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Need to Know: 5 Redskins depth chart hot spots

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Need to Know: 5 Redskins depth chart hot spots

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, June 7, 10 days before the start of Redskins minicamp.

Nickel coverage

Here are five thoughts on the Redskins’ depth chart with about six and a half weeks to go until the start of training camp.

—I’ll have more on this at some point over the weekend but if you think that Santana Moss is a goner come September, think again. I asked Jay Gruden about him and the coach said, “I like having guys like that, veteran guys who are great examples for rookies and also can help you win in big games.” Sounds like a pretty strong endorsement to me.

—You always have to be careful when players give you an optimistic prognosis on their own serious injuries. Late last year, Richard Crawford was telling everyone who was listening that his knee, which he injured during the preseasons last year, was doing great. But he has been off to the side during OTAs, not looking like someone who will be ready for the July 24 start of camp. If he starts the season on the PUP list (note that we are a long way from that happening) that will affect the depth chart at both cornerback and punt returner.

—If you are a regular here you know I believe that Keenan Robinson will be the starter at inside linebacker next to Perry Riley once the season starts. But it remains to be seen if he will be an every down player like Riley and London Fletcher have been for the past few years. There could be a substantial role on second and third down and short situations for Akeem Jordan or Darryl Sharpton. Keep an eye on what develops there.

—Whether Crawford is healthy or not, the punt returner job is wide open. Lining up to field punts on Wednesday were Andre Roberts, Nick Williams, Lache Seastrunk, and Santana Moss. There is a chance that any of them could be the Week 1 punt returner. Or perhaps it will be none of the above. Since you can’t run special teams live in practice, preseason games will tell a lot.

—The running back picture may already be sorted out, three months before we kick off the season opener. I can see Alfred Morris as the lead back, Roy Helu as the third down back and Lache Seastrunk getting about a half a dozen carries per game on first and second down in relief or Morris. Don’t base your early fantasy draft on this, by the way, but it’s how I see it playing out.

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Timeline

—It’s been 160 days since the Redskins played a game; it will be 92 days until they play the Texans in their 2014 season opener.

Days until: Minicamp starts 10; Training camp 47; Redskins @ Eagles 106

In case you missed it

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3 reasons why Redskins promoting Matt Cavanaugh to offensive coordinator makes sense

3 reasons why Redskins promoting Matt Cavanaugh to offensive coordinator makes sense

Championship Sunday produced a flurry of Redskins news. A pair of internal promotions erased the team's vacant coordinator positions, as Greg Manusky landed the defensive coordinator spot and Matt Cavanaugh will take over as offensive coordinator. When Sean McVay left to coach the Rams, many expected Cavanaugh to take over his spot. Here are three reasons why:

  1. If it ain't broke, don't fix it - There was plenty to criticize from the Redskins the last two seasons, but not much of it came on offense. Cavanaugh joined the organization in 2015 as quarterback coach, and the offense has consistently improved in those two seasons. Though the team struggled to score TDs in the Red Zone, the 2016 version of the Redskins moved the ball at a team-record clip and ranked among the top offensive teams in NFL yardage. When something is working as well as the 'Skins offense, it's not wise to change it dramatically.
  2. Impressive work - Cavanaugh began coaching QBs for the Redskins in 2015. Kirk Cousins took over as Redskins starting quarterback in 2015. In two years working together, Cousins twice broke the Redskins franchise passing record and is now poised to get a mega-contract in free agency. Talking after the 'Skins loss to the Giants earlier this month, Jay Gruden said, "I think [Cousins'] really improved his game a lot in the last couple years. And a lot of it has to do with Matt Cavanaugh and Sean McVay."
  3. Make the call - The biggest question remaining for the Redskins - outside of the HUGE unknown surrounding Cousins - will be about play calling. All indications are that Jay Gruden will return to calling the plays from the Washington sideline, and obviously, that's a situation Cavanaugh understands. For two seasons now, Cavanaugh along with McVay, Gruden and offensive line coach Bill Callahan have had input on play calling. With McVay gone, Cavanaugh and Callahan will likely contribute even more in support of Gruden. 

RELATED: 2017 NFL MOCK DRAFT 1.0

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Poll: What is your approval rating for the Manusky hire?

Poll: What is your approval rating for the Manusky hire?

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