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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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Saints sign intriguing receiver off Redskins' practice squad

Saints sign intriguing receiver off Redskins' practice squad

The Redskins were overloaded with interesting wide receiver prospects back in training camp. Not all could make the 53-man roster initially. Simmie Cobbs landed on the practice squad and remained there.

Buzz this week centered on whether Cobbs might finally land a promotion. He did, just not with Washington.

The New Orleans Saints signed Cobbs off the Redskins practice squad Friday, a source confirmed to NBC Sports Washington.

Receiver injuries spiked for the NFC South leading-Saints in recent weeks, the result of which led the Drew Brees-led squad to poach Cobbs. The Indiana product had 72 receptions for 841 yards during his final season with the Hoosiers. He surprisingly went undrafted but joined a Redskins squad with uncertainty at receiver.  

Josh Doctson’s status remains unclear after suffering a concussion in Sunday’s loss to the Giants. He remains “questionable” for this Sunday’s road game at Jacksonville, head coach Jay Gruden announced Friday.

Washington is already down three receivers from the Week 1 roster. Paul Richardson, Cam Sims and Trey Quinn landed on injured reserve. Quinn went down twice after an in-season return. The Redskins added Brian Quick for a few weeks and signed Jehu Chesson to help fill in rather than promote Cobbs or Darvin Kidsy from the practice squad.

Doctson’s status put forth the potential of Cobbs finally joining the 53 this week. It’s possible injuries elsewhere, namely to tight end Jordan Reed (toe) and long snapper Nick Sundberg (back) hampered the Redskins’ chances of adding another receiver.

"Simmie has been great. He's been great,” Gruden said Wednesday. “Kidsy has been great also, so if need be if one of those guys needs to be called up, I won't hesitate for a second. Like I said though, it’s a matter of roster spots. We don’t have a whole lot available so, we'll figure it out.”

Though the 6-foot-3 target made his shares of impressive catches during the summer, Washington kept another pair of rookies instead. Quinn was the Redskins’ final selection in the 2018 draft. Sims, also an undrafted free agent, wowed throughout training camp and the preseason before his season ended with a Week 1 foot injury.  

It’s unclear how Cobbs fit into Washington’s plans seeing as it never promoted him. The Redskins have questions going forward at receiver, concerns beyond this season. Whatever the solution, the interesting prospect won’t be part of them.

The New Orleans Advocate first reported the Saints signing Cobbs. 


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Mason Foster apologizes to Redskins fans in wake of private message controversy

Mason Foster apologizes to Redskins fans in wake of private message controversy

After private comments on Instagram made significant waves among Redskins fans, Mason Foster addressed the media to explain how much he regretted his actions. 

"People know I love the fans," Foster said Friday. 

In a wide-ranging interview where Foster explained his missteps on social media, the linebacker said he deeply apologized for the comments attributed to his account. 

Foster owned the first conversation that emerged this week on Twitter, where he wrote, "F*** this team and this fanbase" but said that subsequent conversations that leaked out were written by his cousin. Allowing his cousin control over his account was another major mistake, Foster said. 

For Foster, all he can do now is try to do right and prove to his teammates and fans that he's committed to the franchise and doing good in the community. 

On the season, Foster has 108 tackles and two interceptions. He's the Redskins defensive captain and tied for 7th across the NFL in tackles.