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Redskins prefer to defer

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Redskins prefer to defer

The Redskins have won the pre-game coin flip four times this season, and each time Coach Mike Shanahan has elected to defer until the second half.

On Monday, Shanahan explained why.

“I had always been the other way,” Shanahan said. “I’ve always taken the ball in the past. This year, I’ve [deferred] because I saw a percentage that I hadn’t seen before: People that defer win well over 60-percent. I said, ‘Hey, that’s an interesting stat. Why not going with the percentages?’”

The Redskins are 2-2 when they defer, losing to the Bengals and Falcons and beating the Buccaneers and Vikings. The Redskins have lost the flip twice and split those games, losing to the Rams and beating the Saints.

Shanahan said he also likes the momentum generated by getting the ball to start the second half. In the four times the Redskins have deferred, they’ve scored on their first drive of the second half twice, including Sunday’s 38-26 victory over the Vikings.

“I kind of like it [because] coming out of halftime [we] have a chance to get the ball first,” Shanahan said. “It [also] kind of fires up the team at halftime, knowing we have the ball and a chance to go the distance.”

“It’s nothing earth shattering but that’s the way we went,” he said. “I like starting off the second half with the ball.”

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Redskins' starting defense is sharp in small preseason sample of work

Redskins' starting defense is sharp in small preseason sample of work

Judging by the small sample size that the NFL preseason has become it looks like the Redskins’ starting defense is ready to go for the start of the NFL season.

The Redskins’ opponents had six possessions with their staring quarterbacks in the lineup, which usually means that those teams had all of their healthy starters in the game. In those six possessions the Redskins’ opponents mustered 53 yards of total offense.

As far as the starting quarterbacks, the Redskins didn’t face anyone who is bound for Canton five years after retirement. But there wasn’t a Case Keenum in the group either. Tyrod Taylor, Ryan Fitzpatrick, and Matt Ryan combined to complete six of 18 passes for 46 yards with no interceptions and no touchdowns. That comes to a combined passer rating of 42.4.

This is a major improvement over the 2015 preseason when starting quarterbacks were much sharper against the Redskins’ defense. Josh McCown, Matthew Stafford, and Joe Flacco completed 19 of 26 passes for 248 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions. That’s a stellar passer rating of 128.4.

This year the other teams apparently wanted to get the QBs some work and didn’t run a lot. The Redskins gave up 36 rushing yards on eight attempts. That’s an average of 4.5 yards per attempt. Over a year that would be an improvement over last year (4.8 per carry) but still well above the league average (4.1).

It’s hard to overemphasize the small sample sizes involved here. It would be a mistake to draw any sweeping conclusions from a few dozen snaps. But among the goals of the preseason are to look competent and, as Jay Gruden said, create some “positive vibrations”. The Redskins defense can check the boxes next to both of those.

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Bryan Stork clarifies next move after days of speculation with Redskins

Bryan Stork clarifies next move after days of speculation with Redskins

After days of speculation if Bryan Stork would actually end up in Washington, the former Patriots center clarified his next move via Twitter. 

Redskins GM Scot McCloughan traded for Stork earlier this week after it became apparent New England intended to release the 2014 draft pick out of Florida State. It was unclear, however, if Stork would accept the trade to the 'Skins as he mulled retirement options. 

MORE REDSKINS: WASHINGTON STARTS CUTS EARLY BEFORE DEADLINE

Stork has dealt with a number of concussions in his two-year NFL career. After playing in a Super Bowl as a rookie, his 2015 season was limited by head injuries. 

Coming to the Redskins, Stork may have an opportunity to compete for playing time. Kory Lichtensteiger is installed as the starting center, but he struggled in the third preseason game against the Bills and was lost for much of the 2015 season to injury. 

McCloughan has openly said he wants big, tough guys up front on the offensive line. Stork - at 6-foot-4 and 310 lbs. - with a documented nasty streak definitely fits that bill. 

Whether or not Stork pushes Lichtensteiger for the starting spot - or even competes for the No. 2 center job with Spencer Long - the price for Stork is tough to argue. McCloughan gave up just a conditional seventh round pick to acquire the former New England starter. 

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Redskins cut 10 players before Tuesday deadline

Redskins cut 10 players before Tuesday deadline

The Redskins have started the process of trimming their roster to 75 players by the Tuesday deadline. The team announced that 10 players have been waived.

  • T Al Bond
  • T Cody Booth
  • LB Shiro Davis
  • LB Ejiro Ederaine
  • CB Jeremy Harris
  • LB Willie Jefferson
  • WR Valdez Showers
  • WR Dez Stewart
  • WR Jarvis Turner
  • RB Kelsey Young

The only surprise on the list is Jefferson, who was thought to have a chance at an outside linebacker spot. But apparently the coaches are going to let Houston Bates and Lynden Trail compete for that spot.

The Redskins had 88 players counting against the 90 player limit. So with the 10 players cut today they are a 78, leaving three moves to make before 4 p.m. on Tuesday.