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Need to Know: Redskins' Gruden on commanding respect, Paea, Lauvao

Need to Know: Redskins' Gruden on commanding respect, Paea, Lauvao

RICHMOND—Here is what you need to know on this Friday, August 6, six days before the Washington Redskins open their preseason in Atlanta against the Falcons.

Timeline

Today's schedule: Practice 1:00; Jay Gruden news conference and player availability after practice approx. 3:00

—The Redskins last played a game 208 days ago. It will be 38 days until they host the Steelers in their 2016 season opener.

Days until: Preseason vs. Jets @FedEx Field 14; Final roster cut 29; Cowboys @ Redskins 44

—Second-year Redskins linebacker Martrell Spaight was born on this date in 1993.

Read and react: Jay Gruden

Here are some excerpts from Jay Gruden’s press conference on Thursday followed by my reaction to them.

On DL Stephen Paea
“Stephen’s showed up a lot lately, the last couple days. He’s showing his strength. He’s a very, very strong human and he’s showing that power once we put the pads on . . . So he feels good. I know he’s looking good, and we’re hoping he has a good year.”
I assume that “showed up” means that he looked good on film. I mean, as far as I know every player has reported to the facility for every practice. Even at that, this doesn’t sound like a very enthusiastic endorsement of Paea, who is entering the second season of a four-year, $21 million free agent contract. Difficulty adjusting to a new defense and an injury derailed his first season in Washington. It looks like he is going to get a second year but if he is going to get a third he needs to do more than show up.

On G Shawn Lauvao
“Shawn is doing good. He had his first couple days here and it looked like he never left, really. As far as how he’s feeling, I think he’s still a little rusty a little bit, I think you can tell. He’s got to gain full confidence back in his strength on both feet. Once he does that, he’ll be fine.”
Lauvao was not worked back into the lineup gradually; he was taking snaps with the first team as soon as he was off of the PUP list. I now have to make him the favorite over Spencer Long, who has been sharing snaps with the ones, to be the starting left guard against the Steelers on Sept. 12. That’s a long road back from eight months ago when he needed a scooter to get around Redskins Park.

On his coaching style
“That’s the most important part is commanding the respect and getting the most out of them. That’s my whole goal is to get the most out of each individual player. That’s the only thing I really care about. Obviously you want their respect, but my ultimate job is to get the most out of each guy and win as many games as possible.”
The thing is that it’s hard to gain the respect of players by just yelling at them all the time. There are other issue such as trust and fairness that come into the picture. It doesn’t mean that Gruden can’t have some fun with the players but he can’t be buddies with them. I think that Gruden has done a pretty good job of gaining the respect of the players while remaining approachable.

On emergency quarterbacks
“We are talking about that right now. We will put a package together for somebody. It’s either going to be Jordan Reed or [Jamison] Crowder, most likely.”
This is the scenario where both of the active quarterbacks are knocked out of the game and somebody has to take the snaps. It is the football equivalent of the Secretary of Commerce coming up in the line of succession after a disaster. Although, the last time the Redskins had to use an emergency QB in the infamous Body Bag game in 1990 Brian Mitchell went 3 for 6 for 40 yards and ran it in to cap a touchdown drive. That is a big legacy that either Reed or Crowder would have to live up to should the emergency arise.

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In case you missed it 

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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).

READ MORE: FULL UPDATE ON JORDAN REED

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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