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Need to Know: Buckle your seat belts, Redskins fans

Need to Know: Buckle your seat belts, Redskins fans

Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, December 29, the day the Washington Redskins visit the New York Giants.

Buckle your seat belts

It looks like we are about to enter crazy time, folks.

The firing of Mike Shanahan appears to be inevitable. It is likely to happen by the time the sun sets on Redskins Park on Monday.

Redskins fans should beware. We are about to enter a winter edition of the lying season, the annual ritual that comes around draft time every year. Don’t believe everything you hear. In fact don’t believe any of it.

It has already started. ESPN reported yesterday that Penn State coach Bill O’Brien is the “overwhelming favorite” to land the Houston Texans job. Many Redskins fans were lamenting that one of the most attractive candidates in the market was no longer in the market.

But O’Brien has not signed a deal. In fact, Texans owner Bob McNair has let it be known that “the process continues” and that the organization will interview more candidates in the coming week.

That doesn’t mean that O’Brien isn’t still the favorite to get the job. But it does mean that the Redskins will at least have a chance to talk to him if there is mutual interest between the coach and the team.

But where did word that O’Brien has the Texans job in hand come from? Somebody with motivation to leak the information. Here’s what Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk said about it:
But here’s the question to ask.  Why would someone leak word of a potential deal between the Texans and O’Brien prematurely?

The goal of the leaker could be to help push a deal to conclusion.  The goal of the leaker could be to blow a deal up.  The goal of the leaker also could be, quite simply, to curry favor with the persons to whom the information was leaked.

The goal of the leaker also could be to nudge another candidate (e.g., Lovie Smith) to do a deal first.
In the PFT post (which all Redskins fans should read as we enter this crazy time), Florio recalls last year when multiple outlets reported that there was a “95 percent” chance that Andy Reid would get the Arizona Cardinals’ vacant coaching job. Reid ended up on the sideline in red this year all right but it was Kansas City Chiefs red.

So, brace yourselves. The reports, rumors, and speculation are about to go into hyperdrive. Stick with us here and at CSNwashington.com as Tarik El-Bashir, the rest of team, and I break it down and sort it out for you day by day, hour by hour, minute by minute.

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In case you missed it

Sunday 12.22

Monday 12.23

Tuesday 12.24

Wednesday 12.25

Thursday 12.26

Friday 12.27

Saturday 12.28

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Redskins plan to 'spy' Cardinals' David Johnson with rookie Su'a Cravens, per source

Redskins plan to 'spy' Cardinals' David Johnson with rookie Su'a Cravens, per source

Facing one of the NFL's best running backs in Arizona's David Johnson, the Redskins plan to use rookie linebacker Su'a Cravens as a spy in nickel coverage to slow down the Cardinals' threat, per a source close to the team.

Johnson ranks third in the NFL with 921 rushing yards, but it's the variety of ways the Arizona offense uses their second-year running back that makes him so difficult to handle for opposing defenses. Johnson also has 55 catches for 613 yards, and that's just through 11 games.

Cravens comes into the game with momentum as perhaps the Redskins most dynamic defensive threat. With size to play linebacker and enough speed to play coverage, the 6-foot-1, 220 lbs. rookie out of USC will be put in a tough position covering Johnson. The reality of his assignment is to try and contain Johnson as the Cardinals offense is so reliant on the runner that he will get a number of chances.

In their last two games, Johnson has gone for more than 150 total yards in each contest and scored multiple touchdowns. For his part, Cravens has proved a playmaker in his rookie season. To go with 29 tackles in nine games, his stat sheet has sacks and an interception listed.

Getting to Carson Palmer is the best path for the Redskins defense - especially considering the Cardinals' offensive line woes - but using Cravens to try and limit Johnson is a smart course of action for the 'Skins.

One member of the Washington defense explained that Johnson is "going to make plays" but that the key is to limit the damage. If the running back catches a ball out of the backfield, Joe Barry's defense will be focused on making a stop after a five-yard gain, instead of a 20-yard gain.

Want more Redskins? Check out @JPFinlayCSN for live updates or click here for the #RedskinsTalk Podcast on iTunes, here for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!

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Redskins vs. Cardinals inactives: Reed out as expected

Redskins vs. Cardinals inactives: Reed out as expected

GLENDALE, AZ—As expected, the Redskins will be without star tight end Jordan Reed today against the Cardinals.

He is inactive due to a third-degree AC joint sprain in his left shoulder.

Reed gutted it out and played the second half on Thanksgiving Day in Dallas after being injured in the first but during the week he didn’t practice at all couldn’t regain the range of motion needed to play today.

Coach Jay Gruden said on Friday that the team is planning on having Reed play next week against the Eagles.

For this week, Vernon Davis will step into the starting role.

Also inactive is reserve defensive lineman Anthony Lanier, who was kicked in the lower leg in Dallas. Gruden said that the swelling was still too severe for him to be able to play.

LIVE BLOG: WEEK 13 REDSKINS VS. CARDINALS

The Redskins’ other inactive players today:

  • QB Nate Sudfeld
  • DL AJ Francis
  • RB Matt Jones
  • WR Rashad Ross
  • DB Dashaun Phillips