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Need to Know: Five Redskins who will have to step up to beat the Bills

Need to Know: Five Redskins who will have to step up to beat the Bills

Here is what you need to know on this Friday, December 18, two days before the Washington Redskins host the Buffalo Bills.

Five Redskins who will have to step up to beat the Bills

QB Kirk Cousins—He has played exceptionally well at home, posting a passer rating of over 100 in each of his last four games at FedEx Field with nine touchdowns and no interceptions. With a struggling running game unlikely to suddenly kick into gear, he will need to carry the offense.

RB Matt Jones—Even though Cousins will need to have a good day, he can’t do it without some help on the ground. Jones did a good job of powering for yardage against the Bears when there really wasn’t anywhere to run. We also could be do for a big gainer on the screen pass against an aggressive Rex Ryan defense.

C Josh LeRibeus—Yes, I know this is not a comforting prospect. But Trent Williams said today that Ryan will dial up cover zero blitzes at any point in the field in any situation. LeRibeus will have to be sharp on the line calls to keep Cousins upright.

ILB Will Compton—When he was with the Eagles LeSean McCoy had some great games with the Redskins and some no so great games. When the Redskins contained McCoy it was because they swarmed to him when he had the ball and made the tackles. It will be up to Compton to make sure that the front seven is where it’s supposed to be and he will need to make solid tackles.

CB Bashaud Breeland—Bills WR Sammy Watkins doesn’t have a ton of receptions (39) but he has made the most of them. The second-year player has averaged 18.4 yards per catch and has scored seven touchdowns. He has the size to go up and get passes in traffic and the speed to go long. Breeland is likely to be covering him most of the day and will need to prevent Watkins from making game-changing plays. Plus he has had his hands on the ball a few times over the last several games; holding on to one or two of them would help the situation.

Timeline

Today’s schedule: Practice 11:55; Jay Gruden and Sean McVay news conferences and player availability after practice, approx. 1:00

Days until: Bills @ Redskins 3; Redskins @ Eagles 9; Redskins @Cowboys 17

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Wanting increased playing time, Junior Galette intends to pursue free agency, per source

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Wanting increased playing time, Junior Galette intends to pursue free agency, per source

Redskins outside linebacker Junior Galette intends to pursue free agency to find a team that will give him plenty of snaps, per a source with knowledge of the situation.

Galette's contract will expire once the 2017 regular season ends, and while the 29-year-old pass rush specialist appreciates the Redskins organization and fans, he wants to play. 

After suffering season-ending Achilles injuries in 2015 and 2016, Galette has stayed healthy throughout the 2017 season. 

Still, he hasn't been on the field much.

Ryan Kerrigan leads the Redskins with 358 snaps in pass rush situations, and Preston Smith ranks second with 297, according to Pro Football Focus. 

Galette has played only 197 snaps this season in pass rush situations. 

For comparison, rookie Jonathan Allen logged 112 snaps in pass rush situations. Allen played in just five games before heading to the injured reserve with a Lisfranc injury. Galette has played in all 13 Redskins games this year, and hasn't appeared on the injury report once. 

Compounding the issue, Galette has been effective when on the field. 

Pro Football Focus rated him the third best defender on the Redskins this season, behind only Kerrigan and cornerback Kendall Fuller. 

As Rich Tandler noted, there will be a market for Galette. All NFL teams need pass rushers, and it appears Galette still has plenty left after his two-year layoff. Remember, in 2013 and 2014 Galette had 22 sacks for the New Orleans Saints.  This season, he has two sacks. 

The Redskins deserve credit for sticking with Galette after two lost seasons, though Galette deserves credit too for working back from not one but two Achilles injuries. 

Washington's coaches and front office speak highly of Galette, and there haven't been off field issues. For whatever reason, the playing time just hasn't been there. 

Looks like that will change next year. 

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Robert Griffin III listed the best places for Kirk Cousins to end up, and he left off the Redskins

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USA TODAY Sports

Robert Griffin III listed the best places for Kirk Cousins to end up, and he left off the Redskins

Of course this was going to happen. 

The moment it became known that Robert Griffin III was going to be on ESPN's shows for a few appearances this week, you knew he was going to be asked about Kirk Cousins at some point.

And, surely enough, come Wednesday afternoon, the stars aligned and the question was asked on NFL Live: Where, in Griffin's opinion, was the best place for Cousins to land this offseason?

"I think it depends on what he's trying to do," Griffin began.

"If he's trying to make the most money, he goes to Cleveland," he said. "If he's trying to be in the best situation, he goes to one of these teams that have a great defense that isn't gonna put it all on his shoulders."

MORE: POWER RANKINGS - REDSKINS FALL LOWER THAN THEY HAVE ALL 2017

Don't worry, he doesn't stop there. In fact, he saved the good stuff for the latter half of his answer.

"He's had it all on his shoulders in Washington, and we've seen the result," Cousins' draft classmate continued. "But if he's got a great defense like, say, Denver, say, Jacksonville, it makes it easier for him as a quarterback. Whereas in Cleveland, he's gonna have to go in and he's gonna have to do more of the workload."

So, the Browns, Broncos and Jaguars are among the teams Griffin considers options for Cousins. But, uh, what about the one he's on right now?

"I don't think it's Washington, just because of, you've seen what's been going on," he said. "Do they want him there? Does he want to be there?"

This isn't to say that the former rookie of the year doesn't bring up valid points; Cousins has had to play with below-average defenses for much of his career in D.C. and the franchise hasn't exactly shown a ton of admiration for him.

But nevertheless, it was interesting to see Griffin declare wish such confidence that his old backup needs to bolt from the Redskins and head elsewhere.

And thus concludes another chapter of the Griffin-Cousins-Redskins saga. You can leave your comments about how you don't care about it below, even though you made the choice to click on the story in the first place.