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Need to Know: Five Redskins who need to step up in 2015

Need to Know: Five Redskins who need to step up in 2015

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, June 27, 33 days before the Washington Redskins start training camp.

Nickel coverage

Here are five players who need to have a strong 2015 season if the Redskins are going to be successful.

QB Robert Griffin III—How good Griffin needs to be next year depends on how well the rest of the team’s plan comes together. If the defense improves to the point where it is at least average and the running game is frequently used and effective, Griffin will have the luxury of being to make incremental progress. If they give up 27 points per game and average 4.2 yards per carry like they did last year, Griffin will have to be much better for the Redskins to succeed, perhaps an unrealistic expectation.

KR Jamison Crowder—Even if Griffin and the rushing attack perform well the offense will still need some help. I don’t envision much of a role for Crowder on offense but it will be a surprise if he isn’t returning both punts and kickoffs in Week 1. It’s an area where a rookie can make an instant impact. Crowder will need to get a good return to set up the Redskins offense in good field positions once every other game or so. A short field makes both a QB and rushing game that much more effective.

FS Dashon Goldson—He had two down years with the Bucs, no question about it. But why? Bad scheme fit? A player on the wrong side of 30 who is wearing down after eight years of playing a very physical position? Regardless of the reason, the Redskins need him to be better than he was in Tampa Bay. They are paying him $4 million and the options behind him are very unproven.

OLB Trent Murphy/Preston Smith—We know that Ryan Kerrigan will get it done on the left side and post a dozen sacks or so. Murphy, in his second year, and second-round pick Smith will need to team up and produce something close to that on the right. Pass defense starts with pass rush and even if the safety position is a bit shaky solid seasons from Smith and Murphy can compensate for the weakness.

OT Brandon Scherff—He doesn’t need to make the Pro Bowl or anything but he needs to be an upgrade over what the Redskins have been rolling out at right tackle for the past decade or so. Scherff won’t necessarily catch on right away and he will make some mistakes. But he will need to learn from the quickly and become an asset by the time midseason rolls around.

Timeline

—It’s been 181 days since the Redskins played a game. It will be 78 days until they play the Dolphins at FedEx Field.

Days until: Redskins training camp starts 33; Preseason opener @ Browns 47; final cuts 70

If you have any questions about what's going on at Redskins Park, hit me up in the comments. And I'm always on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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Redskins Week 15 injury report: Two out, seven questionable vs. Cardinals

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USA TODAY Sports

Redskins Week 15 injury report: Two out, seven questionable vs. Cardinals

Redskins linebacker Zach Brown may want to power through his myriad of injuries but he won’t be able to do it this week.

Brown is one of two Redskins who have been declared out for the game against the Cardinals on Sunday. Jay Gruden listed his injuries as toe/ankle/Achilles/hip. This will be the first game that Brown has missed with the Redskins and his first since he was with the Titans in 2014.

Also out is safety Montae Nicholson, who will miss his fourth straight game with a concussion.

MORE REDSKINS: IS GALETTE ON HIS WAY OUT?

Listed as questionable are OT Morgan Moses (ankle), OT Trent Williams (knee), OLB Ryan Anderson (ankle), WR Ryan Grant (ankle), WR Maurice Harris (concussion), DE Terrell McClain (toe), and C Chase Roullier (hand).

Williams’ status for Sunday is very much in doubt. His usual pattern since sustaining a knee injury in Week 4 has been to sit out the first two days of practice and then participate in the third. However, he was not on the field on Friday during the portion of practice that was open to the media. Jay Gruden said that he did join the team at some point but he didn’t indicate that he took part in any football activity.

He has missed three games and it would not be surprising if he missed a fourth on Sunday. If Williams can’t go, Ty Nsekhe will start at left tackle.

RELATED: REED LIKELY TO STAY IN 2018

Roullier has been out the last three games with a broken right (snapping) hand. He has had the cast off of it for a couple of weeks now and he could be ready to go on Sunday.

Harris was out of the game against the Chargers last Sunday with a concussion. He has been practicing on a limited basis all week. The chances that he can pass the concussion protocol seem good, although with concussions it is always difficult to know for sure.

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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Why ailing Zach Brown has plenty of incentive to keep playing

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USA Today Sports Images

Why ailing Zach Brown has plenty of incentive to keep playing

Redskins linebacker Zach Brown missed practice for a second straight day on Thursday, putting doubt into his availability for the game against the Cardinals.

Brown is leading the league in combined tackles and, probably, in injuries.

The team’s injury report says that he is dealing with four of them—toe, Achilles, and ankle with an illness piled on top of those.

“They’re hindering him quite a bit,” Jay Gruden said of Brown’s laundry list of ailments.

“Sickness is starting to clear up a little bit but he’s still a little sore. We’ll see if he makes any progress tomorrow. It’d have to be pretty significant, but we’ll have to wait and see.”

MORE REDSKINS: IS GALETTE ON HIS WAY OUT?

The illness might clear up but the other injuries are unlikely to go away until a few weeks into the offseason. He is getting treatments that include massage, laser, and acupuncture but rest is the only thing that will get rid of the problems.

Some have wondered why Brown persists with multiple injuries and the team now mathematically eliminated from the playoffs. For one thing, playing is what he does.

“I like to play the game,” said Brown last week.

RELATED: WEEK 15 POWER RANKINGS

“I like to play the game with passion and I hate to lose. I try my best to help people do better, just trying to help some of the young guys. At the end of the day, you rest when the season’s over.”

There are financial considerations as well, on a couple of different fronts. Brown will be a free agent in 2018 and he is risking further injury that could lower his value on the market. He says that does not factor into is thinking.

“Last two years I was on the free agent market, it’s the way I play,” he said. “If that was the case I would have just shut it down already.”

There are other, more immediate financial considerations as well. Brown has per-game roster bonuses of $15,625 that are paid if he is on the list of 46 active players. And he has incentive bonuses of up to $2.3 million according to Over the Cap. It’s safe to say that at least some of those bonuses will be attainable only if Brown is able to play effectively in all or nearly all of the scheduled 16 games.

RELATED: REED LIKELY TO STAY IN 2018

Brown hasn’t spoken about the incentive bonus money being important and, given his answer to the free agency question, he probably wouldn’t. But this is not a player who has made a ton of money in his career. According to Spotrac, if he hits on his roster bonuses and on his likely to be earned incentives this year he will have about $7.7 million in career earnings. That’s a good chunk of money but once you take away taxes, a cut to his agent and other various and sundry expenses it’s not “set for life” money. It’s likely that his bank account would notice whatever he can collect in incentives.

Gruden has said that Brown is a player who could go on Sunday even with only one practice under his belt. We will know a lot more about his status this afternoon when his practice status for Friday and his game status for Sunday will be announced on the injury report.