Redskins

Quick Links

Redskins Playbook: 3 team goals before OTAs come to a close

Redskins Playbook: 3 team goals before OTAs come to a close

This week marks the conclusion of OTAs. 

Redskins' players will voluntarily work out together this week, and then host mandatory minicamp next week before the longest break in action of the offseason until training camp opens in late July in Richmond. 

Before the Redskins start minicamp, there are three things the team should be sure to accomplish.

This isn't the time to sweat roster cuts, especially as cutdown day has moved later into the preseason schedule.

Now is the time for the Redskins to figure out some internal workings and develop plans for the 2017 season.

NFL POWER RANKINGS: WHO GOT BETTER AFTER THE DRAFT?

  • Timing is everything - Kirk Cousins will be without his top two receivers from 2016, and he needs to develop timing and trust with his new pass catchers. Watching limited offensive drills, it seems like Cousins is already leaning on Terrelle Pryor, and how the pair can perform will go a long way towards the team's success in 2017. The emergence of Josh Doctson will also be telling, and where Cousins begins to find the second year wideout on the field. Developing timing can take months, or even years, but Cousins previous work in Florida with Pryor and Doctson, along with the OTA sessions, could go a long way. 

 

  • Lining up - The Redskins don't need to figure out their defensive line in June, but the team needs a strategy for improvement after a poor performance up front in 2016. Rookie Jonathan Allen seems likely to start right away at defensive end, and free agent addition Stacy McGee should do the same on the opposite side. Questions remain at nose tackle (don't they always) but now is the time the Washington brass needs to look past what players they have to play D-line, and begin to come up with a rotation and strategy to deploy the talent. 

 

  • New for everybody - Once the Redskins get to Richmond for training camp, the coaching staff must have very clear instructions and goals. Right now, however, new members of the coaching staff are getting their first extended work with many of the players. While the offense lost coordinator Sean McVay, the terminology remains the same and Jay Gruden will take back over playcalling duties like he did earlier in his Redskins tenure. Defensively a lot has changed, as new position coaches are working in throughout the roster. As much as OTAs give the players a chance to work with new coaches like Torrian Gray and Jim Tomsula, it's also a chance for the coaches to get to know their players. 

ROSTER BATTLES: Left guard | Tight end Nickel cornerback  | Inside linebacker | Running back

Always something on social:

Want more Redskins? Click here to follow JP on Facebook and check out @JPFinlayCSN for live updates via Twitter! 

Click here for the #RedskinsTalk on Apple Podcasts, here for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!

Quick Links

Need to Know: The Redskins' best players who are 25 or younger

preston_smith_vs_nyg_usat.jpg
USA Today Sports Images

Need to Know: The Redskins' best players who are 25 or younger

Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, June 17, 39 days before the Washington Redskins start training camp.  

The best Redskins players 25 or younger

Here is a look at the best Redskins players who have played at least one season and will be 25 or younger as of Week 1 this year. 

WR Jamison Crowder, 25 as of Week 1—Crowder hit the ground running in his first year, with 59 receptions, a team rookie record, and gaining 604 yards. He has been very dependable in his three years, averaging 64 catches, 747 yards, and four receiving touchdowns per year. 

OLB Preston Smith, 25—Since he came into the league, no player but Smith has at least 20.5 sacks, three or more interceptions, and four or more forced fumbles. His sack numbers tend to be up and down from week to week, but Jay Gruden has said more than once that Smith is very consistent in getting pressure on the quarterback even if he doesn’t always get home for the sack. 

DL Matt Ioannidis, 24—A year ago it was thought that he would face an uphill battle to make the 53-man roster. Now goes into the season as a starter and key contributor. The 2016 fifth-round pick got much stronger between his first and second seasons and he took well to the coaching of new defensive line coach Jim Tomsula. Only a broken hand that cost him two games and had him playing with an awkward cast for a few more kept him from threatening to make double-digit sacks. 

DL Jonathan Allen, 23—The Redskins were just starting to get a hint of what Allen could do early in the season. Pro Football Focus credited him with a total of three sacks in the Redskins third and fourth games. But in their fifth game, he suffered a foot injury that ended his season. Allen was a full go for the offseason program and there is no reason to think that he won’t pick back up right where he left off. 

S Montae Nicholson, 22—Like Allen, Nicholson’s rookie season was shortened due to injuries. He took advantage of the absence of anticipated starter Su’a Cravens and made an impact from the beginning. While the 2017 fourth-round pick and free-agent pickup D.J. Swearinger were in the lineup the decade-long struggles the Redskins have had at the safety position were suddenly gone. 

Best of the rest: WR Josh Doctson (25), C Chase Roullier (25)

It should be noted that DL Daron Payne turned 21 in May and RB Derrius Guice will the 21 later this month so they could be joining this list soon. Assuming those two start, the Redskins will have nine quality starters aged 25 or younger this year. 

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  @TandlerNBCSand on Instagram @RichTandler

Tandler on Twitter

Timeline  

Redskins wide receiver Jamison Crowder was born on this date in 1993. 

Days until:

—Training camp starts (7/26) 39
—Preseason opener @ Patriots (8/9) 53
—Roster cut to 53 (9/1) 76

The Redskins last played a game 166 days ago. They will open the 2018 NFL season at the Cardinals in 84 days. 

In case you missed it

 

Quick Links

Trent Williams has really good things to say about Alex Smith and Derrius Guice

Trent Williams has really good things to say about Alex Smith and Derrius Guice

The most significant thing to come from Trent Williams' spontaneous chat with the media on Wednesday is that the left tackle expects to be ready for training camp.

But two other topics Williams covered while talking were his initial impressions of new teammates Alex Smith and Derrius Guice. 

And while having one player compliment other players in the offseason is the second-most common thing in the NFL behind the Browns losing games, No. 71 went beyond the normal, clichéd positivity you're used to hearing. 

He was first asked about Smith, a QB he'd only met at the Pro Bowl until these offseason sessions in Ashburn.

“He’s a winner," Williams said. "As you all know, you don’t win in this league without a quarterback, so us being able to have one and have one right now, it does everything for our team and our attitude and the faith we have to win."

Next came a question about Guice, the rookie who looks like the most talented running back to date that Williams will have the pleasure of blocking for. What are his thoughts on the LSU product?

"When you watch him on film it's like he's been here before," Williams observed. "He's a specimen."

As for the 'Skins being able to snag Guice where they did in the draft, the 29-year-old admitted he was quite surprised.

"Extremely lucky to get him in the second round," he said. "I don't know how that happened... It's not going to take very long before people recognize him as an elite NFL talent."

Williams is coming off of surgery, will turn 30 in July and, during last season, spoke about how the injuries he constantly fought through started to take a toll on him. Ready to hear something sad? He's never won a playoff game.

So, for a veteran who's aging like him and who hasn't captured anything of signifigance yet, having confidence and trust in his backfield is paramount. Fortunately, judging by the quotes above, it sounds like Williams is already there when it comes to Smith and Guice.

MORE REDSKINS NEWS