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Answering your tweets: Rambo, Orakpo, and the hurry-up offense

Answering your tweets: Rambo, Orakpo, and the hurry-up offense

Lots of great questions this week, let's get started:
@Rich_TandlerCSN Rich, did we miss on Rambo or is he just getting a "sit, watch, this is what we expect of you" teaching lesson?

— Greg Barackman (@Flybear2Greg) October 3, 2013
(similar question from @kylewis09) It's a bit of a stretch for to call a sixth-round pick a "miss"; evidently Alfred Morris' success raised the bar for late-rounders considerably. I think they gave Rambo a shot at starting but he proved not to be ready. I don't think we've seen the last of him this year and certainly not for the rest of his career. Like most sixth-rounders he needs time to develop and if he can develop into being a competent starter it will be a huge hit for the Redskins. If he ends up playing special teams and playing in rotation and spot starting the rest of his career, that's about what the level of expectation for a sixth-rounder should be.
@Rich_TandlerCSN how does Aldrick Robinson go from training camp success to last on depth chart? Thanks — Steve Bailey (@scbailey1) October 3, 2013
He was last on the depth chart even in training camp. Robinson was never going to be ahead of the top four on the depth chart. But he did have a chance to earn more snaps than he's been getting. But he simply has to make that play in the end zone against the Lions. That's why he's here. A player like Robinson isn't going to get a ton of opportunities once the games start to count. The only way he can earn more snaps is to make plays when he has the opportunity. But his mistake possibly cost his team the game and he's going to have to do a lot to make up for it.
@Rich_TandlerCSN Will return of RJax & Jenkins bring new defensive looks or blitz packages?

— J.H. (@Kona302) October 3, 2013
(similar questions from @MrBoonsta, @Joe_V_, @MC_Brooks) Anyone who is looking for the return of Jarvis Jenkins and Rob Jackson to transform the defense is probably going to be disappointed. Jenkins will start if not immediately then in a week or two. But he's a marginal starter at a position that doesn't have a huge impact on a 3-4 defense to begin with. Jackson is a reserve and the two players in front of him, Ryan Kerrigan and Brian Orakpo, are two of the very few bright spots on defense. Jim Haslett will work to get Jackson on the field in some packages with the other two OLB's and maybe even rookie Brandon Jenkins to generate pass rush. But don't look for Jackson to get any regular snaps on the inside; at 6-feet-4 his height would work against him when it came to fighting off blocks.
@Rich_TandlerCSN Why not make the no huddle more prevalent to start games and avoid early deficits?

— Marshall (@MWharam7) October 3, 2013
(similar questions from @Not_Dannyy, @cpredford, @cmcochran0)

The Redskins did get a spark from the hurry-up offense, no question about it. But would they get that spark if they ran it more? Maybe, but it's no sure thing. I asked Kyle Shanahan about it after the Eagles game and he said that you don't just slap the no-huddle on top of your offense; your offense has to be tailored to it for it to work consistently. If going no-huddle was a magic potion for moving the ball than the huddle would become a thing of the past for all 32 NFL teams. It's best used as a surprise tactic on occasion. Should they pull it out more than they have? I think so. Robert Griffin III seems to be perfectly suited to running it and in the small sample size we have, it was effective.
@Rich_TandlerCSN What kind of contract will the Redskins be looking to give Brian Orakpo after this season?

— John The Faptist (@MC_Brooks) October 3, 2013
(similar questions from @DaveWillHTTR, @RTubman) It's too early to tell. If Orakpo keeps up his current pace and ends up with 12 sacks and leads the team in hits and hurries like he is now, he's probably looking at something with an $8-$10 million per year range, let's say 5 years, $48 million with $18 million guaranteed. If he falls off, he's looking at $8 million/year and down. If he blows up and posts 16 sacks and picks off a pass or two and scores a touchdown, then we're talking something in the neighborhood of Clay Matthews' $13 million/year extension. The could franchise him if they want to keep him and can't come to a deal; that would cost the Redskins something around $10 million for 2014.
@Rich_TandlerCSN wouldn't you think ahmad black is an upgrade over a gumbs or pugh? is he that much of a liability in coverage?

— Bill Lancaster (@bigbillnocmd) October 3, 2013
(similar questions on acquiring players from @danielleclaud, @Volsman 22, @Rockylee85)

I'll admit that I'm not that familiar with the play of former Bucs safety Black. I do think that the fact that the 0-4 Bucs cut him says something. So does the fact that he has over 100 snaps from this year on tape and no team in a league where safety play is generally pretty bad decided to claim him. Perhaps he would be an upgrade but I have very rarely seen the waiver wire as a solution to in-season problems. The Redskins did bring in 18 street free agents to try out but they were merely collecting data in case someone gets injured and a need arises. As they did last year, they will attempt to pull out of their issues with the players who for the most part have been with them through OTAs, minicamp, and training camp. Rarely are solutions found on the street.

That's all I have room for here. If I didn't hit your question here I'll try to answer on Twitter.

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Need to Know: Final look at Redskins-Cardinals—Bottling up David Johnson

Need to Know: Final look at Redskins-Cardinals—Bottling up David Johnson

Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, December 4, seven days before the Washington Redskins play the Philadelphia Eagles.

Timeline

Today's schedule: Redskins vs. Cardinals 4:25 pm

Days until: Redskins @ Eagles 7; Panthers @ Redskins 15; Redskins @ Bears Christmas Eve 20

Injuries of note:
Out:
TE Jordan Reed (shoulder), DE Anthony Lanier (leg)
Questionable: G Brandon Scherff (ankle), OT Ty Nsekhe (ankle), Bashaud Breeland (ankle), LS Nick Sundberg (back)
Final injury report

Redskins vs. Cardinals
FOX, Sunday, 4:25 p.m., Dick Stockton and Chris Spielman
Line: Cardinals -2.5

Final thoughts on Redskins vs Cardinals

—It needs to be a Ryan Kerrigan day if the Redskins are going to win. Or a Preston Smith day, something rarely seen this year. Or perhaps Arizonan Trent Murphy will get a couple of sacks for his friends and family. Carson Palmer has been ineffective this year because he has been under constant pressure. Washington needs to keep that up.

—It’s going to be interesting to see what happens with Josh Norman and Larry Fitzgerald. The Cardinals don’t just put Fitz into the slot as a wrinkle; they do it all the time. Norman isn’t comfortable covering in the slot but Joe Barry and Jay Gruden will be very uncomfortable if Fitzpatrick dominates Kendall Fuller. Maybe they will try to start off with Norman on the outside but they will adjust quickly. I know I’ve been back and forth on this all week but the Redskins will not use their base defense very often since the Cardinals like to spread the field so much. There will be no “standard” set for this game.

—The Redskins gain 6.4 yards per play, second in the NFL. The Cardinals allow 4.7 yards per game, first in the NFL. As usual, Washington may have to get their score into the upper 20’s to win. That might require a takeaway or a big special teams play.

—A lot of running backs would like to be in a “slump” like the one David Johnson is in now. After gaining at least 83 yards in five straight games, including going over 100  yards in three straight, Johnson has a combined 240 rushing yards in his last four games. Sixty yards per game is respectable but not dominant. The Redskins will gladly sign up for that going in but the Cards will want to get him going against Washington’s leaky rushing defense.

—I think the Redskins will be able to pressure Palmer but Johnson probably has a big day on tap. Unlike some other teams who have played the Redskins this year, if the Cardinals get a good running game going they won’t abandon it. On the other side of the ball, the Redskins’ offense will be slowed down but not shut down. My prediction, which I make with no hesitation but without much confidence:

Redskins 27, Cardinals 21

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Eagles reportedly will make 'strong push' to bring back DeSean Jackson

Eagles reportedly will make 'strong push' to bring back DeSean Jackson

After parting ways with him in a messy release that left the receiver angry with his former franchise back in 2014, the Eagles intend to make a "stong push" to bring back DeSean Jackson this offseason, according to Adam Schefter.

The 30-year-old will be an unrestricted free agent when the season wraps up, and there's been a yearlong debate over whether the Redskins should offer him another contract when that happens. Now, on top of weighing how much he's worth to their offense, Washington will also have to worry about how much he could potentially help a division rival. 

In his report, Schefter cites sources who've told him that "Jackson and Eagles coach Doug Pederson are big admirers of each other." One reason why that admiration from Pederson makes sense: Philadelphia has one of, if not the, worst receiving groups in the NFL, and it's imperative that they do a better job of surrounding Carson Wentz with more talent in 2017.

Sure, this is just a single report in early December, but it is an intriguing one. While it's faded the longer he's been in Burgundy and Gold, Jackson hasn't hidden his resentment for the Eagles since coming to the Redskins. The 2008 second-round pick played in Philly for six campaigns, but was eventually let go in a controversial move that left him upset.

After their game in Arizona Sunday, the 'Skins will travel to Philadelphia next week for a crucial late-season matchup. With this speculation now being passed around the league, keep an eye on if the Lincoln Financial Field crowd gives Jackson a warmer reception than they have since his departure. 

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