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What happens to Redskins offense if Sean McVay leaves?

What happens to Redskins offense if Sean McVay leaves?

For months rumors swirled that Redskins offensive coordinator Sean McVay would draw interest for head coaching opportunities.

Those rumors came true this offseason, as McVay has already interviewed with the Rams for their vacant head coach position and will talk Monday with the 49ers about their top job.

It appears the talks with Los Angeles went well and the team is digging deep into the 30-year-old's background for more information.

Of course, McVay has lived a football life. He began his coaching career with Tampa in 2008 at just 22 years old, landed with the Redskins in 2010, and took over at offensive coordinator in 2014. Redskins players have said they have 'no doubt' about McVay's ability to coach a team, and it seems the question is more when than if he gets a head job.

And while that's all great news for McVay, what does it mean for the Redskins?

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Washington's offense is the strength of the team, and one of the more effective units in the NFL. The team ranked 3rd in the NFL in yards gained and quarterback Kirk Cousins threw for more than 4,900 yards, both significant improvements from 2015.

Chris Thompson, a fourth-year running back that took advantage of his opportunities in the Redskins system, said that losing McVay would be tough but should not cause major changes as the offensive design comes from head coach Jay Gruden.

"As far as the offense goes if anybody’s worried, it’s Sean and Coach Gruden incorporating their ideas together. It would be big just because it might put a little bit more on Coach Gruden. He may be in a situation where he might have to go back to play calling again," Thompson said. "It’s something that Coach Gruden is used to."

Play calling will be one area that McVay's absence could have a big impact. In 2014, Gruden called the Redskins plays despite being a rookie head coach. That task, along with running the whole team, proved to be somewhat of a burden and in 2015 Gruden shared play calling duties with McVay and offensive line coach Bill Callahan. 

This past season, though Gruden, Callahan and QB Coach Matt Cavanugh had input, play calling was exclusively the domain of McVay. The young coordinator got the credit when things went well, and took the heat when the Redskins offense bogged down. At times last year, the Redskins had a bad habit of getting away from the running attack, and McVay owned that when the criticism inevitably came.

After a December loss to the Cardinals in Arizona that saw the Redskins run less than 20 times despite averaging more than 4-yards-per-carry, McVay took the blame.

"I definitely feel like I could’ve been more patient on some of those early down and distances where you get a little bit pass-heavy. And that’s something that as a decision-maker and as a coordinator, I have to do a better job," he said.

It's that level of honesty and accountability that likely appeals to NFL owners when they look at McVay as a head coaching candidate.

For the Redskins, McVay is undeniably an asset, but his departure should not set the offense back with Gruden still running the ship.

'It’s pretty much his offense, so he’ll be comfortable with it I’m sure," Thompson said. 

RELATED: 2017 NFL MOCK DRAFT 1.0

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NFL Draft prospect Deionte Thompson to miss combine following wrist surgery

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NFL Draft prospect Deionte Thompson to miss combine following wrist surgery

Starting Tuesday, all 32 NFL teams will have a chance to asses some of the best talents in the upcoming draft at the NFL Combine. However, one of the better safety prospects available will be noticeably absent in Indianapolis.

University of Alabama safety Deionte Thompson will reportedly not participate in combine activities after having surgery on his wrist Friday to mend a torn ligament, according to NFL insider Ian Rapoport. Rapoport did mention that the injury is not believed to have a serious impact long-term. 

Thompson is coming off a junior season at Alabama in which he recorded two interceptions and 78 tackles while earning Consensus All-America honors.

As the draft approaches, the safety is being regarded as one of the better secondary options available for teams. In NBC Sports Washington's Ben Standig's latest mock draft, Thompson is projected to go 24th overall to the Oakland Raiders.

Though the projection doesn't have Thompson ending up as a member of the Burgundy and Gold, he is still a realistic option for the Redskins. With a few questions marks in the secondary following the departure of D.J. Swearinger Sr. and the unclear future of Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, the Redskins could very well see Thompson as a viable target at No. 15.

If Thompson's impending recovery time leads to his draft stock falling, there is a slight chance he may even be available in the second round when the Redskins pick at No. 46.

Currently, there is no timetable for his return. Alabama is scheduled to host its Pro Day on March 19, which could be the next time Washington and other teams will get a chance to evaluate Thompson.

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The Redskins' free agency strategy nets more 2019 compensatory picks than expected

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USA TODAY Sports

The Redskins' free agency strategy nets more 2019 compensatory picks than expected

It's a very small consolation, but on Friday, the Redskins finally picked up their compensatory third-round pick for losing Kirk Cousins in free agency last year.

That's not the only new selection they now have in their arsenal for the 2019 NFL Draft, though.

In addition to that third-rounder, Washington also netted a fifth-rounder, a sixth-rounder and a seventh-rounder, too. The four picks is a bit of a surprise, as most expected the Burgundy and Gold would be awarded with only three.

Bruce Allen has explained in the past how the 'Skins value compensatory picks, which teams receive based on the contracts their own free agents sign with new franchises. Last offseason, the Redskins saw Cousins, Ryan Grant, Spencer Long and Trent Murphy all cash in on the open market.

In total, Washington now has nine picks in the upcoming draft, with two each in the third, fifth and seventh rounds. They traded away their fourth-round spot for Ha Ha Clinton-Dix.

Losing homegrown players like Cousins and Co. is certainly not ideal, but by letting those types of guys depart, the Redskins do set themselves up for more swings in April. 

That part of the strategy has paid off. The next step? Making those picks count. 

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