A tight race in the NFC East?

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A tight race in the NFC East?

Will the NFC East be a lot tighter than most observers think this year? The number crunchers at Football Outsiders think that it will be.The put out their 2012 Football Outsiders Almanac earlier this month and among the many interesting nuggets contained in the book (PDF version available now, Im waiting for the Kindle version) is a projection of the NFC East wins. It is safe to say that their prediction is quite unlike youre going to find on ESPN or in Street and Smiths or whatever your newsstand preseason magazine of choice is.Basically, FO projects a repeat of 2011 with the division champ again posting a single-digit win total. Here is what the project (via Blogging the Boys):Teamwins
Eagles8.6
Giants8.3
Cowboys7.5
Redskins6.8If you round those to the nearest whole numbers here are their projected standingsEagles 9-7
Giants 8-8
Cowboys 8-8 (or 7-9)
Redskins 7-9Under this scenario with just two games separating first place from last, the Redskins would have a shot at sneaking into the playoffs with some good fortune on their end and a bit of bad luck on the part of the Eagles and Giants.Still, it would not be a good idea to catch the next flight to Vegas and put the mortgage money on the Redskins chances. They projected the Eagles at 11.7 wins last year and we all know that the Dream Team did not have a dream season as Philly went 8-8. They were in the ballpark with the other teams in the division, however, projecting 8.2 for the Giants (actual total 9 wins), 7.7 for Dallas (8 actual) and 5.6 for the Redskins (5 actual).

Toughness, versatility the keys to Redskins’ 2016 draft class.

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Toughness, versatility the keys to Redskins’ 2016 draft class.

The Redskins added seven players in the draft class of 2016 and many of them share some common traits.

“I'm very excited about these guys, really,” Jay Gruden said to the media after the draft was over. “I think the theme is we got some football players. We got some versatile guys who can do a lot of different things. Tough guys, who love the game of football. We're excited about them, they all bring great attitude to this organization. They're going to play hard and they're good people.”

Gruden seems to be particularly impressed with a pair of defensive players, fifth-round lineman Matt Ioannidis out of Temple and inside linebacker Steven Daniels, a seventh-round pick out of Boston College.

“Steven Daniels is very tough,” said Gruden. “When he hits you, he thumps you.”

Like Daniels, Ioannidis was the captain of the defensive unit. Gruden said that he loved his relentless play and said that “he’s a tough guy.”

Ioannidis and Su’a Cravens, the team’s second-round pick out of USC, will both play a number of roles on defense. Ioannidis could add 15-20 pounds (he is listed at 299) and play nose tackle or he could play all along the line. Cravens is a dime linebacker but he could play outside linebacker and strong safety in other situations as well.

Gruden said that the Redskins were able to emphasize toughness and versatility because they weren’t buttonholed into being forced to draft particular positions because they didn’t have anyone there.

“We didn't have a lot of glaring needs, like 'oh, my gosh we're totally incompetent at this position,’” he said. “I felt really good about the depth on our footbal team already, now that the draft is about adding a lot of good football players and adding guys that are tough.”

The team used toughness and other factors as tiebreakers when selecting among players.

“When you're in the draft and it's close between a couple of different guys, the toughness, maybe the special teams factor, the versatility, being a captain, all that stuff factors into it,” said Gruden. “You're always going to err on the side of tough, loves football.”

Josh Norman quickly acclimates to D.C. - attends White House Correspondents Dinner

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Josh Norman quickly acclimates to D.C. - attends White House Correspondents Dinner

Just a week into his Redskins tenure, new CB Josh Norman is enjoying the D.C. life, attending in the White House Correspondent's Dinner. 

@jno24's welcome to DC, the White House Corespondent Dinner! #whcd #RedSkins #HTTR #DC

A photo posted by Jeanine Juliano (@jeanine_juliano) on

Norman came to the 'Skins with much fanfare; an unusual release from a franchise tag in Carolina made him a free agent and Washington swooped in quickly. Norman signed a massive five-year, $75 million contract, and is expected to start at cornerback this fall opposite Bashaud Breeland.

Just hours before donning his tuxedo and heading downtown, Norman was spotted at FedEx Field meeting Redskins rookies Josh Doctson, Su'a Cravens and Kendall Fuller.

It's been a busy day for Norman, and depending what you hear about #NerdProm, the night is just getting started.

Redskins' last pick in draft is speedy Georgia running back

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Redskins' last pick in draft is speedy Georgia running back

It took them their entire draft but the Redskins finally got a running back on their roster. They took Keith Marshall of Georgia with their seventh-round pick (No. 242 overall).

Marshall, 5-11 and 219 pounds, was supposed to be the Bulldogs’ next great back, but due to injuries and the emergence of Nick Chubb he never really got the chance.

He is the fastest player in the draft, if you go by his combine 40 times. He ran 4.31 in Indianapolis, the fastest time recorded this year.

Marshall will line up behind Matt Jones and probably Chris Thompson on the Redskins’ running back depth chart. He will get a chance to earn snaps on third down and possibly as a rotational back teaming with Jones.