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Need to Know: A post-draft look at the possible 2021 Redskins offense

Need to Know: A post-draft look at the possible 2021 Redskins offense

Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, May 15, seven days before the Washington Redskins start OTAs.  

Looking ahead—The Redskins core offensive players in 2021

Earlier this year, I took a stab at figuring out who on the Redskins roster would still be with the team and contributing in the year 2021 (offensedefense). That was before free agency and the draft. Now that the Redskins have their personnel mostly set, let’s revisit that look and see how much the picture has changed. The offense is up today (Tuesday), the defense later this week. 

The terms used here are mostly self-explanatory, but if you want details you can look at this post from a couple of years ago.   

Ages are as of Week 1 in 2021

Potential blue-chip players: Brandon Scherff (29), Morgan Moses (30), Derrius Guice (24)
Changes from earlier projection: Added Guice

The key word here is “potential” blue chip players. I am hesitant to jump on the Guice hype train at this very early stage. But he does seem to have what it takes to be a blue chipper if he stays healthy and if he has some blue-chip players like Scherff and Moses blocking for him. He also has youth going for him. He doesn’t turn 21 until next month.

Trent Williams is the lone blue-chip player on the team right now. But he’ll be 33 when the 2021 season rolls around, and while he still can be a very capable player at that age, he likely will not be one of the very best in the game. A combination of age and injury could well keep Jordan Reed from being on the team three years from now. 

Solid starters: Paul Richardson (29), Josh Doctson (27), Chris Thompson (30), Williams
Changes from earlier projection: Added Richardson, removed Jamison Crowder (28)

I could be very wrong about this but I’m starting to think that Crowder won’t be around past this year. If Trey Quinn, this year’s seventh-round pick, shows starter potential, they could very well let Crowder walk. The cap will force some hard choices and Crowder could be one they decide to let go. 

Richardson and Doctson are here based on potential and projection. Neither has accomplished enough to be locked in. If Doctson is here it would be on a second contract. Richardson’s deal runs through 2022. 

Potential starters: Chase Roullier (28), Alex Smith (37), Quinn (25)
Changes from earlier projection: Removed Spencer Long, Rob Kelley, Samaje Perine, added Smith

I almost put Roullier up in the “solid starters” category. I might be persuaded that he has a better chance of still being around in 2021 than any of the receivers. But I’ll slow the roll with him a bit, given that he has just seven NFL starts.

Smith, of course, has a ton of NFL starts, 152 to be exact. Will he still be starting caliber at age 37? Since 2000 only seven quarterbacks have thrown for adjusted net yards per attempt of 6.0, about the number needed to rank in the middle of the pack these days, in their age 37 seasons. That puts the odds against Smith being effective in 2021 but we will see. 

The future is cloudy for some other players like Quinn (25) and Geron Christian (25), this year’s third-round pick. Health and opportunity could well dictate their chances of being long-term contributors. The same could be said of some players who got limited playing time as rookies last year—TE Jeremy Sprinkle (27) and WR Robert Davis (26). Maurice Harris (28) also could be contributing in three years if he can start producing consistently. 

Bottom line, here are the potential 2021 starters:

LT Williams
LG Someone who will be a college senior this fall
C Roullier
RG Scherff
RT Moses
QB Smith
RG Guice
WR Doctson
WR Richardson 
WR Quinn
TE ?

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page, follow him on Twitter  @TandlerNBCSand on Instagram @RichTandler

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Desmond Howard, the current ESPN analyst and former Heisman Trophy winner and 1992 first-round draft pick of the Redskins, was born on this date in 1970. 

Days until:

—Minicamp (6/12) 28
—Training camp starts (7/26) 72
—Preseason opener @ Patriots (8/9) 86

The Redskins last played a game 135 days ago. They will open the 2018 NFL season at the Cardinals in 117 days. 

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Barry Trotz's departure reminiscent of Joe Gibbs' resignation in 1993

Associated Press

Barry Trotz's departure reminiscent of Joe Gibbs' resignation in 1993

The sudden resignation of Barry Trotz as the coach of the Stanley Cup champion Capitals is the most stunning Washington coaching departure since Joe Gibbs retired from the Redskins about 13 months after the team won its third Super Bowl in a 10-year span. 

In the years leading up to Gibbs’ departure, there were some rumblings that he might leave. As early as 1986, John Madden said that Gibbs was a candidate to burn out of the profession early. During the 1989 season, Gibbs said that he was contemplating retirement, but he retracted his words the next day. In 1990, columnist and TV pregame panelist Will McDonough reported that Gibbs would retire after the season. Retirement rumors popped up again in early 1992, just two days before Super Bowl XXVI. Again, Gibbs denied them. The Redskins easily beat the Bills to claim their third championship in 10 years and there was no apparent reason why such a successful coach would think about leaving. 

Redskins fans had become so used to hearing the Gibbs retirement reports that many just started to tune them out. So on the morning of March 5, 1993, when reports of Gibbs’ resignation as coach started to circulate, many were in a state of denial.

That turned out to be wishful thinking. The fans were given a hard jolt of reality when the team announced a noon press conference. 

There the coach was on TV, as promised, confirming the news. He said it was a family decision. 

“Every year, we get away and talk about it,” Gibbs said. “We always reach the same conclusion. This year, it was different. The boys didn’t encourage me one way or another, but they understood when I told them what I was thinking. I think Pat’s happier than anyone. This isn’t an easy lifestyle for a coach’s wife. The coach is the guy who stands up and hears everyone tell him how great he is. The wife is the one waiting at home alone while the coach is spending every night at the office. 

“I wanted more time with my family. I wanted more time with my sons. I look at this as a window of opportunity with them and I couldn’t let it pass.” 

Although he has been diagnosed with a condition that has caused some pain and some difficulty in sleeping, Gibbs said that health was not a factor in his decision. 

Richie Petitbon, the team’s longtime defensive coordinator, was named the team’s new head coach. It had to be one of the shortest job interviews ever. 

“I get a call from Mr. Cooke who tells me Joe has retired and that he wants me to coach the Redskins,” Petitbon said. “After I picked myself up off the floor, I said yes.” 

After hearing the news, most Redskins fans had to pick themselves up as well.  

Petitbon lasted only one season as the head coach and the other eight head coaches who followed, including Gibbs himself in a four-year second stint, have been unable to get the Redskins back to the Super Bowl. Coincidentally, the Caps’ head coaching job is widely expected to go to Todd Reirden, who was Trotz’s top assistant just as Pettitbon was Gibbs’. 

Washington fans hope that the Caps have better fortune with Trotz’s successors. 

More Redskins

- 53-man roster: Roster projection--Offense
- 53-man roster: Best players 25 or younger

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page, follow him on Twitter  @TandlerNBCSand on Instagram @RichTandler


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Need to Know: Post-minicamp Redskins 53-man roster projection—Defense

Need to Know: Post-minicamp Redskins 53-man roster projection—Defense

Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, June 19, 37 days before the Washington Redskins start training camp.  

Redskins 53-man roster projection—Defense 

It may still be early to project the roster, but things are coming into focus after the round of practices in helmets and shorts. Here is my look at who I think will make it on defense; the offense was posted yesterday.

Defensive line (7)
Jonathan Allen, Da’Ron Payne, Matt Ioannidis, Anthony Lanier, Stacy McGee, Tim Settle, Ziggy Hood

I don’t think that McGee’s groin injury will be an issue, but it seemed that Jay Gruden was very tight-lipped about the whole thing, so we will have to wait until training camp starts. This is one more than they normally carry here and Hood’s presence on the roster could be in danger if injuries force the team to carry more players at another position. 

Outside linebacker (4)
Ryan Kerrigan, Preston Smith, Ryan Anderson, Pernell McPhee

Anderson is certain to make the roster, but he was mostly invisible during the offseason practices that were open to the media. The spotlight will be on last year’s second-round pick in training camp. After a zero-sack rookie season, Anderson will be under pressure to produce this season. 

Inside linebacker (5)
Zach Brown, Mason Foster, Zach Vigil, Josh Harvey-Clemons, Shaun Dion Hamilton

The player I have on the wrong side of the bubble here is Martrell Spaight. If he does work his way on, the spot most in jeopardy is Vigil’s. Harvey-Clemons got a lot of reps with the first team in OTAs and the team thinks he can help in nickel situations and perhaps more. And Gruden called Hamilton a potential future starter. So the two younger players seem safe, leaving Vigil vulnerable.

Cornerback (6)
Josh Norman, Quinton Dunbar, Fabian Moreau, Orlando Scandrick, Josh Holsey, Greg Stroman

As is the case with the running backs that I looked at yesterday, this group seems to be pretty well set. It’s not that it’s an exceptionally strong group, but there isn’t a lot of real competition. Behind these six are three undrafted free agents, and while Danny Johnson, Kenny Ladler, and Ranthony Texada all have had flashes in the offseason practices, they are extreme long shots to make the roster at this point. 

Safety (4)
D.J. Swearinger, Montae Nicholson, Deshazor Everett, Troy Apke

If there are concerns about Nicholson’s health—to be clear, as of now there are none—Fish Smithson could make it as a fifth safety. 

Specialists (3)
K Dustin Hopkins, P Tress Way, LS Nick Sundberg

It looks like the Redskins will have the same trio of specialists for the fourth straight year. I will look it up at some point but for now, I’ll say that it’s been a while since they had such stability here. 

Defensive players: 26
Rookies (5): 
Payne, Settle, Hamilton, Stroman, Apke
New to the Redskins in 2018 (7): Rookies plus McPhee, Scandrick
Not on 2017 Week 1 roster (13): Rookies plus new players plus Vigil (released in the final cut, re-signed later in the season). 

On the 53-man roster:

24 offense, 26 defense, 3 specialists
Rookies: 8
New to the Redskins in 2017: 12
Not on 2017 Week 1 roster: 16

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page, follow him on Twitter  @TandlerNBCSand on Instagram @RichTandler

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Days until:

—Training camp starts (7/26) 37
—Preseason opener @ Patriots (8/9) 51
—Roster cut to 53 (9/1) 74

The Redskins last played a game 170 days ago. They will open the 2018 NFL season at the Cardinals in 82 days. 

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