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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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Redskins rookie quarterback Dwayne Haskins teams up with Raiders' receiver Antonio Brown for an offseason workout

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Redskins rookie quarterback Dwayne Haskins teams up with Raiders' receiver Antonio Brown for an offseason workout

With training camp right around the corner, Washington Redskins rookie quarterback Dwayne Haskins teamed up with the most high-profile Oakland Raiders' offseason acquisition, wide receiver Antonio Brown. 

Brown and Haskins went through a private route session that featured some pretty impressive ball placement and one-handed snags. 

This isn't the first time Haskins and Brown have worked with each other. In 2018 Haskins spent his spring break on the beach in South Florida throwing to "AB" and Falcons wide receiver, Mohamed Sanu. 

Haskins has also got some work in with other NFL talent this offseason as just last week he posted a post-workout photo with Indianapolis Colts wide receiver, Parris Campbell Jr.; Haskins and Campbell were teammates at Ohio State last season.

There's an old adage that "you're only as good as the company you keep," if this is the case Redskins fans have a lot to look forward to from "Simba" this season. 

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10 Training Camp Questions: How dangerous is the Brandon Scherff contract situation?

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10 Training Camp Questions: How dangerous is the Brandon Scherff contract situation?

The Redskins report to training camp on July 24th, and for the next 10 days, JP Finlay will count down the 10 biggest questions the Redskins face going into the 2019 season.

10) Will the Redskins develop depth on the D-line?

9) Can the Redskins count on Montae Nicholson?

8) Want better offense? Get more out of the tight ends 

7) Will Jimmy Moreland actually win the slot CB job from Fabian Moreau?

6) After losing Reuben Foster, how's the Redskins LB situation?

5) Will potential match production for Redskins WRs?

When a team picks in the Top 10 of the NFL Draft, folks around the NFL expect that player to become a Pro Bowler. For Washington, that exact scenario unfolded with right guard Brandon Scherff. 

Mostly. 

Selected fifth overall in 2015, the Redskins took Scherff to play right tackle and anchor the offensive line opposite Trent Williams. That idea quickly faded, helped by the emergence of Morgan Moses, and Scherff moved inside to play guard. For four years, it's worked out great, with Pro Bowl selections in 2016 and 2017. 

Scherff is a mauler in the best sense of the word. He has great footwork and Redskins head coach Jay Gruden has called the former Iowa Hawkeye the best pulling guard in the NFL. Scherff is strong and nasty, words that won't win beauty pageants but absolutely win in the trenches of the NFL. 

Considering all of that, a contract extension for Scherff should be easy. Right?

Wrong. 

Currently in the final year of his rookie deal, multiple reports stretching over the last six weeks indicate that the organization is way off in their extension offers to Scherff. He might not command the biggest contract in the league, but he will get paid like a top three guard. In 2019, that means a lot of money.

Cowboys guard Zach Martin makes $14 million a year. Jaguars guard Andrew Norwell makes $13.3 million a year. Scherff might not get to Martin's salary, but he will probably get to Norwell, whether Washington pays it or not.

That means the Redskins need to pony up the cash now because as each day passes, the team is approaching an ugly set of options. Scherff and his representatives might continue to negotiate during the season, but it doesn't make a lot of sense. Once free agency becomes in view, players tend to wait for it. Just ask Kirk Cousins. 

In fact, the situation between Scherff and the Redskins has some resemblance to the Cousins saga from a few years ago. 

In that case, Washington low-balled their homegrown quarterback in their first set of negotiations. From there, things went sideways, and the team used consecutive franchise tags on Cousins before he finally left via free agency. 

If the Redskins can't get a deal done with Scherff, the team could use a franchise tag in 2020. But that's a dangerous game of roulette. 

The time to get a deal done with Scherff is now, if not last month. Redskins team president has said in the past that deadlines drive deals, but with Scherff, there is no exact deadline. He can decide to stop working on a contract extension at any moment, particularly once the pads come on at training camp. 

The Trent Williams holdout might be complicating things a bit, if Williams only wants more cash and the issue isn't about much more than that. The truth is a Scherff extension would actually free up cap space in the short term, as his signing bonus would be spread out over the life of the contract, and some of that salary cap relief could go to Williams right away. 

Williams' status isn't the hold up between Scherff and the Redskins. Whatever is the actual holdup best be resolved soon, or the Redskins are beginning down an all too familiar franchise path.

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