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Holdovers from Shanahan era keys to Redskins' win

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Holdovers from Shanahan era keys to Redskins' win

The Redskins have undergone a lot of roster churn since Mike Shanahan was relieved of his duties as head coach and de facto general manager in December of 2013. Of the 53 players on the roster on Sunday, 33 came to the team since the departure of Shanahan. That’s a remarkable 62 percent turnover in two years.

But when you looked on the field during the team’s win over the Eagles yesterday, you saw a lot of familiar faces. Kirk Cousins, a fourth-round pick of Shanahan’s in 2012, was handing the ball off to Alfred Morris, a sixth-round pick the same year, and throwing to Pierre Garçon, a 2012 free agent pickup. Chris Thompson, a fifth-round pick in 2013, had a big run and a big pass reception on the Redskins’ opening drive

On the other side of the ball, Chris Baker, a Shanahan street free agent find, had two sacks in the early going to set the tone. Ryan Kerrigan, Shanahan’s first-round pick in 2011, got pressure on Sam Bradford early and finally got a sack in the late going. Keenan Robinson, a fourth-round pick by Shanahan, recovered a fumble and Will Compton, signed by Shanahan as an undrafted free agent in 2013, led the team with seven tackles.

Certainly, many of the 62 percent of the players who have joined the team in the last two years contributed to the win. But just watching the highlights and seeing so much of the 20 holdovers you could be excused if you thought is was déjà vu all over again, vintage 2013.

This doesn’t mean that the Redskins should have kept Shanahan around. But he did find some good players and Jay Gruden and Scot McCloughan have done a good job of sorting through who the keepers are and getting good production out of them. 

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Ranking the 2018 Redskins Roster: Revealing 16-30

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Ranking the 2018 Redskins Roster: Revealing 16-30

At NBCSportsWashington.com, we projected the Redskins’ 53-man roster (offensedefense) right after minicamp.

Now we are taking it one step further and ranking the 53 players we think will make the team.

The rankings are determined by who we think will have the most impact on the 2018 Redskins. No consideration was given for past performance or for what a particular player might do down the road. We’ll be revealing the rankings between now and the start of training camp. 

<<CLICK HERE FOR OUR 2018 REDSKINS RANKINGS, PLAYERS 53-16>>

Today we are continuing to reveal the list of the players we ranked from 16-30.

Here are some of the players in our latest update:

—The team’s top draft pick (but not the second pick, who is in a higher-ranked group).  

—Two of the anticipated starting offensive linemen

—The team’s leading rusher from 2016

<<CLICK HERE FOR OUR 2018 REDSKINS RANKINGS, PLAYERS 53-16>>

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10 Questions in 10 days: Do the Redskins have a 1,000-yard WR?

10 Questions in 10 days: Do the Redskins have a 1,000-yard WR?

With Redskins Training Camp set to begin July 26th, JP Finlay takes a look at 10 of the most pressing questions for the Burgundy and Gold before the team heads to Richmond. 

No. 10: Major questions at linebacker on Redskins depth chart 

No. 9: What is Kevin O’Connell's new role in Redskins offense?

No. 8: More investments on D-Line, but who goes where?

No. 7: Do the Redskins have a 1,000-yard WR?

No Redskins receiver broke the 1,000-yard mark in 2017, and bluntly, the receiver position did not unfold like the front office designed.

Terrelle Pryor proved a free agent flop, and while Josh Doctson flashed talent, the consistency did not follow. Jamison Crowder led Washington with 789 receiving yards while 34-year-old tight end Vernon Davis was the team's second-leading receiver. 

The Redskins need more at wideout in 2018, and the front office acted on it. 

The team signed Paul Richardson in free agency, and advanced statistics suggest he could make an impact right away. Richardson has vertical speed in a way the organization hasn't had since DeSean Jackson went to Tampa two seasons ago. 

Doctson could emerge as a true No. 1 WR, and Richardson's speed will help. Sources inside Redskins Park question if Doctson is the type of wideout that can beat cornerbacks off the line. Instead, the team believes Doctson is best when using his athleticism to go up and get balls. That skill set was best illustrated for Doctson in the end zone, where he grabbed six TDs last season. 

Crowder could again lead the Redskins in receiving yards. New QB Alex Smith likes to look to his inside receivers, and with defenses having to account for more speed on the field in Richardson, Crowder should get plenty of open looks. 

Ultimately, the question is if the Redskins will have a 1,000-yard receiver. The answer is an unknown, but the evidence suggests they won't.

No 1,000-yard wideout does not spell doom for Washington. In the last two seasons, eight of 12 NFC playoff teams had a receiver get into four digits. Among the teams that did not get that kind of production from one wide receiver: 2017 Philadelphia Eagles. Remember, that team won the Super Bowl. 

Further down the roster, Washington has contributors but unlikely a breakout star. Maurice Harris has great hands and Robert Davis has shown plenty of athleticism, but significant production would be a surprise. Rookie Trey Quinn could be a player that helps the 'Skins, particularly should Crowder get banged up this year like he did last year, but a 1,000-yard season for a 7th-round rookie seems pretty absurd. 

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