Over the past two seasons, Redskins kicker Billy Cundiff has prevented opposing teams from returning kickoffs a league-leading 84 times by booting the ball through the end zone for a touchback.On Saturday, Coach Mike Shanahan hinted that putting opposing teams at the 20-yard line will be the Redskins objective this season, rather than employing a directional kicking strategy and gambling that his stand out kick coverage unit can stop the returner short of the 20. (Last season, the Redskins kick coverage team limited opponents to 20.8 yards per return, the second best mark in the league.)Any time you can kick touchbacks, you let him kick touchbacks, Shanahan said of Cundiff on Saturday. The 20-yard line to start isnt great field position, so if you can get that done, that would be a good goal.In Wednesdays 30-3 preseason victory over Tampa Bay, Cundiff forced touchbacks on five of six kickoffs in his debut for the Redskins. Last season in Baltimore, Cundiff set an NFL record for most touchbacks in a season with 44.What you always do is look at your personnel, Shanahan said, asked if the team has changed philosophies on kickoffs. So, when you say philosophy, it all depends offense, defense or special teams what your guys can do best.
Even during this relatively quiet period of the NFL calendar, there's still plenty of controversy around the league.
Take Jacksonville for example, where Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey has been firing back at executive vice president Tom Coughlin for saying he wants every player to attend the team's voluntary offseason workouts. Ramsey, as you may have already guessed, has elected to skip these workouts.
Seeing an opportunity, new Redskins safety Landon Collins invited Ramsey to Washington via Twitter, going into full Suge Knight "Come to Death Row" mode to make his pitch.
@jalenramsey if you don’t want to be on a team where your VP.... is all in the media, all in your mentions, talking about voluntary workouts and questioning your work ethic...then come to the Redskins (Suge Knight voice) #HTTR (24 + 23 + 45 + 20 = 🔒🔒🔒🔒)— LANDON COLLINS (@TheHumble_21) April 19, 2019
Ramsey seemed quite amused by the prospect, but also didn't seem totally opposed to the idea of teaming up with Collins in D.C.
😂😂😭😭 love big brudda ✊🏾 https://t.co/4OmHlS1K6M— Jalen Ramsey (@jalenramsey) April 19, 2019
While it's unlikely Washington trades for Ramsey, nothing's stopping you from firing up the NFL Roster Builder and putting the two-time Pro Bowler in burgundy and gold, Redskins fans!
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For some reason — whether it's because they like another quarterback better, or because his college numbers don't exactly pop, or because he went to college at Duke — a ton of Redskins fans really don't like the idea of their team drafting Daniel Jones 15th overall.
In fact, its gotten to the point where some have even changed their handle on Twitter to names that reflect their anti-Jones stance.
In a Mock Draft Special on NBC Sports Washington's MyTeams app, though, Charley Casserly has the Redskins taking Jones at pick No. 15. Now, before you punt your phone or spike your laptop, hear Casserly out on what there is to like about Jones.
"He's the most pro-ready quarterback in this year's draft," the former GM explained. "Why do I say that? Vision and anticipation. Vision is the ability to see the field and go in a progression from one to two to three in the receivers. Anticipation — see the blitz coming, get it to the hot receiver, get the ball out before the receiver makes his break. He's very good at both of those things."
What Jones doesn't have, such as a top arm, is something you can see right away in workouts and on tape. But his strengths, such as his ability to find the right read or throw a wideout open, aren't as simple to notice.
Perhaps that's why 'Skins fans are so against him — because you have to do more projecting when it comes to his future as opposed to someone like Kyler Murray or Dwayne Haskins, guys with tons of college success and tape that will wow you.
Jay Gruden has mentioned this offseason how, if Washington does grab a QB, he expects that player to come in early and compete. They can't be treated like a minor leaguer, someone who can slowly work their way up to a place where they're ready for Sundays.
According to Casserly at least, Jones won't need much grooming. Maybe that catches Gruden's eye.
In his mock, the analyst slotted the Duke product to the Redskins instead of Missouri's Drew Lock due to, among other things, Lock not being as accurate. Other players the Burgundy and Gold could've selected but didn't were Brian Burns, Clelin Ferrell and DK Metcalf.
In the end, Casserly kept lauding Jones' readiness. In addition to his athleticism, Casserly expects Jones to come into the league and make a difference early with his eyes and his mind.
"Super smart guy," he said. "He's a natural at that stuff. That's not natural. That's stuff you have to learn."
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