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Under the Radar: Where was Hank?

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Under the Radar: Where was Hank?

Every week, Ill ask you to give me your thoughts on the moments and aspects of the game that you dont think got enough coverage in the media. Ill pick a few of them every week and try to give them the spotlight you think they deserve. I got a lot of excellent suggestions for the Saints game, here are just a few of them.
I was very surprised to see that the wide receiver who had the most offensive snaps was Aldrick Robinson, who was in on 66 of the Redskins 76 plays. One might have expected to see Hankerson get an increased role after Pierre Garon left with a foot injury after just eight snaps. But Hankerson played just nine snaps and was not targeted for a single pass.This does not necessarily mean that Hankerson is in trouble as @Patman1225 suggests. He just doesnt appear to be ready for a steady, week-in, week-out role just yet. This year, he is likely to have a few big games and he will have some games where, like yesterday, he is invisible.As for Robinson, we will see what his role is when Garon returns to the lineup. He showed some special ability on each of his four catches and it seems likely that the coaches will find ways to get him into the lineup.
The Redskins started off the Shanahan era in 2010 by not turning the ball over in their first two games. In each of the next 30 games they turned it over at least once.That streak, the longest active such streak in the NFL, ended on Sunday with, as @McNubian notes, a rookie quarterback who handled 76 snaps, threw 29 passes and carried the ball 10 times, and a rookie running back out of Florida-Atlantic who had 28 carries. Griffin did put the ball on the ground once in a botched handoff but he immediately recovered.Some rookie mistakes may well follow but for now Morris and Griffin deserve kudos for breaking that ridiculous streak.Three of the first four and five of the first eight Saints drives were three and outs. During the game, one tweeter suggested that it looked like the time that Drew Brees missed while he negotiated a new contract with the Saints was hurting him. He missed all of OTAs and minicamp after refusing to sign his franchise tender and the timing with his receivers did appear to be off at times.But you have to give credit to the Redskins defense, especially the pass rush. They only sacked Brees twice but they batted down a few passes and generally harassed and harried Brees.
Again, its only one game but for now the decision to release both Graham Gano and Neil Rackers and go with Cundiff was a wise one. As Gano still looks for work, Cundiff was four for four on field goals of 37, 41, 37, and 45 yards. Each one looked more solid and straight down the middle than the previous one.Cundiff also kicked off nine times and only once did the Saints start a drive outside of their own 20 after those kicks.

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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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In case you missed it

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