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Need to Know: 5 questions Jay Gruden must answer before Redskins OTAs

May 22, 2014, 4:57 AM EDT

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Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, May 22, five days before the start of OTAs.

Nickel coverage

Here are the five biggest questions facing Jay Gruden as he gets ready to take his team into the meat of the offseason program with OTAs next week.

What plays should be thrown out? There are many more plays in the playbook that he and Sean McVay have assembled than can be used. Part of OTAs will be figuring out which ones will work and which ones they should hit the delete button on. The more he can figure out in advance which plays will be most effective the more efficiently the limited practice time can be used.

What does the depth chart on the offensive line look like? With a new coaching staff, everyone should have a fair shot at a roster spot and a starting job. But you have to line them up in some order to begin with and the initial order always has influence on the final order. The most important question is whether the draft status of Morgan Moses and Spencer long should trump the experience of players like Tom Compton, Josh LeRibeus and Adam Gettis.

How about the wide receiver depth chart? It’s not quite as muddled as the line with the top three jobs set in stone but beyond that there are three or four spots that are wide open. Who gets first shot at lining up wit the second unit to work with Kirk Cousins at quarterback?

What is the schedule going to be? Most teams use the allotted practice time for rookie camp in one session. Gruden did it differently, splitting it into two shorter sessions with meeting in between. Will he break from the mold during OTAs? Will he give players input into the decision?

Should it be all work and no play? Mike Shanahan would occasionally give the players a break from the grind and take the players to the movies or have a family picnic day at Redskins Park. As a veteran coach with a lot of authority, he had the pull to be able to do something like this. Does Gruden want mix in some fun activities and, if he does, will he feel comfortable in doing so?

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Timeline

—It’s been 144 days since the Redskins played a game; it will be 108 days until they play the Texans in the 2014 season opener.

Days until: OTAs 5; Training camp starts 62; Redskins @ Eagles 122

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  1. shermanp79 - May 23, 2014 at 8:50 AM

    I think he gives the WRs all time with Cousins and even RG3. I also think if he wants fun activities, he will do it. I don’t see him being uncomfortable. I know Arena Football isn’t the NFL but he has been the leader. Plus do we think anyone related to Jon Gruden would be afraid or worried about doing it their way? LOL It seems Jay isn’t as “in your face” but you can tell the similarities in how he views things. I’m sure his brother has given advice. I think Jay is here because Jon didn’t want to coach . Actually let me clear that up, I don’t think they hired Jay because they liked Jon but if Jon wanted the job, his experience would have been welcomed. Allen did hire familiarity. I think he will put the OL depth chart at how he sees it based on they type of guy he wants. If feelings are hurt then prove him wrong. That will go at any position.(except QB) He won’t be that crazy to create that kind of mess.

    • goskins44 - May 23, 2014 at 3:28 PM

      Nice summary. I find it interesting that people completely gloss over Gruden’s success in the Arena League like it never happened. I realize the NFL is different and more grueling, but if there is a position that can help you get prepared fro bing a NFL HC, it would be HC of a smaller football league.

      Also, something to consider, I truly believe one of the big reasons Haslett was kept was not only Jay and Bruce’s familiarity but Haslett has been an NFL HC. Meaning he knows all the little and more mundane things that need to be done and with a DC in place. Haslett can help with that other behind the scenes stuff leaving Gruden free to coach.

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