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Do the Redskins need to run more in the red zone?

Do the Redskins need to run more in the red zone?

When a team is last in the NFL in converting possessions inside the other team’s 20 into touchdowns, everything should be examined so let’s take a big-picture look at the Redskins’ running plays there.

The Redskins have 85 total snaps in the red zone. They have passed 51 times and have called 34 running plays. That’s a 60-40 run-pass ratio. The NFL as a whole passes 55 percent of the time in the red zone and runs 45 percent.

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You can look at that and say that since every other team in the league is more successful than the Redskins in the red zone so they should try running more often. Perhaps there is something there. But the Redskins would need to change just four passes to runs to get to that 60-40 run pass ratio. An additional run every other game isn’t a silver bullet for their red zone woes, although a well-timed run can make a difference.

What do the teams who are most successful in the red zone do? How often do they run? Here are the top five red zone teams going into the Thursday night game and the percentage of red zone plays on which they run:

Team—red zone run %

Titans—52%
Raiders—28%
Colts—37%
Steelers—33%
Panthers—53%

The message here seems to be that you should do in the red zone what you did to get there. The Titans have run the ball on 59 percent of their plays on the season so it makes sense that they would continue on the ground when they get close to the goal line. The Raiders (40 percent runs on all plays) and Steelers (36 percent) are among the more pass-happy teams in the league and they continue to put the ball in the air.

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If you go by this, the Redskins’ play selection in the red zone is just fine. They run on 39 percent of all snaps and, as noted above, 40 percent of their red zone snaps.

Still, in the context of the fact that things aren’t working, that the Redskins are scoring touchdowns at a 38 percent clip in the red zone, perhaps they should try mixing in some more runs. Since Rob Kelley rarely loses any yardage on runs the result is unlikely to be any worse than an incomplete pass would be. And play action, one of the strengths of the Redskins’ passing game, could become more effective. Any edge you can get in the compressed field could be helpful.

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Arizona State punter Michael Turk dominates the bench press at NFL Combine

Arizona State punter Michael Turk dominates the bench press at NFL Combine

As far as reputations go in the NFL, punters are not generally known as the tough, strong guys on the team.

Arizona State punter Michael Turk is working to change that.

At the NFL Combine on Thursday, Turk stepped up to the bench press with 225 pounds on the bar waiting for him. What did he do? Just casually ripped off 25 reps.

Yes, you are seeing that correctly. A punter just put up 25 reps on the bench press. That number is impressive as is, for anyone of any position. However, let's put it in context to show just how strong Turk is.

Jadaveon Clowney, Chandler Jones and Rob Gronkowski are all known as some of the strongest humans to ever hit the football field. Their bench reps? 21, 22 and 23, respectively. Michael Turk, the punter, out-did them

Turk will need his legs to impress teams and scouts as he looks to head to the NFL, but he clearly has plenty of power in the upper body as well. If whatever team he lands on wants to run a fake punt, defenders won't have an easy time taking him down.

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Report: Trent Williams wants a new deal or a trade from Redskins

Report: Trent Williams wants a new deal or a trade from Redskins

INDIANAPOLIS -- While recent meetings between Redskins head coach Ron Rivera and disgruntled left tackle Trent Williams helped repair the relationship between star player and team, the situation isn't resolved.

In fact, Williams still wants to be traded if he can't get a new contract, according to a new report from NFL Network.

Williams did not play a single snap for Washington in 2019. Not one. That came as the result of a cancer scare that he didn't believe was adequately handled by the Redskins medical staff. He also lost trust in former team president Bruce Allen. Importantly too, Williams wanted a new contract with lots of guaranteed money. 

Rivera has overhauled the Redskins medical staff and Allen is obviously gone from the team, but the contract hurdles remain. 

For the Redskins a new deal for Williams might not make a lot of sense. He will turn 32 in July and hasn't played a full 16-game season since 2013. He's also a great player, so perhaps an extension could make sense. 

The best read on the situation is Williams likely won't play on his current contract, which has one-year remaining and a salary-cap charge of $14.5 million. None of that money is guaranteed. 

Right now, it seems like both sides are playing nice. The Redskins don't want to come out and say they're not going to pay Trent. And Trent's side doesn't want to come out and demand a trade. The meetings with Rivera and Williams mattered in that a resolution that pleases both sides is possible. 

What seems impossible, or at least unlikely at this point, is that Williams wears the Burgundy and Gold this fall unless a new contract emerges.

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