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Gruden has missed on two defensive coordinator choices; will he survive a third?

Gruden has missed on two defensive coordinator choices; will he survive a third?

Two years ago, Jay Gruden hired Joe Barry as his defensive coordinator over several other better-known names. Barry was fired today along with multiple defensive assistants on Thursday.

Now that Barry is gone after two seasons of heading up defenses that were in the bottom third of the league in virtually every important statistical category the spotlight turns from him to Gruden.

Hiring Barry wasn’t the first debatable move at defensive coordinator that Gruden has made in his three years on the job.

When he came on board he kept Jim Haslett on board. In his four years as Mike Shanahan’s defensive coordinator, Haslett’s defenses weren’t significantly better than the ones Barry has run here the last two years. But Gruden opted for continuity.

A year later, Haslett was out.

RELATED: TOP CANDIDATES TO REPLACE JOE BARRY

The search for Haslett’s replacement included interviews with some accomplished, well-known defensive coordinators such as Wade Phillips and Vic Fangio. But Gruden opted for Barry, reportedly because he liked his energy and enthusiasm. But the poor results on that side of the ball remained.

But let’s be clear here. The Redskins’ defensive woes are not all the fault of the coordinator.

The defense suffered from major holes, particularly on the line and at safety. A good share of the blame for the problems has to fall in the lap of GM Scot McCloughan. But there is little evidence that Barry was able to maximize the talent he did have available or that he could put together an effective unit even if he did have better players at his disposal.

So now Gruden has gone against the conventional wisdom twice and he turned out to be wrong twice. The question becomes what now?

Phillips wanted the job two years ago.

After it was apparent that the Redskins were going in another direction, Phillips had to “settle” for coordinating the Denver Broncos’ defense. You may remember that they won the Super Bowl after the 2015 season. They were pretty good defensively last season, too, ranking in the top 10 in most defensive categories.

RELATED: RANKING THE REDSKINS' TOP FREE AGENTS

Phillips is now a free agent, his contract with the Broncos having expired.

Head coach Gary Kubiak retired a few days ago and his replacement may or may not want Phillips to return. Even if the new head man does want Phillips he may want to join his son, tight ends coach Wes Phillips, on the Redskins coaching staff.

Could Gruden turn down Phillips again after things didn’t work out so well with his choice two years ago? Or if former Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley is interested would Gruden have to seriously consider him? I’m not sure if Rex Ryan is a good fit in a lot of ways but if he expresses interest in the job can Gruden afford to not at least listen?

Some have said that Gruden has preferred to go with lower profile defensive coordinators because he did not want to be overshadowed by the likes of Phillips, who has decades of experience in the league including stints as a head coach. Whether that’s true or not. the end product on defense has not been good. He had better cast a wide net and strongly consider hiring a coordinator who has a track record of success. If that means he might be overshadowed, so be it.

When you dig down to the core of it, Jay Gruden has two strikes against him in the defensive coordinator department. If the defense continues to struggle, the next coach to go might be him.

 

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Jordan Reed ruled out for Monday night and could be 'weeks' away, per source

Jordan Reed ruled out for Monday night and could be 'weeks' away, per source

The Redskins ruled Jordan Reed out for Monday night's game against Chicago and the star tight end could be "weeks" away, a source told NBC Sports Washington. 

ESPN's Adam Schefter first reported that Reed would miss the Redskins game against the Bears on Monday, where Washington seeks to get their first win of the season. Reed hasn't played since he sustained a concussion in the third preseason game against the Falcons on August 22nd.

A huge part of head coach Jay Gruden's offense when healthy, Reed has dealt with injuries throughout his career. He has never played a complete 16-game season in seven years in Washington, and even more worrisome is the head injury situation. This marks his seventh documented concussion since he played college football at the University of Florida. 

Without Reed, the Redskins only have Jeremy Sprinkle and Vernon Davis at tight end. The team played with just two tight ends last week against the Cowboys, but that is unusual. 

Juggling injuries elsewhere with Quinton Dunbar, Colt McCoy and Cassanova McKinzy, at some point the Redskins might need to consider placing Reed on the injured reserve. 

Each time Gruden has been asked for an update on Reed, the head coach explains that as part of the NFL's concussion protocol there are no updates. The medical exams are handled by independent doctors, not the Redskins medical group. It's also worth noting that Reed is unable to speak with the media while in the NFL concussion protocol. 

There have been signs of optimism in spurts for Reed. 

He practiced each day prior to the opener against Philadelphia but was ruled out late in the week. In Week 2 against Dallas, he started the practice week but then missed Friday's session before being ruled out for the game.

In advance of the Bears game on Monday night, Reed was on the field on Wednesday but did not go again the rest of the week when the media was allowed to watch practice. 

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Fantasy Football WR Rankings 2019: Week 3

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Fantasy Football WR Rankings 2019: Week 3

Week 2 is in the books and rosters are beginning to take shape. Here are the top wide receivers for Week 3.

For a tiered breakdown of each fantasy football position, click below:

Quarterback Rankings: Week 3
Running Back Rankings: Week 3
Wide Receiver Rankings: Week 3
Tight End Rankings: Week 3

Flex Rankings: Week 3

TIER 1: MUST STARTS

1. Julio Jones, Atlanta Falcons
Opponent: at Colts
2019 Stats: 11 Receptions, 137 Receiving YDS, 3 Receiving TD, 42.7 PTS, 2019 WR8
Previous Ranking: 3

2. DeAndre Hopkins, Houston Texans
Opponent: at Chargers
2019 Stats: 13 Receptions, 151 Receiving YDS, 2 Receiving TD, 40.1 PTS, 2019 WR15
Previous Ranking: 1

3. Keenan Allen, Los Angeles Chargers
Opponent: vs. Texans
2019 Stats: 16 Receptions, 221 Receiving YDS, 1 Receiving TD, 44.1 PTS, 2019 WR5
Previous Ranking: 5

4. Amari Cooper, Dallas Cowboys
Opponent: vs. Dolphins
2019 Stats: 10 Receptions, 150 Receiving YDS, 2 Receiving TD, 37 PTS, 2019 WR19
Previous Ranking: 11

5. Michael Thomas, New Orleans Saints
Opponent: at Seahawks
2019 Stats: 20 Receptions, 212 Receiving YDS, 41.2 PTS, 2019 WR10
Previous Ranking: 2

6. Odell Beckham Jr., Cleveland Browns
Opponent: vs. Rams
2019 Stats: 13 Receptions, 232 Receiving YDS, 1 Receiving TD, 42.2 PTS, 2019 WR9
Previous Ranking: 9

TIER 2: WR1's

7. Davante Adams, Green Bay Packers
Opponent: vs. Broncos
2019 Stats: 11 Receptions, 142 Receiving YDS, 25.2 PTS, 2019 WR39
Previous Ranking: 6

8. Kenny Golladay, Detroit Lions
Opponent: at Eagles
2019 Stats: 12 Receptions, 159 Receiving YDS, 2 Receiving TD, 39.9 PTS, 2019 WR16
Previous Ranking: 16

9. Mike Evans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Opponent: vs. Giants
2019 Stats: 6 Receptions, 89 Receiving YDS, 14.9 PTS, 2019 WR71
Previous Ranking: 7

10. JuJu Smith-Schuster, Pittsburgh Steelers
Opponent: at 49ers
2019 Stats: 11 Receptions, 162 Receiving YDS, 27.2 PTS, 2019 WR33
Previous Ranking: 10

11. T.Y. Hilton, Indianapolis Colts
Opponent: vs. Falcons
2019 Stats: 12 Receptions, 130 Receiving YDS, 3 Receiving TD, 43 PTS, 2019 WR7
Previous Ranking: 13

12. Sammy Watkins, Kansas City Chiefs
Opponent: vs. Ravens
2019 Stats: 15 Receptions, 247 Receiving YDS, 3 Receiving TD, 57.7 PTS, 2019 WR1
Previous Ranking: 8

13. Cooper Kupp, Los Angeles Rams
Opponent: at Browns
2019 Stats: 12 Receptions, 166 Receiving YDS, 29.2 PTS, 2019 WR29
Previous Ranking: 14

TIER 3: High-end WR2's

14. Chris Godwin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Opponent: vs. Giants
2019 Stats: 11 Receptions, 174 Receiving YDS, 2 Receiving TD, 40.4 PTS, 2019 WR14
Previous Ranking: 22

15. Adam Thielen, Minnesota Vikings
Opponent: vs. Raiders
2019 Stats: 8 Receptions, 118 Receiving YDS, 1 Receiving TD, 25.8 PTS, 2019 WR35
Previous Ranking: 12

16. Tyler Lockett, Seattle Seahawks
Opponent: vs. Saints
2019 Stats: 11 Receptions, 123 Receiving YDS, 1 Receiving TD, 29.3 PTS, 2019 WR28
Previous Ranking: 20

17. Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona Cardinals
Opponent: vs. Panthers
2019 Stats: 13 Receptions, 217 Receiving YDS, 1 Receiving TD, 40.7 PTS, 2019 WR12
Previous Ranking: 18

18. Marquise Brown, Baltimore Ravens
Opponent: at Chiefs
2019 Stats: 12 Receptions, 233 Receiving YDS, 2 Receiving TD, 47.3 PTS, 2019 WR4
Previous Ranking: 28

19. Julian Edelman, New England Patriots
Opponent: vs. Jets
2019 Stats: 10 Receptions, 134 Receiving YDS, 25.6 PTS, 2019 WR36
Previous Ranking: 15

TIER 4: On the cusp

20. D.J. Moore, Carolina Panthers
Opponent: at Cardinals
2019 Stats: 16 Receptions, 165 Receiving YDS, 1 Fumble, 30.5 PTS, 2019 WR27
Previous Ranking: 21

21. Stefon Diggs, Minnesota Vikings
Opponent: vs. Raiders
2019 Stats: 3 Receptions, 86 Receiving YDS, 1 Receiving TD, 15.6 PTS, 2019 WR69
Previous Ranking: 24

22. Josh Gordon, New England Patriots 
Opponent: vs. Jets
2019 Stats: 5 Receptions, 92 Receiving YDS, 1 Receiving TD, 20.2 PTS, 2019 WR50
Previous Ranking: 17

23. Alshon Jeffery, Philadelphia Eagles
Opponent: vs. Lions
2019 Stats: 5 Receptions, 49 Receiving YDS, 1 Receiving TD, 1 Rushing TD, 22.1 PTS, 2019 WR44
Previous Ranking: 19

24. Robert Woods, Los Angeles Rams
Opponent: at Browns
2019 Stats: 10 Receptions, 103 Receiving YDS, 25 Rushing YDS, 22.8 PTS, 2019 WR42
Previous Ranking: 23

25. Tyrell Williams, Oakland Raiders
Opponent: at Vikings
2019 Stats: 11Receptions, 151 Receiving YDS, 2 Receiving TD, 38.1 PTS, 2019 WR18
Previous Ranking: 25

26. Calvin Ridley, Atlanta Falcons
Opponent: at Colts
Previous Ranking: 29

27. Emmanuel Sanders, Denver Broncos
Opponent: at Packers
Previous Ranking: NR

28. Tyler Boyd, Cincinnati Bengals
Opponent: at Bills
Previous Ranking: 27

29. Terry McLaurin, Washington Redskins
Opponent: vs. Bears
Previous Ranking: NR

30.  Jamison Crowder, New York Jets
Opponent: at Patriots
Previous Ranking: NR

For a tiered breakdown of each fantasy football position, click below:

Quarterback Rankings: Week 3
Running Back Rankings: Week 3
Wide Receiver Rankings: Week 3
Tight End Rankings: Week 3

Flex Rankings: Week 3