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Need to Know: The offseason pressure is on Redskins RB Jones

Need to Know: The offseason pressure is on Redskins RB Jones

Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, May 8, five days before the Washington Redskins hold their rookie minicamp.

Timeline

—The Redskins last played a game 119 days ago. It will be 127 days until they host the Steelers in their 2016 season opener.

Days until: Rookie minicamp 5; OTAs start 16; Redskins training camp starts 82

Hot topics

—Besides the quarterback, the player on offense under the most pressure to perform this year will be Matt Jones. The team let Alfred Morris walk in free agency and they waited until the seventh round to draft his replacement. And at this point the often injured, lightly used Keith Marshall isn’t even a sure bet to make the team. Jones will need to stay healthy while averaging 15-20 carries per game, add about a yard to the 3.4 per carry average he posted last year, and make fumbles very rare occurrences.

—It’s relatively easy to plot out who will start in Week 1 and map out what is likely to happen with the depth chart but the unexpected is always out there. I was on SiriusXM radio last night with the Football Diehards and they asked me if I thought that Josh Doctson would push Pierre Garçon out of the starting lineup by sometime around midseason. While I said that I don’t think that will happen, I certainly can’t rule it out. Doctson could play well enough to force his way into the starting lineup at some point. The question would be, who would he push aside. Garçon or DeSean Jackson.

—Everyone wants to know what Su’a Cravens’ role will be this year. But we’re going to have to wait to see. The coaches can look at his college film and how fast and quick he is and sort of sketch something out. But until he gets on the field with other NFL players they really won’t know what he can do. I think it will evolve over the offseason and as training camp, the preseason, and the regular season go on. The one safe thing to say is that he will play a lot, 70 to 80 percent of the defensive snaps.

—In 2010 Brandon Banks came to rookie minicamp as a tryout player. At 5-7, 150 he made it look like one of the coaches’ middle school sons had gotten hold of a helmet and jersey and snuck onto the field. We will have a player at the other size extreme at rookie camp this Friday. Massive offensive tackle Kevin Bowen signed as an undrafted free agent out of East Central (OK). He is 6-9 and 330 pounds. It looks like he can move pretty well for his size. Bowen should be an interesting—and, because of his size, easy—prospect to keep an eye on.

Wins meter (my totally subjective prediction on how many regular season games the Redskins will win): 9—After getting Norman and drafting well they’ll be better but a tougher slate keep their record from improving.

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Redskins' Reed gets back to practice, may play vs. Bengals

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Redskins' Reed gets back to practice, may play vs. Bengals

After missing all of training camp on the physically unable to perform list with a toe injury, Jordan Reed has returned to practice for the Redskins. According to coach Jay Gruden, the Pro Bowl tight end participated in everything in today’s session, the first one open to the media since Reed was activated off of the PUP list on Sunday.

“I'm feeling good,” Reed said. “It felt obviously great to be back out there with my teammates and getting back to work.

Reed said that the toe was “100 percent right now,” a good sign for a Redskins’ offense that has struggled to move the ball in the preseason.

RELATED: 2017 REDSKINS--5 REASONS FOR CONCERN

“We’re easing him back in the offense,” said Gruden. “He did some good things in the passing game, we put him in the running game a little bit. [He] did good, he looks well.”

Gruden said that here is a chance that Reed will play in the Redskins’ preseason game against the Bengals on Sunday.

“I’d like to get him back out there and get in the running game a little bit, get involved, and catch a couple of passes,” he said.

But Gruden emphasized that Reed will not play if the training staff thinks there is a risk of re-injuring the toe.

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Reed wants to get out there and play some.

“I think it's real important just to feel some hits and live bullets at me and things like that - get my feet under me,” said. “I think it's really important.”

Quarterback Kirk Cousins said that he is happy to get one of his favorite weapons back. He noted that he had all of his top pass catchers on the field for the first time since the start of camp.

“I think just as important as having Jordan back was having our whole offense together for the first time,” said Cousins. “Josh Doctson, Jamison Crowder, some of the other guys who have at times take off days here and there. We haven’t had many days when the whole group was together.”

Whether the whole group is together on Sunday or not, it looks like they all will be one the field when the games start to count on September 10.

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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Scot McCloughan told Adam Schefter he cried when he left the Redskins

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Scot McCloughan told Adam Schefter he cried when he left the Redskins

ESPN NFL reporter Adam Schefter hosts a podcast called "Know Them From Adam." His guest on Wednesday's episode was former Redskins GM Scot McCloughan, who discussed everything from his professional plans to predictions for breakout rookies this year.

Schefter often wraps up podcast interviews by asking his guest the last time he or she cried. When he put the same question to McCloughan, he got a very sincere answer. 

"Probably when I walked out of the Redskins building," McCloughan said. He was relieved of his general manager position in March after two years in Washington.

MORE REDSKINS: McCloughan jokes about not being much help to wife's fantasy league

Elaborating, McCloughan said his tears came from a passion for his job and colleagues. 

"Just passion. A lot of good people there," he said. "A lot relationships you build with coaches, with players, ownership, secreteries, janitors. Just knowing you're leaving that and you're not coming back to it. It's just passion for the people that work so hard in the building."

McCloughan's admission that he cried leaving the Redskins comes on the heels of his decision to join Twitter. His first tweet was about how much he missed the franchise and its fans. 

Since joining the social media platform, McCloughan has fielded football questions and reiterated his affection for his time in Washington.