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Redskins Offseason Questions: Is Spencer Long the long-term answer at center?

Redskins Offseason Questions: Is Spencer Long the long-term answer at center?

The good news for the 2016 Redskins was that they didn’t collapse after winning the division the previous season as has been their pattern in the past. The bad news was that they didn’t take the next step and improve from a franchise that can compete to make the playoffs into one that is playing multiple postseason games year in and year out. That work begins right now for Jay Gruden, Scot McCloughan and the players.

In the coming weeks, Redskins reporters Rich Tandler and JP Finlay will examine the biggest questions facing the Redskins as another offseason gets rolling.

More offseason questions: What are resonable expectations for Josh Doctson? | Will there be a surprise salary cap cut? Should the Redskins defense switch to the 4-3?

Is Spencer Long the long-term answer at center?

Finlay: In a word: Yes. Long played well in 2016 before a rash of injuries hampered him later in the season. Coaches and teammates spoke highly of his blocking and ability to cal coverages at the line. In the locker room, he's respected and funny.

Jay Gruden and Bill Callahan talked about their desire to let the 'Skins O-line grow up and gel together, and with young players Brandon Scherff and Morgan Moses on Long's right flank, that's just what the team is doing. Further, once the team has to play Scherff and Moses, a contract for Long will seem like a relative bargain.

It seems highly unlikely Kory Lichtensteiger will come back to compete for the center spot, and there isn't another center on the roster. There is the off chance Washington would ask Long to move to left guard if Shawn Lauvao gets released, but the team spent a lot of time and resources training Long to play center. Why go back now?

Tandler: It has been pretty well established that Scot McCloughan had his sights set on Alabama center Ryan Kelly in the first round of last year’s draft. Fortunately, the Colts took Kelly a few picks before the Redskins went on the clock. Long’s progress at the position shows that a Kelly pick would have been a wasted pick.

The point is not Long will have a better career the Kelly. For all we know, Kelly may go on to have multiple All-Pro seasons. But while you want to have a good center there isn’t much added value in having a great center. Sure, Alex Mack helped the Falcon’s line gel. But unlike the Redskins Atlanta didn’t have a fourth overall pick (Trent Williams) and a fifth overall pick (Brandon Scherff) to do that.

Again, Long is not going to end up with a bust in Canton. But he is a more than adequate center and it would make no sense for a team with as many needs as the Redskins have to use more resources to try to upgrade the position. He’s up for a contract extension and the organization should lock him up and move on to improving other areas. 

 

<<<LOOKING AT REDSKINS DRAFT PROSPECTS>>>

Want more Redskins? Check out @JPFinlayCSN and @Rich_TandlerCSN for live updates or click here for the #RedskinsTalk Podcast on iTunes, here for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!

 

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Redskins need to stop Cowboys' Cole Beasley to win in Week 7

Redskins need to stop Cowboys' Cole Beasley to win in Week 7

When the Redskins take on the Cowboys on Sunday in Week 7, there's one player NBC Sports Washington's resident GM Charley Casserly says they need to contain in this week's "Matchup to Watch."

The player: Wide receiver Cole Beasley

The comparison: Randall Cobb (Packers), Jamison Crowder (Redskins)

Who will cover him: Casserly's guess? Fabian Moreau

The key for the Redskins: Get physical with him. "Jam Beasley off the line of scrimmage," Casserly says, "reroute him and be physical with him."

Click "Play' in the video box above to watch Charley Casserly's full Redskins vs. Cowboys Matchup of the Week.

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Redskins vs. Cowboys Week 7: Time, TV channel, Live Stream, How to Watch

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USA Today

Redskins vs. Cowboys Week 7: Time, TV channel, Live Stream, How to Watch

Most Redskins fans wait all year for this particular Sunday, the Cowboys are coming to Fed Ex Field

The problem is the Redskins have not faired well in this rivalry over the last few years. The Cowboys have won five straight and eight of 10 against the 'Skins. Dallas has struggled away from Jerry's World this season, going 0-3 in road games. 

The Cowboys offense exploded against the Jacksonville Jaguars, one of the top defenses in the NFL. Ezekial Elliott rushed for 106 yards and a touchdown. Dak Prescott was effective through the air and on the ground, rushing for 82 yards and touchdown and throwing for a pair of scores. Prescott connected with Cole Beasley nine times for 101 yards and both touchdowns.

Dallas' offense isn't cured yet. The Cowboys still remain 29th in the NFL in total yards per game.

The Cowboys strength is on defense. Dallas is second in the league in points allowed per game (17.2) and fourth in yards allowed per game (315.2). Demarcus Lawrence can wreak havoc coming off the edge. He has 5.5 sacks this season. The Cowboys MLBs of Jaylon Smith and Leighton Vander Esch have been very active this year, both ranking in the top 10 in tackles. 

That's what the Redskins have to deal with in Week 7.

To get you more fired up, CLICK HERE for the 10 most-hated Cowboys of all time.

REDSKINS vs. COWBOYS WEEK 7

Who: Washington Redskins (3-2) vs. Dallas Cowboys (3-3)

What: Game 6 of the 2018 NFL regular season

When: Sunday, October 21, 2018 at 4:25 p.m. ET.

Where: FedEx Field. Landover, Md. 

TV Channel: CBS (Jim Nantz, Tony Romo, Tracy Wolfson)

Live Stream: Watch Now with fuboTV - Try free trial. You can also watch pregame and postgame coverage streaming on NBCSportsWashington.com

Radio: Redskins Radio Network

Weather Report: Partly Sunny, 55 degrees. Wind gusts up to 25 mph.

REDSKINS vs. COWBOYS TV SCHEDULE:

8:00 AM: Pro Football Weekly
8:30 AM: Redskins Nation
9:00 AM: Redskins 100
9:30 AM: Redskins Kickoff Preview
10:00 AM: Redskins GameDay: D.C. Sports Live
11:00 AM: Redskins Coach's Show
11:30 AM: Inside the Redskins
3:30 PM: Redskins Kickoff Live
4:25 PM: Redskins vs. Cowboys (CBS)
7:30 PM: Redskins Postgame Live
8:30 PM: Redskins Overtime Live

REDSKINS 2018 REGULAR SEASON SCHEDULE

Week 1: Sun., 9/9, @ Arizona Cardinals (24-6, W)

Week 2: Sun, 9/16, vs. Indianapolis Colts (21-9, L)

Week 3: Sun., 9/23, vs. Green Bay Packers (31-17, W)

Week 4: BYE

Week 5: Mon., 10/8, @ New Orleans Saints, (43-19, L)

Week 6: Sun., 10/14, vs. Carolina Panthers, 1:00 p.m. (23-17, W)

Week 7: Sun., 10/21, vs. Dallas Cowboys, 4:25 p.m. (CBS)

Week 8: Sun. 10/28, @ New York Giants, 1:00 p.m. (FOX)

Week 9: Sun., 11/4, vs. Atlanta Falcons, 1:00 p.m. (FOX)

Week 10: Sun. 11/11, @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 1:00 p.m. (FOX)

Week 11: Sun., 11/18, vs. Houston Texans, 1:00 p.m. (CBS)

Week 12: Thu., 11/22, @ Dallas Cowboys, 4:30 p.m. (FOX)

Week 13: Mon., 12/3, @ Philadelphia Eagles, 8:15 (ESPN)

Week 14: Sun., 12/9, vs. New York Giants, 1:00 p.m. (FOX)

Week 15: Sun., 12/16, @ Jacksonville Jaguars, 1:00 p.m. (FOX)

Week 16: Sun., 12/23, @ Tennessee Titans, 1:00 p.m. (CBS)

Week 17: Sun., 12/30, vs. Philadelphia Eagles, 1:00 p.m. (FOX)

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