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Need to Know: Redskins one per player one-liners, defense

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Need to Know: Redskins one per player one-liners, defense

Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, December 7, three days before the Washington Redskins play the Chargers in Los Angeles.

Timeline

Today’s schedule: Practice 2 p.m.; Jay Gruden and Greg Manusky press conferences and open locker room after practice approx. 3:45

Days until:

—Redskins @ Chargers (12/10) 3
—Cardinals @ Redskins (12/17) 10
—Broncos @ Redskins Christmas Eve (12/24) 17

Redskins player one-liners, defensive edition

I looked at every offensive player on the roster on Monday, here are one-liners on every defensive player on the roster. 

DE Matt Ioannidis—He won’t be getting back to being the force he was early in the season until he can get his left hand out of the club he has been playing with and get some use of that hand.

DL Ziggy Hood—I’ve said this here before, but there really isn’t that much more to say about him—Hood prepares hard and plays hard and he would be a good rotational end, but he is not suited to being the first option at nose tackle.

DL Stacy McGee—After looking like he could teeter towards being a free-agent bust, McGee has played well the last several weeks with four QB pressures and 15 tackles.

DL Terrell McClain—After missing two games with a toe injury he was back out on the practice field on Wednesday.

DL A.J. Francis—He has been off and on the roster the last two years, kudos to him for not giving up and getting some meaningful playing time.

DE Anthony Lanier—The second-year player has been good providing pass pressure, but he has been a liability when he is on the field on running plays.

ILB Zach Brown—He has been slowed a bit by various injuries, most recently to his Achilles tendon, but he has only missed 12 snaps all year and he still leads the NFL in total tackles.

ILB Josh Harvey-Clemons—He got his first defensive snaps of the year against the Giants and recorded his first sack (a half, to be exact) in Dallas.

ILB Martrell Spaight—He seems to be more effective when he comes in as a role player rather than when he starts.

ILB Zach Vigil—After being re-signed on November 15 he has started two games and has 10 tackles.

OLB Ryan Anderson—While this has been a learning season for him, it’s almost time to say that his rookie year has been pretty disappointing for a second-round pick.

OLB Chris Carter—He has only played one defensive snap this year but he has been a solid contributor on special teams.

OLB Preston Smith—The third-year player went six games with zeroes in the sack column before getting a half against the Cowboys, but he has been good providing pressure all year long.

OLB Ryan Kerrigan—He needs one more sack to hit double digits for the third time in the last four years.

OLB Junior Galette—He has been a disappointment in the sack department with only two, but per Pro Football Focus, he has 25 total pressures in 186 pass rush snaps, which isn’t bad after being out two years.

CB Bashaud Breeland—The pending free agent has been inconsistent but on the whole, he has had a solid year.

CB Quinton Dunbar—If Breeland leaves as a free agent in 2018, the Redskins could do worse than have Dunbar start opposite Norman.

CB Kendall Fuller—With one more interception he would have five picks, the most that any Redskins cornerback has had since DeAngelo Hall had six in 2010.

CB Fabian Moreau—Although his defensive plays have been limited (54 snaps), he has excelled on special teams, particularly as a gunner on punt coverage.

CB Josh Norman—Opponents have attempted 390 passes against the Redskins and only 37 of them have been into Norman’s coverage.

S Montae Nicholson—Injuries have cost him time but he has shown great promise when he has been in the game.

S Deshazor Everett—He was forced into the starting lineup the last two games with Nicholson out and Hall playing ineffectively and held his own.

S DeAngelo Hall—After getting burned against the Saints, Hall has played just one snap in the last two games.

S D.J. Swearinger—He has been one of the better free agent signings in the past decade providing both leadership and solid play all year.

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.

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Vernon Davis pulls off memorable proposal in Ocean City

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Vernon Davis pulls off memorable proposal in Ocean City

Vernon Davis has long been a fan favorite in the D.C. area since his University of Maryland days. The 34-year-old is almost always well-dressed and respectful to the media. 

More recently, he has been outspoken about his interest in acting after his football career. A true renaissance man who just so happens to be a force in the National Football League. 

In April, NBC Sports Washington ran into Davis at the Team USA Awards where he was serving as guest speaker. 

He took his smooth nature to a whole new level Tuesday while vacationing in Ocean City, Md. with his girlfriend Kayla. 

Dressed in all white on the beach, Davis proposed in an epic way. 

The best motivation I ever had. #shesmyrock

A post shared by Vernon Davis (@vernondavis85) on

Check out the whole video produced below. We won't spoil it for you, but there were skydivers involved. Take a look: 

Davis will suit up for his third season with the Redskins when training camp opens July 26 in Richmond. 

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Redskins 2018 position outlook: Inside linebacker

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Bob Youngentob for NBC Sports Washington

Redskins 2018 position outlook: Inside linebacker

Redskins Training camp opens next week, and we have a break here, giving us time to put the depth chart under the microscope.

Between now and the start of camp, we will look at every position, compare the group to the rest of the NFL, see if the position has been upgraded or downgraded from last year, and take out the crystal ball to see what might unfold.

Inside linebackers

Additions: Shaun Dion Hamilton (drafted in the fifth round)

Departures: Will Compton (free agent)

Starters: Zach Brown, Mason Foster

Other roster locks: Josh Harvey-Clemons

On the bubble: Hamilton, Zach Vigil, Martrell Spaight

How the inside linebackers compare

To the rest of the NFL: This is a difficult comparison to make since only about half of the teams use the 3-4 with two inside linebackers and there are many variations when they go out of their base defense. Brown certainly is in the upper tier of players at his position. Foster’s skill set may not be coveted by many teams around the league, but he is a perfect fit in the Redskins’ defense in many ways. The player who could differentiate this group from others around the league is Harvey-Clemons. If he turns into a top-notch nickel LB the inside linebackers will be a great asset. 

To the 2017 Redskins:  This is about health. In 2017, Foster missed 11 games, Brown was hampered by a variety of injuries before sitting out the last three games. Compton was the top backup to both players and he went to injured reserve after just three starts. They did re-sign Vigil, who had spent training camp with the team, and he played pretty well near the end of the season. If the front-line players can stay on the field for most of the season this should be a much better group than the one that was partially responsible for the league’s 32nd-ranked rushing defense. 

2018 Inside linebacker outlook

Biggest upside: The 2017 season was supposed to be a redshirt year for Harvey-Clemons as he transitions from college safety to NFL linebacker. He played a lot in the base defense during the offseason practices and that indicates that they are considering him for a bigger role beyond just playing nickel. You have to wonder how his size (6-4, 230) will affect his ability to get off of blocks. 

Most to prove: Spaight was a fifth-round pick in 2015 and he has yet to establish a regular role in the defense. It was telling that when they needed someone to start in the latter part of last year they brought back and started Vigil and mostly kept Spaight is going into the last year of his contract, but it would not be surprising to see Vigil beat him out for the last roster spot.  

Rookie watch: The Redskins traded up in the sixth round to get Hamilton. It wasn’t a blockbuster deal but the fact that they thought enough of him to move up says something. Gruden has said that he thinks Hamilton could be a starter at some point. He was one of the leaders on a strong Alabama defense before injuries struck. Hamilton is not going to start this year barring multiple injuries, but he should develop a role as the season goes on and be ready to compete in 2019.

Bottom line: The Redskins have not invested much in terms of free agent dollars or draft capital in the inside linebacker position in recent seasons. That changed somewhat this offseason as they made sure to spend to retain Brown and Foster. Neither commanded a huge contract but they did make a commitment and that is important. Last year Brown gave the defense a sideline-to-sideline dimension it hasn’t had in quite some time and retaining him was critical. Inside linebacker may not be a major strength for the defense this year but it should be able to get the job done. 

2018 Redskins position outlook series