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Need to Know: Redskins camp notes–The big picture after 5 days

Jul 30, 2014, 4:17 AM EDT

RG3 media camp

RICHMOND—Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, July 30, eight days before the Redskins open the preseason against the Patriots.

Nickel coverage

After the off day on Tuesday, the Redskins get back to work here today with three days of AM practices and PM walkthroughs before a single practice on Fan Appreciation Day on Saturday. Here are five big picture impressions from the first five days of training camp.

No distractions: The focus has been on football with minimal distractions on and off the field. There have been no major injuries, although one of those could happen at any time. There has been no coach-QB drama, no drug suspensions like we had last year. All the talk has been of hitting and pads and competition on the field.

A healthy RG3: This one is, of course, related to the first one. Members of the media and spectators are evaluating his passing and running and figuring out why he threw that interception, not breaking down his body language as he watched Kirk Cousins take snaps.

Gruden’s style: The big thing that stands out is his participation in practice. He’ll cover receivers, rush Griffin, or throw passes. The players seem to like this in particular. He also doesn’t micromanage; he let his coaches do their jobs. Although he’s very different from Mike Shanahan in these and other respects it needs to be noted that different isn’t always better in terms of results. We’ll have to wait and see on that.

Messages sent: After warming up the first thing that the team does is special teams drills. They do one session for about 15 minutes then and another 15-minutes of teams about midway through practice. The message is that special teams are important. The organization also let everyone know that if you don’t give your best effort at practice, it doesn’t matter that you were a 2013 draft pick. The quick hook given to Brandon Jenkins made it clear that you had better be giving your all.

RG3 availability: Player availability to the media has increased, particularly regarding Griffin. His first two years with the team he was available only during his weekly press conference. Now he is available coming off of the field every day. That makes Griffin pressers more of a routine event than a command performance, something that many fatigued fans might appreciate. Players are generally more accessible after both the morning practice and the afternoon walkthrough and the team P. R. staff will help you get a particular player.

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

—It’s been 213 days since the Redskins played a game; in 39 days they play the Texans in their 2014 season opener.

Days until: Preseason opener vs. Patriots 8; Final cuts 31; Redskins @ Eagles 53

Full contact livens up Monday’s practice

In case you missed it

  1. cowboyhater - Jul 30, 2014 at 7:51 AM

    Rich, I’ve heard some radio interviews with the national media concerning the skins, but I’m getting a very negative vibe (i.e…..S.I.’s MMQB staff). Is the negative press due to the fact that they are not being treated well at camp, or should we legitimately be concerned with what they claim is a sub par secondary, and RG3 still not looking sharp. How much can we really read into their assessments since they are not there everyday covering the team such as your staff? I want a real assessment, and no cool aid drinking comments that get fans hopes high to only be crushed when the season starts.

    • Rich Tandler - Jul 30, 2014 at 8:27 AM

      Let¹s see, should I overlook the insulting ³kool aid² statement and go ahead and answer this? I guess I will.

      I haven¹t read everything but I have not picked up much of a negative vibe in the national articles I¹ve read. Peter King was here one day, Friday I think, don¹t recall him writing much negative.

      The only negative as far as treatment of the press has been some parking issues, haven¹t heard any other than that. Yeah, the secondary isn¹t very good. If this is news to anyone they have not been paying any attention at all.

      Griffin didn¹t look good in the rain at the first practice; beyond that he¹s looked like a third-year QB learning a new offense. Which is, of course, what he is. Some good throws, some bad ones.

      Again, I haven¹t had time to read a whole lot of national perspective but I would be surprised if a 3-13 team with a new coach got glowing reviews. But I do know that what get said in late July usually have very little relevance to what happens from September through December.

      Read what you want. Take it with a grain of salt. And then sit back and see what happens. That¹s my advice, anyway.

      • cowboyhater - Jul 30, 2014 at 8:38 AM

        To be honest, I haven’t really read anything on the national scale, but I do listen to a lot of radio and was basing my question on what I’ve heard. Not trying to blow smoke….but to be honest, your articles have been outstanding, and this is generally where I go to get my skins fix. Keep up the good work….I was a big fan of the cherry flavor..LOL!!

  2. clayton268921 - Jul 30, 2014 at 7:54 AM

    —No distractions:

    I think that the name issue can be qualified as a distraction, given players are still being asked about it to this day. Could be wrong tho

    • Rich Tandler - Jul 30, 2014 at 8:17 AM

      I have yet to hear a single player get asked about the name. I haven¹t been in every interview, of course, but I have not heard it brought up once.

  3. ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Jul 30, 2014 at 8:47 AM

    Seems to me the national press is generally going to take what happened last year and project same when we’re still in preseason.

    Absent any major makeover in the secondary, it’s the obvious move. But improved special teams and offense should take a lot of pressure off the D.

  4. hitmeimopen - Jul 30, 2014 at 9:15 AM

    Rich…I’ve been looking for any word, thought or even musing about how different the entire run game might be due to Gruden’s preference for bigger O linemen. Will the outside Zone be as effective? Will Almo be as effective himself behind this approach? We won’t know for sure until games but, for me, there’s some concern and I haven’t read squat along those lines.

  5. deepball1 - Jul 30, 2014 at 9:49 AM

    Hello….?? Have any of you not realized yet that the National Drive By Media have a bias on almost EVERY issue? So being liberal naturally the evil REDSKINS have to be included due to RACISM. But any Skins fan who needs to read glowing remarks or hear wonderful complements about the Redskins in order to feel good about your team, you must live in a nightmare world.

    Redskins are going 13-3 and to the playoffs. Hope that makes you feel better.

  6. primetimehero - Jul 30, 2014 at 10:44 AM

    Rich, do you get the sense that this team is finally becoming “normal”? By that, I mean, with Robert being treated as just another player and not “Black Jesus” with daily availability and not “blockbuster” pressers. People seem to be just worrying about football, which is a good thing – right? Archives

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