Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, June 7, 9 days before the Washington Redskins start minicamp.
The week that was
A look back at what we learned the past week and what it means:
—Josh LeRibeus to work at center—This is not a position change but cross training that could keep LeRibeus on the roster. With Chris Chester gone the Redskins need a player who can will in should Kory Lichtensteiger get hurt during a game. They need someone who is active on game day so they need a player who is a reserve at another position. This could get LeRibeus, who is going into the last year of his rookie contract, a shot at making the team and making the game day 46 on a regular basis. If he struggles learning center he would be very much on the roster bubble.
—Jamison Crowder implicated in domestic violence on his own Instagram account—There isn’t much to say about this right now because we don’t know much except for what popped up on the rookie receiver’s since-deleted account. It is worth keeping an eye on because of how tough the NFL is when it comes to domestic violence. A six-game suspension would not be a good way for Crowder to start off his NFL career. But we’re going to have to wait and see how this develops.
—DeSean Jackson doesn’t care what you think about his OTA absence—“As far as any critics or anybody else, I don’t play for them and I don’t worry about them,” Jackson said Wednesday when asked about missing last week’s three OTA sessions. This “controversy” appears to be over.
—Trent Williams out until camp—The Pro Bowl left tackle can’t shake an injury to an ankle ligament that he suffered during the season. This doesn’t appear to be anything to worry about a whole lot, especially since no surgery will be required. But Williams appeared on the injury report 10 times and missed a start last year so his general health is something to monitor.
—Jordan Reed has knee “procedure”—The tight end has missed 12 games in his two NFL seasons so even though what was done to his knee apparently is minor, his health is always a cause for concern. There’s certainly no reason to think that he won’t be ready to go when training camp starts but how long he’ll last after that remains to be seen.
—It’s been 161 days since the Redskins played a game. It will be 98 days until they play the Dolphins at FedEx Field.
—Days until: Redskins minicamp starts 9; Redskins training camp starts 53; Thursday night Redskins @ Giants 109
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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In case you missed it
Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, November 23, seven days before the Washington Redskins play the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium.
Today’s schedule: Redskins Kickoff 7:30 NBC Sports Washington; Redskins vs. Giants, NBC, 8:30
—Redskins @ Cowboys Thursday night (11/30) 7
—Redskins @ Chargers (12/10) 17
—Cardinals @ Redskins (12/17) 24
Final thoughts on Redskins vs Giants
Look out for Eli—There are many reasons why the Giants are 2-8 but Eli Manning is not one of them. He isn’t nearly the turnover machine he has been for much of his career. His interception percentage this year is 1.6; he hasn’t been under 2.3 percent interceptions this decade. Manning only has 14 touchdown passes but considering that Odell Beckham, who went out in the fourth game of the season, still leads Giants wide receivers in touchdown receptions, that’s not bad.
Running game stuck—What makes Manning’s performance even more impressive is the fact that he doesn’t get much support from a running game. The Giants are 26th in the league with 920 yards. They have gained some traction lately after installing Orleans Darkwa as the starting running back; he is averaging 4.8 yards per carry for the season and 71 yards per game over the last three games. The Redskins certainly don’t want to let him get going tonight.
Reverting to reality—The Giants ranked 32nd in total defense in 2015. They dropped millions on free agents such as Janoris Jenkins, David Harrison, and Olivier Vernon and jumped to 10th. Now, this year they are 31st and equally bad against the pass (29th) and the run (30th). Health hasn’t been a huge issue, although Vernon has missed a few games and Jenkins was suspended. Redskins fans know full well that spending sprees don’t necessarily make for permanent improvements and Giants fans are learning it this year.
Keys to winning
- Run the ball—The Redskins are 4-2 this year when rushing for 90 yards or more.
- Continue to protect the ball—The Redskins have turned the ball over just twice in their last three games.
- Don’t give them hope—The Chiefs let the Giants hang around last week and New York stole a win. The Redskins need to get on top early and mash down on the gas pedal.
Prediction—It’s hard to see a scenario where the Redskins lose this one. Even in their injury-depleted state they are battling every game and the same can’t be said for their opponents today. The weather forecast is for cold temperatures but not much wind, ideal conditions for Cousins to throw for 300 yards. For once, the Redskins get up early and keep going.
Redskins 31, Giants 13
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In case you missed it
The referees made a fairly obvious mistake last week in the Redskins loss to the Saints when they flagged Washington quarterback Kirk Cousins for intentional grounding late in the game.
Let's be honest: the call was terrible.
Cousins never felt a pass rush on the play, and was very obviously throwing the ball away. Jay Gruden talked about the play on Monday, and could not figure out how a flag came out in that situation.
We had two receivers in the area. Quarterbacks throws it away all the time that are uncatchable balls whether they are in the pocket or not. As long as there is a receiver in the area, you can throw it whether they are looking or not. Guys run bad routes – one guy runs a hitch and he’s supposed to run a go and the quarterback throws the go ball, it’s not grounding. So I don’t know why the confusion.
The NFL even reached out and apologized to Redskins team president Bruce Allen for the blown call, a hollow gesture that did not generate much excitement from Cousins (via 106.7 the Fan).
Whatever they do to say, ‘we’re sorry, wrong call,’ it’s tough because there’s nobody bringing that up in February or March when we're making decisions about which direction to go with the organization. We appreciate the clarification but you know it really doesn’t do much.
If you're keeping score, the NFL, the Redskins head coach and the Redskins quarterback all know the call was wrong.
You know who doesn't think the call was wrong? Fox analyst, and former Cowboys Hall of Fame QB, Troy Aikman.
Grounding? Free rusher? Decide for yourself below.