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Need to Know: 5 things we've learned about the 2014 Redskins

Need to Know: 5 things we've learned about the 2014 Redskins

Here is what you need to know on this Friday, August 29, one day before the Redskins cut their roster to 53.

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The offseason is finally over. The Redskins are going to cut their roster to 53 by 4 p.m. tomorrow, establish their practice squad Sunday, and get to work on Monday. Jay Gruden was hired as the team’s head coach on January 9; here is what we’ve learned about him and the team since then.

They are going to run the ball—Although Gruden may be somewhat reluctant to do it, the Redskins are going to run the ball a lot. “The strength of our football team would be, I would say, our running game,” he said earlier this week. With Robert Griffin III struggling to adjust to being a pocket passer and examining the entire field, that is the wise course of action.

Special teams will be better—Rob Jackson might be a better linebacker than Gabe Miller and Everette Brown but he was released this week anyway. Why? “It’s not just how well you play that position, it’s what you do that can help the team in other spots, special teams for instance,” said Gruden. Remember that when you hear about any cuts tomorrow that don’t make sense on the face of them. The answer will lie special teams. Ben Kotwica will have heavy input into the determination of the last half dozen or so roster spots.

Jim Haslett really is in charge of the defense—A more aggressive defense doesn’t necessarily mean a better defense. But after getting retained as defensive coordinator Haslett will at least get a chance to do things the same way. It seems that Gruden is keeping a proper balance between being aware and meddling.

Alfred Morris is ready for the season—This is a good thing for the Redskins due to the top item in this list. He’s been running with confidence ever since his first carry of OTAs. It continued through training camp and the preseason games.

DeSean Jackson is fast—He didn’t always turn it on 100 percent during the offseason but when he did it was eye catching. It looks like Griffin is still adjusting to having a guy with his speed as a target; they have been very much hit or miss when the media has been able to observe them work. But if/when they ever start to hit consistently it will be something to see.

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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Timeline

Today’s schedule: Off day, no availability

—It’s been 243 days since the Redskins played a game; in nine days they play the Texans in their 2014 season opener.

Days until: Final cuts 1; Home opener vs. Jaguars 16; Redskins @ Eagles 23

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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!

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When is Super Bowl 2018? Date, time, location, odds, TV channel, halftime performer

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USA Today Sports Images

When is Super Bowl 2018? Date, time, location, odds, TV channel, halftime performer

Super Bowl LII (52) will feature the New England Patriots/ Jacksonville Jaguars (AFC Champion) against the Minnesota Vikings/ Philadelphia Eagles (NFC Champion) at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota on February 4, 2018.

If they go on to advance, the Vikings would become the first team to ever ‘host’ the Super Bowl in their home stadium. They are the third to play the game in their home state. Minnesota will be looking for their first Super Bowl title in five tries, the most appearances by any team without a championship.

Philadelphia is looking for their first title ever as well, and doing it with a back-up quarterback Nick Foles. They have been the underdog in every game this postseason; it would be no different in the Super Bowl.

New England is looking for their third Super Bowl over the past four years and their sixth championship since 2001. However, their path in the AFC Playoffs is arguably the easiest in their history. A win by the Patriots would tie the Pittsburgh Steelers for the most in NFL history with six.

The new kids one the block, the Jaguars are one win away from their first Super Bowl appearance in what is already the best year ever for the franchise. If Jacksonville were to pull it off, they would be the tenth team in NFL history to win in their first Super Bowl appearance.

Super Bowl LII Information:

When is Super Bowl 52?

6:15 pm ET, February 4, 2018

Who is playing in Super Bowl 52?

New England Patriots/ Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Minnesota Vikings/ Philadelphia Eagles

Where is Super Bowl 52?

U.S. Bank Stadium, Minnesota

How can I watch Super Bowl 52 on TV?

NBC

Where can I stream Super Bowl 52?

The Super Bowl can be streamed for free on NBCSports.com and on the NBC Sports app.

Online with no cable TV: fubtoTV (Try for free)

Who are the announcers for Super Bowl 52?

Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth, Michele Tafoya, Heather Cox

Who is performing the Super Bowl 52 halftime show?

Justin Timberlake is the Pepsi Super Bowl halftime performer. It is his third Super Bowl performance, previously performing in Super Bowl XXV and more famously in XXVIII with Janet Jackson.

What are the odds for Super Bowl 52?

New England Patriots: 6/5
Minnesota Vikings: 7/4
Philadelphia Eagles: 7/1
Jacksonville Jaguars: 8/1