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Need to Know: Redskins Park news and notes–Thompson injury opening doors for others

Aug 16, 2014, 5:17 AM EDT


Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, August 16, two days before the Redskins host the Browns on preseason Monday night football.

Nickel coverage

—It’s not yet certain that Colt McCoy will make the Redskins’ 53-man roster. But Robert Griffin III likes having him around, despite the fact that McCoy is from the University of Texas, arch rival to Baylor, Griffin’s alma mater. “He brings another smart guy, seen a lot, played in a lot of games, he’s got a lot of NFL experience,” said Griffin. “He brings that to the table every time we step into the meeting room. I that’s valuable, I think our quarterback room is great with Kirk, Colt, Jay, and Sean and myself. It’s been a great thing, we’re learning new things every single day.” McCoy has played in 28 NFL games, starting 21. He came into the league in 2010, two years before Griffin.

—We’ll have to see if Keenan Robinson will be able to get it done on the field week in and week out but he sure has absorbed a lot of knowledge while spending a season and a half on injured reserve. “We’ve got to do our angles,” he said in response to a question about how the team can improve tackling. “As long as we do our angles right, once they do a checkdown and we’re breaking top down from zone coverage, we’ve got to make sure we’re enforcing the ball, someone’s on the outside, someone’s on the inside so the ball carrier has nowhere to go. We kind of vice him in there in traffic. As far as pursuit to the ball, the backside corner has to pursue the backside, the linebackers have to pursue, obviously, and the D-line has to help us out and get six, seven, or eight heads to the ball by the time the play’s over we’re doing a good job. If we don’t do that, that’s where we have missed tackle and that’s where we get into a problem.”

—Here a little more from Keenan on tackling, talking about how the linebackers have to help out and not leave a defensive back on an island. “You’ve still got to make the big boy tackles, it’s the NFL,” he said. “At times you can limit those situations. We can help out the safeties, we can help out the corner. The corners, they get paid to cover. Some corners can tackle but they get paid to cover so we can at least get to the ball and make their life easier. They might grab onto a leg and some of us complete the tackle. That’s how we can also get turnovers. You get guys wrapped up, you can get a helmet to the ball, the ball comes out, there’s a turnover.”

—A good showing from Robinson at Mike linebacker is one thing that could improve the defense. Another is a breakout year by cornerback David Amerson. Jay Gruden like what he’s seen. “Well, I obviously wasn’t here, but watching him on tape I see a different player,” he said. “There’s no question, and that happens a lot of times. You hope that happens with the rookies who are forced to play that struggle, that the second year they come into their own a little bit and play with a little bit of confidence. When you have more knowledge with the system, more knowledge of the situations and who you’re going against, the more confident you are at corner. I feel that’s what David’s coming to now.”

—Gruden has generally sounded somewhat annoyed when he talks about Chris Thompson, who is sitting out with an ankle injury. He was asked if Thompson being out helped the other running backs competing for spots on the roster. “It gives them an opportunity, it really does,” he said. “Every rep that he doesn’t take, somebody is going to take it. Unfortunately for him, his ankle, it’s a sprain. It’s a high ankle, low ankle, I don’t know where it is but it’s holding him out. It’s unfortunate for him because he was doing a great job, but it does open up a window for other guys that perform and we’ll see what they do with it.”

If you have any questions about what’s going on at Redskins Park, hit me up in the comments. I’ll answer all questions as soon as I can get to them. And I’m always on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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Today’s schedule: Closed practice at Redskins Park, no availability

—It’s been 230 days since the Redskins played a game; in 22 days they play the Texans in their 2014 season opener.

Days until: Redskins at Ravens 7; Final cuts 14; Home opener vs. Jaguars 29

Redskins look to return of Kyle, appearance of Manziel

In case you missed it

  1. shermanp79 - Aug 16, 2014 at 10:04 AM

    No matter how much talent he may have, if he can’t stay on the field he has no way to help. It would of been nice to have a couple of guys with speed but Seastrunk will have to be the 3rd down back. Clearly that is want Gruden wants and the Team needs from him. That is why I believe he is pushing him to step up and get better at blocking and catching the ball. It sounds like Gruden wants to keep 5 RBs, if that doesn’t change and Thompson can’t get on the field, maybe Redd makes the Roster. His hard inside running style can help. Plus if an injury occurs he can help. I might still put him on the PS, If Royster is let go, it opens up another spot where their is depth and talent may have to be let go. Redd will be on the PS if somebody got hurt. I think he clears waivers fine. We have some time left but Thompson looks like he could be another Shanahan Draft pick to be let go. It sounds like a OL guy could go too. I know they had to bring FAs in for the OL, not knowing what they had in the young guys. I just prefer if all being equal you keep the young guy. I know that experience has value but money shouldn’t be the reason to keep guys around. I don’t think McGlynn is that great, so maybe keep Gettis or LiRebus(sp)?, The same with Porter. So Thompsons bad luck clearly is going to help someone. I think the other positions have more importance. It will be interesting how they handle the first round of cuts, Does Thompson go then? If he fails to return. Do they put him on IR and give him another shot down the road. Some tough decisions but as I’ve said, it means we have more talent. That should make us better. It’s been a few years since we have cut guys we would keep if could.

  2. redskinsnameisheretostay - Aug 16, 2014 at 12:13 PM


    There were two plays last preseason where Rashad Ross really stood out. He had the best kickoff return so far this preseason. He also had a nice deep catch down the sidelines. Granted these were done against most players that won’t be on a team come week 1; I curious if this guy has done enough in TC to be considered a practice squad player.

    • Rich Tandler - Aug 16, 2014 at 5:19 PM

      Practice squad is a possibility for Ross. Has been decent in practice, 3 more games to prove himself. Archives

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