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2017 Redskins depth chart preview: Running back

2017 Redskins depth chart preview: Running back

The Redskins are part of the way through the process of retooling their 2017 roster. While the major part of free agency is over, they still can add a few veterans all the way through training camp. They have 10 picks in the draft that starts April 27. In this series, we’re going to take a look at what has changed on the Redskins roster since the season ended and what they need to add to remain competitive in the revived NFC East.

This series started on defense and you can see all those posts here. On offense we’ve pu the wide receivers and tight ends under the microscope. Today the focus turns to the running backs.

2016 final game starter: Rob Kelley

You know the story here. An undrafted free agent, a surprise inclusion on the 53-man roster and the unquestioned starter by midseason.  

Departures: None

Projected 2017 starter: Kelley

Jay Gruden has stated a couple of times that Kelley will line up with the first team when the offseason program gets to that point. In his nine starts he ran for 601 yards with an average of 4.0 yards per carry and six touchdowns. In 16 games that projects to a shade over 1,000 yards and 11 TD’s.

That’s good production for a back on a pass-first team, which is now the Redskins’ identity. If they want to run more, however, the might look at a back in the draft. More on that in a bit.

RELATED: NFL Mock Draft Version 9.0

2017 reserves: Chris Thompson, Matt Jones, Mack Brown, Keith Marshall

Thompson stayed healthy for 16 games for the first time in his career and it’s no coincidence that he had career highs in both rushing yards and receiving yards. He will remain the third-down back.

MORE REDSKINS: What will they do with pick No. 17?  

Brown had a good preseason and he broke off a 61-yard run near the end of the Bears game. Marshall will have to show that he can stay healthy; his speed is intriguing but he needs to be available.

Jones was the unquestioned starter all offseason last year and he had his moments in the seven games he started. But fumbling problems and other issues quickly got him buried on the bench. In fact, he was a healthy inactive the last eight games of the season. Gruden neglected to even mention him when going through the running backs on the roster when he met with reporters at the NFL meetings last month. He has the physical tools to be a solid contributor but he has to straighten out his issues.

Where can the running backs find improvement?

If Kelley maintains his 1,000-yard pace from last year and plays in 16 games that would be a positive development but it wouldn’t really represent much progress over last year. Jones also was on a 1,000-yard pace over his seven starts.

And, let’s face it, a back gaining 1,000 yards isn’t a very big accomplishment. Last year 12 backs ran for 1,000 and three others came within 50 yards of doing so, meaning that almost half of the teams in the league had one. If the Redskins are truly going to bolster their running game they likely will have to spend a high draft pick to get a back who can run for 1,200-1,400 yards and be a threat to take the ball to the house on any play, a back like Dalvin Cook or Christian McCaffrey. Or, they can roll with what they have and remain a pass-first offense, which could well be Gruden’s inclination anyway.

Locks and bubble players

Kelley and Thompson are the only locks. The rest of them had better work hard and hold on to the ball. And if they use a high draft pick on a running back, Jones, Brown, and Murray all could be gone.

Stay up to date on the Redskins! Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerCSN and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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Redskins at Packers Week 14: Date, time, TV channel, live stream, how to watch

Redskins at Packers Week 14: Date, time, TV channel, live stream, how to watch

The Washington Redskins (3-9) take a two-game winning streak to Wisconsin to take on the Green Bay Packers (9-3).

The game will serve as a reunion for a couple of former Redskins. First-year Packers head coach Matt LaFleur was the Redskins' quarterbacks coach from 2010-2013, and linebacker Preston Smith spent the first four seasons of his career in Washington before joining Green Bay this year.

LaFleur has led the Packers to a 9-3 record, including a 31-13 rout of the New York Giants last week, and Smith leads one of the league's top defenses in sacks. The Redskins took down the underperforming Carolina Panthers 29-21 last week thanks to a dominant performance from Derrius Guice.

The Packers lead the all-time series 20-16-1, however, the Redskins have won the last two matchups, both of which were played at home. Washington's last win in Green Bay came in October 1988.

Here's everything you need to know about their Week 14 matchup:

REDSKINS at PACKERS WEEK 14

Who: Washington Redskins (3-9) vs. Green Bay Packers (9-3)

What: Week 14 of the 2019 NFL regular season

When: Sunday, Dec. 8, 2019, 1 p.m. ET

Where: Lambeau Field, Green Bay, Wisc.

TV Channel: FOX

Live Stream: Stream on FuboTV, Pregame and postgame coverage streaming on NBCSportsWashington.com

Radio: Redskins Radio Network

Spread: Packers, -12.5

Over/Under: 42

Weather: 40 degrees, mostly cloudy

REDSKINS at PACKERS TV SCHEDULE:

8:30 a.m.: Pro Football Weekly

9:00 a.m.: Redskins Talk: Week 14

10:00 a.m.: Inside the Redskins

11:00 a.m.: Redskins Coaches Show

11:30 a.m.: Redskins Nation

12:00 p.m.: Redskins Kickoff Live

4:00 p.m.: Redskins Postgame Live 

REDSKINS 2019 SEASON SCHEDULE:

Week 1: Sunday, Sept. 8, Redskins at Eagles (L, 32-27)

Week 2: Sunday, Sept. 15, Cowboys at Redskins, (L, 31-21)

Week 3: Monday, Sept. 23, Bears at Redskins, (L, 31-15)

Week 4: Sunday, Sept. 29, Redskins at Giants, (L, 24-3)

Week 5: Sunday, Oct. 6, Patriots at Redskins, (L, 33-7)

Week 6: Sunday, Oct. 13, Redskins at Dolphins, (W, 17-16)

Week 7: Sunday, Oct. 20, 49ers at Redskins, 1 p.m. (L, 9-0)

Week 8: Thursday, Oct. 24, Redskins at Vikings, 8:20 p.m. (L, 19-9)

Week 9: Sunday, Nov. 3, Redskins at Bills, 1 p.m. (L, 24-9)

Week 10: BYE

Week 11: Sunday, Nov. 17, Jets at Redskins, 1 p.m. (L, 34-17)

Week 12: Sunday, Nov. 24, Lions at Redskins, 1 p.m. (W, 19-16)

Week 13: Sunday, Dec. 1, Redskins at Panthers, 1 p.m. (W, 29-21)

Week 14: Sunday, Dec. 8, Redskins at Packers, 1 p.m.

Week 15: Sunday, Dec. 15, Eagles at Redskins, 1 p.m.

Week 16: Sunday, Dec. 22, Giants at Redskins, 1 p.m.

Week 17: Sunday, Dec. 29, Redskins at Cowboys, 1 p.m.

MORE REDSKINS NEWS:

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Dwayne Haskins invites Antonio Brown to play with the Redskins

Dwayne Haskins invites Antonio Brown to play with the Redskins

Can you imagine Antonio Brown catching footballs from Dwayne Haskins in a Redskins uniform? Apparently Haskins can.

Antonio Brown has not suited up for an NFL game since Week 2 of the season. Yet, Washington Redskins QB Dwayne Haskins is all on-board on giving the WR a chance in D.C.

On Friday, Brown posted on Instagram an apology for his actions for anyone that he offended. He admitted to not handling the situations throughout 2019 in the best way possible and called his own actions inexcusable. He also said he is looking to get back to the NFL and mending relationships with the organizations involved. 

View this post on Instagram

First and foremost, I’d like to apologize to my family, friends and anyone who I offended. I never once meant to make anyone feel like I wasn’t thankful and appreciative of the opportunity that I was afforded to play the game I love. I’ve worked hard over the years to earn a chance to compete in the greatest game on earth. Over the years I was met with challenges and I can honestly say I didn’t handle those challenges in the manner that I should have. Over the past few weeks I’ve had the opportunity to think about everything that’s transpired and I am deeply sorry to all who I’ve offended. While my behavior was inexcusable, sometimes when people are coming at you with false information and allegations, we handle ourselves in ways that we sometimes regret. I do take full responsibility for my actions and I’m working everyday to repair what I broke. I do know that if I’m ever given the opportunity to play the game that I love, I’m going to work extremely hard to show the world how much I appreciate another chance. To the organizations that I offended, I offer my sincere apology to you and my hope is that you forgive me and help me move on from this minor setback. I look forward to competing and helping a team reach their goals.

A post shared by Boomin (@ab) on

Haskins replied to the post "Letssss gooo bro. AB to DC" with the looking eyes emoji. During the offseason, the pair of them teamed up for a workout before Haskins even made it to training camp. 

The last year of AB's career has been marred in controversy. He basically stiff-armed his way into a trade out of Pittsburgh, had helmet and feet issues in Oakland, and his stint with the Patriots was cut short due to reports of sexual assault.

Brown is still one of the top talents in the NFL despite not playing for the majority of the season. Wide receiver is still clearly a need for Washington. Don't necessarily expect the Redskins to come calling though after Haskins' endorsement. 

The team has had over 10 weeks to pursue the four-time All-Pro. There have been no reports out of Ashburn in that time. 

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