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Redskins in-depth chart: Running back

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Redskins in-depth chart: Running back

The Redskins 90-man offseason roster is set, at least for the time being. Its time to take a look at who they have, who will start, and who will be around when the Sept. 9 opener in New Orleans rolls around.Well start this series off with a look at the offensive backs.QuarterbackStarter: Robert Griffin III
Reserves: Rex Grossman, Kirk Cousins
Fighting for a job: Jonathan CromptonIt took just two sentences by Mike Shanahan at the end of the rookie minicamp to clarify the picture here. He said that Griffin is the starter, period. And he said that with the three quarterbacks weve got right now, I am excited to keep three quarterbacks.That means that both Grossman and Cousins will be on the roster backing up Griffin, not necessarily in that order. It seems likely that Grossman will hold down the No. 2 job at least at the start of the season but the rookie Cousins could jump ahead of Grossman as the season goes on. Crompton is there as a camp arm and in case of injury. He is eligible to return to the practice squad but with three QBs on the 53-man roster that is unlikely to happen.Running backStarter: Roy Helu Jr.
Reserve: Tim Hightower, Evan Royster
Fighting for a job: Alfred Morris, Tristan Davis, Lennon Creer, Antwon BaileyHightower could end up starting or it could be Helu. And it wont matter. The prime running back will be the guy getting the carries in the fourth quarter and we wont know who that is until the fourth quarter of the first game. Even then, it could change from week to week.We wrote extensively about Hightowers possible role here earlier this week.Helu has shown that he has some special ability so he may be the starter regardless of Hightowers status. But Helu wore down when his workload got to be about 25 carries per game late in the season. He needs to carry 15-18 times a game and either Hightower or Royster can spell him.Royster did not get off of the practice squad last year until the 11th game of the season. He responded well with over 100 yards rushing in two late-season games. The rookie averaged 5.9 yards per carry, an impressive number albeit one based on a small sample size of 56 attempts.Morris, a sixth-round draft pick has a very good chance of sticking around if Hightower or another veteran back is not signed and he has a decent chance to make it even if another back is added if he can back up at fullback (see below).Davis, Creer and Bailey have only slim chances of making the roster out of camp. However, there likely will be a running back on the practice squad and the three will be vying for that spot.FullbackStarter: Darrel YoungThats it, at least for right now. There have been rumors of the Redskins looking to sign a veteran fullback but that has yet to happen.Morris did line up at fullback at times during the rookie camp. If he can become a solid option as a backup there, he would greatly enhance his chances of making the team.

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Need to Know: Final thoughts on Redskins vs. Giants

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Need to Know: Final thoughts on Redskins vs. Giants

Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, November 23, seven days before the Washington Redskins play the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium.

Timeline

Today’s schedule: Redskins Kickoff 7:30 NBC Sports Washington; Redskins vs. Giants, NBC, 8:30  

Days until:

—Redskins @ Cowboys Thursday night (11/30) 7
—Redskins @ Chargers (12/10) 17
—Cardinals @ Redskins (12/17) 24

Final thoughts on Redskins vs Giants

Look out for Eli—There are many reasons why the Giants are 2-8 but Eli Manning is not one of them. He isn’t nearly the turnover machine he has been for much of his career. His interception percentage this year is 1.6; he hasn’t been under 2.3 percent interceptions this decade. Manning only has 14 touchdown passes but considering that Odell Beckham, who went out in the fourth game of the season, still leads Giants wide receivers in touchdown receptions, that’s not bad.

Running game stuck—What makes Manning’s performance even more impressive is the fact that he doesn’t get much support from a running game. The Giants are 26th in the league with 920 yards. They have gained some traction lately after installing Orleans Darkwa as the starting running back; he is averaging 4.8 yards per carry for the season and 71 yards per game over the last three games. The Redskins certainly don’t want to let him get going tonight.

Reverting to reality—The Giants ranked 32nd in total defense in 2015. They dropped millions on free agents such as Janoris Jenkins, David Harrison, and Olivier Vernon and jumped to 10th. Now, this year they are 31st and equally bad against the pass (29th) and the run (30th). Health hasn’t been a huge issue, although Vernon has missed a few games and Jenkins was suspended. Redskins fans know full well that spending sprees don’t necessarily make for permanent improvements and Giants fans are learning it this year.

Keys to winning

  • Run the ballThe Redskins are 4-2 this year when rushing for 90 yards or more.
  • Continue to protect the ball—The Redskins have turned the ball over just twice in their last three games.
  • Don’t give them hope—The Chiefs let the Giants hang around last week and New York stole a win. The Redskins need to get on top early and mash down on the gas pedal.

Prediction—It’s hard to see a scenario where the Redskins lose this one. Even in their injury-depleted state they are battling every game and the same can’t be said for their opponents today. The weather forecast is for cold temperatures but not much wind, ideal conditions for Cousins to throw for 300 yards. For once, the Redskins get up early and keep going.

Redskins 31, Giants 13

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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Everybody thinks the intentional grounding call against Kirk Cousins was wrong, except Troy Aikman

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Everybody thinks the intentional grounding call against Kirk Cousins was wrong, except Troy Aikman

The referees made a fairly obvious mistake last week in the Redskins loss to the Saints when they flagged Washington quarterback Kirk Cousins for intentional grounding late in the game. 

Let's be honest: the call was terrible.

Cousins never felt a pass rush on the play, and was very obviously throwing the ball away. Jay Gruden talked about the play on Monday, and could not figure out how a flag came out in that situation. 

We had two receivers in the area. Quarterbacks throws it away all the time that are uncatchable balls whether they are in the pocket or not. As long as there is a receiver in the area, you can throw it whether they are looking or not. Guys run bad routes – one guy runs a hitch and he’s supposed to run a go and the quarterback throws the go ball, it’s not grounding. So I don’t know why the confusion.

The NFL even reached out and apologized to Redskins team president Bruce Allen for the blown call, a hollow gesture that did not generate much excitement from Cousins (via 106.7 the Fan). 

Whatever they do to say, ‘we’re sorry, wrong call,’ it’s tough because there’s nobody bringing that up in February or March when we're making decisions about which direction to go with the organization. We appreciate the clarification but you know it really doesn’t do much.

If you're keeping score, the NFL, the Redskins head coach and the Redskins quarterback all know the call was wrong. 

You know who doesn't think the call was wrong? Fox analyst, and former Cowboys Hall of Fame QB, Troy Aikman.

Grounding? Free rusher? Decide for yourself below.