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Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—Cornerbacks, schedules, pass pressure

Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—Cornerbacks, schedules, pass pressure

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, July 16, 12 days before the Washington Redskins start training camp in Richmond.


—The Redskins last played a game 188 days ago. It will be 58 days until they host the Steelers in their 2016 season opener.

Days until: Preseason opener @ Falcons 26; Final roster cut 49; Cowboys @ Redskins 65

The Redskins week that was

Where do Breeland and Norman rank?—A former NFL cornerback ranked the top seven cornerback tandems in the NFL. The Redskins’ duo of Bashaud Breeland and Josh Norman was not among them. I’m not sure that they should be but I do think that they belong right beside the corners from one division team that did make the list.

Analysis shows Redskins 2016 schedule very difficult—Based on last year, this is true. But you never know how tough a schedule really is until you line up for the games. The Redskins were supposed to be easy W’s last year but that turned out not to be the case. The Cowboys were going to be impossible to beat; they went 4-12. If you want to worry in advance, feel free. But injuries and changes in teams’ fortunes can change the picture rapidly so we’ll see what happens.

Cousins needs to improve handling pass rush—The good news was that the Redskins’ QB wasn’t under pressure a lot, thanks to good blocking and his ability to get rid of the ball quickly. The bad news was that when he was under pressure his performance dropped off more than that of all but one quarterback. It’s something that Cousins will have to work on if he is going to take the next step in his development as an NFL QB.

Redskins by the numbers—Ball protection—I started looking at some turnover numbers in games that the Redskins won and lost and found a few interesting patters. For one thing, they had a very difficult time overcoming their turnovers.

Redskins fans the worst in the NFC East? For Real?—The methodology on this post is interesting and it seems to be subjective but some of the results don’t make a lot of sense. Redskins fans worst in the NFC East? Chiefs fans among the worst in the NFL? Not buying it.

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Redskins make contract offer to pass rusher Pernell McPhee, per report


Redskins make contract offer to pass rusher Pernell McPhee, per report

Free agent pass rusher Pernell McPhee visited the Redskins on Monday, and by Tuesday night a report emerged that Washington offered the veteran outside linebacker a contract.

Last week, Trent Murphy signed with the Buffalo Bills and things remain uncertain between the Redskins and Junior Galette. That means the organization has a need for an edge rushing linebacker, and that's exactly the role McPhee can play. 

A 29-year-old that played the last three seasons with the Bears, McPhee posted 14 sacks while in Chicago. Prior to his time with the Bears, McPhee was a solid contributor on some good Ravens teams. 


His best season in Baltimore came in 2014 when he posted 7.5 sacks. That's also the last season McPhee played a full 16 game schedule. He's missed 12 games over the last three years in Chicago. 

McPhee could provide the Redskins with solid veteran depth at outside linebacker, and he's also considered a plus defender against the run. With Ryan Kerrigan and Preston Smith cemented as the starting outside linebackers, if signed, McPhee would pair up with Ryan Anderson on Washington's second unit. At 6-foot-2 and 275 lbs., McPhee carries more weight on his frame than either Kerrigan or Smith. 

Pro Football Focus gave McPhee a strong grade for the 2017 season. He notched a +11.5 and ranked 13th out of 46 outside linebackers graded. For comparison, Broncos star Von Miller ranked 1st at +57, Kerrigan ranked 8th at +22.9 and Galette ranked 10th at +16.2.

It's unclear what a move for McPhee would mean between the Redskins and Galette, but it's hard to imagine it helps.

Free agent Johnathan Hankins also visited Washington on Monday, and while he plays an interior defensive line position different from McPhee, it's also unclear what this offer would do to any negotiations between the Redskins and Hankins. 

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Ryan Grant reportedly signing with Colts after failed physical with Ravens

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Ryan Grant reportedly signing with Colts after failed physical with Ravens

It looks like Ryant Grant has found his new home, again.

After a failed physical with the Ravens, James Jones of NFL Network reports Grant plans to sign with the Colts.


Grant originally agreed to a four-year, $29 million deal with the Ravens, before the team pulled the offer citing an ankle injury that dated to the Redskins' final regular-season game, according to reports.

Baltimore eventually signed Michael Crabtree to a three-year deal, while Grant had visits with the Colts and Raiders.

His agent, Rocky Arceneaux, says Grant has been working out, running routes, and his ankle had been cleared by Dr. Robert Anderson in a second opinion.

In 2017 with the Redskins, he appeared in all 16 games, with 45 receptions for 573 yards and four touchdowns.