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Need to Know: Will the Redskins turn up the pass rush heat?

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Need to Know: Will the Redskins turn up the pass rush heat?

Here is what you need to know on this Friday, November 15, two days before the Washington Redskins play the Philadelphia Eagles.

Nickel coverage

Here from the podium at Redskins Park are five notes and quotes from the head coach and coordinators.

1. When the Redskins were 3-6 last year, Jim Haslett unleashed a variety of blitzes on opposing quarterbacks. As one might suspect, he was not very revealing in his answer. “We’ll try to do whatever we can do if the opportunity arises, but obviously there’s things you can do based on who you’re playing, personnel, all that stuff,” he said. “But we’re always looking to do something to help us win the game.”

2. Mike Vick is unlikely to be playing but that doesn’t mean the Redskins can sleep on the possibility of the quarterback run. Nick Foles can gain some yardage on the ground. “It hasn’t changed at all,” said Haslett when asked about the Eagles’ QB running with Foles in the lineup. “Now they’ll still run the zone read, they still run option, they don’t do anything different than they’ve done before. It’s just instead of maybe a 10-yard gain it’s a six-yard gain. Nick’s got 20 rushing attempts for 80 yards this year.

3. Kyle Shanahan was asked about the notion of running “your” system regardless of how it fits the talent of the players on your roster. He gave a very blunt answer. “It’s pretty stupid. I personally don’t think anybody really does that,” he said. “Guys have systems they believe in but usually a system is language and they have plays that they like, but coaches aren’t just going to keep running plays that their players aren’t good at unless they want to get fired and suck at everything they do.”

4. Last year when the Redskins stood at 3-6 at the bye, Mike Shanahan had a presentation prepared that showed them the path to the playoffs to show that it could be done. The Redskins were three games out of the division lead at the time and they needed to be shown that the playoffs were still a possibility. Now they are a game and a half out so Shanahan took a different tack when meeting with the team this week. “What we did do is we went back through and looked at last year where we were at after nine games and went through the stats on both offense, defense and special teams,” said Shanahan. “Kind of gave them an idea on what we needed to improve on, on both sides of the ball as well as special teams. So you talk about that collectively – what we have to do over the last seven games.”

5. Robert Griffin III has been playing better as the season has gone on and Kyle was asked if that was due in part to some chemistry brewing between the quarterback and play caller. “The more time you get with somebody – I think I’ve got a pretty good feel on what he does best. You know what he does best and you’re always trying to push him to do more and that’s the goal working with him.”

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Stat of the day

—Robert Griffin III has lost three fumbles this season. He lost two all of last year.

Timeline

—Days until: Redskins @ Eagles 2; Monday night 49ers @ Redskins 10; Giants @ Redskins 16

—Today’s schedule: Practice 11:50; Mike Shanahan news conference and player availability after practice (approx. 1:30)

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Shanahan says special teams “much improved”

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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.