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Redskins' Cofield says turnaround is within reach

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Redskins' Cofield says turnaround is within reach

A day after being named a team captain for the first time in his NFL career, Barry Cofield expressed confidence in the struggling Redskins as they prepare for the stretch run.

“We have to look at it like it’s a different season,” Cofield said, referring to last week's bye. “If we win out and fulfill all of our goals, no one will remember the beginning of the season.”

While “winning out,” as Cofield put it, might seem unlikely, the veteran nose tackle said that's got to be the Redskins’ mindset entering the season's final seven games.

The Redskins enter Sunday’s meeting with the Eagles in last place in the NFC East with a record of 3-6 overall and 0-1 in the division. The first-place Giants, however, are within striking distance at 6-3 and 2-2.

Cofield pointed to last year’s Super Bowl participants -- and their lackluster defenses -- as one reason his teammates should remain optimistic.

“The Giants and the Patriots were both low-ranked defenses that got hot at the right time and played well enough to make that run,” Cofield said, referring to the 2011 New York and New England units that ranked 27th and 31st, respectively. The Redskins currently rank 27th.

“We really feel like if we can put it together, with the way our offense is playing, we can win out,” Cofield added. “We really feel that we can and anything short of that will be disappointing.”

Cofield's confident comments came a day after he was elected a captain by his teammtes. The seven-year professional, who last served as a captain during his senior season at Northwestern, described his leadership style as lead-by-example.

“It means a lot, especially in the face of adversity,” he said. “We haven’t been our best on defense, but for people to see through that, see guys that are playing well and carrying themselves the right way, carrying themselves like leaders/captains, it’s a great feeling.”

“That ‘C’ on your jersey,” he continued, “That’s always something I’ve been envious of.”

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Need to Know: An early look at first-round draft possibilities for the Redskins

Need to Know: An early look at first-round draft possibilities for the Redskins

Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, January 17, 100 days before the NFL draft.

Timeline

Days until:
NFL franchise tag deadline 44
NFL free agency starts 52
First Sunday of 2017 season 237

A six pack of potential first-round draft picks for the Redskins

We’re at a nice, round 100 days until the NFL draft starts. The deadline for underclassmen to declare has passed and the first of the postseason all-star events, the East-West Shrine game, is starting up this week. It’s time to look at some possibilities for the Redskins’ first-round draft pick, which is No. 17 overall.

We’re still not sure of what defensive scheme the Redskins will run this year but it’s likely that they could fit Stanford DE Solomon Thomas into it. He’s not the classic edge rusher type but he is big (6-2, 275), violent and he can collapse the pocket.

—Michigan S Jabrill Peppers is a top-five pick according to one NFC executive but it’s a little early to put him up that high. He’s a versatile defender and he has drawn comparisons to Troy Polamalu, Charles Woodson, and Tyrann Mathieu. If he’s there at 17 the Redskins might find it hard to resist pulling the trigger.

There has been very early buzz about the Redskins having some interest in Michigan State DL Malik McDowell. He can play end in a 3-4 front or tackle in a 4-3 and provide disruption and pass rush from either spot. The 6-6, 276-lb. McDowell was a top-five prospect on many early boards but he stock has slipped to the point where he could be available for the Redskins.

The upgrade the Redskins are looking for at inside linebacker could be Florida ILB Jarrad Davis. He’s tough, tenacious, smart, and instinctive. The most important part of the combine for him won’t be his 40 time or bench press, it will be the medicals. He has missed some games with assorted injures including a torn meniscus in 2014.

Another flexible linebacker who could help inside in a 3-4 or outside in a 4-3 is Vanderbilt LG Zach Cunningham. At 6-3, 230 he plays very well in space and he shows a great ability to take on blockers. He needs work on tackling and pass rushing techniques but he has the tools to be an impact defender very quickly.

Although a defender would be a popular and logical pick here, the Redskins could go off script. After the 2015 draft, it was reported that Scot McCloughan might have taken Todd Gurley if he had been able to trade back from No. 5 overall to a little later in the first round. So I think it would be a mistake to dismiss the possibility of him going with an offensive skill player such as Florida State RB Dalvin Cook if he’s on the board and McCloughan has him rated as the best available player.

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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.

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Report: Redskins sign CB Tharold Simon to futures contract

Report: Redskins sign CB Tharold Simon to futures contract

Looking to add depth to their secondary, the Redskins reportedly signed former Seahawks and Cardinals cornerback Tharold Simon on Monday, according to ESPN’s Field Yates.

Arizona claimed Simon off waivers after the Seahawks released him following the first week of the regular season. He played in nine games for the Cardinals and was inactive for his final two with the team, which then released him in December.

A fifth-round pick for the Seahawks in 2013, Simon was signed to a future/reserve contract, allowing him to compete for a roster spot during training camp and offseason workouts.

He is the 11th player to sign a futures contract with the Redskins.

MORE REDSKINS: Washington interviewed Rob Ryan for defensive coordinator