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Pasquarelli on Skins "Unfiltered" OTA's

Pasquarelli on Skins "Unfiltered" OTA's

We have created the news and it is us.

One can imagine the Redskins organization uttering that line, an alteration of a famous line in the old "Pogo" comic strip (for those not as old as I am, which is most of you, the line was "We have seen the news and it is us".)

From the Washington Post:
The Washington Redskins are being investigated by the NFL and the NFL Players Association for possible violations during offseason practices after video of some drills was made available on the club's Web site. Representatives from the NFL and NFLPA said they are looking into whether the Redskins conducted practices that were too physical and in which offensive and defensive linemen engaged one another in live contact, which is prohibited.Some will remember reading here last month about the Redskins' effort to present the news about the team "unfiltered". Part of this campaign was to webcast highlights of their offseason practices or OTA's as they are called. It was during one of these webcasts that someone in the player's union noticed the activity between the linemen.
"Do you know how we caught them?" NFL Players Association Executive Director Gene Upshaw told the Associated Press. "We saw it on their Web site."Although it's unlikely that the Redskins will face anything but very minor sanctions for this, it's a safe bet to say that they wish that they had filtered that particular news.

Should the Redskins be penalized for violating OTA SOP's, they would be the second team to have that happen to them in the past month. The Philadelphia Eagles forfeited a week of OTA's or about a third of the total allowed. The issue involved improper reporting of dates of the workouts to the NFLPA, a sloppy mistake by the Eagles.

And this brings us to the Len Pasquarelli angle on this story. As one would expect, the ESPN.com NFL writer had a field day with this, calling the Redskins "The Capital Gang That Can't Shoot Straight," among other knee-slapper lines. Then, he goes too far. After saying that virtually every other team in the NFL has similar drills during their OTA's, Lenny P takes a cheap shot at Joe Gibbs:
As Gibbs noted, just about every team in the league uses a similar drill in mini-camps and so-called "organized team activities.". . . Hey, you can't make this stuff up, you know? But as long as the Redskins are around, we don't have to, because they keep providing more than enough fodder. Gibbs suggested that he didn't fully understand the rule banning the drill, further evidence that perhaps the Hall of Fame coach should have stayed in a NASCAR pit instead of relocating to an NFL sideline.So nobody else fully understands the rule and everyone violates it but Gibbs alone should quit his job.

And as if we need any proof that Pasquarelli just flat doesn't like the Redskins, let me share with you the results of a search for remarks that Lenny P made that were critical of Andy Reid. Surely Lenny must have had some pretty harsh words for Reid, whose team actually lost a good chunk of their allotted OTA's due to sloppy scheduling. The results of the search for Pasquarelli's comments on Reid follow between the quotation marks:
" "Of course, it's not surprising that Pasquarelli would bash Gibbs, who is suspected of the equivalent of a misdemeanor--even if the Skins are determined to have violated the rule, they are unlikely to lose any OTA sessions--and not do the same to Reid, whose record in this case is like a felony conviction.

In fact, the only shocker here is that Lenny didn't find a way to praise Reid for losing the OTA's, perhaps giving his players some badly-needed rest from the rigors of the offseason.

The Redskins deserve criticism as long as they continue their mediocre on the field performance. I guess it's too much to ask, though, that teams receive somewhat equal comments for somewhat equal issues. Certainly it is too much to ask when the subject is the Redskins and the critic is Len Pasquarelli.

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10 Questions in 10 days: Is Shawn Lauvao the concern, or is the issue bigger on the O-Line?

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USA TODAY Sports

10 Questions in 10 days: Is Shawn Lauvao the concern, or is the issue bigger on the O-Line?

With Redskins Training Camp set to begin July 26th, JP Finlay takes a look at 10 of the most pressing questions for the Burgundy and Gold before the team heads to Richmond. 

No. 10: Major questions at linebacker on Redskins depth chart 

No. 9: What is Kevin O’Connell's new role in Redskins offense?

No. 8: More investments on D-Line, but who goes where?

No. 7: Do the Redskins have a 1,000-yard WR?

No. 6: Is Shawn Lauvao the concern, or is the issue bigger on the O-Line?

Right or wrong, fans blamed Shawn Lauvao for much of the Redskins struggles on the offensive line last season. Pro Football Focus backs up the fans, as Lauvao landed a -19.1 grade, among the worst in the NFL at the guard spot. 

It's worth pointing out that Lauvao was playing hurt during much of his nine starts before getting shut down for the season just before Thanksgiving. In fact, injuries have probably been the biggest issue for Lauvao in his four seasons with the Redskins. 

In four seasons in Washington, Lauvao has never played a full 16-game slate. Last year he played just nine games, and in 2015 he only played three games. 

That points to what may be the bigger issue for the Redskins: offensive line depth. Last season was wild with the amount of injuries Washington sustained up front. It seems almost impossible for the team to have that many injuries again.

Still, the Redskins lost Arie Kouandjio for the year in the offseason. Kouandjio played better last year than Lauvao, and having both men in Richmond would have provided real competition. 

And that might be the biggest question: Neither Lauvao or Kouandjio represent a difference maker at left guard, yet the team did little to address the position. 

All offseason, the Washington brass walked a fine line between confidence and arrogance. The organization believes strongly in the players they already have, and outside of signing Paul Richardson and re-signing Zach Brown, the team had a quiet offseason. The Redskins struggled to run the ball the last few years, and still, the team did not look to upgrade at LG. 

It's important to note that the Redskins have two All-Pro caliber offensive linemen in Trent Williams and Brandon Scherff. Morgan Moses is a plus at the right tackle spot too. The team likes Chase Roullier at center too, and they tried to add depth in drafting Geron Christian in the third round and bringing back swing tackle backup Ty Nsekhe as a restricted free agent. 

Left guard will be a question, and it's hard not to think that it will be the weakest position on the O-line. Should that submarine the group? It shouldn't. What if Lauvao gets hurt?  Then things get quite tricky.

For the Redskins, however, the expectation might be that the line needs to perform as a unit, and with talent like Williams and Scherff, that should cover up any weaknesses.

Time, and health, will tell if that plan works. 

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Need to Know: The best cornerbacks the Redskins will face in 2018

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Need to Know: The best cornerbacks the Redskins will face in 2018

Here is what you need to know on this Friday, July 20, six days before the Washington Redskins start training camp.  

The five best cornerbacks the Redskins will face in 2018

This week we’ll be looking at the best of what the Redskins will face during the 2018 season. Today the cornerbacks are up. They are roughly ranked by Pro Football Focus’ coverage metrics, although I did some juggling based on interception totals and other factors. Prior to this, we looked at the best teamsreceivers, running backspass rushers, and quarterbacks

1. Patrick Peterson, Cardinals—The athletic Peterson has been All-Pro three times and has been selected to the Pro Bowl in each of his seven years in the league. He hasn’t had a big interception total since he got seven in 2012, but that is mostly because quarterbacks only throw his way about once every ten snaps he is in coverage. 

2. Jalen Ramsey, Jaguars—I could easily have ranked Ramsey over Peterson. I went with Peterson because he’s been doing it for longer and he’s only 28. Ramsey has justified his No. 5 selection in the 2016 draft. His long arms and ball skills serve him well. He has the size to defend the bigger receivers and the athleticism to be effective against shifty and speedy receivers. 

3. A.J. Bouye, Jaguars—If Alex Smith tries to throw away from Ramsey he will encounter trouble on the other side. It’s been trendy to say that Bouye is underrated for so long he’s in danger of becoming overrated. But he’s not there yet. Bouye was one of four full-time (played at least 60% of snaps) cornerbacks who did not allow a touchdown pass last year and he had by far the most plays in coverage. 

4. Malcolm Butler, Titans—If the Brady-Belichick Patriots don’t win another Super Bowl, the coach’s decision to keep Butler on the bench as Nick Foles shredded the New England secondary will be marked as the end of that era. Maybe Butler isn’t good enough to have made a difference, but it would have been interesting to see. He’s with the Titans now and he will give Smith problems in December. 

5. Marshon Lattimore, Saints—Last year’s defensive rookie of the year plays an aggressive style both in press man coverage and when tackling receivers who have caught the ball. An ankle injury sent him out of the game against the Redskins early, perhaps one of the reasons why Kirk Cousins was able to light them up for 322 yards and three touchdowns. 

Best of the rest: Desmond Trufant, Falcons; Brent Grimes, Bucs; Logan Ryan, Titans;k Jaire Alexander (rookie), Packers

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

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Timeline 

Days until:

—Training camp starts (7/26) 6
—Preseason opener @ Patriots (8/9) 20
—Roster cut to 53 (9/1) 43

The Redskins last played a game 201 days ago. They will open the 2018 NFL season at the Cardinals in 51 days. 

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