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Need to Know: A lot to be determined on Redskins defense

Need to Know: A lot to be determined on Redskins defense

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, June 11, 47 days before the Washington Redskins start training camp in Richmond.

Timeline

—The Redskins last played a game 153 days ago. It will be 93 days until they host the Steelers in their 2016 season opener.

Days until: Redskins training camp starts 47; Preseason opener @ Falcons 61; Final roster cut 84

Hot topics from the Redskins week that was

The Redskins have completed their OTAs and they just have to get through minicamp next week before the long offseason vacation commences. Here are some of the most popular posts from last week from here and from CSNmidatlantic.com.

Barry on Cravens: 'He’s a special one'—I understand fans who want to know right now what role Su’a Craves will play when they line up in September. But the simple fact is that his role has yet to be determined and it probably won’t be until at least a few games into the season. Sit back and enjoy watching it unfold.

Jackson present and accounted for at OTA—I know that the inclusion of this link will prompt some of you to comment that nobody cares whether or not DeSean Jackson is at OTAs. But the fact that it’s included here means that a great number of people checked out what the post had to say about Jackson and his OTA attendance. There are many fans who are interested.

Redskins' Long still 'finding his way' while learning center—There were some who were anxious to project Spencer Long as the Week 1 starting center. This post shows that perhaps these fans should pump the brakes on that thought. Besides, I think he’ll end up being the starting left guard.

Gruden trying to make things difficult on Cousins—The coach wants Kirk Cousins to be ready for anything that comes up so during team drills he had the quarterback working out of situations like third down deep in his own territory and on two-point conversions (which essentially is fourth and goal at the two). You know, as they say, no pressure, no diamonds (oh, wait, that was the other guy).

Depth chart at safety written in pencil, not Sharpie—Right now it’s DeAngelo Hall and David Bruton with the first team at safety. But whether or not they stay on top of the depth chart and who might back them up and get playing time in different packages remains to be seen. Like with Cravens (who will be part of the picture) relax and watch it unfold.

Stat of the day

Yesterday I posted on the Redskins’ stellar offensive performance on third down in the red zone. How did the defense fare? In 33 snaps they gave up an average of 3.1 yards per play (20th in NFL) and 10 touchdowns (T-22nd). They did pick off two passes, recover two fumbles, and get a sack in those situations.

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Will Jay Gruden increase his 'big role' in the Redskins' personnel process?

Will Jay Gruden increase his 'big role' in the Redskins' personnel process?

While it hasn’t been the best offseason for the Redskins organization in many respects it has been a good one for coach Jay Gruden. In the midst of turmoil over the status of general manager Scot McCloughan, Gruden got a two-year contract extension.

Although the final agreement on the deal came on March 4 in a steakhouse in Indianapolis during the NFL Combine, team president Bruce Allen said that talk of extending Gruden started much earlier.

“It was after the season, Dan [Snyder], Jay and I got together and we talked about the game plan because we’d made some changes on the coaching staff as well following the season,” Allen told CSN’s JP Finlay at the owners’ meetings in Arizona.

Gruden became the team’s head coach in 2014. His original five-year contract was set to expire after the 2018 season but now he is in the fold through 2020.

RELATED: NFL Mock Draft Version 6.0

Gruden’s record in Washington is 21-26-1, not the kind of record that normally has an organization rushing to extend a head coach. But after a 4-12 inaugural season, Gruden has led the Redskins to records of 9-7 and 8-7-1 the last two years. While by many standards that is a modest achievement, it marked the first back-to-back winning seasons in Washington since 1996-1997. The hope is that Gruden will keep them moving in the right direction.

The extension is likely to be popular in the locker room as players have come to like Gruden’s style.  

“His directness, his sarcasm and at the same time he gets his coaching point in but the guys do like his sense of humor as well,” said Allen. 

It’s not known if Gruden’s extension gives him more authority over personnel. His original deal gave him very little, with first Allen and then McCloughan having the final say in personnel selection and control over who makes the 53-man roster. Some NFL head coaches have final say in free agency acquisition and in the draft while many have control over who makes the 53.

MORE REDSKINS: 3 takeaways from talking to Allen

Gruden does have some informal influence when it comes to the draft.

“He’s got a big role,” said Allen. “First of all, he coordinates all the coaches’ reports and when we set the draft board, Jay will be up there. He watches every player who will be on the draft board and he will have an opinion.”

There is a power vacuum at Redskins Park with McCloughan gone. A new general manager won’t get hired until after the draft and the authority of that GM will have will be a matter of negotiation. It would not be surprising to see Gruden ending up with roster control.

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.

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Need to Know: What is the Redskins' plan for QB Kirk Cousins?

Need to Know: What is the Redskins' plan for QB Kirk Cousins?

Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, March 28, 30 days before the April 27 NFL draft.

Timeline

Days until:

—Offseason workouts begin (4/17) 20
—Redskins rookie camp (5/12) 45
—Redskins OTAs start (5/24) 57
—Franchise tag contract deadline (7/15) 109
—First Sunday of 2017 season (9/10) 157

Tuesday three and out

1. Maybe Bruce Allen and the Redskins have a master plan for saving the whole Kirk Cousins situation but right now it just looks like they’re stuck without a solution to paying $24 million to a quarterback who likely will be gone in a year. That’s money that could either be rolled over into future seasons if Cousins gets traded or used as a down payment on a long-term Cousins deal. Maybe there’s a master plan there somewhere but right now it looks an awful lot like the organization is just stumbling around in the dark, stubbing its toe while trying to find the light switch.

2. WR Brian Quick will cost the Redskins less against the salary cap than they are paying him. That’s because his contract takes advantage of the minimum salary benefit. He gets the sixth-year minimum salary of $775,000 plus an $85,000 signing bonus, a total of $860,000. Because of the minimum salary and low signing bonus the CBA rules allow the team to essentially discount the cap hit for the contract down to $695,000. The rule is designed so that younger players are necessarily cheaper, at least when it comes to the salary cap.

RELATED: NFL Mock Draft Version 6.0

3. Allen hinted that the Redskins won’t necessarily hire a general manager after the draft. While talking to colleague JP Finlay he said, “We’ll talk about what we need after the draft from a staffing standpoint.” Not “we’ll search high and low for the best GM in the business” but that needs will be examined. It’s going to be interesting to see how it all shakes out.

And out—Allen didn’t have much to say when JP asked about the stadium project that was a hot topic a year or so ago, only confirming that talks are ongoing. The fact that he had so little to say, not even some platitudes about the desire to build a great environment for the fans. Reading between the lines, this makes me think that a deal is getting close and the less that is said about it at this point the better. Virginia governor Terry McAuliffe will be term limited out of office next January and the feeling is that he will want to leave a Redskins stadium deal as his legacy.

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.

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