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Redskins can't afford to see Josh Norman go another season without an interception

Redskins can't afford to see Josh Norman go another season without an interception

RICHMOND — As many of you know, Josh Norman started 14 games for the Redskins last year (902 snaps), and he did not get a single interception.

The lack of takeaways by the cornerback whose contract carries a salary cap value of nearly $17 million was disturbing to many. A good cornerback should be able to pick off one or two passes even is just by accident. 

However, a look at some numbers might give a hint as to why Norman could not get an interception. Opponents attempted 531 passes against Washington. Of those, Norman was targeted just 49 times. That’s just 9.2 percent. That did not give Norman many chances to make a pick. 

Regardless, the Redskins would like to see some takeaways from their $17 million man. And if Norman can make a few plays — like the one he made on Saturday in practice — he’ll get some. 

In 11-on-11 work, Alex Smith threw a deep pass intended for Robert Davis. There were two problems with the pass. For one thing, Davis was triple covered. Also, the pass was underthrown. 

For a moment, it looked like the pass might fall to the ground. But Norman turned around to face the quarterback, went up high in the air, got both hands on the ball and went to the ground. It was a hard fall, but he managed to keep possession of the ball. 

The crowd at Fan Appreciation Day went wild. Norman was a bit slow to get up, but he managed without assistance. 

The days of Norman getting four interceptions with two of them being returned for touchdowns like he did in Carolina in 2015 probably are over. He just won’t get enough opportunities with players like journeyman Orlando Scandrick or the unproven Quinton Dunbar playing opposite him. 

But if he can use his skills as a ballhawk to steal some 50-50 balls that quarterbacks inevitably will throw up several times during the course of the season, he could help the Redskins get on the plus side of the turnover margin, somewhere they have been just once since 2012. 

Redskins 2018 training camp news

-More contact at camp: Evolution of Jay Gruden
-RB Derrius Guice: No goals for Guice

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 and on Instagram @RichTandler

 

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Jay Gruden reportedly to join Jaguars as their offensive coordinator

Jay Gruden reportedly to join Jaguars as their offensive coordinator

Just four months shy of his last appearance on the NFL gridiron sidelines, Jay Gruden may already have his 2020 gig lined up, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero.

Gruden was head coach of the Washington Redskins for six seasons, beginning in 2014 and going 35-49-1 in his burgundy and gold tenure. Gruden pushed the Redskins to their first postseason appearance since 2012 in his second year with the team, as well as back-to-back winning seasons in 2015 and 2016, not seen in Washington since 1996 and 1997. 

In March 2017, Gruden signed a two-year extension with the Redskins. He was fired after beginning the 2019 season 0-5. 

Recently, Gruden confirmed to Rapoport that he was "itching for something to do" and seeking employment before Jacksonville brought him in to interview for the OC role. 

After playing four years at the University of Louisville and and eight more in various football leagues, Gruden held many offensive roles, offensive coordinator for the Florida Tuskers and Cincinnati Bengals. 

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Joe Gibbs told Ron Rivera that Dan Snyder was never 'an interference' while he coached the Redskins

Joe Gibbs told Ron Rivera that Dan Snyder was never 'an interference' while he coached the Redskins

New Redskins head coach Ron Rivera did plenty of research before accepting the job earlier this month.

Rivera spent 30-35 hours with Redskins owner Dan Snyder before agreeing to be the ninth head coach of the owner's tenure. Additionally, he reached out to legendary Redskins head coach Joe Gibbs, and ended up spending several hours talking with him prior to accepting the job. The two originally spoke on the phone, before the three-time Super Bowl-winning head coach invited Rivera over to his home in Charlotte last month to discuss even further.

On Tuesday, Gibbs spoke on the Carol Maloney show, where he revealed some of the topics he spoke with Rivera about. One of those included the involvement of Snyder, who Gibbs spoke glowingly about.

"Where I felt like I could help the most was telling [Rivera] what it was like working with Dan," Gibbs said. "When I was there, Dan did every single thing he could do to help us win and was never, in any way, an interference. He was always trying to help in every single way he could."

Additionally, Gibbs raved about the Redskins fanbase. He explained to Rivera that fans in D.C. understand football, have been following the team forever, and are some of the most passionate in the sport.

"The other thing I could do, I felt like, was tell him about what it's like coaching in the greatest city in the world with the greatest fans in the world," Gibbs said. "I did tell him I thought it was the greatest job in the NFL."

Gibbs told Maloney that he hates making predictions, but had a strong one about the future of the Redskins fanbase.

"I think our fan base will come roaring back," Gibbs said. "I think [FedEx Field] will be full of Burgundy and Gold. They're going to be cheering their guts out."

When asked if he believed Rivera was the right man to lead the Redskins, Gibbs explained he was thrilled by the hire.

"He was certainly a great choice," Gibbs said. "[He was] Coach of the Year twice, put a team into the Super Bowl. And I think he's kind of a man's man. I think he can talk to the players. And I think he's proven that he can get the job done."

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