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Need to Know: One-liners on every Redskins player, defensive edition

Need to Know: One-liners on every Redskins player, defensive edition

Here is what you need to know on this Monday, November 28, 6 days before the Washington Redskins play the Arizona Cardinals.


Today's schedule: Off day

Days until: Redskins @ Eagles 13; Panthers @ Redskins 21; Redskins @ Bears Christmas Eve 26

Redskins roster one per player one liners—defense

Over the next two days I’ll do a quick assessment of every player on the roster. I looked at the offense yesterday, here's the defense. 

DE Chris Baker isn’t racking up a lot of sacks but will the other things he’s doing be enough to get the Redskins (or another team) to give him a solid contract to a lineman who will turn 30 early in the 2017 season?

—The new Redskins fullback is OLB Houston Bates, has been doing it occasionally while playing sparingly on defense.

S Will Blackmon has done a competent job at free safety since stepping in for the injured DeAngelo Hall but the Redskins likely will seek to upgrade the position in the offseason.

—I think that both the Redskins and CB Bashaud Breeland are going to want to see what the player can do in 2017 before committing to a long-term contract.

—When it comes to getting the defense lined up ILB Will Compton does a good job but he does lead the team in missed tackles.

—I don’t understand why many fans and some in the media are so anxious to move LB Su’a Cravens to safety when he’s making such a big impact in his current hybrid role in the front seven.

CB Quinton Dunbar is still learning how to play cornerback and he’ll be pretty good (not great) when he gets it figured out.

S Deshazor Everett has been active every game but he hasn’t played a snap on defense; all of his action has come on special teams.

ILB Mason Foster has been ceding some snaps to Cravens and it seems to be helping him; he has been making plays sideline to sideline when he has been in.

—At the start of the year CB Kendall Fuller was on the bench and if he doesn’t work through his current problems pretty quickly he could find himself back there.

ILB Terence Garvin is another special teams specialist, playing only 37 snaps on defense this year.

—Nobody was sure if DL Ziggy Hood would make the team and although he hustled and makes some plays here and there the fact that he has played nearly 500 snaps is an indictment of the quality of the D-line.

—The word on S Duke Ihenacho is that he freelances too much and that hurts his playing time opportunities.

—Fifth-round draft pick DE Matt Ioannidis was able to work his way off of the practice squad and he got some snaps early but lately he has been a regular on the healthy inactives list.

DE Ricky Jean Francois is a team leader and a great locker room guy who does a pretty good job in the 25 snaps or so he plays per game.

—The fact that the Redskins picked up DE Cullen Jenkins in Week 2 is yet another indictment of the quality of the line although, like Hood, he works hard and is a good presence on the team.

—Although OLB Ryan Kerrigan is among the league leaders in sacks with 9.0 it would help if he can help out more in the takeaway department; he has no fumbles recovered and just one forced.

—The coaches are excited about the prospects of DE Anthony Lanier developing into a good pass rusher but don’t expect to see much out of him until 2017, maybe 2018.

—Raise your hand if you thought that OLB Trent Murphy would be second on the team with 7.0 sacks through 11 games. Anyone?

CB Josh Norman is a lightning rod for attention but not so much for opponents’ passes; big plays have been lacking.

—The defense needs impact plays from OLB Preston Smith and, outside of the Vikings game, he hasn’t delivered this year.

—There aren’t enough snaps for ILB Martrell Spaight so his play mostly has been confined to special teams.

—During training camp it looked like CB Greg Toler would have a role in the defense but except for a couple of games when he filled in for injured players his snap count has been in single digits each week.

—The first week after he signed in Week 5 S Donte Whitner playing sparingly but since then he has missed just a handful of snaps. Again, the Redskins need to upgrade at safety.

And, let’s not forget about the specialists:

—Although K Dustin Hopkins has been in a bit of a slump the Redskins are better off letting him work through it than they would be exploring other options.

—What looked like an early slump by P Tress Way is something he now carries into November, with his net punting average and kicks inside the 20 both second worst in the league.

—We have received no estimate on how long LS Nick Sundberg will be out but you have to think that if he’s not ready soon he could head to IR and Rick Lovato would handle the snaps the rest of the way.

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The Redskins intend to be ready for 'every scenario' when the 2020 NFL Draft begins

The Redskins intend to be ready for 'every scenario' when the 2020 NFL Draft begins

Kyle Smith began his media session at the Combine Tuesday by thanking Dan Snyder and Ron Rivera for giving him his new role of Vice President of Player Personnel, others in the front office for helping him in the past and even the hosts of the NFL's offseason staple for putting on such a well-run event.

It was an impressive way for the young executive to open up his presser and hinted at how detail-oriented he is. So, it should be no surprise that Smith intends to be beyond prepared for whatever the 2020 NFL Draft may throw at him and his franchise.

"Trade scenarios, we'll talk through all that stuff. That's part of those three, four, five days leading up to the draft. We'll go through every scenario," he told reporters in Indianapolis. "We will go through every scenario of how far back would we go if that scenario came or what if this team called and what do they have available? We'll go through all those scenarios so that draft night, when those opportunities come, we'll be ready to roll."

Every Redskins fan on the planet — as well as Redskins fans on other planets, if they exist (which is something this story won't examine further, sorry) — know that the key decision facing Washington these days is what to do with the No. 2 pick. And while Smith was open with his praise of Chase Young's potential, he made sure to mention that this year's class features plenty of other strong prospects.

As for the kinds of players Smith and Rivera will target, the two leaders are already unified in what they value, according to Smith.

"Sitting down from the very first conversation we had at Mr. Snyder's house, we talked through our process and what we've been doing with the draft and the type of players we've been looking for," he said. "And he talked about his process and... we kind of meshed it together. And we'll move forward together."

In explaining how the Redskins will assemble their draft board — by the way, hardcore fans will love his full breakdown on this episode of the Redskins Talk podcast — Smith explained that he's going to run those meetings. Eventually, Smith and the personnel folks will huddle with the coaches and pass over names of soon-to-be-pros the coaches need to review.

Then, by April, the two staffs will meet once more and finalize everything. Only then will the answer to Washington's major offseason question finally reveal itself, and Young or a couple of other of top selections will join the Redskins.

Regardless of that answer, Smith expects the organization to reach it in a shared fashion.

"It's a collaborative deal," he said. "We believe in our process. We're going to talk through everything... Once the coaches come in in April, we will sit in there and literally go through each thing, each scenario and set it together so everybody's on the same page and everybody's working together."


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Redskins VP of Player Personnel Kyle Smith on Dwayne Haskins: 'He needs his time'

Redskins VP of Player Personnel Kyle Smith on Dwayne Haskins: 'He needs his time'

Dwayne Haskins knows that the Redskins starting quarterback job will not be given to him; he must earn it. Ron Rivera has made that clear multiple times since taking over as the team's head coach.

Rivera has mentioned he's excited about Haskins' future, too, but the new head coach could also be looking for the second-year quarterback to use this offseason to go above and beyond and truly take command and ownership of the job. Doug Williams, the Redskins senior vice president of development, said as much earlier this week.

Redskins vice president of player personnel Kyle Smith believes thus far, Haskins has done exactly that.

"He's ready to do everything he possibly can," Smith said to local media on Tuesday in Indianapolis, speaking for the first time since being promoted to his current role in January. "The other day he told me he's bringing the guys down to Florida to throw with them and do the things he can do. He's doing all the extra stuff that we expect of him and he's got a bright future."

Working out with teammates at an off-site location during the offseason is not uncommon for NFL players. The league has placed multiple rules and regulations on NFL teams that restrict the amount of hands-on access coaches can have with players. It's up to the players to go about it themselves and coordinate times to work out together.

In addition to reaching out to his wideouts to schedule offseason work, Haskins has remained in the building since the season ended and continued to work on his craft. That's something Smith has noticed.

"He's smiling walking around the building," Smith said. "He's excited, he's energized."

The 22-year-old is still raw when it comes to experience; he only started one year at Ohio State and seven games a year ago as a rookie. Smith recognizes this and believes time will serve Haskins extremely well.

"He also needs his time. He's a young kid, man," Smith said. "He's got the right stuff. He's a good kid, he works hard. We're all excited about Dwayne."

Haskins had more than his fair share of growing pains as a rookie, but the Ohio State product really started to catch his stride towards the end of the season. Through the final six quarters of Haskins' season, he threw for 394 yards, four touchdowns, and zero interceptions.

Haskins' progression towards the end of the 2019 campaign has excited many in the building, Smith included.

"I'm really excited about Dwayne," Smith said. "Obviously, as everybody has seen, he kind of ascended as the season went on. He played in [seven] games, he kept improving. I just had a conversation with him the other day. I'm excited, man."

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