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5+1: Can the Redskins control Suh?


5+1: Can the Redskins control Suh?

The Redskins take on the Lions at FedEx Field in what may or may not be a must-win game. Here are five things to look for plus a prediction:

1. If they can’t control Ndamukong Suh it’s going to be a long day—and it could be a short day for Robert Griffin III. A vote of players has named the Lions’ defensive tackle the NFL’s dirtiest player two straight years and even when he plays cleanly he has the potential to wreck an offensive game plan and cause bodily harm to opposing players. One offensive lineman I talked to hinted that they could try to use Suh’s aggressiveness against him by calling some draws and screens.

2. The Lions ranked third in the league in yards gained last year but 17 in points scored. That points to a very inefficient operation that had to settle for field goal attempts a lot (36 of them) and turned the ball over way too often (33 times). They seem to be buttoning up some of these issues this year. With the required small sample size warning, they are eighth in yards and fifth in scoring.

3. But if coach Jim Schwartz has to call for a field goal attempt, he doesn’t have longtime, reliable Jason Hanson answering. David Akers is now the kicker and he’s been shaky at best. Last week he missed from 52, got a reprieve thanks to a penalty but was wide right from 47 and then he had another 47-yarder blocked. He struggled last year in San Francisco and you have to think the Lions will have limited confidence if they have to call on him.

4. Not sure what more can be said about Robert Griffin III that hasn’t already been said. If he plays like he did last year the Redskins should win and do so easily. If he is off the Redskins will struggle. Does the old RG3 return all of a sudden, like flipping a switch? Or will it come in fits and starts?

5. The Lions have never won in Washington, a streak that goes back to 1939. It includes 18 regular-season wins and three in the playoffs. You can say either say that the Lions are jinxed or that they are overdue.

Redskins 28, Lions 24

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Jonathan Allen plans to model his game after two other All-Pro defenders

Jonathan Allen plans to model his game after two other All-Pro defenders

New Redskins defensive lineman Jonathan Allen is looking to pattern his game after two All-Pro linemen. 

"I'm a very versatile player and can do anything. I love watching Geno Atkins and Aaron Donald," Washington’s first-round draft pick told reporters on a conference call.

The Redskins will be very happy if Allen can be as productive as Atkins and Donald. Atkins has played for the Bengals since the 2010 season. He has been durable, playing in 16 games in six of his seven seasons, and effective, producing 52 sacks, a good total for a defensive tackle. 


Donald was a first-round pick of the Rams in 2014. He was a first-team All-Pro in each of the past two seasons, recording a total of 28 sacks in his three seasons. 

Both players combine outstanding physical talent and high motors. Allen has selected two pretty good role models to follow. 

Stay up to date on the Redskins! Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerCSN and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN

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Gruden: Redskins have no concerns about Allen's shoulders

Gruden: Redskins have no concerns about Allen's shoulders

Jonathan Allen was the perfect pick for the Redskins, filling a need with a player who clearly was the best on the board.

Allen’s slide from a top-five prospect to the middle of the first round is believed to be because of issues with both of his shoulders. During his time at Alabama he suffered labral tears in both of his shoulders that were surgically repaired and he also suffers from mild arthritis in both of them. That apparently scared some teams off but not the Redskins.

“We didn't have any concerns,” said coach Jay Gruden. “We talked to Dr. [James] Andrews, he gave thumbs up on him. We feel very good about the injuries.”

Then why did a top talent slide all the way back to the Redskins’ pick?

“As far as him falling to us, their were a lot of things that happened in the draft, three quarterbacks went, a couple of receivers went pretty high, a lot of offensive players went that probably not a lot of people expected,” said Gruden. “So, some of these very good defensive players fell to us and we're happy.”

Allen told reporters that the shoulders did not cause him any problems while he was playing.

“I didn’t even wear a brace for the [2016] season,” Allen said. “So, I mean, it doesn’t even affect me. Every team I talked to, shoulders were medically cleared, no problems. Probably the best I’ve felt in the last four years, to be honest.”

Alabama team doctor Lyle Cain’s assessment of Allen’s shoulders align with those of the player and Gruden.

"He's played without any problems," Cain told NFL Media last month. "This is something that a lot of offensive linemen and defensive linemen have, things guys play with their whole careers. It's just a little earlier for him because he got hurt in college."

We will see how this plays out. It’s possible that his injury problems could limit his effectiveness or cut his career short. But clearly the Redskins saw that the Allen’s talent made the injury risk a worthwhile gamble.

Stay up to date on the Redskins! Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerCSN and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.