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Mailbag: Will Morgan Moses start for the Redskins in 2014?

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Mailbag: Will Morgan Moses start for the Redskins in 2014?

I got so many good questions on Twitter and on the Real Redskins Facebook page that I decided to do a two-parter. Here's Part One from yesterday, let's get rolling to the rest of them.
@Rich_TandlerCSN what is the most exciting position battle for the #Redskins before the season starts? #RedskinsTalk

— ThePorchReport (@ThePorchReport) June 24, 2014
I think that the one that will play out in plain sight in Richmond and in the preseason games is the place kicker battle between Kai Forbath and Zach Hocker. Although Forbath has been solid on field goals in his year and a half in the NFL his kickoffs have left a lot to be desired. If Hocker can consistently boom long field goals at the Bon Secours training center and kicks off deep into the end zone he will give Forbath a run for his money. Among the "real" football players, I think there will be a lot of competition along the defensive line. I don't see any surprise cuts there at this point but they will battle it out for game day active status and playing time.

I don't see that happening to any great extent. They will let Morris do what he does best, run the football. Roy Helu and, eventually, Lache Seastrunk will catch passes. I will say that Morris probably will catch more than the nine he caught last year, perhaps enough to make the defense have to pay some attention to him. But don't look for it to become anything more than a very minor part of the offense.
@ConnorMelamed: @Rich_TandlerCSN Is there any chance Morgan Moses takes RT by week 1? #RedskinsTalk

— Connor Melamed (@ConnorMelamed) June 24, 2014
@Rich_TandlerCSN Every time Moses' comes up, Gruden goes out of his way to say how much work he needs. Is he really that bad? #RedskinsTalk

— Michael Church (@fft5305) June 24, 2014
Let's take both of the Moses questions at once here. I think that there's a slim chance that Moses starts against the Texans but I'm looking at him being the 2015 opening day starter. As far as what Gruden says about him, well, a third-round rookie offensive lineman needs a lot of work. It's simply a fact. On top of that, I get the impression that Moses is the type of player who needs to be pushed. Many rookies, high draft picks and undrafted free agents and everyone in between, come into the NFL without a clue as to the work ethic needed to be successful in the NFL. That doesn't mean they're "lazy", it means they need to take it to another level. I don't think Gruden wanted Moses to get comfortable during OTAs and minicamp, moving him from side to side and keeping the pressure on him with, among other things, his comments to the media.

I don't see any Week 1 surprises. Ryan Clark and Brandon Meriweather are the odds-on favorite to start the season at free and strong safety, respectively. I'll give Phillip Thomas a 20 percent chance of pushing Meriweather to the bench; Clark is safe. As far as Week 17, man, that's a long way off. Will they be resting their starters for the playoffs? Seriously, I'd say there is an 80 percent chance that Thomas has beaten out Meriweather for the starting job by then.
@Rich_TandlerCSN Haven't heard anything about Minnifield in OTAs or Minicamp. How is he doing? #RedskinsTalk

— Derek Childress (@Poker_Donkey) June 24, 2014
He hasn't really stood out in a good or bad way. Minnifield should be fully healthy; he had to deal with both microfracture surgery and a torn ACL as a rookie in 2012. The depth chart at CB has numbers but not a lot of high quality. There will be an opportunity for him to win a job in training camp, especially if he embraces the idea of playing special teams, something he didn't have much enthusiasm for after he made the 53-man roster last year. That got him a permanent spot on the game day inactive list.

Thanks for reading, Scott! Tell your friends. And I think you're close on the O-line. I just don't see Long starting over Chester at this point in time. He might before the season is out but I think Week 1 Chester survives.

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Need to Know: Quarterbacks win championships and other lessons for the Redskins

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Need to Know: Quarterbacks win championships and other lessons for the Redskins

Here is what you need to know on this Monday, January 22, 51 days before NFL free agency starts.

Timeline  

Days until:

—NFL franchise tag deadline (3/6) 43
—NFL Draft (4/26) 94
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 230

Quarterbacks win championships and other lessons the Redskins can learn

Quarterback matters: We had the setup of the three castaway and ridiculed quarterbacks leading their teams into the NFL’s final four. But the two who survived were one of the greatest of all time and one who found his groove and had 10.7 yards per attempt and a 141.4 passer rating. Yes, Tom Brady and Nick Foles had a lot of help and we’ll get into that in a minute. But without excellent play from their quarterbacks, it may have been a different story for the Eagles and Patriots. This doesn’t mean that the Redskins need to spend send truckloads of money to Kirk Cousins’ house, but if they don’t, they do need a quality alternative. You won’t win with Bortles-level play.

Defense matters: The Vikings rolled right down the field on their first possession and it looked like the Eagles defense was going to have a long night. But then Chris Long got pressure on Case Keenum leading a pick six that apparently energized the Philly defense. Rookie Derek Barnett knocked the ball out of Keenum’s hand when the Vikings were threatening to make a game of it. Minnesota came up empty in its last eight possessions. As the Eagles offense started to build a lead, their defense played faster and more aggressively. At this point, the Redskins don’t have the personnel or the mindset to play that way on defense.

Does running really matter? It’s a small sample size here but in the two games yesterday it did not. The Patriots ran for all of 46 yards. The Eagles got 110 but at the point in the third quarter where they took a 31-7 lead, they had 202 yards passing and 40 yards rushing. Running the ball was not decisive in either game. Offensively, the games were won in the air. Jay Gruden’s “pass happy” approach can be a winning approach.

Stay aggressive: At times during the year, Cousins expressed some frustration in the Redskins’ inability or perhaps unwillingness to keep the pedal mashed to the floor when they had a lead. I hit on the Eagles’ aggressiveness on defense, but their offense didn’t slow down either. They were up 21-7 when they got the ball on their own 20 with 29 seconds left in the first half. In that situations, the Redskins—and, in fact, most other teams—would run a draw, throw a short pass, and let the clock run out. But Doug Pederson was having none of that. Passes for 11, 36, and 13 yards got them down to the Vikings 20 and they kicked a field goal to close out the half. If the game wasn’t over then it was early in the third quarter when Pederson called a flea flicker and Foles hit Torrey Smith for 42 yards and a touchdown.

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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What can the Redskins learn from the Eagles run to the Super Bowl?

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What can the Redskins learn from the Eagles run to the Super Bowl?

For Redskins fans, it's probably a tough pill to swallow that the Eagles are in the Super Bowl. Making matters worse, Philadelphia got to the championship game without their star quarterback Carson Wentz.

Beyond the feelings that fandom incites, which are real and severe, what does the Eagles' breakthrough season mean for Washington? Let's take a look. 

Perhaps the most incredible part of the Eagles' success is that wunderkind QB Wentz is not at the helm. The second-year player was an MVP candidate all season but got injured late in the year. Nick Foles, the Philly backup, took over and played well in both Eagles' playoff wins. 

Does that mean much, if anything, for the Redskins? 

Some will argue it means Washington should not look to invest top dollar in QB Kirk Cousins. Foles is not considered a top-flight quarterback and still was able to maneuver his squad to the Super Bowl.

Whether or not that argument makes sense, Redskins fans should prepare to hear a lot of it over the next two weeks. 

There is also a theory that the Redskins should eschew spending at QB in favor of spending on defense. 

That may very well be the right move, but don't look to the Eagles to support the theory. 

Philadelphia spent $47 million on the defensive side of the ball in 2017. On offense, they spent $56 million.

What is definitely true?

The Eagles played terrific football in the postseason, and catapulted through the NFC by playing the underdog role.

Redskins fans might hate it, but the Eagles absolutely earned their Super Bowl appearance. 

That doesn't mean Redskins fans have to like it. 

Philadelphia has never won a Super Bowl. 

Now, standing in the way of their first Lombardi Trophy: Bill Belichick, Tom Brady and the New England Patriots. 

Click here to follow JP on Facebook and check out @JPFinlayNBCS for live updates via Twitter! Click here for the #RedskinsTalk on Apple Podcastshere for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!