The Washington Redskins are set to get in their last stretch of work before their midseason break. Tuesday and Wednesday feature mandatory practice sessions, which means that coaches should at last have their full collection of players to work with for a brief window.
Below you’ll find the latest news, observations and analysis from The Post’s Redskins reporters in Ashburn. Refresh regularly for the latest updates.
Latest news and observations
Williams introduced to the players after practice
Washington Redskins Coach Jay Gruden ended the team’s first mandatory minicamp practice by introducing the players to Doug Williams, who was promoted as the Senior Vice President of Player Personnel on Tuesday, part of Washington’s front office restructuring announced by Team President Bruce Allen this morning.
“We just welcomed Doug,” Gruden said. “It’s great to hire somebody in-house, somebody who has worked very hard for this team and organization and done some great things not only as a player but also working here in the scouting department. He’s worked very hard. He’s never used his name and what he’s accomplished here as a crutch to get him to where he is right now. He just worked very hard and earned the role that he received today, so we’re very happy for him.”
As for their working relationship, it will be familiar faces that Gruden will interact with on a daily basis. But Gruden doesn’t see too much changing on his end despite the internal promotions.
“I try to stay in my lane,” Gruden said. “My lane is to coach this football team. They’re going to try and get as good as players as possible. I’ll have input here and there, but I’m just going to stay in my lane.”
All Redskins accounted for
With minicamp underway, the three absentees from the team’s voluntary workouts, Trent Williams, Jordan Reed and Matt Jones, were all in attendance Tuesday.
One of the major questions entering Tuesday was where Matt Jones would fit on the team’s running back depth chart. Jones was reportedly told by a member of the coaching staff he was not in the Redskins’ future plans and as a result sat out voluntary workouts the past three weeks.
Five minicamp story lines to watch
The next two days will feature intrigue for many reasons. Here are five of them:
Front office changes: The Redskins put the word out on Monday evening that they will announce changes to their personnel department at 9 a.m. Tuesday. The team has been without a general manager since team president Bruce Allen fired Scot McCloughan in early March. However, the Redskins had — in their eyes — a successful offseason, both in free agency and in the draft. And so, it’s widely expected that rather than hire a general manager, Allen will either promote from within, or simply split up duties among multiple existing front office members.
Scott Campbell (director of college scouting) and Doug Williams (senior executive) have been mentioned as potential GM candidates. However, VP of football administration/general counsel Eric Schaffer also makes a lot of sense to take over, people within the league believe. Schaffer already handles Washington’s contract negotiations, with Allen joining in at times, and manages the salary cap. Schaffer also has experience as a player agent. From a management standpoint, he probably is the most qualified, and he also already has a solid working relationship with Allen, which should give him a leg up over an outside candidate who might expect to run his own show. Schaffer also has good relationships with Campbell, Williams and director of pro personnel Alex Santos.
Williams and Reed debut: After opting to stay away from Redskins Park during the voluntary practice sessions, left tackle Trent Williams and tight end Jordan Reed both are expected to join their teammates for the mandatory minicamp. Coaches said they weren’t concerned by the absences of either Pro Bowl player. Williams was training at his alma mater, Oklahoma; Reed did the same in Miami with former NFL star Chad Johnson.
Would the Redskins have preferred to have both stars present throughout the offseason? Sure. But at the same time, coach Jay Gruden said he had no doubt that both would report in great shape. This week will offer a sneak peek at how Reed and two other big targets, Terrelle Pryor and Josh Doctson, could join forces to help upgrade Washington’s red zone offense.
Matt Jones watch: Unhappy after losing his starting job to Rob Kelley midway through last season, and knocked further down the depth chart by the drafting of Oklahoma’s Samaje Perine, Jones opted against attending any voluntary offseason programs. One person familiar with the situation said members of Washington’s coaching staff told Jones he no longer remains in the team’s plans. However, Gruden said Jones “better” show up for minicamp because he remains on the roster.
Although Jones would prefer a trade or release, he did indeed report to Redskins Park on Monday. But it’s hard to say where he fits into the mix. It would seem that Kelley, Chris Thompson, Perine and Mack Brown would all rank ahead of him on the depth chart. But we’ll see how reps and snaps play out Tuesday.
Doctson’s progress: The 2016 first-round pick appeared in just two games last season while battling perplexing Achilles’ tendon injuries. Doctson practiced fully during the first week of offseason activity, then two weeks ago, he took part only in individual drills. Doctson practiced fully again last week, and said that coaches and trainers are just easing him back into action. Uneasiness will likely linger until the TCU product practices and plays without a setback for a significant stretch. Doctson has, however, shown some promise during these practices while working as the backup ‘Z’ receiver. We’ll see what he does this week.
Defensive shuffling: Expect to see a continuation of the shuttling in and out of defensive linemen and linebackers. Thus far, neither Stacy McGee nor Terrell McClain — free agent additions to the line — have yet to really distinguish themselves. Nor has rookie Jonathan Allen (first-round pick). And Zach Brown continues to split time with inside linebackers Mason Foster and Will Compton, setting the stage for a training camp battle. But it’s early.
Everyone is becoming more comfortable with the schemes and their roles. Once we get to training camp, the sparks will start flying. For now, coaches just want to see the players playing faster while displaying increasing knowledge and growth each week.