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Need to Know: 5 Redskins who could have breakout 2014 seasons

Need to Know: 5 Redskins who could have breakout 2014 seasons

Here is what you need to know on this Monday, June 2, 15 days before the start of minicamp.

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Breakout players can either be relative unkowns who all of a sudden have a standout year or they can be solid performers who blossom to play at a Pro Bowl level. Here are five 2014 breakout candidates for the Redskins, some from both categories.

LB Ryan Kerrigan—He’s been an eight-sack per year player with a total of two pick sixes and 10 forced fumbles in his three seasons. If Jim Haslett’s scheme does turn out to be more aggressive than it was under Mike Shanahan it’s not hard to see Kerrigan posting double digit sacks with half a dozen forced fumbles and a few touchdowns. Last year only Tamba Hali of the Chiefs had 10 or more sacks, an interception and scored two or more touchdowns (he had three). That would be some pretty good company for Kerrigan.

TE Jordan Reed—This is not a difficult pick. Last year he was on pace to catch over 70 passes for 800 yards before his season ended early with a concussion. With a year under his belt, a likely improved QB pulling the trigger in a healthy and prepared Robert Griffin III, and a head coach who knows how to utilize the tight end position Reed could well surpass last year’s “on pace” numbers in 2014.

DL Chris Baker—It’s hard for a 3-4 defensive lineman to break out since if they’re doing their jobs you don’t hear much about them. But with his size and athletic ability, Baker could rack up some sacks and make his presence felt on the field.

CB David Amerson—If Baker and Kerrigan are having breakout seasons and getting to the quarterback, a lot of opponents’ passes could end up in the arms of Amerson. It’s unlikely that he’ll become a shutdown corner but his ballhawking ability could get him more than his share of interceptions. If he can get over half a dozen he could lead the league, an accomplishment that usually earns Pro Bowl consideration.

OT Trent Williams—He’s already pretty well regarded with Pro Bowl selections in each of the past two years. His reputation could grow this year if Jay Gruden’s offense employs a hybrid of power running and zone blocking. This will give Williams a chance to show off his versatility and possibly advance from Pro Bowl to All-Pro.

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Timeline

—It’s been 155 days since the Redskins played a game; it will be 97 days until they play the Texans in their 2014 season opener.

Days until: Minicamp starts 15; Training camp 52; Redskins @ Eagles 111

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Need to Know: Redskins look for fifth straight win over Eagles

Need to Know: Redskins look for fifth straight win over Eagles

Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, December 5, four days before the Washington Redskins play the Philadelphia Eagles.

Timeline

Today's schedule: Practice 1:05; Jay Gruden and Kirk Cousins news conferences and open locker room after practice approx. 3:00

Days until: Panthers @ Redskins 12; Redskins @ Bears Christmas Eve 17; Giants @ Redskins, New Year’s Day 25

Injuries of note vs. Cardinals:
C Spencer Long (concussion), S Will Blackmon (concussion)
Long's concussion could force roster move

First look at Redskins vs. Eagles

The last time: The Redskins won 27-20 at FedEx Field in Week 6 in a game that was not really as close as the score indicated. The Redskins outgained the Eagles 493 yards to 239 and had the ball for 10 more minutes. Philly scored on a kickoff return and an interception return in a three-minute span in the second quarter and that was about all they had. The Redskins have now beaten the Eagles four straight times. 

The Eagles leaders: Quarterback Carson Wentz got off to a hot start, posting three passer ratings of over 100 in his first four games. In eight games since his passer rating is 70.1 and his high in a game is 91.4. Leading rusher Ryan Mathews had his first 100-yard game in Week 10; he shares the load with Wendell Smallwood and Darren Sproles. Jordan Matthews (57 receptions, 686 yards) is expected back after missing last week with an ankle injury. Sacks leader Brandon Graham (5.0) has only one sack in the last six games.

Be on the lookout: The Eagles have been getting it done on special teams for years. This year they have two kickoff return touchdowns and Darren Sproles averages 13.7 yards per punt return including a 66-yarder.

Hodgepodge: A Washington win would put them 2.5 games ahead of the Eagles with three to play. Barring a Philly win out/Redskins lose out scenario the Redskins would be out of last place in the NFC East in consecutive years for the first time since 2002-2003 . . . The Redskins already are ensured of avoiding double-digit losses in consecutive seasons for the first time since 2001-2002 . . . The Eagles have allowed over 400 yards of offense in two of their last three games.

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When will Jordan Reed return? Jay Gruden says he 'can't predict it'

When will Jordan Reed return? Jay Gruden says he 'can't predict it'

The Redskins best pass cacther did not play in a loss to the Cardinals, and it appears there is still no clear timeline for Jordan Reed's return to the field. 

"Jordan will be day-to-day," Washington coach Jay Gruden said. "You know, we just have to wait and see."

Gruden issued the same statement on Reed last week, and the tight end proceeded to miss all Redskins practices for the week and was announced out for the Arizona game on Friday. Reed's injury came on Thanksgiving in Dallas when he separated his shoulder diving in the end zone for a Kirk Cousins' pass during the first half.

Incredibly, Reed returned in the second half and caught two touchdowns while playing in immense pain. Gruden and Cousins used words like 'stunned' and 'surprised' talking about Reed's return in the Dallas game, but looking forward to Philadelphia, it's hard to know what to expect from the tight end's shoulder.

"Everybody is different with these types of injuries and hopefully he is a fast healer but we’ll take him day-to-day, get him his treatment and go from there," the coach said. "I can’t predict it."

For the season, Reed has 59 catches for 630 yards and five touchdowns in just nine games. Reed missed two games earlier this year after sustaining a concussion against the Ravens.

Without Reed in the lineup against the Cardinals, the Redskins offense dipped in production. Cousins threw for less than 300 yards for the first time in three games, though backup tight end Vernon Davis had five catches for 47 yards. 

If Reed practices Wednesday, even in a limited role, would be a good sign for the 'Skins tight end. 

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