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Flash: Gibbs Will Coach at Least 4 More Years

Flash: Gibbs Will Coach at Least 4 More Years

It is truly inspiring to know that there is a purpose, a greater good, in what I do here. I have a role, I have a place, I provide a needed service.

I am here to calm the frayed nerves of Redskins fans around the world.

Just recently, I assured worried readers that the Redskins would not be suffering from the degradation of character that would result from the acquisition of a certain Minnesota Viking. Now, there's the Joe Gibbs "NFL short, NASCAR forever" comments flap. Lay down on the couch here and let me walk you through why this is nothing new.

The headline and lead quote for the AP story on ESPN.com were certainly, well, startling. Under the headline Gibbs expects short NFL stay, long Cup ride:

"My time in football will be short,'' Gibbs said Tuesday during a stop by the NASCAR media tour at Joe Gibbs Racing. "Hopefully, we'll be here forever. If we don't win a few more games next year, my time in football will be real short.''Wow, you think. "Short"? "Real short"? Will St. Joe be around for this year's draft? Who's going to replace him? How could Gibbs do this to us? Where's the nearest tall building with an accessible jumping area?

No need to jump. A little further in the article:

"I signed a five-year contract and what I'd like to do is get the Redskins back to being a consistent winner,'' Gibbs said. "I don't know what that will take. I don't know if it's five years or a little longer than that.''Of course, phrases like "five years" or "a little longer than that" don't make good headlines, especially when the sports media template is that Gibbs won't last long. So you didn't read those quotes, the ones that were the heart of the story and got all bent out of shape.

The headline here should have been:

"Gibbs Plans to Coach at Least Four More Years"So why the "short" talk from Gibbs? The man, I'm sure, plans on living another 30 years or more. Out of those years, he will spend a half dozen, maybe a couple less, coaching the Redskins. He'll probably own his NASCAR team until he goes to that great sideline or pit row in the sky. In relative terms, his stay with the Redskins will indeed be a short amount time.

Also remember who Gibbs was speaking to. His comments were given during an event associated with NASCAR's season-opening media tour. That means that his audience was NASCAR fans, especially those of his drivers and, more importantly, to the sponsors of Joe Gibbs Racing. Certainly, the folks who put up some long green to back the winner that is Joe Gibbs must have felt some despair in reading a little over a year ago that Gibbs was abandoning his full-time involvement in the venture that they sponsored. Gibbs needed to throw them a bone and he did just that in saying that, like the Terminator, he'll be back.

So calm down, nothing has changed. The bad news is that there still is a lot of work to do to make the Redskins a consistent winner again. The good news is that Joe Gibbs has again committed to staying around until that job is done.

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Projecting the Redskins 2017 roster—Offense

Projecting the Redskins 2017 roster—Offense

The Redskins are looking at potential free agents and continuing with the draft process as they try to move team from residing in the middle of the pack in the NFL to becoming annual playoff contenders.

The process is all about trying to build a solid 53-man depth chart.

Let’s get out the crystal ball and see what that depth chart might look like.

Today we’ll look at the offense and project the defense in the next couple of days.

*Pending unrestricted free agent

— Quarterback: Kirk Cousins*
Backups: Colt McCoy, Nate Sudfeld

It’s not a sure thing that Kirk Cousins will be back under center but it’s very much more likely than not, either with a new long-term contract or via the franchise tag. McCoy is under contract and will continue to be the backup. I think they are happy with Sudfeld as their developmental guy although I wouldn’t be shocked if Scot McCloughan decided that a quarterback is the best available player sometime in the fifth round in April.

RELATED: REDSKINS RESUME - MATT CAVANAUGH

— Running backs: Rob Kelley
Backups: Matt Jones, Chris Thompson, draft pick

Gruden gave Kelley a vote of confidence in his final press conference but that could be fluid. If Jones can get things straight between his ears he has the physical tools to be a very good running back but they can’t count on that. There is some talk that the Redskins will look to take a back in the middle rounds if they can find one with some impact.

— Wide receivers: Pierre Garçon*, Josh Doctson, Jamison Crowder (slot receiver),
Backups: Ryan Grant, Maurice Harris

Right now, it looks like it’s slightly better than 50-50 that Garçon will be back. If he’s not they will have to sign a starter in free agency; as we found out last year, you can’t count on a rookie receiver to produce, even if you take one high in the draft. If McCloughan does take a receiver in the later stages of the draft he likely will replace Grant, not Harris.

More Redskins: THE REDSKINS' WEEK THAT WAS

— Tight end: Jordan Reed
Backups: Vernon Davis*, Niles Paul

It seems likely that Davis will re-sign, although since it could be his last NFL contract I don’t think he will give the Redskins much of a hometown discount. The organization will pay, however, as it is apparent that the need a quality backup for Reed. I’m on the fence about Paul. On the one hand, I could see the organization looking for an alternative since he has finished each of the last two seasons on injured reserve. But he’s the kind of guy that McCloughan likes to have on the team.

— Offensive line: LT Trent Williams, LG Shawn Lauvao, C Spencer Long, RG Brandon Scherff, RT Morgan Moses
Backups: G Arie Kouandjio, T Ty Nsekhe, C John Sullivan*, 1-2 free agents/draft picks

Could it be that the Redskins are nearly set on the O-line with the exception of some parts further down the depth chart? Nsekhe is a restricted free agent and he will be back either on the tag or with a new contract. Maybe Kouandjio can challenge Lauvao for the starting job but both are likely to be on the 53. If they move on from Kory Lichtensteiger to save $3.5 million in cap room and if Sullivan opts to try to find a starting job elsewhere they could find a veteran center to back up Long.

RELATED: REDSKINS MOST IMPORTANT FREE AGENTS

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.

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Need to Know: Redskins' cap room could be a dilemma for McCloughan

Need to Know: Redskins' cap room could be a dilemma for McCloughan

Here is what you need to know on this Monday, January 16, 52 days before NFL free agency starts.

Timeline

Days until:
NFL franchise tag deadline 44
NFL draft 101
First Sunday of 2017 season 237

A six pack of thoughts to start out the week

1. I think that by the end of the week the Redskins will have two new coordinators. It looks like Matt Cavanaugh will be the offensive coordinator. Haven’t heard why Bill Callahan isn’t getting the nod; it’s possible that he likes what he’s doing now and he’s getting paid as well as many coordinators.

2.  For a quick game with the $100 in imaginary casino chips on the defensive coordinator candidates, I’ll make Greg Manusky the favorite at $40 with Mike Pettine right behind him at $35. I’ll put $10 of the rest on Gus Bradley—we’ve heard of an interview with the Chargers but not anything like a hiring—and $15 on the field. The situation is fluid but that's the way it looks right now. 

Related: Redskins offensive coordinator resume: Matt Cavanaugh

3. On November 21, after the results of Week 11, the Redskins were 2.5 games ahead of the Packers. They were also a half-game better than of the Falcons. Those two teams are now playing for the NFC title. It’s not how you start, or even how you do in the middle of the season. It’s how you finish.

4. I’m not much of a hockey guy but I think I’ve got to get down to the Verizon Center to see the Caps. They are blazing hot and you can tell it’s a great atmosphere at the VC.

5. I have a feeling that an announcement about a new stadium for the Redskins is going to happen sometime in the next few months. Virginia governor Terry McAuliffe can’t run again; he is out of office about a year from today. He’s going to want a legacy item and a state of the art stadium in the commonwealth would fill the bill. The process of approval, financing, and construction will take up most or all of the 10 years that remains on the FedEx Field lease.

More Redskins: The Redskins week that was

6. Normally having a lot of cap space to work with is a good thing but it may not be for Scot McCloughan this year. If the Redskins trim some veterans from the payroll they could go into free agency with around $70 million to spend. McCloughan would prefer to build through the draft. But the current situation almost forces the Redskins to spend. McCloughan took some heat for going into the 2016 season with $15 million in cap space and some unfilled needs on the defensive line and at safety. If they have issues again in 2017 and there is, say, $30 million just sitting there the noise will get louder. And it won’t just be coming from fans and the media; plenty of it will come from the offices of Bruce Allen and Dan Snyder.

Tandler on Twitter

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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.