May 30, 2014, 5:29 AM EDT
Here is what you need to know on this Friday, May 30, 18 days before the start of minicamp.
(Still on vacation, enjoying some beautiful sunsets in the Outer Banks. But fresh content is back in your Need to Know. I still might be slow in approving first comments and responding.)
Here are five key notes and quotes on Jay Gruden’s remarks following yesterday’s OTA.
When Gruden was asked about how Robert Griffin III performed, he was sure to spread some praise to all three QB’s on the roster: “Robert, all the quarterbacks, have done a great job as far as terminology is concerned. We tried to have some carryover from last year, there’s a lot of new plays, formations. He’s done an excellent job as far as his command of the huddle – that’s always been a positive of his – spitting out the plays and not having many mentals at all. So we’re impressed with all three quarterbacks, the way they’ve handled it – Colt [McCoy], Kirk [Cousins] and Robert.”
I’ve been saying all offseason that the organization would like for Keenan Robinson to step into the inside linebacker spot vacated by London Fletcher’s retirement. Gruden offered some very encouraging words when asked about Robinson: “Mentally he’s in good shape. [Inside Linebackers] Coach [Kirk] Olivadotti has done a great job with him getting him up to speed. Physically, he looks excellent to me. He’s running, he’s long and he can run sideline to sideline in pass coverage. He’s disruptive. He gets into zones and is a big guy to throw over. He can cover tight ends, he can cover backs. We have high hopes for Keenan and we love the progress he’s making. Just from a short period of time, he’s one of the guys on the field that stand out, ‘Is that Keenan again?’”
Speaking of players the organization are counting on, here’s what Gruden had to say about Phillip Thomas: “Phillip’s done a great job also. He had a great interception today. He’s just getting back in the flow and [Defensive Backs Coach] Raheem [Morris] is working with him and doing a good job, and between he and [safety Brandon] Meriweather, we expect good things from that safety spot.”
Gruden appreciates good tight end play and he sees great things for Jordan Reed: “No question he has done an excellent job. He is obviously a force in the passing game. We got to work him a little [on] being more stout in the running game because it is important for a guy like that. But overall I think he has had no drawbacks from his concussion…knock on wood . . . If people want to crowd DeSean or crowd [wide receiver] Pierre [Garçon], he’s a guy that is very much needed in the passing game, so we just got to keep him healthy and get him going.”
Gruden has been pumping the brakes on Morgan Moses all along and he did it again on Thursday. “We’ll see. All these rookies right now, they’re obviously just, like we brought it up earlier, they are struggling a bit mentally but you can see some talent there. Him and [guard] Spencer Long both have done a great job with the offensive line. There’s a lot to learn as far as offensive line play, picking up the stunts, all the run schemes that we have – inside zones, outside zones and then the pass protections we have. We have nine or 10 pass protections already and maybe more, so it’s a grind for them mentall,y but you can see the talent is there.”
—It’s been 150 days since the Redskins played a game; it will be 100 days until the play the Texans in their season opener.
—Days until: Minicamp starts 18; Training camp 54; Redskins @ Eagles 114
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