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Need to Know: A learning process for Amerson

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Need to Know: A learning process for Amerson

Here is what you need to know on this Friday, September 27, two days before the Redskins visit the Raiders.

Nickel coverage

Five things you need to know about from Redskins Park.

1. According to FootballZebras.com, Bill Leavy will be the referee for Sunday’s game in Oakland. He worked two Redskins games last year, the one at FedEx Field against the Falcons (a 24-17 loss) and the Thanksgiving Day game in Dallas (a 38-31 win). In both games he called more penalties against the home team than he did against the visitors.

2. It doesn’t look like Jordan Reed will be able to go in Oakland. Today in the locker room he said that his bruised quad hurt all the time and was even worse when he bent his knee. It seems like he’ll need the bye week to recover. That might be OK even if Fred Davis, who was limited in practice for a second straight day with an ankle injury. Logan Paulsen might be the best guy to start and play most of the snaps against the Raiders if the Redskins intend to run the ball early and often.

3. Rob Jackson was in the locker room today and he’s very happy that his four-game suspension is almost over. He will be able to rejoin the team on Monday. Since his suspension was under the substance abuse policy (and not under the PED policy) he has been able to work out with strength and conditioning coach Ray Wright and attend meetings at Redskins Park. “Hopefully it won't be too hard,” he said when asked if it would be hard to knock off the rust. “What me and Ray been doing out there kept me in pretty good shape and movement, side to side, lateral things like that.”

4. The field at O.co Coliseum (yes, that’s actually the name of the place now) will have a dirt infield at one end since the Oakland A’s, the Raiders’ co-tenants there, are still playing. Ryan Kerrigan knows that the Redskins will just have to deal with it. “I really don't know what to expect,” he said. I haven't played on any dirt since I played high school baseball. We're all dealing with the same elements so it's not an excuse if your first step isn't as good or you lose your footing. It's the same footing for the offensive line and tight ends we'll be going against so we can't really use that as an excuse.”

5. David Amerson had a rookie-type day with some nice plays mixed in with some “what was he thinking” plays. ““Yeah, I think it’s a learning process,” said Jim Haslett when asked about Amerson’s development. “Remember he’s a junior coming out, a young guy, this is really his senior year in college, so you’re going to have some of those. Obviously we don’t want to have them. We have got to eliminate those things. To be a good defense, to get back to where this football team needs to be, we’ve got to cut all those out.”

Stat of the day

—Alfred Morris has 225 yards rushing this year. Through three games in 2013 he had 263 yards on the ground. Morris currently is on pace to rush for 1,200 yards.

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Timeline

—Days until: Redskins @ Raiders 2; Redskins @ Cowboys 16; Bears @ Redskins 23

—Today’s schedule: Practice 11:50; player availability and Mike Shanahan news conference after practice (approx. 1:00); Note: The Redskins will leave for California later today.

Kyle on Griffin’s interception 

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Need to Know: Five players who are wild cards for the 2018 Redskins

Need to Know: Five players who are wild cards for the 2018 Redskins

Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, April 19, seven days before the 2018 NFL draft.  

Five wild cards for the 2018 Redskins

We know what to expect out of many members of the Redskins. Ryan Kerrigan will register between 10 and 13 sacks. Zach Brown will be among the league leaders in tackles. Jamison Crowder will compile about 800 yards receiving. But we really don’t know what to expect out of a lot of the players expected to play key roles. Here are five of them.

S Montae Nicholson—Although most of the uncertainty surrounding Nicholson is about his health, we really don’t know what he can do over a full season. Sure, he looked good in the six games he played last year but opposing offenses did not have much of a chance to probe his weaknesses. If he stays healthy, his ability to adjust to what the offenses are doing against him will be the next phase of his development. 

CB Fabian Moreau—As a rookie, he was impressive as a punt team gunner, but he got very limited playing time on defense (59 snaps, only seven after Week 5). The Redskins will be counting on him stepping into a bigger role after the departures of Bashaud Breeland and Kendall Fuller. He has the tools but we won’t know how well he can handle the job until he gets extended playing time. 

WR Maurice Harris—Last year he went from spectacular to invisible in a hurry. He made a sensational catch for 36 yards and a touchdown against the Vikings the first time he was targeted. In five games after that, he had just three receptions for 26 yards. Should he have had more playing time (76 snaps)? Or did he just not earn more targets? The real Maurice Harris should come to the forefront in 2018.

NT Phil Taylor—You know the story here. He was looking great in training camp until a quad injury sidelined him for the season. Taylor is healthy enough for the Redskins to give him another chance but this is a player who has not taken the field since November of 2014. We simply don’t know what to expect out of him even if he does make into Week 1 in good health. 

RB Samaje Perine—His play improved as the year went on but he wasn’t good enough to keep both Jay Gruden and Doug Williams from saying that running back is a draft need. Ideally, he shares carries with the probable draft pick with a few going to Chris Thompson and they combine to rush for 1,800 yards. 

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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Timeline  

Days until:

—OTAs start (5/22) 33
—Training camp starts (7/26) 98
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 143

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Is the Redskins’ starter at left guard already on the roster?

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Is the Redskins’ starter at left guard already on the roster?

The Redskins have checked off a number of their “needs” boxes that they had when the season began. But there are two holes that remain. 

One is nose tackle. Of course, that has been an issue since 2010. The Redskins may have obtained part of the solution when the brought back Phil Taylor last week and most believe that more help will come in the draft. 

The other need, the one at left guard, also may be a work in progress. Or, perhaps they think they have the solution on the depth chart. 

The team does not put out a depth chart before training camp but if they did distribute one right now they would have Arie Kouandjio as the starting left guard. That is cause for consternation among many Redskins fans and based on some of his past play the low confidence level is justified. 

Kouandjio was a fourth-round pick in 2015. He played sparingly his first two years in the league, getting two fill-in starts in 2016. In training camp last year, he spent a lot of time playing with the third team and it was no surprise when he was one of the final cuts. The team kept undrafted rookie Tyler Catalina instead. 

Kouandjio caught on with the Ravens’ practice squad but when injuries started to pile upon the O-line in Week 8, the Redskins brought him back. Two days after he was signed he played 22 snaps at left guard against the Cowboys. 

In all, he played in eight games, starting six of them. He allowed three sacks, which is the same number that Brandon Scherff gave up, but Scherff played about twice as many snaps. 

What about 2018? Word from John Keim is that Kouandjio has changed his training to focus on lower-body strength and agility. He knows that he has a chance to establish himself in the NFL and he’s doing what he can to take advantage of it. 

Another option at left guard is 31-year-old Tony Bergstrom, who was re-signed earlier this week. He has played for four teams in six years in the league and has started seven games including three at center for the Redskins. Like Kouandjio, he may not be the ideal solution but perhaps a passable option. 

The whole picture here could up be upended in the draft if the Redskins use one of their top picks on a guard. There has been plenty of chatter about Ohio State center Billy Price going to the Redskins in the second round. He may not last that long. If he’s there, however, the Redskins have to seriously consider him. 

The team may go through the draft and perhaps OTAs and minicamp with what they have now. If it doesn’t look like they have a starting caliber player in place they then could reach out to the free agent market and bring in someone like Alex Boone

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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/TandlerNBCSand follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.