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Need to Know: Who's in-out for Redskins-Steelers

Need to Know: Who's in-out for Redskins-Steelers

RICHMOND—Here is what you need to know on this Monday, August 19, five days before the Redskins take on the Bills at FedEx Field.

Game chat tonight

We had a great turnout for our first game chat of the year so tonight should be a lot of fun as well. Tarik, JP, and I will all be at FedEx Field for Redskins vs. Steelers. We'll get the chat going right here at 7:30 getting ready for the 8:00 kickoff.

See you there!

Playing time estimate roundup

Mike Shanahan is well known for keeping estimates for playing time in preseason games a closely guarded secret. He has, however, been more forthcoming lately. Here is the information I’ve been able to glean from various comments by players and by Shanahan.

Starters: “Normally, going into the second game, we double the reps of the first game,” said Shanahan. This might be a little bit more depending on how the game goes but in that 25-30 play range is what we normally do in the second game. We’ll just have to kind of get a feel as the game goes, but it’ll be somewhere in that area.”

For reference/comparison purposes, the Redskins ran 35 snaps on offense against the Titans while Tennessee ran 26.

Here is what was said about some specific players:

Brian Orakpo: Missed practice with a bruised quad but Shanahan said he could play “barring a setback”.

Rookie running backs Chris Thompson and Jawan Jamison: Shanahan gave a somewhat vague answer when asked if these two would play. “A lot has to do with kind of the flow of the game, how the game’s going,” he said. “Yeah, we’re going to try to evaluate all our players over the next three games, get everybody a chance, but it’s kind of hard to tell you exactly what’s going to happen because I’m not positive at this time.” Thompson did tell Tarik El-Bashir that he will play.

QB Kirk Cousins: Shanahan said that Cousins, who is both the No. 1 and No. 2 QB for the time being, will play a half, which could carry him beyond the 25-30 snaps the starters are schedule to play.

QB’s Rex Grossman and Pat White: Shanahan said both are likely to play, depending on how many snaps the offense runs.

RB Roy Helu Jr.: After having a strong game against the Titans, Helu will get some more snaps this week. “He’ll get some playing time this week,” said Shanahan.

TE Fred Davis: Might play past when the other starters exit. “He will probably play close to half,” said Shanahan.

TE Jordan Reed: It looks like Reed will make his debut on Monday. “I think so,” Shanahan said when asked.

WR Donte Stallworth (hamstring): He did not practice all week. “He’s getting a little bit better, but not good enough to play,” said Shanahan.

ILB Rodderick Muckelroy (shoulder): “Muckelroy right now, his shoulder is still sore,” said Shanahan. “We’ll see how it is over the next couple of days. It’s probably a long shot.”

CB Ryan Mouton (hamstring): “Mouton is a longshot as well,” Shanahan said.

LB Nick Barnett: The in-camp signee is still working his way into shape and recovering from offseason knee surgery. “He will not play” against the Steelers on Monday night, Shanahan said. “Hopefully there is an outside chance that he might take a few reps against Buffalo.”

Reports out of Pittsburgh indicate that the Steelers will play their first offensive unit for about a quarter but their starting offensive line may play the entire first half, depending on snap counts.

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Today’s schedule

Steelers at Redskins, FedEx Field, 8 p.m., ESPN

Minnifield turning heads in camp

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Days until: Bills @ Redskins 5; Final cuts 12; Eagles @ Redskins 21

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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

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