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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. 

 

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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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Don't believe dumb Twitter rumors about the Redskins started by fake accounts

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USA Today

Don't believe dumb Twitter rumors about the Redskins started by fake accounts

Don’t believe dumb internet rumors. Start there. 

Sunday night some fake Twitter accounts tweeted that a trade between the Redskins and Lions was very close, a deal that would ship productive WR Marvin Jones from Detroit to Washington in exchange for unproductive former first-round pick WR Josh Doctson.

What is to believe here? Next to nothing.

Jones is under Lions control for two more seasons and makes about $7 million a year. That’s tremendous value for somebody that posted 1,100 yards and nine touchdowns two seasons ago. Doctson has exactly 1,100 yards in his three-year NFL career. 

There is some speculation that Jones could be on the outs in Detroit, mostly because of the hard charging style of head coach Matt Patricia. Jones also missed half of last season with a knee injury and is still working his way back, missing all of Detroit's offseason work.

Even if Jones is on the outs with Patricia, and there are worries about the knee, he would command more in a trade than Doctson, who only has one year left on his contract. 

This is from Detroit Free Press Lions reporter Dave Birkett's mailbag last week: "Jones has two years left on his contract at very reasonable salaries of $6.5 million per season. The Lions would be foolish to move on from him right now. He provides more than most players at his salary, and it’s not like there are suitable replacements out there. Jones spent all spring working with the rehab group and I expect him to have a strong season this fall. I can’t imagine the Lions moving on from him at this point, unless we hit October and they’re struggling to keep their head above water. If that happens, all bets are off."

This also seems like a pertinent time to mention that Washington team president Bruce Allen spent last week in France. 

Allen makes the trades for the Redskins. Allen is the boss. He was out of the country last week, and probably not fielding trade phone calls from Cannes. 

To be fair, there have been conversations inside Redskins Park about moving Doctson for more than a year, including in the weeks leading up to the trading deadline last season. He hasn't been moved, however, and his trade value is probably at an all-time low after Washington decided not to exercise a fifth-year team option on his contract earlier this offseason. 

Could Marvin Jones help the Redskins' receiving group? Absolutely. 

But a trade requires much more than that. 

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9 movies Redskins fans should watch to get ready for the 2019 NFL season

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Warner/Universal/Disney

9 movies Redskins fans should watch to get ready for the 2019 NFL season

Redskins training camp doesn't begin until July 25, so you've got some time and need some football content in your life to hold you over.

Luckily, there are plenty of football movies out there, just waiting for you to watch them. But which ones should top your queue?

Here are nine of the best football films you need to throw on, both because they're entertaining and because they'll get you fired up for the 2019 Redskins season.

Friday Night Lights

If you ever find one of these lists and it doesn't include Friday Night Lights, never visit that website again. The game action in this is truly fantastic and just what you need if you're having trouble waiting to see Landon Collins destroy an opposing receiver.

The Replacements

It's not going to be the most amazing piece of cinema you've ever seen, but it offers a chance to see Keanu Reeves do something other than play John Wick, and is loosely based on the Redskins' scabs who came up clutch in the 1987 campaign.

Jerry Maguire

So this one doesn't involve much on-field play. However, it's still a quality drama and features some stellar performances. Plus, one of its signature lines — "SHOW ME THE MONEY!" — might be what Trent Williams is telling the Burgundy and Gold these days, too.

Remember the Titans

Look, it's not the most complex or surprising movie. But Denzel Washington is compelling as usual, it covers an important issue and the cast has some enjoyable chemistry. 

Any Given Sunday

Did this need to be almost as long as a regular season contest? No. With that being said, the cast is loaded as are the cameos, and of course, Al Pacino's speech is a smash hit. 

The Blind Side

The Blind Side has a little bit of everything, from comedy to drama to some tear-jerking moments. Sandra Bullock leads you through it all by turning in a heck of a few hours portraying Leigh Anne Tuohy, and she later won an Academy Award because of her work.

Invincible

Yes, Washington supporters will have to stomach seeing a lot of Eagles uniforms, yet this movie about Vince Papale miraculously making Philadelphia's roster is worth it. And you can follow it up with It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia's Invincible-inspired episode.

Undefeated

You may not know this one, but you should. It's documentary-style and follows a high school football team in Memphis as they try to navigate the ups and downs of a season and of their academic and personal lives. It's superb. 

Draft Day

It's flawed in places, but Draft Day is better than many think it is. Also, it'll allow you to reflect on what looks like a very promising 2019 Redskins draft class, an activity that'll always be fun.

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