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Should the Redskins re-sign Darrel Young?

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Should the Redskins re-sign Darrel Young?

 In less than a year, the Redskins completed a stunning turnaround, ascending from a laughingstock in 2014 to a division champion in 2015. But now comes the difficult part: taking that all-important next step and improving from a franchise that was fortunate to get into the playoffs to one that can do some damage once it gets there. And that work begins right now for Jay Gruden, Scot McCloughan and the players.

In the coming weeks, Redskins reporters Tarik El-Bashir and Rich Tandler will examine the 25 biggest questions facing the Redskins as another offseason gets rolling.

No. 21

Should the Redskins re-sign Darrel Young?

Tandler: Yes. Next question.

OK. I suppose we can go into a little bit more depth here. There is a legitimate decision that Scot McCloughan has to make here. Young is a free agent who averaged just seven snaps per game on offense. That’s nearly a 50 percent drop from his 2014 workload (13.4 snaps per game). He will be 29 in a couple of months and while that’s not ancient for a fullback it is at the point where a GM can contemplate “younger and cheaper”.

And even though the running game struggled mightily it was apparent that Jay Gruden did not think that using Young was a solution. When additional blocking was called for the Redskins usually put in Tom Compton, who was lined up in the tight end position but was really a third tackle. He played 13.5 snaps per game, about twice Young’s average workload. And Gruden preferred to use Compton even though that move essentially left the offense with just four eligible receivers in the game. Young has 44 career pass receptions for an average of 9.6 yards so unlike Compton he is someone to whom the defense must pay attention.

But even if Young doesn’t play much on offense he still is a valuable member of the team. He was by far the team’s most prolific special teams player, participating in 310 snaps, 57 more than anyone else on the team. He is the type of hard-working veteran that McCloughan likes to have around to set the example and he is a good locker room presence. Some fans may scoff and say the team should carry an extra linebacker or offensive lineman instead of a fullback on the 53-man roster but having players like Young on the roster matters.

El-Bashir: I’m leaning towards a ‘Yes’ on this one, as well.

Even though fullbacks are being phased out around the league, there are still situations where they’re useful such as goal-line and short-yardage, to name a couple. So even if Young isn’t going to play a big role on offense, there's always a need for a trustworthy veteran for those few important snaps. And Young, 28, is definitely that.

Although he didn’t score a touchdown last season, he’s proven in the past that he’s a threat. In fact, he racked up a combined nine touchdowns in 2013 and 2014 (six rushing and three receiving).

And you can’t ignore what Young meant to an improving special teams unit in 2015. In addition to leading the unit in playing time, he finished with five tackles, which was tied for the fourth most on the team.

Finally, Young is tough, intense and passionate about his job. And he shows up every day with a smile on his face. He’ll always grant an interview, too, win or lose. And while that doesn’t matter on the football field, it’s appreciated by his teammates because it mitigates the media burden on them.

I wonder if he’ll want to look around in free agency and see if he can find a team where he’ll get to play more on offense next season. In the end, though, I’ll be mildly surprised if he and the Redskins don’t hammer out an extension after six good years together.  

25 Questions series

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Redskins vs. Texans Week 11: Date, time, TV channel, live stream, how to watch

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Redskins vs. Texans Week 11: Date, time, TV channel, live stream, how to watch

Another week, another game where no matter what the Washington Redskins (6-3) will leave their game at first place in the division. 

This week the Redskins host fellow division leader, the Houston Texans (6-3) for a Week 11 match-up. Quite possibly, this could be the final week where Washington faces a team above .500 this season. 

Last week the Redskins gave up over 500 yards to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers but kept them out fo the end zone to preserve a victory. Since then though there was more talk about the fans in the stands than the players out on the field. 

Their injury situation is not much better as Dustin Hopkins is not 100 percent and Samje Perine is also out again for the 'Skins. Good news, though Trent Williams is going to try and gut it out

Houston is unlike any team the Redskins have faced this season, except for perhaps the Carolina Panthers. They have a balanced offense (rush and pass) and a stellar, star-studed defense. With DeShaun Watson, the Texans are never out of a game either. 

The all-time series between the Redskins and Texans is young. Sunday will mark only their fifth ever matchup ant it is tied at 2-2. Houston has won two straight in the series with the last win for the Redskins coming in 2006. 

REDSKINS vs. HOUSTON TEXANS WEEK 11

Who: Washington Redskins vs. Houston Texans

What: Game 10 of the 2018 NFL regular season

When: Sunday, Nov. 18, 2018, 1:00 p.m. ET

Where: FedEx Field, Landover, Maryland

TV Channel: FOX

Live Stream: You can stream Redskins Kickoff Live, Redskins Postgame Live and Redskins Overtime Live right here using the MyTeams by NBC Sports App.

Radio: Redskins Radio Network

Point Spread: Houston, -3

Over/Under: 42.5

Weather: 50 degrees, partly

REDSKINS vs. TEXANS TV SCHEDULE:

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 
12:00 PM: Redskins Kickoff Live (NBCSW+ and the MyTeams App)
4:00 PM: Redskins Postgame Live (NBCSW+ and the MyTeams App)
5:30 PM: Redskins Overtime Live (NBCSW+ and the MyTeams App)

Click here to access NBC Sports Washington's Channel Finder 

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. (20-17, W)

Week 8: Sun. 10/28, @ New York Giants, 1:00 p.m. (20-13, W)

Week 9: Sun., 11/4, vs. Atlanta Falcons, 1:00 p.m. (38-14, L)

Week 10: Sun. 11/11, @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 1:00 p.m. (16-3 W)

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: Sat., 12/22, @ Tennessee Titans, 4:30 p.m. (CBS)

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

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Redskins' D.J. Swearinger wants to show Texans 'what they missed out on'

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Redskins' D.J. Swearinger wants to show Texans 'what they missed out on'

In 2015, the Houston Texans cut D.J. Swearinger. And even in 2018, the Redskins safety hasn't forgotten it. 

"It's fun going against my former teams, showing them what they missed out on," Swearinger said this week.

Houston selected Swearinger out of the University of South Carolina in the second round of the NFL Draft. For two years he played fairly well in Houston, but when the staff switched over from Gary Kubiak to Bill O'Brien, things went wrong according to Swearinger. 

"Kubiak let me be myself, let me do whatever as long as I played ball," he said. "O'Brien was a control guy: 'You can't do this. You can't do that.'"

After his release in Houston, Swearinger played in Tampa for a brief period before a good landing place in Arizona. He played well with the Cardinals, and parlayed that experience into a three-year contract with the Redskins in the 2017 offseason. 

Since he's been in Washington, Swearinger has been an ideal teammate and leader. He credits the hard times, stemming from being cut in Houston, to the role he plays now. 

View this post on Instagram

#Houston I Appreciate Coach Gary Kubiak, Coach Wade Phillips, Coach Vance Joseph for Giving Me A Chance Of A Lifetime & Letting Me Be “Myself” My Rookie Year. When They Left My 2nd Year, the New Coaching Staff Would Always Worry About What I Was Doing Or Saying To Other Players 🤔🤔Well, the Young Swagg Had A Hard Time Adjusting To The New System Nor Did I Want To Play Linebacker Every Play, and I Also Was Late A Few Times Too Many...All Apart Of Growing Up & Learning To Be A Pro. There Was A MisUnderstanding With My Db Coach That Lead To Unprofessional Actions By My Head Coach (o’brien) That I Could No Longer Respect! Which Lead To Me Being Cut. That Same Coach Told Me I Would Be Outta The League In 3Years. Unfortunately, My God & Grind Had A Plan And Knew That 6years Later....I Would Make Him Eat His Words! #LiveIn5🤫 #2spoonzswagggu🥄🥄

A post shared by Dj Swearinger (@jungleboi_swaggg) on

With four interceptions this season, Swearinger is tied for the No. 2 spot in the NFL and is a huge part of the Redskins 6-3 start. Playing Houston will mean a lot for the emotional defensive back, especially in a week where emotions seem to be running high. 

Josh Norman and Swearinger voiced frustrations with Redskins fans for not packing FedEx Field for home games. The crowd has booed at times this season, and as Swearinger sees it, "the boos are dumb to me. Very dumb."

Whatever the crowd looks like on Sunday, it's a big opportunity for Swearinger to play against Houston, and against O'Brien. The Texans coach praised Swearinger's work in the years since his release. 

"I think every player that comes into the league, no matter who you are, it is a tough transition from college to professional football and then on top of that you have a coaching change and things like that, that DJ had to deal with," O'Brien said. "I think a lot of players go through that and DJ has obviously done a great job of coming into Washington and really performing at a high level."

This season, Swearinger has played against two of his former teams in Arizona and Tampa. The Redskins won both, and as an outside observer, it seemed like the wins mattered greatly to the safety.

It's rare for a player as young as 27-year-old Swearinger to have already played on four teams. He gets that, and doesn't love it. Against Houston, he can get another win, and the most important one of his three former teams.

"It’s going to be exciting," Swearinger said. "It’s going to be my first time getting a fair chance to face the team that drafted me."

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