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Need to Know: Final thoughts on Redskins vs. Broncos

Associated Press

Need to Know: Final thoughts on Redskins vs. Broncos

Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, December 24, seven days before the Washington Redskins play the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium.


Today’s schedule: Redskins Kickoff, noon, NBC Sports Washington; Redskins vs. Broncos, 1 p.m., FOX

Days until:

—Redskins @ Giants (12/31) 7
—NFL free agency starts (3/14/18) 80
—NFL Draft (4/26/18) 123

News update: On Saturday, the Redskins place RB LaShun Daniels on injured reserve. He suffered a broken hand while fielding a kickoff in practice (yes, you read that right). To take his spot on the roster they signed RB Kenny Hilliard, who was on the team during training camp.

Final thoughts on Redskins vs. Broncos

The Kapri Bibbs factor—With Samaje Perine a game-time decision with a groin injury, Bibbs will start or get a lot of the action today against his former team. He played in a combined 13 games with Denver in 2015 and 2016. He said that “they took me for granted” and he wants to show the Broncos that they made “a huge mistake” when they let him go. Hey, let’s dub it the Bibbs Bowl, it might add a little spice to the game.

Can they run? The Bibbs revenge stuff sounds good, but the fact is that the Redskins will be going with their No. 6 running back and will be without three Week 1 starters on the offensive line including Trent Williams, who is their best O-lineman against the Broncos, who have the No. 4 rushing defense in the league. Under Jay Gruden, the Redskins are 5-24 when they rush for fewer than 90 yards. But two of those wins came this year including last week against the Cardinals so maybe they have a good shot at winning even if they struggle to move the ball on the ground.

Osweiler to start—It looks like the Redskins will face Brock Osweiler at quarterback and not Paxton Lynch. Neither player is anything to be scared of although Osweiler did have a good game when he came in to relieve an injured Trevor Siemian against the Colts last week. For the season Osweiler has completed 55 percent of his passes with an average per attempt of 6.7 yards. Add the Brock Lobster factor to a Denver rushing game that averages 4.0 yards per carry (20th) and you have a situation where the Redskins should be embarrassed if they give up more than 17 points.

Other keys to a win:

  • Let the Broncos put presents under the tree: Only the woeful Browns have a worse turnover margin that the Broncos, who are minus-15. Let them help you win.   
  • Get after the quarterback: The Redskins got on a good pass rushing roll against the Cardinals. They can keep it going against the Broncos, who have allowed 44 sacks, the fifth most in the NFL.

Prediction: On the Redskins Talk podcast this week, I predicted a Broncos win. Since then I have tried to talk myself into predicting a Redskins win but I can’t. The game is a coin toss. So was the Cardinals game and the Redskins came up winners. I’m not sure if the Redskins can win in their depleted state.

Broncos 17, Redskins 13

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.

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Redskins Draft Countdown: WR James Washington's numbers don't impress but he could be a solution for the Redskins

Redskins Draft Countdown: WR James Washington's numbers don't impress but he could be a solution for the Redskins

Redskins Draft Countdown

James Washington

Wide receiver
Oklahoma State

Oklahoma State wide receiver James Washington measured at 5 feet 11 inches at the combine and his 40 time was a pedestrian 4.54.

But forget about the numbers. His catch radius is larger than his height would indicate, and he plays much faster than the stopwatch says he does.

His route tree needs to be cleaned up but his ability to get open deep, make receptions on back shoulder throws and, yes, Redskins fans, fade patterns will make him a productive receiver while he learns.

Height: 5-11
Weight: 213
40-yard dash: 4.54

Projected draft round: 1-2

What they’re saying

He doesn't look like a receiver and he doesn't run routes like a receiver, but then you see him get open deep and make all those explosive plays, and you know exactly what he does for an offense.

—A Big 12 assistant coach via

How he fits the Redskins: The Redskins needed a wide receiver to line up opposite Josh Doctson after Terrelle Pryor fizzled out last year. They went out and signed Paul Richardson to a free agent contract, solving the immediate need.

But in the NFL, you should always be looking for your next receiver. It takes most of them at least a season to develop so if you wait until you really need a pass catcher it’s too late to draft one. Washington has the capability to contribute early and develop from there.  

Film review: vs. Pitt, vs. TCU, vs. Oklahoma

—Like most coaches, Jay Gruden wants his wide receivers to block and Washington certainly gives it the effort. He helped backs gain extra yards on stretch plays with hustling blocks downfield. His technique may need some work—a long touchdown run against Oklahoma was called back when he was hit for holding—but the effort is there.

—Against the Sooners, Washington got by a cornerback who was in off coverage and beat him for a long gain. Later in the game, the corner was in press coverage and Washington made one move and beat the defender on a post for a touchdown. We can insert the usual cautions about Big 12 defenses here, but it still was impressive to watch.

—Speed is important but so is how fast a receiver can stop to catch a pass. On one underthrown fade pattern, Washington was able to slam on the brakes while the cornerback kept on running, making the catch for a nice gain out of the end zone an easy one.

—Against TCU he split two defenders on a deep pass. He caught the ball in stride and then he found a second gear and easily outraced the defensive backs to the end zone to complete the 86-yard play. This is a good example of Washington playing faster than his 40 time.

Potential issues: Washington is not a good enough prospect to warrant the No. 13 pick, but he could easily be gone by the time the time their second-round pick is on the clock. As noted above, the quality of the defenses he faced in compiling 74 receptions for 1,549 yards (20.9 per catch) and 13 touchdowns has to be considered.

Bottom line: If I’m the Redskins, I have a talk with Jamison Crowder’s agent before the draft to gauge what his client would want in order to sign an extension prior to the 2018 season. If it’s something the Redskins consider reasonable, they should look elsewhere in the second round. But if a 2019 Crowder departure seems likely,  they should look at Washington if he’s there in the second round. 

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.


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Redskins withdraw contract offer to Junior Galette

Redskins withdraw contract offer to Junior Galette

It looks like the Redskins are moving on from Junior Galette.

Citing a team source, Chick Hernandez of NBC Sports Washington is reporting that the team has withdrawn its contract offer to Galette, the veteran pass rusher who finally got on the field last year after missing all of his first two seasons in Washington with injuries. He is an unrestricted free agent.

The Redskins may have a replacement for Galette lined up. They had former Bear Pernell McPhee in for a visit earlier this week and there was a report that they made him a contract offer after that. McPhee subsequently visited the Falcons facility, but he has not signed anywhere. However, there have been no reports that a deal is imminent as of this morning.


As for Galette, Hernandez mentions two possible destinations. One is the Browns, who have two key connections to Galette. Scot McCloughan, the former Redskins GM who signed Galette after he was cut by the Saints after the 2014 season is in the personnel department in Cleveland. In addition, Gregg Williams, who was the Saints’ defensive coordinator when Galette made the team as an undrafted rookie, currently has the same position with the Browns.

Another possibility is the Rams. The connections there are Joe Barry, the linebackers coach in LA who was Redskins’ defensive coordinator during Galette’s first two years with the team, and head coach Sean McVay, who was the offensive coordinator in Washington while Galette was on the other side of the ball.

Galette has said on social media lately that his first choice is to remain with the Redskins but that the money had to be “fair”. The interest in a return to Washington was mutual but evidently, the organization’s idea of fair and Galette’s differed by too great a margin to bridge the gap.  

Last year, Galette didn’t have an impressive sack total, getting three in a backup role. But he got plenty of pressure on the quarterback and that can be just as important as sacks.


Galette developed into a feared pass rusher with the Saints, getting double-digit sacks his last two seasons there. After signing him to a lucrative contract extension, the Saints abruptly released Galette due to some off-field issues. McCloughan and the Redskins signed him soon after the start of training camp in 2015 but before he could even play in a preseason game, he suffered a torn Achilles tendon in practice and he was out for the year.

His much-anticipated return the following year ended before it even started. Shortly before it was time to report to training camp, he tore the other Achilles and he was on the shelf again.

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.