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After big game, Jackson wants to go 'get it' in Philly

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After big game, Jackson wants to go 'get it' in Philly

The Redskins have been waiting for a game like this from DeSean Jackson all year.

The speedy wide receiver has been providing flashes of the player to whom they are paying $9.25 million. He caught a 63-yard touchdown pass against the Giants, a TD from 56 yards in Carolina, and another scoring pass against the Cowboys from 28 yards out. He had also caught non-scoring passes for 42 yards against the Saints and 29 against the Bears.

But he had not yet had a complete game in the first 13 games. Jackson had no more than 87 yards in any one game. The Redskins need him to have impact throughout the game.

He did on Sunday. Jackson came into the game with just six receptions of 20 yards or more. On Sunday, he got three of them capped by the 77-yard catch and run of Kirk Cousins’ pass that essentially put the game away by making the score 28-3 in the third quarter.

Jackson finished the game with six receptions for 153 yards. He said felt like he had felt like he was in the flow of the offense for the last several games but that things just weren’t clicking between him and quarterback Kirk Cousins.

“You know with Kirk, he’s a young quarterback,” said Jackson. “This is his first full year of him being a starter in this league, so he has a lot that he’s trying to accomplish and he has a lot coming at him. Defenses are showing different looks and all that. I think the more and more we play together and the more snaps we take together, I think we’ll see more days like this.”

That all sounds good but Jackson had some pretty good games with Cousins under center last year. In the four games that Cousins started and finished last year Jackson had at least 115 yards receiving in three of them. The two connected on touchdown passes of 81, 60, and 64 yards during that stretch of games.

Even though Cousins, who was replacing an injured Robert Griffin III, had spent limited time with the front-line receivers in training camp and virtually no time at all with them once the regular practice cycle started up, he and Cousins seemed to be on the same wavelength. It’s unclear why there should be a learning curve to catch up in 2015. But the important thing now is that the Redskins got the big game from Jackson right when they needed it the most.

It appears that Jackson was helping Cousins play better even while he wasn’t catching a ton of passes. In the first seven games this year with Jackson playing just 13 snaps, Cousins averaged 6.6 yards per pass attempt. Since Jackson’s return in the eighth game of the season he has been averaging 8.8 yards per attempt.

Certainly passes to Jackson have been part of the boost in Cousins’ performance in this key metric. There have been 41 passes targeted for Jackson and the average has been a stellar 11.9 yards per attempt. But another 173 passes have been thrown to receivers other than Jackson and Cousins has averaged 8.1 yards per attempt on those throws. That compares quite favorably to the league average of 7.1 yards per attempt.

Can Jackson and Cousins keep it up? Certainly the Redskins hope so. There is plenty of motivation with the possibility of clinching the division title by winning the game Saturday night in Philadelphia.

Did someone say Philly? Of course, that was Jackson’s NFL home for six seasons before Chip Kelly unceremoniously dumped him in April of 2014. Jackson wants to be careful no to make it about himself.

“Inside, I definitely will be going crazy in my mind, but I don’t want to make it a bigger game than what it already is,” he said to reporters after the game.

But he couldn’t hide his enthusiasm as he wrapped things up from the podium at FedEx Field.

“Can't get any better than going back to Philly, Saturday night football,” he said.

“Let's get it!”

If he can repeat Sunday’s performance on Saturday the Redskins will have a pretty good shot at doing just that.

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Need to Know: Post-minicamp Redskins 53-man roster projection—Offense

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Various sources

Need to Know: Post-minicamp Redskins 53-man roster projection—Offense

Here is what you need to know on this Monday, June 18, 38 days before the Washington Redskins start training camp.  

Redskins 53-man roster projection—offense 

It may still be early to project the roster, but things are coming into focus after the round of practices in helmets and shorts. Here is my look at who I think will make it on offense; defense up tomorrow. 

Quarterbacks (2)
Alex Smith, Colt McCoy

I think that Kevin Hogan is very much on the bubble as the third quarterback. They got along with two QBs last year, and with Alex Smith having demonstrated great durability during his career, Hogan may well get bumped off. 

Running backs (4)
Derrius Guice, Chris Thompson, Samaje Perine, Rob Kelley

I’d say that this is 95 percent locked in. Maybe Kapri Bibbs or Byron Marshall can make a push for Kelley’s roster spot but his history with Jay Gruden will make it very hard for him to get knocked out. 

Wide receivers (6)
Josh Doctson, Paul Richardson, Jamison Crowder, Maurice Harris, Robert Davis, Trey Quinn

The first time I did this back in April I didn’t have Quinn on the roster. That was before he was a man among boys at rookie camp and a player who looks like he belongs when the veterans showed up. I don’t know if he’ll have the impact that many fans think he will, but he’s certainly going to get his chance. Brian Quick could steal a roster spot from Harris or Davis.

Tight ends (3)
Jordan Reed, Vernon Davis, Jeremy Sprinkle

The Redskins did not draft a tight end or sign one in free agency so there seems to be faith that Reed will be healthy. We’ve heard that before and it seems somewhat risky to leave Davis, who has Father Time nipping at his heels, and the inexperienced Sprinkle as the only two backups. They may try to make room for an undrafted rookie like Hudson Garrett.  

Offensive line (9)
Trent Williams, Shawn Lauvao, Chase Roullier, Brandon Scherff, Morgan Moses, Ty Nsekhe, Geron Christian, Tyler Catalina, Tony Bergstrom

I think that Gruden is probably happy with the starters here but the depth is shaky, especially in the interior. The key could be whether Christian is ready for prime time as the swing tackle. That could allow Nsekhe to fill in at guard. Bergstrom is fine as the backup center, although I wouldn’t want to have to count on him for more than a few games. 

Offensive players: 24
Rookies (3):
Guice, Christian, Quinn
New to the organization in 2018 (5): Rookies plus Smith, Richardson 
Not on 2017 Week 1 roster (11): Rookies plus new plus Harris (practice squad), R. Davis (practice squad) and Bergstrom (not on the team). 

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page, Facebook.com/TandlerNBCSand follow him on Twitter  @TandlerNBCSand on Instagram @RichTandler

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An Indiana state police officer tweeted that he pulled a driver over for going too slowly in the left lane. I believe this person is a national hero. 

Timeline  

Days until:

—Training camp starts (7/26) 38
—Preseason opener @ Patriots (8/9) 52
—Roster cut to 53 (9/1) 75

The Redskins last played a game 167 days ago. They will open the 2018 NFL season at the Cardinals in 83 days. 

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Zach Brown says Redskins defense will 'have it out' for Terrelle Pryor during joint practices

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USA TODAY Sports/@TerrellePryor

Zach Brown says Redskins defense will 'have it out' for Terrelle Pryor during joint practices

Terrelle Pryor made a number of highlight reel catches last year during training camp, and it appears the Redskins defense didn't like it. 

Washington's marquee free agent signing last season, Pryor came into Richmond with sky-high expectations. Throughout the training sessions last August, Pryor put on one-handed displays at the Jugs machine and often made big catches in team drills. It's also important to remember there was never any live tackling during these drills, leaving defenders at a distinct disadvantage. 

Zach Brown remembers the scene quite well, and thinks it will look very different this summer when Pryor comes to Richmond as a member of the New York Jets. 

"That’s going to be something right there. The boys are gonna have it out for him. We can put hands on him now," Brown said on Inside the Locker Room on the Team 980 (full audio here).

Brown explained that Redskins coach Jay Gruden would not allow the defense to hit Pryor last year, even when the wideout did some showboating. 

"Jay ain't here to protect you anymore," Brown said.

The Redskins linebacker explained that he tried to explain to Pryor that the one-handed catches from training camp would not translate in the NFC East, where players get hit hard. It doesn't seem like Pryor listened, as he finished the season with only 240 receiving yards on 20 catches in nine games. 

"The boys were already hot for what he was doing last year," Brown said. He added, "Try to one-hand something while you’re with the Jets, you’re gonna catch a forearm."

One incident that supports Brown's comments came when Bashaud Breeland got thrown off the practice field last training camp. Breeland got mad that he wasn't allowed to get physical with Pryor at the line of scrimmage, and the scene blew up. Breeland eventually got sent off the field after arguing with coaches. 

The Jets visit the Redskins for three days of practices beginning August 12th. The two teams then square off in the second preseason game on August 16th. 

Brown will get his chance at Pryor, assuming the wideout plays. Pryor finished the 2018 season on the injured reserve, but is expected to be fine once training camp begins in New York. 

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