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Redskins LB Su'a Cravens staying focused, trying to be 'assignment perfect'

Redskins LB Su'a Cravens staying focused, trying to be 'assignment perfect'

The Redskins are not getting as much out of this year’s draft class as they did out of the class of 2015 when five picks played prominent roles as rookies. This year’s first-round pick, WR Josh Doctson, had two receptions before landing on injured reserve. Fifth-rounder DL Matt Ioannidis started the year on the practice squad, was brought up in Week 3, and he has played OK in 47 snaps on defense. QB Nate Sudfeld has yet to be active and seventh-round picks LB Steven Daniels and RB Keith Marshall have been in injured reserve all year.

Saving the draft class from being a total short-term flop are CB Kendall Fuller, who was taken in the third round and has been doing a good job as the slot corner, and LB Su’a Cravens.

Cravens has had a remarkable impact this year considering he has played just 134 snaps, about a third of the team’s total defensive plays this year. His lunging interception of an Eli Manning pass late in the Redskins’ Week 3 game against the Giants saved the team’s first win of the year. Against the Bengals in London he had a sack and he knocked down a pass in the late going, helping his team hang on for a tie in that game.

“I think I did alright,” said Cravens when asked to assess his season so far. “Obviously I’m a rookie and I’m going to make my mistakes but I think I’ve made the plays I’ve had the opportunity to. I know my playbook and I think I’m getting a little bit more comfortable out there with a lot more on my plate.”

Since coming to the team Cravens has said that his goal is to be “assignment perfect”. He’s not quite there yet.

“I think I average one mental error a game,” he said. “I’m getting there but I shouldn’t have any. If you ask me in college I’d say I didn’t have any mental errors. I’m trying to get back to that point.”

In addition to the fact that he is designated as primarily a nickel situation player, one of the reasons why Cravens’ snap count is relatively low is that he missed two games after suffering a concussion in Week 4. He also missed a lot of practice time after sustaining that injury. That has slowed his development somewhat, according to defensive coordinator Joe Barry.

“You know, that concussion was a little bit of a setback for him,” said Barry. “You’ve heard me stand up here before—with any player, but especially with young players, especially guys that are as young as 21 years old like he is, he needs to play. He needs to practice. He needs every single rep. So it was a little bit of a setback for him when he missed—what did he miss, two or three weeks. But Su’a is a gym rat. He loves football. He loves working at it. He loves practicing.”

Cravens knows there’s nothing he can do about the missed time. He will continue working on the same things he has been working on all year.

“Be focused, be a professional,” he said of his path going forward. “Just because you’re not on the field doesn’t mean you’re not a football player. I know it doesn’t define me but part of being a professional is being one on and off the field and I’m learning that.”

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Fans, Redskins pay tribute to longtime NBC Sports Washington reporter Rich Tandler

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NBC Sports Washington

Fans, Redskins pay tribute to longtime NBC Sports Washington reporter Rich Tandler

NBC Sports Washington lost an important piece of its family this week when longtime Redskins reporter Rich Tandler died on Tuesday. He was 63.

Tandler joined NBC Sports Washington in 2011. He began his writing career in his 40s after working in restaurants and created his blog, Real Redskins, in 2004, which became the longest-running blog on the team. He also wrote three books on the Redskins and posted an estimated 2,300 consecutive “Need To Know” posts, becoming a must-read for Redskins fans as part of their morning routine.

“We’re devastated to learn of the loss of one of our most loved and valued media members, Rich Tandler of NBC Sports Washington,” Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder said in a statement. “His dedication to covering the Redskins over the past 14 years has made him an irreplaceable presence among our media corps, and he will be in our hearts. Our thoughts are with his family, our family at NBC Sports Washington, and the entire Redskins community. He will be truly missed.”

The team will hold a moment of silence for Tandler before its game against the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday and will keep his regular seat on press row empty. On Wednesday, Redskins quarterback Alex Smith offered his “thoughts and prayers to his family.”

“Rich’s kind and warm nature made him a good friend and an especially close colleague to many of us at NBC Sports Washington,” NBC Sports Washington General Manager Damon Phillips said in a statement. “His passion for his work and the Redskins was inspiring and made him a critical part of many of our successes over the past seven years. This is a very big loss for the sports community. Our thoughts are with his family and his many friends.”

Fans, Redskins players, fellow reporters, and friends of Tandler paid tribute to him on social media.

“Incredibly saddened by the sudden passing of NBCSW’s Rich Tandler. He was a great talent and an important voice in the DC sports community. Our thoughts are with his wife @MissSkeetersmom, his family and his family at @NBCSWashington,” Washington Wizards and Capitals owner Ted Leonsis wrote on Twitter.

 

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2018 NFL Power Rankings: Patriots prove they still got it, Rams remain top dog

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USA Today

2018 NFL Power Rankings: Patriots prove they still got it, Rams remain top dog

In a thriller in Foxboro, the Patriots handed Kansas City its first loss of the season.

It wasn't pretty but the Rams slipped past the Broncos to remain the lone unbeaten in the NFL.

Remember when the Lions beat New England on Sunday Night Football and folks were ready to bury the Patriots? Yeah... how did that 'hot take' work out?

CLICK HERE FOR WEEK 7 NFL POWER RANKINGS

Will the real Redskins please stand up? A win over the Panthers moved the Skins up three spots. Give the Redskins this, they are consistently unpredictable.

The Ravens are on the rise and Marcus Mariota is happy the Titans won't have to play Baltimore again.

So the Cowboys have an offense now? Or does Jacksonville not have an elite defense anymore?

And the Bears let Brock Osweiler throw for 380 yards. Yes. You read that correct. 380 yards. 

How far will the Bears drop because of that dreadful defensive performance? 

CLICK HERE FOR WEEK 7 NFL POWER RANKINGS