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5 Redskins named to Pro Football Focus midseason worst list


5 Redskins named to Pro Football Focus midseason worst list

Pro Football Focus tries to rank and quantify the NFL in a way that can be helpful and at times perplexing. Much of the service counts formations that NFL teams deploy and what players get what reps, all very useful information. The more subjective content comes from their grades that determine what players performed well in games, and what players performed poorly.

This week PFF put out their list of Worst NFL Players at Every Position (not a very creative title) and five Redskins made the list. Repeat: PFF thinks five Redskins players are the worst at their position in the entire NFL. That's a lot. The Redskins are the only team with five players on the list, and the next closest team - Cleveland - had three players named the worst. 

Without further ado, the players named worst at their position by PFF: C Kory Lichtensteiger, ILB Perry Riley, ILB Keenan Robinson, S Dashon Goldson and S Trenton Robinson. Below is an excerpt from PFF on each player:

  • Lichtensteiger - "Even though he’s out with an injury, there was just no way to leave Lichtensteiger off of this team after his historically bad start to the season."
  • Riley - "Among all inside linebackers, Riley ranks dead last in run stop percentage thanks to just four run stops in 134 snaps (3.0 percent). He’s hardly better in coverage, allowing an eighth-worst 1.23 yards per cover snap."
  • K. Robinson - "It has a lot to do with his almost hilariously-bad missed tackle rate to start this season. Robinson has missed 15 tackles this season, 12 of them in the run game."
  • Goldson - "Goldson is here thanks to equal struggles in coverage and run defense. Coverage-wise, Goldson grades out at 43.4, which is 82nd among 85 safeties in the NFL. He’s missed 12 tackles, including eight against the run, compared to 13 run stops. No safety in football has a lower run defense grade than Goldson’s 29.7."
  • T. Robinson - "Robinson is just the tiniest bit better than Goldson. His coverage grade of 43.9 ranks 81st out of 85 safeties, and his run defense grade of 33.1 is the second worst. He’s missed two less tackles (so he still 10 missed tackles), but he’s only made eight run stops. So, there is one thing that Goldson beats him at. Still, not good; especially for the Redskins, whose entire midfield made this team."

One more quote from PFF, this on having two linebackers make the list: "It’s a mix of depressing and terrifying that both of the Redskins’ inside linebackers made this team."

Well then, what to make of all this. Few would argue Riley has not struggled all year, so his inclusion is no surprise. In fact, it appears the Redskins coaches are finally planning to sit Riley in favor of Will Compton. After that? The Redskins secondary has been a disaster, as the team has given up more than 400 yards per game in its last four games. Goldson, once a Pro Bowl caliber talent years ago in San Francisco, came to the Redskins as part of a salary dump trade from Tampa, and cost just a 6th round pick. His play has not been stellar, though his physicality and leadership are obviously not qualities that fit into PFF's formula. Robinson is a replacement level player, and his play has been about on par with that expectation. 

Keenan Robinson, however, is the team's third leading tackler and last week picked off Tom Brady for only his second INT of the year. Is Robinson having his best season? No. Is he the worst linebacker in the NFL? Absolutely not. Lichtensteiger is a similar case. He may never make the Pro Bowl but Redskins coaches and teammates value Lichtensteiger for his play and his smarts. 

What do you think? Let us know in the comments. 

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Watching Dwayne Haskins and Case Keenum, one quarterback definitely stands out

Watching Dwayne Haskins and Case Keenum, one quarterback definitely stands out

The Redskins might be just in the beginning of a quarterback battle, but at Monday's OTA session, it seemed pretty clear which player would eventually win. 

Dwayne Haskins made a number of impressive throws while he was on the field, and while Case Keenum had his share of good passes too, the rookie shined. Even on the surface: Haskins looks the part of a franchise quarterback, standing 6-foot-3 and 230 lbs. Keenum is listed at 6-foot-1 and 215 lbs, but that seems fairly generous. 

When Haskins throws the ball, it zips through the air. He can go deep and has touch on his underneath routes. Keenum gets the ball where it needs to be, but there's a difference in velocity. 

Let's be crystal clear, however, that one OTA session in May will not determine the starting quarterback job. While Keenum and Haskins are both learning the Redskins offense, Keenum has proved he can stand in the pocket of an NFL game and make plays. Haskins has never seen the size or speed of NFL defensive linemen. 

"It’s a long process and I think they both handled it well today," Redskins head coach Jay Gruden said. "Hopefully we’ll do better tomorrow and the next day and so on and so forth and I’m sure it will be a good, lengthy competition with some great players going at it."

A few, unexpected things stood out with Haskins.

Though he has a long windup on his throws, the ball gets out plenty fast. He also seemed quicker in the pocket than some of his NFL Scouting Combine numbers would suggest. Haskins certainly isn't fast, but he's not a plodder either. That said, Keenum does seem to have the advantage in squirting through the line of scrimmage and keeping plays alive. That's something Gruden really likes in his passers.

Both of the QBs seemed comfortable with their role in the competition. 

"It’s normal. I compete every day whether I’m playing football, playing ping pong, playing golf, I’m competing. I’m competing against myself. I’m competing against the defense. In the quarterback room, we’re always competing," Keenum said. "Competition makes you better and that’s what the spring is about."

Haskins sounded very tactful in his responses; respectful of the veterans already on the team in Keenum and Colt McCoy, yet also eager to get more work.

"I want to be with the best, be around the best, and compete with the best. All season I’ll be around working out with the best quarterbacks on my team," the rookie said. 

Planned or not, Haskins also seemed modest in his goals for the OTA session. 

"I didn’t have any expectations for today, I just wanted to execute. The biggest thing for me was going to play right in the huddle."

That stands out in stark contrast to the Redskins last first-round rookie passer, Robert Griffin III. Expectations for RG3 were out of control, almost immediately, and while parts of his rookie season actually lived up to the hype, that situation was not healthy or sustainable. It's smart for Haskins to set reasonable goals at this stage of his career. Calling plays correctly in the huddle will get him on the field more, and that will give him more chances to make big plays.

It's a learning process, and at OTAs, Haskins showed a willingness to start on the ground floor. In a world of egos and branding, that's a sage move. 

While McCoy was not present on the field at OTAs, he is in Ashburn. He will be a part of this competition, but he needs to get healthy soon. Gruden didn't provide much of an update when asked about McCoy, though the coach did say the quarterback should be back on the field for training camp.

McCoy knows the Redskins offense backward and forward, but without him on the field, Keenum and Haskins are learning the Redskins plays at the same time. And that means while Gruden is looking at a rookie and a veteran, neither player has much of a leg up on his playbook. 

"I think we have to grade them based on production out here every day. Every day is a new grade, every day you see how they’re developing, see how they’re getting better, see if they’re making the same mistakes over and over. But it’s a process, this is the first time Dwyane has had a chance to call plays in a live huddle and go after a live defense and this is the first time Case has had a chance to do that with the Redskins terminology. So, we don’t expect perfection on the day one, but we do expect the guys to know what they’re doing when we go out to the practice field, execute and then continue to get better each and every day."

Get better each day. Compete. That's the cornerstone of success in the NFL, and for the Redskins, how QB1 will find his spot.

"Somebody is going to rise I would think," the coach said. "The cream always rises to the top and we’re hoping that’s the case.”


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Reuben Foster believed to be lost for 2019 with major knee, leg injury, per source

Reuben Foster believed to be lost for 2019 with major knee, leg injury, per source

Redskins officials fear that linebacker Reuben Foster has torn the ACL in his left knee, sources tell NBC Sports Washington.

Additionally, there is concern about a more significant injury that could include the artery in his left leg, sources said. 

Foster went down on his first snap in a non-contact drill during OTAs on Monday after stepping on the leg of guard Tyler Catalina. Immediately, Foster fell to the ground, and it was obvious he was in intense pain. He was audibly screaming and crying while writhing in pain on the field. 

Moments later, the Redskins medical staff rushed out to Foster, and within a matter of minutes, his leg was placed into a stabilizing device. He was then helped onto a cart and wheeled off the practice field. 

After practice, Jay Gruden said the team was unsure of Foster's prognosis but did say, "I’m just very disappointed in what happened in his first rep as a Redskin. He runs through the gap and gets injured."

The Redskins took a major public relations hit by signing Foster last fall, and the team's belief was that his play on the field would be worth the controversy that enveloped his signing. Foster won't be playing in 2019, but remains under contract for 2020, and Washington will have the option to keep him in 2021.