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OPEN THREAD: Should the Redskins have hired Wade Phillips?


OPEN THREAD: Should the Redskins have hired Wade Phillips?

As his Denver defense spent Sunday afternoon swarming to Tom Brady like he was a marked down flatscreen TV on Black Friday, Broncos defensive coordinator Wade Phillips must've been proud. It was yet another scintillating performance from one of the NFL's best units, a group that has often times carried the load in 2015 as the team's normally potent offense has been just average. And now, Phillips is heading to the Super Bowl.

Not bad for a guy who didn't even have a job in the league just a year ago. In fact, the 68-year-old tweeted as much after the game. So, the question, at least in this area, becomes: Did the Redskins, who reportedly interviewed Phillips back in January but eventually tabbed Joe Barry to take over the defense, make a mistake in passing him over? Well, the answer is a bit complicated.

If you just take a look at the numbers, the answer is an absolute yes. In the regular season, the Broncos allowed the fewest yards per game, the fewest passing yards per game and allowed the fourth fewest points per game in the NFL. The Redskins, meanwhile, were 28th, 25th and 17th respectively in those same categories. So, on paper, the AFC Champions had a far better season than the NFC East Champions did when it comes to stopping offenses. That means the Burgundy and Gold missed out on Phillips.

However, like most other debates in football, you can't only look at the numbers. They're important, sure, but it's not a stretch to say that Phillips had a far more talented bunch of players than Barry did. With guys like Von Miller, DeMarcus Ware, Aqib Talib, T.J. Ward, and Chris Harris, whoever is running the Broncos defense will certainly reap the benefits of having better personnel than most other franchises. This year, that person was Phillips. That's no knock on Ryan Kerrigan, Bashaud Breeland and Co., but Denver simply is more experienced and deeper on that side of the ball than Washington.

With that being said, overall, Phillips' credentials are legitimate, showing he's not just someone who gets lucky with stacked rosters: His defenses, whether he's working as a coordinator or head coach, routinely show up in the top 10 in many statistical categories, and rarely show up in the bottom 10. He's been coaching at the professional level since 1976, and he clearly knows his stuff. Therefore, when it came to decision time for Jay Gruden and Scot McCloughan during the last offseason, it was just a matter of preference — did they want the younger and famously energetic Barry, or the wise and tenured Phillips? Obviously, they went with the former, and will have to roll with that choice moving forward.

But with two weeks between now and the last game on the schedule, and with the Broncos defense turning in a fantastic effort on Sunday, it's a good time to open up this conversation for discussion. The matter at hand is a simple one: Did the Redskins make the wrong move in not selecting Phillips to be the DC in D.C.? Let us know what you think in the comments or on Twitter, @CSNRedskins.


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Martavis Bryant could make sense for the Redskins, at the right price


Martavis Bryant could make sense for the Redskins, at the right price

A 2017 midseason trade for Martavis Bryant made no sense for the Redskins. A 2018 offseason trade for Martavis Bryant, however, might make sense for the Redskins. 

Bryant is on the trade block, per NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, and will be an intriguing prospect for receiver-needy teams across the NFL. In parts of three seasons with the Steelers, Bryant has 17 touchdowns and a 15.2 yards-per-reception average. 

A big play threat from any place on the field, Bryant would immediately make the Redskins receiving unit more athletic and explosive. 

It's not all good news with Bryant, though.

He was suspended for the entire 2016 season after repeated drug violations and caused some distraction for Pittsburgh during the 2017 season when he asked for a trade via social media. 


Is the talent enough to overcome the off-field distractions? Many would say it is. 

Last year, in just eight starts, Bryant grabbed 50 catches for more than 600 yards and three TDs. In their lone playoff loss to the Jaguars, Bryant caught two passes for 78 yards and a TD. 

Remember, too, the Steelers have an explosive offense, and Bryant is coupled with Antonio Brown on the receiver front along with Ben Roethlisberger at quarterback and Le'Veon Bell at running back. The Pittsburgh offense is loaded. 

Washington's offense is not nearly the prolific unit that the Steelers send out, but Jay Gruden does design a good offense. 

The real question surrounding any talk of trading for Bryant is the cost.

The Redskins are not in a position to send away any more draft picks this offseason after giving up a third-round pick, in addition to Kendall Fuller, to acquire Alex Smith. Bruce Allen and the Redskins front office need to improve their team in plenty of spots, and the team's draft picks are quite valuable. 

Bryant only has one year remaining on his rookie deal, and it's hard to balance that sort of short-term investment with the value of adding a rookie committed to the team for at least four years. Perhaps a late-round pick would make sense, but it would need to be a sixth-rounder. 

This could be one of those rare situations in the NFL where a player for player swap could work, though pulling that type of maneuver requires a lot of moving parts. 

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Need to Know: The most overrated Redskins events of 2017

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Need to Know: The most overrated Redskins events of 2017

Here is what you need to know on this Friday, February 23, 19 days before NFL free agency starts.

I’m out this week so I’ll be re-posting some of the best and most popular articles of the past few months. Some may have slightly dated information but the major points in the posts still stand. Thanks for reading, as always.

The overrated Redskin moments of 2017

Originally published 12/30/17

Sometimes in the NFL, something happens that grabs headlines and appears to be a momentous event that has ripple effects that will last all season and perhaps beyond. Other times something that is greeted with a yawn by fans and the media turns out to be something with lasting impact. Yesterday we looked at three events that were underrated at the time they happened. Here, in no particular order, are three overrated events from 2017.

Beating the Raiders—At the time, the Raiders were 2-0 and they still had the status of being one of the favorites to get to the Super Bowl. The Redskins whipped them 27-10 and the prevailing view was that the Redskins were on their way to a special year. But that loss started a four-game losing streak for the Raiders. They are currently riding a three-game skid and at 6-9 they are contenders for a top-10 draft pick, not for the Super Bowl. The win became less impressive for the Redskins as the year went on.

Signing Terrelle Pryor—There was plenty of excitement when the Redskins signed the Browns wide receiver, who had 1,000 receiving yards catching passes from a sub-mediocre group of quarterbacks in Cleveland. Imagine what he could do with a quality QB and a good offense around him. The hype grew when a fan captured him making this catch in training camp:

But the production was not there. In nine games before going on injured reserve with an ankle injury, Pryor caught 20 passes for 240 yards and a touchdown.

Su’a Cravens departure—There was a lot of concern about issues both on and off the field when Cravens abruptly let it be known to teammates that he intended to retire just after the Redskins finalized their 53-man roster on September 2. All offseason Cravens’ name had been written at the top of the depth chart at strong safety in Sharpie. When he walked away and was put on the Exempt/Left Squad list (and eventually on the Reserve/Left Squad list, ending his season), there was plenty of speculation about whether the organization botched the situation and, of more immediate importance, what would happen at safety without Cravens. We’re still not sure about what happened but Montae Nicholson and Deshazor Everett did a respectable job at safety.

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:

—NFL Combine (3/1) 6
—NFL Draft (4/26) 62
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 198