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Need to Know: Redskins still searching for that complete game

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Need to Know: Redskins still searching for that complete game

Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, October 29, five days before the Washington Redskins host the San Diego Chargers.

Nickel coverage

Five items from Mike Shanahan’s Monday news conference:

1. Did the lack of offseason reps hurt Robert Griffin III’s game this year? It seems pretty obvious that an offseason spent rehabbing rather than honing his game is pretty high up on the list of reasons why he has been so inconsistent this year. You would expect a coach who preaches the importance of the offseason program to at least partially acknowledge this as Shanahan did.  “Everything is a growing experience,” he said when asked if missing the offseason was a factor. “The more reps you get the better off you do get and we all understand that.”

2. NFL teams like to take it one game at a time but the advent of the weekly Thursday night game has changed that. Shanahan said today that although no preparation for the game in Minnesota four days after the Chargers game on the part of the players, the coaching staff would start to formulate a Vikings game plan before Sunday. “From a coaching standpoint; you’re going to work a little bit harder on Friday and Saturday in preparation for that game,” he said. “A lot of times you don’t work on another team in advance but on a Thursday game, a number of times you do. Usually it’s the day before when your game plan is already done for your upcoming opponent.”

3. Although he said that he was going to get more hands on with special teams, Shanahan did not personally address Sav Rocca’s shanked punt that game the Broncos a short field in the fourth quarter of a tie game. “He didn’t have to tell me anything. I didn’t ask him anything,” he said. “I haven’t seen him do that since he’s been here and that’s quite unusual. I’m sure he was trying to directional kick a little bit out of bounds and it just came off the side of his foot. Those things do happen.”

4. Are the Redskins close to playing a full 60-minute game?

“That’s what we’re working for, to get that game. We’ve done it in spots. We haven’t done a complete game, which is frustrating. That’s what we’re working for, but we’ve got guys that will work. We’ve got guys that are showing up, giving us everything they’ve got and when you look at film and you do see that. So we’ve got to eliminate some of those mistakes and hopefully we put that together this weekend.”

5. Shanahan was asked about players who were injured at various times during the Denver game who were not named Robert Griffin III. Here’s what he said: “We’ve got a few guys beat up but I don’t want to talk about any injuries until Wednesday because they’ll go through treatment and a little rehab and see on Wednesday if anybody’s out,” Translation: “I don’t have to put out an injury report until Wednesday afternoon and I’m not giving out any information before I have to.”

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Stat of the day

—The Chargers are last in the NFL with four takeaways on the season. DeAngelo Hall of the Redskins has four takeaways himself with three interceptions and a fumble recovery.

Timeline

—Days until: Chargers @ Redskins 5; Redskins @ Vikings 9; Redskins @ Eagles 19

—Today’s schedule: Off day, no availability         

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Need to Know: Five Redskins under pressure vs. the Eagles

Need to Know: Five Redskins under pressure vs. the Eagles

Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, December 6, three days before the Washington Redskins play the Philadelphia Eagles.

Timeline

Today's schedule: Joe Barry news conference 12:40; Practice 1:05; Jay Gruden and Sean McVay news conferences and open locker room after practice approx. 3:00

Days until: Panthers @ Redskins 11; Redskins @ Bears Christmas Eve 16; Giants @ Redskins, New Year’s Day 24

Injuries of note vs. Cardinals:
Out:
G Long (concussion), S Blackmon (concussion), DE Baker (ankle), DE Jean Francois (knee/foot), G Lauvao (groin)
Limited: TE Reed (shoulder), G Scherff (ankle
Wednesday injury report

QB Kirk Cousins—It’s on his shoulders. Not just this game but the entire playoff run. He can’t have an off day, not even one like the Arizona game where he was off for just part of the game. Cousins doesn’t have to be perfect on every throw but for this team to win he has to be very good every quarter.

OT Trent Williams—Back from his four-game suspension, Williams can’t miss a beat in returning to his All-Pro form. Any mistake, much less any sacks allowed, will open him up to further criticism that he left the team in a bad spot. 

WR DeSean Jackson—The dynamic here has become more intriguing since media reports of mutual interest between Jackson and his former team have emerged. Jackson has done his thing the last two games, catching passes for long gains. But if he is going to be of value down the stretch (and of value to any other team next year) he is going to need to get his hands on some shorter and intermediate passes as well.

OLB Preston Smith—He was a regular on this list until he came up big against the Vikings. But he has since disappeared again and needs to come on strong for the team’s stretch run.

ILB Will Compton—He has been coming under fire lately for ineffective play, including missed tackles and being out of position on occasion. The Redskins need him to raise the level of his game if they are going to land in the postseason.

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Reed catches a pass. Staying away from contact. #Redskins

A video posted by Rich (@richtandler) on

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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.