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Derek Carrier Getting Comfortable In Redskins' System

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Redskins tight end Derek Carrier, acquired by the team via trade in the middle of the preseason, says his development in the team's offense continues to improve each day.*

The Redskins knew they were getting a football-savvy player when they made a trade to acquire tight end Derek Carrier on Aug. 21.

Check out these photos of the Redskins' offense preparing for their Week 4 preseason matchup against the Jacksonville Jaguars Monday, Aug. 31, 2015, at Redskins Park in Loudoun County, Va.

While it's certainly no easy task to join a new team and learn a brand new offensive scheme, Washington needed a player who could quickly pick up the system and be ready to go within a few days to fill an important role in the middle of its preseason schedule.

Carrier provided just that over the last two preseason games for the Redskins, playing in both contests – starting one – and finishing with one reception for 13 yards, as well recovering a fumble on special teams.

So as he prepares for his third NFL regular season in 2015, Carrier says he's happy with his development heading into the Redskins' 2015 season opener Sunday against the Miami Dolphins at FedExField.

"It's going really well," Carrier said. "Every game, every practice, every time I go out on the field, I'm just trying to get better. I'm trying to pick up on little things that I might've missed going through the playbook, and just trying to get better all the time."

Carrier has already experienced several offensive schemes and approaches since entering the NFL in 2012 with the Oakland Raiders, who signed the converted wide receiver as a college free agent out of Beloit.

After being released by the Raiders later that year and then playing on the Philadelphia Eagles' practice squad for the remainder of the 2012 season, Carrier spent time on the San Francisco 49ers practice squad the following season before being signed to their active roster for good towards the end of 2013.

The Washington Redskins on Friday, Aug. 21, 2015, announced the acquisition of tight end Derek Carrier. Take a look at his NFL career in photos.

In 16 total games with the 49ers over 2013 and 2014, Carrier caught nine total passes for 105 yards.

Now playing a prominent role with the Redskins, Carrier said he's enjoyed the challenge of picking up on the nuances of the offense under head coach Jay Gruden and offensive coordinator Sean McVay.

"It's just a little different how we call things here, and some of the footwork – the techniques are probably the biggest difference," Carrier said. "Executing those at a high level and being able to do that at a fast pace is probably the biggest thing."

Carrier said tight ends coach Wes Phillips and offensive line coach Bill Callahan's attention to detail when it comes to technique – things like footwork and hand placement – have stood out.

"They've both been mentally helpful since I've got here," Carrier said. "Just working with techniques and being able to process that and being able to work that at a high level on the field – they've been a great help."

The Redskins enter Sunday's game with just two primary tight ends in Carrier and starter Jordan Reed. Although the team also picked up free agent tight end Anthony McCoy on Monday, Carrier said his approach won't change.

"We just focus on our part," he said. "With not as many guys, you just have to be on top of everything just in case something were to happen. So just being prepared, being focused is key, and then everything will take care of itself."

As for Reed, Carrier said he's been impressed with the third-year Florida product's route-running abilities, calling them "probably some of the better that I've seen."

"He's a great player," Carrier said. "I think for me, one of the cool things, personally, being around a bunch of great players – whether it's Vernon [Davis], Brent Celek when I was in Philly, and Jordan here – you get to pick and choose and see things that different players do, different techniques that they use."

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