The rumor mill is starting to churn with talk of the Redskins trading for Aqib Talib, the talented but troubled Bucs cornerback.The chatter seems to have originated with a report in the website Buccaneers 101. I have no idea if reports from there should be considered reliable or not. However, some local chatter indicates that this story may have some legs to it and a pre-draft story in the Pewter Report, a Bucs site that does have a reputation for breaking stories, said that the Bucs made it known that Talib is on the trading block.That doesnt mean that a deal, which likely would involve a late-round 2013 draft pick, is imminent or that its going to happen at all. But it does mean that its worth a post taking a look at a potential deal.You dont need to look too hard to find connections between Talib and the Redskins. Bruce Allen was the Bucs general manager when they took Talib out of Kansas with the 20th pick in the 2008 draft. And Raheem Morris was Talibs position coach his rookie year and his head coach for the past three years.Allen, Morris, and anyone who see Talib on film can recognize his talent. He has great speed, especially for someone his size (6-1, 205). Talib has excellent ball skills and overall instincts. On most NFL teams he would be a starter or at least the first CB off of the bench.So why might the Bucs want to deal him? At least in part, it could be due to the troubled part of the talented but troubled label. He is facing a June 25 trial on charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. If found guilty he could serve up to 20 years on jail.What happened in the incident in March of 2011 that led to the accusation is not clear but any allegations that a person piston whipped and then fired at another individual (in this case, Talibs sisters boyfriend) are quite serious.This is not Talibs first brush with the law. He served a one-game suspension in 2009 after an incident involving an altercation with a cab driver. At the NFL rookie symposium he got into a fistfight with fellow Bucs rookie Cory Boyd. In addition to the felony assault charge, a woman is seeking 15,000 in damages from Talib, claiming that he threatened to put a cap in her after a December 2010 traffic incident.Since Mike Shanahan has been with the Redskins, he has stayed away from players who have had trouble with the law or character issues of any kind. That changed somewhat this year as the Redskins signed safety Tanard Jackson, who has been suspended a total of 20 games for violations of the substance abuse policy and safety Brandon Meriweather, who has had a couple of scrapes with the law.But neither has a felony conviction on his record and that is what Talib faces when he goes on trial on June 25. Even a conviction on a lesser charge or a plea bargain could lead to both jail time from the legal system and a suspension at the iron fist of Roger Goodell.Given all of that it is hard to see the Redskins being highly interested in Talib. If Morris and Allen have persuaded Shanahan to take a hard look at him, it is doubtful that any deal would take place prior to the resolution of the legal case. Even the, the organization will think long and hard about the wisdom of bringing in a player and a person like Aqib Talib.
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