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Need to Know: 5 (non-RG3) notes and quotes from Jay Gruden's news conference

Need to Know: 5 (non-RG3) notes and quotes from Jay Gruden's news conference

Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, November 18, five days before the Washington Redskins travel to San Francisco to play the 49ers.

Non-RG3 notes and quotes from Gruden’s Monday new conference

—At 3-6 the playoffs were a long shot but still in the realm of possibility. Slim chance went to no chance after Sunday and the team is recalibrating its goals. “Right now—yesterday—we took a major step backwards towards regression,” said Gruden. “We have got to figure out a way to make sure we continue to show some improvement and put yesterday behind us and figure out ways that we can get better so we have something to feel good about as we finish the season.”

—Jason Hatcher said that he didn’t want to talk about the practices leading up to the Bucs game, leading many to believe that the sessions were not sharp. Gruden disagreed. “I thought the tempo was pretty good . . . It just didn’t carry over to Sunday for whatever reason,” he said. “So, we just have got to make sure we continue to monitor our practices – make sure the tempo’s good, make sure the fundamentals are sound, and continue coaching these guys up and not let anything get swept under the rug if things go wrong. Maybe we did that too much last week. I’ll go back and watch it and see.”

—After the game, we found out that Mike Evan’s 56-yard touchdown catch that put the game out of reach in the fourth quarter was a communication mix-up. There was supposed to be a blitz and Josh McCown should have been on his back before delivering the ball. “Based on the blitz that was drawn up, Perry [Riley] was supposed to blitz,” said Gruden. “There was a little confusion there and Keenan [Robinson] was supposed to cover the deep middle, and we were hoping based on the pressure that Josh wouldn’t have had those extra three hitches to drop it deep to Mike Evans.” We will have to wait for the NFL to come out with the all-22 tape to see where Robinson was on the play. In any case, Riley was in coverage when he should have been blitzing.

—Fans would like to see the Redskins blitz more, especially after they got just two sacks against a Bucs team that was having pass protection issues. But there are risks, according to Gruden. “You put your corners on an island and sometimes you – when they change strength, you have to change with them and one guy has got to blitz and one guy has got to drop. Sometimes there’s some miscommunication there. But basically, when the offense happens to pick up the blitz and they’re in max protection, then you’re one-on-one with [Bashaud] Breeland or your corners against elite receivers like Vincent Jackson and Mike Evans. It puts them on an island. There are risks involved in blitzing, but there are definite rewards also.”

—The team has an NFL-low three interceptions and Gruden said there isn’t much the coaches can do about except preach fundamentals. “[Jim] Haslett can’t intercept the ball for the guys,” he said. “We have to have guys break on the ball and make some plays. We have to have defensive linemen get their hands up in passing lanes and linebackers read the quarterbacks’ eyes and getting their hands up in passing lanes. And we just have to do a good job as a team defense, getting pressure on the quarterback and forcing errant throws.


Today’s schedule: Off day, no availability

Days until: Redskins @ 49ers 5; Redskins @ Colts 12; Rams @ Redskins 19

If you have any questions about what's going on at Redskins Park, hit me up in the comments. I'll answer all questions as soon as I can get to them. And I'm always on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—All-Redskins mock, fast-fading interest in Dez

Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—All-Redskins mock, fast-fading interest in Dez

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, April 21, five days before the 2018 NFL draft.  

The Redskins week that was

A look at some of the most popular posts and hottest topics of the week on Real Redskins and NBC Sports Washington

Should the Redskins pursue Dez Bryant? This topic was one like a meteor, very hot for a short period of time before it quickly faded out. It started to heat up as soon as the Cowboys cut Dez (about a month too late) and when it was reported that he wanted to play against Dallas twice a year it really picked up steam. But then people started to actually think and figured out that signing Bryant didn’t make much sense for the Redskins. Add to that the reports that the Redskins had no interest and would not look into signing Dez in the future and the Redskins fans quickly lost enthusiasm for the topic.

Seven-round Redskins mock draft—I think that most Redskins fans would be happy with this mock. Well, I’ll say some Redskins fans, most is a pretty strong word in this case. 

Is the draft pool deep enough for the Redskins to trade back? There is plenty of talk about the Redskins trading down in the first round to recoup the third-round pick they gave up in the Alex Smith trade. But they need to be careful. Many consider the draft to be top heavy and they may lose their chance to pick up an impact player if they trade back too far. The question then becomes one of quality vs. quantity. 

Three questions as offseason workouts get underway—There will be plenty more questions that we can ask about this team. But we don’t really know what to ask before the draft, particularly when it comes to the defensive line and running back. One the personnel settle into place we will know what we don’t know. 

Tweet of the week

On Chris Cooley’s thought that the Redskins might try to trade back and get Da’Ron Payne in the draft and the use the assets obtained to move up to get Derrius Guice. 

This is related to the questions about trading back. On paper it looks like a good idea, assuming the Redskins want Payne. We’re pretty sure they would like to have Guice but we haven’t heard as much about the Alabama defensive lineman. 

I had many reply that Guice won’t be there in the second round. It’s possible, perhaps even likely, but you just don’t know. There was zero chance that Jonathan Allen would be there at No. 17 last year, right? 

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page, and follow him on Twitter  @TandlerNBCS.


Days until:

—OTAs start (5/22) 31
—Training camp starts (7/26) 96
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 141

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Redskins' schedule "rest disparity" is very fair in 2018

Redskins' schedule "rest disparity" is very fair in 2018

The NFL started taking into account a new factor when putting together its schedule this year. The concept is called rest disparity. It stems from a complaint made by the Giants last year. And, of course, when the Giants have a cold, the NFL sneezes and immediately does whatever it takes to cure the cold. 

Here is how Peter King laid it out this morning on the MMQB:

Last year, I heard the Giants were not pleased with their schedule because they felt they were too often playing teams more rested than they were. In consecutive October weeks, they played teams coming off byes, for instance. The NFL calculated a figure for every team based on the number of combined days of rest for their foes or for the team, calculating, for instance, in those two weeks, the Giants were a minus-14 (minus-seven for each of the foes, Seattle and Denver, coming off byes). In all, by my math, the Giants were a league-worst minus-22 in “rest disparity.”

So the schedule makers worked to minimize the rest disparity this year. According to King, the worst rest disparity in the league this year is minus-11. The Giants are minus-eight. 

The question that Redskins fans will have immediately here is if the Giants’ rest disparity was reduced at the expense of the team in burgundy and gold. The answer that will surprise many is no. 

The Redskins rest disparity in 2018 will be either minus-one or zero. The variance is due to the possibility that their Week 16 game in Tennessee will be flexed to a Saturday game (see details here). If the game stays on Sunday, they will be at minus-one in rest disparity. If it gets moved, they will have had exactly as much rest over the course of the season as did their opponents, in aggregate. 

If you're interested in the nitty-gritty, here is how it breaks down. In eight or nine of their games, they will have had the same amount of rest as their opponents. They play one game coming off of their bye, a Monday night game in New Orleans. The Saints play the previous Sunday, giving Washington a plus-seven in days of rest. That is canceled out when they play the Falcons in Week 9 after Atlanta’s bye. 

Due to their Thanksgiving game, they get three extra days off going into their Week 13 Monday night game in Philadelphia. Two weeks later the Jaguars will have those three extra days of rest when they host the Redskins, having played on Thursday in Week 14.

They lose a day relative to their opponents coming off of those Monday night games against the Saints and Eagles. The Redskins get an extra day prior to visiting the Giants in Week 8 as New York has a Monday night game in Week 7. 

So far, that comes to minus-one in rest disparity. That will remain in place if they play the Titans on Sunday, December 23. If the game is flexed to Saturday, they will gain a day of rest on the Eagles in Week 17, zeroing out the rest disparity for the season. 

More Redskins

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page, and follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.