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Need to Know: Five Redskins under pressure vs. the Seahawks

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Need to Know: Five Redskins under pressure vs. the Seahawks

Here is what you need to know on this Friday, November 3, two days before the Washington Redskins go to Seattle to play the Seahawks.

Timeline

Today’s schedule: Practice 12:20 p.m.; Jay Gruden news conference, open locker room after practice, approx. 2 p.m.

Days until:

—Vikings @ Redskins (11/12) 9
—Redskins @ Saints (11/9) 16
—Giants @ Redskins Thanksgiving (11/23) 20

UPDATE Key injury update
Out:
OT Williams (knee), G Lauvao (stinger), G Scherff (knee), C Long (knees), WR Crowder (hamstring), TE Reed (hamstring)
Limited: G Scherff (knee), RB Kelley (ankle), CB Breeland (knee, groin)
The big change here is the upgrade of Scherff from out to limited. Although he didn’t do anything beyond individual drills (and he didn’t do much then), the fact that he was able to get out there and move is a good sign for Sunday. That doesn’t mean he’s definitely in but it’s a step in the right direction.  

Five Redskins under pressure vs. the Seahawks

QB Kirk Cousins—With the offensive line likely to be hurting still, Cousins will have to provide the team with a lift. The Redskins’ running game is still a mess with the line likely missing three starters and top running back Rob Kelley still dealing with an ankle injury, according to Jay Gruden. Cousins likely will need to pass for 300 yards or more if the Redskins are going to pull off the upset.

RB Chris Thompson—I usually have an offensive skill player who hasn’t been productive in this spot. But at this point in the season, unless and until a receiver or another running back breaks out, the pressure has to go on Thompson to continue to produce both on the ground and catching passes.

C Chase Roullier—This is a heck of a spot for a rookie sixth-round pick. But he is the backup center and with the starter likely to be out, it will be up to Roullier to get the protections communicated up and down the line in one of the loudest stadiums in the NFL. Roullier is likely to get some help from Cousins and the moment will not be too big for him. Still, it’s a tall order.

ILB Zach Brown—It’s not fair to say that the Seahawks are a one-man team but it is safe to say that they go as Russell Wilson goes. If the Redskins are going to contain Wilson, the team’s second-leading rusher, Brown is the player in the front seven who has the speed and the sure tackling ability to do that. Greg Manusky indicated that the Redskins will occasionally use a spy to try to contain Wilson and Brown seems to be the likely candidate for that job.

CB Josh Norman—Actually, I could put either Bashaud Breeland (assuming he plays) or Kendall Fuller here as well. The Seahawks have a very good trio of wide receivers with Doug Baldwin and Paul Richardson on the outside and Tyler Lockett in the slot. When the Redskins are in man coverage, the corners have to stay with their receivers while Wilson scrambles and buys time. They also need to be sure they are aware when Wilson takes off and crosses the line of scrimmage so they can help bring him down. There will be a lot of stress on the cornerback position and Norman will need to shine.  

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

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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, Facebook.com/TandlerNBCS and follow him on Twitter  @TandlerNBCS.

Timeline  

Days until:

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

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Redskins' schedule "rest disparity" is very fair in 2018

Redskins' schedule "rest disparity" is very fair in 2018

The NFL started taking into account a new factor when putting together its schedule this year. The concept is called rest disparity. It stems from a complaint made by the Giants last year. And, of course, when the Giants have a cold, the NFL sneezes and immediately does whatever it takes to cure the cold. 

Here is how Peter King laid it out this morning on the MMQB:

Last year, I heard the Giants were not pleased with their schedule because they felt they were too often playing teams more rested than they were. In consecutive October weeks, they played teams coming off byes, for instance. The NFL calculated a figure for every team based on the number of combined days of rest for their foes or for the team, calculating, for instance, in those two weeks, the Giants were a minus-14 (minus-seven for each of the foes, Seattle and Denver, coming off byes). In all, by my math, the Giants were a league-worst minus-22 in “rest disparity.”

So the schedule makers worked to minimize the rest disparity this year. According to King, the worst rest disparity in the league this year is minus-11. The Giants are minus-eight. 

The question that Redskins fans will have immediately here is if the Giants’ rest disparity was reduced at the expense of the team in burgundy and gold. The answer that will surprise many is no. 

The Redskins rest disparity in 2018 will be either minus-one or zero. The variance is due to the possibility that their Week 16 game in Tennessee will be flexed to a Saturday game (see details here). If the game stays on Sunday, they will be at minus-one in rest disparity. If it gets moved, they will have had exactly as much rest over the course of the season as did their opponents, in aggregate. 

If you're interested in the nitty-gritty, here is how it breaks down. In eight or nine of their games, they will have had the same amount of rest as their opponents. They play one game coming off of their bye, a Monday night game in New Orleans. The Saints play the previous Sunday, giving Washington a plus-seven in days of rest. That is canceled out when they play the Falcons in Week 9 after Atlanta’s bye. 

Due to their Thanksgiving game, they get three extra days off going into their Week 13 Monday night game in Philadelphia. Two weeks later the Jaguars will have those three extra days of rest when they host the Redskins, having played on Thursday in Week 14.

They lose a day relative to their opponents coming off of those Monday night games against the Saints and Eagles. The Redskins get an extra day prior to visiting the Giants in Week 8 as New York has a Monday night game in Week 7. 

So far, that comes to minus-one in rest disparity. That will remain in place if they play the Titans on Sunday, December 23. If the game is flexed to Saturday, they will gain a day of rest on the Eagles in Week 17, zeroing out the rest disparity for the season. 

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