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Need to Know: 11 predictions for the 2017 Redskins offense

Need to Know: 11 predictions for the 2017 Redskins offense

Here is what you need to know on this Friday, July 14, 13 days before the Washington Redskins start training camp in Richmond on July 27.


The Redskins last played a game 194 days ago; they will open the 2017 season against the Eagles at FedEx Field in 58 days.

Days until:

—Franchise tag contract deadline (7/17) 3
—Preseason opener @ Ravens (8/10) 27
—Roster cut to 53 (9/2) 50

11 predictions for the Redskins’ offense

Yesterday I did one prediction for each of the Redskins’ 11 anticipated starters on defense. Now I do the same for the offense, with the same caveat that not all of the predictions are bold.

OT Trent Williams—He will make his sixth straight Pro Bowl but he will still fall short of All-Pro honors because he is not a Dallas Cowboy.

OT Morgan Moses—Fresh off his contract extension, Moses will be one of the two or three best right tackles in the game but he won’t make the Pro Bowl because they only select left tackles for that.

G Brandon Scherff—He will play every snap but one that he will miss for some random reason not related to injury or his play on the field.

G Shawn Lauvao—I hate to predict an injury for anyone but I’ll take the under on 10.5 games played for him this year.

C Spencer Long—For Long, another year of 100 percent accurate shotgun snaps.

WR Josh Doctson—This is perhaps the boldest prediction in this post—Doctson will catch 10 touchdown passes. He will be that good a red zone target.

WR Terrelle Pryor—Last year he got over 1,000 yards receiving with the disadvantage of playing with bad quarterbacks in Cleveland but the advantage of there being no other viable targets on the team. This year he’ll have a much better quarterback but Kirk Cousins will have plenty of guys to throw to. I’ll take under 1,000 yards but not by much.

WR Jamison Crowder—Crowder will post solid numbers across the board. My specific prediction is that he will score at least two touchdowns that don’t come on pass receptions (punt return, run from scrimmage, fumble recovery, etc.).

TE Jordan Reed—So, if Pryor doesn’t get 1,000 yards will Reed? If he plays in 13 games or more, yes. I don’t think he does but he still makes the Pro Bowl again.

RB Rob Kelley—After writing a couple of days ago that he could be as good a runner as David Johnson I suppose I need to come up with something bold here. But I can’t honestly say that he will match or top the 1,200 yards that Johnson racked up in 2016 because both Samaje Perine and Chris Thompson are going to get some carries. Still, I’ll put Kelley down for 1,050 yards and eight touchdowns.

QB Kirk Cousins—Up from last year: Completion percentage (67.0 in 2016), touchdown passes, (25), interceptions (12). Down from last year: Pass attempts (606), completions (406), passer rating (97.1).

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerCSN and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

In case you missed it

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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.


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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

RELATED: Who's next at QB for the Redskins?

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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