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Draft Chatter: Will Gruden want another tight end?


Draft Chatter: Will Gruden want another tight end?

When Jay Gruden came to the Bengals in 2011 he already had a solid tight end in Jermaine Gresham, who made the Pro Bowl in 2011 and 2012. But Gruden didn’t mind it a year ago when the Bengals drafted tight end Tyler Eifert in the first round. Eifert and Gresham combined to gain over 1,000 yards receiving in 2013.

There are many who think that Redskins tight end Jordan Reed has Pro Bowl potential after a promising rookie year. Could Gruden push to add another tight end into the mix via the draft in hopes of duplicating the two-TE production he got in Cincinnati?

He could, be it won’t be easy. The Redskins don’t have a first-round pick so they will not have a shot at Eric Ebron out of North Carolina, the consensus top tight end in the draft. He should go in the top half of the first round, if not the top 10.

Beyond that you have question marks surrounding the tight ends who might go in the second or third rounds, the area where you might expect to find someone who could contribute immediately. Jace Amaro of Texas Tech has blocking liabilities. Austin Seferian-Jenkins of Washington has had some off-field issues including a single-car accident that resulted in the DUI conviction. Troy Niklas who replaced Eifert at Notre Dame, is still very much a work in progress as a receiver.

The other issue is that a second tight end when Reed is in place could be considered to be a luxury that the Redskins, with holes all over the place, just can’t afford. If there is a lineman on either side of the ball or a defensive back who is on the board who is equal in talent to a given tight end, it’s hard to argue that the tight end could have the most value as a pick.

But, then again, Reed did have his 2013 season cut short with a concussion and there has be some doubt about his ability to play 16 games. Perhaps some depth is called for.

What it may come down to is a situation similar to what Mike Shanahan and the Redskins faced last year. They really didn’t plan on drafting a tight end but when Jordan was still on the board in the third round they decided that his talent was too good to pass up.

Gruden, Bruce Allen and company could find themselves in a similar situation,, particularly if Amaro is still hanging around in the third round.

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With Matt Ryan in the Super Bowl, Kirk Cousins will make Pro Bowl, per report

With Matt Ryan in the Super Bowl, Kirk Cousins will make Pro Bowl, per report

Kirk Cousins' price tag just moved even higher with the news that he will replace Matt Ryan in the Pro Bowl. ESPN's John Keim reported the roster move first.

Ryan's Atlanta Falcons advanced to the Super Bowl on Sunday with a 44-21 dismantling of the Green Bay Packers. That victory means Ryan will not be available for the Pro Bowl, held this Sunday in Orlando. Cousins got his spot as an alternate.

Cousins gets the spot deservedly. This season he passed for 4,917 yards, completing 67 percent of his passes and throwing 25 TDs to 12 INTs. In two seasons since being named starter for the Redskins, Cousins has thrown for more than 9,000 yards. 

The Pro Bowl nod for Cousins will only make the Redskins pending contract talks that much tougher. The quarterback played in 2016 under the franchise tag, which netted him nearly $20 million. This season Washington could again place Cousins on the franchise tag, with a price tag around $24 million. Both sides can still work for a long-term deal, though the value of that contract would likely soar past $100 million and closer to $120 million.

Some questions exist within the Redskins organization if that is too much money devoted to one player, even if it is a Pro Bowl quarterback.

It's fitting that Cousins is subbing in for Ryan, who has found much success playing under Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan. All signs points to Shanahan taking over as the 49ers head coach after the Super Bowl, and a report emerged that San Francisco would make a strong push to obtain Cousins, either in free agency or via trade. 


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Redskins announce coordinators, addition of Tomsula as D-line coach

Redskins announce coordinators, addition of Tomsula as D-line coach

The Redskins have made official some coaching staff changes that have been reported over the last few days.

The team announced that they have filled both coordinator jobs with internal hires. Outside linebackers coach Greg Manusky is the new defensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Matt Cavanaugh is now the offensive coordinator.


The team also announced the hiring of two assistant coaches, one on each side of the ball. Kevin O’Connell will replace Cavanaugh as the QB coach and Jim Tomsula will coach the defensive line.

Tomsula was the 49ers head coach in 2015. He was fired after that one season after posting a 5-11 record. But it was his eight seasons as defensive line coach in San Francisco that the Redskins care about. Tomsula did a solid job there, working under Mike Nolan, Mike Singletary, and Jim Harbaugh. He also was the defensive line coach under Manusky when he was the defensive coordinator in San Francisco.


He is known as a fiery motivator, something that will work well with Manusky’s similar style. The line was one of the weakest areas of the defense last year. They are likely to add some talent to the line this offseason and Tomsula is a good choice to coach them up.

The Redskins still need a defensive backs coach. They have a strong in-house candidate in Aubrey Pleasant and now attention will turn to getting a deal for him. It remains to be seen if they will fill Manusky’s former job or if current inside linebackers coach Kirk Olivadotti will add the outside backers to his responsibilities.

Stay up to date on the Redskins! Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page www.Facebook.com/RealRedskins and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.