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Need to Know: Five final Redskins-Titans thoughts

Need to Know: Five final Redskins-Titans thoughts

Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, October 19, eight days before the Washington Redskins travel to Dallas to play the Cowboys on Monday night football.

Five final thoughts on Redskins-Titans

—There has been some talk this week about Colt McCoy at quarterback and it’s not all a media creation. Jay Gruden addressed the interception issues that Kirk Cousins has been experiencing and said, “if things continue in this downward spiral there is always a chance to see Colt.” My reading of that is that if the Redskins are trailing, say, 13-3 at halftime and Cousins has thrown two interceptions, Gruden might make the move the McCoy. I don’t anticipate that happening but that would be a possible scenario.

Alfred Morris hasn’t been completely forgotten by the Redskins. He is 10th in the NFL in rushing with 386 yards and six in rushing attempts with 97. But he clearly has been more of an afterthought than a focus. That would seem to be a bad strategy under any circumstances but considering that Cousins has been struggling at times and is starting just his eighth NFL game today the case for using Morris more is that much stronger.

—It looks like Charlie Whitehurst will start a quarterback for the Titans and as Ben Standig, CSNwashington.com’s fantasy guru notes, he has been sacked six times in very limited action this year. If the Redskins can get a bit of a lead, Ryan Kerrigan should have a good shot at regaining the league lead in the sack department.

Stephen Bowen was activated off of the PUP list and should play anywhere from 10 to 20 snaps today. That won’t transform the defensive line but it will improve it. They haven’t been as good against the run as they’d like to be (3.9 yards/carry, 9th in the NFL, 107.8 yards/game, 12th). It would be a bonus is Bowen could regain the pass rushing form he had in 2011, when he had six sacks. But the team will be happy with improved performance against the run.

—When a team is 1-5 with 13 losses in its last 14 games going back two seasons and it seems it has enough good players to be better than that, the team’s state of mind starts to get examined. It started for the Redskins when some of them, including the head coach, admitted that they were a bit too full of themselves after losing in Philadelphia by “only” three points. Then there was the jocular behavior in the locker room after they went “toe to toe” with the Seahawks. Reporters who were in the locker room after the Arizona game noted the sullen silence. Do they know who they are now, a team with some talent that has to nail down the details of the game play after play, series after series, in order to win? We should find out starting today.

Timeline

Today’s schedule: Redskins vs. Titans, 1 p.m., FedEx Field

Days until: Monday night Redskins @ Cowboys 8; Redskins @ Vikings 14; Bucs @ Redskins 28

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: Five safe draft picks for the Redskins

Need to Know: Five safe draft picks for the Redskins

Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, April 22, four days before the 2018 NFL draft.  

Five safe picks for the Redskins

Sometimes teams try to hit home runs with their draft picks. They may hit a few but they also will strike out a lot. Teams often are better off trying to hit solid singles and doubles. Here are five picks who would are unlikely to make many Pro Bowls but the Redskins would not regret the pick if they turned in the cards with their names on it. 

RB Kerryon Johnson, Auburn—I’m starting off here with a player who would be a safe pick in the third round. Of course, the Redskins don’t have a third right now but if they do swing a trade and get one, Johnson would be a good pick. He doesn’t have breakaway speed, which is one reason why he might be available in the third. He is a grinder who will be an upgrade over Samaje Perine and Rob Kelley. 

DL Vita Vea, Washington—There is plenty of hand wringing over whether Vea is a three-down player or just a base defense nose tackle. But even if he can’t rush the passer very well his floor is a player who can go a long way towards helping the Redskins stop the run, a chronic weakness. This is why a lot of fans and media are urging the Redskins to not overthink this and take a player that will, at a minimum, bolster one of their weakest areas. 

OL Billy Price, Ohio State—He started 55 games for the Buckeyes, the most of any player in the storied history of the program. He did suffer the partial tear of a chest muscle in the combine but that will be fully healed by training camp. When he’s ready, he’s an explosive, smart, and powerful player. Just plug him in at left guard and the Redskins’ O-line is set with all home-grown talent. 

LB Leighton Vander Esch, Boise State—He doesn’t have the ceiling that the more heralded Roquan Smith and Tremaine Edmunds have. However, he may have a higher floor. Smith is undersized, and Edmunds will be highly drafted based more on potential than on production. At 6-4, 256, Vander Esch has plenty of size, and he racked up 141 tackles last year on his way to defensive player of the year honors in the Mountain West. 

 CB Isaiah Oliver, Colorado—The All-Pac-12 selection has the size and athleticism that add up to a safe pick in the second round. He needs some work on technique, but he has enough natural athletic ability—he competed in the decathlon—to be a productive cornerback right out of the gate. One other plus that fans will appreciate is that his strength is press coverage, not off man. 

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.

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Timeline  

Days until:

—OTAs start (5/22) 30
—Training camp starts (7/26) 95
—Redskins @ Cardinals (9/9) 140

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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, Facebook.com/TandlerNBCS and follow him on Twitter  @TandlerNBCS.

Timeline  

Days until:

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

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