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Need to Know: What they're saying about the Redskins--Bullish on Cousins

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Need to Know: What they're saying about the Redskins--Bullish on Cousins

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, September 20, one day before the Washington Redskins go to Philadelphia to play the Eagles.

What they’re saying about the Redskins

Here is a look around the Interwebs at what they’re saying about the Redskins. Spoiler—many are bullish on Kirk Cousins.

NFL.com has this to say in its post ranking the Redskins 27th in their power poll:

It's rare that a team has a better shot of winning when the backup quarterback comes in. We haven't seen that since Doug Flutie was the understudy for Rob Johnson (who, by the way, is one of the many who have played quarterback for Washington since Y2K). So I guess you know where I'm headed with this. Can you blame me? Kirk Cousins' day against the Jaguars, with Robert Griffin III out: 22-of-33 passing for 250 yards and two touchdowns. That said, now Washington has little depth at QB if Cousins falters. Tough to put this team higher for now.

Pat Kirwan of CBSsports.com give quick kudos to the Redskins defense in ranking them 24th:

A number of people feel Kirk Cousins is an upgrade from RG3. We will find out in the next few weeks as opponents gather game tapes of him. My hats off to a Redskins defense that got 10 sacks this past week.

Our corporate cousins at Pro Football Talk have Washington ranked at 22 and they make a good point:

With a defense capable of generating 10 sacks, maybe Joe Theismann could play quarterback for this team and win.

Geoff Mosher of CSN Philly, another corporate cousin, also recognizes that the Redskins have improved defensively.

ILBs Keenan Robinson and Perry Riley Jr. can both run like the wind. Robinson isn’t as much of coverage liability as London Fletcher had (finally) become and Riley gets after the ball. This won’t be the same ‘Skins team that gave up 263 rushing yards to the Eagles in last year’s opener.

Nick Foles needs to stay calm and go through progressions but he’ll also have to make quicker decisions. He’s missing open wideouts because he’s drifting at the first sign of pressure instead of stepping up and keeping his feet planted. Foles has survived on checkdowns to Darren Sproles and LeSean McCoy, who are 1 and 1a as the team’s receiving leaders, and the occasional 20-yard strike to tight end Zach Ertz.

Chip Kelly loves his vertical routes but it might behoove the offense to lean heavier on screens and shorter stuff to keep Foles protected and prevent the ‘Skins from teeing off in the pass rush and generating early momentum.

Mosher, I should note, predicts a loss for the home team in that same post:

Looks for a physical, knock ‘em-sock ’em kind of game between these two division rivals. The team that commits the fewest turnovers will win. I think the Eagles’ injuries on the offensive line and inside linebacker come back to haunt them.

-- Redskins 26, Eagles 24

On the Birds 24/7 blog, Sheil Kapadia also notes that pressure on Nick Foles will be critical:

We have to start up front. Washington had 10 sacks last week against the Jaguars, and the Eagles have had some breakdowns in protection. The toughest matchup for the Birds is right tackle Gardner against outside linebacker Ryan Kerrigan. Kerrigan piled up four sacks in Week 2.

Hatcher can also get pressure on the interior; he's got 2.5 sacks so far.

Nick Foles has not looked comfortable when faced with pressure. His performance through two games has been uneven. Foles is 48-for-82 (58.5 percent) and averaging 8.0 YPA. He has thrown three touchdowns compared to two interceptions. Foles has been chucking it downfield a ton so far. According to Pro Football Focus, 22 percent of his passes have traveled 20+ yards from the line of scrimmage. That's the top mark in the league. But Foles will need to have time to feel comfortable in the pocket and hit on those shot plays.

The expert picks on ESPN are a landslide in favor of the Eagles. Of the 13 making selections, only Mike Ditka picks Washington. For what it’s worth, four of the 13 pick the Jaguars to win last week. The panel at CBSsports.com is equally partial to Philly with one of nine pickers going with the Redskins.

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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Timeline

Today’s schedule: Team travels to Philadelphia, no availability

Days until: Redskins @ Eagles 1; Thursday night Giants @ Redskins 5; Monday night Seahawks @ Redskins 17

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Need to Know: Five safe draft picks for the Redskins

Need to Know: Five safe draft picks for the Redskins

Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, April 22, four days before the 2018 NFL draft.  

Five safe picks for the Redskins

Sometimes teams try to hit home runs with their draft picks. They may hit a few but they also will strike out a lot. Teams often are better off trying to hit solid singles and doubles. Here are five picks who would are unlikely to make many Pro Bowls but the Redskins would not regret the pick if they turned in the cards with their names on it. 

RB Kerryon Johnson, Auburn—I’m starting off here with a player who would be a safe pick in the third round. Of course, the Redskins don’t have a third right now but if they do swing a trade and get one, Johnson would be a good pick. He doesn’t have breakaway speed, which is one reason why he might be available in the third. He is a grinder who will be an upgrade over Samaje Perine and Rob Kelley. 

DL Vita Vea, Washington—There is plenty of hand wringing over whether Vea is a three-down player or just a base defense nose tackle. But even if he can’t rush the passer very well his floor is a player who can go a long way towards helping the Redskins stop the run, a chronic weakness. This is why a lot of fans and media are urging the Redskins to not overthink this and take a player that will, at a minimum, bolster one of their weakest areas. 

OL Billy Price, Ohio State—He started 55 games for the Buckeyes, the most of any player in the storied history of the program. He did suffer the partial tear of a chest muscle in the combine but that will be fully healed by training camp. When he’s ready, he’s an explosive, smart, and powerful player. Just plug him in at left guard and the Redskins’ O-line is set with all home-grown talent. 

LB Leighton Vander Esch, Boise State—He doesn’t have the ceiling that the more heralded Roquan Smith and Tremaine Edmunds have. However, he may have a higher floor. Smith is undersized, and Edmunds will be highly drafted based more on potential than on production. At 6-4, 256, Vander Esch has plenty of size, and he racked up 141 tackles last year on his way to defensive player of the year honors in the Mountain West. 

 CB Isaiah Oliver, Colorado—The All-Pac-12 selection has the size and athleticism that add up to a safe pick in the second round. He needs some work on technique, but he has enough natural athletic ability—he competed in the decathlon—to be a productive cornerback right out of the gate. One other plus that fans will appreciate is that his strength is press coverage, not off man. 

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page, Facebook.com/TandlerNBCSand follow him on Twitter  @TandlerNBCS.

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Timeline  

Days until:

—OTAs start (5/22) 30
—Training camp starts (7/26) 95
—Redskins @ Cardinals (9/9) 140

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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

In case you missed it