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Need to Know: Redskins' O-line may need some time to gel

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Need to Know: Redskins' O-line may need some time to gel

Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, August 24, three days before the Washington Redskins play the Baltimore Ravens.

Question of the day

Today's question is from the Real Redskins Facebook page:

Although I cautioned people about overreacting to 16 bad snaps by the offense I do think that the rough performance by the offensive line does deserve some scrutiny. When a quarterback gets hit six times in eight dropbacks, there is cause for concern. So let's take a look at the line and how good (or bad) it might be in 2015.

Willie Smith won’t be the left tackle when the season starts on September 13. He may not even be on the 53-man roster. But the chances are that Trent Williams will miss a game or two. The Redskins need to have a good backup plan in place. My guess is that they would move Morgan Moses over from the right side to the left and insert Tom Compton in Moses’ spot. It’s not an ideal solution but very few NFL teams would be able to get along without their starting left tackles without missing a beat. A lot of fans are saying they need to improve their depth at LT but that is easier said than done.

The right side had issues, too, particularly right guard Brandon Scherff. There are high hopes for Scherff and they probably will come to fruition but he’s not there yet. He could well struggle for a few weeks or a couple of months before finding his stride. The problem with him, as with many dominant college linemen, is that his instincts are still set to be able to physically dominate the player in front of him. In the Big 10, he could do that. In the NFL, he can’t. He needs to master techniques, leverage, and the like. Bill Callahan will work overtime with him to make sure that he does. It will take time, however, and there may be some more struggles in the meantime.

Moses may be further along that Scherff in some ways but he needs some seasoning as well. Don’t forget that he missed the entire offseason program while rehabbing a foot injury so he had a lot of catching up to do.

Bottom line, Randy, I’m not sure what you mean by “as advertised” but the “Hogs” hype is not based in reality. They could be pretty good, perhaps very good. But it won’t happen immediately. The until will take some time to gel.

To give a quick answer to your second question, it’s wait and see. Morris is a favorite of Jay Gruden's, who loves his work ethic, durability and production. But that doesn't make it a lock that he'll stay. We have to see how he performs this year, and if Jones and Thompson can stay on the field all year. If I have to guess right now I'd say Morris will be back but I'd just put the odds at 55 percent stays, 45 percent goes. There are just too many variables and too much that can happen between now and the end of the year to get a firm handle on it.

Timeline

Today’s schedule: Practice 11:45 a.m.; player availability and Jay Gruden news conference after practice (approx. 1:45)

—It’s been 241 days since the Redskins played a game. It will be 18 days until they play the Dolphins at FedEx Field.

Days until: Preseason Redskins @ Ravens 3; final cuts 10; Redskins @ Giants Thursday night 29

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In case you missed it

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New #RedskinsTalk Podcast: Comparing Redskins training camp with the New England Patriots

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New #RedskinsTalk Podcast: Comparing Redskins training camp with the New England Patriots

After a poor first preseason showing and some questions about the physicality of Redskins training camp, JP Finlay talks with Patriots Insider Phil Perry from CSN New England to discuss the differences between Washington's camp and how they run things in New England.

<<CLICK HERE FOR PHOTOS FROM REDSKINS TRAINING CAMP>>

Want more Redskins? Click here to follow JP on Facebook and check out @JPFinlayCSN for live updates via Twitter! Click here for the #RedskinsTalk on Apple Podcasts, here for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!

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Redskins Playbook: Jay Gruden calls Ryan Grant "Mr. Consistent"

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Redskins Playbook: Jay Gruden calls Ryan Grant "Mr. Consistent"

Few Redskins players draw more heated fan reaction than Ryan Grant. In three seasons with Washington, Grant has never missed a game, but he also hasn't produced much. His career stats: 39 catches for 412 yards and two touchdowns. 

Regardless, Jay Gruden and the Redskins coaching staff appreciates Grant in a way few fans understand. Grant is able to back up both the slot and outside receivers, and knows the roles of all the players.

"He’s really strong, he’s in great shape, and he’s Mr. Consistent," Gruden said of Grant. "Everything we ask him to do he does, and he does it right."

When Jamison Crowder missed time in Richmond with a hamstring strain, Grant stepped into Crowder's slot role. When Josh Doctson hurt his hamstring and missed time, Grant stepped into his role on the outside of the offense.

Throughout camp, Grant has displayed good hands and an adept knowledge of the offense. 

"No matter where he lines up, no matter what we ask him to do, he can come in the core and block the safety, whatever we want him to do, he can run whatever route from whatever positon and he runs at the right depth, perfect angles coming out of them," Gruden said. "He’s just ‘Steady Eddie,’ and that’s why I like him. I like consistent, smart players and that’s what Ryan is."

Against the Ravens in the Redskins first preseason game, Grant hung on to a tough catch over the middle to give the team one of very few offensive sparks. The problem for fans as it relates to Grant has not been preseason play. It's been inconsistent play in regular season games. 

Gruden believes that could change this year.

"I think people may be surprised with how many balls Ryan Grant might catch. Either way, could happen, I don’t know. I can’t foresee the future there, but I would be just fine with Ryan Grant being the target of a lot of balls."

To state the obvious: Grant is definitely making the roster. Behind Terrelle Pyror, Crowder and Doctson, Grant is the Redskins fourth wideout and one of the few players on the roster that is interchangeable among the Washington receiver positions. 

Grant's career best season came in 2015 when he caught 23 balls for 268 yards and two TDs. Based on his preseason, it seems Grant could surpass those totals in 2017. Much of his early season work has been a result of injuries to Doctson and Crowder, but make no mistake, Grant has been impressive in practice. 

Will it translate to the real games? The opprotunity seems only likely to arise if the Redskins deal with injuries at the receiver spot. 

Last year, Cousins threw for nearly 5,000 yards, but DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garçon accounted for more than 2,000 of those yards. Doctson, Crowder and certainly Pryor are likely to be the major recepients of Cousins' aerial prowess. Jordan Reed, Vernon Davis and Chris Thompson accounted for another 1,618 yards last year.

Keep in mind, this is the last year of Grant's rookie contract. If there was ever a time to show in games what coaches have long seen and loved in practice, this would be the year. It seems only an injury would give him a major opportunity. If the situation came to pass, Gruden would have faith in Grant. 

<<CLICK HERE FOR PHOTOS FROM REDSKINS TRAINING CAMP>>

Want more Redskins? Click here to follow JP on Facebook and check out @JPFinlayCSN for live updates via Twitter! Click here for the #RedskinsTalk on Apple Podcasts, here for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!