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Trent Williams: 20 in 20

Trent Williams: 20 in 20

As we count down to the first game of the Redskins season, Tarik El-Bashir and Rich Tandler are going to be looking at some of the big questions facing the team and attempting to look into their crystal balls and answer them.

Question 16: Can Trent Williams go from being a good left tackle to being a great one?

The background: Williams was Mike Shanahans first draft pick with the Redskins, the fourth overall selection in the 2010 draft. He has tremendous athletic ability for a man his size (6-5, 328) and he is a perfect fit for the zone-blocking scheme. When he is focused he can dominate the man across from him. Last year he was starting to round into form as a top left tackle and then the four-game substance abuse suspension hit. This year, he is the highest-paid player on the team with a salary of 11 million. Can he stay focused and continue to progress on the upward path he was on last year? Or will he coast on a contract that pays him 34 million over the next four years and be happy to be average?

Tandler: Williams knows that he is under the microscope. Both Mike and Kyle Shanahan have spoken repeatedly about the need for Williams to step up and be the player he is capable of being. He is tasked with guarding the blind side of the franchise, Robert Griffin III. With the array of top pass rushers the Redskins face in the division and in many of their other games, Williams has a great responsibility. The good thing is that, unlike a year ago, he is not talking about taking the game more seriously; he is doing it. Williams has been the star of training camp so far and his willingness to tough it out for a half against the Bears and Julius Peppers with a bone bruise in his foot shows a new level of commitment and maturity. As long as he stays quiet and continues to get it done, he should continue to progress towards becoming one of the best in the business.

El-Bashir: Williams hasnt been the best offensive lineman in training camp. Until he suffered a bruised bone in his left foot, the 6 foot 5, 328-pound left tackle had been the best player at Redskins Park during the first two weeks of practice. At 24, the former first round pick finally seems to get it after nearly losing everything to a four-game drug suspension last season.

Another slipup would result a year-long ban and the possible end to a promising career -- and it seems to have scared him straight. This, no doubt, is a critical season for Williams, and thus far hes approaching it as such. But the question is whether he can blossom into an elite tackle on par with Clevelands Joe Thomas or the New York Jets DBrickashaw Ferguson. Like most things when it comes to Williams, thats entirely up to whether he feels like doing it.

20 questions in 20 days
20 Aug.20Will Jammal Brown play this year?
19 Aug.21Will Chris Cooley make the team?
18 Aug. 22Can Brandon Meriweather get he job done at safety?
17 YesterdayIs Garon a No. 1 receiver?
16 TodayCan Trent Williams got from good to great?
15 TomorrowCan DeAngelo Hall be a defensive playmaker?
14 SundayCan Santana Moss regain his old form?

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Finlay: Excited to take over as Redskins Insider

Finlay: Excited to take over as Redskins Insider

It’s an exciting day for me to take over the Redskins beat from Tarik El-Bashir. As a native Washingtonian, it’s not an exaggeration to say I’ve wanted this job since I was a kid. 

In fact, in sixth grade, after months of writing nothing but Darrell Green stories and turning them in for English homework, Miss Girard said I was no longer allowed to write about the Redskins. Who got the last laugh, Miss Girard?

Working with Tarik and Rich Tandler covering the Skins at CSN the last few years helped me learn a lot, as did my earlier work with Mr. Irrelevant, SB Nation DC and the Washingtonian. My approach to the beat will be to cover all the angles relevant for fans, and try to look ahead to what might happen and find stories that fall under the radar. In an era of information overload, readers expect more than just stats and quotes from coverage, and I know I will be able to deliver that experience.

This beat means a lot to me. I’ve watched the Redskins my whole life, I’ve cheered for them for most of it. One of the things I hate to hear is when somebody moves to the D.C. area and says ‘nobody is from here.’ 

I’m from here. My wife is from here. My friends are from here. Go to a Redskins game any Sunday, and thousands and thousands of people will show you, loudly, they are from here too. 

If you can, follow me on Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat (jpfinlay3) and Facebook. I think social media is a vital part of covering a team, and I will be very active across all platforms. 

Most of all, I like to have fun. I recognize not everyone gets to watch football for their job, and I want to enjoy all of it. I’m open to talking with readers, even disagreeing here and there, so feel free to reach out. 

And before I forget - thank you. Thanks for reading, for arguing on Twitter, and please keep it coming. 

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Let's remember all the Redskins' recent, painful losses on Monday Night Football

Let's remember all the Redskins' recent, painful losses on Monday Night Football

If you're reading this, chances are you're a Redskins fan. And if you're a Redskins fan, chances are you're quite excited for Washington's season opener this September, where the Burgundy and Gold will play host to the Steelers on Monday Night Football.

Now, if both of those above statements are true, here's a word of advice: Don't be too excited. In fact, on the excitement scale, where a 10 is how you felt after the 'Skins beat the Eagles in December 2015 to clinch the division title and a one is how you feel when you see a Dez Bryant highlight, take a seat around three or four.

That's because, since 2008, the team has played on Monday night 11 times. And of those 11 games, they've lost nine, with many of those defeats coming by double digits.

CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE GALLERY REVIEWING THE REDSKINS' RECENT RESULTS ON MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL

To put it simply, the next time the league allows franchises to vote on rule changes, the 'Skins should propose eliminating Monday from the calendar altogether. Just float that idea out there, and see if there are any other takers. A six-day week may do 'em some good. 

So, in hopes of exorcising the Monday night curse, let's revisit those past 11 contests. Most of the memories in CSNmidatlantic.com's gallery will be bad ones, but you can't prepare for the future without learning from the past — or something like that. Check out the link to access the list, and remind yourself of another reason to hate Mondays.

CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE GALLERY REVIEWING THE REDSKINS' RECENT RESULTS ON MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL

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Loss of Jarrett to injury will have long term effects on Redskins defense

Loss of Jarrett to injury will have long term effects on Redskins defense

The Redskins’ most talked about injury loss on Monday dealt with the Achilles tear suffered by Junior Galette. However, the loss of Kyshoen Jarrett, who was waived with a failed physical designation with neck and shoulder injuries, may have more long-term impact on the defense.

Galette may have been a one-year rental. If he had enjoyed a big 2016 season the Redskins may not have been able to afford to re-sign him. Jarrett appeared to be set to be a long-term piece of the Redskins’ secondary.

The news on the 23-year-old Jarrett didn’t draw the headlines or discussion that Galette’s injury did because the his release was not unexpected. After he was injured in a collision in the “meaningless” regular-season finale in Dallas there was great concern about the seriousness of the injury. He saw a number of specialists (flying to some visits on owner Dan Snyder’s personal jet) in an attempt to find a solution. But when he was seen on the sidelines during minicamp still having obvious issues with his right arm the writing seemed to be on the wall.

Jarrett was drafted as a safety but early in training camp last year the team was short on cornerbacks after a rash of injuries so he volunteered to line up at nickel corner. He played there during the regular season and was a safety in some packages. Jarrett played 616 snaps, had 38 tackles, four passes defensed and a forced fumble.

Replacing a guy like Jarrett is hard to do because you don’t know how versatile a player can be in the NFL until he gets there. The Redskins are hoping that second-round pick Su’a Cravens will be able to play a jack of all trades type of role on defense but we will have to see how it develops.

Right now Jarrett’s NFL future is very much up in the air. The first step, however, would be for Jarrett to get enough use of his right arm so that he can live a normal life. I’m sure all Redskins fans wish him well in his recovery.