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Need to Know: The Redskins week that was — Dumb mistakes, Trent Williams on inconsistency

Need to Know: The Redskins week that was — Dumb mistakes, Trent Williams on inconsistency

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, October 13, one day before the Washington Redskins host the Carolina Panthers.

Talking points

A look at some of the most popular posts and hottest topics of the week on Real Redskins and NBC Sports Washington.

Will Josh Norman return in 2019? I have to say that I may have been premature in writing this. I did get a lot of questions about his future and what the cap consequences would be if the Redskins were to move on. But as a writer who tries to be careful of making conclusions based on a small sample size, perhaps I should have held off. Although if I had to bet now, I would say that he’ll be a cap casualty next year, but there is plenty of season left to change that narrative.

Tandler's five observations after the debacle in the dome—The worst aspect of the loss was all of the dumb mistakes the Redskins made, especially on defense. At the top of the list was Montae Nicholson’s unnecessary roughness penalty, but a bag full of blown coverages, blocking assignment mix-ups and missed open receivers contributed. I think that nearly every other NFL team would have lost to the Saints given that it was a big night for Drew Brees. But most would have been more competitive than the Redskins were. 

"An absolute embarrassment"—Ok, Jay. Go do something about it. 

Redskins have lost five straight to Panthers—I’m sure you’ve heard that the Redskins have not beaten a Panthers team quarterbacked by Cam Newton, losing all four times by double digits. Add one game before Newton arrived on the scene, and you have to go back to 2006 to find the last time the Redskins beat the Panthers.

Normally, I’d say that past results have very limited meaning. I don’t read too much into it, but I think that the Redskins have problems dealing with teams that are physical in nature, and the Panthers have had that identity going back to before Cam arrived. So, this goes into the “bad matchup” category, which spells trouble for the home team. 

Tweet of the week

The Redskins are 1-1 in their last two games, 2-2 this season, 3-3 in their last six games, and 5-5 in their last 10. Since Week 11 in 2016, they have three two-game winning streaks and five two-game losing streaks (including one that spanned two seasons). There have been no winning or losing streaks of longer than two games. They have been the very definition of mediocre. 

Trent’s full remarks on the topic of inconsistency are here on my Facebook page. He has the problem well diagnosed, but the solution escapes him, just like it does Jay Gruden and anyone else you might ask about it. 

Gruden used to have it figured out. The team had a four-game winning streak to close out the 2015 season, and another four-game streak from Week 3 through Week 6 in 2016. Since then, Gruden appears to have lost the formula to create more than a couple of consecutive wins. Unless he finds it, the Redskins are going to have a hard time finding their way back to relevance. 

The agenda

Today: No media availability

Upcoming: Panthers @ Redskins 1 day; Cowboys @ Redskins 8; Redskins @ Giants 15

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

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Report: Months after major leg injury, Reuben Foster regains feeling in toes

Report: Months after major leg injury, Reuben Foster regains feeling in toes

The Redskins signed linebacker Reuben Foster late in the 2018 season after his release from San Francisco amid domestic violence allegations. The signing caused tremendous backlash towards the organization, but in the end, it was supposed to be worth it for what Foster could do on the field. 

Eventually, charges against Foster got dropped and he wasn't suspended by the NFL. Unfortunately for him and for the Redskins, Foster got injured in his first snap of offseason team activities in May 2019, and it was a major injury. 

The scene on the field that day was traumatic as Foster was visibly in intense pain. In the news that emerged after the injury, Foster had torn multiple ligaments in his knee and NBC Sports Washington reported there was nerve damage in the leg as well. 

Now, it seems like there is finally some positive momentum for Foster's injury. His agent Malki Kawa spoke to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport: "He's got feeling in his toes, the underside of his foot, the side of his foot. The nerve is starting to fire again."

The alarming part here is that Foster had lost feeling in his toes, and for a long period of time too. Foster's injury happened last May. 

Rehabbing a knee is one thing, football players do that all the time. But nerves operate almost on their own, and some nerve damage is irreperable. 

"He's regaining feeling and power," Kawa said. "It shows the nerve is firing. When he moves his leg upward, he can feel around the ankle and the top part of the foot. That's a new thing. The next 60 days are going to be big as far as getting back to normal."

The Redskins know about scary nerve injuries. Promising rookie safety Kyshoen Jarrett sustained nerve damage in his arm in Week 17 of the 2015 season, and never played again. Two years ago, cornerback Quinton Dunbar dealt with a nerve issue in his leg and was basically lost for the year. 

What happens next for Foster will be interesting to watch. 

Kawa said the next 60 days will be important, and that timeline also coincides with more Redskins offseason work. After such a significant injury, it would be premature to make any assumptions about Foster's return to the field, and if/when that happens, his level of play. 

Foster has been seen around the Redskins training facility at times since he was signed in 2018. At various points he was using a scooter and then walking on his own with a significant brace.

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Report: Jay Gruden interviewing for Jaguars offensive coordinator job

Report: Jay Gruden interviewing for Jaguars offensive coordinator job

Jay Gruden’s absence from football might only last a few months. 

The former Redskins head coach is reportedly interviewing for the Jacksonville Jaguars vacant offensive coordinator position, according to NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo. Jacksonville parted ways with John DeFlippo last Monday after just one season with the team. 
 

The few times Gruden has spoken since being fired by Washington in October, the former head coach has expressed a strong desire to get back into coaching. Gruden recently told NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport he’s been “itching to do something” and “would like an office to go to,” according to Garafolo. 

Interviewing for an offensive coordinator position is not unfamiliar territory for Gruden. He spent the past six years as the head coach in the nation’s capital, but perhaps his most success in the NFL was when the 52-year-old was the offensive coordinator of the Cincinnati Bengals. 

Behind the solid play of Andy Dalton and A.J. Green, the Gruden-led offense in Cincinnati resulted in three straight playoff appearances. 

Should be be hired in Jacksonville, Gruden would have some promising pieces to work with. Rookie quarterback Gardner Minshew showed plenty of hope in the 12 games he started, and second-year wideout D.J. Chark enjoyed a breakout season in 2019. Additionally, running back Leonard Fournette finished with a career-high 1,152 rushing yards last season. 

Former Giants head coach Ben McAdoo and former Cowboys offensive coordinator Scott Linehan have reportedly interviewed for the gig as well. 

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