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Need to Know: What to expect from the Redskins defensive line

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Need to Know: What to expect from the Redskins defensive line

Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, September 7, five days before the Washington Redskins open their season against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Timeline

Today's schedule: Practice 1:00; Jay Gruden and Kirk Cousins news conferences and player availability after practice approx. 3:00

—The Redskins last played a game that counted 241 days ago. It will be five days until they host the Steelers in their 2016 season opener.

Days until: Cowboys @ Redskins 11; Browns @ Redskins 25; Redskins @ Ravens 32

Question(s) of the day: The defensive line

When I put out a call for Redskins questions for this post the vast majority of them were about the defensive line. I chose this one to represent many queries on the subject.

First, Chris, it would be inaccurate to say that the D-line personnel has barely changed. Half of the six linemen who made the 53 are new to the organization in 2016. Ziggy Hood and Kendall Reyes signed as free agents and Anthony Lanier made it as an undrafted free agent.

But I can understand why you might think that the personnel is the same because I’m not sure we can expect different results. The 2015 Redskins were 26th in the NFL allowing 122.6 yards per game and 30th in yards per carry, giving up 4.8 yards per carry. It’s hard to look at the line—and, yes, there is more to rushing defense than the line but it starts there—and figure that they will do much better this year.

The rub with hoping that continuity with Barry and DL coach Rob Akey is at the top of the post here. Three of the players are new so it’s all new to them. Sure, holdovers Chris Baker, Kedric Golston, and Ricky Jean Francois can give the new guys some pointers here and there but it’s not the same as having actually played in the system.

All of this doesn’t mean that the Redskins’ defense is doomed. They do have continuity at linebacker and Preston Smith could be a monster setting the edge. I see Will Compton, in his first full year as that starter and signal caller, making more of a difference in the run game. So the rushing defense could be better. But it can’t make great improvement in that area without improvement on the line and I don’t see that coming.

For one other comment on the defensive line, check out my Facebook post below.

Tandler on Twitter Facebook
https://www.facebook.com/RealRedskins/photos/a.179189572122135.32436.177228722318220/1215756941798721/?type=3
In case you missed it 

 

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Redskins Week 15 injury report: Two out, seven questionable vs. Cardinals

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USA TODAY Sports

Redskins Week 15 injury report: Two out, seven questionable vs. Cardinals

Redskins linebacker Zach Brown may want to power through his myriad of injuries but he won’t be able to do it this week.

Brown is one of two Redskins who have been declared out for the game against the Cardinals on Sunday. Jay Gruden listed his injuries as toe/ankle/Achilles/hip. This will be the first game that Brown has missed with the Redskins and his first since he was with the Titans in 2014.

Also out is safety Montae Nicholson, who will miss his fourth straight game with a concussion.

MORE REDSKINS: IS GALETTE ON HIS WAY OUT?

Listed as questionable are OT Morgan Moses (ankle), OT Trent Williams (knee), OLB Ryan Anderson (ankle), WR Ryan Grant (ankle), WR Maurice Harris (concussion), DE Terrell McClain (toe), and C Chase Roullier (hand).

Williams’ status for Sunday is very much in doubt. His usual pattern since sustaining a knee injury in Week 4 has been to sit out the first two days of practice and then participate in the third. However, he was not on the field on Friday during the portion of practice that was open to the media. Jay Gruden said that he did join the team at some point but he didn’t indicate that he took part in any football activity.

He has missed three games and it would not be surprising if he missed a fourth on Sunday. If Williams can’t go, Ty Nsekhe will start at left tackle.

RELATED: REED LIKELY TO STAY IN 2018

Roullier has been out the last three games with a broken right (snapping) hand. He has had the cast off of it for a couple of weeks now and he could be ready to go on Sunday.

Harris was out of the game against the Chargers last Sunday with a concussion. He has been practicing on a limited basis all week. The chances that he can pass the concussion protocol seem good, although with concussions it is always difficult to know for sure.

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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Why ailing Zach Brown has plenty of incentive to keep playing

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USA Today Sports Images

Why ailing Zach Brown has plenty of incentive to keep playing

Redskins linebacker Zach Brown missed practice for a second straight day on Thursday, putting doubt into his availability for the game against the Cardinals.

Brown is leading the league in combined tackles and, probably, in injuries.

The team’s injury report says that he is dealing with four of them—toe, Achilles, and ankle with an illness piled on top of those.

“They’re hindering him quite a bit,” Jay Gruden said of Brown’s laundry list of ailments.

“Sickness is starting to clear up a little bit but he’s still a little sore. We’ll see if he makes any progress tomorrow. It’d have to be pretty significant, but we’ll have to wait and see.”

MORE REDSKINS: IS GALETTE ON HIS WAY OUT?

The illness might clear up but the other injuries are unlikely to go away until a few weeks into the offseason. He is getting treatments that include massage, laser, and acupuncture but rest is the only thing that will get rid of the problems.

Some have wondered why Brown persists with multiple injuries and the team now mathematically eliminated from the playoffs. For one thing, playing is what he does.

“I like to play the game,” said Brown last week.

RELATED: WEEK 15 POWER RANKINGS

“I like to play the game with passion and I hate to lose. I try my best to help people do better, just trying to help some of the young guys. At the end of the day, you rest when the season’s over.”

There are financial considerations as well, on a couple of different fronts. Brown will be a free agent in 2018 and he is risking further injury that could lower his value on the market. He says that does not factor into is thinking.

“Last two years I was on the free agent market, it’s the way I play,” he said. “If that was the case I would have just shut it down already.”

There are other, more immediate financial considerations as well. Brown has per-game roster bonuses of $15,625 that are paid if he is on the list of 46 active players. And he has incentive bonuses of up to $2.3 million according to Over the Cap. It’s safe to say that at least some of those bonuses will be attainable only if Brown is able to play effectively in all or nearly all of the scheduled 16 games.

RELATED: REED LIKELY TO STAY IN 2018

Brown hasn’t spoken about the incentive bonus money being important and, given his answer to the free agency question, he probably wouldn’t. But this is not a player who has made a ton of money in his career. According to Spotrac, if he hits on his roster bonuses and on his likely to be earned incentives this year he will have about $7.7 million in career earnings. That’s a good chunk of money but once you take away taxes, a cut to his agent and other various and sundry expenses it’s not “set for life” money. It’s likely that his bank account would notice whatever he can collect in incentives.

Gruden has said that Brown is a player who could go on Sunday even with only one practice under his belt. We will know a lot more about his status this afternoon when his practice status for Friday and his game status for Sunday will be announced on the injury report.