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Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—Gruden and RG3, Morris’ contract, playing time for Grant

Jun 21, 2015, 5:58 AM EDT


Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, June 21, 39 days before the Washington Redskins start training camp.

The Week That Was

Here is another look at the news and views that we talked about last week on”

Alfred Morris isn’t going to let his contract situation distract him—After two seasons of declining production, is Morris a key cog in the offense or a replaceable part? Morris’ fourth NFL season is critical for him. I think 1,300 could be the magic number for him. If he gains that many rushing yards or more the Redskins could make a strong move to retain him; if he goes much under that number he could be in a new uniform in 2016.

Ryan Grant is “awesome” but when will he play?—Jay Gruden raved about the second-year receiver’s work ethic and ability and said that he “won’t hesitate one bit” to start him at any of the three receiver spots. But his path to getting more than the 187 snaps and 14 targets he got last year is still blocked by more experienced receivers. And it appears that rookie Jamison Crowder could make a case to see some action from scrimmage as well. We will see how this develops over the course of the season.

Battle for backup QB job could go deep into training camp—The assumption is that Robert Griffin III does indeed hold on to the starting quarterback job. But we don’t know who the backup will be. Both Kirk Cousins and Colt McCoy have done some good things during the offseason practices open to the media and they appear to have split time with the second and third teams. This isn’t a clash of titans by any means; neither is showing any signs of pushing Griffin, who has been up and down. I think when all is said and done they line up just like they are in this picture I took.


Bill Callahan could call most running plays—Gruden said that the new offensive line coach will be an integral part of game planning for the running game. “It wouldn’t surprise me at all if [Callahan is] calling the majority of the runs on game day,” he said. With offensive coordinator Sean McVay also having a role in calling plays you have to wonder what will happen with so many cooks in the kitchen.

Gruden has good words for RG3—At best, the Redskins coach has been reluctant to praise the quarterback but after Tuesday’s practice he did have some good things to say. “Every day he’s doing something a little bit better,” said Gruden, who was particularly brutal with some comments on Griffin’s play at times last year. Griffin did look good in Tuesday’s open minicamp practice with some decisive throws.

Griffin says he didn’t hear coach’s praise—The QB claims that he wasn’t aware of the positive feedback from his coach. “I don’t really hear all that stuff,” said Griffin. “I’m glad he said some nice things, though.” He was loose and relaxed in his relatively short session with reporters after the Wednesday minicamp practice.


—It’s been 175 days since the Redskins played a game. It will be 84 days until they play the Dolphins at FedEx Field.

Days until: Redskins training camp starts 39; Preseason opener @ Browns 53; final cuts 76

If you have any questions about what’s going on at Redskins Park, hit me up in the comments. And I’m always on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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In case you missed it

  1. mr.moneylover - Jun 21, 2015 at 7:54 AM

    The ryan grant situation is the prime example…hes doing good things but his talent going to waste by sitting on the sideline because vets in front of him if hes doing things better then some of the vets then let him play dont have him sitting on the sideline all year long

    • cowboyhater - Jun 21, 2015 at 9:03 AM

      How long did Victor Cruz have to wait…..just saying. I’m pretty sure the coaches know what they have on this roster, and how they will use them this year. We just have to wait to see what the coaching staff will do with Grant. He’s still a young player paying his dues. We are so used to seeing this team having to put young players out on the field before they are ready due to either injury, or just lack of talent. The good thing about the skins is by seeing Grant sitting, that will tell you that this team is finally learning how to build depth and let the young players develop.

    • mr.moneylover - Jun 21, 2015 at 9:14 AM

      @cowboyhater…ryan grant looked better then andre roberts last year and still andre roberts got the starting job…the player development is still questionable in my eyes ….and from what I recall victor cruz started the same year he was drafted if not he only waited a year….odell Beckham came right out of college the coaches didnt know how he would do against a pro nfl players…my point is you cant really find out what kind of player you have if hes on the sideline keeping the bench warm

      • wonderfulfaison - Jun 21, 2015 at 9:55 AM

        @mr.moneylover Grant’s issue is speed (he is not fast). Yes he runs routes well. Yes, at times last year it seemed he should be on the field over Roberts. But here’s the thing: Gruden wanted Roberts here. Gruden invested in him, so the fact that he was going to play over Grant was never in question. The fact is Grant is a Blue collar worker kind of WR. He actually reminds me of Morris (and in some ways Garcon) in the way he goes about his business on the field. I just wonder how high they are on Grant because it is clear to me the Roberts is on his way out the door if he doesn’t produce this season. Naturally, one would think Grant would slide in his place; however, they drafted Crowder (who they seem to love) and the coaches seem to want him to be the one to push Roberts instead of Grant.

      • ET - Jun 21, 2015 at 11:49 AM

        Grant has a promising future if he continues to develop, but comparing him to Odell Beckham is absurd. As noted above, Grant isn’t fast for an NFL receiver, so his precision is the key to his future success. A receiver like Beckham is the whole ball o’ wax.

      • kenlinkins - Jun 21, 2015 at 1:01 PM

        If he is not careful. Andre Roberts could become the new GM’s poster boy for “The last GM’s signed you not me”! IMO Roberts got a case of “you don’t love me any mores” after the Redskins signed D. Jax and never really got over it. I wondered why coach Gruden didn’t play Grant more to light a fire under Roberts and the only reason I can think of was he didn’t want to show up his GM (which will not be a problem this year). Hint to A. Roberts, do not sign any long term leases right now!

  2. mr.moneylover - Jun 21, 2015 at 9:26 AM

    Player development has been the redskins problem for years…landon collins also expected to start for giants not saying he would be good this year but teams around redskins always seem to develop players much more faster then what they do…the players we have always seem to need a year or two years to develop…if deangleo hall didnt get hurt would we really have gotten to see what breeland can do last year???? Nope because he was on the bench most of the time and dont tell me a 5th rounder need time to start thats bull Richard sherman was a 5th rounder and started the same year he was drafted…I believe its the coaches who be holding the young studs back because rookies are hungary to play they will do whatever it takes to get playing time

    • bangkokben - Jun 21, 2015 at 10:13 AM

      Richard Sherman started due to injury. Landon Collins better start he was drafted in the top of the 2nd round for a position of need. Start naming 4th and 5th round picks that start right away for other teams. Development. The word itself indicates time. The NFL isn’t some one-hour photo center. Ryan Grant wouldn’t have lost his job to Santana Moss last year if every time he was targeted the ball wasn’t picked off. What do you hear about Andre Roberts last year during camp? That quarterbacks could trust that he’d be where he was supposed to. Just saying that Grant wasn’t far and away better than Roberts. In fact, without that speed (and size) he’s a fourth WR – ever.

      • mr.moneylover - Jun 21, 2015 at 1:41 PM

        The whole Seattle defense are late round draft picks that scot m. Helped build… its the coaches job to get the rookies ready to play not get them ready to sit on the bench for a year….theres no way just two rookies should only be ready to start this season

        • timwillhidetimwillhide - Jun 21, 2015 at 3:27 PM

          Players win starting jobs and playing time in practice. If they were good enough to win the job they would be on the feild.

        • bangkokben - Jun 21, 2015 at 6:53 PM

          Byron Maxwell drafted 173rd (6th round) 2011: zero starts until 2013; 5 starts in 2013 and started 12 of 13 games in 2014.
          Richard Sherman drafted 154th (5th round) 2011: 10 starts in 2011; you know the rest.
          Kam Chancellor drafted 133rd (5th round) 2010: 0 starts his rookie year; becomes full-time starter in 2011.
          *Earl Thomas drafted 14th (1st round) 2010: day one starter.
          K. J. Wright drafted 99th (4th round) 2011: started 12 of 16 games as rookie and became full-time starter.
          *Bobby Wagner drafted 47th (2nd round) 2012: started 15 of 16 games as rookie – full-time starter.
          *Bruce Irvin drafted 15th (1st round) 2012: started zero games his rookie year – now full-time starter.
          Jordan Hill drafted 87th (3rd round) 2013: never started; penciled in as 2015 starting RDT
          The other starters (all linemen) were all free agents.

          Eight starters drafted. That’s damn good. Somehow Irvin didn’t start his first year despite being a first rounder but he played every game. So two of the three guys drafted in the top 50 (*) started right away. Of the five other draft picks Sherman and Wright became starters during their rookie years, Chancellor becomes a starter his second year, Hill hasn’t started yet but is penciled in as the starter going into year three, and Maxwell didn’t become a full-time starter until year FOUR. That’s how development looks like.

          if Breeland remains a starter then he’s your Sherman but you don’t get a Sherman every year. Kerrigan is your Thomas – although not as good. Murphy might be your Wagner. We don’t have a KJ Wright but maybe we get him in the future. You got to have the picks and you got to have the coaches.

  3. gonavybeatarmy - Jun 21, 2015 at 12:28 PM

    So, the Skins will have THREE play callers in 2015? Rich, I follow the league fairly closely but that’s out of my depth. Is having three coaches calling plays normal?

    12 Sundays from today is the first football Sunday.

    • mr.moneylover - Jun 21, 2015 at 1:33 PM

      Its very uncommon but they have to get that straighten out before the season should be just 1 play caller if its 3 play callers then its a sign jay gruden still tryna please coaches instead of taking charge…I still dont know why jay gruden wont take charge of his own playbook…I see scot m. Going out getting his own coach if it don’t work out this year or maybe next year

  4. mr.moneylover - Jun 21, 2015 at 1:25 PM

    @wonderfulfaison you dont need good speed to play in the nfl he has good moves like jordan reed to separate him from the defender…jay gruden stated its just players ahead of him on the depth chart he done everything the coaches ask him to do and more its just jay gruden trust a vet more then a rookie and that has to change….I agree with somebody who wrote underneath my post saying the real battle is when scot m. And jay gruden cut down to the 53 man roster

  5. mr.moneylover - Jun 21, 2015 at 1:51 PM

    @bangkokben….andre roberts drop the most easy passes ever last year…ryan grant runs his route perfect and you dont need speed to start ryan grant got moves to create separation …I dont got a reason for andre roberts dropping wide open passes last year…the Arizona cardinals got rid of him for a reason last year I didnt know why they cut him but after last year I know why now hes trash instead of keeping him on the team they cut him and sign a rookie WR john Brown who put up mega number for them and did a better job then andre roberts

    • mr.moneylover - Jun 21, 2015 at 2:00 PM

      Did andre roberts show up even when we played the Arizona cardinals last year ???? Nope all did was fumble the ball away in that game…he really dont deserve to start this year I think jay gruden is really bein nice by having him on top to start not after the kinda year he had…I would plug Jamison Crowder in the slot and watch how different this offense will look we gonna need that third wide receiver threat something we didnt have last year

  6. skinsgame - Jun 21, 2015 at 3:07 PM

    Looking forward to seeing camp and preseason display the work of the QB’s and the coaches. When they plucked Callahan from the fray in the offseason, there were inherent implications that he would supplant Gruden if the coach didn’t improve the club. Whether that was the intent or not, the notion was there. Ultimately, I don’t care how they win, just win. But it does seem odd, if not disorganized, to have 3 persons calling plays on game day? The team needs an identity and Grudens biggest task is to provide them with that. At some point, delegation can be mistaken for a lack of confidence, indecisiveness, and fear of failure. Noneof those are a quality in a head coach and could cost the team a win or 2 until they figure it out. As a result, I’m degrading my predicted win total and now calling for only 12 wins.

    • RedskinDave - Jun 22, 2015 at 12:34 AM

      Skinsgame,wow. 12 wins? Man I’d be ecstatic if we win that many, but definitely happy at 7-9. Have you seen the schedule for 15′ yet? I like your faith Archives

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