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Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—The preseason begins

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Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—The preseason begins

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, August 13, six days before the Washington Redskins play the New York Jets at FedEx Field.

Timeline

Today's schedule: Fan Appreciation Day at Bon Secours Training Center. Practice 1:35; player availability and Jay Gruden news conference after practice, approx. 3:30

—The Redskins last played a game that counted 216 days ago. It will be 30 days until they host the Steelers in their 2016 season opener.

Days until: Final roster cut 21; Cowboys @ Redskins 36; Browns @ Redskins 50

The Redskins week that was

Redskins release first depth chart—The Redskins go to great pains to let everyone know that the depth chart they release is unofficial. Jay Gruden said that he wouldn’t even had a depth chart up in his office until the third preseason game. But we still find out some nuggets like Trent Murphy’s position change. And fans, to be sure, are interested.

Stock up/down vs. Falcons—Preseason games aren’t about the final score, they are about how well the individual players perform. After every one I do a quick analysis of who stuck out as being good and bad.

Projecting the Redskins' 53-man roster—This topic always generates some discussion and disagreement. This time the most controversial aspect was my exclusion of a certain running back. And after another few days of practice and a preseason game I’ve started to change who I think will be in and out (although I’m still on the fence about that running back).

Gruden reveals emergency QB plans—Fans are always curious about subjects like this. Who is it? Click on the post to find out.

Redskins practice report—Day 9—This was from last Sunday. Among the highlights here were Mack Brown and a good two-minute drill led by Cousins. Among the lowlights were josh LeRibeus’ shotgun snaps and Arie Kouandjio struggling in one-on-one blocking.

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In case you missed it 

 

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Terrelle Pryor reportedly working out with special glasses based on Antonio Brown's advice

Terrelle Pryor reportedly working out with special glasses based on Antonio Brown's advice

New Redskins receiver Terrelle Pryor has been working out with Steelers All-Pro Antonio Brown this offseason. 

The pair documented their receiving drills, ladder drills and even yoga on social media. But what you didn't see, according to ESPN's John Keim, is Pryor practicing with special glasses that Brown recommended. 

Based on Brown’s advice, Pryor has also worn special sunglasses during offseason workouts, designed to prevent him from seeing an object – in this case the ball – until it is almost upon him. Sometimes he takes his gloves off, just to get a feel for the ball with his hands.

The glasses Keim describes sound more like blinders, or even tunnel vision, but the idea is to help Pryor get an instinctive feel for running routes. 

Despite putting up 1,007 receiving yards with the Browns last year, Pryor has only played the position since 2015. His first four seasons in the NFL were spent trying to make a roster playing quarterback. 

Now penciled into a starting receiver role for the Redskins, he knows he has a lot of catching up to do. 

"The good ones, they ask questions and never think they’ve got it. They always want to learn," Pryor said, "I’m not calling myself a great one, but I think I can get there."

MORE REDSKINS: Redskins Playbook: Some good news for Kirk Cousins

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Redskins Playbook: 2017 schedule reveals some good news for Kirk Cousins

Redskins Playbook: 2017 schedule reveals some good news for Kirk Cousins

The Redskins offense performed at a high level in 2016, moving the ball well though the unit struggled in the red zone. Much of the success comes from Kirk Cousins' ability to quickly advance through his progressions and release the football before he takes too many hits.

Expect more of that in 2017, especially early in the season.

The Redskins don't face their first Top 5 sack defense until Week 9 when they travel to Seattle. From there, Cousins will face another Top 5 sack team when the Vikings visit FedEx Field in Week 10. 

After that, Washington's schedule doesn't feature a Top 5 sack defense until nearly Christmas. Unfortunately for Cousins, those two teams will come back to back in December when the Redskins host the Cardinals and the Broncos.

Sacks should not drive too much worry for Redskins fans. The Washington offensive line only allowed 23 sacks last season, two less than the Cowboys vaunted offensive line gave up on Dak Prescott. Cousins quick release and mastery of Jay Gruden's offense helps too. 

The Redskins have plenty to worry about in 2017, though facing fierce sack opponents shouldn't be too high on the list. 

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