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Need to Know: Redskins personnel decisions top camp priority for Gruden

Jul 24, 2014, 5:21 AM EDT

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Gruden camp presser

RICHMOND—Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, July 24, 14 days before the Redskins open the preseason against the Patriots..

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Training camp starts today so three and out goes out the window and we are back to doing things in groups of five as standard operating procedure. Jay Gruden addressed the media on Wednesday afternoon; here are some quotes and notes on what he said.

—Maurice Hurt was placed on the non-football injury list. “He came in a little bit out of shape,” said Gruden. “We’ll just go from there and make sure we monitor his condition moving forward.” Hurt was not in shape last year, either. He spent the entire season on PUP after getting a knee scope before minicamp. I don’t see any way he makes the roster; in fact, I’m not sure why they are even keeping him now. If he comes back and then gets injured the team could be on the hook for his entire 2014 salary.

—Jason Hatcher, Stephen Bowen, and Leonard Hankers were all put on PUP. Asked if he expected Hatcher to be back sooner than the other two, Gruden said, “It probably is. I think he’ll be ready quicker than the others.” Bowen and Hankerson have more serious knee injuries and it will be a while before we even get a good handle on what the status of each of them is.

—His most important job during training camp? “I want to make sure we make the right decisions on players, No. 1,” he said. “We have to make sure we get a good look at all the young guys, all the free agents, all the undrafted free agents, the draft picks, the veteran free agents, and make sure when we make our final cut-down we make the right choices and hopefully these players will make it very difficult on us in making those decisions.” Earlier this week I wrote a list of the players I believe are locks for the roster. There are 21 spots up for grabs and 58 players fighting for them. Gruden doesn’t want anyone he released to come back and “kick [our] ass”.

—Gruden does not expect to have any problems motivating his players. “Any time you lose the last one – whether you go 2-14 or we were 11-5 in Cincy and lost the last one – you should have a chip on your shoulder,” he said, referring to the Bengals’ first-round playoff loss. “You should want to get back on the saddle and compete.” He said that the team didn’t bring in anyone from the champion Seahawks so all 90 players on the roster should have chips on their shoulders. The Redskins have seem complacent some seasons even when their performance the year before didn’t warrant it. We’ll see if Gruden can make this a thing of the past.

—Gruden doesn’t have his own mistakes as a head coach to learn from yet so he has to learn from others. “You try to learn from history, coaches’ past mistakes, not only here but every other franchise in the NFL,” he said. “And you learn as a coach. We’ll learn from what we did in Cincinnati, what we did right, what I think we did wrong, how we ended the season, how poorly we finished and what we can do to rectify that.” The last coach gave the impression that he had all the answers and, given his experience, that’s not surprising. Gruden doesn’t know everything but he seems to know what he doesn’t know and that’s a good start.

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Today’s schedule: Full practice 8:35; Jay Gruden media availability 3:45; Walkthrough 4:10; Robert Griffin III media availability time TBD; players availability after both practices.

—It’s been 207 days since the Redskins played a game; in 45 days they play the Texans in their 2014 season opener.

Days until: Preseason opener vs. Patriots 14; Final cuts 37; Redskins @ Eagles 59

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