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Five Takeaways: Jay Gruden's #SkinsCamp Presser

jay-gruden-five-takeaways-2017-camp-660-350.jpg's Stephen Czarda and Jake Kring-Schreifels provide five takeaways from Redskins head coach Jay Gruden, who spoke with the media on July 26, 2017, at the Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Center in Richmond, Va.

1. For the first time since being drafted, Fabian Moreau and Montae Nicholson will be on the practice fields.
Gruden didn't specify which players will start training camp on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list, he did confirm that neither Moreau nor Nicholson will start their first training camps on the sideline.

Moreau (torn pectoral) and Nicholson (torn labrum) had been only doing rehab work as teammates went through offseason workouts at the Inova Sports Performance Center at Redskins Park in Loudoun County, Va. But both will be with on the field when training camp practices officially begin Thursday.

"I think he'll be limited," Gruden said when asked about Moreau. "He'll do some individual stuff, then some walkthrough and we want to get him out there and do some individual, him and Montae [Nicholson] both. Neither one will be on [PUP] but they will be limited as far as practice and contact is concerned."

Moreau and Nicholson were two of Washington's first five picks in the 2017 NFL Draft, four of which were defensive selections.

Moreau will compete for playing time at cornerback alongside the likes of Josh Norman, Bashaud Breeland and Jonathan Allen while Nicholson will try to find his role at safety within a group that includes expected starters D.J. Swearinger and Su'a Cravens.

(Stephen Czarda)

2. Its two thumbs up for Junior Galette and Josh Doctson as camp begins.
It was nearly a year ago now that the Redskins lost Galette for a second consecutive season to a torn Achilles. In 2015, Galette torn his Achilles once the Redskins returned to team headquarters in Loudoun County, Va.

Last year, Galette suffered a torn Achilles on the opposite leg in his training to return healthy. While it was a crushing blow for both Galette and Washington's defense, the seven-year veteran has been healthy for a few months now and will be "on his own to do everything" in Richmond.

"He looked good in the OTAs and mandatory camp and he's light right now," Gruden said. "He's in great shape. He really looks good. He's got great energy out there. He's fired up. He missed the last two years. He has a lot to prove for himself as well do a lot of guys on this roster and coaches and I'm excited to see him play. Once we get the pads on, we'll see an explosive athlete. I think he's got the quick twitch still. He showed that in camp and now it's maintaining that day in and day out. But if he does need a day off, he needs to let us know and we'll take care of him."

Doctson, meanwhile, spent the entirety of training camp and preseason last year on PUP as he dealt with lingering year-long Achilles issues.

While the 2016 first-round pick returned to the field in time for the regular season, the TCU product appeared in just two games before eventually being placed on Injured Reserve.

Like Galette, though, Doctson was on the field for OTAs and remains in good shape with training camp now here.

"Josh looks very good, knock on wood," Gruden said. "He's doing a good job. It's one day of conditioning but throughout the OTA practices and the mandatory minicamp, he was running around good and had no issues so hopefully it's all gone by now and we won't have any issues but we'll see how it goes."

(Stephen Czarda)

3. Gruden is excited to see how first-round pick Jonathan Allen fares against the team's offensive line.Besides just seeing him in pads and going through drills, Gruden will be paying attention to how the rookie from Alabama does against a top-tier offensive line.

Check out images of defensive lineman, Jonathan Allen during his first few months with the Washington Redskins.

"Going against Brandon Scherff and Shawn Lauvao and Arie Kouandjio and the rest of the big fellas up front, see how he handles it, handles the double teams, handles the outside zones, handles the pass rush on third down," Gruden said "There's a lot to like about him."

The defensive line remained an area of struggle last year, but the Redskins feel there will be marked improvements with Allen and some of the other free agents they signed in the offseason. Pairing them with some returning members – including second-year players in Anthony Lanier II and Matt Ioannidis – will provide a good mix of youth and experience.

"We have a good stable of young guys, then we've got some veteran guys I think can play," Gruden said. "Now it's a matter of finding the right combination of guys in certain situations – base first down, third down nickel, base nickel, whatever it is, getting guys in the right spot and see who can perform the best."

(Jake Kring-Schreifels)

4. His success will be based on how well he delegates his responsibilities.The Redskins added several new coaches to their staff, along with several promotions, which will change some of the leadership structure on the team. Gruden will also be taking over play-calling duties for the offense, something he hasn't done since his first year with the team.

All of these changes will provide some obstacles in the early going as the unit adjusts to everyone's style, and Gruden knows that the success of the team will be how well he is able to hand over responsibilities.

"The big thing is I have got to be involved in the football game, make sure I'm ready for the red flag tosses and all that good stuff, but for the most part I have confidence in the defense and special team coaches and players," Gruden said.  "I can really focus on the offense on game day but also have a good general understanding of what's going on on defense and special teams. Being in my fourth year I feel confident that I can handle that."

Gruden said he will stick to a script for the early-going in training camp and then expand to some unscripted practices and situations to get his feet wet again.

"Whether it's two -minute, whether it's drives down the field, whether it's third downs, all that good stuff, do a lot of unscripted work, red zone and go from there, but I feel pretty comfortable already."

(Jake Kring-Schreifels)

5. Gruden thinks the Redskins' character is as strong as it's ever been.When asked about whether the kind of football team he envisioned at the beginning of his coaching tenure has matched expectations in his fourth year, Gruden agreed, largely because of the core group of players the team has invested in.

Take a look at the entire 2017 Washington Redskins roster in headshot form. Check back periodically for updates!

"It's not something you can just sweep under the rug and say our culture is set," Gruden said. "You have to continue to preach what you want and get it out of them day in and day out because we do have new players. You've got rookies coming in, you've got free agents from other teams, you have to show them along the way."

With a several leaders in the locker room -- including Trent Williams, Trent Williams, Will Compton and Josh Norman -- Gruden feels as though the team is in good hands based on those setting the examples.

"All these guys that have been here three and four years, they're great leaders and they lead by example," Gruden said. "And the guys work and they follow them and then adding the free agents like Josh Norman, who is one of the hardest working guys on our team and watching how D.J. Swearinger works and Terrell McClain... Adding some free agents that also love to work has been a great benefit for us. The character of this football team is the strongest it's ever been, I believe. They get along great in the locker room, they work extremely hard on the practice field and hopefully that continues throughout the long process of training camp and preseason."

(Jake Kring-Schreifels)

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