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2016 Redskins Training Camp: more substance, less drama on and off the field

It’s back to business for Gruden’s gang, according to contributor Reid Kidwell, who says this year’s team is more History Channel and less MTV.



Boring. Drama free. Vanilla. All the above are acceptable terms when describing the 2016 edition of the Washington Redskins’ annual pilgrimage to Richmond. It’s a welcome and needed change for an organization that has dominated the negative portion of offseason headlines in recent years like a bad reality TV show.

Fresh off a division crown and playoff appearance, head coach Jay Gruden isn’t on the hot seat, there’s no question on who is starting at QB. And the rest of the roster has managed to stay out of both the headlines and police blotter, providing a much needed feeling of stability around the Skins franchise and among the fanbase.

For years Dan Snyder’s “win the offseason” mentality handcuffed the Skins to awful contracts with high priced veterans well past their prime: Albert Haynesworth, Deion Sanders, Donovan McNabb, Jeff George, Bruce Smith–the list goes on. While Snyder did get his “shiny new toy” this offseason in former Carolina Panthers cornerback Josh Norman, it will provide an upgrade to the league’s 25th ranked pass defense. Not surprisingly, Norman has provided the lone bit of drama from this year’s camp with his ongoing Twitter feud with Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr and recent spat with Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson.

Overpaid defensive players aside, the biggest story going into camp and the 2016 season is quarterback Kirk Cousins receiving the franchise tag after being unable to come to terms on a long term deal. The NFL has become more quarterback centric than ever and stability at the position along with head coach is crucial. For the first time in recent memory the Skins open camp with a QB and head coach on the same page.

We all remember the Jeff George and McNabb failed experiments, spearheaded by Snyder, which set coach after coach up for failure. History repeated itself when Snyder chose RG3 over now former head coach Mike Shanahan at the end of the 2013 campaign. Last season as camp opened, it seemed as if RG3 was on the verge of having Jay Gruden run out of town before Snyder stepped aside and allowed Gruden to marry his future to Cousins instead of Griffin. Now Griffin is in Cleveland looking to revive his career and Cousins will start the season without having to look over his shoulder.

No one likes to speak too soon, but it appears the latest version Gruden’s gang is more History Channel and less MTV compared to recent seasons. As long as it translates to W’s on Sunday, we won’t miss that offseason attention.

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