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Ranking the Redskins' pillars among the NFL's best


Ranking the Redskins' pillars among the NFL's best

There is a long held belief that if an NFL team has a strong player at eachof the following positions secured, success should follow: quarterback,offensive tackle, pass rusher, corner. While the specific weight put on eachhas varied over the years - more than ever passers are paramount to goodfortune in this overt aerial age and some will argue the value of a left tacklehas dipped - the overall concept is one I've followed since my younger days(Ken Beatrice had something to do with this).CBS Sports NFL writer Pete Prisco used this angle to come up with his "four-prongedrankings", focusing on the 2012 season - with seemingly little to zeroemphasis on the future, on upside.Let's emphasize that last point because I feel confident it will take readersof this post, from the rabid face painters to the doom and gloomers, a fewmoments to even comprehend where Prisco's calculations put the Redskins. Let's put it this way. If you used Beatrice's catch phrase "YOURNEXT" every time a new team was revealed, you would utter it 31 times,uncovering every other NFL franchise before the Redskins popped up. After theColts and Vikings, after the Seahawks and Cardinals come the burgundy and gold.Here's how Prisco's math on the locals came to be:- the top player on each team at each position is ranked 1-32 within hiscategory (in other words, Brian Orakpo is listed but not Ryan Kerrigan). Thetop player receives 32 points and so on. However, factoring in the pass-happytimes we live in, points are doubled for the quarterbacks. - The Redskins core four of Robert Griffin III (26 among quarterbacks),Trent Williams (19), Orakpo (14) and DeAngelo Hall (31) combined for 49 points.That's two less than the Cardinals, who managed to somehow top the Redskinseven though the position of their best player (Larry Fitzgerald) is not evenpart of the equation. - The 49 points is also 86 less than the team in first. Nope, not thePackers with Aaron Rodgers (the No. 1 quarterback) or the Texans with premiertackle Duane Brown or the Jets and top pass defender Darrelle Revis. In the truestdefinition of adding insult to injury...the Cowboys finished first (rankingDeMarcus Ware tops among pass rushers helped)- Like the draft, RG3 came in one spot behind of Andrew Luck - but alsotrailed Mark Sanchez, Alex Smith, Matt Hasselbeck and Matt Cassel. Like I said,upside apparently meant squat. -As for Williams and Orakpo, theirrankings seem reasonable(Orakpo is ahead of the 49ers' top blitzer Aldon Smith). Truth is, so doesHall's. No doubt having to scroll down and down this list to find the Redskins was surprisingand instinctively put me into a dukes up position, at first anyway. Obviouslyif the rookie quarterback does a reasonable Cam Newton (11) or Andy Dalton (19)impression, Griffin's ranking will have been too low. Looking at the passers inany way beyond a 2012 prism changes the list, for the good, for the locals thatis.For now, RG3s low number combined with Hall receiving no help from the Russianjudge put the Redskins building blocks into the unenviable position of looking upat all others, on this list anyway.

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Jay Gruden shown no love in preseason coaches ranking

USA Today Sports

Jay Gruden shown no love in preseason coaches ranking

Yahoo! Sports ranked all 32 head coaches in the NFL and Washington Redskins fans may not be too happy with where Jay Gruden ended up.

Entering his fifth year as head coach, Gruden was ranked as the No. 27 head coach in the NFL. Here's Yahoo!'s rationale behind his ranking:

"Four years, one playoff berth, one plus-.500 season, one franchise quarterback run out of town."

All that is ... not false, but the whole franchise quarterback being run out of town thing is at least debatable. And even if the ranking is fair, it's still okay to be upset because it's the middle of July, training camp hasn't started yet and the offseason is the perfect time to get irrationally angry about things like these.

Elsewhere in the NFC, Giants head coach Pat Shurmur checks in at No. 23, Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett is No. 17 and the Eagles' Doug Pederson is No. 2.

Unsurprisingly, Bill Belichick was ranked No. 1; he may be the greatest of all time when all is said and done, if not already. The top five rounds out with Pederson at No. 2, New Orleans's Sean Payton at No. 3, Minnesota's Mike Zimmer at No. 4 and Pittsburgh's Mike Tomlin at No. 5.


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10 Questions in 10 Days: What can the Redskins expect from Derrius Guice?

10 Questions in 10 Days: What can the Redskins expect from Derrius Guice?

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?

No. 5: What can the Redskins expect from Derrius Guice?

No rookie draft pick excited the Redskins fan base like Derrius Guice since Robert Griffin III came to Washington back in 2012. That's a fact. 

Guice slipped during the draft to near the end of the second round, a position much too late for a player with his talent. Rumors emerged that he had character issues, but in the months since April's selection, they seem unfounded. In quick time, Guice has emerged as a Redskins fan favorite and has performed plenty of charitable acts.

So, moving past the erroneous off-field questions, it's time to manage expectations for what Guice can do on the field. 

DJ Swearinger recently said he expects Guice to make the Pro Bowl and rush for more than 1,000 yards. As a rookie. (Listen here)

That's not unheard of, last year rookie Kareem Hunt led the NFL in rush yards. In 2016, Ezekiel Elliott did the same thing. Rookie running backs can step in and produce right away in the NFL, unlike some positions that usually bring more of a learning curve. 

Can Guice do that?

The first and most important questions will be health and durability. Guice dealt with lingering knee injuries last year at LSU, and the Redskins will need him fully healthy. A 1,000-yard season is not unrealistic if Guice plays a full 16-game season. It would require rushing for about 65 yards-per-game. 

The bigger key is opportunities. 

How many carries will Guice log in 2018? Early on in the season, Guice might still be learning pass protection in the Redskins scheme, and Jay Gruden will not tolerate missed assignments that result in big hits on QB Alex Smith.

If Guice can lock in on blitz pickup, 200 carries seems reasonable. Remember that Chris Thompson will still be a featured part of the Redskins offense, and Rob Kelley will get chances too. 

Last season, Samaje Perine led all rushers with 175 carries. He didn't do much with the chances, averaging just 3.4 yards-per-carry. Kelley had 62 carries before injuries shut his season down after parts of seven games. 

Combine Perine and Kelley's carries, and then things start to get interesting. With 230 carries, at an average of 4 yards a pop, Guice starts to approach 1,000 yards.

One problem with extrapolating too much data from last season is the crazy amount of variables. Late in the year, with Perine largely ineffective and a very beat up offensive line, the Redskins simply couldn't produce on the ground. In their last five games of 2017, the Redskins never rushed for more than 100 yards. They averaged just 60 yards-per-game on the ground during that stretch, including a season low 31 rush yards against Arizona in December. 

The line can't be that beat up again, right?

Guice has to be able to deliver more than Perine, right?

If the answers to those questions are yes, then a 1,000-yard season seems possible for Guice in 2018. 

One misnomer from the Redskins 2017 campaign emerged that Washington simply did not run the ball well or enough. In fact, early in the year when the Redskins looked like a possible playoff team, they ran the ball quite well. In three of the first four games, Washington went over 100 yards on the ground, including 229 rush yards in a Week 2 win over the Rams. 

Guice might get to 1,000 yards in 2018. It's no sure thing, and there are plenty of variables, but it's possible. That hasn't happened in Washington since Alfred Morris, and would be a very welcome sight. 

The rookie runner has invigorated the Redskins faithful, and that's before he even steps on the field. If Guice can produce, the fans will go crazy.


— Contract years: Redskins face 5 tough decisions 

— Dead Money: Trades, misses and mistakes hurt Redskins salary cap


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