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Need to Know: Redskins Park notes and quotes--Gruden impressed with Morris

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Need to Know: Redskins Park notes and quotes--Gruden impressed with Morris

Here is what you need to know on this Friday, August 15, three days before the Redskins host the Browns on preseason Monday night football.

Nickel coverage

—With Johnny Manziel coming to town and likely to play a half (either the first or second) against the Redskins, Robert Griffin III was asked if he knew his fellow former Heisman Trophy winner and was asked to compare himself to Johnny Football. “I know him OK,” he said. “We’re part of the Nissan Heisman House together. I’ve had a chance to talk to him but my job’s not to compare. Anybody that wants to compare, I’m sure they’ll just say both of us are real fast, guys that can play backyard football at times, we both want to win.”

—I asked Adam Hayward, who is likely to be the Redskins’ new special teams captain, if he knew about what went on with the kicking units last year. It sounds like he’s starting from scratch. “I wasn’t here,” he said. “I look at it as it wasn’t my problem because I wasn’t here to fix it and try to help make it better.”

—Jay Gruden is a huge Alfred Morris fan. It’s not just that the third-year back could help the first-year coach win a lot of games with his rushing ability; Gruden also likes the way Morris works and practices. “Alfred is Steady Eddie. He just comes to work every day,” said Gruden. He makes his reads, he makes his cuts, does what he’s supposed to do. He’s just an impressive kid… Just everything about him is impressive to me – the way he prepares, the way he works, the way he practices.”

—Gruden was clearly focused on what was going in during Thursday’s practice, which lasted about two and a half hours. But he did note what a nice day it was for mid-August in the D. C. area. “It's a great day out here today, the weather was – I don’t know what it was, 75 degrees? – it was beautiful,” he said. “I needed a golf club. It was a great day and a great intensity. We got a lot done today so it was fun to see."

—Griffin was asked if he has talked to Kyle Shanahan since he was fired as the Redskins’ offensive coordinator. He said no without saying it. “We’ll leave that where it’s at,” he said. Will he talk with Kyle if he runs into him before the game? “Yeah, it’s not that kind of relationship that we wouldn’t talk,” he said. “So if I get a chance to see him, chance to talk to him, I definitely will.

If you have any questions about what's going on at training camp, hit me up in the comments. I'll answer all questions as soon as I can get to them. And I'm always on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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Timeline

Today’s schedule: Practice 8:35 a.m., players available and Jay Gruden news conference after practice.

—It’s been 229 days since the Redskins played a game; in 23 days they play the Texans in their 2014 season opener.

Days until: Redskins at Ravens 8; Final cuts 15; Home opener vs. Jaguars 30

Redskins happy to be home, have top threats back on the field

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Redskins Stat Breakdown: What worked - and what didn't - against Arizona

Redskins Stat Breakdown: What worked - and what didn't - against Arizona

CSN has teamed up with The Edge Systems to provide the occasional statistical review of Redskins game film. The Edge is analytical football software currently being used by coaches in the NFL, SEC, ACC and the media, providing some of the fastest and best data in football.

Below is a breakdown of the Redskins run game against Arizona - a game coach Jay Gruden admitted did not feature enough carries for Robert Kelley. 

The Redskins had a lot of success with their GAP runs early in the game.

In the first half they were successful on 75 percent of their GAP runs. 

As the game wore on the Redskins moved away from what had been successful and only ran two GAP runs in the second half.

As their power running game vanishing, mirrored their prospects for winning the game.

Want more Redskins? Check out @JPFinlayCSN for live updates or click here for the #RedskinsTalk Podcast on iTunes, here for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!

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State of the Redskins: Playoff chances trending in the wrong direction

State of the Redskins: Playoff chances trending in the wrong direction

Here is where the Redskins stand in Week 14 of the NFL season.

Record: 6-5-1, 3rd in NFC East
vs. NFC East: 2-2
vs. NFC: 4-4
vs. AFC: 2-1-1
Home: 4-2
Away: 2-3-1

Rankings and changes from Week 13

Offense (yards/game): 418.6 (2nd, no change from Week 13)
Defense (yards/game): 369.6 (23rd, +2)
Points for: 303 (10th, -1)
Points against: 295 (20th, -2)

Passer rating offense:  99.8 (8th, -2)
Opp passer rating: 95.0 (22nd, -3)
Yards/rush attempt: 4.5 (5th, no change)
Opp. yards/rush attempt:
 4.6 (29th, +2)
Weighted DVOA (Football Outsiders): 9.8% (10th, no change)
Playoff chances per FO: 41.5%, -14.1% from last week

Trending the right way: Not much, really. Their ranking in rushing defense improved a couple of notches but mostly because other teams got worse, not because the Redskins put the clamps down on the rushing game.

Trending the wrong way: For the first time in a few weeks the Redskins’ playoff chances are below 50 percent. Two straight losses will do that.  

Top three storylines:

Letting them have it—Jay Gruden is usually supportive of his team after a loss but that was not the case following the Cardinals game. He could be heard speaking to the team in angry tones in the locker room following the loss. We will see if this rare tirade jump-starts the Redskins’ stretch run.

Dealing with injury issues—Not only do the Redskins have to be concerned about the condition of Jordan Reed, whose status is unclear as he rehabs from a shoulder injury he suffered on Thanksgiving Day in Dallas, their starting center is in the concussion protocol. If Spencer Long can’t go the Redskins may have to add a center to back up John Sullivan.

Help wanted—The Redskins need other teams to lose if they want to make the playoffs. They need a little help if they win out to finish 10-5-1; they need more help if they finish at 9-6-1. Scoreboard watching starts at 4:25 on Sunday when the Bucs, a half-game ahead of Washington, host the Saints and continues on Sunday night football with the Cowboys at the Giants.

Next three games

Sunday @ Eagles (5-7)—The Redskins handled them well in October; the final score did not indicate how Washington dominated the game. The Eagles look more like a rebuilding team than a playoff contender and the Redskins could elimate them for all practical purposes

December 19 vs. Panthers (4-8)—The season of the defending NFC champs officially came off the rails on Sunday night when Cam Newton started the game on the bench because he didn’t wear a tie and he ended it looking at the wrong end of a 40-7 beatdown by the Seahawks. Still, the Redskins have never beaten Newton so this is not one that will come easily.

Christmas Eve vs. Bears (3-9)—There is no such thing as an easy game in the NFL but if the Redskins can’t manage to win this one they don’t deserve to make the playoffs.