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Need to Know: Fame and fortune coming for Redskins' Kerrigan?

Need to Know: Fame and fortune coming for Redskins' Kerrigan?

Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, May 12, 79 days before the Washington Redskins open training camp in Richmond, VA.

Question of the day

A few days a week I’ll give an in-depth answer to a question submitted by a fan on my Twitter feed, via the Real Redskins Facebook page, or in the comments section here. On Twitter address the questions to me at @Rich_TandlerCSN with the #NTK hashtag. There will be a comment thread set up on the Facebook page and if you’re asking your question here, put “for NTK” at the start of the comment.

It appears that Ryan Kerrigan will become a very rich man at some point soon. His camp and the Redskins are progressing in contract extension talks. A new contract likely would pay Kerrigan in the neighborhood of $10 million per year over several seasons. There's the fortune, will fame follow?

First, let’s talk about “household names”. If you take the term literally there are very few of them in the NFL. If you knocked at the door of a randomly selected house in America and started naming football players, the recognition would probably stop at Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, and maybe a few others. Robert Griffin III likely has a high degree of name recognition because of his performance his rookie year and due to the fact that much of what he has said and done since gets coverage on cable news, social media, and on pop culture type media outlets.

That may sound odd to NFL fans but keep in mind that according to the TV ratings over half of the people in America don’t even watch the Super Bowl.

But I think what you’re aiming at is something more like, say, J.J. Watt and Adrian Peterson, players who are on the tips of the tongues of even casual NFL fans. I don’t believe that is a status that Kerrigan, Robinson, or anyone else on the Redskins besides Griffin can attain.

For one thing, you have to be a really, really good player to be well known among people who are fans of the other 31 NFL team. You have to be an All-Pro, or at least get some votes. Kerrigan had 13.5 sacks last year. Justin Houston led the NFL with 22. That’s a long way away from earning All-Pro votes.

Watt, who, as noted, is a household name, had 20.5 sacks last year. It was the second 20-sack season of his four-year career. Last year was the first time that Kerrigan, who came into the league the same year as Watt, had double-digit sacks.

This isn’t to disparage Kerrigan at all. He’s a very good player. But he’s not nearly good enough to overcome the other issue with Kerrigan, Robinson, or anyone else on the team becoming a household name—the team’s record.

There are very few household names on losing teams. Going back a ways, Walter Payton managed to be very well known despite the fact that the Bears were pretty bad until the tail end of his career. The flip side of the coin is someone like Russell Wilson, who probably would be fairly anonymous if not for consecutive Super Bowl appearances.

If Kerrigan gets better players around him he could become more of a household name. He could get more sacks, which is the main metric for defenders becoming well known. And the team would be better, at least in theory, so his chances at fame would increase that way.

Robinson? I wouldn’t get too excited after one season as a starter. He has a chance at being pretty good, maybe making a Pro Bowl or two at some point down the road. But I don’t see him being good enough to be considered a household name.

Timeline

—It’s been 135 days since the Redskins played a game. It will be 124 days until they play another one.

Days until: Redskins minicamp starts 36; Redskins training camp starts 79; Thursday night Redskins @ Giants 135

If you have any questions about what's going on at Redskins Park, hit me up in the comments. And I'm always on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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Redskins Playbook: 2017 schedule reveals some good news for Kirk Cousins

Redskins Playbook: 2017 schedule reveals some good news for Kirk Cousins

The Redskins offense performed at a high level in 2016, moving the ball well though the unit struggled in the red zone. Much of the success comes from Kirk Cousins' ability to quickly advance through his progressions and release the football before he takes too many hits.

Expect more of that in 2017, especially early in the season.

The Redskins don't face their first Top 5 sack defense until Week 9 when they travel to Seattle. From there, Cousins will face another Top 5 sack team when the Vikings visit FedEx Field in Week 10. 

After that, Washington's schedule doesn't feature a Top 5 sack defense until nearly Christmas. Unfortunately for Cousins, those two teams will come back to back in December when the Redskins host the Cardinals and the Broncos.

Sacks should not drive too much worry for Redskins fans. The Washington offensive line only allowed 23 sacks last season, two less than the Cowboys vaunted offensive line gave up on Dak Prescott. Cousins quick release and mastery of Jay Gruden's offense helps too. 

The Redskins have plenty to worry about in 2017, though facing fierce sack opponents shouldn't be too high on the list. 

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Need to Know: The top five running backs the Redskins will face in 2017

Need to Know: The top five running backs the Redskins will face in 2017

Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, June 25, 32 days before the Washington Redskins start training camp in Richmond on July 27.

Timeline

The Redskins last played a game 175 days ago; they will open the 2017 season against the Eagles at FedEx Field in 77 days.

Days until:

—Franchise tag contract deadline (7/17) 22
—Preseason opener @ Ravens (8/10) 46
—Roster cut to 53 (9/2) 69

The top five running backs the Redskins will face in 2017

Here are the five running backs on the Redskins’ schedule who gained the most yards in 2017. We looked at the top QBs last week.

Ezekiel Elliott, Cowboys, 1,631 yards in 2016—The NFL’s leading rusher didn’t pop for a big day against the Redskins as a rookie last year. He still did plenty of damage in two games with a combined 180 yards and three touchdowns. We’ll find out in Week 8 just how much the Redskins’ rushing defense has improved.

David Johnson, Cardinals, 1,239 yards—Yeah, him again. He chewed up the Redskins in Arizona last year, picking up 84 yards rushing and another 91 yards receiving. I think I might pick Johnson over Elliott in a draft simply due to Johnson’s versatility.

LeGarrette Blount, Eagles, 1,161 yards—Blount picked up those yards with the Patriots last year and rushed for 18 touchdowns for good measure. He averaged 3.9 yards per carry, 27th among qualifying running backs. It should be noted that the Eagles probably have a better offensive line than the Patriots do. It’s safe to say Blount is one dimensional; none of the top 50 in rushing yards had fewer than his seven receptions.

Mark Ingram, Saints, 1,043 yards—While Ingram had a good year, the Saints apparently weren’t overly impressed. They signed Adrian Peterson as a free agent and they drafted RB Alvin Kamara in the third round. We’ll have to see who is healthy and on the field in Week 11

Melvin Gordon, Chargers, 997 yards—The 2015 first-round pick missed the last three games and most of another one with an injury. When healthy, he was very effective. His stats projected over 16 games come to over 1,300 yards.

Best of the rest: Carlos Hyde of the 49ers just missed the top five with 988 rushing yards last year Besides Kamara, the only running backs drafted in the first three rounds the Redskins will face are Dalvin Cook (Vikings) and Kareem Hunt (Chiefs). It will be interesting to see if new Rams coach Sean McVay can revive Todd Gurley, who followed a 1,100-yard rookie season with a 4.8 per carry average by gaining 885 yards with a paltry 3.2 average in 2016. Marshawn Lynch comes to town with the Raiders after spending a year in retirement; with the Seahawks, he picked up 111, 72, and 132 on the ground against the Redskins. 

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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