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Need to Know: Redskins' Robinson enters camp as established starter

Need to Know: Redskins' Robinson enters camp as established starter

Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, July 28, two days before the Washington Redskins start training camp.

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Five thoughts on the state of the Redskins with training camp just a couple of days away:

—I’m going to be very interested in seeing Trey Williams running in pads in training camp and in games with full contact in the preseason. It’s not that hard for a smaller guy with speed to look pretty good in shorts and helmets during OTAs and minicamp. It’s another step for a guy like Williams (5-7, 195) to get it going when the going gets tougher. He’s very much a long shot to make the roster but if he can survive getting hit the coaching staff could become very interested.

—It’s rather amazing that a year ago we really didn’t know if Keenan Robinson could fill the shoes of the retired London Fletcher at Mike linebacker. Going into training camp the position is no longer a question mark as Robinson was very good calling the defensive signals and making plays. Mike Shanahan is rightfully criticized for missing on many mid-round draft picks but he has to be given credit for taking Robinson in the fourth in 2012. There is plenty of talk about new contracts for Ryan Kerrigan and Trent Williams but Robinson is another 2016 free agent who needs a new deal.

—When Robinson was the heir apparent to Fletcher in 2012, he got onto the field in some situations (Robinson missed 2013 with an injury). That was an exception to how Jim Haslett usually did things. His philosophy was to play his defensive back seven starters nearly 100 percent of the snaps. I wonder if Martrell Spaight, who could be Perry Riley’s replacement, will get some snaps in situations this year. Will Compton, who also could replace Riley at some point, played very sparingly in the games he did not start last year. It will be interesting to see how much of a look Joe Barry will give Spaight and Compton.

—Speaking of new deals, my man JP Finlay has an interesting post on a possible future contract for Robert Griffin III. Joe Theismann thinks he’ll be in $100 million territory, former agent Joel Corry disagrees. It’s hard to say before the season unfolds but if he does end up playing well enough for the Redskins to want to extend him I think that most fans will find the announced numbers to be shockingly high. But how much the deal is really worth, of course, will depend on true guarantees and other details.

—According to the weather forecasters in Richmond, the Redskins should be able to avoid afternoon thunderstorms for at least the first several days of practice. They took a chance by moving the main practice of the day from 8:30 a.m. last year to 3 p.m. this year. With no practice bubble in Richmond and a propensity for thunderstorms to develop in the afternoon there Jay Gruden and Bruce Allen will both be counting the days that they get by without having to cancel a full practice.

Timeline

—Former Redskins Pro Bowl offensive tackle Chris Samuels was born on this date in 1977.

—It’s been 212 days since the Redskins played a game. It will be 47 days until they play the Dolphins at FedEx Field.

Days until: Redskins training camp starts 2; Preseason opener @ Browns 16; final cuts 39

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2018 NFL Draft order has Redskins pick nearing top ten as losses stockpile

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USA Today Sports Images

2018 NFL Draft order has Redskins pick nearing top ten as losses stockpile

LOS ANGELES — Some years, the December talk is of playoff tiebreakers.

Other years, it’s about draft position.

This is one of those “other” years.

The Redskins’ current skid of four losses in their last five games has knocked them out of playoff contention but into more favorable position in the 2018 NFL Draft, which is scheduled to take place in late April.

The Redskins' record is 5-8 through Week 14,  and if the season ended today, Washington would be picking either 11th or 12th in the first round.

Here’s the big picture: As of today, there are eight teams that have fewer wins than Washington. All of them would be picking ahead of the Redskins. 

The Bengals and Jets also have eight losses so the one and only draft order tiebreaker would be applied.

RELATED: NEW 2018 NFL MOCK DRAFT 3.0

This does not work out well for the Redskins.

The NFL Draft tiebreaker is strength of schedule with the teams with the weaker schedules getting the better picks. I am sure you have heard about how tough a schedule the Redskins have all year long. It was a point of pride for many fans. But now it comes back to bite them.

The Jets (opponents winning percentage .488) and the Bengals (.444) have faced weaker schedules than the Redskins (.574). That pushes Washington back to 11th.

RELATED: FEW UPS, MANY DOWNS VS. CHARGERS

But there is a Week 14 game pending. The Dolphins, who have seven losses, play the Patriots on Monday Night Football. If they lose and join the eight-loss group, they would jump ahead of the Redskins based on the SOS tiebreaker, pushing Washington back to 12th.

Of course, the season doesn’t end today and a lot can happen.

But if the bottom doesn’t completely fall out it seems likely that they will end up somewhere between 10th and 12th in the first round.

We will be looking at what that might mean for the Redskins in the coming days and weeks as the offseason comes early for the Redskins one more time.

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NFL Playoff Picture: NFC bracket projection starting to come into focus

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USA Today Sports

NFL Playoff Picture: NFC bracket projection starting to come into focus

The NFC Playoff picture is no clearer in Week 14 than it was in Week 8.

Throughout the 2017-18 NFL season, the NFC in particular has been a gauntlet. So much of a gauntlet that one of the league’s best in the past five years, the Seattle Seahawks, sit outside of the postseason with an 8-5 record.

As of the conclusion of Week 14’s action, only the Philadelphia Eagles (11-2) have locked up a postseason spot.

The Eagles claimed the NFC East for the first time since 2013 with a win over the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday. The will clinch a first round bye with a win and losses by the Saints and the Panthers this weekend.

The Minnesota Vikings (10-3) with their loss remains second in the conference, still within striking range over the overall No. 1 seed.

With losses to the two teams ahead of them, the Rams (9-4) have a tough hill to climb to claim a first-round bye, but first they need to get back in the win column.

For the WildCard berths there was a wrench thrown into many teams plans with the Atlanta Falcons (8-5) defeating the New Orleans Saints (9-4) on Thursday night. Atlanta owns a tiebreaker over pretty much every team chasing them for the final playoff spot.

For the five remaining unclaimed spots in the postseason, 10 teams are still alive.

After Week 15 though, that number could dwindle down significantly.

RELATED: NEW 2018 NFL MOCK DRAFT 3.0

NFC Playoff Picture Week 15

NFC PLAYOFF BRACKET PROJECTION:
— #1 Philadelphia Eagles* (11-2) vs. BYE
— #2 Minnesota Vikings (10-3) vs. BYE
— #3 Los Angeles Rams (9-4) vs. #6 Atlanta Falcons (8-5)
— #4 New Orleans Saints (9-4) vs. #5 Carolina Panthers (9-4)

NFC TEAMS IN THE PLAYOFF HUNT:
— Seattle Seahawks (8-5)
— Detroit Lions (7-6)
— Green Bay Packers (7-6)
— Dallas Cowboys (7-6)
— Arizona Cardinals (6-7)

NFC TEAMS ELIMINATED PLAYOFF PICTURE:
— Washington Redskins (5-8)
— Tampa Bay Buccaneerrs (4-9)
— Chicago Bears (4-9)
— San Francisco 49ers (3-10)
— New York Giants (2-11)

SEEDING NOTES:
— Eagles own the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Rams, Panthers.
— Vikings own the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Rams, Saints, and Falcons.
— Saints own the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Panthers.
— Rams own the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Saints.
— Panthers own the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Vikings.

WILD CARD NOTES:
— Panthers own the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Lions.
— Falcons own the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Lions, Packers, Cowboys, and Seahawks.
— Lions own the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Cardinals.
— Packers own the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Seahawks, Cowboys.
— Cowboys own the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Cardinals.

Week 15 NFC Games With Playoff Implications:

Sat., Dec 16: Bears at Lions (4:30 p.m.)
Sun., Dec 17: Bengals at Vikings (1:00 p.m.)
Sun., Dec 17: Jets at Saints (1:00 p.m.)
Sun., Dec 17: Eagles at Giants (1:00 p.m.)
Sun., Dec 17: Cardinals at Redskins (1:00 p.m.)
Sun., Dec 17: Panthers at Packers (1:00 p.m.)
Sun., Dec 17: Rams at Seahawks (4:05 p.m.)
Sun., Dec 17: Cowboys at Raiders (8:30 p.m.)
Mon., Dec 18: Falcons at Buccaneers (8:30 p.m.)