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Draft chatter: An instant starter at tackle for the Redskins?


Draft chatter: An instant starter at tackle for the Redskins?

When it comes to trying to figure out where the Redskins are going to go with their top pick in the upcoming draft, NFL.com draft analyst Mike Mayock doesn’t seem to have a much better handle on it than many in the local media and even some fans.

During a recent conference call with reporters, Mayock was asked about where he thinks the Redskins will go with their first pick, No. 34 overall. Here is his response:

“As far as the Redskins picking first pick at number 34, boy, O-line and D-line to me is pretty important. I don't think there's a safety there. There could be a corner that makes sense for them. But with Jay Gruden, knowing Jay pretty well, Jay loves the offensive side of the ball. Again, they were number 30 in points allowed. I really believe they've got to pick the top-rated defensive player on their board unless a wide receiver is sitting there.”

So, to summarize, it could be offensive line, defensive line, they’d like a safety but there isn’t like to be one there, maybe a corner, Gruden sure loves offense but they’ll take the best defender available. Unless, of course, there’s a wide receiver who is too good to pass up.

But they also could go with a right tackle. Later in the call, Mayock was asked about that possibility. He thinks that although the two most logical players for them are Cyrus Kouandjio of Alabama and Morgan Moses of Virginia, the former is likely to be gone by the time Washington picks and the latter could be. But there’s another guy Mayock thinks will fit.

“A guy that nobody is talking about that I love is Joel Bitonio from Nevada,” he said. “Most people assume he's a guard. I watched him handle Anthony Barr from UCLA. I watched him against Florida State. I watched him against Boise who has a good edge kid in Demarcus Lawrence. I think Bitonio will start day one at right tackle and I think he'll be there at 34.”

When looking at who the Redskins might draft it’s hard not to think back to March and their big effort to sign Donald Penn to play right tackle. If they were delighted with the play of Tyler Polumbus there they would not have made that push. Penn ended up signing with the Raiders but it is doubtful that the organization has stopped looking at alternatives. If Gruden and Bruce Allen believe that Bitonio can be a plug and play starter they should give him serious consideration.

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Redskins Stat Breakdown: What worked - and what didn't - against Arizona

Redskins Stat Breakdown: What worked - and what didn't - against Arizona

CSN has teamed up with The Edge Systems to provide the occasional statistical review of Redskins game film. The Edge is analytical football software currently being used by coaches in the NFL, SEC, ACC and the media, providing some of the fastest and best data in football.

Below is a breakdown of the Redskins run game against Arizona - a game coach Jay Gruden admitted did not feature enough carries for Robert Kelley. 

The Redskins had a lot of success with their GAP runs early in the game.

In the first half they were successful on 75 percent of their GAP runs. 

As the game wore on the Redskins moved away from what had been successful and only ran two GAP runs in the second half.

As their power running game vanishing, mirrored their prospects for winning the game.

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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State of the Redskins: Playoff chances trending in the wrong direction

State of the Redskins: Playoff chances trending in the wrong direction

Here is where the Redskins stand in Week 14 of the NFL season.

Record: 6-5-1, 3rd in NFC East
vs. NFC East: 2-2
vs. NFC: 4-4
vs. AFC: 2-1-1
Home: 4-2
Away: 2-3-1

Rankings and changes from Week 13

Offense (yards/game): 418.6 (2nd, no change from Week 13)
Defense (yards/game): 369.6 (23rd, +2)
Points for: 303 (10th, -1)
Points against: 295 (20th, -2)

Passer rating offense:  99.8 (8th, -2)
Opp passer rating: 95.0 (22nd, -3)
Yards/rush attempt: 4.5 (5th, no change)
Opp. yards/rush attempt:
 4.6 (29th, +2)
Weighted DVOA (Football Outsiders): 9.8% (10th, no change)
Playoff chances per FO: 41.5%, -14.1% from last week

Trending the right way: Not much, really. Their ranking in rushing defense improved a couple of notches but mostly because other teams got worse, not because the Redskins put the clamps down on the rushing game.

Trending the wrong way: For the first time in a few weeks the Redskins’ playoff chances are below 50 percent. Two straight losses will do that.  

Top three storylines:

Letting them have it—Jay Gruden is usually supportive of his team after a loss but that was not the case following the Cardinals game. He could be heard speaking to the team in angry tones in the locker room following the loss. We will see if this rare tirade jump-starts the Redskins’ stretch run.

Dealing with injury issues—Not only do the Redskins have to be concerned about the condition of Jordan Reed, whose status is unclear as he rehabs from a shoulder injury he suffered on Thanksgiving Day in Dallas, their starting center is in the concussion protocol. If Spencer Long can’t go the Redskins may have to add a center to back up John Sullivan.

Help wanted—The Redskins need other teams to lose if they want to make the playoffs. They need a little help if they win out to finish 10-5-1; they need more help if they finish at 9-6-1. Scoreboard watching starts at 4:25 on Sunday when the Bucs, a half-game ahead of Washington, host the Saints and continues on Sunday night football with the Cowboys at the Giants.

Next three games

Sunday @ Eagles (5-7)—The Redskins handled them well in October; the final score did not indicate how Washington dominated the game. The Eagles look more like a rebuilding team than a playoff contender and the Redskins could elimate them for all practical purposes

December 19 vs. Panthers (4-8)—The season of the defending NFC champs officially came off the rails on Sunday night when Cam Newton started the game on the bench because he didn’t wear a tie and he ended it looking at the wrong end of a 40-7 beatdown by the Seahawks. Still, the Redskins have never beaten Newton so this is not one that will come easily.

Christmas Eve vs. Bears (3-9)—There is no such thing as an easy game in the NFL but if the Redskins can’t manage to win this one they don’t deserve to make the playoffs.