Dreams from my Redskins

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Dreams from my Redskins

By Michael Huberman
CSNwashington.com

We already know what Vegas thinks about the Redskins next season, setting the over-under for wins at 6.5. Dan Graziano of ESPN.com had some more fun with predictions, putting out a dreamnightmare scenario for the Redskins in 2012.

Any predictions made now should come with the disclaimer that its May, and there are any number of things that can happen between now and September 9 in New Orleans. According to Graziano the best the Redskins can hope for is a 9-7 season. Offensively, Robert Griffin III would have to exceed expectations, and more importantly hold on to the football. But its not all about RG3, and he rightly points out that the teams stable of skill players have to step up, saying, they'll need health from Tim Hightower and continued development from promising fellow running backs Roy Helu and Evan Royster. They'll need Pierre Garcon to play like the potential No. 1 wideout his free-agent price tag says they believe he can be.

While the Redskins were middle of the road defensively last year, the unit made serious strides, and theyd need to build on that to succeed in 2012. Since this is the dream were talking about, all the teams most important pieces on both sides of the ball would have to stay healthy.

The nightmare scenario will be painful for Redskins fans to read. While going 5-11 in RG3s rookie year wouldnt be all too shocking, the long-term impact could be problematic. As it is, the Redskins play in one of, if not the toughest divisions in the NFL. The Giants are the Super Bowl champions, the Eagles are looking to build off the end of their 2011 to finally reach the Dream Team hype, and the Cowboys dont need any motivation when going up against the Redskins.

If the team struggles for a third straight year under Mike Shanahan then it may be time to start wondering where he stands going forward. Currently stuck in cap limbo and without 1st round picks in 2013 and 2014, the team may struggle to address lingering deficiencies in the future.

Hopefully for the Redskins, the 2012 season plays out a lot closer to Grazianos dream.

Toughness, versatility the keys to Redskins’ 2016 draft class.

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Toughness, versatility the keys to Redskins’ 2016 draft class.

The Redskins added seven players in the draft class of 2016 and many of them share some common traits.

“I'm very excited about these guys, really,” Jay Gruden said to the media after the draft was over. “I think the theme is we got some football players. We got some versatile guys who can do a lot of different things. Tough guys, who love the game of football. We're excited about them, they all bring great attitude to this organization. They're going to play hard and they're good people.”

Gruden seems to be particularly impressed with a pair of defensive players, fifth-round lineman Matt Ioannidis out of Temple and inside linebacker Steven Daniels, a seventh-round pick out of Boston College.

“Steven Daniels is very tough,” said Gruden. “When he hits you, he thumps you.”

Like Daniels, Ioannidis was the captain of the defensive unit. Gruden said that he loved his relentless play and said that “he’s a tough guy.”

Ioannidis and Su’a Cravens, the team’s second-round pick out of USC, will both play a number of roles on defense. Ioannidis could add 15-20 pounds (he is listed at 299) and play nose tackle or he could play all along the line. Cravens is a dime linebacker but he could play outside linebacker and strong safety in other situations as well.

Gruden said that the Redskins were able to emphasize toughness and versatility because they weren’t buttonholed into being forced to draft particular positions because they didn’t have anyone there.

“We didn't have a lot of glaring needs, like 'oh, my gosh we're totally incompetent at this position,’” he said. “I felt really good about the depth on our footbal team already, now that the draft is about adding a lot of good football players and adding guys that are tough.”

The team used toughness and other factors as tiebreakers when selecting among players.

“When you're in the draft and it's close between a couple of different guys, the toughness, maybe the special teams factor, the versatility, being a captain, all that stuff factors into it,” said Gruden. “You're always going to err on the side of tough, loves football.”

Josh Norman quickly acclimates to D.C. - attends White House Correspondents Dinner

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Josh Norman quickly acclimates to D.C. - attends White House Correspondents Dinner

Just a week into his Redskins tenure, new CB Josh Norman is enjoying the D.C. life, attending in the White House Correspondent's Dinner. 

@jno24's welcome to DC, the White House Corespondent Dinner! #whcd #RedSkins #HTTR #DC

A photo posted by Jeanine Juliano (@jeanine_juliano) on

Norman came to the 'Skins with much fanfare; an unusual release from a franchise tag in Carolina made him a free agent and Washington swooped in quickly. Norman signed a massive five-year, $75 million contract, and is expected to start at cornerback this fall opposite Bashaud Breeland.

Just hours before donning his tuxedo and heading downtown, Norman was spotted at FedEx Field meeting Redskins rookies Josh Doctson, Su'a Cravens and Kendall Fuller.

It's been a busy day for Norman, and depending what you hear about #NerdProm, the night is just getting started.

Redskins' last pick in draft is speedy Georgia running back

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Redskins' last pick in draft is speedy Georgia running back

It took them their entire draft but the Redskins finally got a running back on their roster. They took Keith Marshall of Georgia with their seventh-round pick (No. 242 overall).

Marshall, 5-11 and 219 pounds, was supposed to be the Bulldogs’ next great back, but due to injuries and the emergence of Nick Chubb he never really got the chance.

He is the fastest player in the draft, if you go by his combine 40 times. He ran 4.31 in Indianapolis, the fastest time recorded this year.

Marshall will line up behind Matt Jones and probably Chris Thompson on the Redskins’ running back depth chart. He will get a chance to earn snaps on third down and possibly as a rotational back teaming with Jones.