Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, July 13, 14 days before the Washington Redskins start training camp in Richmond on July 27.
The Redskins last played a game 193 days ago; they will open the 2017 season against the Eagles at FedEx Field in 59 days.
—Franchise tag contract deadline (7/17) 4
—Preseason opener @ Ravens (8/10) 28
—Roster cut to 53 (9/2) 51
11 predictions for the Redskins’ defense
Not all of these can be characterized as bold, but here goes with one prediction for each of the 11 anticipated 2017 defensive starters for the Redskins.
DE Jonathan Allen—He’ll post six sacks and two forced fumbles. I think he’ll get off to a slow start as he adjusts to the NFL and gradually become a force in November and December.
NT Phil Taylor—The bold prediction here is that he makes the team and starts. Assuming he has been able to get his knees into shape during his two years on the sideline, he’s the most viable candidate.
DE Stacy McGee—He will break his career high in sacks. That’s not saying much because his best sack season came last year, when he had 2.5. But he will be a solid addition to the line.
OLB Preston Smith—He triples his career interception total, getting two more picks. Coverage is not necessarily his strength but I can see him batting one in the air at the line and picking it off and getting another one like he had against the Vikings, when the QB thought he was throwing it past him but Smith made the play with his length.
OLB Ryan Kerrigan—The least bold prediction I will make in this post is that he will get to double-digit sacks this season. He’s done it two of the last three years and missed out in 2015 by just a half.
ILB Zach Brown—He had a good season making plays last year but he was better as a rookie with the Titans. I’ll take the under on the three interceptions he got that year but I’ll go over on the two fumble recoveries and 5.5 sacks.
ILB Will Compton—He will start 16 games but play fewer snaps than Brown and Mason Foster. They like his smarts and ability to play chess at the line with the opposing quarterbacks. But they want more speed on passing downs and Brown and Foster provide that.
CB Josh Norman—Norman works hard to fix his flaws and he will get better at catching the ball. Put him down for six interceptions and a Pro Bowl selection.
CB Bashaud Breeland—Breeland has at least two interceptions in each of his three NFL seasons and he had three last year. Put him down for another three.
S Su’a Cravens—It’s hard to get a handle on him with the position change. But if he can get an interception as a nickel linebacker I have to think that he can get three at strong safety.
S D. J. Swearinger—He has forced one fumble in the last two season combined. Swearinger forces three this year.
In case you missed it