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Need to Know: A heavy workload for Perry Riley

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Need to Know: A heavy workload for Perry Riley

Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, September 11, four days before the Redskins play the Packers at Lambeau Field.

Nickel coverage

1. Starting inside linebacker Perry Riley played 81 of the team’s 83 snaps on defense and then 16 more on special teams. Meanwhile, backup ILB Nick Barnett was active but did not play. I’m not sure why a healthy, active linebacker is sitting out special teams altogether while a starter playing against a hurry-up offense designed to wear down a defense is taking on extra duties covering kicks.

2. Riley was one of 13 defensive players who played more than 20 snaps. Barnett was one of seven active defensive players who played fewer than 10 snaps. For all of the talk about how deep this team is you’d think they might have utilized that depth a bit more against a team running the offense the Eagles did.

3. It looks like Pro Football Focus was more impressed with the Redskins’ offensive line than I was when I did my offensive grades. I gave the unit a D while PFF (premium content) gave all but Tyler Polumbus a positive rating and the right tackle was only minus-0.4. I did point out that two of the three sacks of RG3 came on blitzes and may have been the responsibility of backs who didn’t pick them up. Still, I just thought they didn’t look like they have their act together and Griffin faced consistent pass pressure up the middle. Perhaps we’re both right, they performed OK as individuals but they didn’t work as a cohesive unity.

4. It wasn't exactly stunning to learn that someone from the NFL telling Robert Griffin III to put his knee brace inside his uniform pants was the result of a "miscommunication". It just seemed dumb after he wore the brace on the outside last year. You have to think that the brace functions better when it's worn where it was designed to be worn.

5. Pierre Garçon is taking some heat for the Cary Williams interception, the play early in the third quarter that set up what proved to be the winning points for the Eagles. Some are saying that he should have come back to the ball instead of letting Williams dive and make the pick. Maybe he should have but I don’t think he expected Williams to come flying into the picture and grab the ball. Garçon wasn’t inclined to move up and meet the ball because he wanted to make sure he maintained enough yardage to convert the third and 11. It looks to me like Williams just make a heck of a play.

Stat of the day

—Griffin completed 25 of 36 passes in the last 29 minutes of play on Monday. In entire games last year he only had more attempts once (39 vs. Carolina) and more completions once (26 @ Bucs). Obviously putting the ball in the air that many times is not part of the Redskins’ game plan.

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Timeline

—Days until: Redskins @ Packers 4; Lions @ Redskins 11; Redskins @ Raiders 18

—Today’s schedule: Player availability in locker room 11:15; Practice 1:00; Robert Griffin III and Mike Shanahan news conferences after practice (approx. 3:00)

In case you missed it

Little time to breathe for defense as Packers are next

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Redskins Fan of the Year bracket: Which Washington supporter deserves the title?

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Redskins Fan of the Year bracket: Which Washington supporter deserves the title?

Every week during the 2017 Redskins season, NBC Sports Washington found two Redskins fans in the crowd and paired them in a head-to-head matchup on Twitter to determine the fan of the game.

And now that the season is over, it's time to take each of those winners, throw them into a NCAA Tournament-style bracket and let Twitter pick the Redskins Fan of the Year.

Starting on January 8 over on the @NBCSRedskins Twitter account, one matchup a day will be posted at 11 a.m., and fans will have 24 hours to vote for their favorite supporter by retweeting or liking depending on their preference. Week 1's winner will face off with Week 17's, Week 2's will play Week 16's, etc.

The winners will advance, and eventually, one member of the Burgundy and Gold faithful will stand above all the rest, earning the coveted title of Redskins Fan of the Year. 

Check out the results below, which'll be updated every day. To see the tweet that corresponded with each matchup, click the link after the date, but remember, retweets and likes submitted after the 24-hour period won't be counted.

January 8: Round one, matchup one

This was a close one that came down to the last-minute, but at the 24-hour mark, Week 17's winner garnered justtttttttt enough retweets to move on.

January 9: Round one, matchup two

In this tournament, a giant Redskins chain is apparently worth more than a giant football hat.

January 10: Round one, matchup three

In the tournament's third showdown, we have our first winner from the Likes side:

January 11: Round one, matchup four

Was there anyway she wasn't gonna win, especially with the little Hogettes nose?

January 12: Round one, matchup five

Our fifth matchup's winner earned the most retweets of anyone up to this point:

January 15: Round one, matchup six

These three 'Skins fans had to witness Washington's Thursday night flop in Dallas, so it's only fair that they get to advance to the second round:

January 16: Round one, matchup seven

There's still time to vote on this one:

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Who will be the Redskins' core offensive players three years from now?

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Who will be the Redskins' core offensive players three years from now?

Just before training camp, I took a stab at figuring out who on the Redskins roster would still be with the team and contributing in the year 2020. Now that the season is over, let’s revisit that look, move it up to 2021, and see how much the picture has changed. The offense is up today, the defense later this week.

The terms used here are mostly self-explanatory. If you want details you can look at this post from a couple of years ago.   

Offense (age as of Week 1 2021)

Potential blue-chip players: Brandon Scherff (29), Morgan Moses (30)
Changes from last prediction: Moses added, removed Trent Williams (33), Jordan Reed (31)

Scherff and Moses both are two young players who should get better with more experience. The right side of the line will be in good hands assuming the Redskins will be able to re-sign Scherff, who will be a free agent following the 2019 season.

MORE REDSKINS: WHAT CAN THE REDSKINS LEARN FROM THE PLAYOFFS?

Williams will be 33 in 2021. He can play at a very high level at that age but I think he will be just below the perennial Pro Bowl status he enjoys now. Although I think that the Redskins can still get some good play out of Reed in the next couple of years, it’s hard to imagine him staying productive into his 30’s. He is under contract through 2021 but it’s hard to see him playing in Washington past 2020.

Solid starters: Jamison Crowder (28), Josh Doctson (27), Chris Thompson (30), Williams
Changes: Doctson, Thompson, Williams added, Kirk Cousins (33), Terrelle Pryor (32), Moses removed.

I’m probably higher on Doctson than most. I don’t see him attaining All-Pro status or catching 100 passes in a season but his physical talent is so good that he will be a solid, productive receiver for the next several years. The Redskins will need to find a third receiver but they will have two good ones in Crowder and Doctson.

Third-down back isn’t technically a starting position but Thompson should still be contributing as much to the offense as many starters.

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I think that Cousins will be a solid starter somewhere in 2021 but it is not looking like it will be in Washington. Pryor obviously did not work out and he is very likely to be playing elsewhere next year.

Potential starters: Spencer Long (30), Rob Kelley (28), Samaje Perine (25), Chase Roullier (28)
Changes: Added Roullier, moved Doctson up

Long could be a fixture on the O-line in 2021 or he could be signed by a different team in March. I don’t think that Kelley or Perine will be workhorse backs but either or both could be a part of a tandem. Roullier could move up to the “solid starters” category if he can repeat what he did in a small sample size (7 starts) in 2017.

There are other players who could end up on these lists a year from now. But we haven’t seen enough of 2017 draft picks TE Jeremy Sprinkle or WR Robert Davis to offer an intelligent assessment of where their careers are headed. It’s the same with undrafted linemen Tyler Catalina and Kyle Kalis. They might not make the team in 2018 or they could be competing for starting jobs in 2019.

There also are reserves like Ryan Grant (30) and Ty Nsekhe (35) who still could be on the roster but who would only be spot starters.

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.