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Need to Know: Redskins Park notebook--Gruden says team has to get FedEx Field crowd going

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Need to Know: Redskins Park notebook--Gruden says team has to get FedEx Field crowd going

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, September 13, one day before the Washington Redskins open their home season against the Jaguars.

Redskins Park news and notes

Emptying out the notebook from the week at Redskins Park:

—The Redskins face their second straight 0-2 start to a season. They have not opened 0-2 in consecutive years since 1965-66. Washington is currently on a nine-game losing streak spanning the last two seasons; it is the longest since 1960-61.

—If the Redskins are going to avoid that dubious start, coach Jay Gruden thinks they need to create a home field advantage with some good play. “It's very important for our fans to be loud and very important for us as a team to make them have something to cheer about,” he said. “We have got to do something early in the game to get the people excited so we get rolling."

—Ideally, the Redskins should be able to break off some substantial gains when they are facing a soft zone defense like they did in Houston but everything has to be just right. ““It’s very important but we have to make sure we get them in space,” said Gruden. “They were catching tackles right now. We have got to be able to get some guys in space where they have a chance to break some tackles. A lot of that has to do with play design and ball location and then the receivers creating space for themselves with the route, then after the catch making some people miss. So there is a lot involved in that.”

—The Redskins should not expect to see the Jaguars imitate that zone that the Texans ran. Their defensive philosophy is to run a tight man to man and it sounded like Gus Bradley will stick to it. ““Well, I think Houston has got a really good defense, but our schemes are different,” said the Jaguars second-year head coach. “You look at them and you watch personnel, maybe how they attacked them, but we’re different too as far as personnel and our alignments and things that we ask of our players.”

—Like almost everyone who watched the Texans game, Gruden liked how Keenan Robinson played last Sunday. "I was very impressed with Keenan,” he said. “I thought he had a very good game. You know, he's one of the few – not one of the few – but one of the bright spots of this team, I think. Just his energy, his understanding of the defense, his ability to communicate and then tackle. I thought he played extremely well and he's a guy that's just going to get better and better with the reps that he gets and the game time that he gets.”

—Perhaps Gruden didn’t want to venture to pronounce the name of Jaguars middle linebacker Paul Posluszny but he was impressed by what he saw of him on film. “I think the way they play hard,” he said. “They fly to the football, they play extremely fast, they get good upfield pass rush, and like I said, they're very energetic. You can tell they're young and really have fun playing, but really the middle linebacker stands out. He's a heck of a player.”

—The Redskins need to make some hay while the sun is shining here. Their first two opponents this year were a combined 6-26 last year. The next four teams they play—the Eagles, Giants, Seahawks, and Cardinals—went 40-24 in 2013.

Niles Paul had 14 career catches in his three NFL seasons going into the Texans game. He caught four passes in that game, increasing his career total by 28 percent. With Jordan Reed out for this game, he should get some targets on Sunday.

If you have any questions about what's going on at Redskins Park, hit me up in the comments. I'll answer all questions as soon as I can get to them. And I'm always on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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Timeline

Today’s schedule: Walkthrough at Redskins Park, no availability

Days until: Home opener vs. Jaguars 1; Redskins @ Eagles 8; Thursday night Giants @ Redskins 12

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Need to Know: The five highest-paid 2018 Redskins

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Usa Today Sports Images

Need to Know: The five highest-paid 2018 Redskins

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, February 24, 18 days before NFL free agency starts.

I’m out this week so I’ll be re-posting some of the best and most popular articles of the past few months. Some may have slightly dated information but the major points in the posts still stand. Thanks for reading, as always.

The five highest-paid Redskins in 2018

Originally published 1/12/18

This is how the five highest-paid Redskins per their 2018 salary cap numbers stack up as of now. The list could change, of course during free agency and if a particular quarterback returns. Cap numbers via Over the Cap.

CB Josh Norman, $17 million—The Redskins do have a window which would allow them to move on from Norman. His $13.5 million salary for this year doesn’t become guaranteed until the fifth day of the league year so it would be “only” a $9 million cap charge to move on from Norman, who turned 30 in December. Don’t look for that to happen but the possibility is there.

OT Trent Williams, $13.86 million—He is one of the best left tackles in the business. Those of you out there who have advocated moving him to left guard should look at this cap number, which is way out of line for what a team can afford to pay a guard. At his pay, he needs to be playing on the edge.

OLB Ryan Kerrigan, $12.45 million—He has delivered double-digit sacks in each of the two seasons that his contract extension has been in effect. That’s good value in a league that values the ability to get to the quarterback.

TE Jordan Reed, $10.14 million—The Redskins knew that he might have a year like last year when he played in only six games when they agreed to Reed’s five-year, $50 million extension. They can live with one such season. If he has another one in 2018 they may rethink things.

G Brandon Scherff, $6.75 million—The fact that a rookie contract is No. 5 on this list is a good sign that, as of now, the Redskins’ cap is not top heavy like it was last year. The top three cap hits from Norman, Williams, and Kirk Cousins totaled $59 million, which was about 35 percent of the cap. This year the total cap numbers of the top three come to $43.3 million, 24.3 percent of the estimated $178 million salary cap.

Next five: OT Morgan Moses ($5.4 million), TE Vernon Davis ($5.33 million), DL Stacy McGee ($4.8 million), DL Terrell McClain ($4.75 million), S D.J. Swearinger ($4.33 million)

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.

Timeline  

Days until:

—NFL Combine (3/1) 5
—NFL Draft (4/26) 61
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 197

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Martavis Bryant could make sense for the Redskins, at the right price

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USA TODAY Sports

Martavis Bryant could make sense for the Redskins, at the right price

A 2017 midseason trade for Martavis Bryant made no sense for the Redskins. A 2018 offseason trade for Martavis Bryant, however, might make sense for the Redskins. 

Bryant is on the trade block, per NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, and will be an intriguing prospect for receiver-needy teams across the NFL. In parts of three seasons with the Steelers, Bryant has 17 touchdowns and a 15.2 yards-per-reception average. 

A big play threat from any place on the field, Bryant would immediately make the Redskins receiving unit more athletic and explosive. 

It's not all good news with Bryant, though.

He was suspended for the entire 2016 season after repeated drug violations and caused some distraction for Pittsburgh during the 2017 season when he asked for a trade via social media. 

MORE: CAN YOU GUESS THESE REDSKINS BASED ON THEIR COMBINE NUMBERS?

Is the talent enough to overcome the off-field distractions? Many would say it is. 

Last year, in just eight starts, Bryant grabbed 50 catches for more than 600 yards and three TDs. In their lone playoff loss to the Jaguars, Bryant caught two passes for 78 yards and a TD. 

Remember, too, the Steelers have an explosive offense, and Bryant is coupled with Antonio Brown on the receiver front along with Ben Roethlisberger at quarterback and Le'Veon Bell at running back. The Pittsburgh offense is loaded. 

Washington's offense is not nearly the prolific unit that the Steelers send out, but Jay Gruden does design a good offense. 

The real question surrounding any talk of trading for Bryant is the cost.

The Redskins are not in a position to send away any more draft picks this offseason after giving up a third-round pick, in addition to Kendall Fuller, to acquire Alex Smith. Bruce Allen and the Redskins front office need to improve their team in plenty of spots, and the team's draft picks are quite valuable. 

Bryant only has one year remaining on his rookie deal, and it's hard to balance that sort of short-term investment with the value of adding a rookie committed to the team for at least four years. Perhaps a late-round pick would make sense, but it would need to be a sixth-rounder. 

This could be one of those rare situations in the NFL where a player for player swap could work, though pulling that type of maneuver requires a lot of moving parts. 

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