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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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Redskins Playbook: Niles Paul forcing a fourth tight end roster spot?

Redskins Playbook: Niles Paul forcing a fourth tight end roster spot?

Redskins coaches appreciate Niles Paul. Not just for the immense physical skills, a 6-foot-1, 225 lb. college receiver turned NFL tight end and fullback. He works hard every day at practice, and demands the same from his teammates. 

Last season, Paul landed on the injured reserve after an injury in London during a Week 8 tie against the Bengals. Because of that, some speculation emerged that Paul could be the odd man out in the Redskins tight end group, behind Jordan Reed and Vernon Davis and fighting with 2017 draft pick Jeremy Sprinkle, not to mention veteran Derek Carrier. 

RELATED: COULD REDSKINS MAKE RUN AT NICK MANGOLD?

After two preseason games, it's clear Paul is ready to fight for that spot. Against Green Bay on Saturday night, Paul logged a touchdown catch and a fumble recovery on special teams, showing the versatility that makes him so valuable to Washington. 

For Paul, he's just happy to be back on the field. 

"I got my season cut in half last year. I just want to be back on the field by any means necessary. I've just been missing it. I've been missing football in my life," Paul said after the game (full video above).

Paul's acrobatic TD grab showed that he still has the explosiveness to help the offense, but his special teams play is what will keep him on the roster. It also helps that head coach Jay Gruden complimented Paul for an outstanding camp and work ethic. 

"His speed looks where it was before the injuries. I mean, I think he's had an outstanding training camp so far. He's done so many different things. And that's one of the toughest positions," Gruden said of Paul. 

The Redskins offense hasn't hit full cylinder yet, but Paul thinks the return of Jordan Reed will help. 

"We're missing a major piece and that's Jordan Reed," he said. "We got some fine tuning to do."

Considering Reed's injury history, and backup tight end Vernon Davis starting the season at 33, a healthy Paul is a luxury for the Redskins. He stands to make nearly $2.5 million this season, but he also brings versatility. Paul is happy to play fullback, a role that seems to be growing, as well as all over the field on special teams. 

Washington will absolutely keep Reed and Davis. With his play this preseason, Paul seems a sure thing too. And if the squad wants to keep their draft pick in Sprinkle, who has tremendous size and has shown promise, four tight ends on the 53-man roster looks like the future. 

<<CLICK HERE FOR PHOTOS FROM REDSKINS TRAINING CAMP>>

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!

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With Spencer Long on the shelf, could Redskins make a run at Nick Mangold?

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USA Today Sports

With Spencer Long on the shelf, could Redskins make a run at Nick Mangold?

News broke late Monday night that Redskins' center Spencer Long underwent a minor knee scope and is expected to miss two weeks. That timetable spells good news for Washington, as that would bring Long back to the team before the first regular season game against the Eagles on September 10th. 

In the meantime, expect rookie Chase Roullier to take over at center for the Redskins. A 6th round draft pick, Bruce Allen and the Washington brass moved up to select Roullier, and the young player out of Wyoming had a strong training camp. 

RELATED: NILES PAUL FORCING HIS WAY TO A ROSTER SPOT?

"He’s done a great job, he really has. For a rookie to come in here and handle all the things he has to handle, it’s been very impressive," Redskins coach Jay Gruden said of Roullier in early August. 

Still, Jay Gruden has been very clear about the need for a backup center on the roster. Last season the team brought in veteran John Sullivan during the year to provide depth at the position after Kory Lichtensteiger went down with injury.  Sullivan ended up starting one game for Washington, and is now playing with the Rams. 

With Long on the mend, the only other center on the Redskins roster is Roullier. Ronald Patrick is listed with the more generic OL designation though he has played center too.

It seems likely the team will move quickly to add another center, and one name that will get suggested is Nick Mangold. An 11-year veteran that played his entire career with the Jets, Mangold has more experience than Long, Roullier and Patrick combined.

He's also played the position at a very high level. Twice named to the NFL's All Pro team, Mangold has made seven Pro Bowls, most recently in 2015.

It's not entirely clear why Mangold isn't on an NFL roster already. He worked out for the Ravens this offseason, though some reports suggested Mangold wanted more guaranteed money than was discussed. 

A quick look at his Twitter feed does not suggest a guy missing the NFL life. A big soccer fan, Mangold seems very dialed in to London's Tottenham Hotspur and the New York City Football Club. (Check his Twitter out here)

If the team truly believes Long should not miss any regular season action, Mangold is probably not a fit. At 33-years-old with an impressive resume, Mangold likely doesn't want to come back just to be a backup, and Gruden has repeatedly talked about Long's ability and potential in the middle of the line. Should Long suffer a setback, the equation could change. 

Other names are likely to pop up for tryouts, as the 'Skins must consider more interior line depth. Making a run at Mangold might be something fans want to do, though it might not make sense at this point.

<<CLICK HERE FOR PHOTOS FROM REDSKINS TRAINING CAMP>>

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!