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Redskins-Patriots joint practice report, Day 1: RG3 watches the master

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Redskins-Patriots joint practice report, Day 1: RG3 watches the master

RICHMOND—Tom Brady, Bill Belichick and company showed up here today for their joint practice with the Redskins and they all put on a good show for a packed house at Washington’s training facility. There was a lot going on, with eight or 10 activities going on spread across the two main fields plus the drill field. Here is what I observed during practice:

—They went semi live on kickoff coverage with some pretty hard blocking but no tackling.

—I did not have a camera rolling for this but one of Zach Hocker’s kickoffs cleared the crossbar on the fly. That’s a 75-yard field goal.

—They did a lot of the position drills separately, with the Redskins in five groups on one field plus some of the drill field and the Patriots on the other field with some activity on the drill field.

—Here the Patriots’ running back are putting some pop into a sled.

—And here the Redskins linebackers are doing the same.

—Jason Hatcher is still working on rehab. This doesn’t look too strenuous but you can’t always judge how a player is really doing based on a snapshot of one rehab drill.

—In 11 on 11 work, Kirk Cousins hit Aldrick Robinson in stride with a deep pass down the right side. Robinson did not get off to a good start in camp but he has been coming on the last few practices. Consistency has been Robinson’s biggest problem

—In one on one pass bocking drills, Kory Lichtensteiger did a good job with massive nose tackle Vince Wilfork. The Redskins center used leverage and good placement to steer Wilfork off to the side.

—That was pretty good on the part of the Redskins. The worst all day was Adam Gettis doing the old “ole” act with Patriots lineman Eathyn Manumaleuna. The D-lineman blew right by him.

—Back to 11 on 11 action, Cousins continues his sharp performance on the morning with darts to Ryan Grant and Santana Moss.

—Wow, Tom Brady is good (if that was a tweet, the #analysis hashtag would be necessary). He did the hot knife through butter thing on the Redskins’ starting defense. He looks like he’s playing in Week 6, directing traffic ad barking out audibles. I’m not sure if he changed any plays but he wasn’t acting like it was a scrimmage less than two weeks into training camp.

—Ryan Mallett, Brady’s backup, is petty good, too. He was firing accurate passes short and long. My two-minute scouting report is that he will be an NFL starter somewhere in the next couple of years. His contract with the Patriots is up after this season.

—All eyes were on Brady, including those of a 24-year-old who would like to be like him.
RG3 on the field behind NE offense watching Brady work. #RedskinsTalk

— Rich Tandler (@Rich_TandlerCSN) August 4, 2014

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Redskins bring former starting center back to active roster

Redskins bring former starting center back to active roster

The Redskins officially brought Kory Lichtensteiger back to the active roster, and while the move is now for depth, it could have other ramifications down the road. 

The move is on the NFL's transaction report for Saturday. To make room for Lichtensteiger, the team released defensive lineman A.J. Francis. 

Dealing with injuries up and down the line of scrimmage, Lichtensteiger's return could give the offensive front more flexibility. When Lichtensteiger got injured Week 3 and sent to the injured reserve, third-year pro Spencer Long stepped in and performed well at center. Last week in Arizona, Long sustained a concussion.

That injury opened the door for John Sullivan, who will start this week in Philadelphia with Long ruled out. Sullivan was brought in as a backup to Long once Lichtensteiger was put on IR. With Long now in the NFL concussion protocol, the Redskins need another center should Sullivan get hurt. Alas, Lichtensteiger's return from the IR. 

Left guard Shawn Lauvao also sustained an injured groin, and that's where things could get interesting. Long is capable of playing guard, as is Lichtensteiger in a pinch. Should Lauvao's injury persist, Lichtensteiger might be able to help there.

Against the Eagles, the plan certainly appears to be second-year man Arie Kouandjio starting in place of Lauvao. Kouandjio made one earlier start this season - Week 4 against Cleveland - and the results were mixed.

If Kouandjio stumbles and Lauvao needs more time, Lichtensteiger's return to the roster gives Jay Gruden and Bill Callahan more flexibility, especially when Long returns from injury.

In fact, once the team has Long, Lichtensteiger and Sullivan healthy, there could be a bit of a logjam roster-wise on the offensive line, but considering all the injuries, bumps and bruises that are part of O-line life by the last four games of the season, the Redskins staff likely won't mind figuring that out. 

Want more Redskins? Check out @JPFinlayCSN for live updates or click here for the #RedskinsTalk Podcast on iTunes, here for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!

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Redskins vs Eagles Preview: 5 things to know as Washington gets desperate

Redskins vs Eagles Preview: 5 things to know as Washington gets desperate

Losers of two straight games and for the first time in a month outside of the playoff picture, a desperate Redskins squad travels to Philadelphia for a 1 p.m. game on Sunday. All the action kicks off on CSN with Redskins Kickoff at noon, but to get ready for the action, here are five storylines to watch:

  1. Getting back to good, or at least decent - Two weeks ago the Redskins seemed like a dangerous playoff squad with a strong offense and an improving defense. After two straight losses where Joe Barry's defense has given up 62 total points, the questions are mounting for Washington. Can the defense get stops on 3rd down? Generate a turnover? The good news for the Redskins is that the Eagles are struggggggling. Their offense has not score more than 15 points in three straight weeks. 
  2. Feed the fat one - After giving Rob Kelley just 28 carries in the last two games, Washington offensive coordinator Sean McVay owned up to the Redskins lack of run game, "I definitely feel like I could’ve been more patient on some of those early down and distances where you get a little bit pass-heavy. And that’s something that as a decision-maker and as a coordinator, I have to do a better job." In a Week 6 win Kelley and Matt Jones piled up more than 200 rush yards against the Eagles. The 'Skins offense likely won't feature Jones, but expect McVay to feed Fat Rob plenty on Sunday.
  3. Playing in pain - The Redskins offense features a number of dynamic playmaking threats, but arguably the best is tight end Jordan Reed. On Thanksgiving in Dallas, Reed separated his left shoulder, and though he finished that game he was forced out of action in Arizona. Expect Reed to be back Sunday, and expect Kirk Cousins to look for him early and often. On the season, Reed has more than 600 receiving yards and five TDs.
  4. If it ain't broke - Kirk Cousins has had more success against the Eagles than any other team in the NFC East. In four career games against Philly, COusins averages 336 yards per game passing to go with a 101.3 QB rating. He's thrown 10 touchdowns against the Eagles to just two interceptions. The biggest win of his career came last year when Cousins and the 'Skins clinched the NFC East title at Lincoln Financial Field. Cousins suceeds against the Eagles, and there's no reason it should stop Sunday. 
  5. Don't fly away - Rumors are starting to circulate that the Eagles would like to bring back DeSean Jackson next season. It's well known that Jackson will probably hit free agency after this season, and if Philly did pursuit their former playmaker, it would make sense. But between now and then, Jackson has another opportunity to torch his former team and help the Skins pursue a Wild Card bid at the same time. In his past two games, Jackson and COusins have connected on deep patterns, and there's little reason to tbink the same won't happen Sunday.

Numbers & Notes

  • If tight end Vernon Davis catches three passes he will become the 12th tight end in NFL history to record 500 career receptions.
  • With two more catches, wide receiver Jamison Crowder will set a single-season career high in receptions. He caught 59 passes in 2015.
  • If the Redskins win would mark five straight victories against the Eagles for the Redskins for the first time since a six-game winning streak in the series across the 1981-84 seasons.

Want more Redskins? Check out @JPFinlayCSN for live updates or click here for the #RedskinsTalk Podcast on iTunes, here for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!