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What can Meriweather bring to the Redskins?

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What can Meriweather bring to the Redskins?

It appears that Brandon Meriweather will take the field for the first time as a member of the Redskins. He was signed in the spring in hopes that he could take the spot of the departed LaRon Landry at free safety.

After suffering a knee injury in the second preseason game in Chicago, Meriweather was working to get ready for the season opener when he suffered a setback. Then he was set to play in Week 4 against the Bucs but a fluke pregame collision with receiver Aldrick Robinson reinjured the knee and he was back on the shelf.

Although it is not yet certain that he will play, Mike Shanahan said that he was “encouraged” by Meriweather’s progress. The safety himself said, “I’m feeling good about it” when he was asked if he would play against the Eagles.

If he does suit up and play, what will his role be? He might start at strong safety but it seems doubtful that he will play 60-70 snaps as is typical for defensive starters. Look for him to go more like 30 or 40 snaps as he works his way back into football shape.  

It would make sense to have Meriweather in the game on first down and in short-yardage situations. My observation on him in training camp is that he is very aggressive when he is moving forward but not very comfortable when backpedaling as one has to do in coverage. The Redskins might press the line of scrimmage daring Nick Foles to beat them and this style suits Meriweather’s game very well.

Reed Doughty and Jordan Pugh have been splitting snaps at strong safety in Meriweather’s absence. One of the two, probably Doughty, will spell Meriweather. It appears that DeJon Gomes, who was the starting strong safety for the first three games before the Doughty-Pugh combination took over, will be inactive as the odd man out.

Meriweather probably is not going to solve the Redskins’ coverage issues just by showing up. That is not his strong suit. The best case scenario is that he can help out some against the run and against the short passing game and that he might make a few plays that generate some excitement in the stadium and among the players.

How many times this year has a defensive back hit an opposing receiver hard enough to knock a reception out of his hands. I may be missing one or two but I can’t think of a single time. Meriweather is capable of bringing that type of aggressiveness to the Redskins’ secondary.

“We don’t look like we’re having fun,” he said said of the Redskins' defensive backs. “I think just the way I approach the game and the way I play the game, I think I bring a little more excitement.”

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Don't mess with Trent Williams. Seriously. Watch this video.

Don't mess with Trent Williams. Seriously. Watch this video.

Long considered one of the toughest dudes in the NFL, video of Redskins left tackle Trent Williams proves it's unwise to mess with 71. The video from @Hogs2.0 shows Williams sparring in a boxing ring, and looking quite spry.

It's unclear when the video was shot, though the tweet was posted Wednesday night. 

As for Williams, he's coming off his fourth straight Pro Bowl season at left tackle and has started all three games for the Redskins this season. In last Sunday's win over the Giants, injuries forced Williams to move to left guard, an unusual move. Washington coach Jay Gruden said after the game that Williams did so well at guard that it would be "tempting" to keep him there as the 'Skins wait for Shawn Lauvao to mend.

Regardless where he lands on the offensive line, it's no surprise to see Williams looking quite effective in the boxing ring. Whenever an altercation seems close on the football field for Washington, Williams is usually not far from the action. And of course there is the infamous head-smush Williams gave Richard Sherman after the playoff loss to Seattle at the end of the 2012 season.

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Even without Robert Griffin III's return, Redskins-Browns is plenty big

Even without Robert Griffin III's return, Redskins-Browns is plenty big

From the day the 2016 NFL schedule was released, Oct. 2 was a date all Redskins fans circled. And highlighted. And bolded. Because Oct. 2 marked a date with the Cleveland Browns, a game that was supposed to feature the return of Robert Griffin III.

A familiar sight for Washington watchers, however — an injury to RG3, which he suffered in Week 1 against the Eagles — has prevented that storyline from coming true. Instead, the Browns will start Cody Kessler under center, meaning Kirk Cousins won't get a chance to square off with his fellow 2012 draftee, meaning this Sunday doesn't mean nearly as much as it would've if a healthy No. 10 was heading back to FedEx Field.

Or, that's what some are saying.

"This is a dead week," Eric Bickel of the Sports Junkies said on Thursday's show. "This was supposed to be our Super Bowl for sports talk radio. And people are like, 'Eh, this is great, boring's good.' They just don't understand our business."

"They don't work in this biz," John "Cakes" Auville chimed in, lamenting the phone calls and hot takes that were lost when Griffin went down.

"They dont understand how it works around here. And this was supposed to be, really Cakes, one of the best weeks of the year," Bickel said. "We've been pointing to it for months," Cakes added.

"This was really supposed to be an amazing week, and, you know, the big story is, we lost our center," E.B. concluded.

"You're also coming off a win, you can get to 2-2," J.P. Flaim pointed out, trying to prove to his despondent buddies that the game still carries a lot of meaning.

"Even that pales in comparison to Robert's return," Cakes responded.

Now, it's easy to understand why the Junkies are a little down. E.B. is a noted Griffin guy, so not getting a chance to see one of his beloved ex-'Skins definitely hurts. Plus, as mentioned earlier, the morning is a lot quieter when there's no Griffin-Cousins/Griffin's revenge/Griffin's going to get what's been coming for him angles to yell about.

But, RG3's absence notwithstanding, Sunday should still mean plenty for the Burgundy and Gold and their fans. Because, while not having the polarizing passer to watch removes some national intrigue from the contest, the Redskins can't afford to lose an ounce of interest as kickoff approaches.

A win helps the home side even up their record, which absolutely matters in a year where the NFC East looks improved. Building off of last week's victory in New York would be a giant step in the right direction after a lackluster start. A loss, meanwhile, sends this city right back to the edge of the cliff. The edge of the cliff isn't a fun spot to be in.

Therefore, it's necessary for people in the area to ask themselves a question: What's more fun, having a controversial player to talk about from Monday to Friday, or having a franchise coming off of a win to talk about on Sunday?

The answer shouldn't be up for debate. The Redskins need to go all in for Week 4, Griffin or no Griffin.

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