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20 questions in 20 days: 4 Is the defense ready to carry the load?

20 questions in 20 days: 4 Is the defense ready to carry the load?

By Tarik El-Bashir and Rich Tandler
CSNwashington.com20 questions in 20 daysAs we count down to the first game of the Redskins season, Tarik El-Bashir and Rich Tandler are going to be looking at some of the big questions facing the team and attempting to look into their crystal balls and answer them.Question 5:Is the defense ready to carry the load?The background:The preseason focus has been on Robert Griffin III and rightfully so. Although expectations are high for Griffin, he is still a rookie quarterback and it is unreasonable to expect the offense to light up the scoreboard right away. If the Redskins are going to be successful the defense will have to keep the other team out of the end zone and do a better job of taking the ball away than it did last year (21 takeaways, 24thin the league).Tandler:The conventional wisdom is that the front seven, one of the best in the NFL, will have to cover for deficiencies in the secondary. And in this rare case the conventional wisdom is right. Any secondary is vulnerable if the quarterback has all day to throw and it could get ugly if the likes of Eli Manning and Drew Brees have the time to pick apart the shaky back end of Washingtons defense. Brian Orakpo needs to reach his potential as a pass rusher and Ryan Kerrigan and Perry Riley need to take steps forward in their second seasons as starters. But the front seven cant do it all. Josh Wilson and DeAngelo Hall will need to make plays when they have opportunities and Brandon Meriweather and Madieu Williams have be solid as the last line of defense. It seems to be a tall order.El-Bashir:When the Steelers switched to a 3-4 scheme under Bill Cowher in 1992, their defense jumped from 22nd to 13th to 3rd in the NFL in a span of three seasons. The Redskins made a similar switch two years ago under defensive coordinator Jim Haslett, and last season improved to 13th, up from 31st. But can the Redskins make a Steelers-like leap in 2012? The players are familiar enough. But are they talented enough? The concern is a secondary that recently lost hard-hitting safety Tanard Jackson to suspension. Cornerback DeAngelo Hall needs to bounce back from a subpar 2011 season, while his counterpart, Josh Wilson, needs to find consistency. Safeties Brandon Meriweather and Madieu Williams, meantime, need to be better than they were in the preseason. A unit, after all, is only a strong as its weakest link.20 questions in 20 days20 Aug.20Will Jammal Brown play this year?
19 Aug.21Will Chris Cooley make the team?
18 Aug. 22Can Brandon Meriweather get he job done at safety?
17 Aug. 23Is Garon a No. 1 receiver?
16 Aug. 24Can Trent Williams go from good to great?
15 Aug. 25Can DeAngelo Hall be a defensive playmaker?
14 Aug. 26Can Santana Moss regain his old form?
13 Aug. 27Can Orakpo post 15 sacks?
12 Aug. 28Will Leonard Hankerson break out?
11 Aug. 29Can the Redskins flip their turnover ratio?
10 Aug. 30How much can Hightower contribute this year?
9 Aug. 31Was making Billy Cundiff the kicker a good move?
8 Sept. 1Will Josh Morgan be worth the investment?
7 Sept. 2What can Jarvis Jenkins contribute?
6 Sept 3Is the offensive line depth good enough?
5 YesterdayWill a running back by committee work?
4 TodayIs the defense ready to carry the load?
3 TomorrowHow many wins is enough?
2 FridayHow much should RG3 run?
1 SaturdayCan RG3 . . . ?

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Redskins vs Buccaneers: 5 things to watch in game with major weather concerns

Redskins vs Buccaneers: 5 things to watch in game with major weather concerns

TAMPA - Originally scheduled for Thursday night, the Redskins and Buccaneers moved up their fourth and final preseason game to Wednesday night in advance of approaching Tropical Storm Nine. All the coverage starts on CSN at 7 p.m., and despite this being the last exhibition game, there is plenty to watch.

  1. Talk about the weather - This game was moved up 24 hours in a plan to get the Redskins out of Florida safely. Expect heavy rain to dominate the action; here's a preview from NOAA.gov website, "South wind 11 to 14 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70%. New rainfall amounts between 1 and 2 inches possible."
  2. How to move the ball - Many offenses are weather-proof, but few offenses are Tropical Storm proof. If the weather is significant enough - and most forecasts call for significant rain - it will be tough for either offense to move the ball, especially considering both offenses will be guided by mostly third-stringers. It will be tough for coaches to truly evaluate what happens Wednesday night if the weather is as bad as some predictions.
  3. Roster crunch - The Redskins cut veterans Perry Riley and Stephen Paea on Tuesday. That means good news for the newly-signed Cullen Jenkins as well as Terrance Garvin. Jenkins has been with the team less than a week, so it will be interesting to see if he even dresses for Wednesday's game. Garvin is a player that should play in Tampa, but it will be interesting to see how much the staff puts him on the field.
  4. Su'a show? - Most 2016 draft picks will play Wednesday in Tampa, though we know first-round rookie Josh Doctson will not play against the Bucs. What about second-round pick Su'a Cravens? After a strong training camp and preseason, Cravens is obviously part of the team's plans this fall. He figures to be on the field a lot when the games matter, so will Cravens be on the field when they don't?
  5. Keeping it real - Coaches will say all the right things about this game being about competition, and players will do the same. But considering a large portion of the Redskins team won't even make the trip from D.C. to Tampa for the fourth preseason game - due to weather - will the guys in Florida be truly ready for the game? It's such a unique situation that it's impossible to predict.

Stay with @JPFinlayCSN all day for updates -weather and otherwise - from Tampa. And tune into CSN @ 7 p.m. for live coverage from Raymond James Stadium. 

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Redskins Preseason Schedule: Week 4 vs. Buccaneers, Date, Time, TV Channel, Live Stream

Redskins Preseason Schedule: Week 4 vs. Buccaneers, Date, Time, TV Channel, Live Stream

The Redskins' final 2016 NFL preseason game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers has been moved a day earlier and will be held on Wednesday, August 31.

Impending incliment weather in the greater Tampa Bay area forced the NFL and the teams to schedule the game a day earlier.

Here is everything you need to know about the Redskins' Week 4 preseason game against the Buccaneers.

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Who: Washington Redskins at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

What: Week 4 of the 2016 NFL Preseason

Where: Raymond James Stadium. Tampa, Fla.

When: 8:00 p.m. ET. Wednesday, August 31

TV Channel: CSN Mid-Atlantic (Channel Finder)

Live Stream: NFL.com Game Pass

Radio: Redskins Radio Network (Frequency Finder)

 

Washington Redskins 2016 Preseason Schedule: 

Week 1 (Thurs., 8/11): at Atlanta Falcons (25 - 19 L)

Week 2 (Fri., 8.19): vs. New York Jets (22 - 18 W)

Week 3 (Fri., 8/26): vs. Buffalo Bills  (21 - 16 W)

Week 4 (Thurs., 9/1): at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Redskins Kickoff pregame show begins at 6:00 p.m. ET only on CSN Mid-Atlantic‚Äč.

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Forced to make decision on rookie, Redskins move Keith Marshall to injured reserve

Forced to make decision on rookie, Redskins move Keith Marshall to injured reserve

The Redskins liked rookie running back Keith Marshall, and the team gave the former Georgia Bulldog every chance to make the roster.

Ultimately he did not get that chance, as an elbow injury will land Marshall on the injured reserve.

Marshall sustained the injury in the team's third preseason game against the Bills. Even before the elbow injury, Marshall failed to capitalize on the opportunity to backup Matt Jones.

In games against the Jets and the Falcons, Marshall struggled to gain much ground and eventually he slid behind Robert Kelley on the team's depth chart.

For now, it appears Kelley is a lock for the Redskins 53-man roster and Marshall heads to the IR. 

Scot McCloughan and the 'Skins also made two other roster moves to get the squad to the 75-man limit following this morning's release of veterans Perry Riley and Stephen Paea. Tight end Derek Carrier was moved to the Reserve/Physically Unable to Perform list and rookie WR Reggie Diggs was waived with an injured designation.

Carrier's move to the PUP list was expected, and Diggs had little chance to make the roster as an undrafted receiver even before an injury limited his training camp.

RELATED: WHAT WILL THE 53-MAN ROSTER LOOK LIKE?