When Josh Wilson signed with the Redskins late last July, the cornerback had roughly two weeks to familiarize himself with teams defensive scheme before the preseason opener.Wilson eventually got up to speed, but it took weeks, if not months, before he was completely comfortable starting on the right side opposite DeAngelo Hall.Familiarity, though, wont be an issue in 2012 and thats the primary reason the DeMatha and University of Maryland product expects to have a breakout season.Its going to be night and day, Wilson said Thursday. Being able have an offseason, a year under my belt in this scheme, Im going to be able to have an understanding, make calls for myself. I had to learn on the fly last season, so it was definitely tough.In 16 games, Wilson recorded 62 tackles (48 solo), two interceptions and defended 15 passes. Both of the 27-year-olds interceptions came in December as he spent less time focused on his responsibilities within defensive coordinator Jim Hasletts scheme and more time reading the opposing offense.I wont be reacting and figuring out what I have to do first and then figuring out how the offense is trying to attack me, Wilson said. Now, I come out of the huddle knowing where the weaknesses are, where my strength is, where my help is, and what I need to protect myself. By the time the offense gets to the line, Im already trying to figure out what theyre trying to do.Coach Mike Shanahan said hes noticed Wilsons growing confidence.It doesnt matter what type of formation, Shanahan said. You dont have to think. You can just react, and he has been able to do that.Wilson expects big things from himself. But he also knows that his success is inextricably linked to the play outside linebackers Brian Orakpo and Ryan Kerrigan and, more specifically, their ability to harass opposing quarterbacks.Its everything, Wilson said. When you have a good pass rush thats coming every down, with Rak and and Ryan coming off that edge, I know that quarterback has to get the ball out of his hand. He cant double-pump it or give me a triple move. If he does that, its a sack.Thats very comforting for a defensive back, he added. Because if I can hold my guy for five or six seconds, its over, that play is dead.Away from the field, Wilsons comfort level has also increased. Not only is he near his old stomping grounds, hes playing in the same city in consecutive years for the first time since suiting up for the Seahawks from 2007 - 2009. He played one season for the Ravens before joining the Redskins, the team he grew up cheering in the suburbs of Washington.Its definitely a little more comfortable, Wilson said before making a good-natured crack about the expense of purchasing tickets for games at FedEx Field. But it costs a lot on game day.Seriously, though, Wilson called it a blessing to be surrounded by friends and family on a daily basis. But, he quickly added, its almost as comforting to look at a familiar playbook each day.It says the same thing it said last year, he said with a grin.
Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, January 22, 95 days before the NFL draft.
—NFL franchise tag deadline 38
—NFL free agency starts 46
—First Sunday of 2017 season 231
Sunday morning quick hitters
—Talk that Greg Manusky is the favorite to get the promotion to Redskins defensive coordinator seems to be based more on deductive reasoning than from any reports from Ashburn. I think he is likely to be the guy but I’m not sure that there won’t be a surprise selection for the job.
—The four-year, $42 million contract extension the Rams gave WR Tavon Austin will set the market for DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garçon. Both of their expiring contracts averaged about $8 million per year so they could be in line for healthy raises the year after turning 30. As in other sports, the market is often set by what your dumbest competitior is willing to pay.
—I didn’t give a second thought to leaving DeAngelo Hall off my projection of the defensive roster for the coming season. He said that he would be willing to redo his contract, which calls for him to make $4.25 million this year. That’s fine but I think that the organization will look at the 32 games he missed in the last three seasons combined and decide that they can’t keep a player that they can’t rely on at any price.
—How hot is Jay Gruden’s seat in 2017? Assuming he keeps his quarterback, I think that he will be fine with a 10-win season and he will be toast with double-digit losses. The tough call will be if they finish 8-8 or even 9-7 with a playoff miss.
—There was a lot of talk about how the Redskins’ salary cap spending on defense last year ($36 million) was dwarfed by what was spent on offense ($78 million). As of right now, the Redskins’ spending is about even, with $57.3 million going to offense and $59.2 million to defense. We’ll see how even the expenditures wind up being when the season starts in September.
Tandler on Twitter
What is there to investigate? You know that Bill Belichick went in there and pulled the alarm. https://t.co/aKXyxNUQIu— Rich Tandler (@Rich_TandlerCSN) January 22, 2017
In case you missed it
- The Final Countdown: (No. 7) Eli goes deep, Redskins go down
- Report: One team Redskins need to watch out for with Kirk Cousins
- The Final Countdown: Josh Norman INT lands on Redskins best play list
- The first round of the draft could fall into place for the Redskins
As should be expected when a team goes 8-7-1, there were plenty of good moments and a lot of frustrating times during the Redskins’ 2016 season. Over the next couple of weeks, Redskins Insiders Rich Tandler and JP Finlay will take detailed looks at the 10 best plays of 2016 and, to present a more complete picture of the season, the 10 worst.
No. 7 worst play of 2016
Giants at Redskins, Week 17
4:02 left in Q4, Giants ball 1st and 10 at their own 31, game tied 10-10
Eli Manning pass deep left to Tavarres King pushed ob at WAS 25 for 44 yards (Will Blackmon).
Related: The Redskins week that was
Tandler: It looked like the Redskins were on the verge of saving their season. They were down 10-0 in the third quarter but they battled back to tie it up in the late going. But after lulling the Redskins defense to sleep with running plays and short passes, Manning launched one deep down the left sideline. King, who had one reception for six yards on the season coming into the game, had a step on cornerback Greg Toler and he hauled in the pass for 44 yards. Four plays later Robbie Gould kicked a 40-yard field goal to give the Giants the lead.
More Redskins: Offensive coordinator situation set?
Finlay: In a terrible game that led to many more questions than answers for the Redskins, this play was just a huge, huge disappointment. Washington fought back to tie up a game that they had largely been outplayed in, particulrly in the first half. Remember, the Giants had nothing to play for while for the 'Skins, a win would put them in the playoffs. The New York offense was laregly nonexistent in the second half of this game, as it became obvious Eli Manning did not want to get hit. And still, the embattled Redskins defense gave up a long pass play to a dude that had contrbuted basically nothing all season.
10 best plays countdown
- No. 10—Some good fortune in Baltimore
- No. 9—Trickeration works in the Meadowlands
- No. 8—Kelly’s run the clincher in big win
- No. 7 - Josh Norman INT seals the deal
10 worst plays countdown
Want more Redskins? Check out @JPFinlayCSN and @Rich_TandlerCSN for live updates or click here for the #RedskinsTalk Podcast on iTunes, here for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!