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Dolphins getting the 'Hard Knocks' treatment

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Dolphins getting the 'Hard Knocks' treatment

Afterahalf-dozen reportedly passed on being the subject for the documentary-style series "Hard Knocks", HBO has found a destination.The premium cable channel will be taking its talented film crew to South Beach.Miami Dolphins coach Joe Philbin told reporters on Monday that the team will be the subject of the behind the scenes series. Of course he did so right after I piggybacked on an NFL.com post where the site asked its cadre of analysts and writers to come up withtheir ideal team for the 247-esque show. Whether intentional or not, nineselectors led to nine different final selections. Nobody picked the Dolphins.Even though this could be a trying season for Miami, there are some interesting angles. The Dolphinshave their own first-round quarterback in Ryan Tannehill. Too bad he has almost no viable receivers to play catch with. Reggie Bush looks topost a second straight solid seasons (plus there will be the gratuitous Kim Kardashian references). Year onewith a new head coach, sure, why not.For me,I'd love the Patriots, but I cannot fathom Bill Belichick agreeing to have cameras follow him around; there are only so many ways he can say nothing. Beyond the dream of having 247 access with the hoodie and the hair (Tom Brady),my preferred list was as follows...3) Jaguars - I agree, if you're going to go with a Florida team, better Miami over Jacksonville. However, after hearing the Jaguars were openly pushing for the show,it seemed logical for theleague to get its least popular team some press.Spending a few weeks in Jacksonville, even on television, does not soundterribly appealing, though in this caseI blame that mostly on a roster devoid of starsoutside of the human bowling ball Maurice Jones-Drew. Then again, this level ofcoverage would bump up the team's Q-rating and likely my interest in checking their regular season games outduringthe season for reasons beyond fantasy football or the generic office pool. Personally, I am intrigued aboutthe quarterback battle between Blaine Gabbert, Chad Henne and DavidGarrard. Guess I'll have to monitor the internet for such things.2) Colts - Even though owner Jim Irsay recently said onTwitter his team may not be ready for the spotlight, this could have worked.The post-Peyton Manning world shouldmake for terrific TV, with the madcap Irsay leading the way. There isAndrew Luck's first NFL training camp. A brand new coach is taking over and thisone (Chuck Pagano) appears to be alive unlike his predecessor, the zombie-facedJim Caldwell. Plus, I am dying to know why on earth Reggie Wayne chose to stayin Indy.1) Lions - From historically inept to playoff contender. The Matthew Stafford-to-Calvin Johnsonconnection. Jim Schwartz (hopefully) chasing down more NFL head coaches headedto their postgame locker room. Nick Fairley's growing rap sheet. JahvidBest's recovery from a serious concussion. Betting on whether Eminem or KidRock makes the first Motor City bad boy singerrapper cameo. Ndamukong Suhdoing Ndamukong Suh things. Seeing if by the time preseason ends the team'stotal number of offseason arrests is greater than the number of Matt Millenjokes made during the series. The Lions were the team for me, but you never heard anyone complain about hanging in Miami over Detroit. I won't be the first.Ben Standig blogs about the Redskins, Wizards, Hoyas and the D.C.area college basketball scene for CSNwashington. You can reach him by email at bstandig@comcast.net, follow him on Twitter @BenStandig and catch his musings at the D.C. Sportalist.

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Need to Know: Redskins to face Eagles’ clutch Carson Wentz, productive Zach Ertz

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Need to Know: Redskins to face Eagles’ clutch Carson Wentz, productive Zach Ertz

Here is what you need to know on this Friday, October 20, three days before the Washington Redskins visit the Philadelphia Eagles for Monday night football.

Timeline

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

Days until:

—Cowboys @ Redskins (10/29) 9
—Redskins @ Seahawks (11/5) 16
—Giants @ Redskins Thanksgiving (11/23) 34

Injuries of note:
Not practicing
: OT Trent Williams (knee), OT Ty Nsekhe (core muscle)
Limited: CB Josh Norman (rib), CB Bashaud Breeland (knee), S Deshazor Everett (hamstring), RB Rob Kelley (ankle), OLB Ryan Anderson (back), S Stefan McClure (knee). OL Tyler Catalina (concussion protocol).
It was encouraging that Breeland and Norman practiced although Jay Gruden noted that they both took place only in individual drills. See the full injury report here.  

First look at Redskins vs Eagles

Number that pops out—LeGarrette Blount, who had a career average of 4.4 yards per carry coming into the year, is averaging 5.6 yards per carry, fourth in the NFL. Not bad for a guy who is supposed to be a lumbering power back. The key to stopping him is the same as it always has been, getting the north-south runner to go east-west. The Redskins did a solid job against him in Week 1, limiting him to a 3.3-yard average on his 14 carries.

The clutch gene? Carson Wentz is the MVP favorite right now and the thing is that his stats are very good but not very impressive. He ranks 10th in net yards per attempt, 25th in completion percentage, eighth in yards per game, and seventh in passer rating. But he gets it done when it counts. Seven of his 16 touchdown passes have come on third down. His passer rating of 130 on third down is 10 points better than the second-best in that category, a guy named Tom Brady. As a result, the Eagles get first downs on 53 percent of their third-down passes, also best in the league.

Third down passing the key—The Redskins allow conversions on 35.7 percent of third-down passes, 16th in the NFL. If this game ends up with third downs near the Redskins’ season performance they will be in good shape. If the Eagles convert half of their third downs or more, the visitors will be in trouble.

Protecting Kirk Cousins—The Eagles have 14 sacks on the year. They got four against the Redskins in the season opener so they have 10 in their five games since. Their leading sacker is Brandon Graham, who has four on the season. Two of those came in the opener so he has two in the other five games. He will again be lined up against Morgan Moses, who had one of his worst games since becoming a starter against Philly. If Moses plays as well as he has since Week 1 Cousins could have time to have one of his usual big games against the Eagles.

Yes, Ertz is a pain— This is kind of hard to believe but Zach Ertz, who has been in the league since 2013, is third all-time in tight end receptions against the Redskins with 54. He’s behind only Jason Witten and Jackie Smith and ahead of Jeremy Shockey, Mark Bavaro, and Jay Novaeck. Ertz has played nine games against Washington; Witten has played 28 and Smith played 27. So if it seems like Ertz is always a thorn in the Redskins’ side, it’s because he is.

Potpourri: Wentz is the Eagles’ second-leading rusher with 133 yards on 32 carries . . . The Eagles have the third-best special teams DVOA in the league. On punt returns, they are averaging 16 yards per and giving up an average of 5.6 yards. That’s a lot of hidden field position.

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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From the locker room

Josh Norman talking about how it felt when he put some stress on his broken rib during practice on Thursday.

Posted by Rich Tandler on Thursday, October 19, 2017

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Kirk Cousins is real nice - and 3 other things we learned from the 49ers game

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Kirk Cousins is real nice - and 3 other things we learned from the 49ers game

Kirk Cousins got mic'd up during the Redskins win over the 49ers last Sunday, and well, it confirmed a few things Washington fans already knew about their quarterback. 

For starters, Cousins is a nice guy. A real nice guy.

On one play, Cousins completes a pass downfield while facing a bit of pressure. As soon as he throws the ball, he starts shouting to his offensive line, "Good pocket! Great pocket!"

He keeps going, "Hey that was you guys. I took forever, I took forever. Hey nice job."

NFL quarterbacks like to thank their offensive lines, but not always immediately, even while the play is going on. Kirk is a nice guy.

Some other things learned from the mic'd up session:

  • Josh Doctson has a nickname. It's "Papa Doc." No idea if that's an 8 Mile reference. 
  • Trent Williams believes Kirk Cousins' shoulder is worth $200 million. And he might be right. 
  • Kirk Cousins wants to stay aggresive. He laid it out to QB coach Kevin O'Connell. Cousins explained during the Redskins early lead:

"Sometimes I get in a weird place, you get a lead like this. Where you start playing conservative, not to lose. It’s smart to do that but it also kinda hinders your ability to just go play."

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