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Need to Know: Gruden's extension further increases his power in Redskins organization

Need to Know: Gruden's extension further increases his power in Redskins organization

Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, March 7, two days before the March 9 start of NFL free agency.  

Timeline

Days until:

—Redskins offseason workouts start (4/17) 41
—NFL Draft (4/27) 51
—Franchise tag contract deadline (7/15) 130
—First Sunday of 2017 season (9/10) 187

Gruden’s influence is growing

When Jay Gruden signed as the Redskins’ head coach, his authority did not extend much beyond the white lines. His power in the draft room and in determining the 90 players on the offseason roster was only in an advisory capacity. That power belonged to Bruce Allen and Scot McCloughan.

It’s not unusual for a first-time head coach to have 90-man roster control. However, many coaches are given power to form the 53-man roster out of those 90 players. Gruden did not have that authority either. Again, he could make his recommendations and fight for what he wanted but if there was a disagreement it was Allen or McCloughan who won.

A year after he came on board his chances of gaining any more power seemed to be greatly diminished on the heels of tumultuous 4-12 season that saw him shuffle Robert Griffin III, Kirk Cousins, and Colt McCoy due to injuries and ineffectiveness. There was talk that he could be one and done in Washington.

RELATED: NFL Mock Draft Version 4.0

That never really was an option as Gruden was only one year into a five-year contract. But a weak showing in 2015 might have led to an early exit.

But Gruden survived because he grabbed control. He benched Griffin, the favorite of upper management, who saw both marketing opportunities and the massive investment of draft capital they had put into Griffin, and made Cousins the starter.

It’s one thing to make a risky move, it’s another if it has good results. The QB change came up aces. The Redskins went 9-7 with Cousins throwing for over 4,000 yards and getting particularly hot down the stretch as the Redskins recovered from a bumpy start to finish hot and take the NFC East title.

Such a decision can go a long way towards establishing yourself as someone in the organization who should be listened to. The move didn’t do anything to Gruden’s contracted power, or lack thereof. But you must believe that his “suggestions” for who should stay and who should go get taken a lot more seriously. If he wants the team to keep a particular free agent or let him go, his word carries more weight than his contract says it does. His voice carries more weight in late April in the draft war room.

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Now with the backdrop of his contract extension through 2020 and the vacuum created by apparent shrinking of Scot McCloughan’s role, it looks like he could gather even more authority, formally or otherwise. Other than Dan Snyder and possibly Allen (nobody really seems to know the length the team president’s contract), only Jordan Reed is tied to the Redskins for longer than Gruden.

But for someone in Gruden’s position, power lasts only as long as the results are good. If the quality of his “recommendations” starts to go south, so will his power. And if bad decisions are being made that is usually reflected on the field, something that would put his employment in jeopardy regardless of how long he has to go on his contract.  

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On a report that DeSean Jackson will be looking for $10-$12 million in free agency:

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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/TandlerCSN and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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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.

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From the locker room

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