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Under the Radar: Where was Hank?

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Under the Radar: Where was Hank?

Every week, Ill ask you to give me your thoughts on the moments and aspects of the game that you dont think got enough coverage in the media. Ill pick a few of them every week and try to give them the spotlight you think they deserve. I got a lot of excellent suggestions for the Saints game, here are just a few of them.
I was very surprised to see that the wide receiver who had the most offensive snaps was Aldrick Robinson, who was in on 66 of the Redskins 76 plays. One might have expected to see Hankerson get an increased role after Pierre Garon left with a foot injury after just eight snaps. But Hankerson played just nine snaps and was not targeted for a single pass.This does not necessarily mean that Hankerson is in trouble as @Patman1225 suggests. He just doesnt appear to be ready for a steady, week-in, week-out role just yet. This year, he is likely to have a few big games and he will have some games where, like yesterday, he is invisible.As for Robinson, we will see what his role is when Garon returns to the lineup. He showed some special ability on each of his four catches and it seems likely that the coaches will find ways to get him into the lineup.
The Redskins started off the Shanahan era in 2010 by not turning the ball over in their first two games. In each of the next 30 games they turned it over at least once.That streak, the longest active such streak in the NFL, ended on Sunday with, as @McNubian notes, a rookie quarterback who handled 76 snaps, threw 29 passes and carried the ball 10 times, and a rookie running back out of Florida-Atlantic who had 28 carries. Griffin did put the ball on the ground once in a botched handoff but he immediately recovered.Some rookie mistakes may well follow but for now Morris and Griffin deserve kudos for breaking that ridiculous streak.Three of the first four and five of the first eight Saints drives were three and outs. During the game, one tweeter suggested that it looked like the time that Drew Brees missed while he negotiated a new contract with the Saints was hurting him. He missed all of OTAs and minicamp after refusing to sign his franchise tender and the timing with his receivers did appear to be off at times.But you have to give credit to the Redskins defense, especially the pass rush. They only sacked Brees twice but they batted down a few passes and generally harassed and harried Brees.
Again, its only one game but for now the decision to release both Graham Gano and Neil Rackers and go with Cundiff was a wise one. As Gano still looks for work, Cundiff was four for four on field goals of 37, 41, 37, and 45 yards. Each one looked more solid and straight down the middle than the previous one.Cundiff also kicked off nine times and only once did the Saints start a drive outside of their own 20 after those kicks.

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Need to Know: What will the Redskins do after Jonathan Allen's injury?

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Associated Press

Need to Know: What will the Redskins do after Jonathan Allen's injury?

Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, October 19, four days before the Washington Redskins visit the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday night football.

Timeline

Today’s schedule: Practice 1 p.m.; Jay Gruden and Kirk Cousins news conferences, open locker room, after practice approx. 3 p.m.

Days until:

—Cowboys @ Redskins (10/29) 10
—Redskins @ Seahawks (11/5) 17
—Giants @ Redskins Thanksgiving (11/23) 35

Jonathan Allen’s absence

The Redskins defensive line has been one of the most improved positions on the team. Now they have a large hole to fill in that unit.

Jonathan Allen’s Lisfranc injury will require surgery and that means he will be sidelined for the rest of the season. He likely will go on injured reserve sometime this week.

The team’s first-round draft pick had been playing very well. He has helped to provide the Redskins with pass rush up the middle, an important element that has been missing from the defense. The 17th overall pick had a sack, three QB hits and 10 hurries.

What will the Redskins do in Allen’s absence? The first thing they’ll do is take consolation in the fact that they still have Matt Ioannidis to give them some inside pass rush. The second-year player rebounded from a 2016 season where he played sparingly and is providing consistent pass rush pressure between the tackles. He has 3.5 sacks and 16 pressures.

But Ioannidis can’t do it alone. He and Allen each benefitted from the presence of the other one. And edge rushers Preston Smith and Ryan Kerrigan have both been helped by the attention the other teams had to pay to the pass pressure threat from the interior.

With Allen gone, who will take his place?

That question has a few different answers. When Allen goes on injured reserve, a lineman will be signed to take his place. That could be rookie Brandon Banks, who has been on the practice squad all year. They could bring up A.J. Francis, who has been around on the practice squad for a couple of years but he has not been with a team since he was release in Redskins’ cut to 53 on September 2.

They also could find a veteran who is not currently working or sign a player off of another team’s practice squad. The Redskins tried out 16 players on Tuesday and the only defensive lineman among them was Owa Odighizuwa, who played in 18 games for the Giants in 2015-2016.

But whoever takes the roster spot likely will be inactive most of the time. Anthony Lanier, the second-year defensive end who has been on the team this year but has not been active for a game, will be active on Monday night. He is a pass-rush specialist and it seems likely that he will get most of Allen’s snaps in nickel situations.

In base defense, Stacy McGee and Terrell McClain will rotate in more frequently. It’s not as though they have been sitting on the bench this season. While the rotation has favored Allen and Ioannidis, McClain and McGee have played 131 snaps this year. Ziggy Hood has 155, Ioannidis 170 and Allen 159.

McClain and McGee are OK defending the run so there won’t be a huge drop off there. The spotlight will be on Lanier, who played in just four games last year before an injury ended his season, to continue to get push up the middle with Ioannidis.

He will get his chance on Monday as the Redskins take on the Eagles. In the season opener, the Redskins were able to get pressure on quarterback Carson Wentz (22 pressures on 41 pass dropbacks) but they weren’t often able to bring him down. We will see if Lanier can get to him a time or two and finish the job.

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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Three plays that show why the Redskins' screen game is so effective

Three plays that show why the Redskins' screen game is so effective

By Ryan Wormeli

The Redskins eked out a close win at home on Sunday, coming away with a 26-24 final over the 49ers. One of the keys to the team's success on offense was their effective screen game. 

Doc Walker says running back Chris Thompson is the best in the NFL at catching screens and turning them into big plays. Still, he knows it takes more than just one great player to find success in the screen game.

On Redskins Gameplan, he turned to the film to break down three big plays from Sunday's victory, highlighting the offensive line in giving Thompson the room he needed to make something happen.

Play 1: Recievers getting in on the "Block Party"

Nearly half of the Redskins on the field for this play found themselves with someone to block. Walker points out how active the big guys are, shouting out Brandon Scherff and Shawn Lauvao in particular. The receivers get some shine too, with Doc even pointing out, "You know you gotta give 11 some credit on that."

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Play 2: Trent Williams just keeps looking for guys to block

With the Redskins deep in their own territory, they once again call for a screen pass, and you know Doc gets really excited to see the big fellas move.

"Now watch the big uglies, downfield. Agile! Hostile! Getting after it! Staying on their feet, no belly floppers," exclaimed Walker. "That's the key to it."

Play 3: Brandon Scherff redeems himself later in the drive

Brandon Scherff started off this important drive with a holding penalty, costing his team valuable yards. He then saw the screen pass as an opportunity to make it up to his teammates, and he takes full advantage.

Doc has just one thing to say for players staring down an angry Brandon Scherff.

"You, my friend, are in trouble."

RELATED: WEEK 7 STATE OF THE 'SKINS

The Redskins probably hoped their game against the winless 49ers would be a bit more comfortable than a 26-24 victory. Still, when they found themselves in a dogfight, they were able to rely on their quality screen game to get them big yardage when needed, and it helped them come out with a big Week 6 win.

For more segments like this, tune in to Redskins Gameplan at 6 p.m. on Thursday.