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Need to Know: Five Redskins who should be in the Hall of Fame

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Need to Know: Five Redskins who should be in the Hall of Fame

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, February 1, 96 days before the NFL Draft.

Nickel coverage

The Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2014 will be selected today and announced tonight at the NFL awards dinner. Only one of the 15 finalists has any connection to the Redskins at all. Receiver Andre Reed was a member of the 2000 Redskins (the team that also brought in Deion Sanders and Bruce Smith). Reed capped his distinguished 16-year career by playing in 13 games and catching 10 passes for 103 yards.

So even if Reed gets in we can hardly say that another Redskin got into the Hall. Here are five who could warrant enshrinement in Canton, starting with the most deserving.

1. RB Larry Brown (1969-1976)—The Veteran’s Committee put Broncos running back Floyd Little, a contemporary of Brown’s, in the Hall of Fame and Brown had a very comparable career.  Little lasted one more season than Brown. The Redskins back averaged 743 per season played while Little averaged 702. Little was a first-team All-pro once, Brown had that honor twice. But most of all, Brown was the league MVP in 1972 while Little never came close to getting such an honor.

2. OT Joe Jacoby (1981-1993)—I have no issue with Russ Grimm being in the Hall but if they are only going to end up with one member of The Hogs in Canton it should be Jacoby. He played longer (13 seasons to 11 for Grimm), appeared in more Super Bowls (4 to 2) and was the more dominant player at his position. Grimm was great getting Riggins running room on the 50 Gut. But Jacoby overpowered defensive ends in the run game and protected the blindside for Joe Theismann and Doug Williams, and flipped to right tackle to form one of the best pass-blocking lines ever for Mark Rypien in 1991.

3. KR Brian Mitchell (1990-1999)—If they enshrine punter Ray Guy tonight then at some point they have to have to put in a returner, right? Mitchell is second all-time in all-purpose yards and first in punt return yards and kickoff return yards. If you’re going to put in a returner, he’s the guy.

4. C Len Hauss (1964-1977)—We’re getting into marginal candidates now but someday the Veteran’s Committee should take a good look at Hauss. He started 196 straight games, 14 years for 14-game seasons making five Pro Bowls on the way.

5. TE Jerry Smith (1965-1977)—The fact that Smith’s NFL record for touchdowns by a tight end stood from 1976 (he didn’t catch any TD’s in his last year) until Shannon Sharpe broke it in 2003 is a testament to how good he was. His case for the Hall is diminished by the fact that he made just two Pro Bowls and was first-team All-Pro just once. But if you look down on his page on Pro Football reference you’ll see his career was comparable to those of Hall of Famers Charlie Sanders, Mike Ditka, Jackie Smith, and Dave Casper.

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Timeline

—It’s been 34 days since the Redskins played a game; it will be about 218 days until they play another one.

—Days until: NFL Combine 18; NFL Free agency starts 38; Offseason workouts start 65; NFL Draft 96

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Need to Know: If Kirk Cousins leaves, with the Redskins rebuild or retool?

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Need to Know: If Kirk Cousins leaves, with the Redskins rebuild or retool?

Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, January 16, 57 days before NFL free agency starts.

Timeline  

Days until:

—NFL franchise tag deadline (3/6) 49
—NFL Draft (4/26) 100
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 236

Nickel coverage—Five Redskins questions

Taking a look at some of the key questions surrounding the Redskins, sometimes coming up with more questions in the process. Yes, it's going to be that kind of offseason. 

What will the Redskins do at left guard? It would be better for the Redskins to find their left guard in the draft, but assuming that the successor is picked after the second round, they will want someone to start until the rookie is ready. That could be Arie Kouandjio or maybe a veteran free agent.

Can the Redskins make do with what they have at running back? The short answer is no. The running back situation needs attention. It’s hard to picture Samaje Perine and Rob Kelley forming a formidable tandem, or even a very good one. I’m wary of spending a high draft pick on an RB, but the success of the likes of Todd Gurley and Leonard Fournette have to be factored into the thinking.

Are the Redskins OK with Zach Brown and Mason Foster at inside linebacker? For the time being they are, assuming that they are able to sign both of the unrestricted free agents, however the Redskins need to continue to build that position. That means continuing to develop Josh Harvey-Clemons to use in nickel situations and spending draft resources there. Even if Brown and Foster are back, the Redskins might be smart to grab Roquan Smith out of Georgia if he’s there in the first round.

If they are without Kirk Cousins, will the Redskins rebuild or retool? This is a key question for the organization. If Cousins leaves, do they just try to plug in the best available/affordable quarterback they can find and roll on with the same basic personnel with which they have hovered around .500 the last three years? Or will the make other changes, perhaps moving on from Josh Norman and Jordan Reed to save cap money for future seasons and give their younger players a chance to establish themselves? The latter might be the better way to go but this organization rarely considers short-term pain for long-term gain.

If Junior Galette leaves, who replaces him? While Galette did not light it up in the sack department, he put plenty of pressure on opposing quarterbacks. He is likely to leave since he would remain behind Preston Smith and Ryan Kerrigan on the depth chart if he re-signed in Washington. Can they rely on 2017 second-round pick Ryan Anderson to take a giant leap in his sophomore season? Will they try to lock up free agent Trent Murphy and hope that he can bounce back from an ACL injury he suffered last August and regain his nine-sack form of 2016? I don’t see how they can rely on Anderson to suddenly provide pressure after recording zero sacks this past year. Whether it’s Murphy or another free agent, someone with a better track record has to be in the picture. If Anderson improves enough to move ahead of that player on the depth chart, so much the better.

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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Where does Stefon Diggs' remarkable catch rank among some of the best NFL playoff walk-offs?

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Where does Stefon Diggs' remarkable catch rank among some of the best NFL playoff walk-offs?

There is nothing quite like January playoff football and Sunday night's Vikings vs. Saints game further proved this point.

In case you have been off the grid the past 12 hours, the Minnesota Vikings literally got a last second win against the New Orleans Saints.

With 10 seconds left in the fourth and facing a 3rd and 10, quarterback Case Keenum heaved the football near the sideline to wide receiver Stefon Diggs, who dodged two defenders while managing to stay inbounds for a 61-yard touchdown as the clock expired. 

It was one of the most remarkable playoff walk-off wins, if not the most remarkable one, in football.

So, where does it stand among the others?

RELATED: FORMER TERP PLAYS HERO IN VIKINGS' MIRACLE PLAYOFF WIN

Broncos vs. Steelers 2011 AFC Wild Card game: Remember Tim Tebow's 80-yard overtime touchdown to Demaryius Thomas during the 2011 Broncos vs. Steelers AFC Wild Card game? It was the first and last snap of overtime and it was wild.

Mile High Miracle: On third and three with 43 seconds left in the game, Ravens' Joe Flacco launched one towards wide receiver Jacoby Jones, who got in front of the Broncos receiver and ran the ball in for a 70-yard game-tying touchdown. The Ravens would eventually go on to win the game in double overtime. Some could argue it was the defining moment in the Ravens' Super Bowl run. 

Cardinals vs. Steelers Super Bowl XLIII: Under the brightest lights of all, Ben Roethlisberger found Santonio Holmes with 43 seconds in the fourth in the back of the end zone for a toe-dragging, Super Bowl-winning catch. 

RELATED: WHAT REDSKINS CAN LEARN FROM THIS WEEKEND'S PLAYOFF GAMES

Saints vs. 49ers 2012 NFC Divisional game: Sunday's loss wasn't the first time the Saints have experienced a fourth quarter letdown. Back in 2012, Alex Smith threw one to the endzone on 3rd-and-three with 14 seconds left that sealed a win.

While these are only a few, we can't wait to add more to the list in years to come.