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What can Meriweather bring to the Redskins?

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What can Meriweather bring to the Redskins?

It appears that Brandon Meriweather will take the field for the first time as a member of the Redskins. He was signed in the spring in hopes that he could take the spot of the departed LaRon Landry at free safety.

After suffering a knee injury in the second preseason game in Chicago, Meriweather was working to get ready for the season opener when he suffered a setback. Then he was set to play in Week 4 against the Bucs but a fluke pregame collision with receiver Aldrick Robinson reinjured the knee and he was back on the shelf.

Although it is not yet certain that he will play, Mike Shanahan said that he was “encouraged” by Meriweather’s progress. The safety himself said, “I’m feeling good about it” when he was asked if he would play against the Eagles.

If he does suit up and play, what will his role be? He might start at strong safety but it seems doubtful that he will play 60-70 snaps as is typical for defensive starters. Look for him to go more like 30 or 40 snaps as he works his way back into football shape.  

It would make sense to have Meriweather in the game on first down and in short-yardage situations. My observation on him in training camp is that he is very aggressive when he is moving forward but not very comfortable when backpedaling as one has to do in coverage. The Redskins might press the line of scrimmage daring Nick Foles to beat them and this style suits Meriweather’s game very well.

Reed Doughty and Jordan Pugh have been splitting snaps at strong safety in Meriweather’s absence. One of the two, probably Doughty, will spell Meriweather. It appears that DeJon Gomes, who was the starting strong safety for the first three games before the Doughty-Pugh combination took over, will be inactive as the odd man out.

Meriweather probably is not going to solve the Redskins’ coverage issues just by showing up. That is not his strong suit. The best case scenario is that he can help out some against the run and against the short passing game and that he might make a few plays that generate some excitement in the stadium and among the players.

How many times this year has a defensive back hit an opposing receiver hard enough to knock a reception out of his hands. I may be missing one or two but I can’t think of a single time. Meriweather is capable of bringing that type of aggressiveness to the Redskins’ secondary.

“We don’t look like we’re having fun,” he said said of the Redskins' defensive backs. “I think just the way I approach the game and the way I play the game, I think I bring a little more excitement.”

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Redskins vs. Jets Preseason Week 2: Date, time, TV channel, live stream, how to watch

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Redskins vs. Jets Preseason Week 2: Date, time, TV channel, live stream, how to watch

After a fight-filled start to joint practices between the Redskins and Jets, the Skins' 2018 NFL preseason schedule continues Thursday night at Fed Ex Field against New York. 

Week 2 of the NFL preseason still doesn't provide a lot of answers to questions about team performance, but it begins to reveal the depth the Redskins could have this season.

One storyline that won't be taking place, is the return of former Redskin Terrelle Pryor, who told reporters after Monday's practice he won't be playing in the game.

The Redskins have bigger things to worry about though, like who will replace rookie Derrius Guice, who's now out for the year with a torn ACL.

The Redskins also have one less name in the fight for receiver depth as well, after Robert Davis suffered a season-ending leg injury as well. 

Ahead of Thursday's preseason matchup, here's everything you need to know to watch.

REDSKINS vs. JETS, PRESEASON WEEK 2

Who: Washington Redskins vs. New York Jets

What: Game 2 of the 2018 NFL Preseason

When: Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018, 8:00 p.m. ET

Where: Fed Ex Field, Landover, MD

TV Channel: ESPN

Live Stream: Watch ESPN

Radio: Redskins Radio Network

Point Spread: Washington, -3

Over/Under: 39.5

Weather: 90 degrees, partly cloudy

REDSKINS vs. PATRIOTS TV SCHEDULE:

5:00 PM: Redskins 100
5:30 PM: Redskins Nation
6:00 PM: Best of the Sports Junkies
7:00 PM: Redskins Kickoff Live

REDSKINS 2018 PRESEASON SCHEDULE

Week 1: Thurs., 8/9, vs. New England Patriots, 7:30 p.m. (L, 26-17)

Week 2: Thurs., 8/16, vs. New York Jets, 8:00 p.m. (ESPN)

Week 3: Fri., 8/24, vs. Denver Broncos, 7:30 p.m. 

Week 4: Thurs., 8/30, vs. Baltimore Ravens, 7:30 p.m. 

MORE REDSKINS NEWS

 

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Need to Know: How many Redskins starters will take the field against the Jets?

Need to Know: How many Redskins starters will take the field against the Jets?

Here is what you need to know on Thursday, August 16, eight days before the Washington Redskins host the Broncos in their third preseason game. 

Talking points

It’s Thursday, so it’s time to play everybody’s favorite game, "Who the Heck is Going to Play in Tonight’s Preseason Game?

Jay Gruden has been able to play the game well, at least from his point of view. His goal is to tell the media as little as possible about his playing time plans. 

"I think defensively we will probably go that route,” Gruden said when asked if the starters will play against the Jets. “We’ll see offensively. We will wait and see who’s available to us due to injury and we’ll make that decision soon."

Let’s look at what this means for the defense first. We are likely to see first-round pick Daron Payne get his first game action in a Redskins uniform. He was still recovering from an ankle injury when the Redskins played the Patriots a week ago, although only a handful of starters participated so he may not have played anyway. Jonathan Allen sat last week as well, and he should get some snaps tonight. 

On the other hand, Matt Ioannidis suffered knee and ankle injuries against the Patriots and probably will sit this one out. 

All four starting linebackers are healthy and could play. Ryan Kerrigan (14 snaps) and Preston Smith (18) played a few series in the second preseason game against the Packers last year. Zach Brown and Mason Foster both stuck around for 20 snaps. 

In the secondary, Josh Norman has been healthy and may play. D.J. Swearinger said earlier this week that he would like to play, but he has been sitting out some practices with a minor ailment, so he may be out. I would look for significant snaps to be played by Quinton Dunbar and, especially, new top nickel cornerback Fabian Moreau. 

On offense, the rehab schedule probably says that Jordan Reed, Trent Williams, and Morgan Moses are out. If the two starting tackles are out, you have to wonder if Gruden will put Alex Smith out there. I think that it’s likely that Smith will make his debut in a Redskins uniform, especially after he sat out last week, but it’s no sure thing. 

We should see the starting interior line of Shawn Lauvao, Chase Roullier, and Brandon Scherff as well as running back Rob Kelley. Paul Richardson is a good bet to line up at wide receiver, but Jamison Crowder and Josh Doctson may sit due to minor injuries

So, out of the currently anticipated 22 Week 1 starters, 15 should see action if Smith plays. That may not make the game worth the price of regular-season admission but we could have a quarter or so of reasonably good football. 

Bureau of statistics

Last year, 19 of the players who started in Week 1 against the Eagles started the second preseason game. 

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The agenda

Today: Redskins vs. Jets 8 p.m. ESPN

Upcoming: Preseason Broncos @ Redskins (Aug. 24) 8 days; Final cut (Sept. 1) 16 days; Season opener @ Cardinals (Sept. 9) 24 days

In case you missed it

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page,Facebook.com/TandlerNBCS and follow him on Twitter  @TandlerNBCS and on Instagram @RichTandler