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Need to Know: The Redskins are falling behind the rest of the NFC East

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Need to Know: The Redskins are falling behind the rest of the NFC East

Here is what you need to know on this Monday, February 5, 37 days before NFL free agency starts.

Timeline  

Days until:

—NFL Combine (3/1) 24
—NFL Draft (4/26) 80
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 216

What the Redskins can learn from the Super Bowl

The Redskins are lagging behind in the NFC East—The NFC East is now the first of the NFL’s eight divisions to have all four teams with at least one Lombardi Trophy. But the Redskins’ last Lombardi was the least recent. Since they won it in 1991, the other three NFC East teams have been to eight Super Bowls or an average of about one every three years. They have won six with the Cowboys going 3-0, the Giants 2-1, and the Eagles now 1-1. Meanwhile, the Redskins have won just two playoff games and have failed to make the NFC title game. The Redskins are in a nice neighborhood, but their house need repairs while the neighbors are making improvements. The way they are doing things clearly is not working.

The whole Eagles with an empty trophy case thing was fun while it lasted—It had a good run from 1966 until now but the Eagles are deserving Super Bowl champs. So the Lombardi trophy case with the cobwebs needs to be retired. So do memes like this one:

Start aggressive, stay aggressive—Doug Pederson was aggressive about going for it on fourth down all year and he didn’t tighten up on the big stage. The call to go for it on fourth and goal near halftime was brave as it was, but the Wildcat-reverse-pass to the quarterback showed world-class onions for Pederson. And they went for it late, picking up a fourth and one with 5:39 left while on their way to what proved to be the winning touchdown. The two times a year that the Redskins play Philly they have to be ready for anything, and Jay Gruden has to be ready to match Pederson’s style.

Depth overcomes injuries for Eagles—It would not be accurate to say that the Eagles were hit as hard by injuries as the Redskins were. But they were hit in some key areas, including middle linebacker and signal caller Jordan Hicks, left tackle Jason Peters, and MVP candidate quarterback Carson Wentz all suffering season-ending injuries. But the next men up came in and got the job done. Of particular note was Halapoulivaati Vaitai, who started the last 10 games at left tackle after Peters went out. Redskins fans recall his debut as a rookie in Week 6 of the 2016 season when Ryan Kerrigan treated him like a turnstile, getting 2.5 sacks and many more pressures on Wentz. Eagles fans were terrified when he was put in after Peters went out. But, hey, guess what, they stuck with him, developed him, and he was ready when his second chance came around.

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

This was in response to the Adam Schefter report that the Redskins are discussing trying to do a tag and trade deal with Kirk Cousins.

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Need to Know: Five Redskins on the bubble who could make the roster

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Need to Know: Five Redskins on the bubble who could make the roster

Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, June 21, 35 days before the Washington Redskins start training camp.  

The first five off of the roster

Here are five players who are not on my projection of the Redskins’ 53-man roster (offensedefense) but who are one injury or a few strong preseason game performances away from making it. 

G Kyle Kalis—Last year he lined up with the second team during most of training camp and he nearly made the roster as an undrafted free agent. The team did re-sign him after injuries struck the O-line in the middle of the season. He will push Tyler Catalina for a backup guard spot. 

RB Byron Marshall—He got a few touches last year before ending up on injured reserve. Marshall has looked good in practices so far, especially catching out of the backfield. Jay Gruden likely will play Chris Thompson sparingly in the preseason and that could give Marshall a chance to shine. Don’t sleep on him. 

WR Cam Sims—Right now, the undrafted rookie out of Alabama looks like the eighth wide receiver on the roster and they are only going to keep six. But if he continues to get the attention of Gruden with his play in practice and makes the most of his opportunities in preseason games, Robert Davis and Maurice Harris should look out. 

S Fish Smithson—The Redskins liked him a lot after they signed him as an undrafted free agent last year. But they didn’t like him enough to keep him on the 53-man roster; he spent the year on the practice squad, getting a late-season cup of coffee on the roster. He will push both Deshazor Everett and Troy Apke for a backup safety spot. If the Redskins have reason to be concerned about the health of Montae Nicholson they might figure out a way to keep Smithson on as a fifth safety. 

ILB Martrell Spaight—It looks like Spaight’s three-year tenure with the team essentially came to an end when they drafted Sean Dion Hamilton in the fifth round. But his play in offseason practices indicates he’s not going to go out without a fight. 

Next five off: OT T.J. Clemmings, QB Kevin Hogan, RB Kapri Bibbs, NT Phil Taylor, CB Danny Johnson

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

Timeline 

Redskins running back Derrius Guice was born on this date in 1997. 

Days until:

—Training camp starts (7/26) 35
—Preseason opener @ Patriots (8/9) 49
—Roster cut to 53 (9/1) 72

The Redskins last played a game 172 days ago. They will open the 2018 NFL season at the Cardinals in 80 days. 

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The best players on the Redskins according to their Madden 19 ratings

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The best players on the Redskins according to their Madden 19 ratings

Madden 19 won't be released to the public until August 10, but the player ratings for the top players on each NFL team have been released.

The video reaches the Redskins a little after four minutes in. The top nine players on the Redskins, according to their Madden 19 overall ratings are as follows:

  1. LT Trent Williams, 91
  2. RG Brandon Scherff, 88
  3. FS D.J. Swearinger, 86
  4. MLB Zach Brown, 85
  5. CB Josh Norman, 84
  6. RB Chris Thompson, 83
  7. WR Paul Richardson, 83
  8. QB Alex Smith, 81
  9. WR Jamison Crowder, 81

The list has Washington's two best linemen up top followed by its best skill position players and Zach Brown. Beyond Williams and Sherff, there's some debate to be had. Both Richardson and Crowder can make a serious case to be the team's best receiver. Crowder had 22 more receptions and 86 more yards than Richardson in 2017, but Richardson had six touchdowns to Crowder's three.

Smith is coming off arguably the best season of his career with Kansas City. He put up over 4,000 passing yards for the first time in his career, posted career bests in quarterback rating, touchdown passes, interception percentage and completions. His rating as the fifth-best offensive player behind two other skill position players seems off.

These rankings will change throughout the season as more updates become available, but this is what there is to work with right now.

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