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Flashback Friday: Redskins vs. Panthers timeline

Flashback Friday: Redskins vs. Panthers timeline

Here's a look at some of the history between the Washington Redskins and the Carolina Panthers.

Owned

The Redskins and Panthers have played just eight times with the Redskins holding a 7-1 series advantage. Carolina was a team that—brace yourself—Norv Turner owned. Norval had his ups and downs in Washington, mostly the latter. But when he needed a win all he had to do was see when the Panthers were coming up on the schedule.

It wasn't looking so good for Turner and the Redskins in 1999. The Redskins spent the first quarter trying and failing to catch Carolina's Tim Biakabutuka. The RB scored on runs of 60, 1, and 45 yards as Carolina built a 21-0 lead in the first nine minutes of the game.

The Redskins recovered nicely, taking a 28-24 lead before halftime on Brad Johnson's third TD pass of the second quarter, a 62-yard bomb to a wide-open Albert Connell. After another Johnson-to-Connell scoring connection pushed the lead to 35-24, Carolina clawed back into the lead. A pair of field goals and a touchdown pass gave the Panthers a 1-point lead halfway through the fourth quarter.

All seemed lost when Brian Mitchell fumbled after fielding a punt and Carolina recovered. However, the Redskins retained possession when replays revealed the Mitchell's knee had hit the ground prior to the fumble. The Redskins took full advantage of their second life. Soon after Stephen Davis converted a fourth and one near midfield at the two-minute warning, Johnson found Michael Westbrook for 19 yards to the Carolina 12. Brett Conway's game-winning 31-yard FG came with six seconds left and the Redskins walked off with a 38-36 win.

The rally from a 21-point deficit matched the biggest comeback in team history.

Season Saver

Marty Schottenheimer's 2001 Redskins were 0-5 going into this one and the prospects for that first win were bleak midway through the fourth quarter as Carolina led 14-0 and was driving for the clinching score.

It wasn't a particularly risky play that Carolina called, a little toss in the flat to Chris Hetherington. Arrington was nearby and zeroed in on the fullback as the ball came into his hands. The ball bounced out, though and, in a flash, Arrington went from tackler to pass defender, snatching the ball out of the air and taking off for the goal line. He cruised the 68 yards unchallenged and the game, perhaps the season, took on a new complexion.

After a Carolina put, the Redskins had the ball at their own 15. On first down, Tony Banks, who had been booed lustily for most of the game, saw that rookie receiver Rod Gardner had worked his way past the Carolina zone. The quarterback delivered the ball on target and the receiver easily coasted into the end zone to tie it up midway through the fourth quarter.

Another pass from Banks to Gardner set up Conway's game-winning field goal in overtime and the Redskins had their first win 17-14.

Trade Heist

Defensive tackle Sean Gilbert held out for the entire 1997 season and the Redskins kept the franchise tag on him for 1998. The compensation for another team to sign Gilbert was set at two first-round draft picks. The Panthers foolishly bit and got Gilbert—a good player, but not an impact performer—in exchange for their first picks in 1999 and 2000. Although the picks were used in various trades, they gave the Redskins the buying power needed to draft Champ Bailey, Jon Jansen, and Chris Samuels.

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Redskins interviewed Greg Manusky for defensive coordinator

Redskins interviewed Greg Manusky for defensive coordinator

The Redskins interviewed current outside linebackers coach Greg Manusky for their defensive coordinator opening, the team announced yesterday.  

Manusky has a long history with the Redskins organization. He served as outside linebackers coach this past season, and was also linebackers coach back in the 2001 season. In his playing days, Manusky was a Redskins linebacker from 1988 to 1990. 

He has held three separate defensive coordinator positions in his coaching career, including with the San Francisco 49ers (2007-2010), San Diego Chargers (2011) and Indianapolis Colts (2012-2015).

For more on his defensive philosophy and background, check out Rich Tandler's profile of Manusky

The Redskins have confirmed four interviews for the defensive coordinator position: Manusky, Rob Ryan, Gus Bradley and Mike Pettine

MORE REDSKINS: Projecting the Redskins' 2017 roster—Defense

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Projecting the Redskins' 2017 roster—Defense

Projecting the Redskins' 2017 roster—Defense

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 contenders to go deep into the playoffs. 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.

Earlier this week we looked at the offense; today the defense is up. Although there could be a change to a 4-3 base defense in the making depending on who the coordinator is, we’ll line them up in a 3-4 until there is word to the contrary.

*Pending unrestricted free agent

Defensive line

Starters: Chris Baker*, draft pick/free agent X 2
Backups: Matt Ioannidis, Ricky Jean Francois, Anthony Lanier

It seems that Baker wants to stay and give that the Redskins would be starting their D-line virtually from scratch without him the chances of coming up with a deal seem strong. I will spend the entire 99 days between now and the draft saying that it’s not a given that they will take a defensive lineman, or any defensive player, with their top draft pick. But someone like Malik McDowell of Michigan State sure would fit in well here along with a free agent like Bennie Logan of the Eagles. The organization will be looking for leaps forward from Ioannidis and Lanier.

Related: Redskins defensive coordinator resume: Jason Tarver

Outside linebacker

Starters: Ryan Kerrigan, Preston Smith
Backups: Junior Galette, Trent Murphy, Lynden Trail

Although nothing is certain until pen is put to paper, the chances of Galette giving it another go after two torn Achilles in two years are strong. Trail and Houston Bates will battle for a fifth spot, if there is one. Given Smith’s inconsistency and the uncertainty of Galette’s health it wouldn’t be surprising to see them draft an edge rusher.

Inside linebacker

Starters: Will Compton, free agent
Backups: Martrell Spaight, Mason Foster, draft pick

I’m putting Compton there in dry erase marker, not in Sharpie. They love his leadership and work ethic but he must make more plays. I have a free agent starting beside him because it’s a tough position for a rookie to learn. But if they spend a high draft pick that player could jump into a starting job quickly.  Foster moves into the nickel role that he performed well after Su’a Cravens went out with an injury. Steven Daniels, a 2016 seventh-round pick who spent the year on injured reserve, could push Spaight for a job.

Cornerback

Starters: Josh Norman, Quinton Dunbar
Backups: Kendall Fuller (nickel), Tharold Simon, free agent/draft pick

This could go in a lot of different directions. The only spot set in stone is Norman’s. I have Bashaud Breeland moving to safety, which is something of a speculative hot take. If they make that move, they could spend a high draft pick or substantial free agent money on a corner or they could stay in-house with Dunbar or Fuller. Simon could make the team and contribute or he could be cut.

More Redskins: An early look at first-round draft possibilities

Safety

Starters: Su’a Cravens, Bashaud Breeland
Backups: Will Blackmon, Deshazor Everett, draft pick

Safeties are hard to find. In college, potentially good safeties gravitate towards cornerback, where the NFL money is better. If a good one hits the free agent market, the laws of supply and demand push the price up beyond the value of the position. For those reasons, the Redskins might try Breeland at safety. Some in the organization have believed for a couple of years that safety is his best position. Cravens announced that he would be moving to safety so that change is firm. Duke Ihenacho, who is a free agent, could be back but I think he moves along. Blackmon is a good veteran reserve who can play nickel also. Even though he made a key interception when forced into duty against the Eagles, it still seems that they don’t trust Everett at safety and perhaps a mid-round pick will replace him.

Specialists: LS Nick Sundberg*, P Tress Way, PK Dustin Hopkins

I predict that Sundberg will be the first of the team’s pending free agents to agree to a contract. Hopkins may get some camp competition but it is unlikely to be of more than the token variety.

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.