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Need to Know: Redskins will put on the pads today

Jul 30, 2016, 5:40 AM EDT

Will Compton Spaight camp RVA USAT

RICHMOND—Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, July 30, 12 days before the Washington Redskins open their preseason in Atlanta against the Falcons.


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

—The Redskins last played a game 202 days ago. It will be 44 days until they host the Steelers in their 2016 season opener.

Days until: Preseason vs. Jets@FedEx Field 20; Final roster cut 35; Cowboys @ Redskins 50

Putting on the pads

The Redskins have been practicing without pads for the last two days. Although the pace has been a beat or two quicker than it was without pads in minicamp it’s still no-pads football and it’s hard to gauge much about how the players are doing since it’s not even real practice football.

That will change soon. I asked Jay Gruden when the pads are going to go on.

“We’re going to put them in pads tomorrow [Saturday] if it doesn’t rain,” saiad Gruden. “So we’ll see how it goes with the weather. But tomorrow’s the plan for pads and we’ll give them off on Sunday, and then go Monday in pads, Tuesday in pads. Wednesday will be a special teams-type day. Thursday probably pads and go from there.”

Actually, if they actually have four of the next five practices in full pads I’ll be surprised. They could go with shells (light pads) on one or maybe two of the days.

Gruden wants to be careful not to beat up his players.

“We’re not going to do any live tackling that I foresee – maybe with the twos and threes, maybe a live period here and there – but the ones will not do any live tackling until Week 1 of the preseason,” he said.

It’s always a tough balancing game for coaches. Too little contact and it the team won’t be ready to play when the season starts. Too much contact and you have players who are either injured or, at best, have a quarter of a season’s worth of wear and tear on the players before taking a regular season snap.

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  1. redskins12thman - Jul 30, 2016 at 6:47 AM

    Someone suggested that pads without tackling just helps with conditioning (without the wear and tear). Is that an accurate description?

    I know the season is long, but the Redskins cannot take the chance to not be ready for the game against the Steelers. The Redskins need to go 5-2 or 6-1 in their first seven games, so a loss to the Steelers and the Redskins would need to win virtually all their games until London (with one other slip-up); we all know that won’t be an easy task so much better to win that home opener which also won’t be easy. I would lean toward being over-prepared than under-prepared for the game against the Steelers.

    • Rich Tandler - Jul 30, 2016 at 7:52 AM

      No. Line play is much more realistic with pads. You can also bump harder in pads. Many benefits to pads beyond conditioning even if you don’t tackle.

    • Trey Gregory - Jul 30, 2016 at 1:50 PM

      When I take a serious, objective, look at the schedule I see this team winning 7-8 games this season. 8 if they sweep Philly. I believe this team will be better than 2015 but they’ll win less games. I don’t know how you could seriously look at that schedule and expect them to go 6-1. Anything is possible. Teams under and over perform all the time and star players get hurt. But I think the most likely scenario is that Washington is a competitive team that loses a lot of close games and looks ready to break out once they get s couple more pieces.

      • redskins12thman - Jul 30, 2016 at 8:57 PM

        I agree that there’s a lot of parity in the league and the results of most games could easily swing one way or the other; winning the turnover battle can be the difference between a win and a loss.

        I think the players and chemistry of this year’s team, as presently constituted, are better compared to last year’s team. If they showed no improvement over last year, I think their record this coming season would be 7-9 (due to the harder schedule). If the Redskins showed minimal improvement over last season, their record for this coming season would be 8-8. I’m hoping that the Redskins go 9-7 or 10-6 in 2016; this won’t be easy but they can do it if the defensive line has significantly improved although we won’t know if this has occurred until the season gets underway. I think the Redskins could start off strong and a strong start is essential for a playoff birth as games #8-14 are killer. If the Redskins start off slow, 4-3 or worse, I don’t think the Redskins will make the playoffs. I think this will be an interesting season.

        • Trey Gregory - Jul 31, 2016 at 12:11 AM

          Yeah, I understand all of that. I think this team will be better than last year and still only win 7-8 games. I’ll say they split all the games in the division. Then beat Cleveland, Baltimore, Detroit, and Chicago. And even then, Chicago and Baltimore could be significantly better than last year. So could the Giants. We may sweep Philly but get swept by NY.

          Who do you have us beating that I don’t? And you’re right about needing a strong start. Because teams don’t usually recover if they go 1-5 or 1-6 anyway. It’s crushing to moral. With or without that crazy backend schedule.

        • redskins12thman - Jul 31, 2016 at 9:26 AM

          Here’s my take:

          As is true for all seasons, you must do well in your division to have a realistic chance to make the playoffs. I have the Redskins going 4-2, the Philly sweep and then 2 Ws and 2 Ls against the Cowboys and Giants the most likely scenario. If they don’t sweep Philly, they’ll get 3 out of 4 in the other division contests somehow, someway, because they have to (this is part of the reason why the Redskins must start off the season strong).

          I have the Redskins going 3-1 or 4-0 against the four non-division opponents you call out, probably the latter. None of these games are automatics; all of these teams will give the Redskins a battle, and if the Redskins go in over confident, they will be in trouble. If RGIII wins at FedEx Field, fans would figuratively (not literally) burn the stadium down, with incendiary comments and statements.

          The Redskins remaining six games are against the teams I project to have winning records by the end of the season (that’s what they did last season and I don’t have reason to believe, at this point, that their quality of play will tail off such that any of them don’t finish with a winning record). Since I believe the Redskins have improved, they need to demonstrate that they can win at least one of these types of games. Hopefully by playing four of these contests at home, one at a neutral site and only one of these games away will work in the Redskins favor; my gut says 2-4 but 3-3 or 1-5 wouldn’t surprise me either.

          That’s how I get to 8-8 minimum, with 11-5 being the best upside, and 9-7 and 10-5 being the most likely Redskins records. Optimistic, for sure, but I believe the Redskins have improved, and to demonstrate that improvement, the Redskins must fall in this range; otherwise, there’s been no improvement relative to other teams in the league. I had prayed / projected Galette being an impact player and didn’t think 8-8 would happen, but until we identify a 3rd OLB who can wreck havoc, I’ve brought back an 8-8 record as a possible year-end outcome.

          In addition to turnover margin, line play / winning the trenches, will be critical. As the O-line and D-line go, so will the Redskins; I am counting on slight improvements here. While the Redskins can win with Colt McCoy at QB, I am projecting Kirk to play all 16 matches uninjured too. I presume either status quo (or slight improvement with fewer) penalties.

          The three critical / statement games are:

          1. Pittsburgh (starting out strong, and ideally surprising the Steelers — I know surprising Tomlin is not likely — but the Steelers did not win some very winnable games last season so I saw some cracks in the Steel Curtain); MNF as a home opener — the types of players Scot has identified live for games like this one. If we can’t get up for games like this, we are in trouble.

          2. Minnesota — the Redskins must use the bye week to its advantage and prepare a really good game plan — alumni coming in for Beathard’s induction into the Ring of Fame

          3. Dallas on Thanksgiving — Playing on Thanksgiving gives Redskins fans more painful memories than favorable ones, but the Redskins have a chance at a winning streak because of the great win in 2012. The Redskins can’t ignore the importance of this match to its fans, and having played Green Bay less than 90 hours earlier, the Redskins will show their true colors in this classic battle.

          I am not saying that all three of these games have to be wins, but at the very least, the games have to be tight and ideally the Redskins play well regardless of the outcome.

          Sorry for the long post, but I wanted to give some color to how I see the season unfolding.

        • bangkokben - Jul 31, 2016 at 6:13 PM

          The schedule is the schedule. There is no predictability to it other than that it is unpredictable. If you’re an optimist, every game is a play or two from victory; if you’re a pessimist, then you make a case for why Cleveland will be better this year. (Redskin fans can easily envision Robert Griffin III catching lightning in a bottle for that game.)

          Last year’s schedule had the 12-4 Cowboys on it twice, as well as the 7-8-1 Panthers, and the 6-10 Jets. Other teams had Chargers, Ravens, and Redskins on their schedules and didn’t get what they expected either. Inevitably one or two teams that should/could be victories and vice versa will be the complete opposite and who knows which teams that will be and whether it’s affects will be balanced.

          Green Bay apparently has the easiest schedule as it only plays five games against teams with winning records: Washington, Houston, Seattle, and Minnesota twice. It also plays the NFC East and AFC North. But who knows if Dallas, NYG, and the Colts all have a resurgence and the Texans and Redskins build off what they started last year. Maybe Jacksonville becomes the team that the pundits envision. You get the point.

  2. colorofmyskinz - Jul 30, 2016 at 8:24 AM

    From what I hear Marshall looks pretty darn good. I think he is going to surprise many. Hope they get some looks at him being he is a 2 or 3.

    • Trey Gregory - Jul 30, 2016 at 1:39 PM

      Who did you hear that from?

    • John - Jul 31, 2016 at 8:19 AM

      Him and “the beast”, Trent Murphy. I’ll take Robert Kelley and RJF or Hood over those two any day.

  3. goback2rfk - Jul 30, 2016 at 8:58 AM

    Off Season flew by! Lets go Skins! Football is right around the corner. Yeah!

    Lets go Captain Kirk, your a$$ is on the line this season. ITs playoffs or bust b|tches.

    • Trey Gregory - Jul 30, 2016 at 1:46 PM

      It’s really not playoffs or bust. It’s steadily improve to become a perennial contender and not a flash in the pan. What’s the point of going to the playoffs if you don’t actually have a shot at the super bowl? I’ll take the higher draft pick to aid the rebuild over a meaningless playoff game.

  4. Trey Gregory - Jul 30, 2016 at 1:44 PM

    Hm. I understand being cautious not to cause injuries. But this team had tackling issues last season. Seems like something they might want to practice. From what I understand, since the CBA allows significantly less practice time than before, teams don’t practice tackling techniques/fundamentals anymore. That’s why there’s so much poor tackling league wide. So at the very least they need practice actually doing it.

    I get that they have to implement the system and work on knowing/executing the plays. And there’s barely enough time to do that. So I understand not using a couple hours every day to teach proper tackling. But at least do it in practice so the guys can work on it. At least the young guys. Archives

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