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All’s quiet in Ashburn

All’s quiet in Ashburn

We're about 18 hours into the NFL free agent signing period and the sounds of silence are emanating from Redskins Park.

Well, near silence anyway. The Redskins did ink quarterback Todd Collins to a three year deal that will be worth at least $9 million ($3 million guaranteed), perhaps more with incentives. He signed the contract knowing that he would be the backup to Jason Campbell. Collins provided a feel-good story last year, coming in for an injured Campbell and leading the Redskins to four straight wins and a playoff spot. The uplifting, underdog tale—Collins hadn't see any extended playing time in a decade—provided us with something to smile about in the wake of the murder of Sean Taylor.

Not to minimize the retention of a backup QB who has proven he can win, but that hardly qualifies as the big splash to which we have become accustomed around this time of year.

Unlike in past years when the start of free agency meant that the fax machines were cranking all night long as the number crunchers worked various "what if" cap scenarios into and through the wee hours of the morning, all reports are that there is little activity in Ashburn. Redskins One is in the hangar, getting a much-needed extended rest after logging many hours in the air during the coaching search. No free agent visits are scheduled.

That bears repeating. No free agent visits are scheduled. It used to be tough to get a room at a hotel near Ashburn this time of year as they were all booked with free agents and their entourages waiting to take their shots at getting a fat paycheck signed by one Daniel Snyder.

All across Redskins Nation there are definite signs of withdrawal. After years of being accustomed to the thrill of being in the mix for the biggest names in the free agency pool, there is the hollow feeling of, well, hollowness. Nothing.

Many aren't handling this well. They are sitting at the keyboard, banging out messages about every released player and every pending free agent wondering how he might look in burgundy and gold. Others are staring at their phones, local sports talker number on the speed dial, waiting to call in and rip Snyder for overpaying yet another bum.

But the activity all is elsewhere. The Eagles inked Assante Samuel for five years and $47 million. In Miami the Tuna is reeling in players left and right. Tens of millions of dollars are being guaranteed almost every hour.

Sure, it's just like Vinny Cerrato said it would be a week or so ago. The Redskins are following the market instead of setting it. They'll let everyone else pick up the big tabs and settle for some leftovers in a week or so.

But, of course, that's no fun. Acting responsibly usually isn't. It's like sitting at home doing your homework on a Thursday while all your friends are at a party. In the long run, it's what you need to do. But at the moment it sure is boring.

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Redskins plan to interview Rob Ryan for defensive coordinator, per report

Redskins plan to interview Rob Ryan for defensive coordinator, per report

Plenty of Redskins fans wanted the team to interview Rex Ryan for defensive coordinator.

Well, a report shows they aren't talking to Rex, but instead, his brother Rob, according to Albert Breer of MMQB

Rex Ryan's track record as a defensive coordinator is very impressive.

Rob Ryan's track record as a defensive coordinator is, uh, less impressive. 

In 12 seasons as a coordinator, first in Oakland and then with Cleveland, Dallas and New Orleans, Rob Ryan has two Top 5 finishes in yards allowed. He also has finished 31st out of 32 teams in the league in yards allowed three times.

Below is a chart from Pro Football Reference showing his defensive ranks from 2004 when he became coordinator in Oakland all the way through his last job as a coordinator in New Orleans in 2015.

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The results aren't pretty.

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It should be noted that in 2016, Rob Ryan served as assistant head coach in Buffalo on his brother Rex's staff.

That team's defense finished 19th in yards allowed. 

Gus Bradley and Mike Pettine have interviewed with the Redskins for their vacant defensive coordinator opening.

Washington is also reported to have reached out to Wade Phillips, who took the same position with the Rams, and Steve Wilks, who took the same position with the Carolina Panthers. Internally, outside linebackers coach Greg Manusky also seems to be under some consideration for the position, and a report last week linked former 49ers head coach Jim Tomsula with the Washington defense.

Want more Redskins? Check out @JPFinlayCSN for live updates or click here for the #RedskinsTalk Podcast on iTunes, here for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!

 

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Award Tour: Tandler & JP name Redskins' Defensive Player of the Year

Award Tour: Tandler & JP name Redskins' Defensive Player of the Year

With the 2017 offseason about to kick into high gear, Redskins Insiders JP Finlay and Rich Tandler are going to take one last look at 2016 in the coming days.

That’s right, it’s time to hand out awards for Coach of the Year, Special Teams Player of the Year, Rookie of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year and Offensive Player of the Year.

We’ve picked our top coaches and the Special Teams POY. Today we select the Defensive Player of the Year.

Tandler: This is tough because there were no real standouts on a mediocre unit. Ryan Kerrigan was the only defensive representitive to the Pro Bowl and had 11 sacks but his impact plays were few. You could make a case for Chris Baker, who was the only consistently effective player on the defensive line.

The pick here is Josh Norman.

He also was invisible for long stretches for good reasons. The only quarterback to throw his way more than seven times in the last half of the season was the Bears’ Matt Barkley and Norman made him pay with two interceptions. A Norman pick set up the clincher in the Browns game and he forced a fumble that put the Packers game beyond even an Aaron Rodgers miracle.

Outside of that, he set the tone during the week, staying out a minimum of 30 minutes after every practice, working on his craft.

If the defense can get two or three more players just like Norman they’ll be fine.

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Finlay: Norman is a strong pick, but since Tandler stole that selection from me, I will go with Kerrigan.

I've heard the lack of impact plays argument, and don't agree. His strip-sack to end the Eagles game, a win the reeling Redskins desperately needed, was probably a Top 5 defensive play this season. Without that sack, Philly had all the momentum and a chance to knock the 'Skins out of playoff contention. He also played through a number of injuries, starting every game for the sixth straight season.

Baker's name deserves recognition, as does Trent Murphy. The best part of Murphy's eight sack breakout campaign: Excellence is expected of Norman and Kerrigan. With Kerrigan, the expectations are so high that 11 sacks is almost dismissed by some fans and media. Murphy emerged as a viable sack threat for Washington this season, something that he can build upon next year. 

RELATED: 2017 NFL MOCK DRAFT 1.0

Want more Redskins? Check out @JPFinlayCSN and @Rich_TandlerCSN for live updates or click here for the #RedskinsTalk Podcast on iTunes, here for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!