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Need to Know: Looking ahead—The Redskins' core offensive players in 2020

Need to Know: Looking ahead—The Redskins' core offensive players in 2020

Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, July 9, 18 days before the Washington Redskins start training camp in Richmond on July 27.

Timeline

The Redskins last played a game 189 days ago; they will open the 2017 season against the Eagles at FedEx Field in 63 days.

Days until:

—Franchise tag contract deadline (7/17) 8
—Preseason opener @ Ravens (8/10) 32
—Roster cut to 53 (9/2) 55

The Redskins core in 2020, offense

It is the season for considering the future, both the 2017 season and beyond. 

Let’s look at the Redskins three years from now. Who will still be here? Which players will be top performers? Here’s a possible snapshot of the team going into training camp in the year 2020. We’ll look at the offense today and the defense later this week.

The terms used here largely are self-explanatory but if you want some details look at the post from last year that looks three years down the road.

Offense (age as of Week 1 2020)

Potential blue-chip players: Trent Williams (32), Brandon Scherff (28), Jordan Reed (30)
Solid starters: Kirk Cousins (32), Terrelle Pryor (31), Jamison Crowder (27), Morgan Moses (29)
Potential starters: Spencer Long (29), Rob Kelley (27), Samaje Perine (24), Josh Doctson (27)

This group has 10 of the 11 current starters on the team. They won’t all be around in 2020 but the team does have an offense that has the potential to stay around for a long time (in today’s NFL, three years is a long time).

Williams already is a blue-chip player, recognized as one of the best left tackles in the game and a perennial Pro Bowl pick. Scherff just made the first of what could be a string of Pro Bowl appearances. Reed made his first Pro Bowl last year but he carries the asterisk due to constant health concerns.

Contract statuses are addressed below but you can’t discuss Cousins’ future without addressing that elephant in the room. If he does re-sign he will be the starter for the foreseeable future. If not, it will be fill in the blank time again for a franchise that has been searching for a long-term solid starting QB for over two decades.

Like Cousins, Pryor is on a one-year deal and we’ll have to see about his future after this year. But he would be a “young” 31 in 2020 because he didn’t play a whole lot before last season. Crowder is likely to be a highly productive player, with 800-1,100 yards and 6-10 touchdowns year in and year out. Moses is a potential blue chipper but right tackles seldom get recognition.

Long has been effective both at guard and at center; the latter position could be his long-term spot. A battle between Perine and Kelley for which running back is around in 2020 will play out over the next couple of seasons. Given the nature of the position, it’s possible that neither of them will be around in three years. Doctson will get plenty of chances to show that he belongs.

Contracts: Williams, Reed, Moses, Perine, and Doctson are all under team control through at least 2020. Cousins, Pryor, and Long are free agents after this season. Crowder is under contract through 2018 while Kelley and Scherff are locked up through 2019.

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerCSN and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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Need to Know: A good sign for the Redskins’ running game?

Need to Know: A good sign for the Redskins’ running game?

Here is what you need to know on Sunday, August 19, five days before the Washington Redskins host the Broncos in their third preseason game. 

Talking points

A year ago, there was tremendous concern about the Redskins’ rushing game. In their first two preseason games in 2017 when the games were the Redskins’ first-team offense against the other team’s starters on defense, Washington gained 13 yards on 13 carries. In the first halves of those games, which were played mostly with players on both sides who would end up making the roster the total was 21 attempts for 20 yards. 

At the time, the company line was to downplay the problems. 

“I’m just not worried,” said Trent Williams.

“It’s going to take time and it’s going to take plus-one, plus-two, negative-one, then you get a plus-eight. And things to pop. It’s attrition. Nothing’s going to happen just because you want it to.”

As we now know, the Redskins rushing game never really got going. Certainly, injuries to backs Rob Kelley and Chris Thompson and to the entire offensive line contributed heavily to their No. 27 ranking in rushing yards. But a look at the preseason could indicate that the building blocks for an effective rushing game just weren’t in place. 

Things are looking better this year. In two preseason games, the Redskins have rushed for 216 yards. In the first halves of the games, they have 31 attempts for 109 yards. That’s not a great average (3.5 yards per carry) but it is a vast improvement on the sub-one yard per carrying average they had through two games last year. 

Let’s not get carried away here. Preseason numbers aren’t rock-solid indicators by any stretch and even if they were we are looking at a small sample size. Still, the preseason stats are what we have to look at right now. We will see how things develop.  

Bureau of statistics

In 2017 the Redskins averaged 123 rushing yards per game in their first five games. In their last 11 games, they averaged 76 per game. 

On the record

Jay Gruden on the returns of RBs Byron Marshall and Samaje Perine from ankle injuries: "There are no reports really, we'll just wait and see. Every injury is different, and we'll play it by ear and see how long it takes . . . The injury report will come out Week 1 on - when is it, Wednesday? And there you have it."

Comment: Yes, this really was Gruden and not Bill Belichick. The whole organization has been tighter with injury information in general this year. We’re getting a lot of descriptions like “lower leg” rather than ankle or toe. If that’s the way they want to do business that’s fine but be advised as a fan that you are not going to get much information. 

The agenda

Today: Practice at Redskins Park 1:50; Jay Gruden news conference and player availability after practice, approx. 3:00

Upcoming: Preseason Broncos @ Redskins (Aug. 24) 5 days; Final cut (Sept. 1) 13 days; Season opener @ Cardinals (Sept. 9) 21 days

In case you missed it

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

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After releasing Martez Carter the Redskins are thin at running back

martez_carter_vs_jets.png
Associated Press

After releasing Martez Carter the Redskins are thin at running back

The Redskins are very thin at running back right now. 

Today at practice the Redskins had three running backs on the field. Rob Kelley and Kapri Bibbs are fully healthy while Chris Thompson is limited as he recovers from a broken leg he suffered last November. 

Injuries have hit the depth at running back. The most recent casualty was Martez Carter, who was waived with an injury designation. 

The move was surprising since Carter had some good runs against the Jets during their preseason game on Thursday and he did not appear to be injured during the game. 

Coach Jay Gruden did not offer any more details as to what the injury to Carter was, only that he is no longer with the team. 

Also sidelined with lower leg injuries are Samaje Perine and Byron Marshall. According to media reports, Perine will be out one week and Marshall for two to four. Gruden would not confirm the timelines, saying only that they are undergoing treatment and the timetable for their returns in unknown. 

The Redskins will bring in some running backs to try out on Sunday. They will need at least one and probably two in order to get through the upcoming preseason game against the Broncos on Friday. 

In other personnel moves, the Redskins waived linebacker Jeff Knox and defensive end Jalen Wilkerson and signed offensive tackle Kendall Calhoun, defensive back Darius Hillary, and wide receiver Allenzae Staggers. 

More Redskins news

-Redskins vs Jets: Must-see photos from the game
-AnalysisFive Redskins-Jets observations

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