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Could be addition by subtraction for Redskins secondary

Could be addition by subtraction for Redskins secondary

Expectations flopped for the Redskins secondary in 2016. Josh Norman teamed up with Bashaud Breeland would give Washington one of the top pairs of cornerbacks in the league, the thinking went, but the results didn't prove quite as fruitful.

Certainly not wholly to blame on Norman and Breeland, but the Redskins defense ranked 25th in the NFL in passing yards allowed. The entire defense struggled, and the roster had problems from the defensive front all the way back to the safeties, but the cornerbacks also seemed to struggle conceptually. 

Yet, with the secondary, it often seemed like talent wasn't the issue. Confusion seemed to reign in the back end. Often, Redskins corners and safeties would be trying to figure out alignment just as the offense was snapping the ball. 

When the 'Skins dismissed Joe Barry in the immediate aftermath of the Week 17 loss to the Giants, the team also said goodbye to secondary coach Perry Fewell. 

More than one Redskins player voiced confusion about Fewell's schemes and personnel decisions during the 2016 season. Repeatedly, players said that practice reps did not always equate to game reps, and from week to week, players weren't always sure what to expect on gameday. 

Couple that with recent comments from Jay Gruden about expectations for the Washington secondary in 2017 under new defensive backs coach Torrian Gray and defensive coordinator Greg Manusky. Speaking at the combine, Gruden said:

That's what I’m looking for most in the secondary is them to play together. I think Torrian Gray is going to help out in that regard, Manusky will help out. They need to play together, wherever they’re playing, whoever they’re covering shouldn’t matter. The whole goal of the defense, when you’re playing defensive football for the Redskins, playing as one.

The comments sure seem telling. Remember that the 'Skins worked to retain Aubrey Pleasant as defensive backs coach - he worked as an assistant in that role under Fewell - but the team and coach were unable to agree to terms. Pleasant is now coaching in L.A. along with Barry and head coach Sean McVay. 

Players liked Pleasant, but perhaps a fresh start will help the unit. Regardless of losing Pleasant, it seems like the dismissal of Fewell could help too. 

<<<LOOKING AT REDSKINS DRAFT PROSPECTS>>>

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Rob Kelley hopes cutting out his favorite fast food restaurants means a better 2017

Rob Kelley hopes cutting out his favorite fast food restaurants means a better 2017

While his job and athletic ability separate him from most commoners, Rob Kelley is just like you and me when it comes to his diet. Well, when it came to his old diet, actually. 

Like many, the second-year Redskins running back loves him some crispy fried chicken, buttery, pillow-like biscuits and piping hot french fries. He also can get down with piles of nuggets, double cheesburgers and creamy milkshakes. 

But during this offseason, Fat Rob is looking less and less so, and that improvement is largely due to some new eating habits.

MORE: OVER/UNDER — HOW MANY TDs FOR DOCTSON?

"Changed the diet up," Kelley told CSN Redskins Insider JP Finlay this week at the former's youth camp (full video above). "Slowed down on the fast food and processed food and tried to eat more healthy."

When asked what places he's specifically cut out from his rotation, Kelley answered with a laugh. It wasn't a happy laugh, though — it was like one of those laughs people let out when they're feeling major pain but not trying to show it.

"Popeyes. McDonald's," he said. "Not trying to discredit those fast food places, but just, it's not working well for me."

Limiting trips to those establishments can no doubt be a difficult task (it's OK to nod your head in agreement) but it's also working for the 24-year-old. He told Finlay he thinks he's lost about six pounds since OTAs and now checks in at 229 thanks to his workouts and an increased reliance on Whole Foods, vegetables and his grill. 

But just because he's shedding pounds doesn't mean he's shedding the moniker that caught on during his rookie campaign. He may be trending closer to Svelte Rob than he is to Fat Rob these days, but No. 20 is going to keep his nickname moving forward anyway.

"It's always accurate," he said.

RELATED: TOP JERSEY SELLER IN MARYLAND AND VIRGINIA WASN'T A REDSKIN

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Top selling jersey in Virginia and Maryland is not a Redskin or Raven

Top selling jersey in Virginia and Maryland is not a Redskin or Raven

Virginia and Maryland may be Washington Redskins/ Baltimore Ravens country, but their fans are not buying their jerseys. That is at least for the month of May. 

NFLShop.com released their top jersey sales for May 2017 on Thursday morning and the un-retired Marshawn Lynch was the top seller for the nation in the 31-day span. Even if his return does not pay off on the field for the Oakland Raiders, it paid off in terms of sales. 

In the same release, NFL Shop revealed the top jersey per state in the same month and it was not a Washington Redskin or Baltimore Raven at the top of the list for Virginia and Maryland. Instead, it was Super Bowl LI MVP Tom Brady. 

Brady, a five-time Super Bowl champion, was the top seller in 17 different states, the most of any player.

The latter is not that surprising, but Brady owning Virginia and especially Maryland is. 

In terms of the Top 25 overall, there are no Redskins or Ravens making the list. Overall Brady was No. 2, followed by Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott. The first rookie, DeShaun Watson, came in at No. 5.

There may be a multitude of reasons for the Brady-love, aside from the typical bandwagon fans, but it does make one think which jersey are you confident in buying?

Other notable jersey sales:

#6 Derek Carr -- Oakland Raiders quarterback
#11 James Conner -- Pittsburgh Steelers rookie running back 
#17 Colin Kaepernick -- San Francisco 49ers (currently unsigned quarterback)
#25 Adrian Peterson -- New Orleans Saints running back

MORE REDSKINS: Statement on Kirk was a mistake, won't impact on-field performance