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Can Phil Taylor be productive for the Redskins after missing three seasons?

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Can Phil Taylor be productive for the Redskins after missing three seasons?

The Redskins are going to try to get some productivity out of nose tackle, Phil Taylor, despite the fact that he has missed the last three seasons with injuries. Here is a little bit of history on players who attempted comebacks after extended absences. 

RB Robert Edwards gained 1,115 yards rushing for the Patriots in his rookie 1998 season. He then suffered a devastating knee injury in a flag football game that was part of the Pro Bowl festivities. After missing three years he got back on the field with the Dolphins, playing 12 games and rushing for 107 yards. His comeback was one and done but he did. 

—The path of RB Ricky Williams isn't quite the same as the one Taylor is trying to take but it’s close enough. After five years in the NFL, he retired in 2004. He came back the next year, but he sat out the 2006 season due to a substance abuse suspension. Williams played just one game in 2007. In 2008 he got back to full-time duty with Miami and he played for four more years. At the age of 32 in the 2009 season, he rushed for 1,121 yards.


—The stuff hit the fan QB Michael Vick after the 2006 season. After making three Pro Bowls in his first six years in the league, a suspension and time in jail put him out for the 2007 and 2008 seasons. He signed with the Eagles in 2009 and he attempted just 13 passes. Vick returned to the Pro Bowl in 2010 at the age of 30 and played four more years after that. 

—In 2001, CB Deion Sanders decided that he would rather retire than play for old-school Redskins coach Marty Schottenheimer. He was 33 at the time and he seemed to be done. However, after three years on the sidelines he got the itch again he signed to play for the Ravens. Sanders picked off five passes in two seasons before hanging it up for good after the 2005 season. 

While at first glance this partial history might bode well for Taylor’s comeback chances, it should be noted that of the four players here, only Edwards missed extended time due to an injury. And he was only 24 when he was injured so the age factor might come into play. 

You also have to look at the hundreds of players who were injured and never came back. Adam Carriker was 28 in Week 2 of the 2012 season when he suffered a quad injury similar to the one that Taylor sustained last year. Carriker was coming off of two seasons as the starter at defensive end and he had 5.5 sacks in 2011. In the ensuing years, he got a few tryouts, but he never did make it back to play in another game. 

On the plus side for Taylor, you can’t make it back if you don’t have a chance and the Redskins have given one to him. We will see if he can make the most of it. 


Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.


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Need to Know: Five safe draft picks for the Redskins

Need to Know: Five safe draft picks for the Redskins

Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, April 22, four days before the 2018 NFL draft.  

Five safe picks for the Redskins

Sometimes teams try to hit home runs with their draft picks. They may hit a few but they also will strike out a lot. Teams often are better off trying to hit solid singles and doubles. Here are five picks who would are unlikely to make many Pro Bowls but the Redskins would not regret the pick if they turned in the cards with their names on it. 

RB Kerryon Johnson, Auburn—I’m starting off here with a player who would be a safe pick in the third round. Of course, the Redskins don’t have a third right now but if they do swing a trade and get one, Johnson would be a good pick. He doesn’t have breakaway speed, which is one reason why he might be available in the third. He is a grinder who will be an upgrade over Samaje Perine and Rob Kelley. 

DL Vita Vea, Washington—There is plenty of hand wringing over whether Vea is a three-down player or just a base defense nose tackle. But even if he can’t rush the passer very well his floor is a player who can go a long way towards helping the Redskins stop the run, a chronic weakness. This is why a lot of fans and media are urging the Redskins to not overthink this and take a player that will, at a minimum, bolster one of their weakest areas. 

OL Billy Price, Ohio State—He started 55 games for the Buckeyes, the most of any player in the storied history of the program. He did suffer the partial tear of a chest muscle in the combine but that will be fully healed by training camp. When he’s ready, he’s an explosive, smart, and powerful player. Just plug him in at left guard and the Redskins’ O-line is set with all home-grown talent. 

LB Leighton Vander Esch, Boise State—He doesn’t have the ceiling that the more heralded Roquan Smith and Tremaine Edmunds have. However, he may have a higher floor. Smith is undersized, and Edmunds will be highly drafted based more on potential than on production. At 6-4, 256, Vander Esch has plenty of size, and he racked up 141 tackles last year on his way to defensive player of the year honors in the Mountain West. 

 CB Isaiah Oliver, Colorado—The All-Pac-12 selection has the size and athleticism that add up to a safe pick in the second round. He needs some work on technique, but he has enough natural athletic ability—he competed in the decathlon—to be a productive cornerback right out of the gate. One other plus that fans will appreciate is that his strength is press coverage, not off man. 

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page, follow him on Twitter  @TandlerNBCS.

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Days until:

—OTAs start (5/22) 30
—Training camp starts (7/26) 95
—Redskins @ Cardinals (9/9) 140

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Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—All-Redskins mock, fast-fading interest in Dez

Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—All-Redskins mock, fast-fading interest in Dez

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, April 21, five days before the 2018 NFL draft.  

The Redskins week that was

A look at some of the most popular posts and hottest topics of the week on Real Redskins and NBC Sports Washington

Should the Redskins pursue Dez Bryant? This topic was one like a meteor, very hot for a short period of time before it quickly faded out. It started to heat up as soon as the Cowboys cut Dez (about a month too late) and when it was reported that he wanted to play against Dallas twice a year it really picked up steam. But then people started to actually think and figured out that signing Bryant didn’t make much sense for the Redskins. Add to that the reports that the Redskins had no interest and would not look into signing Dez in the future and the Redskins fans quickly lost enthusiasm for the topic.

Seven-round Redskins mock draft—I think that most Redskins fans would be happy with this mock. Well, I’ll say some Redskins fans, most is a pretty strong word in this case. 

Is the draft pool deep enough for the Redskins to trade back? There is plenty of talk about the Redskins trading down in the first round to recoup the third-round pick they gave up in the Alex Smith trade. But they need to be careful. Many consider the draft to be top heavy and they may lose their chance to pick up an impact player if they trade back too far. The question then becomes one of quality vs. quantity. 

Three questions as offseason workouts get underway—There will be plenty more questions that we can ask about this team. But we don’t really know what to ask before the draft, particularly when it comes to the defensive line and running back. One the personnel settle into place we will know what we don’t know. 

Tweet of the week

On Chris Cooley’s thought that the Redskins might try to trade back and get Da’Ron Payne in the draft and the use the assets obtained to move up to get Derrius Guice. 

This is related to the questions about trading back. On paper it looks like a good idea, assuming the Redskins want Payne. We’re pretty sure they would like to have Guice but we haven’t heard as much about the Alabama defensive lineman. 

I had many reply that Guice won’t be there in the second round. It’s possible, perhaps even likely, but you just don’t know. There was zero chance that Jonathan Allen would be there at No. 17 last year, right? 

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page, and follow him on Twitter  @TandlerNBCS.


Days until:

—OTAs start (5/22) 31
—Training camp starts (7/26) 96
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 141

In case you missed it