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Sonny on RG3: 'He's very gifted'

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Sonny on RG3: 'He's very gifted'

By Tarik El-Bashir
CSNwashington.comAlthough Sonny Jurgensen hasnt had the opportunity to sit down and talk to Robert Griffin III yet, the Hall of Fame quarterback got the chance to study the rookie during mini camp last month at Redskins Park.And, its safe to say, Jurgensen liked what he saw from the Washingtons touted first round draft pick.This is exactly what the Redskins need, Jurgensen said. Hes very gifted. Hes such a tremendous athlete. Ive never seen anyone so quick playing that position.I think, the former Redskins great added with a smile, hes going to have a great year.Jurgensen made the comments Friday afternoon at Landsdowne Resort, where he and nearly four-dozen fellow Hall of Famers gathered to support Bobby Mitchells charity golf tournament. The 22nd annual event benefits the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and, on Sunday morning, will be open to the public in exchange for a 5 donation.While athleticism is the first characteristic that stands out about Griffin, its only part of what will make him successful as he transitions from the college gridiron to pro ranks, Jurgensen said.Hes smart enough to understand just ask anyone who knows him, he added, asked whether he believes the Heisman Trophy winner can cope with the hype thats already been heaped upon him. Hes from a military family. He understands theres a lot of work that goes into making everything happen.Griffins biggest challenge, Jurgensen said, will be remaining patient in the pocket and straddling the fine line all dual threat quarterbacks have had to walk, particularly early in their careers.The thing he has to do, as a young quarterback, is let the game come to him, rather than trying to take over the game, Jurgensen said. And thats always tough when youre as gifted as him.When youre paid to throw the football, its when do you let your legs take over? he continued. Its something that quarterbacks like Steve Young, Randall Cunningham and Michael Vick had to figure out.Theyre paid to throw the ball but when they cant find an open receiver, theyve got a reserve and then take off running. He doesnt want to make his living running with the football; he wants to make his living throwing the football and leading this football team.Speaking of throwing the football, Jurgensen said Griffin does it as well as anyone hes watched in recent seasons.I was very impressed with the velocity he had on the ball, his arm strength, the quickness of his passes, Jurgensen said. Also -- something you dont normally get with a young man -- is the touch he has on the ball. He has excellent touch on the ball on crossing patterns, laying it over to the tight end on the deep crossing patterns that youll see Fred Davis run.Jurgensen also said the acquisition of wide receivers Josh Morgan and Pierre Garon will take some of the pressure off Griffin because they can use their veteran savvy to get open and make plays after catching the ball.They will be helpful, Jurgensen said before pointing out that the offensive line will be equally as important to Griffins success. If they can protect him the offensive line will come under a lot of scrutiny now because they have to protect him.

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Need to Know: The Redskins' five most important backups

Need to Know: The Redskins' five most important backups

Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, March 23, 35 days before the April 27 NFL draft.

Timeline

Days until:

—Offseason workouts begin (4/17) 25
—Redskins rookie camp (5/12) 50
—Redskins OTAs start (5/24) 62
—Franchise tag contract deadline (7/15) 114
—First Sunday of 2017 season (9/10) 171

The Redskins’ five most valuable backups

QB Colt McCoy—The one time that McCoy came into a game for Kirk Cousins was in 2014, when he took over for the struggling starter at halftime and led the Redskins to a comeback win over the Titans. The way things stand now the only way that McCoy plays this year is if Cousins gets injured. And the fact that Cousins has never missed an NFL snap due to injury doesn’t guarantee that he won’t.

OT Ty Nsekhe—In his seven seasons in the NFL Trent Williams has played in 16 games just twice. That makes the backup player who must protect the quarterback’s blindside very important. It would take just one hit for that Cousins streak to come to an abrupt end. The Redskins had shaky solutions for a backup tackle until they found Nsekhe in 2015.

RELATED: NFL Mock Draft Version 6.0

DB Will Blackmon—Versatility is the key with Blackmon. With only 46 active players on game day it helps to have someone who can play either side as a corner, cover the slot, and play free safety. He might be a jack of all trades and master of none but the ability to fill in when the need calls for it is important.

DL Ziggy Hood—I’m assuming here that Hood is indeed a backup. That’s what everyone thought he would be last year but due to injuries and free agent flameouts he ended up 14 games and playing 60 percent of the defensive snaps. Hood could be much more effective as a reserve. And consider the injury histories of projected starters Stacy McGee (7 games missed last year) and Terrell McClain (missed most of 2015) and the teams likely reliance on some rookies (durability unknown), a good rotational lineman who can step up and start could be critical.

TE Vernon Davis—The Redskins moved quickly to ensure that Davis will return in 2017, signing him to a three-year deal early in free agency. Jordan Reed proved that he is as tough as they come by playing through his shoulder injury in Dallas but it still cost him a couple of games. Reed has missed between two and seven games in each of his four NFL seasons so a good backup for him is critical.

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.

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Go home again? Redskins schedule visit with former RB Tim Hightower, per report

Go home again? Redskins schedule visit with former RB Tim Hightower, per report

The Redskins will host Tim Hightower for a visit on Wednesday, ESPN's Mike Triplett reported. Bringing Hightower in at this point represents an impressive story far beyond a mundane free agent visit.  

If his career ended today, Tim Hightower's story would already be remarkable. Hightower - a DMV native that played his college ball at the University of Richmond - played for the Redskins in the 2011 season. That season, he tore his ACL, and was limited to five games.

While torn ACL's happen frequently in the NFL, what happened next for Hightower was anything but ordinary. He missed the next three seasons with an undiagnosed infection, before incredibly returning to the NFL in 2015 with the Saints. 

His last two years in New Orleans, Hightower has been a solid contributor behind starting RB Mark Ingram. He's rushed for more than 900 yards, gained another 330 yards through the air and hit the end zone nine times in 24 games for the Saints. 

In Washington, Hightower would join a backfield of Robert Kelley, Chris Thompson, Mack Brown and Matt Jones. It will be interesting to see if Washington adds any other backs through the draft in April as well. 

Born in Waldorf, Hightower went to high school in Alexandria before playing college ball at Richmond. Playing with the 'Skins in 2011, Hightower quickly became a fan favorite, especially with his local ties. 

The Redskins run game has not been particularly strong for a few seasons, and questions remain if the current stable of runners will be enough to improve. Hightower doesn't necesarily equal a significant talent boost, but perhaps coaches and front office staff are looking at the group.

Be aware, however, this could be nothing more than a visit. Triplett reported it remains possible Hightower returns to the Saints. He also visited the 49ers last week, and new San Francisco coach Kyle Shanahan was running the 'Skins offense in 2011 when the team originally acquired Hightower.

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