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Need to Know: Five Redskins who must improve in second half of the season

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Need to Know: Five Redskins who must improve in second half of the season

Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, November 12, three days before the Washington Redskins host the New Orleans Saints.

Five Redskins who need to improve in the second half of the season

There are many Redskins who need to play better in the second half of season. Here are five who are in the team’s future plans who need to step up.

RB Matt Jones—The rookie has the physical ability to be an impact running back. But issues with fumbling and problems finding the proper place to run have held him back. If he wants to show that he is the back of  the future, now’s the time to start.

G Brandon Scherff—The top draft pick has been competent at guard but not special. If he is going to justify being the fifth overall pick he is going to have to be special as in perennial Pro Bowl selections and occasional All-Pro status. He doesn’t have to get there this year but he needs to start working towards it.

WR Pierre Garçon—He hasn’t been playing poorly but he hasn’t had any big games. He gained 74 yards receiving in the opener and he hasn’t gained that many since. Garçon’s season high in receptions is seven; he had more than that three times last year. It would be good if he could have a few games where he carries the offense with 10 catches for 110 yards or so.

LB Keenan Robinson—Last year it looked like he was Pro Bowl bound at some point in his career but so far this year he hasn’t been nearly as effective. Robinson has had some nagging injuries which may have reduced his effectiveness. It looks as though he may be pressing in his contract year. Robinson needs to relax and play if he is going to get paid.

LB Ryan Kerrigan—Like Garçon, Kerrigan is not having a terrible year but he isn’t having the impact that the team was hoping for when he got his contract extension in July. The issue is not so much that he has just 3.5 sacks; it’s that he hasn’t made other big plays like he has in the past that made him much more productive than his sack numbers alone would suggest. He has just one forced fumble and that was recovered by the offense. The fifth-year player has no fumble recoveries, no interceptions, and no passes batted down.

Timeline

Today’s schedule: Practice 11:35; Jay Gruden and Joe Barry news conferences and player availability after practice, approx. 1:30

Days until: Saints @ Redskins 3; Redskins @ Panthers 10; Giants @ Redskins 17

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Devin Hester deserves to be in the Hall of Fame, and Brian Mitchell is why

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Devin Hester deserves to be in the Hall of Fame, and Brian Mitchell is why

Devin Hester officially announced his NFL retirement on Tuesday after 11 years as the most feared return specialist in NFL history. 

Hester who spent a majority of his career with the Bears and Falcons finished with 20 return touchdowns, the most in NFL history. His 14 punt return touchdowns is also an NFL record. Hester also returned a missed field goal for an 108-yard touchdown. He became just one of eight men to score a kick return touchdown in the Super Bowl. 

It wasn't just what he did, but how he did it, and that matters. Hester was explosively and entertaining, sometimes taking a route well longer than the official length of his return touchdown. Hester had the combination of speed and quickness you only see once in a generation. 

Devin Hester is worthy of a spot in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and Brian Mitchell is why.

Hester is the greatest return specialist in NFL history. But Mitchell is the best return specialist in NFL history.

RELATED: NEW 2018 NFL MOCK DRAFT

There's a difference too, between greatest and best. Hester was feared. He was revered. But nobody did it better than Mitchell. Nobody has ever fielded more returns than Mitchell (1,070), and nobody has ever compiled more return yards (19,013) than he. Only Hester has more career return touchdowns than Mitchell (13).

While Hester was boom-or-bust on many of his returns, Mitchell always got yardage. He averaged at least 10 yards per punt return in nine seasons and led the NFL in 1994 with 14.1 yards per punt return. He played in 223 of 224 possible games. Nobody did it better.

Mitchell has still yet to get the call from Canton, Ohio for enshrinement. Mitchell was a nominee for the 2017 class, but did not receive enough votes. But with Hester now officially on the clock for enshrinement, one things become clear: A return specialist will head to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. 

Hester will get his name called, and when he does, it will be because of Mitchell. Nobody did it better than Mitchell. The omission of Mitchell has been a contentious point recently, and if the Hall of Fame has not been able to add Mitchell to their hallowed halls, what would it take?

Devin Hester. That's what.

Hester had to do things pro football world had never seen before. He had to do truly great things. Things that you couldn't do in the Madden video games.

If the Hall of Fame has been reluctant to add Mitchell, only a player like Hester would be able to budge them off their archaic line.

Make no mistake about it: Brian Mitchell deserves to be in the Hall of Fame.

So does Devin Hester, and when he makes it, he'll have B-Mitch to thank. 

 

 

 

 

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Jordan Reed's unsatisfying 2017 season has come to an official end

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USA Today Sports

Jordan Reed's unsatisfying 2017 season has come to an official end

The Redskins made a roster move that many have anticipated for the last few weeks.

The team announced that 2016 Pro Bowl tight end Jordan Reed, who has missed the last six games with a hamstring injury, has been placed on injured reserve. That ends a very disappointing season for the five-year veteran.

It seemed that Reed was never fully healthy all year. He was placed on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list with a toe injury when he reported to camp in late July. Reed remained on PUP until a week before the start of the regular season, when he was activated.

MORE REDSKINS: 11 SECONDS OF MOMENTUM

In six games, Reed’s production was running well below his career averages in receptions, yards, and touchdowns. He was averaging just 7.8 yards per catch after averaging 10.5 per reception prior to the season.

It seemed like he was on the verge of breaking out in Week 7 against the Eagles, when he caught eight passes for 64 yards and his first two touchdowns of the season. But the following week against the Cowboys he suffered the hamstring injury early in the game and he hasn’t played since.

Reed was close to returning a few weeks ago but he suffered a setback and he just couldn’t get the hamstring healthy enough to play. With the Redskins now officially out of playoff contention, the decision apparently was made to put him on the shelf and start getting him ready for next year.

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In other moves announced by the Redskins, they put RB Byron Marshall (hamstring) and LB Chris Carter (broken fibula) on IR. Both were injured during the loss to the Chargers on Sunday. Carter will have surgery and face a long rehab. Perhaps Marshall could return after a few weeks but the Redskins needed to get a third running back on the roster.

That running back is Kapri Bibbs, who has been on the Redskins’ practice squad. Also signed to the active roster were practice squad linebackers Pete Robertson and Otha Peters.

Added to the practice squad were LB Alex McCalister, RB Dare Ogunbowale, and S Orion Stewart.

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.