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Need to Know: What power blocking linemen are available for the Redskins?

Need to Know: What power blocking linemen are available for the Redskins?

Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, April 7, 23 days before the Washington Redskins go on the clock at the NFL draft.

Question of the day

A few days a week I’ll give an in-depth answer to a question submitted by a fan on my Twitter feed, via the Real Redskins Facebook page, or in the comments section here. On Twitter address the questions to me at @Rich_TandlerCSN with the #NTK hashtag. There will be a comment thread set up on the Facebook page and if you’re asking your question here, put “for NTK” at the start of the comment.

Today’s question comes from Twitter:

Yesterday Tarik and I discussed the Redskins’ likely shift to more of a power rushing with Bill Callahan on board. I noted that the Redskins currently have two starting linemen who are ill-suited to power blocking in RG Chris Chester and C Kory Lichtensteiger. Who could replace them?

I know that everyone is all anxious for the Redskins to draft offensive linemen and everything but there are players currently on the roster who could take over as starters this year or next and make the O-line better suited to power blocking.

The potential guard is Spencer Long, last year’s third-round draft pick. At 6-5, 311 (and able to add on more weight if necessary) he has the size for the power technique.

A lot of people were surprised a year ago when center Tyler Larsen went undrafted out of Utah State. He did not play last year and the Redskins were able to pick him up as a street free agent. He’s 6-4, 315, on the large size for a center. Larsen is not a sure thing and he probably needs a year of seasoning to really find out if he will. But he is as good a shot as any mid- to late-round pick will be.

But if McCloughan is unsure about Long and wants insurance in case Larsen can’t make it, there are options in the draft. I did a Draft Countdown post on my favorite guard in the draft a few weeks ago. Laken Tomlinson of Duke is 6-3, 323, and he has the high level of intelligence that is a characteristic of good O-linemen.

I’m not sure McCloughan will take Tomlinson with their top pick in the second round but if they get a later second-rounder in a trade Tomlinson might be in play. If he’s still there in the third he could be hard to pass up.

Cameron Erving is the consensus best center in the draft and he could blast some defenders out of the middle of the line. He has plenty of technical flaws but as a converted defensive lineman that is to be expected. There’s nothing wrong with him technique-wise that Bill Callahan can’t fix.

Erving could be gone by the time the Redskins pick in the second round. If they want him and he’s still there, they have better get him at No. 38.

Timeline

—It’s been 100 days since the Redskins played a game. It will be about 159 days until they play another one.

Days until: Redskins offseason workouts start 13; 2015 NFL Draft 23; Redskins training camp starts 114

If you have any questions about what's going on at Redskins Park, hit me up in the comments. And I'm always on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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Need to Know: Final thoughts on Redskins vs. Giants

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Need to Know: Final thoughts on Redskins vs. Giants

Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, November 23, seven days before the Washington Redskins play the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium.

Timeline

Today’s schedule: Redskins Kickoff 7:30 NBC Sports Washington; Redskins vs. Giants, NBC, 8:30  

Days until:

—Redskins @ Cowboys Thursday night (11/30) 7
—Redskins @ Chargers (12/10) 17
—Cardinals @ Redskins (12/17) 24

Final thoughts on Redskins vs Giants

Look out for Eli—There are many reasons why the Giants are 2-8 but Eli Manning is not one of them. He isn’t nearly the turnover machine he has been for much of his career. His interception percentage this year is 1.6; he hasn’t been under 2.3 percent interceptions this decade. Manning only has 14 touchdown passes but considering that Odell Beckham, who went out in the fourth game of the season, still leads Giants wide receivers in touchdown receptions, that’s not bad.

Running game stuck—What makes Manning’s performance even more impressive is the fact that he doesn’t get much support from a running game. The Giants are 26th in the league with 920 yards. They have gained some traction lately after installing Orleans Darkwa as the starting running back; he is averaging 4.8 yards per carry for the season and 71 yards per game over the last three games. The Redskins certainly don’t want to let him get going tonight.

Reverting to reality—The Giants ranked 32nd in total defense in 2015. They dropped millions on free agents such as Janoris Jenkins, David Harrison, and Olivier Vernon and jumped to 10th. Now, this year they are 31st and equally bad against the pass (29th) and the run (30th). Health hasn’t been a huge issue, although Vernon has missed a few games and Jenkins was suspended. Redskins fans know full well that spending sprees don’t necessarily make for permanent improvements and Giants fans are learning it this year.

Keys to winning

  • Run the ballThe Redskins are 4-2 this year when rushing for 90 yards or more.
  • Continue to protect the ball—The Redskins have turned the ball over just twice in their last three games.
  • Don’t give them hope—The Chiefs let the Giants hang around last week and New York stole a win. The Redskins need to get on top early and mash down on the gas pedal.

Prediction—It’s hard to see a scenario where the Redskins lose this one. Even in their injury-depleted state they are battling every game and the same can’t be said for their opponents today. The weather forecast is for cold temperatures but not much wind, ideal conditions for Cousins to throw for 300 yards. For once, the Redskins get up early and keep going.

Redskins 31, Giants 13

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.

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Everybody thinks the intentional grounding call against Kirk Cousins was wrong, except Troy Aikman

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Everybody thinks the intentional grounding call against Kirk Cousins was wrong, except Troy Aikman

The referees made a fairly obvious mistake last week in the Redskins loss to the Saints when they flagged Washington quarterback Kirk Cousins for intentional grounding late in the game. 

Let's be honest: the call was terrible.

Cousins never felt a pass rush on the play, and was very obviously throwing the ball away. Jay Gruden talked about the play on Monday, and could not figure out how a flag came out in that situation. 

We had two receivers in the area. Quarterbacks throws it away all the time that are uncatchable balls whether they are in the pocket or not. As long as there is a receiver in the area, you can throw it whether they are looking or not. Guys run bad routes – one guy runs a hitch and he’s supposed to run a go and the quarterback throws the go ball, it’s not grounding. So I don’t know why the confusion.

The NFL even reached out and apologized to Redskins team president Bruce Allen for the blown call, a hollow gesture that did not generate much excitement from Cousins (via 106.7 the Fan). 

Whatever they do to say, ‘we’re sorry, wrong call,’ it’s tough because there’s nobody bringing that up in February or March when we're making decisions about which direction to go with the organization. We appreciate the clarification but you know it really doesn’t do much.

If you're keeping score, the NFL, the Redskins head coach and the Redskins quarterback all know the call was wrong. 

You know who doesn't think the call was wrong? Fox analyst, and former Cowboys Hall of Fame QB, Troy Aikman.

Grounding? Free rusher? Decide for yourself below.