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Drew Brees, and the Saints offense are causing some sleepless nights for Redskins coaches

Drew Brees, and the Saints offense are causing some sleepless nights for Redskins coaches

Sometime in the second half next Monday night, Drew Brees will probably break the NFL's all-time passing yardage record.

The legendary quarterback needs to get 201 pass yards to break the record and even an off-game for Brees usually means more than that. Washington head coach Jay Gruden is aware of Brees, and the Saints explosive offense in general. 

"They will keep you up," Gruden said, asked if New Orleans is causing the Redskins coaching staff any sleepless nights. (Listen to the full interview on the Redskins Talk podcast below.)

The Saints average more than 34 points-per-game, third in the NFL. Twice this season New Orleans has gone for more than 40 points. The offense is potent. 

"They’re great players. It's led by Drew Brees and Sean Payton, an excellent coach and quarterback combo for a long time, very successful. They know how to attack defenses."

In four games this season, Brees is averaging 324 pass yards per game and has thrown eight touchdowns against zero interceptions.

The Saints are 3-1 and that's been without 1,124-yard rusher Mark Ingram on the field. He will be back Monday, as will elite offensive weapons like running back Alvin Kamara and wide receiver Michael Thomas. Thomas' 42 receptions lead the NFL, and he's fourth in the league with 445 receiving yards. Kamara is tied for the NFL lead in rushing TDs. 

For Gruden, a win this week is about defensive performance.  

"It's going to be important for us to give them different looks, be in the right spots, and really, really rush the passer," Gruden said. 

Rushing the passer has been interesting for Washington.

After three games, the Redskins ranked in the middle of the pack with seven sacks, but almost all of Washington's sacks, and most of the QB pressures, have come from the interior.

Matt Ioannidis leads the Redskins with three sacks and Jonathan Allen has registered two. Ryan Anderson and Daron Payne each have one.

Ryan Kerrigan and Preston Smith have none. To beat the Saints, it seems like the 'Skins must get production from Smith or Kerrigan. Preferably both. 

In their Week 4 win over the Giants, Brees was only sacked once but New York applied consistent pressure. He threw for 217 yards with no touchdowns, though New Orleans relied on their run game. 

Limit Brees and the Redskins give themselves a chance to win in New Orleans. The Saints can still run the ball, and piled up 170 rush yards last week in New York. 

Overall, the Saints can beat you on the ground and the Saints can beat you through the air. 

Jay Gruden knows it, but he's got a plan to get some sleep this week before traveling to Louisiana. 

"I'm sleeping fine," the coach said, "I take a pill."

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This incredible Chase Young jersey swap lit up Redskins Twitter. Here's how it was made

This incredible Chase Young jersey swap lit up Redskins Twitter. Here's how it was made

On Sunday, 17-year-old Thacher Groe tweeted a jersey swap featuring Chase Young in a Redskins uniform that immediately caught the attention of countless Washington fans. That's an idea that plenty of graphic designers and Photoshoppers have executed before him, of course, but the reason his stood out is, well, because it's absolutely tremendous. 

The final image is so remarkable, in fact, you almost have to remind yourself that it isn't real, and that Young isn't a member of the Burgundy and Gold yet.

Before getting to how Groe pulled the edit off, though, it's time for you to see it (and then stare at it, which is an inevitable response):

"This jersey swap took me around 6 hours to complete," he said after his post blew up. "This isn’t how long they usually take, but when I choose up-close images of players, I like to spend extra time on the little details such as reflections and stitching."

The only person with a higher approval rating among Redskins supporters than Groe is Ron Rivera. Users called him "brilliant" and dubbed him "elite." 

According to Groe, many people take on this kind of project by cutting out a jersey from a current player and then pasting that on the new one. That's the easier method.

He, on the other hand, prefers to "work on changing the colors and working with what already is there." That approach is much more involving, but it also produces masterpieces like the Young picture and this Cam Newton photo:

Together, those two creations have helped Groe double his social media following. 

"I think the combination of people loving jersey swaps as well as everyone being huddled up indoors on our phones were the perfect conditions for my sudden growth," he said.

The most difficult part of the project, Groe explained, was modifying the pass rusher's gloves. Turning them into Redskins gear "may be the hardest thing" he's ever done in four years of working with Photoshop. 

"Tedious," he said. "But definitely worth it."

The not-even-college-student got into graphic design after being hooked by the way the Madden displayed art for players and hopes to continue the passion well beyond school. No matter what his future holds, though, he's already achieved one miraculous thing in his career. 

He made a Redskins player look good in number 92. 

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Report: President Trump told pro sports commissioners he believes NFL season should start on time

Report: President Trump told pro sports commissioners he believes NFL season should start on time

During a conference call with 13 professional sports commissioners Saturday, U.S. President Donald Trump said that he believes the 2020 NFL season should start as scheduled in September despite the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, according to a report by ESPN’s Adam Schefter and Adrian Wojnarowski.

Trump also reportedly remarked that he would like to allow fans back into stadiums and arenas by August or September.

The president used the call as an opportunity to commend the commissioners for their response to the pandemic. On March 11, the NBA became the first American professional sports league to suspend play in an effort to stop the spread of the virus. The NHL, which was less than a month out from the start of the playoffs, followed suit—as eventually did the MLS, ATP, WTA, PGA Tour, NASCAR and MLB spring training.

With the NFL still in the midst of its offseason, there remains hope that the 2020 season will begin on time. So far, the league has canceled its annual league meaning and delayed OTAs. The draft will be held as expected while teams make their selections remotely rather than in Las Vegas as originally planned. While many free-agent deals have yet to be finalized due to the inability for teams to conduct physicals, the NFL has yet to be affected as much as other major sports.

The season is set to begin Thursday, Sept. 10 with opening Sunday coming Sept. 13.

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