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53: Defensive Line

53: Defensive Line

Andre Carter

Between now and the start of training camp I'll be making my predictions about who will be on the final 53-man roster for the Washington Redskins--who's there, who's in, who's on the bubble, and who's out. The predicted roster will be revised and updated as preseason events warrant. Today, the defensive line:

Who's here Now: (16) Ends: Alex Buzbee, Andre Carter, Phillip Daniels, Rob Jackson, Jeremy Jarmon, J. D. Skolnitsky, Derek Walker, Chris Wilson, Renaldo Wynn Tackles: Lorenzo Alexander, Antonio Dixon, Kedric Golston, Cornelius Griffin, Albert Haynesworth, Vaka Manupuna, Anthony Montgomery. (Note—Jarmon is not yet on the official roster so it's likely that another DE will be released when he signs his contract. Also, I am counting Brian Orakpo as a linebacker.)

How many will stick: 10

Starters: From left to right, Daniels, Haynesworth, Griffin, Carter. On obvious passing downs, Orakpo will move up and rush the passer from the left side. The additions of Haynesworth and Orakpo and the return of Daniels turn this unit from a relative weakness to a strength. Ideally, Haynesworth will crash the middle

Solid backups: Golston, Montgomery, Jarmon, Wilson. Jarmon probably won't get a whole lot of time at end, barring injury, as he needs to bulk up and learn the system. Montgomery and Golston will go from sharing the starting job to trying to make an impact as rotational players in their contract years. Wilson seems to be the best bet to back up Carter as the pass rushing defensive end.

Last men on: Alexander, Jackson—The battles for the last two, or maybe even three, spots on the defensive line will be among the highlights of August. Alexander didn't play as much on offense as he did under Gibbs but his flexibility gives him a leg up on the competition. Jackson will have to perform well enough to warrant a spot on the game day roster on a regular basis if he's going to make it. He needs to hope that the Redskins do decide to go with 10 plus Orakpo on the D-line because he's very much on the bubble if they go with nine.

First men off: Wynn, Buzbee—I made the case last week that Wynn could be released when Jarmon signs. If he does stay, he'll give it a battle but the acquisition of Jarmon sealed Wynn's fate. For Buzbee it's a matter of poor timing. He had his shot to make some noise last year but he suffered a season-ending knee injury the same day that Daniels did.

Spots taken so far: 18

Spots to go: 35

Next: Running back-fullback

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Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—First round of draft could fall into place

Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—First round of draft could fall into place

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, January 21, 96 days before the NFL draft.

Timeline

Days until:
NFL franchise tag deadline 39
NFL free agency starts 47
First Sunday of 2017 season 232

The Redskins week that was

A look back at the week with some of the top posts on RealRedskins.com and on CSNmidatlantic.com.  

An early look at 1st-round draft possibilities for the Redskins—This post marked 100 days until the draft and now were a few days closer. It’s very early but the preliminary big boards make it look like the Redskins are likely to have a defensive lineman such as Solomon Thomas of Stanford or Mailk McDowell of Michigan State wind up as the best available player so that both the fans a Scot McCloughan can be happy.

Cap room a dilemma for Redskins McCloughan?—There is plenty of talk about how expensive Kirk Cousins’ contract or franchise tag will be and how the expense could affect the ability to spend in other positions. But the team has $62 million in cap space. If they don’t spend a good chunk of it on Cousins what will they do with it? They could bring back Pierre Garçon, Chris Baker and make new deals for eligible 2014 draft picks like Bashaud Breeland and Morgan Moses and still have a lot left over. If they don’t spend it a quarterback, what will they do with it? I do know that if they have, say, $20 million in cap space left and they are around .500 again, the fans and media will not be happy.

Projecting the Redskins 2017 roster—Offense—The changes on this side of the ball will feel more like reloading than rebuilding. I’m assuming Cousins will be back one way (long-term deal) or another (tag). At least four out of the five O-linemen are set and the tight ends will get set if McCloughan can lure Vernon Davis back. We’ll see if the running back corps gets shaken up in the draft or in free agency. The one area that could be wide open is receiver and even that could remain relatively stable if Garçon returns.

3 of 4 Redskins named to Pro Bowl won't attend—I think fans generally have become much more apathetic about Pro Bowl selections compared to, say, seven or eight years ago. Playing in the exhibition game is an “honor” that so many choose not to accept or, as was the case with Brandon Scherff, Ryan Kerrigan, and Jordan Reed, they are too injured after a 16-game season to take part. Meanwhile, alternates Cousins, Josh Norman, and Jamison Crowder (as a kick returner) have not yet heard their phones ring. Why does the NFL even bother with the Pro Bowl? People still watch it. Ratings for the last edition (4.5) were about a point lower than the MLB All-Star game (5.4) and a tick above the NBA All-Star game (4.3). Those are not huge ratings but big enough to turn a profit.  

The early odds on what happens with Redskins and Cousins—I think that the first offer that both sides make here is going to be critical. If the Redskins lowball Cousins again it will set a bad tone. If Cousins’ offer is too high the Redskins could think that Cousins is determined to leave. And both sides need to be willing to negotiate. If any of that took place last year there was very little. With no give and take the talks will go nowhere. 

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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: One more potential defensive coordinator is off the market for the Redskins

Report: One more potential defensive coordinator is off the market for the Redskins

Well it looks like the name many considered to be the Redskins top choice at defensive coordinator is off the market. Adam Schefter broke the news of Gus Bradley to the Los Angeles Chargers.

The Redskins interviewed Bradley early in their process of selecting a new defensive coordinator. His latest gig ended poorly after he was fired as head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars, but Bradley's best success came as defensive coordinator with the Seattle Seahawks.

When he served in that role with Seattle, Bradley worked with Scot McCloughan. And prior to his coaching stint in Seattle, Bradley coached in Tampa, where he worked with both Bruce Allen and Jay Gruden.

Those connections, and his success in Seattle, had many fans hoping Bradley would take over for Joe Barry, who Washington dismissed more than two weeks ago.

The connection between Bradley and the Chargers comes as no surprise, and it leaves Washington still in need of a defensive boss.

Mike Pettine probably jumps to the top of the ranks of other coaches the Redskins have interviewed, but it still seems internal candidate Greg Manusky could be in position to move up to coordinator. Manusky spent the 2016 season as outside linebackers coach and has prior coordinator experience.

The Skins have also interviewed Dennis Thurman, last of Buffalo, Jason Tarver, last of San Francisco, Rob Ryan, also last in Buffalo, and John Pagano, last with the Chargers.

RELATED: 2017 NFL MOCK DRAFT 1.0

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