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Need to Know: Redskins RB Chris Thompson impresses Gruden

Need to Know: Redskins RB Chris Thompson impresses Gruden

Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, December 16, four days before the Washington Redskins host the Philadelphia Eagles.

Three and out—Thompson impresses Gruden

1. The Redskins will be at work today instead of taking their usual Tuesday off. That’s because of the Saturday afternoon game against the Eagles. Starting quarterback Robert Griffin III will be speaking at the podium. And since many of you are so concerned about where Griffin speaks to the media, it should be noted that Colt McCoy and Kirk Cousins have addressed the media from the podium the weeks when it was known that they would be the starting quarterbacks. So did John Beck, Rex Grossman, Donovan McNabb, and Jason Campbell. It’s just the way it’s done at Redskins Park.

2. Chris Thompson played 20 snaps against the Giants in his NFL debut from scrimmage. He caught three passes for 22 yards and a touchdown and ran three times for 12 yards. “I was impressed with Chris,” said Gruden. “I think Chris has earned the right to get more chances as a third down back.”

3. Going into the Giants game, Alfred Morris needed 101 yards rushing to top 1,000 yards for the third time in his three years in the NFL. He is still 52 yards away. If you want to look at one reason why his production is off this year, check out the team’s third-down conversion rate. They are converting less than a third of their third downs, drives are not being sustained, so they are running fewer plays. Last year they ran 1,107 plays; in 2014 they are on pace to run just over 1,000 plays.

Out: NBC 4 is reporting that Gruden has been informed that he will be back to coach the Redskins in 2015. Although I’m not taking that as the final word—things could always change—it’s the right course of action. Instability has been this franchise’s major issue since Dan Snyder became the owner. Does Gruden have a lot to learn? Certainly. But he’ll look a lot smarter with more talented players, something the organization hopes to obtain with a full compliment of draft picks and salary cap room that should be in the $20 million range. That won’t be an instant cure-all but we will be able to get a fairer assessment of Gruden’s coaching abilities with some better safeties and some upgrades along both lines.

Timeline

Today’s schedule: Practice 1:20; Jay Gruden and Robert Griffin III news conferences and open locker room after practice, approx. 3:15.

Days until: Eagles @ Redskins 4; Cowboys @ Redskins 12; 2015 NFL Draft 136

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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In case you missed it

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The 2018 NFL schedule is here, but we still don't really know anything

The 2018 NFL schedule is here, but we still don't really know anything

The NFL dropped the Redskins' 2018 regular-season schedule on Thursday and everybody will predict the team’s season-long record. 

It’s a fun exercise, and something the football world enjoys doing.

Myself included. 

But don’t read much, if anything, into the schedule right now. 

Every year, some teams look mighty in the offseason only to fall apart in the regular season. 

Need an example? Many predicted the Giants to be the beasts of the NFC East in 2017, and the Eagles to finish last in the NFC East. 

What actually happened? The Giants finished 3-13 and the Eagles won the Super Bowl. 

The NFL cannot be predicted year to year. It can hardly be predicted week to week. 

Last season, two December home games against the Broncos and Cardinals looked very daunting when the schedule came out. Instead, that was a two-game win streak. 

Enjoy the schedule release. It’s a fun time to guess what will happen in 2018.

But remember, once the games start, anything can happen. 

(For the record: My prediction is 9-7.)

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Another Thanksgiving game for Redskins

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Redskins release official 2018 regular-season schedule

Redskins release official 2018 regular-season schedule

The 2018 NFL regular-season schedule is finally here.

We’ve known who the Redskins will play in the 2018 season and where the games will be played since the regular season ended.

Now we know the when.

Here is the Redskins 2018 schedule; games are at 1:00 Eastern unless otherwise indicated.

The first thing that jumps out is the Thanksgiving game. This will be the third straight year that the Redskins have played on Thanksgiving. Two years ago they lost at Dallas and last year the got a win over the Giants at home. 

Three Thanksgiving games in a row for a team that is not the Lions or Cowboys, the two teams that traditionally host on Turkey Day, is not without precedent although it is unusual. Besides Dallas and Detroit, only two teams have played in three straight Thanksgiving games since the 1970 merger.

The Bears played every Thanksgiving from 1979-1981. The Cardinals also played three straight, but there is an asterisk there since they hosted the game instead of the Cowboys in 1975 and 1977. In between the played at Dallas on Thanksgiving.

Washington Redskins 2018 Regular-Season Schedule

Week 1: Sunday, 9/9. 4:05 PM at Arizona Cardinals
Week 2 Sunday, 9/16 vs Indianapolis Colts
Week 3 Sunday, 9/23 vs Green Bay Packers
Week 4 BYE
Week 5 Monday, 10/8. 8:15 at New Orleans Saints 
Week 6 Sunday, 10/14. vs Carolina Panthers
Week 7 Sunday, 10/21. 4:25 vs Cowboys
Week 8 Sunday, 10/28.  At New York Giants
Week 9 Sunday, 11/4. vs Atlanta Falcons 
Week 10 Sunday, 11/11. At Tampa Bay Buccaneers 
Week 11 Sunday, 11/18. vs Houston Texans 
Week 12 Thursday, 11/22 (Thanksgiving).  4:30 at Dallas Cowboys 
Week 13 Monday, 12/3. 8:15 at Philadelphia Eagles 
Week 14 Sunday, 12/9. vs New York Giants 
Week 15 Sunday, 12/16. At Jacksonville Jaguars
Week 16 Sunday, 12/23.  At Tennessee Titans (Time TBD)
Week 17 Sunday, 12/30. vs Philadelphia Eagles

2018 REDSKINS SCHEDULE NOTES:

  • If the Redskins are going to take advantage of home cooking, they will need to get off to a good start. They have five home games in the first half of the season. After Week 9 they have just three home games and they face a stretch of four road games in five weeks in late November and December. Three of the teams in that stretch, the Eagles, Jaguars, and Titans, made the playoffs and won at least one game. The Eagles, of course, won it all. The other road game in that stretch is against the Cowboys, who finished 9-7 last year. 
     
  • The Redskins will open on the road for the first time since 2014 when they opened in Houston. This year they will have to travel west to Arizona and try to win to remove the goose egg in Jay Gruden’s 0-4 opening-game record as coach of the Redskins.
     
  • They get an early bye, in Week 4. That will be their earliest bye week since 2007 when the bye also came in Week 4. 
     
  • On the plus side, their two games in Florida come at times when hot weather is unlikely to be a factor. Their game in Tampa comes in November and the contest at Jacksonville comes in mid-December. 
     

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