2014 DRAFT GUIDE
5 things to know as Redskins open training camp

By JOSEPH WHITE - AP Sports Writer
    2013-07-23 13:22

WASHINGTON (AP) - RG3, the rehabber.

RG3, the revolutionary quarterback.

RG3, the leader.

Really, is there anyone else worth watching at Washington Redskins training camp?

Well, yes, there is, but they're mostly just underbrush when compared to Robert Griffin III, who led the Redskins to their first division title in 13 years, won the league's Offensive Rookie of the Year award and messed up his right knee along the way.

Griffin is determined to be ready for Week 1 of the regular season and has been cleared by doctors to practice. Even if it is in a limited capacity, he'll command more attention than anyone on the field.

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1. RG3's KNEE: Griffin had reconstructive ligament surgery a few days after reinjuring his knee multiple times in the playoff loss to the Seattle Seahawks. Since then, he and the Redskins have vacillated endlessly over the state of his rehab, but the doctors gave Griffin and team a boost by clearing him to work out after Shanahan said RG3 would ``set a record for coming back.'' The QB himself proclaimed he was ``all in'' for Week 1 of regular season. But Shanahan said RG3 will ``never'' play if less than 100 percent. RG3 made it clear he's really not quite ``all in'' for Week 1, saying he wouldn't compromise his career to rush himself back. No one really knows until he tests the knee for the first time under competitive conditions. One thing is certain: The Redskins need RG3 healthy, because they're not the same team without him.

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2. RG3's OFFENSE: Once RG3 is practicing and playing again, the Redskins have vowed to continue full-speed ahead with the same innovative zone-read offense that flummoxed defenses a year ago. Offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan said Griffin's designed runs - or at least the threat of them - kept the QB safer in the pocket because pass-rushers couldn't make a beeline for the pocket. Griffin needs to make wiser choices to avoid injury when he does run, sliding more and darting out of bounds when the yards aren't important. Also, defenses have had an offseason to study the zone-read, so the Redskins will inevitably have to make adjustments to stay one step ahead in the weekly chess matches that make up an NFL season.

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3. RG3'S TEAM: RG3 is more than just a quarterback, he's already the heart and soul of the team, having firmly established himself as a leader with his words and deeds after being elected as a captain midway through last season. That role will only increase during his second year as he learns which buttons to push to keep any wayward teammates from slacking off. He already knows what sound bites his adoring fans want to hear and displays a maturity not often seen from a 23-year-old in the NFL. And, sorry ladies: He married his longtime fiancee this month.

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4. ROOKS IN THE SECONDARY: Strapped by a salary cap penalty from the NFL, the Redskins couldn't afford to spend big to improve a defense that ranked 30th in the league against the pass last year. They will instead rely on an eclectic mix of draft picks: second-round cornerback David Amerson, fourth-round safety Phillip Thomas and sixth-round safety Bacarri Rambo. Each is talented, but each has a college backstory that involves a performance drop-off, injury or suspension. All three will be in the mix for playing time, and it will be a disappointment for the team if at least one isn't contributing regularly in the season opener.

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5. NEW DIGS: Shanahan is bucking the trend of NFL coaches who are opting more and more to stay home for camp. The Redskins are hitting the road, setting up shop in Richmond, Va., after a decade of staying put at their year-round headquarters in the Virginia suburbs near the nation's capital. Shanahan likes the notion of getting away, saying it helps the players' focus, and the team was able to leverage taxpayer money out of the state legislature to help build state-of-the-art facilities. Had the lawmakers not ponied up, the team would have seriously looked at leaving Virginia altogether for Maryland or the District of Columbia.

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Online: AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

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Follow Joseph White on Twitter: http://twitter.com/JGWhiteAP

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Lardarius WebbJul 29 10:45a

Baltimore Ravens CB Lardarius Webb (back) missed his third straight day of practice Monday, July 28, and will undergo further testing to determine the extent of the injury, according [ More ]

Jairus ByrdJul 29 10:43a

New Orleans Saints FS Jairus Byrd (back) was activated from the Physically Unable to Perform list.

Alfonso SmithJul 29 10:43a

The San Francisco 49ers signed free-agent RB Alfonso Smith (Cardinals) to an undisclosed deal and waived/injured OT Fou Fonoti (undisclosed).

Eric WinstonJul 29 10:43a

The Seattle Seahawks signed free-agent OT Eric Winston (Cardinals) to a one-year deal.

Kelvin BenjaminJul 29 10:40a

Carolina Panthers WR Kelvin Benjamin (knee) doesn't have a timetable for his return after bruising his left knee, but he is expected to be back in days, not weeks. [ More ]

Josh ThomasJul 29 10:03a

Carolina Panthers CB Josh Thomas (undisclosed) was activated from the Non-Football Injury list and is practicing Tuesday, July 29.

Chris IvoryJul 29 09:53a

New York Jets RB Chris Ivory is likely to be the team's goal line back, according to running backs coach Anthony Lynn.

D'Aundre ReedJul 29 08:53a

The Miami Dolphins signed free-agent TE Brett Brackett (Cardinals), undrafted free-agent QB Seth Lobato (Northern Colorado) and DE D'Aundre Reed. QB Brock Jensen was waived and OG Davonte Wallace (undisclosed) was waived/injured.

Ricky SappJul 29 08:43a

The Houston Texans signed free-agent RB Tim Cornett (Cardinals) and OT Mike Farrell (Broncos) to undisclosed deals. LB Ricky Sapp was waived.

Alan BonnerJul 29 02:23a

Houston Texans WR Alan Bonner (foot) was placed on the Texans' Reserve/Injured list after clearing waivers Monday, July 28.

Brandon JenkinsJul 29 02:13a

OG James Dunbar (Bears), OT Anthony Dima (Texans), OT Jack Breckner (Colts) and LB Brandon Jenkins (Redskins) all cleared waivers Monday, July 28, and are free to sign with any team.

Menelik WatsonJul 29 01:43a

Oakland Raiders OT Menelik Watson is slated to start at right tackle. The coaching staff has confidence in his ability after what was largely viewed as a disappointing 2013 [ More ]

Jimmy ClausenJul 29 12:22a

Chicago Bears QB Jimmy Clausen was accurate with his throws during practice Monday, July 28, and he led a touchdown drive during a two-minute drill. Larry Mayer of ChicagoBears.com [ More ]

Jordan ZumwaltJul 28 11:43p

Pittsburgh Steelers LB Jordan Zumwalt (groin) left practice early Monday, July 28, and WR C.J. Goodwin (shoulder) was held out of drills during practice.

Rod StreaterJul 28 11:33p

Oakland Raiders WR Rod Streater (concussion) is dealing with a concussion, head coach Dennis Allen confirmed Monday, July 28.

Odell Beckham Jr.Jul 28 11:33p

Updating a previous report, New York Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr. (hamstring) is expected to be sidelined at least another week due to his hamstring injury. Beckham was originally [ More ]

Marcus LattimoreJul 28 11:33p

San Francisco 49ers RB Marcus Lattimore (knee) has not been cleared to practice yet due to lingering concerns about his surgically repaired right knee. However, he appears close to joining his teammates.

Chris CantyJul 28 11:33p

Baltimore Ravens DE Chris Canty (family issue) missed practice Monday, July 28. OG Will Rackley (head) and OT Parker Graham (groin) also missed practice.

Alfonso SmithJul 28 11:33p

The San Francisco 49ers are expected to announce the signing of free-agent RB Alfonso Smith (Cardinals) Tuesday, July 29. The team needs healthy reinforcements with RBs Kendall Hunter (knee) [ More ]

Juron CrinerJul 28 11:33p

Oakland Raiders WR Juron Criner (hamstring) has been sidelined from practice due to a hamstring injury, head coach Dennis Allen confirmed Monday, July 28.

Gavin EscobarJul 28 11:23p

Dallas Cowboys TE Gavin Escobar has often lined up out wide during training camp, and offensive play-caller Scott Linehan is experimenting with different ways to get him involved in the offense.

Roy MillerJul 28 10:52p

Jacksonville Jaguars DT Roy Miller (shoulder) returned to practice Monday, July 28, after being given the day off Sunday, July 27, to rest his shoulder that he had surgery on in the offseason.

Cyrus KouandjioJul 28 10:43p

Buffalo Bills OT Cyrus Kouandjio has struggled in training camp, and Joe Buscaglia of 550 Sports Radio believes that OT Erik Pears is now the frontrunner for the starting RT job.

Mario ManninghamJul 28 10:42p

New York Giants WR Mario Manningham (knee) said he is still not 100 percent confident in his surgically repaired knee. 'I'm working on it,' he said of overcoming that [ More ]

John AbrahamJul 28 10:23p

Arizona Cardinals DE John Abraham was detained, questioned and later charged with multiple counts, including DUI, on Sunday, June 29, according to arrest reports in DeKalb County. Abraham missed [ More ]

Anthony DixonJul 28 10:12p

Buffalo Bills RB Anthony Dixon was listed as the No. 3 back on the team's first official depth chart with RB Bryce Brown listed as the No. 4 back.

Scott ChandlerJul 28 10:12p

Buffalo Bills FS Kenny Ladler (hamstring), TE Scott Chandler (groin), TE Tony Moeaki (hamstring) and TE Chris Gragg (cramps) were held out of practice Monday, July 28.

Joe HawleyJul 28 10:02p

Atlanta Falcons C Joe Hawley and C Peter Konz have both been taking reps with the first-team this offseason.

Odell Beckham Jr.Jul 28 09:53p

New York Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr. (hamstring) had tests on his injured hamstring Monday, July 28, and the results were negative, according to two sources briefed on the injury.

Danny AmendolaJul 28 09:43p

New England Patriots WR Danny Amendola has spent the offseason working with trainer Alex Guerrero. Guerrero is also QB Tom Brady's trainer, and he helped WR Julian Edelman prior to last season.

Marlon MooreJul 28 08:42p

The Cleveland Browns signed WR Marlon Moore (Dolphins) Monday, July 28.

Clay HarborJul 28 08:32p

Jacksonville Jaguars TE Clay Harbor (calf) will miss some time with a strained calf, according to John Oehser of Jaguars.com.

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