Redskins: Three key training game goals, top battle

Chargers wide receiver Keenan Allen (13) is defended by Washington Redskins cornerback Quinton Dunbar (47) in a 2017 game.Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Looking at Redskins' priorities

RICHMOND, Va. -- From the top, let's look at the Washington's to-do list in training camp.

  • Figure out a rotation at cornerback. Other than Josh Norman, almost everyone on the roster is an unknown. The hope is Quinton Dunbar can step in for the departed Bashaud Breeland. He's been a development project since 2015 when he converted from wide receiver during camp. The Redskins hope he's ready. Orlando Scandrick is a veteran, but they don't know how much he has left. All other options are in their first or second year.

  • Develop depth at outside linebacker to go behind Ryan Kerrigan, Preston Smith and free-agent signing Pernell McPhee, who struggled to stay on the field with the Chicago Bears thanks to constant shoulder and knee injuries. Kerrigan is as consistent as anyone and Smith had a nice third season, but relying only on McPhee is a recipe for disaster. There are no veterans behind him at outside linebacker. Second-year pro Ryan Anderson, a second-round pick in 2017, needs to step forward.

  • Get the repetitions in to develop chemistry between quarterback Alex Smith and his receivers. Even a veteran needs time to adjust. Smith played in a similar system under Andy Reid in Kansas City, but he still has to figure out what each receiver does well. He's raved about wide receiver Jamison Crowder and tight end Jordan Reed during offseason work. But other than tight end Vernon Davis, a former teammate of Smith's in San Francisco, he's never thrown a ball to any of them in a real game. Maybe the most critical relationship will be with Josh Doctson, who has the frame and the ball skills to be a top-level receiver, but has shown only flashes of it so far.

Redskins' top summer battle:

--The competition at running back should be fierce. Derrius Guice was a second-round pick because of character concerns and a deep group of running backs available and Washington happily snatched him at No. 59. But he's guaranteed nothing.

Rob Kelley was the primary starter the second half of 2016 and Samaje Perine, a fourth-round pick in 2017, showed flashes as a rookie. He just didn't sustain it and couldn't take advantage when injuries hit. Don't forget Chris Thompson, who is one of the best third-down backs in the league and will get plenty of touches. He broke his leg last year in Week 10 and missed the final six games.

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