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Need to Know: Are yardage stats for losers like Haslett says?

Need to Know: Are yardage stats for losers like Haslett says?

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, February 15, four days before the start of the NFL Combine.

Nickel coverage

Earlier this week, Jim Haslett told ESPN 980 that he didn’t pay much attention to the number of yards his defense gave up. “That’s kind of for losers,” he said. Let’s put that to the test by taking a look back through Redskins history. Here are the five (plus three) Redskins teams who have ranked the highest in yards given up since the NFL merger and how those teams fared during the season.

1974, ranked 2nd—George Allen’s team went 10-4 and lost to the Rams I the first round of the playoffs. The defense featured Pro Bowl seasons by Hall of Famers Chris Hanburger and Ken Houston and a part-time farewell season for Deacon Jones.

1985, ranked 3rd—Under Joe Gibbs, this team wen 10-6 and missed the playoffs on tiebreakers. No Redskins defenders made the Pro Bowl even through Charles Mann (14.5) and Dexter Manley (15) combined for 29.5 sacks. Darrell Green was also in his prime.

1991, ranked 3rd—I’m sure I don’t have to tell you much about this team, probably the best in Redskins history. Green and Mann were among the eight Redskins Pro Bowlers. To be sure, it wasn’t all about the defensive yardage stat. They led the league in yards gained, turnover ratio, point differential and yardage differential.

2004, ranked 3rd—In the first year of Gibbs 2.0 the Redskins went 6-10 and finished well out of the playoffs. Gregg Williams was in charge of the defense and his unit got the job done in spite of having only one member selected to the Pro Bowl, linebacker Marcus Washington.

The Redskins of 1971 (lost first round of playoffs), 1972 (lost Super bowl), 1982 (won Super Bowl), 2000 (8-8, no playoffs), 2008 (8-8, no playoffs), all finished ranked 4th in the NFL in yards given up. The three teams that made the playoffs finished ninth or better in turnover ratio; the two 8-8 teams finished 16th and 17th in that category.

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Timeline

—It’s been 48 days since the Redskins played a game; it will be about 204 days until they play another one.

—Days until: NFL Combine 4; NFL Free agency starts 24; Offseason workouts start 51; NFL Draft 82

In case you missed it

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Redskins promote CB Phillips from practice squad, waive Bruton Jr. and Clausell

Redskins promote CB Phillips from practice squad, waive Bruton Jr. and Clausell

The Redskins made a roster move just before departing for Arizona to play the Cardinals.

They signed cornerback Dashaun Phillips from the practice squad and cut offensive tackle Blaine Clausell. The Redskins also waived safety David Bruton Jr. off of injured reserve.

Phillips was the Redskins’ nickel corner for the first three games of the season, and he made four tackles and recovered a fumble. But they moved rookie Kendall Fuller up into the slot corner role in Week 4 and Phillips spent several weeks on the inactive list before being waived on November 12 and added to the practice squad three days later.

The moves became known after Redskins coach Jay Gruden had spoken to the media for the day so we can only speculate as to the reasoning behind them. Actually, the release of Clausell isn’t hard to figure out. He was signed after Trent Williams started his four-game suspension and with Williams set to return on Monday and the other options at backup tackle healthy there was no point in keeping him around.

Phillips is likely going to Arizona as an insurance policy. The Cardinals like to spread the field with a lot of wide receivers. They will want to have five cornerbacks active. They do have Josh Norman, Bashaud Breeland, Fuller, Quinton Dunbar, and Greg Toler. But Breeland is listed as questionable with an ankle injury and they Redskins don’t want to take any chance of being caught short-handed at cornerback if he suffers a setback. That’s especially true when they don’t need to bring an extra tackle along.

Depending on how things shake out injury-wise against the Cardinals there is a good chance that we could see Phillips on the waiver wire once again as a roster spot will be needed for Williams.

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Redskins-Cardinals injury report: Reed out, seven questionable

Redskins-Cardinals injury report: Reed out, seven questionable

Redskins

Out

TE Jordan Reed (shoulder)—The word heroic is thrown around too often when talking about what athletes do, in light if what, say, first responders do every day. But Reed playing in the second half out of the Dallas game with a third-degree AC joint sprain certainly was remarkable. But Gruden said that Reed won’t have sufficient range of motion in the shoulder or range of motion to be able to go against the Cardinals.

DE Anthony Lanier (leg)—The reserve lineman missed the second half of the Dallas game with a leg contusion. Gruden said he was kicked in the lower leg against the Cowboys and the swelling is still an issue.

Questionable

LS Nick Sundberg (back)—He tweaked his back in the weight room before the Packers game and missed that game and the one against the Cowboys. He was a full go in practice all week and will return against the Cardinals.

G Brandon Scherff (ankle)—He has been limited in practice during the week but it seems certain that he will go against the Cardinals.

T Ty Nsekhe (ankle)—Ditto comment on Scherff above.

CB Bashaud Breeland (ankle)—He suffered the injury in practice this week and he was limited in practice on Thursday.

RB Chris Thompson (illness)—He was limited in practice during the week but he said in the locker room he will have his usual role on Sunday.

Also questionable for the Redskins: ILB Terence Garvin (shoulder) and DE Ricky Jean Francois (knee)

Cardinals

Check back for the Cardinals injury update after they release their report later this afternoon.