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OPEN THREAD: Questions mount about Redskins clock management


OPEN THREAD: Questions mount about Redskins clock management

Late in the fourth quarter of Sunday's game, the Redskins trailed the Dolphins by a touchdown as Jay Gruden discussed his options on sideline. At that point, Gruden decided he would not use a timeout before the two minute warning, and when that opportunity came with 2:11 left on the clock, the Washington coach stuck with his plan.

"It’s easy," Gruden said of his decision. "I let it go down to two-minute. I saved myself two timeouts in case they decided to throw it on third down."

Miami would go on to pick up a first down, effectively ending the game and making the wasted time prior to the two minute warning irrelevant. But the situation, and Gruden's explanation, merit further discussion.


Gruden's plan seemed contingent on the Dolphins throwing a pass, a significant risk for a team that had more than 70 yards rushing in the second half. Further, his team trailed by a full TD, leading to an easy suggestion that the Redskins do everything possible to save as much time as they could.

"An incompletion would give me a free timeout, otherwise I would lose like five seconds maybe," Gruden said. "So, that’s why.”

At times last season, Gruden made questionable late-game decisions with timeouts. In Sunday's loss to Miami, again Gruden's late moves can be questioned, but the coach seems steadfast in his logic not calling the timeout. Another decision prior to the timeout also could be questioned, when the team decided to go for it on fourth down rather than kicking a field goal with less than three minutes to play. Washington trailed by a TD when a drive stalled inside the Dolphins 30-yard-line. Instead of taking the points and lengthening the game, Gruden went for it on 4th down, and the 'Skins turned it over on downs. With or without the field goal, Washington would have needed a TD, but the plan still seemed to have some holes. 

"It was a great play by their defense," Gruden said of the failed 4th down conversion late against the Dolphins.

It's only Week 1, but plenty of questions emerged late in a tough loss to Miami. Did Gruden make the right calls? Let us know what you think in the comments.  

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Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—D-line scoop, Alex Smith's big deal

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Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—D-line scoop, Alex Smith's big deal

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, March 24, 33 days before the 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.

Free agency update: What's next for the Redskins on the D-line? The Redskins have been casting out lines for defensive linemen since before free agency officially started but they haven’t been able to reel one in. Part of the issue might be that they know that Vita Vea and Da’Ron Payne are likely to be available in the draft. They have to balance spending big on a lineman vs. being able to get one pretty cheap for the next five years.

Redskins make a D-line contract change, gain roster flexibility—Speaking of the D-line, the team negotiated the removal of a salary guarantee for one player to give themselves more flexibility when it comes time to cut the roster down to 53 in September. See the post for details.

Redskins guarantee Alex Smith a whopping $71 million in new contract—In the words of Joe Biden, this is a big f-----g deal. It showed that the Redskins aren’t afraid to pay a quarterback big money if they think it’s the right guy. It should be noted that whether or not they chose the right guy is something that remains to be seen. Although the post shows that it’s plausible for the Redskins to terminate the deal after three years, I anticipate Smith playing out at least four if not all five years of the contract.

Redskins add another ex-Cowboy as they sign Scandrick—Orlando Scandrick has struggled with injuries the past few years and Redskins fans did not greet the news of his signing with great enthusiasm, to say the least. To point out the bright side, his contract is not pricey by NFL terms ($2.6 million cap hit this year, no guaranteed money beyond a $1 million signing bonus) and from what I have been able to gather it’s possible that change of scenery might give him a boost for a year or two.

Tweet of the week

Well before free agency started, I wrote that the Redskins’ top priorities in free agency should be to get extensions done for Smith, Brandon Scherff, and Jamison Crowder. They should have about $15 million to work with after a few more free agent signings and that would be plenty to get all of those extensions done. And if they do score a big free agent signing, it would be worth it to restructure the contract of someone like Ryan Kerrigan to get them done.

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page and follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.


Days until:

—Offseason workouts begin (4/16) 23
—Training camp starts (approx. 7/26) 124
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 169

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Eagles' Michael Bennett allegedly injured elderly worker; arrest warrant issued

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Eagles' Michael Bennett allegedly injured elderly worker; arrest warrant issued

Philadelphia Eagles lineman Michael Bennett has been indicted on felony abuse for allegedly pushing an elderly NRG Stadium worker during Super Bowl LI.

Bennett was indicted by the Harris County, Texas district attorney's office for injury to the elderly — which is intentionally and knowingly causing injury to a person 65 years or older, according to a press release from the Harris County Sheriffs' Office.

A warrant has been issued for Bennett's arrest.

The 66-year-old paraplegic stadium worker was attempting to control field access when Bennett allegedly pushed her. 

The maximum penalty Bennett faces is ten years in prison in addition to a $10,000 fine.


Bennett — whose brother Martellus played in that Super Bowl for New England — was a member of the Seattle Seahawks during the incident and was in attendance as a noncompetitive player.

The NFL has been made aware of the situation and is looking into the matter, according to Pro Football Talk.

The 32-year-old 10-year NFL veteran could potentially face NFL discipline under the league's personal conduct policy.