normally do. I made a note of the question but forgot to paste the link or get the questioner’s name. But I thought it was a good question so I’m going to roll with it.
The questioner wanted to know what was up with Spencer Long last year. It seemed that right guard Chris Chester was ripe to be pushed to the bench. But Long was unable to do so despite Jay Gruden seemingly leaving the door open for him virtually the entire year.
Was Long still injured? His senior season at Nebraska ended in mid-October with a knee injury. It can take a full calendar year to get back up to full strength after such an injury and it’s possible that it still affected his play.
But Jay Gruden indicated this week that the issue wasn’t so much Long’s knee in and of itself but that he was unable to get into top shape because of it.
Here was Gruden’s assessment of the right guard spot when he was asked about it at the owners meetings in Phoenix earlier this week.
“Well, Chris Chester is still on the team and we expect Spencer Long to have an excellent offseason, come in in better shape. You you come from your rookie to your second year, that’s the biggest jump you have to make as a football player. It’s a big jump to get your feet wet . . . all the things that go into being a professional football player you learn as a rookie. Then in your second year you feel more comfortable coming in. We’re hoping that [tackle] Morgan [Moses] and Spencer alike make the transition into their second year and compete.”
So, clearly there are expectations for both of last year’s third-round picks. His knee being 100 percent will allow him to get into better shape. The natural progression that comes between a player’s first and second seasons should help even more.
But nothing is guaranteed for Long. As Gruden noted, Chester is still on the team. It had to be tempting for the Redskins to release the 32-year-old and pocket $4 million in salary cap savings.
But there is faith that can do the job; he’s played nearly every snap since joining the team in 2011. There is no faith yet in Long and until he earns the trust of Gruden, offensive line coach Bill Callahan, and GM Scot McCloughan he will remain on the bench.
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—It’s been 89 days since the Redskins played a game. It will be about 170 days until they play another one.
—Days until: Redskins offseason workouts start 24; 2015 NFL Draft 34; Redskins training camp starts 125
If you have any questions about what's going on at Redskins Park, hit me up in the comments. And I'm always on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.
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