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Need to Know: Gruden—Redskins ‘have a lot of work to do’

Jul 28, 2016, 5:49 AM EDT


Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, July 28, the day that the Washington Redskins start training camp in Richmond.


—The Redskins last played a game 200 days ago. It will be 46 days until they host the Steelers in their 2016 season opener.

Days until: Preseason opener @ Falcons 14; Final roster cut 37; Cowboys @ Redskins 52

—Former Redskins Pro Bowl offensive tackle Chris Samuels was born on this date in 1977.

Gruden happy with progress but warns of work to be done

Some notes and quotes from Jay Gruden’s Wednesday press conference to kick off Redskins training camp.

—After giving the team a glowing report for how it performed during OTAs and talking about what a good mix of veterans and young players are on the team Gruden came up with the “yeah, but”. “We were 9-8 last year, lost to the Packers at home in a big game obviously in the playoffs and we have a lot of work to do, no question about it,” he said, repeating the reality that he touched on a few times when meeting with the press during this offseason. Redskins fans should feel good if he is pounding the 9-8 concept to his team whenever the opportunity arises.

—Gruden wouldn’t talk about injuries or the PUP list. The team was just finishing up the conditioning best and Gruden said that the coaches would meet (presumably along with medical staff) last night and decide what to do. It’s appears to be a given that TE Derek Carrier will start on PUP but beyond that it’s up in the air.

—The coach did talk about G Shawn Lauvao’s situation, saying that he is “very close” to being able to go after missing all of the offseason program with foot and ankle injuries. I think he feels pretty good. I imagine he’ll be a couple of days still but I think he’ll be ready to roll shortly.” So it will be a few more days until the Lauvao-Spencer Long battle at left guard can commence. If Lauvao’s situation pushes it much beyond that Long will start to have a decided edge in the competition.

—Another offseason theme was a lack of concern about the depth chart at running back. That continued in Richmond. “We have some guys in the building we’re going to look at,” Gruden said. He was referring to Chris Thompson, Mack Brown, Keith Marshall, and Robert Kelly. None of them seems like a suitable substitute should Matt Jones get injured or struggle with turnovers. We will see how it turns out.

—Gruden wasn’t asked about Josh Doctson but there has been talk that the rookie wide receiver might not be ready to go full in practice due his ailing Achilles.  Even if he isn’t quite good to go they may keep him off of the PUP list. If a player is on that list he can’t practice at all, not even to the point of playing catch with a teammate. Assuming they believe he will be ready to go soon there really isn’t any advantage to not letting their first-round pick learn what he can while recovering.

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  1. redskins12thman - Jul 28, 2016 at 6:40 AM

    I’m hoping you can tweet the status of Reed, Doctson, Thompson, Marshall, Riley, Diggs, Showers and anyone who may not be fully participating today or who did not pass the conditioning exercise.

    To me, it’s a huge “red flag” if a player can’t go from the beginning of training camp, like Lauvao, because the coaching staff was confident, at the end of OTAs, that everyone would be ready to go now. Is this a very tough period for vets because these sessions can be physically demanding and their bodies have a harder time dealing with them?

    From a point you made earlier, there’s no advantage to putting someone on the PUP list until the cutdown to 53 players right (as they still will count against the 90 count)?

    • rtcwon - Jul 28, 2016 at 1:39 PM

      Anyone not on PUP list at first session can’t be added later.

      Barring set backs, Carrier is the only one likely to remain on the PUP thru final cuts. But set backs are the benefits to putting these guys a day or two away from participating on the list for now.

      None of these injuries should be any concern at this point.

  2. redskins12thman - Jul 28, 2016 at 7:04 AM

    Just saw Josh Doctson Perry Riley Jr. and Reggie Diggs have joined Galette, Carrier and Lauvao on PUP. How worried should we be?

    • redskins12thman - Jul 28, 2016 at 7:23 AM

      Galette technically on Reserve/Non-Football Injury list; not sure the “benefits” to having someone on that list as opposed to PUP. Maybe it just has to be done that way since the injury did not occur as part of a team activity.

      • rtcwon - Jul 28, 2016 at 1:54 PM

        PUP is for players you want to add to the roster at some point. Galette will be out for the whole season. NFI allows them to decide later if they want to pay him on IR or release without pay.

    • Trey Gregory - Jul 28, 2016 at 1:59 PM

      I’m glad I haven’t seen too many people freaking out about Doctson. I have in other places but not too much around here. It’s really too early to be up or down on him or worry about the injury. Obviously no injury is better, but I’m not currently too concerned.

      The guy has a ton to learn. I wasn’t expecting a whole lot from him this year anyway. Except maybe in the Redzone. I think it’s better to play it safe with him, let him fully recover, and not risk a worse injury.

      • redskins12thman - Jul 28, 2016 at 10:34 PM

        I’m not freaking out about Doctson but I am a little concerned that the “message” at the end of OTAs was different than the one we are receiving now; in mid-June, I was hearing, Doctson will definitely be ready by the start of training camp. To be honest, I’m glad the team is being pre-cautious with his return to nip his achilles pain in the bud; I just wish the team’s communications were more forthcoming and accurate, and my gut tells me Doctson’s recovery is taking way longer than the Redskins’ medical staff anticipated.

        • Trey Gregory - Jul 29, 2016 at 3:00 AM

          I understand the concern. Obviously we want our players healthy. Especially first round picks. I just think it’s ridiculous that I’ve already seen people declaring Doctson a bust because he’s not ready for the first day of camp.

          One thing about medical issues, you never really know. Everyone is different. They could have been telling the truth back in OTAs and he just didn’t progress as quick as they thought. That happens all the time. I worked in medicine a long time and I can promise you, healing is no where near an exact science.

          And he could be ready on Monday for all we know. I believe it was Adam Schefter who reported that Doctson being on the pup was mostly prodedural and precautionary. And that he is expected to be on the field very soon. I have no issue with them being extra cautious. It sucks to say, but Gallette probably tore his other achillies because he pushed it too hard too fast. Started exploding before his body was ready after a long rehab process. I guarantee that’s why Jordy Nelson and Josh Gordon are hurt right now. There’s always minor injuries at the start of camp because the player’s aren’t in football shape yet. Doctson has the potential to be a true #1 for us. I’m all for protecting that investment.

  3. troylok - Jul 28, 2016 at 7:34 AM

    Not too concerned about the injuries right now. They have some depth and this will give some young guys a chance to get more reps. I know we are just starting, but someone needs to seize the opportunities at OLB and RB. My money is that Kelly at running back will start to separate himself. I think Trail will start to turn some heads at OLB and Shiro Davis might stand out once he’s a little more comfortable with linebacker.

    • mtskins - Jul 28, 2016 at 9:34 AM

      Keim reposted an ESPN article about Trail from when he was a draft prospect. Seems to have plenty of athleticism and might be able to fit the defense’s “Versatility” catch phrase. Also sounds like he has a lot to learn. The teams strategy certainly gives us more underdogs and practice squad players to root for but given the current options think letting them get some reps in training camp and seeing what they can do is the right call.

  4. ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Jul 28, 2016 at 8:15 AM

    Concerns about Achilles give me the willies.

    • sidepull - Jul 28, 2016 at 8:56 AM

      Better than the bad smell I get from a torn ACL.

      • ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Jul 28, 2016 at 10:32 AM

        We got our concussions
        From Putin and the Russians.

  5. pillenwerfers - Jul 28, 2016 at 11:57 AM

    If Lauvao can’t go it might be a good idea to give Austin Rieter some reps at guard and keep him on the 53. The Skins will need a another backup guard AND backup center if Long has to play left guard. Lauvao’s 5 mil salary will give the Skins the willies if he can’t beat out Long for the starting position. La Rebius was a disaster at center last season.

    • rtcwon - Jul 28, 2016 at 1:43 PM

      Lauvao will be the starter. The hope is one of the killer Bs can be a better back up than Long and/or LeRibeus. Or at least that they have improved mightily from last year. I think Rieter is a long shot.

    • Trey Gregory - Jul 28, 2016 at 2:01 PM

      Reiter couldn’t beat Leribus out last year though. Eventually we may just have to accept that he’s not very good. He was a late round pick for a reason. I’m not going to hold it against him this early. But I’m also not going to be optimistic about his chances of contributing.

    • mtskins - Jul 28, 2016 at 8:50 PM

      Speaking of rooting for long shots and practice playersI’ve been pulling for Reiter all spring. Hoping he can beat out LeRibeus. Being able to play guard would help certainly help his chances but as some of the posters on here have pointed out if he can beat him for the backup job at center it might be enough by itself. With the new rules they can stash him on the practice squad as well though.

      Not sure Lauvao is a sure thing at starter myself. First he has to get healthy, then he has to prove he is a significant upgrade over Long to be worth his salary. Time will tell.

      • bangkokben - Jul 31, 2016 at 9:33 AM

        The Redskins are four deep at guard. Scherff, Lauvao, Long, Kouandjio, then there are tackles and Lichtensteiger that can play guard — at least better than Reiter.. Reiter simply needs to be the second best center on this team. The Redskins can stash him on the practice squad and bring him up if and injury arises.

  6. rtcwon - Jul 28, 2016 at 1:50 PM

    To me, the concern at RB is whether Jones has learned to take care of his body, on and off the field.

    Otherwise, there is no need to worry about a low value, plug and play position. If none of the young guys can do it, another team will release a young guy that can.

    • Trey Gregory - Jul 28, 2016 at 2:03 PM

      Yeah well said. Jones has normal rookie issues last year. All correctable. He just needs to stay healthy and we should be OK at RB. Not great, but OK. Archives

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