Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, August 22, 11 days before the Washington Redskins cut their roster to 53 on September 2.
The Redskins last played a game 233 days ago; they will open the 2017 season against the Eagles at FedEx Field in 19 days.
Today’s schedule: Off day
—Preseason national TV vs. Bengals (8/27) 5
—Redskins @ Rams (9/17) 26
—Sunday night Raiders @ Redskins (9/24) 33
5 reasons for optimism
Here are five reasons to be optimistic that the Redskins’ 2017 season will be successful. Tomorrow, the other side of the coin.
All starters will be healthy—They still must navigate that third preseason game but assuming they are able to do that they will field 22 of the 22 starters they have planned on since after the draft if the timetable for Spencer Long’s return from a knee scope is accurate. Except for Trent Murphy, all key reserves should be good to go. An NFL season consists of four months of attrition and starting with a nearly full complement of players is a solid advantage.
Depth—The depth is not across the board (as you’ll see in the 5 concerns post tomorrow) but at most positions, if someone gets injured the Redskins can insert an NFL-caliber player in his place. Of course, there will be a drop-off in talent at most places but that is to be expected. They should be able to survive a reasonable amount of the above-mentioned attrition.
Terrelle Pryor and Josh Doctson—It seems that everywhere I look someone is saying the Redskins are going to go 5-11 because they lost DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garçon. And while it would be foolish to say that Pryor and Doctson are just as good, both are large, talented receivers who will be productive in Jay Gruden’s offense. They will bring strengths (red zone, third and five) that one or both of the departed receivers lacked. There may be a drop-off but it won’t be huge.
Jonathan Allen and Zach Brown—I lump the defensive end and inside linebacker together because they bring an element of speed and athleticism at their positions that the defense hasn’t had in a while. Both can go sideline to sideline and both play tough inside. Brown went to the Pro Bowl last year and Allen could develop and become the Redskins’ first Pro Bowl interior defensive lineman since Dave Butz in 1983.
Pass protection—Yes, there is concern over the offensive line’s performance in the running game. But the pass blocking looks solid, just as it has for the past two years. Between their abilities and Kirk Cousins’ knack for getting rid of the ball quickly, the Redskins again should be in the top five in the league in sacks allowed.
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.
Tandler on Twitter
In case you missed it