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Redskins’ Barry addresses defense's lack of 'takeaways'

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Redskins’ Barry addresses defense's lack of 'takeaways'

The Redskins have been playing some pretty good defense so far this season in terms of the raw numbers the NFL uses to rank defenses. They are second in yards allowed with 285 per game and eighth in scoring defense with 19.7 points allowed per game. In all, they are in the top 10 in 14 of the 18 major defensive stats the NFL tracks.

With a fairly small sample size this year, those numbers represent a solid improvement over 2014 when they allowed an average of 357 yards per game, 27.4 points per game, and were in the top 10 in just one of the 18 statistical categories. 

But it is hard to say that the Redskins are a top defense because of their low ranking in one, very important statistical category. They have just one takeaway, tied for last in the NFL with the Jaguars. Preston Smith’s sack, strip, and recovery in the third quarter of week 1 remains the team’s lone turnover. 

Excuse me, that’s takeaway, according to defensive coordinator Joe Barry. 

“We don’t call them ‘turnovers.’ We call them ‘takeaways,’” said Barry “We’re not taking the ball away right now ... It’s our job as defenders no matter if we’re rushing three, four, five or six, whether we’re playing man or zone or zero, takeaways are our duty to take the ball away.”

The Redskins 1-2 record could be better had the team been able to get a few more takeaways. They had at least two game-turning interceptions in their hands in Week 1 against the Dolphins but dropped them. 

It’s not a coincidence that the Redskins are also ranked low sacks. They have just four of them in three games, tied for 21st in the NFL. Sacks lead to turnovers directly by setting up plays like Smith’s against the Dolphins and indirectly by forcing the quarterback to get rid of the ball before he wants to. 

“I think we’ve pressured the quarterback fairly well,” said Barry. “You look at the Miami game, you look at the St. Louis game — the St. Louis game was a big point of getting [Nick] Foles off the spot. Now, you look at the final stat sheet from a sack standpoint, it wasn’t where you wanted but we affected the quarterback ... I’d tell you, our whole D-line room would tell you, ‘They’re greedy. We’re greedy. We want to sack the quarterback. We want to get after the quarterback.’”

Barry’s assessment seems to be fair. Against the Dolphins and Rams combined they had five QB hits and 23 hurries. That is decent pressure on the quarterback. 

Regardless, it doesn’t appear that Barry will be trying to dial up any new defensive calls to force more takeaways. 

“I’m a firm believer also there’s not some make-believe call that you can call to create a turnover,” he said. “It’s our job as defenders to take the ball away. Now sometimes, obviously, within the call, if there’s a breakdown on their part, sometimes takeaways happen a little bit more easier, but no, I don’t think there’s some magic call that you can call to create a turnover.”

There may not be any magic involved but the Kirk Cousins and company would surely benefit from having a short field to work with on occasion. The chances are that things will turn around at some point but the Redskins hope it will not be too late. 

MORE REDSKINS: Eagles game a big opportunity for Cousins to redeem himself

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Derrius Guice saw 'Avengers' on Monday night — and brought a bunch of Redskins fans with him

Derrius Guice saw 'Avengers' on Monday night — and brought a bunch of Redskins fans with him

Those who are worried about Derrius Guice's character picked up some added evidence when, on Monday night, the Redskins rookie invited a bunch of fans to watch Avengers with him in Ashburn.

Man, what is this guy's deal?

First of all, not everyone likes superheroes. So how did he know that those who joined him actually wanted to see Avengers?  Did he even ask? What if they wanted to see that really successful, really funny, really well-regarded Amy Schumer comedy, instead?

Then, there's the issue of Guice buying tickets and concessions for those who showed up.

Some people enjoy buying movie tickets — which are absolutely reasonably priced these days — and, as far as the concessions, seriously? Candy? Popcorn? He could've at least offered to buy something healthier, like broccoli. All movie theaters have broccoli.  

Thankfully, those who took Guice up on his invitation weren't grateful for the experience at all, which hopefully means this will be the last time he orchestrates a dastardly deed like this one:

At this point, it's a surprise Guice didn't slide even farther down in the draft, like to the 15th round. Unbelievable.

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Redskins G Arie Kouandjio likely out for the season

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USA Today Sports Images

Redskins G Arie Kouandjio likely out for the season

The news about Arie Kouandjio’s quad injury didn’t sound good when NBC Sports Washington broke it a couple of weeks ago. It didn’t sound any better when Jay Gruden said that they were seeking a second opinion. 

And now we have word that Kouandjio will be out for the season, per multiple media reports. While there was some initial hope that he might be able to play at some point this season, he is likely to be put on injured reserve soon. 

The corresponding move is expected to be the signing of guard Isaiah Williams, per JP Finlay of NBC Sports Washington. He spent training camp with the Redskins in 2016 and 2017 before being released in the final cuts. Last year he also spent time with the Chiefs and the Colts but he has yet to appear in an NFL game. 

At worst, the Redskins have lost their starter at left guard. Kouandjio was set to compete with Shawn Lauvao for that job. Lauvao, who has been the starter at left guard going into the season for each of the last four years, would have been tough to unseat, but the 26-year-old Kouandjio may have had the inside track.

And at best, the Redskins lost experienced depth. Last year, when injuries hit hard along the offensive line, Kouandjio was re-signed and he started six games. It’s tough to lose experienced depth before the players even put pads on.

We will see if the Redskins make a move to shore up the guard position. Over the next couple of weeks, teams will be evaluating their veteran players and their rookies to see if they have younger and cheaper options. That could lead to some serviceable players getting released or some quality options being put on the trading block. 

The Redskins likely are set to get four compensatory draft picks in 2019, which would give them a total of 11 selections. They certainly could afford to deal one of those picks if they are offered a chance to upgrade at left guard. 

More 2018 Redskins

- 53-man roster: Player one-liners, offense
- Tandler’s Take: Best- and worst-case scenarios for 2018
- The draft: Redskins should get 4 additional picks in 2019 draft
- Schedule series: Gotta beat the Cowboys

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 @TandlerNBCS.