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Need to Know: Will there be any Redskins roster additions before camp?

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Need to Know: Will there be any Redskins roster additions before camp?

Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, July 15, 15 days before the Washington Redskins start training camp.

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.

I’ll also take your Need to Know questions via email. Hit me up rich.tandler+csn@gmail.com with “NTK” in the subject line. Just keep them relatively brief, please. 

Today’s question comes from the Real Redskins Facebook page:

I think Scot McCloughan and Jay Gruden are generally happy with the 90 players who are on their roster. They are not under any delusions that it’s a Super Bowl team, mind you, but they believed that they upgraded as best they could give the cap space and draft picks they had and pool of available talent.

But that doesn’t mean they won’t consider signing someone if they think he is an upgrade. I think that there are two areas on particular they might like to upgrade, tight end and free safety. But the free agency pools are not very deep and the quality of the players available is highly suspect.

At tight end, the name that jumps out at you there is Jermaine Gresham. The Bengals drafted him in the first round in 2010 and he made consecutive Pro Bowls when Jay Gruden came to Cincinnati as the offensive coordinator the following year.

Gresham to Washington would seem to be a good fit but there are some issues. He underwent surgery for a herniated disc in his back in March and there hasn’t been much interest in him by any team. At this point I think he will wait and sign with a team after training camp starts. There has been no word that Gruden was even interested in kicking the tires on Gresham but that doesn’t mean they won’t, especially if Jordan Reed ends up sidelined with another injury during training camp.

Outside of Gresham it’s pretty slim pickings when it comes to free agents at tight end. Zach Miller was cut by Seattle in a cap move but he is coming off of an ankle injury that landed him on IR last year and approaching 30 years old. We know that McCloughan has an aversion to signing free agents with a “3” at the start of their age.

The choices at free safety are similarly unattractive. The Giants, who are starving at safety, chose not to attempt to re-sign Quintin Demps, who started nine games for them last year. As of now, there don’t appear to be any free safeties on the market who would be upgrades.

In fact, the market was very slim to begin with. Otherwise, McCloughan would not have settled for trading for Dashon Goldson, who will turn 31 during Week 2 of the season. He almost had no choice but to agree to pay Goldson $4 million this year, coming off of two bad years in Tampa Bay.

They will have their eyes open, looking at the waiver wire to see if anyone who can help them lands there. But the lack of quality players at positions of need who are on the street at this time will have them them standing pat until they report to training camp two weeks from today.

Timeline

—It’s been 199 days since the Redskins played a game. It will be 60 days until they play the Dolphins at FedEx Field.

Days until: Redskins training camp starts 15; Preseason opener @ Browns 29; final cuts 52

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Need to Know: Last look at Redskins vs. Giants

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Need to Know: Last look at Redskins vs. Giants

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, November 25, five days before the Washington Redskins play the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium.

Timeline

Today’s schedule: No media availability  

Days until:

—Redskins @ Chargers (12/10) 15
—Cardinals @ Redskins (12/17) 22
—Broncos @ Redskins Christmas Eve (12/24) 29

Last look at Redskins vs Giants

Defense is on again—The Redskins have not played well on defense the last couple of weeks, allowing a total of 72 points to the Vikings and Saints. But they had a solid game against the Giants, with some help from inaccurate Eli Manning passes and some drops. But the numbers are what they are and they say three points allowed (not counting the seven on the pick six) and 170 yards of offense for New York. It’s the second time this year the Redskins have held an opponent to 170 yards or fewer (Raiders got 128 in week 3). It’s the first time the Redskins have held two opponents to 170 or fewer in the same season since 2004. For the Giants, it was their lowest offensive output since 2013.

Kirk Cousins’ night—Is it fair to say that he had a solid outing? Or is that not enough? He did lead a drive to the winning touchdown in the latter half of the fourth quarter of a tie game. The Redskins have won five games and Cousins has fourth-quarter game-winning drives in four of them. On Thursday, he completed 61 percent of his passes for 7.8 yards per attempt with two touchdowns and an interception that only the harshest critics (and there are many out there) would pin on him. Both of the TDs were special plays in their own ways. Cousins did take six sacks—those are not all on the makeshift offensive line—and he misfired on some passes. He deserves a solid B+ grade for the game.

Hall sits—A lot of people were alarmed by what they saw out of DeAngelo Hall in New Orleans, especially in the late going as Drew Brees got hot. Apparently, the Redskins’ coaches were among them. Even with starter Montae Nicholson sidelined with a concussion, Hall did not play a single snap on defense. It will be interesting to see if he is inactive when Nicholson is ready to play, possibly as early as next Thursday.

On a streak—No, not in the big wins column. I’m talking about winning the opening coin toss. The Redskins have now won two in a row. In the nine games prior to that, the Redskins had extraordinarily bad luck, going 2-7 in the 50-50 proposition. It remains very much in vogue for teams to defer after winning the toss. That has been the choice of the winners of the toss in 10 of the Redskins’ 11 games. The only team that chose to receive after winning the toss was the Raiders in Week 3.

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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Kirk Cousins breaks down the terribleness of FedEx Field grass

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Kirk Cousins breaks down the terribleness of FedEx Field grass

For years, the Redskins struggle with their home field as the fall turns to winter. It's been happening so long it's become an expected passing of the seasons, like the transition from Halloween jack-o-lanterns to Christmas lights dotting people's front yards. 

Well, on Thanksgiving night, the turf at FedEx Field again showed how bad it can be. On a second half interception returned for a New York Giants touchdown, replay showed that Kirk Cousins' foot got stuck on the dirt, and it played a role in his sailing a ball to the sideline. The bad turf was not the only reason for the interception, but it was definitely a reason. 

Beyond the pick, the field was just ugly. Twitter blew up making fun of the Redskins home grass, and the national broadcast showed just how unsightly the long brown patch between the hash marks looked. 

On Friday, the normally diplomatic Cousins opened up about the grass.

"It probably doesn't look like a professional NFL field should," the quarterback said on 106.7 the Fan (full audio here). "If you think the field is rough now on Thanksgiving, we've got two more home games in mid-to-late December. That's probably going to be a bigger challenge."

Asked about the field's impact on the interception on Thursday night, Cousins ignored it. But plenty of other players have suggested the field is a known problem in the second half, and something they just must deal with. 

"I don't know why it is that way or what causes it," Cousins said. "I've kind of learned to accept it and understand it's part of the deal. Playing here on the field has never been that great in the second half of the season for whatever the reason."

[h/t @BenStandig for the Cousins quotes]

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