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Redskins Playbook: Jay Gruden's 'most consistent' wide receiver might surprise fans

Redskins Playbook: Jay Gruden's 'most consistent' wide receiver might surprise fans

The stats don't show it. Fans might not love it. Jay Gruden and the Redskins coaching staff, however, know the value wide receiver Ryan Grant brings to the team. 

"Hopefully he’ll get more opportunities. He’s our most consistent guy, without a doubt, as a far as being able to lineup everywhere, run the routes exactly how we want them at the right depth coming out of them," Gruden said during minicamp.

Redskins fans can read this a few different ways. Straightforward, Grant works hard and does what the coaches want. Watch enough practices and it's obvious; Grant runs each drill exactly as it's taught, rarely turning a corner early or starting a cut before the proper step. 

Beyond Grant's work ethic and understanding of the route concepts though, Grant can be an example for new wideout Terrelle Pryor and second-year man Josh Doctson. Those two players, along with Jamison Crowder, will likely get the starter's portion of snaps this fall.

Pryor posted 1,000 yards last year in Cleveland, but is still learning the receiver position. Doctson barely played in 2016. Both guys can learn from Grant, who is also an excellent downfield blocker.

And Gruden defnitely thinks Grant could produce in the Redskins offense. 

"That’s the big thing is opportunities. He needs opportunities. You can’t produce very well at wideout if you don’t get opportunities," Gruden said. "Wide receivers moan about that all the time, ‘Throw me the ball.’ And poor Ryan doesn’t moan about it, probably internally he does."

Grant's best season came in 2015 when he had nearly 270 yards receiving on 23 catches. Last year, those numbers slipped big time; he had just nine catches for 76 yards. 

To produce this fall, Grant will need opportunities. None of that will change his consistency on the practice field, and that's why the coaches like him so much.

<<<NFL POWER RANKINGS: WHO GOT BETTER AFTER THE DRAFT>>>

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ROSTER BATTLESLeft guard | Tight end Nickel cornerback  | Inside linebacker | Running back

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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. 

<<<NFL POWER RANKINGS: WHO GOT BETTER AFTER THE DRAFT>>>

Want more Redskins? Click here to follow JP on Facebook and check out @JPFinlayCSN for live updates via Twitter! Click here for the #RedskinsTalk on Apple Podcasts, here for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!

ROSTER BATTLES: Left guard | Tight end Nickel cornerback  | Inside linebacker | Running back