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Despite some strong signings, 3 things Redskins still need to address this offseason

Despite some strong signings, 3 things Redskins still need to address this offseason

It might seem impossible for an organization to be both highly functional yet at times in various stages of disarray, but the Redskins 2017 offseason has achieved that rare balance.

When the team dismissed Scot McCloughan in early March, expectations for the team plumetted.

A month later, the Redskins have addressed needs throughout the roster via free agency, with a few really strong signings mixed in.

Inking Zach Brown to a one-year deal on Monday likely adds a fifth new starter to the Washington defense, a unit that needed a significant overhaul from 2016.

RELATED: 2017 NFL MOCK DRAFT

With Brown on board, combined with Terrelle Pryor at wideout and D.J. Swearinger at safety, the Redskins front office deserves credit for a smart and effective free agency period. That said, plenty remains to be done. Let's take a look:

1. Pay up — Signing Pryor should help offset the loss of DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garçon on the 'Skins offense, but the huge issue remains that Kirk Cousins is again set to play on a franchise tag. He did it in 2016, and broke his own single-season passing yards record. At some point, Washington must pay up to keep Cousins.

Bruce Allen told CSN at the annual league meetings that the team has options for 2018 with Cousins should a deal not get reached, but those options are outrageously expensive. Get a deal done with Cousins before the July 15th deadline, and this offseason will look like one of the best in recent memory, even with the ugly divorce from McCloughan.

2. Pick your nose — Coming into the 2017 offseason, defensive line needed the most work of any position group on the 'Skins. Even with the signings of Terrell McClain and Stacy McGee, defensive line remains the position group in need of the most work. The team is still yet to address the nose tackle position.

Asked about the position at the league meetings, Jay Gruden said, "Coach [Jim] Tomsula has assured me that he will find a nose guard, [and] he’ll make a nose guard. If you look at his track record, [and] you look at the nose guards [that] he’s had, none of them have been priority first-round draft choices. He’s made nose guards. He coaches that position extremely well, and I have faith that he’ll do that."

That's great in theory, but it's a lot for Washington to rely on. Perhaps the 'Skins can get a solid year from former first-round pick Phil Taylor, but that would be a big leap from his 2016 season, while Ziggy Hood returns for Washington after a solid if unspectacular 2016 season. It seems free agency is largely done after the Brown signing, but Washington still has 10 draft picks, and must continue to build on the defensive line to field both a better team in 2017 and beyond. 

3. Get deep — Unlike the D-line, the Redskins offensive line is arguably the best position group on the team. With two Pro Bowlers in Trent Williams and Brandon Scherff, not to mention Morgan Moses and Spencer Long, four of the 'Skins five O-line spots have strong players. Shawn Lauvao was not a strong player in 2016, and though he battled injuries, the 'Skins could upgrade at left guard. It's likely the team brings back Lauvao, and he has played well in spots with Washington. Still, among the 10 draft picks later this month, Bruce Allen would be wise to continue to fortify the offensive line. At the very least, the team absolutely needs a backup center.

RELATED: LOOKING AT REDSKINS DRAFT PROSPECTS

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Josh Norman out against Eagles in Monday night matchup, plus full injury report

Josh Norman out against Eagles in Monday night matchup, plus full injury report

The Redskins will be without one of their top defenders when they take on the Eagles on Monday night.

Jay Gruden announced that CB Josh Norman is out for the second straight game with a broken rib. Norman was able to practice on a limited basis earlier this week but he did not practice today. Gruden said that the recovery from the injury just had not progressed to the point where the doctors would clear him to play.

Bashaud Breeland, the other starting cornerback, is listed as questionable with a knee injury he sustained last week against the 49ers. “He did a good job today,” said Gruden. “He’s looking better.”

MORE REDSKINS: MUST-SEE PHOTOS FROM REDSKINS 26, 49ERS 24

Gruden said that a final determination on Breeland’s status will be made on Sunday.

With Norman out, Quinton Dunbar, who did a good job filling in against the 49ers, will start. If both of the starters are sidelined, rookie Fabian Moreau will get the start opposite Dunbar.

Also listed as questionable are RB Rob Kelley (ankle), S Deshazor Everett (hamstring), S Stefan McClure (knee), and LB Mason Foster (shoulder).

RELATED: IN A MUDDLED NFC WHY NOT THE REDSKINS?

Kelley is still recovering from an ankle injury he suffered against the Chiefs on Oct. 2 but he has looked good while practicing on a limited basis this week. If he can’t go it seems likely that Samaje Perine will start in his place.

It should be noted that the term “questionable” on an injury report means that it is “uncertain if the player will play”. Many say that means that there is at least a 50 percent chance that the player will be active for the game. So there are a lot of scenarios that could unfold with that designation.

Reserve offensive linemen Ty Nsekhe (core muscle) and Tyler Catalina (concussion) also have been declared out for Monday night.

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 week that was—Allen injury, why not the Redskins?

Need to Know: The week that was—Allen injury, why not the Redskins?

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, October 21, two days before the Washington Redskins visit the Philadelphia Eagles for Monday night football.

Timeline

Today’s schedule: Practice 12:05 p.m.; Jay Gruden news conference, open locker room, after practice approx. 2 p.m.

Days until:

—Cowboys @ Redskins (10/29) 8
—Redskins @ Seahawks (11/5) 15
—Giants @ Redskins Thanksgiving (11/23) 33

Injuries of note:
Not practicing
: OT Trent Williams (knee), S D.J. Swearinger (rest)
Limited: CB Josh Norman (rib), CB Bashaud Breeland (knee), S Deshazor Everett (hamstring), RB Rob Kelley (ankle),
It was a little surprising not to see Swearinger out there but he has a lingering hamstring injury and they figured he could use day of rest more than the day of practice. Jay Gruden said that both Norman and Breeland did more on Friday than they did on Thursday.

The Redskins week that was

Here is a look at some of the top posts and hot topics from this week at NBCSportsWashington.com and at RealRedskins.com.

Bad News For Jonathan Allen—A few of the site’s stop posts this week were about Allen’s Lisfranc injury (here's one about how the Redskins will try to fill the void). We went from him being out three or four weeks to him being out for the season to injured reserve with the possibility that he can return after eight weeks. I thought all along that three or four weeks was a very aggressive timetable for return from a Lisfranc. And it would be just short of a miracle for him to return before the end of the season. I think the best that fans can hope for is for Allen to bounce back from his Lisfranc like Morgan Moses did from his. Morgan suffered his in December of 2014 and he became the starting right tackle in next year in training camp. He has played at a high level and he hasn’t missed a game since.

In a muddled NFC, why not the Redskins?  With Aaron Rodgers sidelined and everyone in the NFC looking vulnerable, the Redskins could have a chance to make a deep playoff run this year. The key word is could and they will have to do some things right, starting with beating the Eagles on Sunday. Even a loss in Philly wouldn’t be fatal for their chances. Take a look at the post and see if you agree with me.

Hopkins to IR, Redskins sign Nick Rose—Allen wasn’t the only Redskins player to go in injured reserve this week. Dustin Hopkins suffered a hip injury that is going to take six to eight weeks to rehab so he hit IR. We will see if he comes back, which he could do in Week 15 against the Cardinals. That will depend on his health and on how well replacement kicker Nick Rose is performing.

5 overlooked stories from the Redskins-49ers game—There was plenty of (justified) pre-game hand wringing over Josh Norman being inactive for the 49ers game. But it turned out that replacement Quinton Dunbar played well. The Niners tried to get to him—he was targeted 14 times—but held up well. Check out some details on Dunbar’s play and four other things that weren’t talked about enough.

Week 7 stats, trends, and storylines—The Redskins are still banged up going into this game. While they have been able avoid major injuries since the season started with the exceptions of Allen and Hopkins, they have had enough nagging type injuries to hamper the team’s effectiveness, especially on defense. Take a look at other storylines and see how the Redskins are trending in key statistical categories.

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.

Take a look at what happened on Friday at Redskins Park with this Twitter moment.

Tandler on Twitter

From the locker room

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