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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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Need to Know: Washington Redskins free agency needs—Offense

Need to Know: Washington Redskins free agency needs—Offense

Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, February 23, 14 days before the March 9 start of NFL free agency.  

Timeline

Days until:

—NFL Franchise tag deadline (3/1) 6
—NFL Combine (3/2) 7
—Redskins offseason workouts start (4/17) 53
—NFL Draft (4/27) 63
—First Sunday of 2017 season (9/10) 199

Free agent moves—Offense

Free agency starts two weeks from today. The Redskins have plenty of needs, both big and small. Let’s take a look around and see what offensive positions they might be looking to bolster when things get going. I’ll follow up with the defense in the next few days.

Quarterback—It could be a yawner at this position or there could be plenty of drama. If Kirk Cousins gets franchise tagged or defies current expectations and signs a long-term deal, the depth chart will remain the same. If he is gone via a trade, things could be shaken up. While they may draft a QB in late April they could go for a mid-priced veteran as insurance.

RELATED: NFL Mock Draft Version 3.0

Running back—The Redskins have a depth chart loaded with young, unproven talent at this position. If they want a veteran presence in the meeting room they could look at someone like Robert Turbin (McCloughan had a hand in drafting him in Seattle in 2012) or maybe Knile Davis.

Wide receiver—Things will get very interesting if the word on the street comes to pass and both Pierre Garçon and DeSean Jackson are gone. They have a presumably healthy Josh Doctson in line to replace one but they would need a veteran. Maybe Kenny Stills or Kenny Britt, both young and productive, could be under consideration. If one of the veterans stays they likely will get depth in the draft.

More Redskins: #RedskinsTalk podcast: Is Kirk too nice for his own good?

Tight end—Vernon Davis seems likely to be back. If he’s not, the Redskins probably would rather have an alternative to Niles Paul as Jordan Reed’s primary backup. The probably won’t swim in the deep end of the pool with Martellus Bennett and Jared Cook. But maybe they will look at Jermaine Gresham, who made the Pro Bowl twice in Cincinnati while Jay Gruden was the Bengals’ offensive coordinator.

Offensive line—Yesterday, JP and I discussed what they might do at left guard if they want to upgrade from Shawn Lauvao. Perhaps they could go for Kevin Zeitler, another Bengal who played under Gruden. But he will command a contract in the $8-$10 million range and with Brandon Scherff coming up for an extension next year that might be too much to spend at the guard position. Look for the Redskins to take an eventual Lauvao replacement in the draft.

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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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If Redskins trade Kirk Cousins to 49ers, 5 prospects to consider with No. 2 pick

If Redskins trade Kirk Cousins to 49ers, 5 prospects to consider with No. 2 pick

It still seems like a long-shot the Redskins trade Kirk Cousins, but if there is one persistent rumor, it's that the San Francisco 49ers want the Washington passer. The story is too familiar at this point: New Niners coach Kyle Shanahan was in D.C. when Cousins was drafted and wants the quarterback to come run his offense in San Francisco. With the second overall pick, the 49ers have a tremendous asset they can dangle in trade talks.

<<<CLICK HERE TO SEE 5 PROSPECTS FOR THE REDSKINS AT NO. 2 PICK>>>

Whether or not any of this rumor is true, it sure makes for engrossing speculation. With the NFL Draft Combine next week in Indianapolis, NFL Network analyst Daniel Jeremiah said he wouldn't be shocked to see the trade go down.

That's the backdrop. Beyond the debate of the merits of trading an established QB like Cousins, which is a very serious debate, there's also the notion of what player the 'Skins would select with the second overall pick.  

MORE REDSKINS: 2017 top heavy Cap could be a problem

It's worth examining the impact players available to Washington with the second selection in the 2017 NFL Draft, and the options are varied, including perhaps a new QB. Check it out. 

<<<LOOKING AT REDSKINS DRAFT PROSPECTS>>>

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