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Need to Know: Who starts at inside linebacker?

Need to Know: Who starts at inside linebacker?

Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, May 4, 20 days before the Redskins start OTAs on May 24.

Timeline

It’s been 123 days since the Redskins played a game. Their season opener against the Eagles at FedEx Field is in 129 days.

Days until:

—Redskins rookie camp (5/12) 8
—Redskins OTAs start (5/24) 20
—Training camp starts (7/27) 84

Fan questions: Roles for Anderson and Smith, depth chart at ILB

All indications are that Anderson will play outside linebacker. It certainly seems that he wants to play there. “I'm going to be the best outside linebacker in the game,” he told us shortly after the Redskins drafted him. “That's what I'm going to do.”

Jay Gruden didn’t say directly but he expressed confidence that despite his relatively low weight for an edge player (253 lb. at the combine) he can set the edge against the run.

“If he's playing outside, nobody runs outside,” Gruden said. “He's great at setting that edge. He’s one of the best I've seen at setting the edge in the running game. He's a very good pass rusher with his tenacity and he has made a lot of splash plays at Alabama.”

It’s possible that the coaches will get him on the field and figure out that he is better suited to play inside. But as of right now he’s going to work with the OLBs.

What about Preston Smith? The two second-round picks are mirror images of each other. Smith has tremendous physical tools but a laid-back attitude. Anderson was not a combine star but he has a high motor and a tenacious attitude. Gruden said that he hopes that attitude is “going to rub off on a lot of people.” He likely is hoping that some of it will rub off on Smith.

That would be ideal. You can’t have too many good pass rushers and if Smith feels pushed by Anderson, so much the better. I’m sure that Greg Manusky will be happy to figure out how to utilize both if they are effective.

Assuming Anderson stays on the outside, you have three inside linebackers who are capable of starting. Will Compton and Mason Foster started here last year and Zach Brown made the Pro Bowl playing for the Bills.  

It seems likely that the starters will be Compton and Brown. Neither Foster nor Brown is well suited to playing the Mike linebacker position, which involves calling the defenses. Compton does that well and it seems likely that he will continue to do it.

Even if he doesn’t start, Foster should get plenty of snaps as the nickel linebacker. He filled in there last year when Su’a Cravens was injured. With Cravens now moving to safety we should see Foster back in the role he had for the last few games last year.

Martrell Spaight likely will be the backup Mike linebacker. He played about a game and a half there last year when Compton was injured and while he struggled some he showed some potential. I’m not sure what you mean by “pop” but we will have to see how he does if he gets another opportunity.

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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Dwayne Haskins wants the Redskins to draft another Buckeye wide receiver

Dwayne Haskins wants the Redskins to draft another Buckeye wide receiver

The Redskins recruiting coordinator and quarterback Dwayne Haskins wants to reunite with another one of his former Buckeye teammates in the NFL.

On Thursday, Haskins quote tweeted a video of WR K.J. Hill's highlights at the Senior Bowl with the caption "Need em."

After a back-and-forth, the Redskins' first-round draft pick sealed his approval on the draft prospect by tagging the Redskins' team account. 

K.J. Hill overlapped with Haskins for two years with the Ohio State Buckeyes. During Haskins' final year in Columbus, Hill was the No. 2 receiver with 70 receptions for 885 yards and six touchdowns. 

There was a small dip in production for Hill after Haskins left for the NFL, however, he became a bigger red zone target with 10 touchdowns. 

If the Redskins decided to adhere to their QB's requests, he would not be the only former pass-catching Buckeye to wear the Burgandy and Gold. Third-round draft pick Terry McLaurin was also on the 2018 Ohio State squad before making the move to the NFL.

Hill is just the latest player to be endorsed by Haskins since he became the Redskins starter.  Haskins has tweeted support for the Redskins to bring on Chad Johnson as a wide receiving coach, to draft Chase Young with the No. 2 overall pick, and to sign free agent WR Antonio Brown

Additionally, he understandably asked Trent Williams to come back to protect him on the offensive line after Bruce Allen was removed. 

Could the Redskins go and get another Buckeye in the draft?

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Redskins' Tress Way on his Pro Bowl experience: 'I did not realize it was this fun'

Redskins' Tress Way on his Pro Bowl experience: 'I did not realize it was this fun'

The Redskins may just have one Pro Bowler, but punter Tress Way is having an incredible time in Miami thus far.

The second-team All-Pro recipient has been in Orlando for less than 48 hours, but has quickly realized just how fun the week of the NFL's all-star game truly is.

"This sounds funny, but I did not realize it was this fun," Way told Redskins.com's Gabe Henderson on Wednesday on how his week has been thus far.

One of the punter's favorite parts of the week thus far was the basketball shoot-off Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll organized.

"Coach [Pete] Carroll had a shoot-off, had a basketball goal set up and a free throw line," Way said. "He kept calling offensive and defensive guys to come shoot for 30 seconds, and whoever made the most won. The place was going nuts. We had a quick meeting, came out here and did a glorified walkthrough, blasting music, dancing, throwing the ball around. It's seriously so fun, and it's just getting started."

Way, a first-time Pro Bowler, is not enjoying the experience by himself. Several family members made the trek down to Orlando to support the 29-year-old.

"I'm so thankful. This is so awesome," he said. "My whole family is here. I got more family coming. It is definitely surreal."

But perhaps the part Way is looking forward to the most is how he's planning on spending his Thursday evening. 

Way and his family are planning on spending the night at Harry Potter World. The punter never got into the series, much to his mother and little brother's dismay, but plans on going all-in when he arrives.

"I plan on learning all the spells, picking up a custom wand, and having a couple butter beers," Way said. "Really just embarrassing my wife, that's the main goal here. I will be the Master of Death; I will have all three deathly hollows by the time I leave, and pretty much just nerding out the entire night."

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