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Redskins need plenty of work on two-minute offense

Redskins need plenty of work on two-minute offense

One of the highlights of Tuesday’s minicamp practice was a two-minute session at the end. Coach Jay Gruden got very animated during the drill, barking out praise for players, the down and distance, and the time left on the clock.

After the session, Gruden talked about the importance of the two-minute work.

“I think two-minute drill, you look at the course of a 16-game season, whether it’s end-of-half or end-of-games, it’ll come down and it’ll happen more often than not,” said Gruden. “It’s something that we take a lot of pride in. We have to be very sharp in what we do, so I want to make sure we get as many situational plays in that two-minute drill as possible.”

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I think that you can look for the Redskins to do a lot of two-minute work during training camp. That’s because they weren’t very good on offense in the last two minutes of the second and fourth quarters.

The Redskins took possession of the ball with less than two minutes left in the half or in the game 16 times last year, an average of once per game. They scored twice, getting a touchdown against the Bears and a field goal in Dallas. The score in Chicago wasn’t really a two-minute drive. With the Redskins up by 13 points with 1:20 left, Washington was just trying to run out the clock with handoffs to Mack Brown. But on third down, Brown broke free and scampered 61 yards for a touchdown.  

So just once, in Dallas on Thanksgiving Day, did the Redskins execute a classic two-minute drill for a score. They got the ball on their own 25 with 1:45 left in the first half. They drove to a third and goal at the two but after an incomplete pass, Dustin Hopkins came in and kicked a 20-yard field goal with seven seconds left.

Eight times the Redskins managed to drive into opponents’ territory on drives that started in the two-minute situation, but they came up empty. They missed three field goals, threw two interceptions, lost it once on downs and had the clock run out on them twice. That includes one drive that started in the last two minutes of overtime in their tie with the Bengals.

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For comparison purposes, Redskins’ opponents scored 24 points, three touchdowns a field goal, on drives that started with less than two minutes left. On average, NFL teams scored 18.5 points on drives that started with less than two minutes left in a half. For a team that had the offense as its main strength, being well below average is not an acceptable showing.

“You know, you have to make those plays, both sides of the ball,” said Gruden. “So, it was great to challenge them and push them, get the clock working, use the timeouts, which is good for me. It’s just something that we try to do almost every day.”

They likely will be doing plenty of work, in game planning, meeting rooms, and on the practice field, to try to do it better than they did last year.

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 @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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Need to Know: The most underrated Redskins events of 2017

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Need to Know: The most underrated Redskins events of 2017

Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, February 22, 20 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 underrated Redskin moments of 2017

Originally published 12/29/17

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. Here, in no particular order, are three underrated events from 2017. Tomorrow we’ll look at three events that were overrated at the time they happened.  

Beating the Rams in Week 2—Nobody got particularly excited when the Redskins went to the LA Memorial Coliseum and beat a Rams team that had gone 4-12 in 2016. Sure, there was a belief that they were in good hands with Sean McVay but nobody saw them as anything better than a middle of the pack team. The win looks much more impressive now as the 11-4 Rams have locked up their division with a playoff game in their future.

Drafting safety Montae Nicholson—He was a fourth-round pick who had a shoulder injury and appeared to be a reach. But once he got on the field, the reasons the Redskins drafted him became apparent. His range and hard hitting had an immediate impact on the game. Nicholson had problems staying on the field and he will finish the year on IR, so his impact this year was diminished. Regardless, he has a good chance of being part of the solution to a position with which the Redskins have had issues for years.

Ty Nsekhe’s injury—Against the Raiders in Week 3, Shawn Lauvao’s facemask had an issue and he had to leave the game for a play. In came Nsekhe without an opportunity to warm up. He suffered a core muscle injury and had to undergo surgery. His absence didn’t seem like a big deal at the time, but Trent Williams suffered a knee injury the next week and other offensive linemen were sidelined with injuries over the next several weeks. Nsekhe was inactive until the Week 10 game against the Vikings and he didn’t start a game until the Thanksgiving game against the Giants. He sure would have been useful to have in the lineup instead of T.J. Clemmings or Tyler Catalina.

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) 7
—NFL Draft (4/26) 63
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 199

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Miami tagged Jarvis Landry, but what does that mean for the Redskins?

Miami tagged Jarvis Landry, but what does that mean for the Redskins?

Everything in the NFL feels like a powder keg, but the reality of Tuesday's opening of the franchise and transition tag period will play out as much more of a slow burn.

Few teams ever actually make moves on the opening day of the tag period, though the Dolphins bucked that conventional wisdom and used the non-exclusive franchise designation on wide receiver Jarvis Landry. 

Astute Redskins fans know the tag system all too well. Landry can now sign a one-year, fully guaranteed contract with the Dolphins worth more than $16 million, the average of the top-five paid receivers in the NFL.

They can also trade Landry and the compensation discussion with a non-exclusive tag begins at two first-round draft picks, though it can eventually be settled for much less. 


What, if anything, does Miami's move mean for the Redskins? Let's take a look:

  1. Not gonna work here - Landry never really seemed like a great fit for the Redskins as a free agent, and that was before the franchise tag. He's a really good slot WR, but Washington already has that in Jamison Crowder. Whether or not Landry actually gets a deal done with the Dolphins or gets traded, it seems highly unlikely the Redskins are his next team. 
  2. "Spirit of the tag" - Miami putting the tag on Landry so early in the process signals that the team might be trying to trade him instead of actually trying to sign him. If that's the case, and plenty of people are suggesting just that, it would seem to be in contrast with the "spirit of the tag." The idea is that a franchise or transition tag is supposed to be used as a tool by an NFL franchise to get a long-term deal done with one of their own players facing free agency. Using the tag as a mechanism to pull of a trade seems very different. Why does any of this matter for Redskins fans? As reports emerged that Washington might look to use a tag on Kirk Cousins and work to trade him, the Cousins camp has made clear they would file a grievance against that technique. Why? Because it would violate the spirit of the tag. Well, it sure looks like Miami is doing the same thing, and as of now, nobody has complained. The situations aren't identical; few resemble the Redskins long, slow, awkward dance with Cousins. But it's certainly worth monitoring. 
  3. Wide Receiver$ - The Redskins could use a veteran wideout to help their young group of Crowder and Josh Doctson. Well, with Landry getting tagged, the price tag just went up. The player that seems to make the most sense in Washington would be Jaguars wideout Allen Robinson. Coming off a knee injury in 2017, some thought Robinson could be signed on a somewhat team-friendly deal. If Landry can get franchised after a season where he didn't even get to 1,000 yards receiving, any thought of a team-friendly deal for Robinson is dead. Make no mistake, Landry and Robinson are good players, but the ever-increasing NFL salary cap will make both young receivers very well paid. 

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