Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, May 3, five days before the NFL draft.
Here are the five most talked about Redskins from the week that was:
Jay Gruden doesn’t have final say in the draft but it would be foolish to say that he doesn’t have a major voice in who's selected. He got great productivity out of two tight ends in Cincinnati and it would not be surprising if he successfully lobbied for Bruce Allen to tab a second one to pair with Jordan Reed for the Redskins.
Is David Amerson ready to start at cornerback yet? We took a look at that question and concluded that a second-round pick who has 700 NFL snaps under his belt had better be able to start.
There’s plenty of optimism that DeSean Jackson can bring a major boost to the Redskins’ offense. But if you’ve been following the team for longer than, oh, 10 minutes or so you know that these things don’t always work out in Washington. Will Jackson boom or bust in DC?
The decision to franchise tag Brian Orakpo stirred up some controversy with some saying that he hasn’t played well enough to justify the $11.45 million salary. Now he stirred up some more discussion by saying that he was a “proven” player.
Robert Griffin III has been a team captain since midway through his rookie year so he certainly has some leadership traits. But with London Fletcher gone he will have to pick up the leadership intensity a notch or two. Appearing on TV, Fletcher speculated how well Griffin might be able to handle it.
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—Redskins linebacker Perry Riley was born on this date in 1988.
—It’s been 125 days since the Redskins played a game; it will be 126 days until they play the Texans in the 2014 season opener.
—Days until: NFL Draft 5; Training camp starts 81; Preseason opener Patriots @ Redskins 97
In case you missed it
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.
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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