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OPEN THREAD: Who will 'Skins miss most - Helu, Chester or Polumbus?

heluchesterpolombus.jpg

OPEN THREAD: Who will 'Skins miss most - Helu, Chester or Polumbus?

Chris Culliver. Terrance Knighton. Dashon Goldson. Jeron Johnson. Stephen Paea. There are more names to list, but the point is obvious: Redskins GM Scot McCloughan brought in a host of new players to beef up a struggling defense. The moves should pay off right away, especially in a secondary that was thin on talent and depth. But what about the offense? 

The Redskins ranked 26th out of 32 in points last year, scoring just 301 total points in 16 games. That averaged out to 18 points per game, hardly a breakneck pace in a league moving more towards offense each season. So while McCloughan worked on an improved Washington defense, the Redskins lost two starters along their offensive line in Chris Chester and Tyler Polumbus along with No. 2 running back Roy Helu.

Some may argue that losing Chester and Polumbus will result in addition by subtraction, but that may be a rather simplistic outlook. Chester gave the 'Skins some good seasons, and was a strong run blocker. Polumbus struggled on the outside at tackle, but moved well in the zone block scheme. Neither player was a stalwart, but without both, the offensive line now likely turns to two players with little to no NFL experience in Spencer Long and Brandon Scherff. Could Long and Scherff perform better than Chester and Polumbus? Absolutely. Is that a certainty? Absolutely not. Scherff is a first-round talent, a Top 10 pick, and should step in and be an improvement over Polumbus right away. But many scouts projected Scherff as a guard, so his transition to tackle could be spotty early. 

Debating the net loss or gain from Chester and Polumbus to Long and Scherff will be fun to watch to this fall, but few can argue that losing Helu isn't a blow for Washington. Drafting Matt Jones gives the Redskins an opportunity to replace Helu, but Jones is an unknown where Helu was reliable. In 2014, Helu accounted for nearly 700 yards and three touchdowns. Can Jones make up for that production? Perhaps, but will the rookie be able to give Washington a dependable pass catcher to back up Alfred Morris? It's hard to know that now. Jones appears to be in position be a strong back-up to Morris, perhaps taking over short yardage carries, but Helu was very effective out of the backfield in pass schemes and the two-minute drill.

So who will the 'Skins miss most? Chester, Polumbus or Helu? Or will the players replacing those guys (Long, Scherff and Jones) more than make up for the departed players? Let us know in the comments. 

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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. 

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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.