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Need to Know: When healthy, Redskins’ Lauvao will have to earn his job back

Jul 29, 2016, 6:08 AM EDT

Shawn Lauvao vs Jags

RICHMOND—Here is what you need to know on this Friday, July 29, 13 days before the Washington Redskins open their preseason in Atlanta against the Falcons.

Timeline

Today’s schedule: Walkthrough 10:30; Jay Gruden press conference 2:45; Practice 3:00

—The Redskins last played a game 201 days ago. It will be 45 days until they host the Steelers in their 2016 season opener.

Days until: Preseason vs. Jets 21; Final roster cut 36; Cowboys @ Redskins 51

—Redskins long snapper Nick Sundberg was born on this date in 1987.

Lauvao not promised starting job

Many have assumed that Shawn Lauvao will stroll right in and claim the starting left guard job as soon as he is healthy. But according to Jay Gruden Spencer Long, who started 13 games at LG last year after Lauvao was injured, will have something to say about who starts there.

Gruden is optimistic about Lauvao’s recovery. “I think he’s really, really close,” said Gruden. “I’d be shocked if he wasn’t ready by Saturday or as early as Monday.”

But whenever he is back he will not be at the top of the depth chart. Long has been there for a while and he will not give up the job easily.

“He’s got probably 14 or 15 games under his belt as far as a starter is concerned, and he’s taken full advantage of them and is playing with a lot more confidence,” said Gruden. “. . . When Shawn comes back, the job is not going to be handed to him. He’s going to have to come out and earn it. It’ll be a good battle.”

Many like to point out that the Redskins running game was working well when Lauvao was in the lineup. And they did rush for an average of 171.5 yards in the two games that Lauvao played (he went out five snaps into the third game). But that is an extremely small sample size. It’s not enough evidence to say that the loss of Lauvao was the reason why the Redskins’ running game finished 20th in yards per game and 30th in yards per attempt. There were issue with blocking up and down the line and the running backs often failed to locate running room when it was there.

It makes sense for Long and Lauvao to be on equal footing in the competition for the starting job. If Gruden’s prognosis is accurate we should see things start to heat up next week.

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  1. redskins12thman - Jul 29, 2016 at 6:27 AM

    Great camp coverage yesterday Rich. Congrats to Quinton Dunbar too!

    Re article above, that’s a terrific part of the Redskins’ culture… players have to earn playing time and will not be handed starting positions. It’s a motivating factor for players who are second or third string that if they work hard and perform well, they have a shot at more playing time and eventually being a starter.

    Will Jarvis Turner be able to participate in training today too?

    Is the morning walkthrough an on-field training related to the afternoon practice or are they unrelated to one another?

  2. troylok - Jul 29, 2016 at 7:29 AM

    Good point about the running game with Lavauo in the lineup but did Lichtensteiger go down shortly thereafter? I’ve heard his loss was a part of the shortcomings in the running game. On another note, why don’t we ever hear anything about Leribeus? Is he just camp fodder at this point or does he have a shot at backup guard/center? More importantly, why do all of these guys have names that start with an “L”?

    • RuddyJamesDIO - Jul 29, 2016 at 7:51 AM

      Oh cares….he’s not a long term solution to anything.

    • bangkokben - Jul 31, 2016 at 9:37 AM

      Lichtensteiger went down against Atlanta — I believe.

  3. ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Jul 29, 2016 at 8:56 AM

    Good to see we’ll have some depth at guard, whichever wins.
    ~

  4. smotion55 - Jul 29, 2016 at 12:41 PM

    They have been preaching competition from the beginning 3 years ago , This is the perfect example of it.

  5. rtcwon - Jul 29, 2016 at 1:47 PM

    Whoever plays LG needs to be a significant improvement from 2015 Long. If that is 2016 Long, awesome! But to me Lauvao is much more likely to provide the improvement.

    2015 Long was bad enough to need to be upgraded as a backup which is why I feel Long is more likely to be cut than to start. But if all he needs is confidence, they’re giving him that in spades. We’ll see once the games start.

    • bangkokben - Jul 31, 2016 at 9:40 AM

      Being a draft pick, in order to get cut, he would not only need to suck but also not put forth the effort to get better.

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