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Need to Know: Looking at the Redskins’ roster one-liner style — Defensive edition

Need to Know: Looking at the Redskins’ roster one-liner style — Defensive edition

Here is what you need to know on Friday, September 28, 10 days before the Washington Redskins visit the New Orleans Saints.  

Talking Points

We have time to take a breath and look through each member of the Redskins’ 53-man roster, one line at a time.

The defense and specialists are up today; we looked at the offense yesterday

— The sky—and by that, I mean consistent Pro Bowl visits and occasional All-Pro consideration—is the limit for DE Jonathan Allen.  

— His combination of strength and athleticism makes DE Daron Payne another candidate to be one of the best in the game. 

DE Matt Ioannidis is the first Redskins interior defensive lineman to record at least one sack in three straight games since Dan “Big Daddy” Wilkinson did it in 1999. 

— This year DE Ziggy Hood is more effective playing in his proper role as a rotational defensive end and not the starting nose tackle. 

— We’ve only seen NT Tim Settle on the field for 14 snaps, but he is likely to see more action as the season goes on.  

— The Redskins haven’t made DE Caleb Brantley active yet but they like his potential as a rotational lineman in the future.

— The Redskins defense has been on the field for just 177 snaps (seventh-fewest in the NFL) which may explain why ILB Zach Brown is lagging behind the NFL leaders in tackles. 

— The Redskins’ leading tackler is ILB Mason Foster, who is 10thin the league with 27. 

— The team is trusting ILB Josh Harvey-Clemons more and more in nickel situations and it’s just a matter of time before he makes a game-changing play.

ILB Shaun Dion Hamilton has been active for all three games but he has yet to take a snap on defense.  

ILB Zach Vigil has played just 16 snaps on defense but he has taken a heavy special teams load (58 snaps, 78 percent of the total). 

OLB Ryan Kerrigan constantly harassed Aaron Rodgers last Sunday but he is still looking for his first sack of the season.  

OLB Preston Smith also has no sacks but you get the feeling that a burst of four in three games is coming. 

— The game stats say that OLB Pernell McPhee has been on the field for 40 snaps, but he has had almost no impact. 

— After posting a goose egg in the sacks column last year, OLB Ryan Anderson has one of Sam Bradford and he let Aaron Rodgers slip out of his grasp last Sunday. 

— Speaking of droughts, CB Josh Norman is still seeking his first interception since he got two off of the Bears’ Matt Barkley on Christmas Eve in 2016.

— There were questions about how well CB Quinton Dunbar would adjust to a starting role and the answer is so far, very good. 

— We haven’t heard much about slot CB Fabian Moreau and that’s because he performing well while doing on the job training at slot corner. 

CB Greg Stroman has taken on the role as the team’s primary punt returner and while he hasn’t made any big returns he has held onto the ball. 

— Undrafted rookie CB Danny Johnson has yet to take a snap on defense and he has stayed active by playing a lot of special teams.

CB Adonis Alexander expected to be back at Virginia Tech this fall, and he has yet to be active as he makes up for missed offseason preparation time. 

S D.J. Swearinger has two interceptions this year after tying for the team lead with four in 2017.

— Thanks in large part to the play of Swearinger and of S Montae Nicholson, the Redskins are one of two teams this year that have given up just one play that gained 30 yards or more. 

S Deshazor Everett has played only a handful of defensive snaps as he serves as the special teams captain.

S Troy Apke isn’t ready to be on the field defensively yet and the problem is that his hamstring injury is keeping him from getting the practice time he needs to get ready to play. 

S Kenny Ladler was very good in practice in training camp, not as good in preseason games, but he was good enough to get the promotion from the practice squad when Apke was injured. 

LS Nick Sundberg has not been perfect but he has been very, very good. 

P Tress Way has six punts that were downed inside the 20 and none that resulted in touchbacks.  

— All but two of K Dustin Hopkins’ kickoffs have resulted in touchbacks. 

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The Agenda

Today: Bye Week

Upcoming: Redskins @ Saints (October 8) 10 days; Panthers @ Redskins 16; Cowboys @ Redskins 23

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Jay Gruden reportedly to join Jaguars as their offensive coordinator

Jay Gruden reportedly to join Jaguars as their offensive coordinator

Just four months shy of his last appearance on the NFL gridiron sidelines, Jay Gruden may already have his 2020 gig lined up, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero.

Gruden was head coach of the Washington Redskins for six seasons, beginning in 2014 and going 35-49-1 in his burgundy and gold tenure. Gruden pushed the Redskins to their first postseason appearance since 2012 in his second year with the team, as well as back-to-back winning seasons in 2015 and 2016, not seen in Washington since 1996 and 1997. 

In March 2017, Gruden signed a two-year extension with the Redskins. He was fired after beginning the 2019 season 0-5. 

Recently, Gruden confirmed to Rapoport that he was "itching for something to do" and seeking employment before Jacksonville brought him in to interview for the OC role. 

After playing four years at the University of Louisville and and eight more in various football leagues, Gruden held many offensive roles, offensive coordinator for the Florida Tuskers and Cincinnati Bengals. 

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Joe Gibbs told Ron Rivera that Dan Snyder was never 'an interference' while he coached the Redskins

Joe Gibbs told Ron Rivera that Dan Snyder was never 'an interference' while he coached the Redskins

New Redskins head coach Ron Rivera did plenty of research before accepting the job earlier this month.

Rivera spent 30-35 hours with Redskins owner Dan Snyder before agreeing to be the ninth head coach of the owner's tenure. Additionally, he reached out to legendary Redskins head coach Joe Gibbs, and ended up spending several hours talking with him prior to accepting the job. The two originally spoke on the phone, before the three-time Super Bowl-winning head coach invited Rivera over to his home in Charlotte last month to discuss even further.

On Tuesday, Gibbs spoke on the Carol Maloney show, where he revealed some of the topics he spoke with Rivera about. One of those included the involvement of Snyder, who Gibbs spoke glowingly about.

"Where I felt like I could help the most was telling [Rivera] what it was like working with Dan," Gibbs said. "When I was there, Dan did every single thing he could do to help us win and was never, in any way, an interference. He was always trying to help in every single way he could."

Additionally, Gibbs raved about the Redskins fanbase. He explained to Rivera that fans in D.C. understand football, have been following the team forever, and are some of the most passionate in the sport.

"The other thing I could do, I felt like, was tell him about what it's like coaching in the greatest city in the world with the greatest fans in the world," Gibbs said. "I did tell him I thought it was the greatest job in the NFL."

Gibbs told Maloney that he hates making predictions, but had a strong one about the future of the Redskins fanbase.

"I think our fan base will come roaring back," Gibbs said. "I think [FedEx Field] will be full of Burgundy and Gold. They're going to be cheering their guts out."

When asked if he believed Rivera was the right man to lead the Redskins, Gibbs explained he was thrilled by the hire.

"He was certainly a great choice," Gibbs said. "[He was] Coach of the Year twice, put a team into the Super Bowl. And I think he's kind of a man's man. I think he can talk to the players. And I think he's proven that he can get the job done."

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