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Cross another name off the D-line wish list: Dontari Poe signs with Falcons, per report

Cross another name off the D-line wish list: Dontari Poe signs with Falcons, per report

Many Redskins fans dreamed the team would sign nose tackle Dontari Poe this offseason. It appears that dream is dead.

Poe went to consecutive Pro Bowls in 2013 and 2014, cementing himself as one of the best defensive tackles in football. He had the size and burst needed to play nose tackle in the 3-4 scheme, something the Redskins have mostly lacked since switching to the scheme in 2010.

Poe visited a number of teams before reportedly agreeing to a deal in Atlanta. The Redskins, however, were not one of those teams. 

Poe landing with the Falcons makes sense, as Atlanta is now run by Scott Pioli, the former personnel chief in Kansas City that drafted Poe five seasons ago.

Terms were not immediately disclosed for Poe's deal, though it should be noted his play slipped over the last two seasons since his Pro Bowl years in 2013 and 2014. Those two years, Poe accounted for 10.5 sacks and stout run defense. In 2015 and 2016, he combined for 2.5 sacks and his tackle total dipped significantly.

To date, Washington has added Terrell McClain and Stacy McGee to bolster their defensive line, as well as re-signed veteran Ziggy Hood. The team saw Chris Baker sign with the Bucs as a free agent, and cut Ricky Jean-François on Thursday.

<<<LOOKING AT REDSKINS DRAFT PROSPECTS>>>

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Need to Know: Examining Jay Gruden's reasons for optimism for the 2017 Redskins

Need to Know: Examining Jay Gruden's reasons for optimism for the 2017 Redskins

Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, March 30, 28 days before the April 27 NFL draft.

Timeline

Days until:

—Offseason workouts begin (4/17) 18
—Redskins rookie camp (5/12) 43
—Redskins OTAs start (5/24) 55
—Franchise tag contract deadline (7/15) 107
—First Sunday of 2017 season (9/10) 155

Reasons for optimism?

I don’t think that Jay Gruden is on Twitter and I doubt that he listens to talk radio but he can sense the feeling of “doom and gloom” that has set in among many in the fan base. Not surprisingly, he disagrees that such a sentiment is warranted.

“I’m very optimistic,” he told reporters at the NFL meetings in Phoenix. “I know it’s not great but we’ve had back-to-back winning seasons and there’s no reason for us not to be optimistic. Last year we were very close, lost 13-10 the last game of the year to get in. So, yeah, we’re excited.”

He then went through a list of reasons for the optimism. Let’s go through them and evaluate them.

We have a very good offensive line coming back, our quarterback’s coming back. I feel good about our receiving corps, our two tight ends. Niles Paul’s coming back, [Derek] Carrier’s coming back for depth at tight end.

I can go along with this for the most part. It’s a very good pass-blocking line and it’s an adequate group when it comes to run blocking. While the future is cloudy for quarterback Kirk Cousins it does look like he will be behind center in 2017. The receiving corps lost two key members in Pierre Garçon and DeSean Jackson but the addition of Terrelle Pryor and some production out of Josh Doctson should compensate to an extent. Jordan Reed is one of the best tight ends in the league and Vernon Davis is a solid backup.

The defensive line, we’ve addressed a bit, we’ll continue to address it. 

Well, yeah, a bit. They’re still looking for a nose tackle. All Gruden had last night was that new D-line coach Jim Tomsula will make someone into a nose tackle. Maybe he can’t do that but he is an upgrade in the coaching department and he could make more out of what they have. And, of course, there is still the draft. Despite the loss of Chris Baker the line could be better than last year but that's a low bar. 

Linebackers, [Mason] Foster, [Will] Compton, [Martrell] Spaight is going to be back. Our safety position with D.J. [Swearinger] will be upgraded. Hopefully D. Hall comes back, Su’a [Cravens] over there, should be an interesting move, see what he can do.

The inside linebackers are not feared by any means but they do some things well. And, again, they have the draft to upgrade. The safety spot has potential to be upgraded with Cravens and Swearinger but there are leaps of faith with Swearinger playing free instead of strong and Cravens moving from his hybrid linebacker spot.

Kerrigan will be back, pass rusher, Preston [Smith] is going to get better. Maybe Junior [Galette] if he comes back.

This area is iffy. Kerrigan is going to give you good production but we'll have to see if Smith can be more consistent and if Galette can stay healthy and regain the explosiveness that led to consecutive years of double-digit sacks in New Orleans. Gruden didn’t mention Trent Murphy, who got nine sacks last year but, as Gruden acknowledged, is likely to be suspended for the first four games. If things work out the edge rushers could be a very good group but that's far from something they can bank on. 

We have a lot of reasons for excitement around here. I don’t know why everyone is so doom and gloom around here. We’re excited. I know our players are going to be excited to get back to work. Kirk’s excited, I’m excited so let’s go. 

I’m not sure if there is reason for Redskins fans to be looking for tickets and cold weather gear for the Super Bowl in Minneapolis. This looks like a team that should have somewhere round seven or nine wins. That’s not where fans want them to be but it hardly warrants the dread and pessimism that is heard from many corners of Redskins Nation.

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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Su'a Cravens and Will Compton ate dinner together, but only one got attention from fans

Su'a Cravens and Will Compton ate dinner together, but only one got attention from fans

Back in February, fans named the Redskins the third-most attractive team in the NFL. On top of that, Will Compton was tabbed the league's fifth-best looking player overall (in fact, he beat out Tom Brady, and everyone knows beating out Tom Brady in anything is always notable). 

A side effect of being revered for your good looks, though, is that other people will sometimes get jealous of them. Take Compton's teammate, Su'a Cravens, for example.

According to some tweets from Cravens, the two Washington defenders were casually eating dinner on Wednesday night, but kept getting interrupted. The reason for the interruptions?

Apparently, they were happening because Compton is just really, really, really, ridiculously good looking

MORE REDSKINS: EX-SKINS OC SEAN MCVAY JUST BOUGHT A MULTIMILLION DOLLAR HOME

Hopefully Compton picked up the tab, at least.