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'You run the ball, that's what you've got to do'

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'You run the ball, that's what you've got to do'

'Stingy' is a word often used to describe the Steelers defense. 

When it comes to yardage, the Steelers have allowed 92.5 rushing yards per game placing them 9th in the league and Pittsburgh ranks second overall against the pass allowing an average of 195 yards per game in their first seven contests.

Washington, however leads the league in rushing yards in both yards per game with 177.7 and cumulative mileage of 1244 yards puts the burgundy and gold first in the league for total yards.

How does rookie running back, Alfred Morris, who is just a yard shy of leading the league in rushing yards behind, Houston's Arian Foster, expect to win the rushing battle at Heinz Field?

By simply 'out rushing them' Morris said with a laugh Thursday.

A back who prides himself on his 'durability and toughness,' Morris isn't preparing for the match-up versus the 'Steel Curtain' any differently, 

"We played some of the top defenses thus far…it's always going to be a challenge, but we look forward to that challenge…it's definitely going to be a nice clash come Sunday."

As for fullback, Darrel Young? The game plan hasn't changed for him either. 

"…Same way we were preparing for Tampa, when they were the best. I mean, you run the ball that's what you gotta do…can't be afraid to not do something that you are doing well. They have to worry about stopping us, that's the way I look at it…

We just got to tackle them just like we did in pre-season last year. We just got to do it again," Young said with a wry smile.

The Redskins won that contest on the road, 16-7. One would argue it was 'just' pre-season, but the Steelers haven't seen Morris yet or that other rookie, Robert Griffin III...

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Drafting a first round QB outside of the top two picks has largely backfired

Drafting a first round QB outside of the top two picks has largely backfired

Deshaun Watson and Patrick Mahomes are two quarterbacks who were taken in the middle of the 2017 NFL Draft's first round, and they serve as two recent examples that you don't have to have a pick at the top of that round to land a star passer.

Problem is, they're basically the only recent examples, too.

In the past decade, teams who've tried to find their franchise signal-caller in the first round outside of either the first or second pick have failed time and time again. Since 2009, those prized QBs have mostly been selected No. 1 or No. 2 overall or mined beyond the first round. 

The following list, compiled by Redskins Talk co-host Mitch Tischler, shows how many mediocre to straight-up bad options franchises have found using picks 3-32:

  • Mark Sanchez — 2009 pick No. 5 — 37-36 career record
  • Josh Freeman — 2009 pick No. 17 — 25-36 career record
  • Tim Tebow — 2010 pick No. 25 — 8-6 career record
  • Jake Locker — 2011 pick No. 8 — 9-14 career record
  • Blaine Gabbert — 2011 pick No. 10 — 13-35 career record
  • Christian Ponder — 2011 pick No. 12 — 14-21-1 career record
  • Ryan Tannehill — 2012 pick No. 8 —42-46 career record
  • Brandon Weeden — 2012 pick No. 22 — 6-19 career record
  • EJ Manuel — 2013 pick No. 16 — 6-12 career record
  • Blake Bortles — 2014 pick No. 3 — 24-49 career record
  • Johnny Manziel — 2014 pick No. 22 — 2-6 career record
  • Paxton Lynch — 2016 pick No. 26 — 1-3 career record
  • Patrick Mahomes — 2017 pick No. 10 — 13-4 career record
  • Deshaun Watson — 2017 pick No. 12 — 14-8 career record
  • Sam Darnold — 2018 pick No. 3 — 4-9 career record
  • Josh Allen — 2018 pick No. 7 — 5-6 career record
  • Josh Rosen — 2018 pick No. 10 — 3-10 career record
  • Lamar Jackson — 2018 pick No. 32 — 6-1 career record
     

That list is one the Redskins — who own the 15th pick in the 2019 draft and who are beginning to be linked heavily to Kyler Murray — should pay close attention to.

The 2018 class is too young to judge, and as mentioned earlier, the 2017 class is providing quality returns. But none of the other names on that list have turned into anything useful, not to mention anything resembling special.

Of course, if you go back farther into the past, you'll find that QBs like Matt Ryan, Ben Roethlisberger and Philip Rivers were snagged during the meat of the first round, so it's not impossible. However, the last 10 years have shown it can be very difficult to nail a pick in that range.

The logic feels simple: The truly elite talents, such as Cam Newton, Andrew Luck, Carson Wentz and Jared Goff, are snatched up immediately. The QBs who are found in the mid- to late rounds, meanwhile, are given more time to develop and/or find themselves on rosters that have been built up more.

Those non-elite first-rounders, on the other hand, are generally caught in between: not skilled enough to help turn around a team singlehandedly but, because they're high investments, they're forced into those tough situations and end up floundering.

There's no doubt that the 'Skins need a new hope under center. Where they should commit to that hope, though, is something that must be considered.  

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Daron Payne's outstanding rookie season rewarded with first-team PFWA honors

Daron Payne's outstanding rookie season rewarded with first-team PFWA honors

After being selected as the No. 13 overall pick in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft to fortify Jim Tomsula's defensive front, Daron Payne transformed what was considered an overlooked front line the year prior, establishing one of the NFC's premier defensive units.

Payne joins Da'Shawn Hand of the Detroit Lions (Alabama), Bradley Chubb of the Denver Broncos (NC State), and Marcus Davenport of the New Orleans Saints (UTSA) on this year's list as the only four defensive linemen to achieve the honor.

In his first 16 games for Defensive Coordinator Greg Manusky, Payne racked up 56 tackles, five sacks, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery.

Payne is the first member of the Burgundy and Gold to be named to PFWA's annual list since Brandon Scherff was given the honor in 2016. 

Here's the entire PFWA All-Rookie team:

Offense

QB – Baker Mayfield, (CLE)
RB – Saquon Barkley, (NYG); Phillip Lindsay, (DEN)
WR – Calvin Ridley, (ATL); DJ Moore, (CAR)
TE – Chris Herndon, (NYJ)
C – Billy Price, (CIN)
G – Will Hernandez, (NYG); Quenton Nelson, (IND)
T – Mike McGlinchey, (SF); Braden Smith, (IND)

Defense

DL – Bradley Chubb, (DEN); Marcus Davenport, (NO); Da’Shawn Hand, (DET); Daron Payne, (WAS)
LB – Darius Leonard, (IND); Roquan Smith, (CHI); Leighton Vander Esch, (DAL)
CB – Jaire Alexander, (GB), Denzel Ward, (CLE)
S – Jessie Bates, (CIN); Derwin James, (LAC)

Special Teams

PK – Jason Sanders, (MIA)

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