Redskins

Quick Links

Need to Know: Five Redskins under pressure vs. the Seahawks

zach_brown_vs_cowboys_usat.png
USA Today Sports Images

Need to Know: Five Redskins under pressure vs. the Seahawks

Here is what you need to know on this Friday, November 3, two days before the Washington Redskins go to Seattle to play the Seahawks.

Timeline

Today’s schedule: Practice 12:20 p.m.; Jay Gruden news conference, open locker room after practice, approx. 2 p.m.

Days until:

—Vikings @ Redskins (11/12) 9
—Redskins @ Saints (11/9) 16
—Giants @ Redskins Thanksgiving (11/23) 20

UPDATE Key injury update
Out:
OT Williams (knee), G Lauvao (stinger), G Scherff (knee), C Long (knees), WR Crowder (hamstring), TE Reed (hamstring)
Limited: G Scherff (knee), RB Kelley (ankle), CB Breeland (knee, groin)
The big change here is the upgrade of Scherff from out to limited. Although he didn’t do anything beyond individual drills (and he didn’t do much then), the fact that he was able to get out there and move is a good sign for Sunday. That doesn’t mean he’s definitely in but it’s a step in the right direction.  

Five Redskins under pressure vs. the Seahawks

QB Kirk Cousins—With the offensive line likely to be hurting still, Cousins will have to provide the team with a lift. The Redskins’ running game is still a mess with the line likely missing three starters and top running back Rob Kelley still dealing with an ankle injury, according to Jay Gruden. Cousins likely will need to pass for 300 yards or more if the Redskins are going to pull off the upset.

RB Chris Thompson—I usually have an offensive skill player who hasn’t been productive in this spot. But at this point in the season, unless and until a receiver or another running back breaks out, the pressure has to go on Thompson to continue to produce both on the ground and catching passes.

C Chase Roullier—This is a heck of a spot for a rookie sixth-round pick. But he is the backup center and with the starter likely to be out, it will be up to Roullier to get the protections communicated up and down the line in one of the loudest stadiums in the NFL. Roullier is likely to get some help from Cousins and the moment will not be too big for him. Still, it’s a tall order.

ILB Zach Brown—It’s not fair to say that the Seahawks are a one-man team but it is safe to say that they go as Russell Wilson goes. If the Redskins are going to contain Wilson, the team’s second-leading rusher, Brown is the player in the front seven who has the speed and the sure tackling ability to do that. Greg Manusky indicated that the Redskins will occasionally use a spy to try to contain Wilson and Brown seems to be the likely candidate for that job.

CB Josh Norman—Actually, I could put either Bashaud Breeland (assuming he plays) or Kendall Fuller here as well. The Seahawks have a very good trio of wide receivers with Doug Baldwin and Paul Richardson on the outside and Tyler Lockett in the slot. When the Redskins are in man coverage, the corners have to stay with their receivers while Wilson scrambles and buys time. They also need to be sure they are aware when Wilson takes off and crosses the line of scrimmage so they can help bring him down. There will be a lot of stress on the cornerback position and Norman will need to shine.  

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.

Tandler on Twitter

In case you missed it

Quick Links

Redskins make new hire at special teams coordinator, and he comes from Tampa Bay

screen_shot_2019-01-19_at_9.16.31_am.png
USA Today Sports

Redskins make new hire at special teams coordinator, and he comes from Tampa Bay

The Redskins announced the hiring of Nate Kaczor as their new special teams coach on Saturday morning. Kaczor will take over the role vacated by Ben Kotwica, who left Washington to take the same role in Atlanta.

Kaczor spent the last three seasons with the Buccaneers as special teams coordinator, but that coaching staff got let go this offseason. Prior to his work in Tampa, Kaczor coached in similar roles for the Titans and the Jaguars. 

It's not particularly easy to rank special teams, but Kotwica's groups did some things very well, particularly in punt coverage. Football Outsiders ranked all 32 special teams groups across the league based on a formula that combines field goals/extra points, kickoffs, kick returns, punts, and punt returns; The Redskins ranked 8th and Tampa ranked 29th. 

On the flip side, the Redskins had some of the lowest kick and punt return yardage in the NFL last season. The Redskins gained just 110 yards on all of their punt returns for the year. 

Head coach Jay Gruden spoke about bringing in Kaczor.

"We are excited to have Nate join our staff. We have had the opportunity to face his special teams play during his time at Tampa Bay and respected competing against him," Gruden said via press release. "He is a competitor and we have noticed and admired the intensity his units have played with through the course of his time as a special teams coordinator and assistant coach in the NFL."

MORE REDSKINS NEWS:

Quick Links

Kyler Murray is 'making a mistake' choosing football over baseball, according to Joe Theismann

Kyler Murray is 'making a mistake' choosing football over baseball, according to Joe Theismann

Joe Theismann wants Kyler Murray to have a "long, happy career" — as a professional baseball player.

In an interview with NBC Sports Washington, the former Redskins QB was asked what he thought of Murray's choice to pursue his NFL dreams over his MLB dreams for now. He didn't hold back.

"I think that he should choose baseball," Theismann said. "I think that he would struggle in the NFL."

As of now, many mock drafts are projecting the Heisman Trophy winner to be selected in the first round. His believers see him as an electric option who's entering a league perfectly suited for his skillset. 

Theismann is not in that camp, though.

"I understand a lot of guys work from the 'gun. You're away from the line of scrimmage," he explained. "But, sooner or later, defensive coaches in this league are going to figure out how to keep you in the pocket. And if you can't throw from the pocket, or you can't see from the pocket, it's going to become a problem."

Murray's height, which Theismann touched on, is a main concern for those skeptical of how he'd handle life in the NFL. Of course, being in the 5-foot-9 range matters far less on a MLB diamond.

Theismann also thinks that the Oklahoma product will need to be in an offense with a strong running attack. That's something any rookie passer needs to succeed, and without one, Theismann isn't sure if Murray can carry the load on his own.

In the end, Theismann told NBC Sports Washington that Murray is "making a mistake" by setting his sights on the gridiron. He simply doesn't see things going well for Murray as a signal caller.

"I think in professional football, it'll be a real challenge and an uphill climb for him to be able to do the things that he wants to do and a team wants him to do," he said.

MORE REDSKINS NEWS