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Redskins have a plan to deal with shortened offseason for rookies


Redskins have a plan to deal with shortened offseason for rookies

The Redskins, like every other NFL team, had an extra two weeks to prepare for the draft, which was held for the first time in May this year.

Being a new coaching staff working together with Bruce Allen for the first time, Jay Gruden and company were glad to have the extra time to evaluate how the draft prospects would fit in to the team’s schemes. But now they are paying for that extra evaluation time.

The rookie minicamp that concluded yesterday at Redskins Park usually takes place on the first weekend in May. So the camp moved back two weeks but the rest of the schedule remained the same. Training camp still will start the last week in July. The season opens the week after Labor Day weekend. That gives rookies two fewer weeks to get up to speed.

“Yeah, that is an issue and that’s a negative of moving [the draft] back,” said Gruden on Saturday. “There’s no doubt about it.”

Some teams like the Giants and Bengals decided to do away with rookie camp altogether. They will bring their draft picks and undrafted free agents right into their offseason programs OTAs with the veterans over the next few weeks. The Redskins considered that approach to deal with the shortened post-draft schedule but decided against it.

“We wanted to have a rookie camp so we could see our draft picks and we could bring in some undrafted guys and let them compete and hopefully find a sleeper or two that we didn’t know about to come in and compete for the roster,” said Gruden.

The decision was to deal with the schedule in a couple of different ways. One was to target players they believe can get up to speed in a hurry.

“We drafted smart guys,” said Gruden. “We try to draft smart guys that are football smart and played in good systems and hopefully they’ll be able to learn fast.”

The organization also tried to take some of the pressure off of the rookies by making sure that they had veterans capable of starting this season in place.

“What we did in free agency, we’re not necessarily having to draft guys that come in and play 70 snaps a game right away,” Gruden said. “They can come in and be a backup and play situationally and then learn and learn and develop, and that’s the beauty of what we did in the free agent market this year.”

“So they’re going to come in and compete, and how much they can handle will be determined after training camp and preseason.”

Of course, every team wants to draft smart players and it’s always good to have veteran players who are capable of starting at every position, especially when you don’t have a first-round draft pick. So the organization’s plan isn’t rocket science. Still, it seems to be a conscious plan to deal with the shortened time frame. We will see if they can take advantage of it and get their rookie class contributing during games sooner rather than later.

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Need to Know: Murphy and Kerrigan a potent sack combo

Need to Know: Murphy and Kerrigan a potent sack combo

Here is what you need to know on this Monday, December 5, six days before the Washington Redskins play the Philadelphia Eagles.


Today's schedule: Jay Gruden conference call 3 p.m.

Days until: Redskins @ Eagles 6; Panthers @ Redskins 14; Redskins @ Bears Christmas Eve 19

Injuries of note vs. Cardinals:
C Spencer Long (concussion), S Will Blackmon (possible concussion/stinger)
Postgame injury report

Redskins vs. Cardinals by the numbers

—Kirk Cousins passed for 271 yards. While compiling those yards he moved up six spots in the team’s record book for single season passing yardage. He passed four different quarterbacks in the process and passed Mark Rypien and Joe Theismann twice.

—Cousins also moved past Jason Campbell for sixth on the team’s career passing yards list.

—DeSean Jackson caught a 59-yard pass from Cousins in the third quarter. It was his 35th career reception of 50 yards or longer. Since he entered the league in 2008 no NFL player has more.

—Ryan Kerrigan sacked Carson Palmer in the second quarter, giving him 10 for the season. He now has his second career season with double-digit sacks; he had 13.5 in 2014.

—Trent Murphy recorded a third-quarter sack of Palmer; he now has eight sacks this season. He had a total of six in his first two NFL seasons.

—Dustin Hopkins kicked a 53-yard field goal in the fourth quarter. It was the second-longest of his career. He hit a 54-yarder in Atlanta last season.

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Updating Redskins' injury list after loss to Cardinals

Updating Redskins' injury list after loss to Cardinals

GLENDALE, AZ—The Redskins went into today’s game against the Cardinals somewhat banged up and they exit with a couple of additional injury concerns in the form of concussions.

Center Spencer Long left the game in the second quarter. Initially it was announced that he had been evaluated for a concussion but that he had been cleared. But after halftime the word came down that he had been retested and it was determined that he does have a concussion. Long has entered the concussion protocol.

Veteran John Sullivan, picked up earlier this season when Kory Lichtensteiger went on injured reserve, filled in a center the rest of the way. He is a capable fill-in but if Long is out he would be the only available center. The Redskins might have to sign a center if it looks like Long will be out of action against the Eagles.

In the fourth quarter safety Will Blackmon left the game. According to Redskins coach Jay Gruden he was being evaluated for a concussion and a stinger. His exact status is unknown. Gruden will give more information during a conference call with reporters on Monday.