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Redskins vs Rams 1st quarter

Redskins vs Rams 1st quarter

Pregame

There is something of a big-game atmosphere here at FedEx Field. We weren't quite sure what to think of the Redskins when they last were here on September 21. They had just beaten two playoff contenders at home and, while they were starting to get it together, few thought that they would be 4-1 and the talk of the NFL. But indeed they are 4-1 and nearly every seat that is visible from here is occupied prior to the playing of the Star Spangled Banner. There is no real electricity yet, but that will be determined when the game starts. The Redskins will receive.

11:00—The Redskins' opening drive doesn't seem to be very aggressive, with some Portis runs and short slants being the staples. Only a 12 men on the field penalty against the Rams kept in from being a three and out. I would think that Zorn would want to start off and bury the Rams early, but it appears he's setting up stuff for later on in the game.

10:50—I guess Zorn figured that the Rams would bury themselves. Jackson fumbles and LaRon Landry recovers. One play later, Portis for three off the right side and the Redskins are up.

Portis 3 run (Suisham kick)
Redskins 7, Rams 0

Brooks set up the drive with a perfect pooch punt that rolled dead at the three. He seems to have been alternating good and bad games, maybe this will turn out to be a keeper.

9:56—The thigh-slapper defense is a keeper. Before the third-down snap, London Fletcher did a couple of 360-degree turns, while slapping both thighs, apparently giving a signal to the defense. The result was a tipped pass and a should-have-been interception by Landry. A second takeaway would have had Landry in the running for defensive player of the week honors just 20 minutes into the week.

9:15—The Rams shuffled six players in between second and 10 and third and seven. I'm sure that caught the attention of the coaches upstairs. There has to be someone to target on first-down passing situations if that's the case.

9:00—Campbell took a sack and I'm 100% certain that he would have coughed up the ball on the same hit last year. It was a cornerback from the blindside but he managed to hold on.

5:51—The Redskins are going to have to get some pressure on Bulger. In this drive he has converted after being second and 15 and second and 17. They're not getting very close to him and he's finding his receivers in the seams.

FG Brown 51
Redskins 7, Rams 3

The Rams made Josh Brown a good-sized contract to lure him away from the Seahawks this past offseason. He could be a valuable asset if St. Louis could get into some competitive contests.

Swing pass to 26 gets the offense into a rhythm?

0:58—The Redskins were just getting into a rhythm on offense after a swing pass to Portis for about 14. Then it was a pass to Moss for about 15, Portis for 5, pass to Cooley for 4, Betts for 3 on third and one. Cooley had another first down when he fumbled for the Skins' first offensive turnover of the year. It came fairly deep in Ram territory, so the damage was minimal. It will be interesting to see if they regain the rhythm when they get the ball back.

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Need to Know: Five safe draft picks for the Redskins

Need to Know: Five safe draft picks for the Redskins

Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, April 22, four days before the 2018 NFL draft.  

Five safe picks for the Redskins

Sometimes teams try to hit home runs with their draft picks. They may hit a few but they also will strike out a lot. Teams often are better off trying to hit solid singles and doubles. Here are five picks who would are unlikely to make many Pro Bowls but the Redskins would not regret the pick if they turned in the cards with their names on it. 

RB Kerryon Johnson, Auburn—I’m starting off here with a player who would be a safe pick in the third round. Of course, the Redskins don’t have a third right now but if they do swing a trade and get one, Johnson would be a good pick. He doesn’t have breakaway speed, which is one reason why he might be available in the third. He is a grinder who will be an upgrade over Samaje Perine and Rob Kelley. 

DL Vita Vea, Washington—There is plenty of hand wringing over whether Vea is a three-down player or just a base defense nose tackle. But even if he can’t rush the passer very well his floor is a player who can go a long way towards helping the Redskins stop the run, a chronic weakness. This is why a lot of fans and media are urging the Redskins to not overthink this and take a player that will, at a minimum, bolster one of their weakest areas. 

OL Billy Price, Ohio State—He started 55 games for the Buckeyes, the most of any player in the storied history of the program. He did suffer the partial tear of a chest muscle in the combine but that will be fully healed by training camp. When he’s ready, he’s an explosive, smart, and powerful player. Just plug him in at left guard and the Redskins’ O-line is set with all home-grown talent. 

LB Leighton Vander Esch, Boise State—He doesn’t have the ceiling that the more heralded Roquan Smith and Tremaine Edmunds have. However, he may have a higher floor. Smith is undersized, and Edmunds will be highly drafted based more on potential than on production. At 6-4, 256, Vander Esch has plenty of size, and he racked up 141 tackles last year on his way to defensive player of the year honors in the Mountain West. 

 CB Isaiah Oliver, Colorado—The All-Pac-12 selection has the size and athleticism that add up to a safe pick in the second round. He needs some work on technique, but he has enough natural athletic ability—he competed in the decathlon—to be a productive cornerback right out of the gate. One other plus that fans will appreciate is that his strength is press coverage, not off man. 

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

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Timeline  

Days until:

—OTAs start (5/22) 30
—Training camp starts (7/26) 95
—Redskins @ Cardinals (9/9) 140

In case you missed it

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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

In case you missed it