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Camp preview: Safety in numbers?

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Camp preview: Safety in numbers?

The Redskins start training camp on Thursday. Were going around the team to let you know what were looking for when practice gets underway. Yesterday we looked at the offense (line, backsreceivers). We started the defense today with the line and linebackers and now well look at the defensive backs.Anticipated starters:CB Josh Wilson
CB DeAngelo Hall
SS Brandon Meriweather
FS Tanard JacksonHall and Wilson return as starters on a secondary that ranked among the teams most disappointing units last season. After those two, well, theres not a whole lot of certainty for position coach Raheem Morris, whos in his first season in Washington. Morris will rely on newcomers Meriweather, a two-time Pro Bowl selection, and Jackson, a playmaker, to replace Oshiomogho Atogwe, who was cut, and oft-injured LaRon Landry, who was placed on the Jets physically unable to perform list Monday.Key reserves: S DeJon Gomes
S Madieu Williams
CB Cedric GriffinIf either Meriweather or Jackson falter, Gomes and Williams could challenge for significant playing time. Griffin, meantime, is a hard hitter who should see plenty of playing time and add some much needed depth and snarl to the position.On the bubble:CB Kevin Barnes
CB Chase Minnifield
CB Richard Crawford
CB Morgan Trent
CB Brandyn Thompson
S Reed Doughty
S Jordan Bernstine
DB Travon BellamyBarnes struggled in slot-corner coverage last season, while Doughty, who has been counted out often during his Redskins tenure, once again finds himself fighting for a job. Thompson showed some promise last year but he will have to fight off Crawford, Trent, and possibly Minnifield if he is going to stick around this season.Three things to watch:Who survives?When practice begins Thursday, there will be 15 defensive backs on the roster. When the regular season begins in New Orleans on Sept. 9, there will be nine. There is no obvious camp fodder here; every player except Bellamy either was drafted by the Redskins or has NFL playing experience. In other words, it figures to among the more intriguing position battles.Whats Minnifields status?Signed out of UVA in May, Minnifield was expected to start the season as a reserve. But hell reportedly start training camp on the PUP list as he continues to recover from microfracture knee surgery in January. He has a very good chance of contributing to the team at some point, but will it be this year or in 2013?Can D-Hall rebound?In 2010, Hall made six interceptions and 95 tackles and earned a spot in the Pro Bowl for the third time in his career. In 2011, however, he might have cost the Redskins two wins against the Cowboys. He let Dez Bryant slip away from him on third and 21 situation in their September meeting, then he slipped in man-to-man coverage on Bryant in overtime two months later. Which DeAngelo will show up this season?

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With Matt Ryan in the Super Bowl, Kirk Cousins will make Pro Bowl, per report

With Matt Ryan in the Super Bowl, Kirk Cousins will make Pro Bowl, per report

Kirk Cousins' price tag just moved even higher with the news that he will replace Matt Ryan in the Pro Bowl. ESPN's John Keim reported the roster move first.

Ryan's Atlanta Falcons advanced to the Super Bowl on Sunday with a 44-21 dismantling of the Green Bay Packers. That victory means Ryan will not be available for the Pro Bowl, held this Sunday in Orlando. Cousins got his spot as an alternate.

Cousins gets the spot deservedly. This season he passed for 4,917 yards, completing 67 percent of his passes and throwing 25 TDs to 12 INTs. In two seasons since being named starter for the Redskins, Cousins has thrown for more than 9,000 yards. 

The Pro Bowl nod for Cousins will only make the Redskins pending contract talks that much tougher. The quarterback played in 2016 under the franchise tag, which netted him nearly $20 million. This season Washington could again place Cousins on the franchise tag, with a price tag around $24 million. Both sides can still work for a long-term deal, though the value of that contract would likely soar past $100 million and closer to $120 million.

Some questions exist within the Redskins organization if that is too much money devoted to one player, even if it is a Pro Bowl quarterback.

It's fitting that Cousins is subbing in for Ryan, who has found much success playing under Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan. All signs points to Shanahan taking over as the 49ers head coach after the Super Bowl, and a report emerged that San Francisco would make a strong push to obtain Cousins, either in free agency or via trade. 

RELATED: 2017 NFL MOCK DRAFT 1.0

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Redskins announce coordinators, addition of Tomsula as D-line coach

Redskins announce coordinators, addition of Tomsula as D-line coach

The Redskins have made official some coaching staff changes that have been reported over the last few days.

The team announced that they have filled both coordinator jobs with internal hires. Outside linebackers coach Greg Manusky is the new defensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Matt Cavanaugh is now the offensive coordinator.

RELATED: REDSKINS DEFENSIVE COODRINATOR RESUME - GREG MANUSKY

The team also announced the hiring of two assistant coaches, one on each side of the ball. Kevin O’Connell will replace Cavanaugh as the QB coach and Jim Tomsula will coach the defensive line.

Tomsula was the 49ers head coach in 2015. He was fired after that one season after posting a 5-11 record. But it was his eight seasons as defensive line coach in San Francisco that the Redskins care about. Tomsula did a solid job there, working under Mike Nolan, Mike Singletary, and Jim Harbaugh. He also was the defensive line coach under Manusky when he was the defensive coordinator in San Francisco.

RELATED: REDSKINS MAY STAY IN-HOUSE

He is known as a fiery motivator, something that will work well with Manusky’s similar style. The line was one of the weakest areas of the defense last year. They are likely to add some talent to the line this offseason and Tomsula is a good choice to coach them up.

The Redskins still need a defensive backs coach. They have a strong in-house candidate in Aubrey Pleasant and now attention will turn to getting a deal for him. It remains to be seen if they will fill Manusky’s former job or if current inside linebackers coach Kirk Olivadotti will add the outside backers to his responsibilities.

Stay up to date on the Redskins! Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page www.Facebook.com/RealRedskins and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.