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Redskins Tuesday minicamp report, offense: Griffin sharp

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Redskins Tuesday minicamp report, offense: Griffin sharp

Earlier I took a look at what the Redskins did during their Tuesday minicamp on defense and special teams earlier today. Now, here’s a look at the offense.

—They have mixed up a lot of linemen on the second and third teams so don’t read too much into this but in the early going the second-team offensive line was, from left to right, Willie Smith, Arie Kouandjio, Josh LeRibeus, Tyler Larsen, and Ty Nsekhe.

—Chris Thompson and Trey Williams would both like to be the third-down back and they both showed the ability to hit the hole quickly on plays up the middle within a few snaps of each other. The rookie Williams was a bit more impressive, making a spin move to avoid contact.

—Robert Griffin III had a good day. He was mostly decisive and accurate when dropping back into the pocket, two qualities that have been seen inconsistently in the offseason practices that have been open to the media this year.

—Matt Jones displayed some good hands on a short throw from Griffin. The QB fired the ball in from close range and Jones caught the bullet without a problem.

—On a throw to Silas Redd, Griffin was not quite as smooth as he was most of the day. He spotted Redd in the flat, cocked his arm and had just a little bit of hesitation before firing the pass. It was complete but if he was facing a live rush or if Redd had been tightly covered the consequences of the slight hesitation could have been disastrous. He still has some work to do.

—Colt McCoy got most of the second-team work in the previous practices open to the media. Today, Kirk Cousins got most of the work with the second unit. He looked pretty impressive, zipping some passes into receivers. His only interception was not his fault; a pass right into the hands of Colin Locker bounced out and was picked off by Tajh Hasson.

—Receiver Quinton Dunbar also had a bad drop, this one on a pass from McCoy. Bubble players like Lockett and Dunbar can’t afford many mistakes if they want to stick around.

—Andre Roberts, who is in a battle with rookie Jamison Crowder for the starting job at slot receiver, helped his cause with a diving catch of a McCoy pass. Later on, Crowder dropped a fairly easy catch over the middle. Advantage, Roberts.

—Offensive tackle Morgan Moses, who has not taken part in any on-field offseason work while he recovers from a Lisfranc injury, was doing some running along the end line. He appears to be moving well but the real test will come when he needs to cut and put pressure on the foot. The 2014 third-round pick is expected to be ready for training camp.

—Griffin made a nice play on the move, rolling to his left and finding Niles Paul down the sideline. A few snaps later he got the ball out of his hand very quickly on a short throw to DeSean Jackson.

—In some 11-on-11 work the offense was coming out the end zone, Griffin stood in the pocket and found Pierre Garçon for about 10 yards and a first down. This drew some loud praise from Jay Gruden. “Robert, way to stand tall, big boy,” the head coach bellowed.

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Trent Murphy had offseason foot surgery to repair broken bone, per source

Trent Murphy had offseason foot surgery to repair broken bone, per source

Redskins outside linebacker Trent Murphy underwent surgery this offseason to repair a broken bone in his foot, per a source with knowledge of the situation. Murphy has completely healed and is a full participant at training camp. 

The injury came late in the 2016 season and he played the Redskins final game of the season with the broken foot. He was listed on the injury report for that game as limited with a foot injury. He was not listed on the Week 16 injury report against the Bears.

Hit with a four-game suspension for performance enhancing drugs this offseason, Murphy won't suit up for the Redskins until Week 6. He will be forced to miss the first four games, and then the Redskins have a bye in Week 5. 

Murphy had a breakout season in 2016, finishing the year with nine sacks and 47 tackles. A second round pick in 2014, Murphy had a combined six sacks in the two seasons prior. Last offseason, Murphy was tasked with gaining weight for a position switch to defensive end. After he gained the weight, outside linebacker Junior Galette was lost for the season, and Murphy was moved back to outside linebacker. 

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Redskins' Gruden will readjust to calling plays by going off script

Redskins' Gruden will readjust to calling plays by going off script

RICHMOND—The Redskins offense is dealing with some challenges on the field. Their top two wide receivers from last year left as free agents and replacements Terrelle Pryor and Josh Doctson have little game experience with quarterback Kirk Cousins. Tight end Jordan Reed (toe) was a surprise entry on the PUP list. Running back Rob Kelley needs to prepare to get ready to carry the load for 16 games.

There is one other change the team must deal with. Sean McVay, the team’s offensive coordinator, left in January to become the head coach of the Los Angeles Rams. He had been calling the plays for the past two years. That duty will now fall on head coach Jay Gruden.

RELATED: Reed one of four to start camp on PUP

Play calling is not new to Gruden. He did it from 2011-2013 for the Bengals when he was the offensive coordinator in Cincinnati. Gruden also made the play calls in 2014, his first season as the Redskins head coach.

Still, he wants to make sure that he’s ready to retake the play caller’s headset. The method he will use is to throw away the script.

“I think early on we’re going to have scripted practices, and once we get going, get our main core of plays in there, I think we’ll have a lot of unscripted practices where I can call plays,” he said. “So I think that’s the most important thing, the unscripted practice. Whether it’s two -minute, whether it’s drives down the field, whether it’s third downs, all that good stuff, do a lot of unscripted work, red zone and go from there, but I feel pretty comfortable already.”

That certainly makes sense. Games are not scripted and the successful play callers who can adjust to the ebb and flow of the game. You can’t duplicate the dynamic but you can come close in 11 on 11 work on the practice field.

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Another key to making this work will be trusting his defensive and special teams coaches. If Gruden can’t delegate to them he will be getting pulled in too many directions on game days.

“How well I handle that will be how successful I will probably be as a coordinator calling plays and as a coach,” he said. “I feel good about the staff that I have around me. Coach [Greg] Manusky and Jim Tomsula and Torrian Gray on the defensive side of the ball, I don’t think I have to worry so much about that, Ben Kotwica, Bret Munsey on the special teams. The big thing is I have got to be involved in the football game, make sure I’m ready for the red flag tosses and all that good stuff, but for the most part I have confidence in the defense and special team coaches and players.”

We will see how well it works out. As a rookie coach he occasionally seemed to be overwhelmed by all that he had piled on his plate (the situation was complicated by his curious decision not to hire a quarterbacks coach). But now, with three years under his belt and an exponentially better understanding of what is involved in coaching an NFL game, there should be more confidence that he can handle it.

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.