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10 Training Camp Questions: After losing Reuben Foster, how's the Redskins LB situation?

10 Training Camp Questions: After losing Reuben Foster, how's the Redskins LB situation?

The Redskins report to training camp on July 24th, and for the next 10 days, JP Finlay will count down the 10 biggest questions the Redskins face going into the 2019 season.

10) Will the Redskins develop depth on the D-line?

9) Can the Redskins count on Montae Nicholson?

8) Want better offense? Get more out of the tight ends 

7) Will Jimmy Moreland actually win the slot CB job from Fabian Moreau?

When Reuben Foster collapsed to the Ashburn turf in May, time stopped for a second. Signing Foster brought such outrage towards the Washington team, and after being cleared by the NFL for the 2019 season, it seemed like the worst was behind Foster and the Redskins.

Then, in a blur, he was lost for the season with an ACL tear. 

The 2019 rebuilt Redskins defense lost a key cog before he ever even played a game, and suddenly a mediocre linebacking group from 2018 was largely back in the fold. Foster represented a potential game-breaking talent, a former first-round pick with elite pedigree in college. Add in the fact that the Redskins released Zach Brown before free agency, and the group looked humble. 

So going into training camp, one of the most intriguing position groups on the team now looks similar to 2018.

Mason Foster will start at one inside linebacker spot. Write that in Sharpie. And despite some public dustups with fans via social media, Foster is a team leader and a sure tackler. He's lost weight to help in coverage this year, and twice in the last three years has totaled more than 120 tackles. Of all the worries on the Redskins roster, Mason Foster isn't one of them.

After Reuben Foster went down, the team signed former second-round pick Jon Bostic. He's bounced around in his NFL career, as the Redskins will mark his fifth team in six years, but since he's landed in a 3-4 scheme, he's found his game. In the past two seasons with the Steelers and the Colts, Bostic proved highly capable as a run defender. On pass downs, he probably needs to come off the field. 

That's where things get interesting. 

Reuben Foster was the one player that coaches expected to be able to stay on the field for all three downs. Mason Foster might be able to, and it's too early to really determine what best suits Shaun Dion Hamilton.

In just his second year out of Alabama, and a year removed from a major knee injury, Hamilton could emerge as the starter next to Foster. He could emerge as a capable cover linebacker. But he didn't quite show enough last season to be confident in that assessment. 

Josh Harvey-Clemons will be the nickel linebacker, and watching him in minicamp, he finally looks like an NFL linebacker. Harvey-Clemons played safety in college at Louisville, and his first two seasons in Washington seemed like he didn't have the bulk to play in the front seven. If he's really added muscle, it will show up in Richmond. 

Then there's rookie Cole Holcomb. A speed 'backer that should make the team, Holcomb needs to learn to play instinctually. It won't be easy, but if it comes quick, his speed could make plays. 

Add it all up and the Redskins linebacker looks solid, but not spectacular. Reuben Foster was supposed to be that special piece, but he definitely won't play this season. 

If the defensive front plays as well as many think they're capable of, that could change things for the linebackers. And of course, players get better every year. Maybe Hamilton or Harvey-Clemons is on the verge of a breakout. 

That's why they practice and train all offseason, and that's what the fans will be watching for in Richmond. 

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Josh Hart tries to recruit Stefon Diggs to Redskins amidst trade rumors

Josh Hart tries to recruit Stefon Diggs to Redskins amidst trade rumors

New Orleans Pelican Josh Hart tried to recruit Stefon Diggs in a twitter exchange Thursday surrounding Jordan Reed’s release from the Redskins.

Reed was released on Thursday after six seasons and seven years on the team.

In a tweet commemorating Reed’s accomplishments, the Redskins called him “one of the best in franchise history” and thanked him for his years on the team.

Redskins quarterback Dwayne Haskins showed his disappointment in Reed’s release by quoting the tweet with a crying emoji. Vikings wide receiver Stefon Diggs shared similar feelings by responding to the quote saying “not my dog j reed…”.

Diggs is a Maryland native but has been with the Vikings since he was drafted in the 2015 NFL Draft in the fifth round.

In response to this exchange, Hart chimed in and pleaded with him to “Come on home bro #HTTR”.  Hart, a D.C. native and long-time Redskins fan, is not the only one who has been looking to help the Redskins with their player recruitment.

Haskins has also made recruiting for the Redskins a habit this season, engaging with players like Ron Rivera and Antonio Brown through social media regarding coming to play in DC.

Hart's interaction with Diggs is particularly notable considering that his recent social media has left Vikings fans wondering what his next moves are. In addition to cryptic tweets potentially linked to his dissatisfaction with his team, Diggs also took down all of his Instagram pictures which feature him in a Vikings uniform.

Could Diggs be heading to the Redskins? If Hart has any say in the matter, maybe.

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Another NFL analyst says Redskins should not trade No. 2 pick unless a team blows their doors off

Another NFL analyst says Redskins should not trade No. 2 pick unless a team blows their doors off

Thus far during the 2020 offseason, several NFL experts have debated whether the Redskins should keep or trade the No. 2 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.

Some believe that Ohio State edge rusher Chase Young is a generational talent and the opportunity to select him is a no brainer. Others, like Peter King and Chris Simms, think the Redskins could significantly alter the trajectory of the franchise by trading the pick and acquiring assets.

Add NFL Network's Daniel Jeremiah to those who think the Redskins should keep the pick and take Young, unless they get an offer they simply cannot refuse in return.

The analyst was asked during a pre-Scouting Combine conference call on Friday whether it would be a mistake for the Redskins to consider moving back from No. 2, and his response was strong.

"I just don't trade off of elite edge rushers," Jeremiah said. "You have a need there at the position, those guys are hard to find. So to get a player like that you would have to blow my doors off to get me to trade off that pick, if I was the Washington Redskins."

If the Redskins traded back, even a couple of spots, it's highly unlikely Young would still be on the board.

Jeremiah said the Redskins should not consider moving back past picks No. 5-7, and even if they were to pull the plug on a deal with one of the teams with those picks, they would need "multiple [first round picks] plus some Sugar."

Picks No. 3-5 in the draft currently belong to the Detroit Lions, New York Giants and Miami Dolphins, respectively. Jeremiah suspected that any team inquiring about trading up with the Redskins would be looking to take a quarterback.

Detroit has Matt Stafford at quarterback, an established signal-caller. Last week, rumors surfaced that they might explore trading him. Should that happen, Detroit could simply stay at No. 3 and take the QB of their choice. They wouldn't need to trade up with Washington.

Miami is in the quarterback market at No. 5 and may inquire with Washington to move up, especially if the Lions are considering moving on from Stafford. The Chargers at No. 6 and the Panthers at No. 7 are teams to keep an eye on as well.

But the Giants have pick No. 4 and their quarterback of the future is set in Daniel Jones. If Young is on the board when the Giants pick comes around, the Ohio State product is heading to the Big Apple. No questions about it. 

"You've got to get a lot to get out of there, because even if you get to five, you won't see Chase Young at that point in time," Jeremiah said.

Behind quarterback, pass rushers are arguably the most valuable position in the sport. The Redskins have the chance to take a generational talent at the position, and according to Jeremiah, should not look back unless they get an incredible offer in return.

"So you're trading off a premier player at the second most valuable position in the sport," Jeremiah said. "You're going to have to get a heck of a haul to do that."

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