RICHMOND, Va. -- Here's five takeaways from Redskins head coach Jay Gruden's first media session with reporters on Wednesday, July 24, 2019, at the Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Center.
1. Gruden expects offensive lineman Trent Williams here "sooner than later."
Aside from the impending quarterback competition, perhaps the biggest storyline entering training camp is the status of perennial Pro Bowl left tackle Trent Williams.
Reportedly wanting a new contract, Williams did not show up for OTAs or veteran minicamp, and he was not in attendance for the conditioning portion of training camp Wednesday afternoon. Gruden said he has not talked to Williams about the matter.
"I'm really concentrating on the guys that are here right now," Gruden said. "You know how we feel about Trent, we know how important he is to this football team and we expect him here sooner than later."
Gruden said the team will have to adjust in Williams' absence, though that has been commonplace along the offensive line the past few years because of injuries. Gruden added that players such as second-year tackle Geron Christian, offseason signee Ereck Flowers and fourth-round draft pick Wes Martin will have more chances to showcase their potential.
"Somebody's absence is another person's opportunity," Gruden said, "and hopefully those guys take advantage of it."
2. Quarterbacks Case Keenum, Dwayne Haskins and Colt McCoy will split practice reps.
There's an open competition at quarterback, and according to Gruden, all three competitors will have an equal opportunity to win the starting job.
"I feel confident in every one of our quarterbacks. They have a skillset that is beneficial to help this football team win games," Gruden said. "At the end of the day, it's our job to figure out which one, Week 1, gives us the best chance to beat a division rival."
Throughout OTAs, the battle under center has been between Keenum and Haskins. Now, both signal-callers will be rotating with longtime Redskin Colt McCoy, who missed all of offseason workouts recovering from a broken leg. Gruden said McCoy will not be limited in any way during training camp.
Take a look at photos of The Washington Redskins players arriving at Training Camp for the 2019 season.
3. Gruden said this is the healthiest the Redskins have been entering training camp during his tenure.
Gruden opened his press conference by naming three players who will start on the Physically unable to perform (PUP) list: rookie edge defender Jordan Brailford (groin), second-year cornerback Danny Johnson (knee) and veteran quarterback Alex Smith (leg). Fourth-round running back Bryce Love will be on the non-football injury (NFI) list.
But aside from those players, the Redskins are relatively healthy to start training camp.
"We have 85 healthy bodies right now -- the most I've had since I've been here -- so we have a lot of guys that we're looking at and a lot of work to be done," Gruden said. "The competition will be great at every position, and we don't expect any drop-off when some player is not here."
4. Running back Derrius Guice (knee) will not be limited during training camp
Reports surfaced last week that Guice, who missed all of last season because of a torn ACL, had tweaked his hamstring and was questionable for the start of training camp.
The first part of the report was true -- Gruden admitted Guice tweaked his hamstring following one of the OTA sessions. However, Gruden added the minor setback will not impact Guice's availability to start training camp.
"He’s been running and training the last couple of weeks before training camp here today," Gruden said. "He’s been working with the trainers and got it back, so he’s in good shape."
5. Gruden feels confident about the youth and depth at linebacker.
Gruden gave the aforementioned response when asked about veteran linebacker Mason Foster, who the team released Tuesday.
"There's no really good timing to release a player like that," Gruden said. "He's a good player for us, great player for us -- led the team in tackles -- but we feel really good about the youth we have at linebacker.
Without Foster, the Redskins will lean on offseason signee Jon Bostic as well as returners Shaun Dion Hamilton and Josh Harvey-Clemons. Gruden also highlighted fifth-round pick Cole Holcomb for his excellence during OTAs, Marquis Flowers for his athleticism and speed and rookie BJ Blunt, who the team prioritized as an college free agent following the 2019 NFL Draft.