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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 challenge fans to create all-time team with this pool of franchise legends

Redskins challenge fans to create all-time team with this pool of franchise legends

Everyone has a little bit more time on their hands amid the coronavirus outbreak that’s forced the governors of both Maryland and Virginia to issue stay-at-home orders for the foreseeable future.

With the start of football season still months away, the Redskins decided to give their fans an assignment while they sit at home and wait for the pandemic to be contained.

Using an online form, the Redskins are challenging fans to put together a “dream team” composed of franchise greats and active stars. It’s a fun exercise while sports take a hiatus, so let’s go through the players available for selection.

Quarterback (pick 1)

The choices: Sonny Jurgensen, Billy Kilmer, Doug Williams, Joe Theismann, Alex Smith, Mark Rypien, Sammy Baugh and Kirk Cousins

Notable snubs: Robert Griffin III

Running back (pick 2)

The choices: John Riggins, Alfred Morris, Brian Mitchell, Clinton Portis, Earnest Byner, George Rogers, Larry Brown, Adrian Peterson and Stephen Davis

Notable snubs: Terry Allen

Wide receiver (pick 3)

The choices: Art Monk, Bobby Mitchell, Charley Taylor, Charlie Brown, Gary Clark, Hugh Taylor, Pierre Garcon, Ricky Sanders and Santana Moss

Notable snubs: Henry Ellard

Tight end (pick 1)

The choices: Chris Cooley, Jerry Smith and Jordan Reed

Notable snubs: Donnie Warren

Offensive line (pick 5)

The choices: Jeff Bostic, Jim Lachey, Joe Jacoby, Len Hauss, Russ Grimm, Turk Edwards, Brandon Scherff and Vince Promuto

Notable snubs: Trent Williams and Chris Samuels

Defensive line (pick 2)

The choices: Charles Mann, Dave Butz, Dexter Manley and Gene Brito

Notable snubs: Andre Carter, Ron McDole

Linebackers (pick 3)

The choices: Chris Hanburger, Ken Harvey, London Fletcher, Monte Coleman and Ryan Kerrigan

Notable snubs: Brian Orakpo

Defensive backs (pick 4)

The choices: Brig Owens, Champ Bailey, Darrell Green, DeAngelo Hall, Ken Houston, Landon Collins, Mike Bass, Pat Fischer and Sean Taylor

Notable snubs: Joe Lavender and Paul Krause

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Redskins are warming up to trading down from No. 2 pick, per one report

Redskins are warming up to trading down from No. 2 pick, per one report

The 2020 NFL Draft is less than a month away, meaning the rumors surrounding the Redskins and what they'll do with the No. 2 overall selection are only going to intensify over the next few weeks.

Many expect the Burgundy and Gold to select Ohio State pass rusher Chase Young with the second pick, and it makes sense. He's been pegged as a generational talent by many experts and would make an immediate impact for the Redskins defense.

But coming off a 3-13 season, the Redskins still have plenty of holes on their roster. Arguably the best way to expedite a rebuild of any franchise is by building through the draft, and the Redskins potentially have the opportunity to acquire multiple first-round picks by trading down from the second overall selection. 

According to CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora, the team is warming up to exactly that idea.

"I continue to hear that they are increasingly open to trading out," la Canfora said. "I think there's a distinct possibility."

When the Redskins moved up to No. 2 in the 2012 NFL Draft to acquire Robert Griffin III, they shipped three first-round picks to the Rams. It likely would take a deal similar to that for the Redskins to move out of their current draft position.

The Dolphins currently sit at No. 5 and have three first-round picks in this year's draft. They're also desperate for a quarterback. With Miami having the draft capital to strike a deal, they seem like the most likely team to trade up to No. 2. 

Should Washington move down to No. 5, the Redskins would potentially have the chance to select another player La Canfora says they have a high draft grade on: Clemson's Isaiah Simmons.

"If they do drop back a few spots, I believe strongly they would target Isaiah Simmons," La Canfora said. "That's another player I'm told they are super high on their draft board. They feel like he's such a rotational chess piece you can put all over the place. They are very intrigued by that possibility if they were to move down."

Simmons is arguably the most versatile defensive player in this year's draft. Listed as a linebacker, Simmons has lined up as a cornerback, safety and pass rusher, too. Simmons's measurables -- 6-foot-4, 239 pounds -- are off the charts, and the Clemson standout raised his stock even higher this past February with an outstanding performance at the Scouting Combine.

Throughout free agency, the Redskins have not made a splashy move. But one common trait between many of the players Ron Rivera has brought in to Washington is their versatility. Simmons fits exactly that mold. The only question remains if he would still be available by the time the Redskins were on the clock, as both the Lions and Giants would have the chance to take him before Washington.

If Young is considered the best defensive player in the draft, Simmons is right behind him. La Canfora explained that if Washington has the opportunity to trade back and still nab Simmons, that's something they should absolutely consider.

"If you take Chase Young, and he ends up being [Lawrence Taylor], then I get it. You call it a day," he said. "But if he's less than that, and you have the opportunity to trade off of him, as if he were a quarterback, to get quarterback value for the pick because the other team moving up is taking a quarterback, then I don't know how you don't strongly consider it."

La Canfora explained what many assume will be the deciding factor on whether the Redskins trade down or not -- will they get enough in return for the pick?

"It will be mostly tied to the value and trade for the pick," Canfora said. "Do they feel there is enough opportunity to throw three, four, five darts at premium positions on the draft board over the next couple of years that would allow them to hasten their rebuild?"

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