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Austin also made it a point last season to pick McCardell’s brain whenever possible. Subtle lessons helped him refine his game.

“If I was going in motion and a guy was following me and obviously it was man coverage, he’d say, ‘Give a little stutter to slow him down, and then when they say hike you’ll get a jump on him before the play even starts,’ ” Austin said. “I was like, ‘Wow, I didn’t even think of it like that.’ “

The production speaks for itself. With the Redskins facing third-and-4 last Friday against Indianapolis, Austin was the receiver quarterback John Beck targeted.

Austin got inside the cornerback and slanted in. Beck’s throw was perfect, and Austin caught it with the defender on his back. Eleven-yard completion. First down.

Such plays help build his case for a roster spot, one that has become more convincing by the week. Maybe Austin’s phone will stay silent this year on the first Saturday in September.

“As long as he’s doing what he’s doing,” Moss said, “he shouldn’t have a problem.”