Some quick items to get your Wednesday morning going:Shanahan vs. ?? on Sept. 9The Redskins open the season in New Orleans in 46 days and the Saints still dont know who will be their head coach for that game, or for any of the first six games on their schedule. Interim head coach Joe Vitt, who is filling in for the suspended Sean Payton, will start a six-game suspension himself starting a week before their game against the Redskins.Vitt said yesterday that the identity of the interim interim head coach has yet to be determined.The discussions have taken place, Vitt said. They are in the infantile stages right now.They might want to get that figured out pretty soon.A hot one to start out training camp tomorrowThe high temperature for tomorrow, the first day of camp practice, is forecast to be 99. The players will be glad that they are not going to be wearing pads until Saturday.The news is not that it will be hot in late July. Its that next week it should be relatively comfortable, with temperatures not forecast to climb past the upper 80s. If that holds, thats a pretty good string of training camp weather.RG3 on the podium todayMedia access to Robert Griffin III will be somewhat limited during training camp and, presumably, into the regular season. Limiting access to the quarterback is normal procedure around the league these days. If its not restricted a high-profile QB could answer media questions for hours a day. That time is better spent in the film room.We get one of our opportunities to talk to RG3 today as will take the podium at 5:30. It will be his first new conference with the beat reporters since minicamp in mid June. Well ask what he did during his summer vacation and see if we can get any insight into what went on during the rookie phase of training camp. And well get his thoughts on the next first coming up for him, his first NFL training camp practice.Reporting dayThe Redskins report to Redskins Park today to check in and take physicals. The first practice will be tomorrow at 10:40 a.m. That one is a walkthrough that is closed to the public. Gates open at 1:00 for fans with the full practice getting underway at 3:00. Be advised that the CBA prohibits players from wearing pads during the first two days of practice so they will be in shorts and helmets on Thursday and Friday.Well be doing a chat in between practices at Redskins Park from 1 to 2, check back here tomorrow morning to find out where to go.Days until: Training camp 1; preseason opener @ Bills 15; RG3 vs. Luck @FedEx Field 31; final cuts 38; Redskins @ Saints 46; home opener vs. Bengals 60
Five wins in a row – it’s almost hard to fathom considering how dire the Redskins season looked after losing to the Dallas Cowboys in September dropped Washington to an 0-2 record. Now, after winning four straight, the ‘Skins are firmly back in the NFC playoff picture and have the chance to tack on another win Sunday in Detroit. The game is indoors at Ford Field so weather won’t be an issue, kickoff is set for 1 p.m., but all the coverage starts on Redskins Kickoff at noon on CSN. These are the storylines we will be watching most:
- Hit the gas – In wins over the Cleveland Browns and Philadelphia Eagles, the Redskins got out to early 14-0 leads. Only the team then coughed up those leads, allowing both squads back into games that instead should have been blowouts. If Washington can build an early lead on the road will be a big advantage, but they need to continue to pile up points and not let the Lions hang around.
- Cage the Lions – Detroit’s offense is quite effective, in fact the Lions rank No. 12 in the NFL in points-per-game, three spots ahead of the Redskins. QB Matt Stafford is completing nearly 70 percent of his passes and has thrown 14 TDs through six games. The Redskins defense, however, has been nearly dominant in their last two games and hasn’t given up an offensive touchdown in the last seven quarters.
- No Reed option – Diagnosed with a concussion after the win in Baltimore, Redskins tight end Jordan Reed will miss the Lions game. He also missed the Eagles game, which saw the ‘Skins roll up nearly 500 yards of offense. Reed is a dynamic threat at tight end, but without him, veteran Vernon Davis stepped in against Philly and had two catches for 50 yards and a touchdown. Losing Reed is a blow for the ‘Skins, but they should be able to continue to pile up yards and points without him.
- Statistically speaking – There is an interesting disparity looking at the Lions and Redskins offensive stats. Detroit is scoring more points than Washington, yet the Lions are gaining significantly less yards per game and yards per play. Jay Gruden’s squad ranks No. 2 in the NFL in yards per play, Detroit ranks 14th. Washington is tied for 5th in yards per game, the Lions are 18th. Obviously, Sean McVay’s offense is moving the ball better than Detroit, but red zone issues have been consistent for the Redskins. The numbers point to an explosion of touchdowns, could this be the week?
- No (big) mistakes – Last week against the Eagles, the Redskins defense stifled Carson Wentz and held Philly’s offense mostly in check. The sole reason that game was close were big plays – a pick-six touchdown by Malcolm Jenkins after intercepting a Cousins pass and a kick return touchdown. Defensively, the Redskins have significantly improved at eliminating big plays. Against Detroit, special teams and the offense must focus on not giving up big plays or turning the ball over.
Numbers & Notes:
- Opposing offenses have been able to run on the Redskins, but Detroit comes into the game with just the 26th best running attack in the NFL.
- Ryan Kerrigan will make his 87th consecutive start on Sunday – tied for third most among active NFL linebackers. Kerrigan has never missed a start in his career.
- Against Philadelphia, Matt Jones ran for 135 yards, a career high, and the most Redskins rush yards since Alfred Morris went for 139 against the Vikings in November 2013.
- Dustin Hopkins has made 15 field goals this season – 1st in the NFC and tied for first in the NFL.
- On punt returns, Jamison Crowder and the Redskins are averaging 18.8 yards-per-return, which ranks 1st in the NFL.
- The Redskins offense ranks 1st in the NFL with the fewest amount of 3 & Out drives.
- If Kirk Cousins passes for 300 yards on Sunday, that will mark his 15th game with 300 passing yards, and he will take second place in Redskins history for most 300-yard games, moving past Joe Theismann.
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The NFL has fined Redskins tight end Vernon Davis $12,154 for his jump shot touchdown celebration against the Eagles.
Source says Vernon Davis was fined $12,154 for unsportsmanlike conduct - the penalty for shooting the ball like a jumpshot after his TD.— Mike Jones (@MikeJonesWaPo) October 21, 2016
So, if you're keeping score… Shooting a J after touchdown ($12k) costs you more than shooting an arrow into the crowd ($9k).— Mike Jones (@MikeJonesWaPo) October 21, 2016
The league had previously fined cornerback Josh Norman $9,115 for pantomiming shooting a bow and arrow after an interception. He said he'd try a beer drinking celebration this week.
On the day Davis was flagged excessive celebration, Jay Gruden told the media that he'd just gone over sample film of illegal celebrations with his players and didn't see anything resembling Davis' jump shot.
The Redskins have ruled Jordan Reed out again for Sunday's matchup with the Lions. Davis is expected to start in his place.
MORE REDSKINS: Doctson could return from IR in Week 15