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Redskins hold on to progress in key stat but must improve going forward

Redskins hold on to progress in key stat but must improve going forward

In 2013 and 2014 the Redskins suffered through two of the worst back-to-back seasons in team history. They won a combined seven games (3-13 followed up by 4-12) and it wasn’t bad luck. The Redskins were outscored by 144 points in 2013, their worst point differential since 1961. The improvement was marginal in 2014 as they were only a touchdown better with a point differential of minus-137. That was the second-worst since the merger. (stats via the indispensable Pro Football Reference)

The 2015 Redskins outscored the opposition 388 points to 379. The net differential of plus-9 points wasn’t anything to write home about. But compared to the previous season it was a substantial improvement. Only twice since the merger have the Redskins had a larger year-to-year improvement in their point differential.

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The Redskins did improve their point differential this past season although the increase was minimal. They scored 396 points and gave up 383, a difference of 13 points.

However, having positive point differentials two straight seasons is something that the Redskins have not done in a while. Yes, it’s a low bar and it doesn’t warrant a parade down Pennsylvania Avenue, or even one down Loudoun County Parkway. But they haven’t been on the plus side of the points ledger in two straight seasons since 1999-2000.

That seems incredible but it shows the inconsistency that the franchise and its fans have suffered through since the team last won the Super Bowl in 1991. They haven’t had three straight seasons with a positive point differential since that era; Washington had four straight plus-points seasons from 1989-1992. Since then they were on the plus side in points in 1996-1997, the last time the team had back-to-back winning seasons, and in the aforementioned 99-00 seasons.

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You would like to see the team make more than baby steps. But the current situation is better than what the team experienced after the 2005 and 2012 seasons. Those teams went from having winning records and playoff spots to double-digit losses and negatives on the points ledger. Their ability to tread water won’t mean much unless they advance in 2017 but the state of the franchise has been such that what the Redskins have done these past two years represents progress.

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

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Arizona State punter Michael Turk dominates the bench press at NFL Combine

Arizona State punter Michael Turk dominates the bench press at NFL Combine

As far as reputations go in the NFL, punters are not generally known as the tough, strong guys on the team.

Arizona State punter Michael Turk is working to change that.

At the NFL Combine on Thursday, Turk stepped up to the bench press with 225 pounds on the bar waiting for him. What did he do? Just casually ripped off 25 reps.

Yes, you are seeing that correctly. A punter just put up 25 reps on the bench press. That number is impressive as is, for anyone of any position. However, let's put it in context to show just how strong Turk is.

Jadaveon Clowney, Chandler Jones and Rob Gronkowski are all known as some of the strongest humans to ever hit the football field. Their bench reps? 21, 22 and 23, respectively. Michael Turk, the punter, out-did them

Turk will need his legs to impress teams and scouts as he looks to head to the NFL, but he clearly has plenty of power in the upper body as well. If whatever team he lands on wants to run a fake punt, defenders won't have an easy time taking him down.

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Report: Trent Williams wants a new deal or a trade from Redskins

Report: Trent Williams wants a new deal or a trade from Redskins

INDIANAPOLIS -- While recent meetings between Redskins head coach Ron Rivera and disgruntled left tackle Trent Williams helped repair the relationship between star player and team, the situation isn't resolved.

In fact, Williams still wants to be traded if he can't get a new contract, according to a new report from NFL Network.

Williams did not play a single snap for Washington in 2019. Not one. That came as the result of a cancer scare that he didn't believe was adequately handled by the Redskins medical staff. He also lost trust in former team president Bruce Allen. Importantly too, Williams wanted a new contract with lots of guaranteed money. 

Rivera has overhauled the Redskins medical staff and Allen is obviously gone from the team, but the contract hurdles remain. 

For the Redskins a new deal for Williams might not make a lot of sense. He will turn 32 in July and hasn't played a full 16-game season since 2013. He's also a great player, so perhaps an extension could make sense. 

The best read on the situation is Williams likely won't play on his current contract, which has one-year remaining and a salary-cap charge of $14.5 million. None of that money is guaranteed. 

Right now, it seems like both sides are playing nice. The Redskins don't want to come out and say they're not going to pay Trent. And Trent's side doesn't want to come out and demand a trade. The meetings with Rivera and Williams mattered in that a resolution that pleases both sides is possible. 

What seems impossible, or at least unlikely at this point, is that Williams wears the Burgundy and Gold this fall unless a new contract emerges.

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