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Justin Tryon, Nickelback?

Justin Tryon, Nickelback?

Justin Tryon may play a key role in 2009

About a week or so before training camp started, I dashed off the following few paragraphs about Washington Redskins cornerback Justin Tryon. I didn't publish it immediately because I'd just posted a bunch of articles and it got buried. Here it is, below the fold:

My next candidate for 2009 camp phenom is cornerback Justin Tryon. I'll wait until the laughter subsides and then I'll continue.

Tryon was an anti-phenom in 2008. He left scorch marks wherever he went whether it was on the practice field or in preseason games. The stories in the press were far from complimentary. The fan base was willing to chip in and get him on the first plane out of town. When he made the final roster conspiracy theories abounded, the buzz being that he only made it because the front office had ordered that all of the draft picks make the final 53.

But for whatever reason he stuck and, when Shawn Springs was out with various injuries, he played a lot of dime and some nickel. In 14 games he made just four tackles. You didn't hear of him much. And, for a rookie cornerback, that's a good thing.

He's phenom material because he has speed and he has confidence. If he can get his hands on a ball he'll be able to do things with it. SportsCenter highlight kinds of things. Having a year under his belt will increase his confidence. Tryon will make some plays and get noticed.

We'll probably be seeing Tryon past August. With Springs gone he has a shot at being the regular dime back. That may or may not prove to be a disaster.
I found it a few days ago and I immediately wished that I had posted it before camp. By all accounts, Tryon is having a great camp. He's staying on the field, which is more than can be said for about a dozen and a half of his teammates. On top of that he received some help from one of the best cornerbacks in NFL history. Darrell Green didn't just give Tryon a few pointers; he spend six weeks with him, working with him in both Florida and Virginia.

After the teaching sessions, Tryon drew some high praise from someone who knows a thing or two about solid cornerback play.
"I'm gonna say that Justin Tryon, if he's given the chance, he's a starter in 2009, 2010 or whenever the opportunity comes," said Green "He is definitely qualified to be a starter in the National Football League. I'm putting my reputation on that after being with him for six weeks, seeing what I've seen from him. Hopefully he'll have his chance and be a Redskin for a long time."
Even before Green gave one of the most ringing endorsements I've ever heard from any former player Tryon was a player on the move. It was thought that third-round selection Kevin Barnes would push him for the No. 4 cornerback position. That hasn't happened and it's not only because of Barnes' health and performance issues. If Tryon isn't the dime back it will be because he has beaten out Fred Smoot for the nickel position.

While Tryon still have to get it done on the field to calm the skeptics, Green's endorsement makes one less to break out in a cold sweat at the thought of Tryon covering the slot receiver on a regular basis.

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Matt Ryan throws some serious shade at Kyle Shanahan for the Super Bowl loss

Matt Ryan throws some serious shade at Kyle Shanahan for the Super Bowl loss

Matt Ryan spoke to CBS Sports' Pete Prisco about the loss to the Patriots in the Super Bowl and how the Falcons will rebound in 2017. 

In the process, he took a shot at former offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan's play-calling and put some of the blame on his style of coaching for the disastrous fourth quarter.

"Kyle's play calls -- he would take time to get stuff in," Ryan said. "As I was getting it, you're looking at the clock and you're talking 16 seconds before it cuts out. You don't have a lot of time to say, 'There's 16 seconds, no, no, no, we're not going to do that. Hey, guys, we're going to line up and run this.' You're talking about breaking the huddle at seven seconds if you do something along the lines.

"With the way Kyle's system was set up, he took more time to call plays and we shift and motion a lot more than we did with (former coordinator) Dirk (Koetter). You couldn't get out of stuff like that. We talk about being the most aggressive team in football. And I'm all for it. But there's also winning time. You're not being aggressive not running it there."

Those are some harsh words from Ryan and not exactly a ringing endorsement of Kyle Shanahan. This loss will surely haunt him should he never get back to another Super Bowl.

"There's always going to be a little sting," Ryan said. "You never lose that. Hopefully we've got four Super Bowl victories after this one, but that doesn't mean we won't still be like, 'Damn, let's talk about the other one we should've had."

Redskins fans may be able to relate to Matt Ryan's pain as some were vocal about Kyle Shanahan's play-calling during his time in Washington. Maybe Kirk Cousins takes notice of Ryan's comments as well before he considers San Francisco next off-season.

MORE REDSKINS: REDSKINS STATEMENT WAS A MISTAKE, BUT WON'T HAVE IMPACT ON THE FIELD

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Over/under: Redskins running backs in 2017

Over/under: Redskins running backs in 2017

Redskins running backs over-under

The Redskins’ running backs depth chart looks quite different from how it did a year ago. Rob Kelley, who was “ninth-string” back last year per Jay Gruden, is the starter. Samaje Perine enters the mix with expectations that exceed those normally assigned to a fourth-round pick. Chris Thompson is the constant as the third-down back. What kind of numbers will they put up this year? Redskins Insiders Rich Tandler and JP Finlay go over-under on some Redskins running back stats. 

Rob Kelley, 1,000 rushing yards

Tandler: If you project Kelley’s production in the nine games he started over 16 games it comes to about 1,050 yards. He had his ups and downs in those nine starts and he will have them this year. But he should have enough ups to be able to average the 62.5 yards per game needed to hit the thousand-yard mark. Over

Finlay: Unlike wide receivers, where 25 guys broke the 1,000 yard mark in 2016, it's getting harder and harder for a running back to hit four-figures. In 2016, only 12 RBs ran for more than 1,000 yards, and only eight got over 1,100 yards. As the NFL becomes more and more of a passing league, less backs are getting the carries sufficient for a 1,000 yard season. The Redskins haven't had a 1,000 yard rusher since Alfred Morris in 2014. While I think Kelley gets the bulk of the yardage, I think it caps out about 900 yards and Chris Thompson and Samaje Perine creep into the total. Under

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Kelley, 10 rushing touchdowns

Tandler: He scored six as the starter last year and doing the math that comes to 11 over 16 games. But last year there wasn’t a player like Perine, who could come into the game and vulture some touchdowns after Kelley did the work to get the ball in goal to go position. Under

Finlay: Sorry to keep going back to stats, but last year only seven running backs got to 10 TDs or more. Only seven! Hard to see Kelley getting there on a team that didn't run all that much, or all that well either, in 2016. Under

Samaje Perine, 500 rushing yards

Tandler: It tough to set a line for a guy who hasn’t played. I’ll go off Matt Jones’ 2015 rookie season when he gained 490 yards while sharing time with Alfred Morris. If Perine averages four yards per carry, which is not hard to do, he’ll need about eight carries per game to get to 500. It’s close but if Kelley is effective, as I believe he will be, Perine might not get enough carries to have a chance. Under

Finlay: Tandler's Matt Jones comp pretty much works for Perine, but Jones had explosive speed that Perine doesn't have. A better comp for me was Derrick Henry last year as a rookie with the Titans. DeMarco Murray was established as the top dog, and Henry worked for a productive 490 yards. Under

MORE REDSKINS: Offer to Cousins not nearly enough

Chris Thompson, 60 pass receptions

Tandler: His role is beyond just third down. If the Redskins are behind in the fourth quarter, Thompson is usually in there to try to help spark a rally. Along with TE Jordan Reed and WR Jamison Crowder, Thompson will benefit from Kirk Cousins’ familiarity with him. Over

Finlay: Thompson should be a strong contributor in 2017, but 60 catches is a lot for a running back. Only David Johnson (80) and Le'Veon Bell (75) went over that number in 2016, while James White had exactly 60 catches. Thompson grabbed 49 balls in 2016, an impressive total. I could actually see Thompson getting a bigger percentage increase in carries, he had 68 rushes last season with a very solid 5.2 YPC, than catches. Under

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