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Need to Know: RG3 the hot topic in the Redskins' week that was

Need to Know: RG3 the hot topic in the Redskins' week that was

Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, August 23, six days before the Washington Redskins play the Baltimore Ravens.

Read and react: A look at the week that was

Griffin says he’s the best, Internet implodes—America took to psychoanalyzing Robert Griffin III after he said he believes he’s the best quarterback in the league. Of course the remarks were taken out of context. But that didn’t matter. For the next several days, Griffin’s comment led off talk shows and much cyber ink was spilled discussing the fourth-year quarterback.

RG3: ‘It’s just unfortunate’—What Griffin said came out on Monday. On Tuesay he addressed a group of media members that was mostly local and—oh, never mind, let’s just stop here and move on to actual football matters.

Things go downhill for Griffin vs. Lions—Griffin wasn’t very good on Thursday in the Redskins’ second preseason game, although it must be noted he didn’t get much help from his offensive line. Griffin dropped back to pass eight times and was hit on six of those, including a final one that apparently induced a concussion. Griffin had looked much improved in training camp compared to 2014 and he was OK in the Redskins’ preseason opener. But a lot of the positive of the positive perception and energy created over the last few weeks vaporized in the course of those eight plays

Gruden says Griffin will start when he recovers—It appears that Griffin’s concussion is on the mild side (keeping in mind that any concussion is serious) and it looks like he will be able to play against the Ravens on Saturday. Jay Gruden said that regardless of when Griffin is ready to play he will return to the starting job. Which, of course, is the logical thing to do since you planned on Griffin being the starter since February and it would be the height of dysfunction to abandon your plan after 16 snaps that didn’t go well. But, of course, some fans and some in the media are advocating starting Cousins or McCoy.

Hayward heads to IR—The hits just keep on coming to the Redskins’ special teams. After losing stalwarts Niles Paul and Logan Paulsen to season-ending injuries last week they took another blow when Adam Hayward suffered a torn ACL covering a kickoff late in the first half against the Lions. His absence, both in terms of the talent lost and the leadership void, will make it difficult to turn the Redskins’ special teams around.

Redskins trade for TE Carrier—After they lined tackle Tom Compton up at tight end for several snaps against the Giants, you had to figure the Redskins needed to do something at tight end with the departures of Paul and Paulsen leaving the oft-injured Jordan Reed as the only experienced tight end. They sent a 2017 fifth-round pick to the 49ers for Derek Carrier, who doesn’t have a ton of experience with just 16 games and nine receptions on his NFL resume. His role is to be determined. Hopefully he can be a backup and handle spot starts when Reed is sidelined.

Timeline

—Former Redskins quarterback Sonny Jurgensen was born on this date in 1934. Former Redskins quarterback Rex Grossman was born on this date in 1980

Today’s schedule: Practice 1:30; availability with Jay Gruden and players after practice

—It’s been 238 days since the Redskins played a game. It will be 21 days until they play the Dolphins at FedEx Field.

Days until: Preseason Redskins @ Ravens 6; final cuts 13; Redskins @ Giants Thursday night 32

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Redskins 2017 position outlook: Defensive line

Redskins 2017 position outlook: Defensive line

With the season opener fast approaching, it’s time to put the Redskins’ depth chart under the microscope. Over the coming days, we will look at every position, compare the group to the rest of the NFL, see if the position has been upgraded or downgraded from last year, and take out the crystal ball to see what might unfold.

Defensive line

Starters: Jonathan Allen, Stacy McGee, Phil Taylor
Other roster locks: Terrell McClain, Ziggy Hood, Anthony Lanier
On the bubble: Matt Ioannidis, A.J. Francis, Joey Mbu

How the defensive line compares:

To the 2016 Redskins: The addition of Allen is a boost but the losses of Chris Baker (free agent) and Ricky Jean Francois (released) can’t be overlooked. Second-year players Lanier and Ioannidis should improve and Hood will be a rotational player instead of a starter, a role better suited to his ability. Andi new defensive line coach Jim Tomsula will get the most out of them. The key to improvement will be McClain and McGee. If the two free agents live up to their contracts the line should be better than it was last year. If not, they will struggle again. Slightly better

To the rest of the NFL: But let’s not mistake an improved Redskins D-line for one of the better units in the league. While it’s tough to compare a 3-4 line to a 4-3 front, it still would be quite a leap for the Redskins to move from the bottom of the pack to the lower middle. Tomsula inherited a multi-year rebuild; one draft pick and a couple of free agents are not going to transform the line into a force. Bottom third

RELATED: 2017 OUTLOOK: WIDE RECEIVER

2017 outlook

Biggest upside: Since I used his name in conjunction with that of Dave Butz above, that has to be Allen. He has both the physical ability and the mental makeup to be a very, very good one.

Most to prove: Nearly every player on the line has something to prove but only Phil Taylor has been out of football for the last two years. He has worked his way up from a brief retirement to a futures contract with the Redskins to a roster long shot to a probable starter. But he still only has 21 preseason snaps under his belt and he has a long way to go before he reestablishes himself as a legitimate NFL player.

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Rookie watch: The only rookie with a realistic shot at making the roster is Allen. His Nick Saban-Alabama background has him well prepared to handle the scrutiny that comes with being a top draft pick and the expectations that come with playing in a place like Washington.

Bottom line: The best-case scenario here is that Taylor anchors the line in the middle, Allen’s learning curve is short, Lanier contributes six sacks in a nickel role, and the rest of the players make up a good rotation. Anything more would be a big bonus. Anything less would be back to being one of the worst defenses against the run.

Quote-unquote

Jay Gruden on Phil Taylor:

Well, I’ll tell you, I was in Cincinnati for three years when he was at Cleveland and I know what a force he can be at nose. He was tough to deal with, he really was. We had him for a workout, and I didn’t even know he was on the streets. His knee looked better. He was in good shape. He had a whole offseason and did some good things. I think his body is finally back to where he feels really good. He’s moving around, he’s active, he’s strong, so I like where he is right now. He’s just got to continue to maintain it.

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerCSN and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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Long's injury gives Redskins' backup center Roullier an opportunity

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Associated Press

Long's injury gives Redskins' backup center Roullier an opportunity

Let’s be clear here.

The Redskins’ loss of center Spencer Long for two weeks due to a knee injury is not a good development.

Long is going into his second year as the starter and he still has a lot to learn. Although he should be back for the games that count, he could have benefitted from the 30 or so snaps he would have taken against the Bengals in the team’s third preseason game this Sunday.

Also, the Redskins’ offensive line has struggled this preseason, especially when blocking for the run.

Another half with the full starting unit playing together would have helped them work on those problems. The third preseason game is supposed to be a dress rehearsal and it’s tough to have one of those if you don’t have all your lead actors.

RELATED: COULD REDSKINS PURSUE RETIRED JETS' CENTER?

However, in the NFL one’s player’s bad fortune can be an opportunity for another. Chase Roullier was a sixth-round pick of the Redskins. With Kory Lichtensteiger retired and John Sullivan departed to Rams, Roullier became the backup center by default. While many expected the Redskins to make a move for a veteran backup center, they have kept Roullier running with the second-team offense through OTAs, minicamp, training camp, and the first two preseason games.

He was a bit shaky against the Ravens in the first preseason game but he was solid against the Packers on Saturday. It should be noted that Roullier will be facing the Bengals’ defensive starters on Saturday, not backups and players whose names will soon appear on the waiver wire as he was in the first two games.

MORE REDSKINS: REDSKINS-PACKERS MUST-SEE PHOTOS

The competition that Roullier will face, however, is one of the upsides here. If the Redskins need their backup center during the season, their opponent is not going to pull its starter and line up a reserve player against him. He will be facing starters. The Redskins organization should have a pretty good idea of what they have in Roullier after a half against the Bengals’ front-line players.

Again, it would be better if Long was there for the line to work on its game. But the Redskins will have a chance to make the best of a bad situation by finding out if they are set at backup center or if they will need to pull the trigger on finding a veteran option.

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year.

Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerCSN and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.