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While he'll really shine later, Landon Collins is already looking to change one thing on Redskins' defense

While he'll really shine later, Landon Collins is already looking to change one thing on Redskins' defense

Landon Collins will really make the biggest difference on the Redskins' defense when Week 1 rolls around. That'll be when the team's critical free agent signing can don his helmet and game uniform and throw around his thick frame to help against the run and in coverage.

However, he's already looking to influence and improve the unit in another way at OTAs, and Jay Gruden has noticed it now that the safety is starting to participate more in the May sessions.

"He's a good guy to have out there, he's a communicator," Gruden said in his post-practice presser.

Collins has yet to fully get involved in every snap, as he and the team are trying to be patient with his comeback from a shoulder injury. Still, the increased action is a delightful development, according to a guy who's a self-described hater of sitting around, and now he's looking to get himself in shape and also learn about his new DBs.

"Going through the process, making sure I'm right for my teammates, making sure my guys are right for themselves," Collins answered when asked what he looks to accomplish in these offseason get-togethers.

You can look at plenty of things — including the 25-year-old's monstrous production in the NFL thus far or his monstrous contract — and know that when the 'Skins line up against the Eagles in Week 1, No. 20 will be at one starting safety spot. But the job next to him is still very unsettled, with players like Montae Nicholson and Deshazor Everett vying for the trust of coaches.

So, what will Collins be hoping his fellow starter will eventually bring to the secondary? His answer shouldn't surprise you.

"Great communication," he said first, before also mentioning a ball-hawking attitude as another prerequisite. 

Collins' new defensive coordinator, Greg Manusky, was presented with the same question. His response was more Xs-and-Os-focused, though.

"They call them safeties for a reason," Manusky said. "They're safety valves. If something breaks through, they have to make those plays on the back end... From a coverage standpoint, they're going to cover those main tight ends."

Regardless of whoever emerges, he'll slide next to a leader who clearly values getting everyone thinking and playing the same way. For a defense that often cited that as their main issue in 2018 — how many easy 60-yard TDs did Drew Brees have against the Burgundy and Gold last year on Monday night? Like, seven? — that makes Collins an ideal addition. 

So, hopefully, his devotion to the vocal side of football will generate more consistency. But, of course, you should be thrilled to see him contribute to the physical side of football come September, too.

"It's hard to tell when his presence is felt in shorts," Gruden said, "but when the pads are on, that's when you feel Landon."


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It took until late in the third quarter for anyone to score in the Redskins-49ers game

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It took until late in the third quarter for anyone to score in the Redskins-49ers game

Sloppy field conditions on Sunday for a matchup between the Redskins and 49ers made it seem as if offense would be hard to come by at times.

Until the third quarter, offense was hard to come by at all.

Finally, with around five minutes remaining in the third quarter, the scoreless tie was broken with a 28-yard field goal by Robbie Gould of the 49ers.

Gould added another field goal in the fourth to make it 6-0. 

The low-scoring affair has featured a lot of runs, two missed field goals, turnovers and a lot of sliding around on the field.

Just when it seemed like the Redskins were going to put up a score of their own, Adrian Peterson coughed up the football. Because, of course that would happen during a game like this.

If you're thinking that this contest seems to lack points more than usual, you would be correct.

Subject to change based on how the rest of the game plays out, the teams are on pace to enter a small, sad and historic group.

They say the NFL is becoming an offensive league. This game begs to differ.


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Redskins lose to 49ers in a day where the weather was the only real winner

Redskins lose to 49ers in a day where the weather was the only real winner

The Redskins had chances to get an unexpected win Sunday, but the team didn't convert on their opportunities. In the end, the 9-0 loss leaves Washington with a 1-6 record and many more questions than answers. 

The game was played in terrible weather, pouring rain for three hours, and the action resembled the weather. Neither team played particualrly well but the 49ers handled the slop better than the Redskins.

Some things stood out from the action, and it started on defense. 

  1. Maybe it was the weather or maybe it was the effort, but Washington only gave up nine points and no touchdowns. Niners QB Jimmy Garaplo had only 10 passing yards at halftime and was sacked and harassed throughout the game. In the second half, San Francisco started to find some success passing into the middle of the Redskins defense, but largely the group played well. The weather helped too, make no mistake about that.
  2. Coming into this game the 49ers had committed seven turnovers in their last three games but had given up no TDs off those turnovers. For the Redskins to win on Sunday they had to convert turnovers into scores. The team got a chance when seldom-used safety Troy Apke grabbed an interception and put the Redskins offense in good field position. Three plays later, however, the Redskins were forced to punt. San Francisco's defense is quite good, and it seems they get particularly motivated after their offense turns the ball over. 
  3. The flip side of that equation was a killer Adrian Peterson fumble late in the third quarter. The Redskins had put together an impressive drive and looked positioned to at least tie the game with a field goal if not take the lead with a touchdown. Peterson hit the hole and as he was going down the ball got ripped out of his arms, the 49ers recovered, and Washington's best second-half scoring chance was ruined. That was Peterson's first fumble of the year.
  4. It's hard to write enough about the weather, which was the single biggest factor in the outcome of this game. Neither offense had much success, multiple field goals got missed and plenty of people splashed all over the field. There was one play that crushed the Redskins, however, when the 49ers appeared to fumble. The refs called the play off as the umpire wasn't set yet, but the ball was on the ground and the Redskins recovered. Expect to hear more about that.