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Rating the Redskins: Cornerbacks


Rating the Redskins: Cornerbacks

New Redskins GM Scot McCloughan aimed to improve nearly every position through the draft or via free agency. How has he done? Over the next couple of weeks, Rich Tandler and Tarik El-Bashir will examine and rate each group on the team. The ratings will be based on the quality of the players as compared to the rest of the league and, in particular, the division.

We’ll use a scale of 1 to 10. To receive a 10, a position group would need Pro-Bowl caliber starters and solid backups. A rating of 1 means the starters are aging and ineffective and there are no promising reserves in the pipeline.

We’ve already looked at the defensive lineoffensive line, linebackers, wide receivers, and tight ends. Up this today, we’ve got the cornerbacks.

Starters: Chris Culliver and Bashaud Breeland.

Reserves: DeAngelo Hall, David Amerson and Tevin Mitchel.

Tandler: This unit was a weak link last year. Hall missed the last 13 games with an Achilles injury, Amerson struggled through a sophomore slump, Breeland played well at times and like an unpolished rookie at times, Tracy Porter, who was supposed to be the nickel back, missed most of the season with injuries, and below replacement level players like E. J. Biggers were forced into playing important snaps. The corners should be better in 2015. Culliver came over from the 49ers as a free agent and he is an instant, major upgrade. It appears that Hall’s rehab is going well enough to think that he will be back for Week 1. Breeland will have another offseason of learning under his belt and the word is that the talented Amerson is taking his struggles last year to heart and taking preparation more seriously. This all sounds good but a lot of things sound good in June but then don’t work out when the games start counting. Put me down for cautious optimism that the cornerbacks will be less of a liability this year but I need to see a lot more before believing that they will be a strength. Rating: 4.

El-Bashir: I’m not concerned about Culliver or Breeland. As long as they avoid trouble off the field, I’m confident they’ll deliver on it. Both bring a much-needed edge to the secondary and possess the potential to be a solid duo. I do, however, have concerns about the others. Hall, if healthy, will bring some playmaking ability and veteran calm. But when will he be 100-percent recovered from a twice-torn Achilles? During the first OTA session, when the 31-year-old did some light individual drill work, things seemed to be right on schedule. Hall did less work the next two weeks, however. Maybe it's just part of the plan, as Jay Gruden said. But I'll be curious to see what, if anything, Hall does this week in veteran minicamp. As for Amerson, he’s the No. 3 corner right now and is coming off a sophomore season in which he allowed a league-worst 10 passing touchdowns in his coverage, according to Gruden says he’s been “very impressed” with Amerson this offseason, so perhaps he’s in the process of regaining his focus and, more important, his confidence. We’ll see, I guess. It’s too early to say if Mitchel, a sixth round pick this year, will make an immediate impact, or if any of the hopefuls, like Justin Rogers or Trey Wolfe can put pressure on those ahead of them. Let’s be honest here. After the Redskins’ defense surrendered a whopping 35 passing touchdowns—the most in the NFL in 2014—this group probably deserved a rating of 1 or 2. But I’m an optimist, and I think the addition of Culliver (as well as the tutelage of Perry Fewell) will help shore things up a bit. But, like Tandler, I need to see it before I get excited. Rating: 5.

Consensus: 4.5.

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Week 6's Redskins game marked another successful celebration of the THINK-PINK! campaign

Week 6's Redskins game marked another successful celebration of the THINK-PINK! campaign

During the Redskins-Panthers Week 6 matchup, the FedEx Field end zones ditched their usual gold trim for some pink instead. As it turns out, burgundy and pink go quite well together.

The reason for the change was to celebrate the Redskins Breast Cancer Awareness game as well as the 20th anniversary of Tanya Snyder's THINK-PINK! campaign.

Mrs. Snyder started the movement two decades ago by passing out 8,000 handmade pink ribbons at the team's stadium meant to remind people that early detection of breast cancer can make a major difference.

Now, her campaign has gone league-wide and is the reason you see so many players wearing pink in October, fans waving pink towels in the stands and other awareness-raising initiatives throughout the NFL.

"Very, very, very proud," Snyder said while handing out ribbons before the Washington-Carolina game. "We're not finished, but we are making a difference with early detection. So I'm beaming." 

For more information on Snyder and the NFL's breast cancer efforts, head to And for more details about the events held at FedEx Field during Week 6, check out the video above.


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Redskins need a winning streak to convince legion of skeptics

Redskins need a winning streak to convince legion of skeptics

If you want to, you can find plenty of things wrong with the Redskins’ 23-17 win over the Panthers. The home team was up 17-0 in the second quarter and yet had to hang on as the Panthers reached the red zone with a chance to win in the last minute. The game got tight because the Redskins continued their second-half scoring problems, putting up just six points. Alex Smith passed for just 153 yards. 

But you can’t poke holes in the fact that the Redskins are 3-2 and in first place in the NFC East. Sure, there is a long way to go. But consider this—a Redskins schedule that looked rough at the beginning of the season doesn’t look quite as tough. In fact, right now the Redskins have a better winning percentage than any team they will play in their remaining 11 games. 

Yes, that’s right. They have six games to play in the division, two each against the Cowboys and Eagles, both now 3-3, and the 1-5 Giants. Their two remaining games against the NFC South are against the 2-3 Bucs and the 2-4 Falcons. The schedule is rounded out with games against three AFC South teams, the Titans, Texans, and Jaguars. All three of those teams are tied atop the division at 3-3. 

Of course, you can’t expect all of these teams to still be wallowing around .500 when they face the Redskins. It looks like the Eagles and Falcons are on the upswing and in today’s NFL any team can get hot at any time. 

And, as the Redskins demonstrated in their Week 2 loss to the Colts, they are capable of losing to a weak team. They still have plenty of issues they have to correct if they plan on maintaining their winning record and staying in contention for the division title. They won’t survive if they continue to have difficulty scoring in the second half (their only second-half TD this season came in garbage time against the Saints). They need to get more sacks from Ryan Kerrigan and Preston Smith, who have one combined. Plenty of details need to be ironed out. 

But the fact that they are a flawed team doesn’t take away from the fact that they got a quality win over the Panthers. Carolina was 3-1, coming off of an 11-5 playoff season. On top of that, the Redskins had not beaten the Panthers since 2006, a stretch that included an 0-4 record against Cam Newton. They didn’t commit a turnover for the first time this year and they got a season-high three takeaways. Christian McCaffrey came into the game averaging 83 yards per game and left it averaging 70 after picking up 20 yards on eight carries. 

With all of that said, the Redskins still have to overcome their inconsistency. They have won two games in a row just twice since the beginning of the 2017 season. Nobody is going to believe that anything is different about the Redskins until they can string together three or four wins in a row. Until then, skepticism will abound. 

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Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler is locked into the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page, and follow him on Twitter  @TandlerNBCS and on Instagram @RichTandler