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Need to Know: Tracking the lineup changes around Redskins Park

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Need to Know: Tracking the lineup changes around Redskins Park

Here is what you need to know on this Friday, September 30, two days before the Washington Redskins host the Cleveland Browns.

Timeline

Today's schedule: Practice 12:05; Jay Gruden and Sean McVay  news conference and player availability after practice, approx. 1:30 p.m.

Days until: Redskins @ Ravens 9; Eagles @ Redskins 16; Redskins vs. Bengals in London 31

Around Redskins Park

—It appears that the left side of the starting offensive line for Sunday is set. Trent Williams will stay at left tackle (the move that was the people’s choice), Arie Kouandjio will get is first NFL start at left guard and Spencer Long will play center. John Sullivan is likely to be active but he will play center only if Long can’t. I know that there is some trepidation about Kouandjio since he has only one NFL snap on his resume. But if a fourth-round pick can’t play guard after two offseason programs, two training camps, and a lot of practices and meetings something is very wrong.

—The Redskins have to find out if Kouandjio is a viable option at left guard for the long term. It will be surprising if both Shawn Lauvao and Kory Lichtensteiger are back next year and it’s possible that both will be gone. Week 4 is not necessarily the time for tryouts and experimenting but when two starters in the interior of the line go down you are forced to make moves that are less than ideal.

—It’s possible that 2015 draft pick Austin Reiter would be starting at center on Sunday if he was still on the team. But the Browns signed him off of the practice squad and he could start for them against his former team. They like the way he progressed over the offseason but it appears that he was on the first 53-man roster only because Long was dealing with an ankle injury and they wanted Reiter available. Gruden said that he was let go after Long was healthy because he was the third center and he didn’t play much guard.

—We will have to see how things shake out at cornerback with Bashaud Breeland (andkle) definitely out and Dashaun Phillips (hamstring) likely sidelined. Josh Norman (who is unlikely to follow Terrelle Pryor) obviously is the one starters but we may not find out what the rest of the lineup is until they line up for the first snap on Sunday. Greg Toler started against the Giants as the third CB so he might start opposite Norman. Or it could be Quinton Dunbar, who is best suited to play on the outside. Third-round pick Kendall Fuller will be active and he should see some snaps in the slot.

—The picture at safety seems to be clear with DeAngelo Hall out for the year. Will Blackmon is the starting free safety and David Bruton remains at strong. That’s not exactly a tandem that inspires a lot of confidence, with Blackmon still learning his spot after nine years as a cornerback and Bruton struggling to adjust to the defense. Should Duke Ihenacho play more? I think he should at some point but his injury history makes it hard for the team to have much hope that he can contribute long term. But it’s a long season and it seems likely that Ihenacho will get his shot somewhere along the line. The fourth safety, Deshazor Everett, is still viewed as primarily a special teams player.

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Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—All-Redskins mock, fast-fading interest in Dez

Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—All-Redskins mock, fast-fading interest in Dez

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, April 21, five days before the 2018 NFL draft.  

The Redskins week that was

A look at some of the most popular posts and hottest topics of the week on Real Redskins and NBC Sports Washington

Should the Redskins pursue Dez Bryant? This topic was one like a meteor, very hot for a short period of time before it quickly faded out. It started to heat up as soon as the Cowboys cut Dez (about a month too late) and when it was reported that he wanted to play against Dallas twice a year it really picked up steam. But then people started to actually think and figured out that signing Bryant didn’t make much sense for the Redskins. Add to that the reports that the Redskins had no interest and would not look into signing Dez in the future and the Redskins fans quickly lost enthusiasm for the topic.

Seven-round Redskins mock draft—I think that most Redskins fans would be happy with this mock. Well, I’ll say some Redskins fans, most is a pretty strong word in this case. 

Is the draft pool deep enough for the Redskins to trade back? There is plenty of talk about the Redskins trading down in the first round to recoup the third-round pick they gave up in the Alex Smith trade. But they need to be careful. Many consider the draft to be top heavy and they may lose their chance to pick up an impact player if they trade back too far. The question then becomes one of quality vs. quantity. 

Three questions as offseason workouts get underway—There will be plenty more questions that we can ask about this team. But we don’t really know what to ask before the draft, particularly when it comes to the defensive line and running back. One the personnel settle into place we will know what we don’t know. 

Tweet of the week

On Chris Cooley’s thought that the Redskins might try to trade back and get Da’Ron Payne in the draft and the use the assets obtained to move up to get Derrius Guice. 

This is related to the questions about trading back. On paper it looks like a good idea, assuming the Redskins want Payne. We’re pretty sure they would like to have Guice but we haven’t heard as much about the Alabama defensive lineman. 

I had many reply that Guice won’t be there in the second round. It’s possible, perhaps even likely, but you just don’t know. There was zero chance that Jonathan Allen would be there at No. 17 last year, right? 

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:

—OTAs start (5/22) 31
—Training camp starts (7/26) 96
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 141

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Redskins' schedule "rest disparity" is very fair in 2018

Redskins' schedule "rest disparity" is very fair in 2018

The NFL started taking into account a new factor when putting together its schedule this year. The concept is called rest disparity. It stems from a complaint made by the Giants last year. And, of course, when the Giants have a cold, the NFL sneezes and immediately does whatever it takes to cure the cold. 

Here is how Peter King laid it out this morning on the MMQB:

Last year, I heard the Giants were not pleased with their schedule because they felt they were too often playing teams more rested than they were. In consecutive October weeks, they played teams coming off byes, for instance. The NFL calculated a figure for every team based on the number of combined days of rest for their foes or for the team, calculating, for instance, in those two weeks, the Giants were a minus-14 (minus-seven for each of the foes, Seattle and Denver, coming off byes). In all, by my math, the Giants were a league-worst minus-22 in “rest disparity.”

So the schedule makers worked to minimize the rest disparity this year. According to King, the worst rest disparity in the league this year is minus-11. The Giants are minus-eight. 

The question that Redskins fans will have immediately here is if the Giants’ rest disparity was reduced at the expense of the team in burgundy and gold. The answer that will surprise many is no. 

The Redskins rest disparity in 2018 will be either minus-one or zero. The variance is due to the possibility that their Week 16 game in Tennessee will be flexed to a Saturday game (see details here). If the game stays on Sunday, they will be at minus-one in rest disparity. If it gets moved, they will have had exactly as much rest over the course of the season as did their opponents, in aggregate. 

If you're interested in the nitty-gritty, here is how it breaks down. In eight or nine of their games, they will have had the same amount of rest as their opponents. They play one game coming off of their bye, a Monday night game in New Orleans. The Saints play the previous Sunday, giving Washington a plus-seven in days of rest. That is canceled out when they play the Falcons in Week 9 after Atlanta’s bye. 

Due to their Thanksgiving game, they get three extra days off going into their Week 13 Monday night game in Philadelphia. Two weeks later the Jaguars will have those three extra days of rest when they host the Redskins, having played on Thursday in Week 14.

They lose a day relative to their opponents coming off of those Monday night games against the Saints and Eagles. The Redskins get an extra day prior to visiting the Giants in Week 8 as New York has a Monday night game in Week 7. 

So far, that comes to minus-one in rest disparity. That will remain in place if they play the Titans on Sunday, December 23. If the game is flexed to Saturday, they will gain a day of rest on the Eagles in Week 17, zeroing out the rest disparity for the season. 

More Redskins

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.