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After Further Review: Offense gets it going in second half

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After Further Review: Offense gets it going in second half

Here is my review after looking at the recording of the Redskins-Bengals game. The second half is here,go here to see the first half review.Third quarterThat was just a good, competent drive for the Redskins first offensive touchdown. The only thing of note was the last play, when Robert Geathers tried to take Morris head off behind the line of scrimmage, but the RB spun out of it and scooted into the end zone.Jarvis Jenkins had a big hand in making a third-down stop on the Bengals ensuing possession. He got into the hole and made the initial contact on BenJarvus Green-Ellis. That held him up long enough for the rest of the defense to take him down.You have to love the way Alfred Morris runs. During the second TD drive he just willed his way through a pile of bodies to pick up seven additional yards. He ran the last five yards with his torso parallel to the ground.The edge defenders have to play the option soft when Banks is in. His speed just terrifies defenses. Good adjustment by Kyle Shanahan to get him in there.Again, Morris. Hes stopped dead after a two-yard gain on second and five at the 12. But his legs keep churning and he moves the pile for enough yardage to get the first down.Had Griffins left foot not been a few inches out of bounds, his arms-out dive to the goal line with the ball touching the pylon would have been an all-timer.But they got the TD on the next play anyway as Griffin found Santana Moss in the front of the end zone with a pinpoint pass on the move. That tied the game at 24-24.Its hard to say for sure, but it doesnt appear that Josh Wilson was touched while he was on the ground after recovering Green-Ellis first fumble in 590 career touches. The all-22 might provide a better view. The veteran refs probably would have let the play proceed and then, since it was a turnover, take a look on the automatic review. But the replacements blew the whistle and signaled timeout very quickly so even if the Redskins had prevailed on a challenge, Wilson would not have been given very many return yards, if any.Fourth quarterThe Redskins twice got good field position after tying the score and twice they squandered it. The first one, after the fumble recovery, was torpedoed by a second-down sack. They got the ball at the end of the third quarter on a punt and that one ended with Mike Shanahans controversial decision to punt on fourth and one from the Cincinnati 44.One of the disadvantages of having Banks in on offenseblocking. Griffin ran on third and eight from the Washington 49 and came up a yard short. Had Banks been able to get anything resembling a block on cornerback Nate Clements it looks like Griffin would have been able to squeeze out another couple of yards and they could have kept the drive alive.Another thing to look for on the all-22 is DeAngelo Halls facemask penalty. It didnt look like he was close enough to Green to do anything to him. It wound up being only a six-yard penalty since Green caught the ball and got down to the 12 but curious anyway.I can see why some wanted pass interference called on the deep pass to Hankerson but I really dont see it. Mays was between Hankerson and the ball and he is allowed to maintain that position. Yes, Hank went to the ground but not until the ball did.It just looked like Richard Crawford was tentative in his coverage of Andrew Hawkins on the 59-yard touchdown pass. He didnt quite believe what his eyes were telling him and by the time he figured it out, Hawkins was well past him.Although they didnt go no-huddle, the Redskins were efficient during their 90-yard drive to make a game of it again. They got off 12 plays in about three and a half minutes. That is a switch from what weve seen in the recent past.On the earlier challenged touchback, the ball was just inches from bouncing in the field of play. Niles Paul was just inches, maybe a foot or so, from legally batting the ball back on the onside kick. It would be a stretch to say the Redskins are about 18 inches away from being 2-1 but it wouldnt be a huge one.The Redskins should have declined the delay of game penalty after Cincinnati took a delay of game from the Washington 36 after the 2:00 warning. Its easier to put a team in the hole from the 41 than it is from five yards closer in.The officials were correct (after being corrected) not to run 10 seconds off of the clock after Leonard Hankerson was injured after the Redskins were out of timeouts and already had received a free timeout when Evan Royster was hurt. The rules, however, do call for a five-yard delay of game penalty in such a situation.Another RG3 Moment happened when Adam Jones hit him out of bounds after a scramble. Jones went sprawling while Griffin remained upright. Goes with the Superman socks.Public service announcementplease do not work on the assumption that the guys in the TV booth know the rules. They dont. There is never, ever a runoff if the clock is stopped.

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Need to Know: Who are the Redskins' roster locks?

Need to Know: Who are the Redskins' roster locks?

Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, May 23, 21 days before the Washington Redskins start minicamp on May 22.

Timeline

It’s been 142 days since the Redskins played a game. Their season opener against the Eagles at FedEx Field is in 110 days.

Days until:

—Redskins minicamp (6/13) 21
—Training camp starts (7/27) 65
—Preseason opener @ Ravens (8/10) 79

Who will surprise in 2017?

As OTAs start today, all 90 players on the roster have something to work for. But few dozen of them don’t have to work for a job. These are players who either because of their contracts or draft status or importance to the team who are locks to make the 53-man roster. Here are the 2017 roster locks.

Offense (18)

Backs: QB’s Kirk Cousins, Colt McCoy, and Nate Sudfeld; RB’s Rob Kelley, Chris Thompson, and Samaje Perine.

I’ve had Sudfeld on the bubble ever since the Redskins drafted him but he’s past the point where they are going to give up on him and risk putting him on the practice squad. A year ago, Kelley was on the outside of the bubble and now he is a mortal lock.

WR/TE: WR’s Terrelle Pryor, Josh Doctson, Jamison Crowder; TEs Jordan Reed, Vernon Davis

Receivers Maurice Harris and Robert Davis are close to being locks but there is a lot of competition going on in the bottom of the depth chart. Jeremy Sprinkle is likely to make it as a tight end but he may have to beat out special teams stalwart Niles Paul.

O-line: OT’s Trent Williams, Morgan Moses, Ty Nsekhe, G’s Shawn Lauvao, Brandon Scherff, Arie Kouandjio; C Spencer Long

You can argue about Lauvao but the fact that the team did not draft or sign serious competition for him tells me he is safe. Someone who can back up a center is a lock to make the roster. That could be sixth-round pick Chase Roullier or a veteran plucked off waivers.

Defense (18)

D-line: Terrell McClain, Stacy McGee, Jonathan Allen, Anthony Lanier, Ziggy Hood

Lanier will still be a project but after keeping him last year the Redskins will hang on to him again to see if he can develop into a pass-rushing threat. Matt Ioannidis could be the sixth defensive lineman but he could get beaten out.

Linebackers: OLB’s Ryan Kerrigan, Preston Smith, Junior Galette, Ryan Anderson; ILB’s Will Compton, Zach Brown, Mason Foster

Trent Murphy will be suspended for the first four games so he won’t be on the initial 53. Martrell Spaight is close to being a lock but competition will be fierce for that last inside linebacker spot.

Backs: CB’s Josh Norman, Bashaud Breeland, Kendall Fuller, Quinton Dunbar; Safeties Su’a Cravens, D.J. Swearinger

Five or possibly six positions are up for grabs here. Third-round pick Fabian Moreau is a lock to be with the organization but he could be on the PUP list.  

Specialists (3): LS Nick Sundberg, P Tress Way, K Dustin Hopkins

It would be very surprising if they brought in competition for Hopkins.

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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Jay Gruden views Chris Thompson as the NFL's best third-down running back

Jay Gruden views Chris Thompson as the NFL's best third-down running back

In 2016, Chris Thompson simply needed to prove to Jay Gruden that he could handle 16 NFL games.

Now, looking ahead to 2017, the fifth-year running back hopes to show his head coach he can shoulder 16 NFL games and a larger workload.

"I have a feeling that I might get a little more this year," Thompson said Monday at the Redskins Charitable Golf Foundation. "[Gruden] knows now that I'm healthy and I can stay healthy, which I think that was one of his biggest concerns. So now he sees that I can handle the load, I think that I'll get a lot more opportunities this year."

Last season was by far the best in the 26-year-old's career. He played a full slate of games after playing in just 19 over his first three seasons combined, and he set career highs in rushing attempts (68), yards (356), receptions (49), receiving yards (349) and total touchdowns (5).

MORE REDSKINS: TEAM IS AHEAD OF SCHEDULE WITH PLANS FOR NEW STADIUM

He also held up well in pass protection, a key duty for him as the team's third-down running back. And it's all of those qualities — being able to contribute on handoffs and with catches while also providing help in keeping Kirk Cousins upright — that make him an excellent fit for a popular NFL duty.

The most excellent in that duty, actually, if you ask Gruden. 

"I think Chris Thompson's role is big," he said. "When you're talking about third downs, that's the most important down in football. There's nobody better as a third-down back in my opinion than Chris. He's got a huge role on this football team." 

Gruden went on to indicate that an increase in Thompson's responsibilities is likely coming, though No. 25 will still do the majority of his work when the offense needs him most.

"Whether he does some more stuff on first- and second-down will be determined," he said. "I'm sure he will. But he's so valuable on third-down that I gotta keep him in that role for now."

A 2013 fifth-round pick who came into the league with a history of injuries, Thompson has now fully gained the trust of his coaches and teammates. The 5-foot-8 running back may be small in stature, but the Redskins know he's not small in importance.  

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