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Need to Know: With more turmoil ahead, it's deja vu all over again for the Redskins

Need to Know: With more turmoil ahead, it's deja vu all over again for the Redskins

Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, December 7, seven days before the Washington Redskins go to the Meadowlands to play the New York Giants.

Team turmoil is at it again

Here we are again.

Last year on December 8 the 3-9 Redskins played a Sunday afternoon game against the Chiefs in front of a crowd that was announced to be 56,247 but in reality it seemed to be about half of that. Before the game, an ESPN report said that coach Mike Shanahan was on the verge of quitting his job the previous January over supposed favored treatment that owner Dan Snyder gave quarterback Robert Griffin III. The report kicked off several weeks off turmoil that ended with Shanahan getting fired.

Today, a year minus one day later, the opponent is the Rams but the circumstances are very similar.

The Redskins are again 3-9. With ticket prices plummeting on the secondary market it looks like the stadium will not be very full. And, again, the most anticipated event of the day will not be the opening kickoff but the head coach's postgame press conference.

At issue is a report by Jason Reid of the Washington Post. There are many layers to the story and you should read it if you haven’t already. Here is the critical point:
Although it’s unknown whether Snyder and [general manager Bruce] Allen eventually will agree to trade Griffin, what has become clear from recent conversations with Redskins officials is that [head coach Jay] Gruden believes he needs a clean break from Griffin to focus on fixing Washington’s 3-9 mess. And if Snyder and Allen commit to Griffin as the starter in 2015, Gruden could be “one and done,” a team official said, alluding to Gruden possibly being fired despite four years remaining on his guaranteed five-year contract.
Although it is hard to believe that Gruden would be gone after one season, especially with four years and a reported $20 million left on his contract, firing a coach after one season is not as unusual as you might think. It has happened five times since 2007 in the NFL. And Snyder has a history with one and done too, having fired Marty Schottenheimer after an 8-8 season in 2001.

Once again Griffin is in the middle of the drama and that is ominous for his future. If one coach loses his job in a dispute over the third-year quarterback, who has struggled mightily this year, that could be on the coach. If another one is gone, the player instantly has a reputation for being a coach killer.

It should be noted here is that nothing has been decided, at least not according to Reid’s report or anything else that has come out. The fates of Griffin and Gruden will be sorted out over the next few weeks.

One thing to keep an eye on here is the status of Allen. He pushed Shanahan, who had personnel control, to make the record-setting trade to move up in the draft to get Griffin, according Reid’s article. And it was Allen’s decision to hire Gruden. Allen’s seat has to be getting hot no matter how this turns out. There is a strong possibility that his costly quarterback is a flame out before finishing his rookie contract or the coach he hand picked to help that quarterback succeed is out the door after a year carrying an eight-figure check from Snyder’s bank account. Perhaps the costly coach and quarterback both will be gone.

Could Allen survive that? Stay tuned.

In on-field football news: It looks like both WR DeSean Jackson and ILB Keenan Robinson will be out of today’s game with injuries. Beating the Rams already was going to be a tough task and now the Redskins will have to try to do it without their main offensive playmaker and their leading tackler.

Timeline

Today’s schedule: Redskins vs. Rams, FedEx Field, 1:00 p.m.

Days until: Redskins @ Giants 7; Eagles @ Redskins 13; 2015 NFL Draft 145

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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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. 

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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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Clarifying the confusion about the Redskins' Week 16 game at the Titans

Clarifying the confusion about the Redskins' Week 16 game at the Titans

There was some confusion about the Redskins’ Week 16 game in Tennessee when the NFL schedule dropped. The schedule pushed out by the Redskins said that the game date and time are to be determined. Other versions that went out, including the one on NFL.com, says the game will be on Sunday, December 23 at 1 p.m.

So what’s the story? Well, if you’re thinking of making reservations to go to Nashville to watch the game you just might want to hold off for a while. Like, until early November. 

In an under the radar move, the NFL has established flex scheduling for its late-season Saturday games. Here are the details from the schedule press release from Redskins PR:

“Flexibility for Saturday games in Weeks 15 and 16 is also part of the 2018 schedule. In Week 15, there will be two games played on Saturday on NFL Network, with the game times of 4:30 p.m. and 8:20 p.m. to be determined. In Week 16, two of four possible matchups will be scheduled for Saturday. Start times and Saturday games for Week 15 and 16 will be announced no later than following Week 8, with the non-Saturday games to be played on Sunday.”

The way it sets up, if the Redskins and Titans are playing well in midseason there is a good chance the game will be played on Saturday, December 22 at either 4:30 or 8:20. If one or both teams are struggling, the league and networks could choose to flex two of the other four matchups to Saturday. 

This is taking flex scheduling to a different level. It’s one thing shifting a Sunday kickoff seven and a half hours from 1 p.m. to 8:30. It’s another to shift a whole day. The visiting teams can’t make travel arrangements, not knowing if they need to come into town on Friday for a Saturday game or on Saturday for Sunday. Fans who want to travel to the game are in the same boat. 

Of course, if you can afford it, you can just add a day to your Nashville excursion. There are worse things in the world than spending an extra day or two in Music City. 

If you have to wait to make your plans, as the Redskins do, you will find out no later than October 29, which is when Week 8 ends. 

Do you believe in trends? Then you should hope that the game does get flexed to Saturday. The Redskins have won three straight Saturday games, beating the Eagles in both 2014 and 2015 (the latter game clinching the division title for Washington) and the Bears in 2016. 

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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.