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Need to Know: With new OC, will the Redskins run the ball more?

Need to Know: With new OC, will the Redskins run the ball more?

Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, January 26, 34 days before the NFL franchise tag deadline.

Timeline

Days until:

NFL free agency starts 42
—NFL Draft 91
First Sunday of 2017 season 227

Thoughts on a busy offseason unfolding for the Redskins

My eyebrows were raised a bit after I saw that Jay Gruden said that one of the things that Greg Manusky would bring to the table is that he would get the players “to play a little harder.” The implication, of course, is that they didn’t play at 100% for Joe Barry last year and if that is the case why didn’t Gruden step in and do something about it? I think it also could also cold have meant the players couldn’t play hard because they were unsure due to communications problems, another area Manusky is charged with fixing. Still, it was an odd comment.

Related: NFL mock draft ver. 2.0

With ex-quarterbacks as both the play caller and the offensive coordinator, is there any hope of the Redskins making the running game more of a part of the offense? The Redskins were good at running the ball last year when they did it. They were ninth in the NFL with 4.5 yards per attempt and their rushing DVOA via Football Outsiders was 5.0%, fourth best in the league. But they ran the ball only 379 times, 27th in the league so they ended up ranked 21st in rushing yards (1,696).

I’m starting to plan some posts about free agency. Since Scot McCloughan’s arrival I’ve focused on the bargain bin of available players, younger guys who are likely to come with a modest contract. But after the April signing of Josh Norman to a big-money deal, I have to think that just about any player could be in the Redskins’ sights. They can’t do many more deals that average $15 million a year like Norman’s does but it also seems clear that McCloughan is not going to follow directly in the footsteps of Ted Thompson, his mentor who famously (or, to some Packers fans, notoriously) eschews free agency almost entirely. The bottom line is that the universe of potential Redskins is larger than it used to be. 

More Redskins: 5 salary cap bargains in 2017

The Redskins will spend some of their $62 million in cap space retain some of their own players. One of their free agents is wide receiver DeSean Jackson. Most have him headed out of town and I tend to agree. However, one widely respected salary cap guru, Jason Fitzgerald of www.OverTheCap.com, suggested over the weekend that Jackson will end up signing for three years for around $8 million per year. I have been thinking that it would take an additional year and $1-$2 million more per year to get him to stay. At that price, the Redskins would have to seriously consider keeping him around, with or without fellow free agent Pierre Garçon.

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

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Derrius Guice continues to ingratiate himself with Redskins fans with new fundraising effort

Derrius Guice continues to ingratiate himself with Redskins fans with new fundraising effort

For most college players, being a part of the NFL Draft experience is a dream come true, but for Derrius Guice, it was becoming a nightmare. Originally projected as a first round pick, Guice saw his name falling fast on draft boards due to questions raised about his maturity and high-maintenance personality.

Two months removed from the Redskins selecting him 59th overall, Guice has erased any doubt regarding his character. Whether it be taking fans out to the movies, shooting the breeze while signing autographs, or even the occasional leap frog over two practice barrels and a trainer, Guice has ingrained himself as a Redskins fan favorite. He's done a great job at making himself popular, now he's focused on making change for others. 

On June 20th, a day before his birthday, Guice announced he would be running a fundraiser for the Mary Bird Perkins center, a cancer foundation in his hometown of Baton Rouge. Inspired by his best friend's mother who "rang that bell,"—an indication that a patient has beaten cancer—Guice wants to help others do the same. 

Guice has utilized his newfound popularity to entice other peope to donate. If you donate $5, you can play him in Fortnite. For $50, you guys can go bowling together. Anyone willing to donate $100 or more will be entered in a raffle for tickets to the Redskins Monday Night Football game against the Saints. 

If Guice can match his off the field popularity with on the field production, he'll be in contention for Rookie of the Year. Anyone interested in donating can click here

 

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Need to Know: Five Redskins on the bubble who could make the roster

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Need to Know: Five Redskins on the bubble who could make the roster

Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, June 21, 35 days before the Washington Redskins start training camp.  

The first five off of the roster

Here are five players who are not on my projection of the Redskins’ 53-man roster (offensedefense) but who are one injury or a few strong preseason game performances away from making it. 

G Kyle Kalis—Last year he lined up with the second team during most of training camp and he nearly made the roster as an undrafted free agent. The team did re-sign him after injuries struck the O-line in the middle of the season. He will push Tyler Catalina for a backup guard spot. 

RB Byron Marshall—He got a few touches last year before ending up on injured reserve. Marshall has looked good in practices so far, especially catching out of the backfield. Jay Gruden likely will play Chris Thompson sparingly in the preseason and that could give Marshall a chance to shine. Don’t sleep on him. 

WR Cam Sims—Right now, the undrafted rookie out of Alabama looks like the eighth wide receiver on the roster and they are only going to keep six. But if he continues to get the attention of Gruden with his play in practice and makes the most of his opportunities in preseason games, Robert Davis and Maurice Harris should look out. 

S Fish Smithson—The Redskins liked him a lot after they signed him as an undrafted free agent last year. But they didn’t like him enough to keep him on the 53-man roster; he spent the year on the practice squad, getting a late-season cup of coffee on the roster. He will push both Deshazor Everett and Troy Apke for a backup safety spot. If the Redskins have reason to be concerned about the health of Montae Nicholson they might figure out a way to keep Smithson on as a fifth safety. 

ILB Martrell Spaight—It looks like Spaight’s three-year tenure with the team essentially came to an end when they drafted Sean Dion Hamilton in the fifth round. But his play in offseason practices indicates he’s not going to go out without a fight. 

Next five off: OT T.J. Clemmings, QB Kevin Hogan, RB Kapri Bibbs, NT Phil Taylor, CB Danny Johnson

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

Timeline 

Redskins running back Derrius Guice was born on this date in 1997. 

Days until:

—Training camp starts (7/26) 35
—Preseason opener @ Patriots (8/9) 49
—Roster cut to 53 (9/1) 72

The Redskins last played a game 172 days ago. They will open the 2018 NFL season at the Cardinals in 80 days. 

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