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Fan questions: In addition to RG3, what needs to improve?

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Fan questions: In addition to RG3, what needs to improve?

It's been a while since we've done fan questions and you submitted some good ones to me on Twitter at @Rich_TandlerCSN and on the Real Redskins Facebook page. Let's jump right in.
What do u think is the biggest need atm and what'll be the draftapproach? Best available or need? #RedskinsTalk @Rich_TandlerCSN

— Ralf Peeters (@RalfPeeters) March 18, 2014
I got lots of draft questions, this is a good one to represent them. Right now, the biggest need is another safety but they won't wait for the draft to get that lined up. The answer is best available but it is important to note that the determination of what is best available is shaped by need. "Best" doesn't just mean the player's talents, it means a fit into the scheme and, yes, what the team needs. A running back, for example, is unlikely to emerge as the best available player when their pick comes up at No. 34 or in the third round at No. 66 because they don't need to take a running back that high.

That's a fair question and the answer is that we are going to have to see. I'm not going to dismiss the "handcuffed" argument out of hand. To me it makes no sense to have two first-round draft picks as your primary pass rushers and then not use them as pass rusher as often as they did. Until I see otherwise, I'll accept that that was Mike Shanahan's doing; he talked all the time about how he was involved in the defense. On a dry erase board, the defense can be better. We won't find out how it will translate on the field until September.
@Rich_TandlerCSN With Meriweather signed, if Ryan Clark signs, means no room for Doughty, right? #RedskinsTalk

— Steve in TN ™ (@sdo1) March 18, 2014
I would not rule out Doughty even though, as far as has been reported, nobody on the Redskins has contacted him about a new contract and that's with Clark's status being very much up in the air. But if Clark does come on board it's going to be difficult to find a spot for Doughty. With both starters at safety on the far side of 30 they would have to allow room for Phillip Thomas, Bacarri Rambo, Jose Gumbs and a potential draft pick to develop. Unless they go out in OTAs and don't like what they see from the younger players, Doughty is unlikely to return.

RG3, RG3, and RG3. Next question. OK, seriously, while it's hard to overemphasize how important a Griffin return to something near 2012 form is, more needs to go right if this team is going to have a big turnaround. Just to pick two more among several issues, I'd say they need to rush the opposing passer better and the special teams need to improve to something near the league average. Note: I'm working on the assumption here that Griffin can't improve unless his protection improves. And also, in mid March, I would not completely dismiss the Redskins' chances of competing for the title in what is still, despite all of the free agency activity by the Giants and Eagles, a very weak NFC East.
@Rich_TandlerCSN which 2012 draft pick(s) has the best shot of earning a starting spot on the offensive line? #RedskinsTalk

— Rémy LeBeau  (@Lil_Tem) March 18, 2014
I would say it's probably Adam Gettis. He has bulked up to around 315 and if he is given a fair shot he will have a chance to beat out Chris Chester at guard. Tom Compton could have a shot but their pursuit of Donald Penn doesn't indicate a great deal of confidence in him. Josh LeRibeus was going to get a shot at starting last year but he showed up out of shape and I'm not sure they will trust him again. 
#RedskinsTalk hey Rich..any progress or word on field turf? Thanks

— HTTR (@Lifelongskinfan) March 18, 2014
The word on field turf is no. It is not happening, at least not anytime soon. Bruce Allen favors natural grass and Dan Snyder is inclined to follow his recommendation. And I agree--a well-maintained grass field is far, far preferable to playing on field turf. What happened in 2012, when for some inexplicable reason they failed to re-sod the field in midseason, won't happen again. Frankly, criticism of the condition of the field late last year bordered on ridiculous. It's as though every divot was some sort of land mine. A grass field is going to get a little torn up, it's OK, really. And, this just in, if it's snowing or raining players slip on both field turn and on natural turf. On more note, Snyder is not sticking with grass because he's cheap. It is considerably more expensive to grown and maintain a grass field than it is to install a carpet and replace it every eight years or so.

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Need to Know: Betting on the Redskins' playoff race outcomes

Need to Know: Betting on the Redskins' playoff race outcomes

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, December 3, one day before the Washington Redskins play the Arizona Cardinals.

Timeline

Today's schedule: No availability

Days until: Redskins @ Eagles 8; Panthers @ Redskins 16; Redskins @ Bears Christmas Eve 21

Injuries of note:
Out:
TE Jordan Reed (shoulder), DE Anthony Lanier (leg)
Questionable: G Brandon Scherff (ankle), OT Ty Nsekhe (ankle), Bashaud Breeland (ankle), LS Nick Sundberg (back)
Final injury report

Redskins vs. Cardinals
FOX, Sunday, 4:25 p.m., Dick Stockton and Chris Spielman
Line: Cardinals -2.5

Resetting the playoff odds

The Redskins start their stretch drive to the playoffs tomorrow. The will play five games in 29 days. After that, they will have either earned the right to keep playing or will they go home.

Let’s get out the imaginary $100 in casino chips and look at the various possibilities of the finish to the season and spread out the chips based on how likely each scenario is. As always, you are welcome to jump into the comments if you agree or disagree.

Win NFC East, $0—This might be worth a buck or two but this place doesn’t have any chips smaller than $5 and it’s not worth investing even that much in the chance of this happening. The scenario would have to be the Redskins winning out, the Cowboys losing out, and the Giants losing at least two more games. I’d put something on the first scenario and a few chips on the last one but no way is Dallas going 0-4. Keeping my chips in my pocket on this one.

Wild card as No. 5 seed, $40—To do this the Redskins would have to stay ahead of the wild card contenders behind them (see next scenario) and make up a game and a half on the Giants. They play New York in Week 17 so the Redskins would have to make up one game between now and then and they could then determine their status on January 1 at FedEx Field. The Giants go to Pittsburgh on Sunday and host Dallas a week after that so we will see how that looks in a couple of weeks. As of now, the No. 6 seed would go to Detroit for the first round of the playoffs while the No. 5 would play the Falcons in Atlanta. That, of course, is subject to change.

Wild card as No. 6 seed, $35—I think getting the five seed is slightly more likely than getting the six since I think the Giants are a mirage. But even if New York keeps it going, the Redskins can clinch a spot by running the table in their last five games. That would make them 11-4-1 and no other wild card contender could catch them. If they win four of five, only the Bucs can catch them and it would take a 5-0 finish for Tampa Bay. Winning three of five still gives them a good shot at getting in although at that point you are also opening the door for the Vikings, Saints, Packers, and Eagles to catch fire and jump ahead of them.

Out of playoffs, $25—I might be putting a little too much here but it’s the NFL and it’s certainly not beyond the realm of possibility that the Redskins could finish 2-3 and miss out altogether. Their margin for error is slim and an injury here and a bad break there could have them on the outside looking in.

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When asked to vote for top 20 players, Pierre Garcon just wrote 'Kirk Cousins' 20 times

When asked to vote for top 20 players, Pierre Garcon just wrote 'Kirk Cousins' 20 times

Redskins receiver Pierre Garcon just filled out his ballot for the annual NFL Top 100 Players list.

Let's just say it's pretty one-dimensional. 

Straight like that

A photo posted by Pierre Garcon (@pierregarcon) on

As you can see, the form asks guys to rank who they consider the top 20 players in the league. But instead of naming 20 different players, Garcon voted for the same player 20 times. Talk about stuffing the ballot box. 

No surprise, but he's hyping his quarterback Kirk Cousins. 

Cousins is having a career year with the Redskins. His stock has soared over the last three weeks especially. Take a look at his numbers in that span: 84 completions on 116 attempts for 1,086 yards (72 percent), eight touchdowns and zero interceptions. 

Those efforts earned the Michigan State product NFC Offensive Player of the Month honors. And more importantly, Cousins has the Redskins in favorable position to make the playoffs for the second year in a row.

So far this season, Garcon has caught 52 passes from Cousins for 636 yards and two scores. 

MORE REDSKINS: Reed out, 7 other Redskins questionable