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Breeland says Redskins will miss Jarrett, but it's next man up vs Rodgers


Breeland says Redskins will miss Jarrett, but it's next man up vs Rodgers

The Redskins took a blow last week in a big win over Dallas as rookie defensive back Kyshoen Jarrett injured his shoulder and landed on the injured reserve. This week, the Washington defense will take on arguably the NFL's best quarterback in Aaron Rodgers without Jarrett, a player that was emerging as an important player for the 'Skins defense, especially in the nickel package.

Bashaud Breeland, the team's No. 1 cornerback, talked Wednesday about what it means for the team to lose Jarrett.

"It's tough," Breeland said. "He’s going to be missed, but like every injury we’ve had this year, it's next man up."


That next man up looks like a combination of Quinton Dunbar, another rookie who came to Redskins camp as a receiver, and veteran Cary Williams, who was signed on Tuesday. Williams is a veteran with playoff experience - he started at corner during the Ravens 2012 Super Bowl run - and Jay Gruden hinted that Williams could see significant snaps on Sunday vs Green Bay.

"He's a very confident corner, played a lot of ball," Gruden said of Williams. "We have confidence that he can pick this system up and contribute."

To a man, the guys in the Redskins locker room refused to act like losing Jarrett was a blow they could not handle.

"Whoever is on the field, we're gonna rally together," Breeland said. 

As for the opponent, Rodgers presents a unique set of problems. The Packers QB can move out of the pocket without losing his vision downfield, creating problems for defenses as plays start to break down and receivers improvise to get open.

"When [Rodgers] gets out of the pocket they’re turning up field," Breeland said of the Packers. "We’ve got to do a better job of latching on to our guys when he’s outside the pocket."

Rodgers is also a master at drawing the defense offside, only he doesn't just take the penalty, the two-time MVP winner tries to go deep and take advantage of the free play.

"He’s got the best voice inflection of anybody we’ve faced. He’s perfect at it," Breeland said of Rodgers drawing defenders offside. "You gotta watch the ball. You can preach it all week in practice, but you just gotta watch the ball."

Because of his ability to move in and out of the pocket, Rodgers extends plays. But this season more than others, that hasn't always been a good thing. Rodgers has taken 14 sacks in the Packers last two games as Green Bay lost their grip on the NFC North.

"Once he gets out of the pocket he’s very athletic. He can stretch plays. He holds that ball, he really doesn’t get too rattled," Breeland said. "That makes him freaky."

While the Redskins respect Rodgers, the team also knows some opportunities might present themselves.

"Make him either throw it away or make an errant throw. When you get him rattled he tends to make a bad throw."

Rattling Rodgers is not easy, but if the Redskins can do it, a win Sunday might be in the cards. 

"I'm excited," Breeland said. Sunday will mark the second year corner's first playoff game. 

"Everything is on the table."

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Redskins make new hire at special teams coordinator, and he comes from Tampa Bay

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Redskins make new hire at special teams coordinator, and he comes from Tampa Bay

The Redskins announced the hiring of Nate Kaczor as their new special teams coach on Saturday morning. Kaczor will take over the role vacated by Ben Kotwica, who left Washington to take the same role in Atlanta.

Kaczor spent the last three seasons with the Buccaneers as special teams coordinator, but that coaching staff got let go this offseason. Prior to his work in Tampa, Kaczor coached in similar roles for the Titans and the Jaguars. 

It's not particularly easy to rank special teams, but Kotwica's groups did some things very well, particularly in punt coverage. Football Outsiders ranked all 32 special teams groups across the league based on a formula that combines field goals/extra points, kickoffs, kick returns, punts, and punt returns; The Redskins ranked 8th and Tampa ranked 29th. 

On the flip side, the Redskins had some of the lowest kick and punt return yardage in the NFL last season. The Redskins gained just 110 yards on all of their punt returns for the year. 

Head coach Jay Gruden spoke about bringing in Kaczor.

"We are excited to have Nate join our staff. We have had the opportunity to face his special teams play during his time at Tampa Bay and respected competing against him," Gruden said via press release. "He is a competitor and we have noticed and admired the intensity his units have played with through the course of his time as a special teams coordinator and assistant coach in the NFL."


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Kyler Murray is 'making a mistake' choosing football over baseball, according to Joe Theismann

Kyler Murray is 'making a mistake' choosing football over baseball, according to Joe Theismann

Joe Theismann wants Kyler Murray to have a "long, happy career" — as a professional baseball player.

In an interview with NBC Sports Washington, the former Redskins QB was asked what he thought of Murray's choice to pursue his NFL dreams over his MLB dreams for now. He didn't hold back.

"I think that he should choose baseball," Theismann said. "I think that he would struggle in the NFL."

As of now, many mock drafts are projecting the Heisman Trophy winner to be selected in the first round. His believers see him as an electric option who's entering a league perfectly suited for his skillset. 

Theismann is not in that camp, though.

"I understand a lot of guys work from the 'gun. You're away from the line of scrimmage," he explained. "But, sooner or later, defensive coaches in this league are going to figure out how to keep you in the pocket. And if you can't throw from the pocket, or you can't see from the pocket, it's going to become a problem."

Murray's height, which Theismann touched on, is a main concern for those skeptical of how he'd handle life in the NFL. Of course, being in the 5-foot-9 range matters far less on a MLB diamond.

Theismann also thinks that the Oklahoma product will need to be in an offense with a strong running attack. That's something any rookie passer needs to succeed, and without one, Theismann isn't sure if Murray can carry the load on his own.

In the end, Theismann told NBC Sports Washington that Murray is "making a mistake" by setting his sights on the gridiron. He simply doesn't see things going well for Murray as a signal caller.

"I think in professional football, it'll be a real challenge and an uphill climb for him to be able to do the things that he wants to do and a team wants him to do," he said.