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State of the Redskins, Week 11: Can revamped secondary contain Cam?


State of the Redskins, Week 11: Can revamped secondary contain Cam?

Here is where the Redskins stand in Week 10 of the NFL season.

Record: 4-5, T-2nd in NFC East
vs. NFC East: 1-1
vs. NFC: 4-2
vs. AFC: 0-3
Home: 4-1
Away: 0-4

Key numbers changes from 2014-2015


Rankings (through Sunday’s games)

Offense (yards/game): 349.6 (20th)
Defense (yards/game): 370.3 (21st)
Passer rating offense:  89.6 (18th)
Opp passer rating: 96.3 (24th )
Yards/rush attempt: 4.1 (15th)
Opp. yards/rush attempt:
 5.0 (32nd)
Weighted DVOA through Week 10 (Football Outsiders): -0.8% (15th)

Top three storylines:

A franchise QB?—About a month after people were wondering if Kirk Cousins would finish out the season at quarterback they are talking about him getting a long-term contract extension. Such is life in the NFL after three games with eight touchdown passes, one rushing TD, one interception that was not the QB’s fault, and a passer rating of over 117.

Another tough test—Two weeks after playing the undefeated Patriots, the undefeated Panthers await. I don’t have the means to look it up without spending hours doing so but I would think that a team playing two undefeated teams on the road in a three-game stretch at this point in the season is very, very rare. But it is the schedule the Redskins were given and they will deal with it as best they can.

Shuffle in the secondary—The big moves were Kyshoen Jarrett and Jeron Johnson playing strong safety in place of Trenton Robinson, who didn’t play at all on defense, and DeAngelo Hall also stepping in to play some safety. We also saw that Will Blackmon, who wasn’t on the team in Week 1 but has been invaluable while Hall and Chris Culliver were nursing injuries, continuing to get lots of playing time.

Next three games

November 22 @ Panthers (9-0)—Cam Newton isn’t lighting it up statistically in the passing department but he is in the MVP conversation because he is getting it done with his legs and in the clutch. That and Carolina’s tough pass defense make this a difficult test for the Redskins.

November 29 vs. Giants (5-5)—The Giants are just a bad matchup for the Redskins. New York has won six of the last seven games between the two teams and most of them haven’t been competitive. Home division games are always important and this one will be no exception, particularly if the Redskins lose at Carolina.

December 7 (Mon. night) vs. Cowboys (2-7)—With Tony Romo coming back, the Cowboys should be off of their seven-game losing streak by the time this game comes around. But even with their QB back the Cowboys are a shadow of the team that rolled to a 12-4 record and were within a Dez Bryan dropped pass (and, yes, per the rules it was a drop) of the NFC title game.

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Bashaud Breeland the latest former Redskin to fail a physical; won't be signing with Panthers

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Bashaud Breeland the latest former Redskin to fail a physical; won't be signing with Panthers

The Redskins had to say good bye to several key players as the 2018 NFL free agency period began.

Cornerback Bashaud Breeland was one of those players.

On Tuesday, Breeland reported agreed to a 3-year, $24 million deal with the Carolina Panthers.

But on Friday afternoon it was reported that Breeland failed a physical, which means he won't be signing with the Panthers, per Panthers reporter Bill Voth.


If this sounds familiar, it's because it is familiar.

Redskins wide receiver Ryan Grant intended on signing a four-year, $29 million deal with the Ravens. But a failed physical just a day before his introductory press conference meant a voided contract and back to the drawing board.

According to multiple reports, Breeland's failed physical was due to a recent non-football injury. Breeland and the Panthers could still come to an agreement, but the former Clemson star is now back to being a free agent and will have to pass a physical before officially signing with a new team.

According to ESPN's David Newton, Breeland injured his foot on vacation in the Dominican Republic and will need his skin grafted in order to repair the injury.

The Redskins were one of the NFL's most injured teams in 2017, and that trend appears to have extended to the offseason.


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With Zach Brown back, a look at the Redskins' inside linebackers depth chart

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With Zach Brown back, a look at the Redskins' inside linebackers depth chart

The Redskins went into the offseason with their inside linebacker position very much up in the air. Starters Zach Brown and Mason Foster and top backup Will Compton were all heading into unrestricted free agency. They faced the prospect of needing to start all over.

Things started to look better in late January when Foster re-signed, agreeing to a two-year deal. “I had unfinished business here,” Foster said at the time.

As long as Brown remained unsigned, the Redskins also had unfinished business. They got it done yesterday as Brown inked what is reported to be a three-year deal worth $24 million. We will need to see some details to know just what the contract entails but it looks like a fair deal for both sides.


Compton remains unsigned. With Brown and Foster back he will not be in line for a starting job. We will see how things shake out for him.

Looking at the players under contract, the Redskins have Zach Vigil, who played well as a starter late in the season after injuries struck, Martrell Spaight, and Josh Harvey-Clemons.  

Vigil was released on the final roster cut and returned on November 15 after Compton went to injured reserve. He had 55 total tackles in seven games. If you project that out over a 16-game season that’s 126 tackles, which would have placed him in the top 10 in the NFL. He also plays special teams well. Vigil went from expendable last September to a very valued reserve at this point in time.

Spaight has been a spot starter when starters have been injured. This will be an important year for him as he goes into the final year of the contract he signed after the Redskins made him a fifth-round pick in the 2015 draft.


The Redskins might have been happier if Harvey-Clemons, a 2017 seventh-round pick, didn’t have to play all last year but injuries forced him into a regular role. He was converting from college safety to NFL nickel linebacker and was very much considered to be a project. Harvey-Clemons still needs to add some weight and he has a lot to learn. Still, even if injuries don’t hit this year he should play considerably more than the 93 snaps he logged as a rookie.

The Redskins usually carry nine total linebackers, going with either five inside and four outside or vice versa. So they could be set or perhaps they will bring back Compton or sign another veteran to compete with Spaight for the last roster spot.  

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.