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Game Blog Fourth Quarter

Game Blog Fourth Quarter

Fourth Quarter
What moron ever said that all Santana Moss was good for was catching long bombs? That tough catch over the middle for a first was testament to his ability to catch the tough ones. (What’s that? Oh, I said that was all he was good for? Never mind!)

Did you catch Joe Gibbs talking to Gregg Williams right after they called time out on fourth down? You’ve got to think that Gibbs is saying, “if we don’t make it, your guys have to get a stop. What do you think?” I doubt that Williams curses when he’s talking to Gibbs like he does when he’s talking to his players, so he probably said something like, “You’re goldarn right we’ll hold ‘em!”

No need for the defense, at least not yet. So far it’s been an excellent drive by the Redskins, eating up time, giving the defense some rest. Back to that “if” from earlier, they need to score a touchdown.
A thunder and lightning strike there with Portis finishing it off after Betts set it up. Here we go again with the Bucs offense. A third-down sack would be nice.

Instead, we’re getting more third-down conversions by Simms and company. The pass to Galloway and then the offside penalty are the kind of plays that will keep Williams and company up late this week regardless of how this one turns out.

Not to take anything away from Phillip Daniels or anything, but it’s not too hard to block a pass when it’s thrown right in your facemask. Still, a good job getting penetration by Daniels and the Redskins need just one first down to be able to salt this one away.

Nope. They’ll get a chance, albeit with no time outs. Someone has to cover the deep middle and keep Galloway from snaring a long one.

I’d say it’s a good thing that the Galloway catch was upheld; in that cast, the time was more valuable than the yardage.

Galloway didn’t deliver the dagger, a guy with his first TD of the year did. Harris didn’t have bad coverage, but you have to give Simms credit, he put it right on the money.
Didn’t look like a good call on the two-pointer, but, like Betts’ TD on the kickoff, there wasn’t enough solid evidence to overturn.

In the big picture, it was turnovers and third-down conversion problems that did the Redskins in. In the micro picture, it was the lack of discipline on the PAT try and Gruden’s gutsy call to follow that up with a two-point try. A great opportunity lost by the Redskins here.

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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.


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


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.