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Need to Know: First look at Redskins-Chiefs

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Need to Know: First look at Redskins-Chiefs

Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, December 4, four days before the Washington Redskins host the Kansas City Chiefs.

Nickel coverage

Five things you need to know about the Redskins-Chiefs matchup:

1. Alex Smith is a pretty good game manager. He averages 6.2 yards per pass attempt, among the lowest in the NFL. He is completing less than 60 percent of his passes and his passer rating is a mediocre 83.2.  But he has thrown 10 more TD’s than interceptions (16-6) and the Chiefs are 9-3. A lot of NFL teams would take a game manager like Smith if he could help deliver those results.

2. Smith is not a mad bomber by any stretch of the imagination. Their leader in receptions is running back Jammal Charles, who has 55 (452 yards, 8.2 ypc). The Redskins really haven’t played a team with such a productive pass catcher out of the backfield this year so it will be interesting to see how they handle him.

3. Kansas City is ninth in the league in scoring with 24.8 points per game. But before you go patting Smith, Charles and the rest of the Chiefs offense on the back, consider that their defense and special teams have scored an average of 4.7 points per game. They have scored eight touchdowns on returns. You also have to think that their 26 takeaways also have helped the KC offense start out in pretty good field position.

4. The Chiefs has what the Redskins would like to have—a pair of outside linebackers who rack up good sack numbers. Justin Houston, who lines up on the left side, has 11 and Tamba Hall has nine. The Redskins may catch a break as it looks like Houston will be out with an elbow injury. Still, Washington has given up 19 sacks in the last four games and even the presence of one threat like Hall is cause for concern.

5. The Redskins’ coverage teams have tightened things up lately but they face another dangerous returner this week in Dexter McCluster. He averages 9.7 yards per punt return and he has brought one back 89 yards for a touchdown. Look for a lot of angled kicks by Sav Rocca to prevent a big return.

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Stat of the day

—The Redskins are being outscored by an average of 7.8 points per game (scoring 22.4, allowing 30.2). In 2009, Jim Zorn’s second and final year as the coach of the Redskins, they were outscored by an average of 4.4 points per game (scored 16.6, allowed 21.0).

Timeline

—Days until: Chiefs @ Redskins 4; Redskins @ Falcons 11; Cowboys @ Redskins 19

—Today’s schedule: Practice 11:50; Mike Shanahan and Robert Griffin III news conferences and player availability after practice (approx. 2:00)

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Need to Know: Redskins pre-camp 53-man roster projection, defense

Need to Know: Redskins pre-camp 53-man roster projection, defense

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

Timeline

The Redskins last played a game 205 days ago; they will open the 2017 season against the Eagles at FedEx Field in 47 days.

Days until:

—Preseason opener @ Ravens (8/10) 16
—Preseason vs. Packers at FedEx Field (8/19) 25
—Roster cut to 53 (9/2) 40

Redskins roster projection—Defense

RICHMOND—The Redskins strap it up and start the battle for roster spots in earnest in just three days. Some are locks, others are hoping to hang on. Here is my prediction of the roster will shake out along with players who are on the bubble. The defense is up here, the offense went up yesterday.  

Players I have making the roster who are new to the organization in 2017 are in italics. Rookies are also in bold.

Defensive line (6)

Starters: Jonathan Allen, Terrell McClain, Joey Mbu (NT)
Backups: Stacy McGee, Anthony Lanier, Ziggy Hood

Bubble: Phil Taylor, Matt Ioannidis, A. J. Francis

It appears everybody is getting on the Mbu train so I might as well jump on, at least for the time being. But this area is very much in flux. It would not be a surprise to see any of the bubble players make it.

Inside linebacker (4)

Starters: Will Compton, Zach Brown
Backups: Mason Foster, Martrell Spaight

Bubble: Zach Vigil, Chris Carter

This is another area where the coaches did not tip their hands during the offseason program. Any combination of Brown, Compton, and Foster could start. In fact, you can’t rule out a long shot move by Spaight to get some significant playing time. Should they keep a fifth for special teams, a door could open for Vigil or Carter.

Outside linebackers (4)

Starters: Ryan Kerrigan, Preston Smith
Backups: Ryan Anderson, Junior Galette

Bubble: Houston Bates

Trent Murphy is suspended for the first four games so a tough numbers decision is put off until Week 5. Bates is going to start camp on the PUP list but if he gets on the field quickly and Galette falters, he could steal a roster spot.

Cornerbacks (5)

Starters: Josh Norman, Bashaud Breeland
Backups: Kendall Fuller, Quinton Dunbar, Josh Holsey

Bubble: Fabian Moreau, Dashawn Phillips

Moreau is only on the bubble because he is likely to start camp on the NFI list (non-football injury). The third-round pick will be on the 53 eventually but perhaps not until midseason as he continues to rehab a torn pectoral muscle. That could open the door for Holsey, a seventh-round pick. Even if Moreau is healthy for Week 1, Holsey or Phillips could be kept as the sixth cornerback.

Safety (6)

Starters: D.J. Swearinger, Su’a Cravens

Backups: DeAngelo Hall, Will Blackmon, Deshazor Everett, Montae Nicholson

Bubble: Josh Evans

Evans could get a spot if they decide that Nicholson, a fourth-round pick who is athletic but raw, isn’t ready yet. Everett is likely to be a lock because of his special teams play but an injury at this position or at cornerback could push him off the 53

Specialists (3)

LS Nick Sundberg, K Dustin Hopkins, P Tress Way

With no challengers, there is no bubble here. Both Way and Hopkins need to bounce back from sub standard 2016 performances.

Defensive breakdown: 25 players, four rookies, a total of eight new to the organization.

Full roster breakdown: 25 offense, 25 defense, three specialists. Eight rookies, A total of 13 players new to 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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RGIII reportedly earns tryout with Los Angeles Chargers

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RGIII reportedly earns tryout with Los Angeles Chargers

Robert Griffin III's career resurgence in Cleveland ended following a lackluster 2016 season in which injuries sidelined him for all buy five games.

The Former 2012 Rookie of the Year finished the season 87-of-147 for 886 yards with two touchdowns and three interceptions before being released by the team in March.

But the Redskins' former No. 2 overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft is not giving up on his goal.

RGIII will reportedly work out for the Los Angeles Chargers, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.

RELATED: RANKING THE REDSKINS' ROSTER

Griffin III has spent the offseason working out with former Browns coordinator Pep Hamilton. According to Ian Rapoport, who spoke with Hamilton, RGIII is in very good health and is throwing the ball very well.

The Chargers' quarterback situation is as clear as any on the NFL. Phillip Rivers is the starting quarterback. He has been the Chargers' starting quarterback since 2006, and will be the team's starting quarterback until he retires or is traded. And despite Rivers starting every regular-season game for each of the last 11 seasons, the Chargers have no real plan at backup. There's career backup Kellen Clemens and rookies Mike Bercovici (Arizona State) and Eli Jenkins (Jacksonville State). That's it. 

Even if he remains injury riddled, RGIII does that have the tools to bat out backups Clemens, Bercovici and Jenkins.

But for now, it's a step in the right direction for the polarizing former Redskins quarterback.