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Need to Know: Who has stepped to the head of the Redskins’ rookie class?

Aug 4, 2015, 5:34 AM EDT

Crowder catch minicamp

Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, August 4, nine days before Washington Redskins open their preseason against the Browns.

If you need to catch up on what’s happening in Richmond, scroll to the bottom for a list of our posts from the last 24 hours. 

RICHMOND—Last week, Jay Gruden was asked if he would hesitate to start a rookie over a veteran player. His answer was interesting on a couple of different levels. Let’s look at the first part of his answer.

“No, that’s not my M.O,” he said. “If you look at the track record, you know in Cincinnati we had a ton of rookies playing for us and I don’t have any problem with a rookie if he’s playing well.”

I don’t think it would be accurate to say that the Bengals a lot of rookies starting when Jay Gruden was the offensive coordinator there from 2011-2013. According to Pro Football Reference, Cincinnati had four rookies have roles as primary starters in three seasons: QB Andy Dalton and WR AJ Green in 2011, G Kevin Zeitler in 2012, and TE Tyler Eifert in 2013.

To be sure, they did have some other rookies who contributed off the bench like WR Andrew Hawkins (2011), C Trevor Robinson (2012), WR Mohamed Sanu (2012), and RB Giovani Bernard (2013). Still, I’m not sure if that qualifies as “a ton” of rookies playing but you can be the judge of that.

He names some names of 2015 Redskins rookies in his second part of his answer.

“Right now, Brandon [Scherff] is taking the first-string reps, Arie [Kouandjio] is making a strong move there at left guard, he’s doing a great job,” he said. “[Jamison] Crowder is making plays all over the field. Preston [Smith] is doing a good job on defense. Kyshoen Jarrett is doing an excellent job at safety. We’re going to let them guys keep competing and if they outplay a guy right in front of them, that’s what competition is all about. We’ll play the best guy.”

What was interesting here, of course, was the names he chose to drop. We all know that Scherff is going to start and that Smith will have a substantial role in the defense despite the early struggles he has had in camp. But have the other three mentioned, picked on the third day of the draft, stepped to the head of the rookie class?

WR Crowder has displayed both good hands and impressive speed and quickness in camp. Jarrett has learned both safety positions and Gruden brought him up a day earlier as an option to replace Bashaud Breeland at nickel corner.

“Well, [he’s] got the mobility that you’re looking for,” he said. “He has a quick change in direction, he’s an athletic kid, and he’s smart. He has picked up both safety positions relatively easily and feels good about moving into nickel.”

As of now, the chances of Kouandjio supplanting left guard Shawn Lauvao seem remote. But in 2016 Lauvao’s salary jumps up to $4 million and the team could look to go younger and cheaper at his position.


—Redskins Hall of Fame running back John Riggins was born on this date in 1949.

Today’s schedule: Off day

—It’s been 219 days since the Redskins played a game. It will be 40 days until they play the Dolphins at FedEx Field.

Days until: Preseason opener @ Browns 9; final cuts 32; Redskins @ Giants Thursday night 51

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In case you missed it

  1. hk2000 - Aug 4, 2015 at 6:38 AM

    Some people just say things and never really mean it the way they come out. I’ve been saying this coach is so transparent, but he may just be a blabber mouth who doesn’t really think about what he’s saying- goes to show you, when media takes every phrase as literally as can be and dissect and analyze it to death, you end up with a lot of drama that gathers momentum and ends up having an unwarranted legitimacy that snowballs out of control even though it starts as conjecture by a drama enticing ‘reporter’. I know this does not apply to his statement here but it is a clear example of it.

    • gonavybeatarmy - Aug 4, 2015 at 7:45 AM

      There are four kinds of coaches in press conferences:
      1) The Insecure: These are the coaches that are very defensive and make pain-staking efforts to explain their actions (Chip Kelly, Jason Garrett).
      2) The Blabber Mouths: These are the coaches who unnecessarily display diarrhea of the mouth for no strategic or tactical advantage and, in doing so, often create problems. (Jay Gruden, Rex Ryan).
      3) The Arrogant: These are the coaches who try and speak over the media and fans, as if football is rocket science. These coaches may on occasion even drop a third-rate SAT word like “pernicious” or “ubiquitous” (Brian Billick).
      4) The Brilliant: These are the coaches who say little or nothing as they know it’s a waste of time and that nothing helpful comes from a press conference (Belichik, Gibbs, Walsh).

      • bowlregard - Aug 4, 2015 at 10:08 AM

        All of this hating on Jay adds nothing to the conversation and provides no insight.

        • ezg1 - Aug 4, 2015 at 11:03 AM

          Every time Gruden opens his mouth he provides justification for those of us who believe that he’s a complete BAFOON!

        • ET - Aug 4, 2015 at 11:11 AM

          If you’re going to call someone a “buffoon,” it generally helps to spell it correctly.

    • Skulb - Aug 4, 2015 at 2:03 PM

      Any chance to jump on Gruden right? Scientifically speaking the average male speaks 7000 words on an average day. If you`re gonna recite all of them in blogs and other media it`s gonna be pretty vacuous no matter who we`re talking about. And anything Gruden says in public gets quoted and analyzed somewhere.

      I`m just glad there aren`t any female coaches. The average female uses 20 000 words pr day.

    • renhoekk2 - Aug 4, 2015 at 5:23 PM

      You know Joe Gibbs taking a 6 win team to 8 wins in his first season isn’t anymore remarkable than Gruden taking a 3 win team to 4 wins. By definition a 6 win team is a better football team than a 3 win team, so improvement SHOULD BE at least one more win easier to come by. The same fans that were jumping up and down screaming about the terrible defense and bad OL seem to forget that Gruden inherited all of that mess, but somehow won’t cut him any slack for it. Throw in the starting QB missing almost half of the season and it’s surprising they improved the number of wins at all.

      • abanig - Aug 4, 2015 at 7:48 PM

        Gibbs 2.0 took a 5-11 team from the 2003 season and only improved the team by one game in 2004.

        Fans need to have more patience when Gruden and now Gruden & McCloughan as they rebuild the Redskins after the Shanahan fiasco and build the Redskins into the tough team they want it to be.

  2. colorofmyskinz - Aug 4, 2015 at 7:04 AM

    What are we going to do at corner with 3 CBs injuries on one side leaving us with dhall and cromarti???

    Holy cow we have been gutted at CB in 3 days.

    We need a hail mary…

    • ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Aug 4, 2015 at 8:38 AM

      Mike Jones ‏@MikeJonesWaPo

      David Amerson sprained the AC joint in his shoulder and is only expected to miss a few days of action, sources say.

      And Breeland was going to miss the 1st game anyways. Too bad for Tevin Mitchel, but as a 6th round pick he wasn’t expected to do much for the team this year anyways.

  3. abanig - Aug 4, 2015 at 7:31 AM

    I’m with Gruden when he said a lot of rookies started on his bengals offense. It seems every year, a rookie was starting in his offense.

    In 2010, they had two rookies starting.

    I think it’s pretty clear the rookie at the head of the Redskins class is Scherff. He’s the only rookie that’s going to start out if this draft class.

    • bangkokben - Aug 4, 2015 at 12:27 PM

      Agreed. A team only has about a possible ten rookies make the team each year. Was he supposed to mean an entire rookie class was starting on offense?

  4. davem23 - Aug 4, 2015 at 7:41 AM

    Rich- How has the Defense covered the seem route so far in practice? We were epically bad at it last year, the Giants at FedEx comes to mind, I think they scored 3-4 TDs on us in that one game last year.


  5. davem23 - Aug 4, 2015 at 7:42 AM

    Rich- How has the Defense covered the seam route so far in practice? We were epically bad at it last year, the Giants at FedEx comes to mind, I think they scored 3-4 TDs on us in that one game last year.


  6. ET - Aug 4, 2015 at 11:20 AM

    No mention of Matt Jones strikes me as the most interesting part of that quote. Not that he’s supposed to start, but we’re all expecting him to contribute right away. Some of those other guys (Arie, possibly Jarrett) seem farther away from making substantial contributions.

    • bangkokben - Aug 4, 2015 at 12:29 PM

      Maybe Gruden does think before he says something. Had he mentioned Jones the ‘hate’ on this board would be five fold.

  7. goback2rfk - Aug 4, 2015 at 4:44 PM

    This should be an interesting year. Can not wait to see how it rolls. We get a shot at Tommy Boy also which is cool.

  8. jonevans511 - Aug 4, 2015 at 6:45 PM

    Based on what I’m reading, Jamison Crowder has to be on the verge of starting in the slot (or at the very least, being the first guy up if Roberts can’t cut it). He seems to make plays every practice and he’s got to be hungry to prove his value. That’s the beauty of third day picks, when they come in hungry and ready to work on all facets of their game everyone makes out- the team gets a steal, the player gets much deserved recognition and (eventually) a big pay day, and the fans get renewed faith in the organization for finding these gems….. I won’t get too far ahead of myself, but both he and Jarrett seem to be impressing coaches and I’m so pumped to see what they and the rest of our boys can do in the preseason.

    • ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Aug 4, 2015 at 8:39 PM

      Seems like Crowder is similar to Ryan Grant last year with the precise routes and good hands…but with the added bonus of speed.

      Speed is a yuuge plus in a WR.

      • abanig - Aug 5, 2015 at 7:51 AM

        Both Crowder and Grant are extremely promising and they have bright futures but I don’t think either take many snaps away from the Redskins top 3 wrs this year.

        Next year or the year after, there’s a good chance that Crowder and Grant can be our #2 & 3 wrs as Roberts should be gone after this year and possibly Garçon and Djax or one of the two.

        The Redskins WR core should look totally different in 2016.

  9. kenlinkins - Aug 4, 2015 at 10:31 PM

    Rich: I seem to remember a Redskins Combo practice around 1988 with another team (might have been Pitts) that was on TV (maybe tape delay) in which Sonny J made remarks about Stan Humphries having a very live arm. 1. Do you recall this combo practice or others and 2. Is there anyone you have seen at Camp yet who might “start to show up” with Houston in town?

    • abanig - Aug 5, 2015 at 7:46 AM

      Stan Humphries! Now there’s a name that should make all Redskins fans cry!

      Casserly traded him away because we had Rypien – who ended up hurting his knee and never being the same – then Stan Humphries went on to take the Chargers to multiple playoff appearances and a super bowl appearance in the mid 90s.

      Ugh! I hate Casserly!

      • hk2000 - Aug 5, 2015 at 8:48 AM

        I hate him too. Every time I say that, fans act like I’m completely mad. Thank you, he’s not much of an analyst either!

        • warpath1 - Aug 5, 2015 at 9:08 AM

          Would you rather have vinny

        • abanig - Aug 5, 2015 at 9:56 AM

          Vinny was horrible, but we all need to realize that since our last Super Bowl, everyone of our GMs have failed. It wasn’t just Vinny that was bad. Casserly was bad after we won our last Super Bowl, and Shanahan was bad as a GM also.

        • hk2000 - Aug 5, 2015 at 9:14 AM

          Too bad choices? What is this? National elections?

      • kenlinkins - Aug 5, 2015 at 11:43 AM

        What a minute, GM Casserly got a 3rd round pick (turned to a 3rd from a 4th after QB played half of the games) from a team who was dead in the water at QB, from a GM who drafted Stan Humphries & believed he was the best QB on the Redskins roster. Casserly then used that 3rd round pick on Ed Bunn (a punter who never played in the NFL) and you do not think that Casserly was a good GM? OK, I agree!

        • abanig - Aug 5, 2015 at 12:19 PM

          Thank you! Archives

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