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Need to Know: Redskins player one-liners—defense

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Need to Know: Redskins player one-liners—defense

Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, October 8, seven days before the Washington Redskins play the 49ers at FedEx Field.

Timeline

Today’s schedule: Bye week  

Days until:

—Monday night Redskins @ Eagles (10/23) 15
—Cowboys @ Redskins (10/29) 21
—Redskins @ Seahawks (11/5) 28

Player one-liners—defense and specialists

DL Jonathan Allen—The first-round pick has been everything they hoped he would be at this point and he’s only going to get better.

DL Terrell McClain—The veteran has been about what they thought he’d be when they signed him, a solid member of the D-line rotation. 

DL Ziggy Hood—Again this year, Hood is taking on the role of an undersized nose tackle and he’s doing as well as you might expect.

DL Matt Ioannidis—Nobody was quite sure what to expect out of him this year but for sure nobody thought he would be on pace for eight sacks and over 50 QB pressures.

DL Anthony Lanier—The second-year player has not yet been active and with the line playing well it remains to be seen when he will get his chance.

DL Stacy McGee— He has struggled against the run but he is providing some pass pressure, registering a sack against the Raiders.

OLB Preston Smith—He has four sacks on four games and if the can add some forced fumbles to his stat line he could be on his way to Pro Bowl consideration.

OLB Ryan Anderson—The second-round pick is still figuring it out while playing about a dozen snaps per game.

OLB Ryan Kerrigan—The iron man (100 straight starts) is putting up another Pro Bowl season with 2.5 sacks and a pick six.

OLB Junior Galette—You can’t take two years off and get up to 100 percent of your former self in four games.

OLB Chris Carter—Depth at OLB has limited him to a special teams role.

ILB Zach Brown—The free-agent acquisition provides the speed and playmaking ability that the defense has lacked for years.

ILB Mason Foster—His game-saving interception against the Rams after he had popped his separated shoulder back into the socket will be an iconic moment of the season if the Redskins go on to have some success.

ILB Will Compton—Brown’s acquisition moved him from starter and captain to seldom-used (7 snaps on defense) reserve.

ILB Martrell Spaight—He has been playing when Foster has been unable to go with the shoulder injury, still learning but getting there.

ILB Josh Harvey-Clemons—The seventh-round pick is taking a redshirt season; the one game he was active he did not play.

CB Josh Norman—While he is out as his broken rib heals, the team will miss his leadership and ability to punch out the ball as much as his pass coverage.

CB Bashaud Breeland—He still struggles with consistency but he has proven to be a solid No. 2 cornerback.

CB Kendall Fuller—Jay Gruden insists that Fuller was healthy last year as he struggled at slot corner but something happened between then and now to make him a major asset in the secondary.

CB Quinton Dunbar—He will get the starting nod while Norman is out and we will see if he as good for 60 snaps per game as he has been for 15 or so throughout his career.

CB Fabian Moreau—The third-round pick has been solid on special teams but Norman’s absence will test him in the secondary as his role will increase.

CB Joshua Holsey—The seventh-round pick has been inactive every game but that will change with Norman on the sideline.

S D.J. Swearinger—There was some suspicion of a player on his fourth team in five seasons but his leadership and play on the field have been major factors in the improvement of the defense.

S Montae Nicholson—The rookie came in the starting lineup in Week 2 and he immediately added an element of speed and youthful enthusiasm to the bac end.

S Deshazor Everett—He started Week 1 before giving way to Nicholson but he is still part of the rotation in the secondary.

S Stefan McClure—The surprise inclusion on the 53-man roster has been active all four games but he has played little on defense.

K Dustin Hopkins—His two misses are from 50-plus yards and he is in the top 10 in net kickoff average.

P Tress Way—He is better this year than he has been in the last two, fifth in dropping punts inside the 20.

LS Nick Sundberg—The reliable snapper has been close to 100 percent perfect.

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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My in-depth analysis of last night’s Nationals game.

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Need to Know: State of the Redskins, Week 15—Looking for motivation

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Need to Know: State of the Redskins, Week 15—Looking for motivation

Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, December 14, three days before the Washington Redskins play the Cardinals at FedEx Field.

Timeline

Today’s schedule: Practice 1 p.m.; Jay Gruden and Greg Manusky news conferences and open locker room after practice, approx. 3 p.m.

Days until:

—Broncos @ Redskins Christmas Eve (12/24) 10
—Redskins @ Giants (12/17) 17
—NFL Draft (4/26/18) 133

State of the Redskins

Top storylines

Jobs on the line? It’s been the conventional wisdom that the jobs of Jay Gruden and his staff are safe, barring a complete collapse at the end of the year. Well, after two ugly losses we are 40 percent of the way to a complete collapse. The Redskins don’t even have to look good down the stretch, they just need to win two of the final three and be competitive in the other. Gruden might be able to survive a couple more games like the Cowboys and Chargers debacles but if that happens I wouldn’t want to be him on January 1, the day after the season ends.

Shutdowns started—Jordan Reed going on injured reserve could be the first of a few moves to end the seasons of players who won’t be healthy in time to play in more than one or two games. It lets the player dive into rehab and it lets the team sign and get a look at a player who can stay on the roster through the offseason and compete for a roster spot in 2018. There could be more coming up until Week 17.

Playing out the string—Last week, when the Redskins were technically alive for the playoffs they apparently couldn’t muster enough motivation to prepare properly. It will be interesting to see how they react this week with their playoff odds reduced to zero.

Last three games

Sunday vs. Cardinals (6-7)—The Cardinals have fallen even further than the Redskins. Two years ago, they were on their way to a first-round bye and an appearance in the NFC title game. This season they are 6-7 after suffering from a raft of injuries, including losing their starting QB and All-Pro running back David Johnson. Can two teams with nothing to play for put on an entertaining show?

Christmas Eve vs. Broncos (4-9)—And in comes another team that has fallen even further and harder. The Broncos were lifting the Super Bowl Trophy two years ago. Now, the defense that spearheaded that run is still solid but without a reliable quarterback, they are having issues. At this point, your guess at if it will be Paxton Lynch, Trevor Siemian, or Brock Osweiler starting at quarterback is as good as mine.

New Year’s Eve @ Giants (2-11)—Will this game be bye-bye to Eli? Changes are coming to New York and Manning, sometimes a Redskins nemesis and sometimes a player who gift-wrapped wins for Washington, could be on the way out. The Redskins could be playing to avoid the kind of upheaval that has already begun in the Big Apple.

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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Wanting increased playing time, Junior Galette intends to pursue free agency, per source

Wanting increased playing time, Junior Galette intends to pursue free agency, per source

Redskins outside linebacker Junior Galette intends to pursue free agency to find a team that will give him plenty of snaps, per a source with knowledge of the situation.

Galette's contract will expire once the 2017 regular season ends, and while the 29-year-old pass rush specialist appreciates the Redskins organization and fans, he wants to play. 

After suffering season-ending Achilles injuries in 2015 and 2016, Galette has stayed healthy throughout the 2017 season. 

Still, he hasn't been on the field much.

Ryan Kerrigan leads the Redskins with 358 snaps in pass rush situations, and Preston Smith ranks second with 297, according to Pro Football Focus. 

Galette has played only 197 snaps this season in pass rush situations. 

For comparison, rookie Jonathan Allen logged 112 snaps in pass rush situations. Allen played in just five games before heading to the injured reserve with a Lisfranc injury. Galette has played in all 13 Redskins games this year, and hasn't appeared on the injury report once. 

Compounding the issue, Galette has been effective when on the field. 

Pro Football Focus rated him the third best defender on the Redskins this season, behind only Kerrigan and cornerback Kendall Fuller. 

As Rich Tandler noted, there will be a market for Galette. All NFL teams need pass rushers, and it appears Galette still has plenty left after his two-year layoff. Remember, in 2013 and 2014 Galette had 22 sacks for the New Orleans Saints.  This season, he has two sacks. 

The Redskins deserve credit for sticking with Galette after two lost seasons, though Galette deserves credit too for working back from not one but two Achilles injuries. 

Washington's coaches and front office speak highly of Galette, and there haven't been off field issues. For whatever reason, the playing time just hasn't been there. 

Looks like that will change next year. 

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