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Need to Know: Five Gruden notes and quotes after Redskins’ OTA

Jun 12, 2014, 5:25 AM EDT

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Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, June 12, five days before the start of Redskins minicamp.

Nickel coverage

Here are five notes and quotes from Jay Gruden’s presser after Wednesday’s OTA session.

—Gruden did not lose hope for safety Bacarri Rambo after seeing his rough rookie season on tape. “That’s going to happen for young guys. Certain guys handle things differently, but don’t expect a Pro Bowler by a rookie safety. It’s hard. Very few and far in between as far as that position goes. It’s a difficult position. There’s a lot of checks that happen from formation checks, checks in the coverage and all that good stuff in the front, all that, so it’s a very tough position to come in as a rookie or a young kid and play.”

—Gruden called for the no-huddle offense (discussed in my practice notes) not only to help Robert Griffin III and company but also to help the defense get used to what it will face, such as the Eagles in Week 3: “We’re trying to pick up the tempo. Also, from a communications standpoint, football is a lot about communication nowadays. A lot of teams are running a no-huddle, so from a defensive standpoint, you’ve got to be able to communicate your calls, get in the right front and talk about it and make sure everybody is on the same page.”

—What we often call “chemistry” between a QB and a receiver really boils down to the receiver being where he’s supposed to be and the quarterback knowing he’s going to be there. Gruden believes that this is coming along well for Griffin and his receivers. “I’m very happy with the way it’s going. We’re not perfect and I don’t think anybody is right now. There’s been some out of route too sharp, not sharp enough, maybe a little bit short, maybe a little deep. But I think the more we watch it, the more we rep it, the more comfortable he’s going to be of knowing where people are and what depths and how they’re coming out of their cuts.”

Josh LeRibeus, a 2012 third-round pick, faces an uphill battle to make the roster. But it appears that he is in good shape and is giving it his best shot. ““LeRibeus has done good. He came in and his weight was down. He’s in good shape and he’s made some improvements from what I saw last year. You know I don’t have a lot of history with him obviously, just what I’ve seen this year, but he does look a lot better this time of year this year than he did last year from what I hear, but he’s doing well.”

—As long as he calls the signals right, Gruden is not all that worried about Keenan Robinson being able to replace London Fletcher in any sort of leadership capacity. “I think as long as he’s communicating the calls, that’s important, and as long as he’s playing hard and doing the right thing, that’s leadership enough in a lot of cases. There’s not – you don’t have to be a Ray Lewis-type of leader to play middle linebacker and be successful.”

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Timeline

—It’s been 165 days since the Redskins played a game; it will be 87 days until they play the Texans in their 2014 season opener.

Days until: Minicamp starts 5; Training camp 42; Preseason opener vs. Patriots 56

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