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Need to Know: 5 reasons the Redskins could struggle in 2014


Need to Know: 5 reasons the Redskins could struggle in 2014

Here is what you need to know on this Monday, June 23, 31 days before the Redskins start training camp.

Nickel coverage

Yesterday we looked at five reasons for the Redskins to be optimistic about the 2014 season. Today it’s the other side of the coin, five reasons the team could struggle this season.

The safety situation is shaky—Perhaps the Redskins should be applauded for not overpaying for safeties like Mike Mitchell and Jairus Byrd but one of the rewards for their fiscal restraint is a patched-together unit at safety. Ryan Clark is smart and a leader but the Steelers thought he’d lost too many steps. Brandon Meriweather likes to go headhunting and Bacarri Rambo and Phillip Thomas are woefully inexperienced.

Injuries on the defensive line—There are three D-lineman over 30 who have had surgery in the last seven months. Barry Cofield (hernia), Stephen Bowen (knee, microfracture) and Jason Hatcher (knee, cleanup) are all likely to be ready to go when the season starts. But it remains to be seen if they can last once the seasons begins.

A high-risk defensive scheme—It’s all about getting to the quarterback for this defense. If the pass rush doesn’t improve dramatically due to injuries, offensive adjustments, or any one of dozens of things that could go wrong, the weak secondary will be exposed.

Offensive line in transition—It seems that Jay Gruden is going to utilize the outside zone run game that was so effective for the Redskins under Mike Shanahan but at the same time he wants bigger offensive linemen to protect the quarterback. This is a “have your cake and eat it, too” situation and how it shakes out will be vital to the team’s fortunes.

A first-year head coach—It seems like Jay Gruden has his act together and the players seem to be responding to him positively. But they haven’t suffered a three-game losing streak yet. Gruden hasn’t yet made a questionable third-down decision and he hasn’t yet faced the wrath of fans who think he abandoned the run too early in a close loss. It remains to be seen how he reacts to such adversity.

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—It’s been 176 days since the Redskins played a game; in 76 days they play the Texans in their 2014 season opener.

Days until: Training camp 31; Preseason opener vs. Patriots 45; Home opener Jaguars @ Redskins 83

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NFL Draft 2017: Top 5 names you want to hear Roger Goodell call

NFL Draft 2017: Top 5 names you want to hear Roger Goodell call

More than 220 players will be drafted over the next three days in Philadelphia, but only five of them make the CSN All-Name team. There are plenty of candidates, but it takes a lot to make this list.

To be clear, this list does not represent the Top 5 players for the Redskins to target. It doesn't even represent players the Redskins might be interested in. These guys just have awesome names. 

Honorable Mention

  • Jake Butt - TE, Michigan - The jokes are too easy, but he did land a toilet paper sponsorship.
  • Corn Elder - CB, Miami - Not enough people named Corn in the world. 
  • Eddie Vanderdoes - DT, UCLA - Vanderdoesitall. 
  • Erik Magnuson - OT, Michigan - This has to be the name of an actual Viking. Has to. 

No. 5 - Forrest Lamp - OG/C Western Kentucky - Invoking a Best Picture winner and the name of a household appliance. Just tremendous. So good he's already landed an endorsement deal. I love lamp. 

No. 4 - Budda Baker - Safety, Washington - Whether you like it for the religion or just the alliteration, it's fantastic.  

No. 3 - Tyus Bowser - OLB, Houston - The bad guy in Mario? The photoshops will be tremendous.

No. 2 - Raekwon McMillan - LB, Ohio State - The Chef. Don't mess with the Chef. 

No. 1 - Taco Charlton - DT, Michigan - It takes a lot to beat Raekwon, but this is the best draft name in years. Everyone loves a Taco.


Want more Redskins? Check out @JPFinlayCSN for live updates or click here for the #RedskinsTalk Podcast on iTuneshere for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!

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NFL Draft 2017 Redskins live blog: First round draft updates, analysis

NFL Draft 2017 Redskins live blog: First round draft updates, analysis

The first round of the 2017 NFL Draft is finally upon us. Finally.

For the Washington Redskins, the 2017 NFL Draft represents a chance to find impact players, a search that begins with the 17th pick overall in the first round. All those discussions about whom the Redskins will select with their first pick will be answered Thursday night during the NFL's biggest offseason event.

To keep up with the NFL Draft, you'll need two things: A screen to watch it on and this live blog. Redskins fans and NFL fans who want to stay up to date with surprise picks, trades, analysis and anything else draft-related will want to keep this page open all night.


What: 2017 NFL Draft, Round 1
When: Thursday, April 27, 2016 at 8:00 p.m. ET
Where: Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, Penn.
TV Channel: ESPN, NFL Network
Live Stream: WatchESPN App

Here's what's happened so far. Let's head to the live blog:



5:05 PM - NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has arrived. Surprisingly enough, fans aren't booing him. We'll have to wait until 8:00 p.m. for that.

4:45 PM - We're three hours away from the start of the 2017 NFL Draft, but it looks like the Cleveland Browns are close to finalizing their choice for the No. 1 overall pick.

4:30 PM - JP Finlay is on the scene in Philadelphia for the 2017 NFL Draft. Several Redskins fans are out and about early.

4:15 PM - Oh, this is going to be fun. Former Redskins GM Scot McCloughan is reportedly advising other teams on their picks at the draft. 

4:00 PM - And with that No. 17 pick, the Redskins could go in several different directions. There will be plenty of defensive lineman and pass rushers to choose from, as well as several high-end cornerbacks. JP Finlay identified the 22 players considered in-play for the Redskins at No. 17.

3:45 PM - The Redskins have the No. 17 pick. With the 2017 NFL Draft starting at 8:00 p.m., we are expecting the Redskins to make their pick at rough 10:15 p.m. ET.

3:30 PM - Want to get to know the NFL Draft prospects? Want to go inside the war room with a former GM? Ever wondered what a player evaluation looks like? Former NFL GM Charley Casserly and CSN's Julie Donaldson have you covered in our CSN Draft Room. It's your go-to source for 2017 NFL Draft material.

3:15 PM - The CSN team is all over the place today. Be sure to follow them on Twitter. Redskins Insider JP Finlay is at the Draft in Philadelphia. Redskins writer Rich Tandler and CSN anchor Chick Hernandez are at Redskins Park in Ashburn, Va. and NFL analyst Trevor Matich is in the CSN Draft Room. Be sure to follow @CSNRedskins for all your draft night coverage. 

3:00 PM - Welcome to CSN's live draft tracker for the 2017 NFL Draft on Thursday night.