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Redskins 2017 depth chart preview: Cornerbacks

Redskins 2017 depth chart preview: Cornerbacks

Over the next few weeks, Rich Tandler will take a position-by-position look at the Redskins’ 2017 depth chart as the team enjoys some R&R ahead of training camp. Some positions are easy to handicap. Others have moving parts and, thus, are more complex. So, who’s in? And who’s in trouble?

Up today…

Position: Cornerback

On the roster: Josh Norman, Bashaud Breeland, Kendall Fuller, Quinton Dunbar, Fabian Moreau, Josh Holsey, Dashaun Phillips, Shak Randolph, Tevin Homer

The numbers: Have nine, will keep five or six.

Six is the usual number to carry here. However, if they need to shave a roster spot, they have Will Blackmon, a safety who also can play corner is they go with five CBs.


Locks: Norman, Breeland, Fuller, Dunbar

It’s probably not accurate to say that Norman is looking for a bounce back year. He was by far the best cornerback on the team and he still covered receivers better than most in the league. But he did not repeat as a first-team All-Pro; he didn’t even make the Pro Bowl. Norman will play as though he has something to prove.

Breeland’s 2016 season got off to a tough start as he was overmatched trying to cover the Steelers’ Antonio Brown in Week 1. Once he started defending No. 2 receivers more often he got his feet under himself and he had a solid season He is in a contract year and he would like to set himself up for a big payday, whether it’s in Washington or elsewhere.

Fuller struggled playing slot corner. The reasons for that were typical rookie adjustment and lingering effects of a knee injury he suffered in his final year at Virginia Tech. Also, he may be better suited to playing outside corner instead of in the slot. That might mean that Breeland, who is very effective in the slot, could move inside in nickel situations. But slot corners don’t get paid as well as outside cover guys so this may be a sticky situation for new defensive backs coach Torian Gray to navigate.

Had Dunbar not stepped up and volunteered to switch from wide receiver to cornerback after a rash of injuries at the position a couple of years ago he might not be in the NFL now. As it is, he is a solid option in dime situations.


On the bubble: Moreau, Holsey, Phillips

Moreau will be employed by the Redskins as of Week 1. The question is whether the third-round pick will be on the roster or on the PUP list. He is still rehabbing from a torn pectoral muscle he suffered during his pro day and he is not scheduled to take the field until late August. Will he be able to catch up in time?

Holsey’s chances of making it as a seventh-round pick will be bolstered if Moreau does end up on PUP. The early impression is that he could work his way onto the roster even if Moreau does make the 53.

Phillips went through it all last year. At various times, he was the starting nickel corner, benched, on the practice squad, and unemployed. He could be any of those when Week 1 rolls around this year.

Long shots: Randolph, Homer

The practice squad seems to be the best chance for these two undrafted players. Homer is a rookie, Randolph spent some time on the Redskins practice squad last year.

Redskins 2017 depth chart previews: Offensive tackle | Wide receiver | Interior O-line | Defensive line | Outside linebacker | Tight end  | Running back  | Inside linebacker  | Quarterback  

Stay up to date on the Redskins! Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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Jalen Ramsey has requested a trade. And Landon Collins has made public appeals to him before

Jalen Ramsey has requested a trade. And Landon Collins has made public appeals to him before

The Jacksonville Jaguars 2019 regular season has not gone according to plan.

In Week 1 against the Kansas City Chiefs, starting quarterback Nick Foles broke his clavicle and was placed on IR, and following a Week 2 loss to the Houston Texans, the team's star defensive back Jalen Ramsey has reportedly requested a trade.

Ramsey and head coach Doug Marrone got into it verbally during the loss to Houston and according to multiple reports, the fractured relationship could expedite a potential trade.

The Jaguars are reportedly asking for at least one first-round pick in return for the two-time Pro Bowl cornerback.

It's worth noting that Ramsey's agent, David Mulugheta, also represents Redskins Dwayne Haskins and Landon Collins. Collins tweeted at Ramsey back in April, jokingly recruiting Ramsey to D.C. after Jaguars' VP of Football Operations Tom Coughlin called out Ramsey for missing voluntary offseason workouts and the latter responded

Ramsey, who was the fifth pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, is currently looking for a new contract. He is currently in the fourth year of his rookie deal and the Jaguars have picked up his fifth-year option in 2020.


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Jay Gruden address comments that he doesn't like AP's running style: 'You want north-south running backs'

Jay Gruden address comments that he doesn't like AP's running style: 'You want north-south running backs'

In the early stages of Sunday's Redskins-Cowboys clash, FOX Sports' Pam Oliver dropped a bombshell on the broadcast.

"Jay Gruden, to be perfectly clear, he is still not in favor of Peterson's strength, which is a north-south running style," Oliver said. "He feels like it limits the offense and gives the defense way too many opportunities."

If true, that helps explain the decision the Redskins head coach made prior to Week 1, making the 34-year-old and future Hall of Fame running back a healthy scratch for the first time in his career.

What it doesn't explain is the reasoning behind it. Peterson, who was signed just a couple of weeks prior to the 2018 season, ran for over 1,000 yards for the Burgundy and Gold a season ago, earning the team's Offensive Most Valuable Player award.

In an exclusive one-on-one interview with Gruden, NBC Sports Washington's JP Finlay asked the head coach about Oliver's comments.

Gruden refuted the claim. 

"You want north-south running backs. I don’t think you want east-west backs, that’s for sure," Gruden said. "[Peterson] is a north-south runner....when he gets going north-south, what that does is creates a physical mentality for our offense. Our linemen love it, and it opens up our play-action passes. We do love north-south backs.”

What the fifth-year head coach did touch on, however, is the limited amount of plays that the offense can run with Peterson is in the game. That could explain the origin of where Oliver's comments came from. 

"[Peterson] is a north-south runner," Gruden said. "What that does, sometimes, ya know it’s hard when he’s in the game, like yesterday we were in 11 personnel and they but base on the field and said ‘heck you’re just not going to run it’ and you know we had to throw it." 

It's no secret that Gruden prefers a running back that can be involved in the passing game as well. While Peterson has improved in that facet, the Redskins other options -- Chris Thompson, Wendell Smallwood, and even the injured Derrius Guice -- are currently better pass-catching backs.

Of the Redskins 62 offensive snaps, Thompson, the best pass-catching running back of the bunch, was the one who played the most. Peterson played just 18 snaps, 29 percent of the team's offensive plays.

The flow of the game also could have affected this, as the Redskins found themselves trailing for the majority of the afternoon. 

Still, Gruden insists that there's a role for Peterson in the offense.

"You know, he played last year and had a thousand yards, so..." he said.

Regardless of who the running back has been for the Burgundy and Gold thus far in 2019, they largely have been ineffective.

Against Philadelphia, Guice mustered just 18 rushing yards on 10 carries. Peterson received the same amount of carries in Week 2 vs. Dallas and didn't perform much better. Sure, he found the end zone, but was not a factor otherwise, rushing for a total of just 25 yards.

Through the first two games, the Redskins have been outrushed 336-75. That is not a winning formula by any means.

When asked why the rushing attack has been so poor in 2019, Gruden couldn't point to one specific reason.

"Combination of things," Gruden said. "Philadelphia, we tried to run the ball in the second half and we had a negative play and a holding penalty. You know, there are things that take you out of the running game, and then you lose the lead and you have to try and play a little bit faster, play a little bit of catch up and you aren’t able to run the ball. So, we haven’t been able to stick with the run for four quarters and we haven’t had enough production out of the running game."

That must change immediately, starting next Monday against Chicago, if the Redskins want to turn their season around. Gruden is confident that it will.

"We had a couple of good hits, AP had a couple of good hits [Sunday] against Dallas, we can build off of that," he said. "But I also think that when you have a new left tackle and a new left guard coming in for the first time and you have the tight end issues we’ve had a little bit, I think we’ll get there."