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Veteran minicamp notes, Day 2: Case Keenum is steadily improving but Dwayne Haskins finishes strong

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Veteran minicamp notes, Day 2: Case Keenum is steadily improving but Dwayne Haskins finishes strong

The Trent Williams situation took another interesting turn on Wednesday morning, but as Jay Gruden said at his afternoon press conference, there are a lot of important things happening on the field at Redskins minicamp, too. 

This post will be all about the on-field action Gruden referenced. The Redskins were at it again for another two-hour session in Ashburn and a lot went down. Here are your bullet-point observations...

  • Once stretching wraps up, the Redskins usually do a few half-speed 11-on-11 plays. The first one of the day was meant to be a screen to a running back, but undrafted lineman Austin Maloata batted it down. Gruden didn't enjoy that at all. "Let it f—ing go, please," he reminded the defender.
     
  • The three quarterbacks went through an interesting drill early on, where they'd take seven or eight rapid shotgun snaps, set and throw the ball, then take the next snap immediately after for another throw. They didn't even have time to find the laces or really square their shoulders, but they made it look relatively easy. It definitely wasn't relatively easy. 
     
  • For the third straight session open to the media, Case Keenum put together the more complete performance of the passers. He's very vocal with his snap counts and in getting guys organized, perhaps growing more confident each day he's in this offense. In fact, at one point in a 7-on-7, he called out to Vernon Davis, had him shift to the other side of the ball, then rifled a pass to him. He wasn't perfect, and Dwayne Haskins had his usual few WHOA moments, but Keenum has been more consistent and, as of now, looks like the better option at starter. Yet here's a necessary reminder: It's still just June.
     
  • Cam Sims has been sticking out among the pass catchers so far this offseason, but Wednesday was Davis' day. The tight end had no problem finding open spaces when he was on the field.
     
  • As stated, Keenum had the more even effort, but as he tends to do, Haskins delivered the top highlight. No. 7 is working to adjust to the pressure he's facing and overthrew more than a few targets on Wednesday, but he was money in the two-minute drill that wrapped up the proceedings. First, he picked out Kelvin Harmon near the sideline and barely fit a 20-ish yard pass in to the rookie. Then, he finished the drive off with a wild touchdown to Terry McLaurin that looked like a Madden glitch. McLaurin was totally covered by a defensive back, but he reached around the cornerback and somehow got two hands on the ball for the score. It's almost like Haskins and McLaurin have some sort of special level of understanding with one another...........
     
  • Paul Richardson was a part of 11-on-11s Wednesday after only doing individual work on Tuesday. On his first snap, he got just a bit upset when the ball didn't come his way. Receivers gonna receiver. 
     
  • Run plays in June aren't always the most engaging thing to watch, seeing as no one is tackling, which makes it tough to tell whether the sequence truly would've been successful or not. But Adrian Peterson took one handoff and exploded through the left side, high-stepping the way he does when he's in 'I Dare You To Try And Tackle Me' Mode. Players on both sides of the ball were very hyped to see No. 26 do that. 
     
  • That wasn't the most vocal the Redskins got after a particular play, however. In a 7-on-7, tight end Matt Flanagan hauled in a pass over the middle and turned upfield. Fortunately for Flanagan, and Flanagan's body, and Flanagan's livelihood, there was no hitting. If there was, Landon Collins might've split him in half. A lot of guys, particularly on the defensive side, made noise after realizing how bad that collision would've been. 
     
  • Rob Ryan gave a solid fist pump after one play in which Cole Holcomb stepped up to help blow up a screen on the edge. Holcomb was able to shift out wide late to follow his man, the entire defense communicated that shift well and the gain was minimal. 
     
  • There have been refs in Ashburn this week, and they threw a handful of flags on the secondary for various infractions. At one point, a chunk of that unit started sounding off on one ref after a penalty call, but coach Ray Horton quieted them down and reminded them the NFL's rules favor the offense big-time. "They're not here to see you," Horton told his guys, with the "they're" meaning the fans who show up on Sundays.
     
  • Josh Doctson had another unsightly drop, while undrafted wideout Steven Sims had a pair. 
     
  • Per the Redskins Talk podcast's Big Man Expert Mitch Tischler, Tyler Catalina took the most snaps at left tackle as the offense rotates options with Williams out of town. According to Tischler, Catalina fared better against Montez Sweat and Ryan Anderson compared to past left tackles.
     
  • Lastly, defensive assistants were made available to the media as they walked off the field, and Jim Tomsula gushed plenty about his defensive line. Check back Thursday morning for the full story about what he said, but here's one free nugget: He was very complimentary of Caleb Brantley's professionalism. Per Tomsula, Brantley is doing everything that's been asked of him since he joined the Burgundy and Gold, and not everything that's been asked of him has been easy. Maybe Brantley will work more into the rotation in 2019.
     

Two minicamp days down, one to go. Gruden confirmed that the Redskins would have their Thursday get-together, when in the past they've canceled the third minicamp session. Gruden explained that with the new passers and well-stocked rookie class, he thinks every chance for work is vital.

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Redskins Mailbag: If everyone expected an 0-2 start, why is everyone freaking out?

Redskins Mailbag: If everyone expected an 0-2 start, why is everyone freaking out?

Mailbags are a fun way to interact with fans and answer some questions, and it's high time that I tried one.

By the way, this is JP, and I'm going to answer some questions that came in via my Twitter. 

Here we go:

1. Early-season emotions

James Lowe (@lowey133) - "If everyone expected 0-2 why is everyone going mad about us being 0-2?"

This is a great question and a good starting point. When the schedule came out in April, most folks thought the Redskins would lose the first two games. Vegas installed the Redskins as sizable underdogs in both contests, and sure enough, the Redskins lost. So the freakout might not be warranted, BUT, the manner in which Washington lost both games is quite concerning.

The Redskins were supposed to be led by their defense, and that just hasn't been the case. Greg Manusky's group ranks at or near the bottom in almost every meaningful defensive stat through two games this year. The secondary seems completely overwhelmed and confused, and those were the exact problems the team allegedly addressed this offseason. Also, the run game has been nonexistent so far.

Collectively the Redskins have less than 80 rush yards on the season, and Derrius Guice is on the injured reserve. Trent Williams not showing up and Jordan Reed's concussion situation probably aren't helping to settle many fans fears either. 

2. Contract progress for Scherff?

Defend the District (@DefendforOldDC) - "How likely do you think it is at this point that Brandon Scherff will get a new deal here?"

At this point, I don't think it's likely. Scherff is now 14 games away from free agency, and by all the whispers I've heard, the Redskins didn't really make an offer that would keep him tied to Washington.

It's possible the Redskins' brass doesn't want to go north of $14 million a year for a guard, even a guard as good as Scherff. It's also possible the team will use a franchise or transition tag on Scherff next offseason.

Whatever happens, I would not expect a contract extension between Scherff and the Redskins this season. 

3. Three-pack of quick hitters

Jared Wasser (@JaredAWasser) - "% chance Dwayne Haskins in the starting QB week 1 for the Redskins in the 2020-2021 season?"

100 percent. 

Hamid Safdari (@Hamid_Safdari) - "When will Norman be benched?"

Not happening. At all. 

Jim (@RedskinsFanStil) - "Do you get paid more for doing the mailbag?"

No. Kindness of my heart. 

4. Gruden's hot seat and a cold start

T.G. (@Coach_TommyG) - "How many wins do you think Jay needs to stay as HC of the Redskins? O/U 9.5?"

Well, Gruden himself said he needs to make the playoffs to keep his job in 2020. And sitting at 0-2 in the NFC East, a division title already seems pretty far out of reach.

That means Gruden's squad needs to grab a Wild Card spot, and to be safe, get 10 wins to get there. Which, with only 14 remaining, means the Redskins need to go 10-4 the rest of the way. Seems like an uphill climb.

Maybe 9-7 gets a Wild Card spot, which means 9-5 record the rest of the way. 

5. Defensive coaching tea leaves

Cory (@CoryMartens) - "Is the real reason Manusky is still here is because if he goes, Jim Tomsula goes with him? Any chance Jim T could be a replacement candidate for Manusky?"

A lot to discuss here. I think Greg Manusky is still the Redskins defensive coordinator because the team has only played two games. No matter how bad something looks, making a decision this early in the season seems rash. Now, if the Bears terrible offense drops 30 on the Redskins on Monday night, things could get ugly for Manusky.

As for Tomsula, he is very close with Manusky. I don't think he would even consider taking the defensive coordinator job if Manusky got fired, but I'm not positive the D-line leader would leave the team either. Tomsula is a man of immense loyalty and he cares deeply for his players. I'm not sure he would leave his guys in the middle of the year.

Complete honesty: I just don't know

6. Stadium update?

2Jet (@Y2Banana) - "Stadium update?" 

I've heard some stuff, but nothing I can share. I do think there will be either an official word or some reportable news soon.

My biggest hint: it will be north of the Potomac. 

7. Inside concussion protocol

Scotty Bugatti (@ScottAument213) - "Reed this week? Any updates? Also favorite pregame snack lol" 

When players are in the NFL concussion protocol, the media isn't allowed to speak with them. I have no idea Jordan Reed's status, but hope he takes all the time he needs.

As for a pregame snack, I'm a popcorn junkie. I love popcorn. Like more than a friend. 

Thanks for the questions folks. We will do this again next week. If you made it this far, I owe you a beer.

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Fantasy Football Flex Rankings 2019: Week 3

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Fantasy Football Flex Rankings 2019: Week 3

Week 2 is in the books and rosters are beginning to take shape. Here are the top flex options for Week 3.

For a tiered breakdown of each fantasy football position, click below:

Quarterback Rankings: Week 3
Running Back Rankings: Week 3
Wide Receiver Rankings: Week 3
Tight End Rankings: Week 3

Flex Rankings: Week 2

FLEX RANKINGS:

1. Ezekiel Elliott, DAL, RB1, Previous Ranking: 4
Opponent: vs. Dolphins
2. Christian McCaffrey, CAR, RB2, Previous Ranking: 1 
Opponent: at Cardinals 
3. Saquon Barkley, NYG, RB3, Previous Ranking: 2
Opponent: at Buccaneers
4. Julio Jones, ATL, WR1, Previous Ranking: 8
Opponent: at Colts
5. Austin Ekeler, LAC, RB4, Previous Ranking: 9
Opponent: vs. Texans
6. Dalvin Cook, MIN, RB5, Previous Ranking: 10
Opponent: vs. Raiders
7. Alvin Kamara, NO, RB6, Previous Ranking: 3
Opponent: at Seahawks
8. Le'Veon Bell, NYJ, RB7, Previous Ranking: 5
Opponent: at Patriots
9. DeAndre Hopkins, HOU, WR2, Previous Ranking: 6
Opponent: at Chargers
10. Keenan Allen, LAC, WR3, Previous Ranking: 12
Opponent: vs. Texans 
11. Amari Cooper, DAL, WR4, Previous Ranking: 21
Opponent: vs. Dolphins
12. Michael Thomas, NO, WR5, Previous Ranking: 7
Opponent: at Seahawks
13. Chris Carson, SEA, RB8, Previous Ranking: 18
Opponent: vs. Saints
14. James Conner, PIT, RB9, Previous Ranking: 19
Opponent: at 49ers
15. Travis Kelce, KC, TE1, Previous Ranking: 20
Opponent: vs. Ravens
16. Odell Beckham Jr., CLE, WR6, Previous Ranking: 16
Opponent: vs. Rams
17. Davante Adams, GB, WR7, Previous Ranking: 13
Opponent: vs. Broncos
18. Derrick Henry, TEN, RB10, Previous Ranking: 33
Opponent: at Jaguars
19. Nick Chubb, CLE, RB11, Previous Ranking: 27
Opponent: vs. Rams
20. David Johnson, ARI, RB12, Previous Ranking: 26
Opponent: vs. Panthers
21. Kenny Golladay, DET, WR8, Previous Ranking: 35
Opponent: at Eagles
22. Aaron Jones, GB, RB13, Previous Ranking: 34
Opponent: vs. Broncos
23. Mike Evans, TB, WR9, Previous Ranking: 14
Opponent: vs. Giants
24.Antonio Brown, NE, WR10, Previous Ranking: 11 
Opponent: vs. Jets
25.Marlon Mack, IND, RB14, Previous Ranking: 25
Opponent: vs. Falcons
26.JuJu Smith-Schuster, PIT, WR11, Previous Ranking: 17
Opponent: at 49ers
27. T.Y. Hilton, IND, WR12, Previous Ranking: 23
Opponent: vs. Falcons
28. Mark Ingram, BAL, RB15, Previous Ranking: 31
Opponent: at Chiefs
29. Kerryon Johnson, DET, RB16, Previous Ranking: 32
Opponent: at Eagles
30. Sammy Watkins, KC, WR13, Previous Ranking: 15
Opponent: vs. Ravens
31. Cooper Kupp, LAR, WR14, Previous Ranking: 29
Opponent: at Browns
32. Joe Mixon, CIN, RB17, Previous Ranking: 24
Opponent: at Bills
33. James White, NE, RB18, Previous Ranking: 44
Opponent: vs. Jets
34. Todd Gurley, LAR, RB19, Previous Ranking: 43
Opponent: at Browns
35. Josh Jacobs, OAK, RB20, Previous Ranking: 28
Opponent: at Vikings
34.Chris Godwin, TB, WR15, Previous Ranking: 51
Opponent: vs. Giants
35. Adam Thielen, MIN, WR16, Previous Ranking: 22
Opponent: vs. Raiders
36. Tyler Lockett, SEA, WR17, Previous Ranking: 49
Opponent: vs. Saints
37. Leonard Fournette, JAX, RB21, Previous Ranking: 36
Opponent: vs. Titans
38. George Kittle, SF, TE2, Previous Ranking: 45
Opponent: vs. Steelers
39. Zach Ertz, PHI, TE5, Previous Ranking: 46
Opponent: vs. Lions
40. Larry Fitzgerald, ARI, WR18, Previous Ranking: 40
Opponent: at Ravens
41. Damien Williams, KC, RB22, Previous Ranking: 41
Opponent: vs. Ravens
42. Sony Michel, NE, RB23, Previous Ranking: 55
Opponent: vs. Jets
43. David Montgomery, CHI, RB24, Previous Ranking: 56
Opponent: at Redskins
44. Marquise Brown, BAL, WR19, Previous Ranking: 64
Opponent: at Chiefs
45. Julian Edelman, NE, WR20, Previous Ranking: 30
Opponent: vs. Jets  
46. D.J. Moore, CAR, WR21, Previous Ranking: 50
Opponent: at Cardinals   
47. Devin Singletary, BUF, RB25, Previous Ranking: 39
Opponent: vs. Bengals
48. Evan Engram, NYG, TE4, Previous Ranking: 48
Opponent: at Buccaneers 
49. Stefon Diggs, MIN, WR22, Previous Ranking: 53
Opponent: vs. Raiders
50. Josh Gordon, NE, WR23, Previous Ranking: 37
Opponent: vs. Jets
51. Alshon Jeffery, PHI, WR24, Previous Ranking: 47
Opponent: vs. Lions
52. Robert Woods, LAR, WR25, Previous Ranking: 52
Opponent: at Browns
53. Tyrell Williams, OAK, WR26, Previous Ranking: 61
Opponent: at Vikings
54. Miles Sanders, PHI, RB26, Previous Ranking: 68
Opponent: vs. Lions
55. Phillip Lindsay, DEN, RB27, Previous Ranking: 58
Opponent: at Packers
56. Duke Johnson Jr., HOU, RB28, Previous Ranking: 42
Opponent: at Chargers
57. Matt Breida, SF, RB29, Previous Ranking: 94
Opponent: vs. Steelers
58. Devonta Freeman, ATL, RB30, Previous Ranking: 60
Opponent: at Colts
59. Jordan Howard, PHI, RB31, Previous Ranking: 59
Opponent: vs. Lions
60. Emmanuel Sanders, WR27, Previous Ranking: 81
Opponent: at Packers
61. Calvin Ridley, ATL, WR28, Previous Ranking: 65
Opponent: at Colts
62. Tarik Cohen, CHI, RB32, Previous Ranking: 38
Opponent: at Redskins
63. Tyler Boyd. CIN, WR29, Previous Ranking: 63
Opponent: at Bills
64. Terry McLaurin, WAS, WR30, Previous Ranking: 73
Opponent: vs. Bears
65. Jamison Crowder, NYJ, WR31, Previous Ranking: 66
Opponent: at Patriots
66. Brandin Cooks, LAR, WR32, Previous Ranking: 54
Opponent: at Browns
67. Jarvis Landry, CLE, WR33, Previous Ranking: 67
Opponent: vs. Rams
68. Mark Andrews, BAL, TE5, Previous Ranking: 76
Opponent: at Chiefs
69. Latavius Murray, NO, RB33, Previous Ranking: 69
Opponent: at Seahawks
70. Robby Anderson, NYJ, WR34, Previous Ranking: 70
Opponent: at Patriots
71. Curtis Samuel, CAR, WR35, Previous Ranking: 71
Opponent: at Cardinals
72. D.K. Metcalf, SEA, WR36, Previous Ranking: 92
Opponent: vs. Saints
73. John Brown, BUF, WR37, Previous Ranking: 74
Opponent: vs. Bengals
74. Allen Robinson, CHI, WR38, Previous Ranking: 82
Opponent: at Redskins
75. Will Fuller V, HOU, WR39, Previous Ranking: 72
Opponent: at Chargers
76. Vance McDonald, PIT, TE6, Previous Ranking: 97
Opponent: at 49ers
77. O.J. Howard, TB, TE7, Previous Ranking: 57
Opponent: vs. Giants
78. Austin Hooper, ATL, TE8, Previous Ranking: 77
Opponent: at Colts
79. Darren Waller, OAK, TE9, Previous Ranking: 100
Opponent: at Vikings
80. Marvin Jones, DET, WR40, Previous Ranking: 80
Opponent: at Eagles
81. Delanie Walker, TEN, TE10, Previous Ranking: 75
Opponent: at Jaguars
82. Christian Kirk, ARI, WR41, Previous Ranking: 83
Opponent: vs. Panthers
83. Courtland Sutton, DEN, WR42, Previous Ranking: 84
Opponent: at Packers
84. John Ross III, CIN, WR43, Previous Ranking: 85
Opponent: at Bills
85. LeSean McCoy, KC, RB34, Previous Ranking: 86
Opponent: vs. Ravens
86. Kenyan Drake, MIA, RB35, Previous Ranking: 87
Opponent: at Cowboys
87. James Washington, PIT, WR44, Previous Ranking: 88
Opponent: at 49ers
88. Adrian Peterson, WAS, RB36, Previous Ranking: 89
Opponent: vs, Bears 
89. Chris Thompson, WAS, RB37, Previous Ranking: 90
Opponent: vs. Bears
90. Dede Westbrook, JAX, WR45, Previous Ranking: 91
Opponent: vs. Titans
91. Mecole Hardman, KC, WR46, Previous Ranking: 93
Opponent: vs. Ravens
92. Giovani Bernard, CIN, RB38, Previous Ranking: 95
Opponent: at Bills
93. Sterling Shepard, NYG, WR47, Previous Ranking: NR
Opponent: at Buccaneers
94. Carlos Hyde, HOU, RB39, Previous Ranking: NR
Opponent: at Chargers
95. Frank Gore, BUF, RB40, Previous Ranking; NR
Opponent: vs. Bengals
96. Preston Williams, MIA, WR48, Previous Ranking:NR
Opponent:at Cowboys
97. Deebo Samuel, SF, WR49, Previous Ranking: NR
Opponent: vs. Steelers
98. Randall Cobb, DAL, WR50, Previous Ranking: NR
Opponent: vs. Dolphins
99. DJ Chark, JAX, WR51, Previous Ranking: NR
Opponent: vs. Titans
100. Corey Davis, TEN, WR52, Previous Ranking: NR
Opponent: at Jaguars

For a tiered breakdown of each fantasy football position, click below:

Quarterback Rankings: Week 3
Running Back Rankings: Week 3
Wide Receiver Rankings: Week 3
Tight End Rankings: Week 3

Flex Rankings: Week 2