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Need to Know: First look at Redskins vs. Lions—Detroit less pass happy than usual


Need to Know: First look at Redskins vs. Lions—Detroit less pass happy than usual

Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, October 19, four days before the Washington Redskins travel to Detroit to play the Lions.


Today's schedule: Practice 1:30; Kirk Cousins and Jay Gruden news conferences and player availability after practice, approx. 3:30 p.m.

Days until: Redskins @ Lions 4; Redskins vs. Bengals in London 11; Vikings @ Redskins 25; Redskins @ Cowboys on Thanksgiving 37

First thoughts on Redskins vs. Lions

—It’s probably good for the Redskins that the Lions were able to beat the Eagles and Rams in the first two games. They’re human and it would have been hard for them to get too excited for a 1-5 or 2-4 Lions team. But as it is they are playing a team that is just a game behind them, and they should remember that the Lions made the playoffs just two years ago.

—Are the Lions a passing team? They have that reputation, having finished in the top five in passing attempts in four of the last five seasons. But this year Matthew Stafford has attempted 212 passes, 15th in the NFL. They are, however, not really a running team; they're 21st n rushing attempts. The offense just isn't getting many snaps.

—A look at the defense tells you why. They can't get off the field. Remember when the Redskins were last in the NFL in defensive third down conversions? Washington has improved somewhat over the last couple of weeks and now it’s Detroit bringing up the rear at 49 percent. The Redskins also could find the territory near the goal line to be friendlier than it has been so far this year; Detroit’s defense is also last red zone defense.

—Here’s something I’ll bet you didn’t know—Lions QB Matthew Stafford, the top pick in the draft in 2009, is only about six months older than Kirk Cousins. Sunday will mark Stafford’s 100th career start. Although he “owns” a losing record at 45-54 the Lion’s record can’t be blamed predominantly on Stafford. That is due to problems that date back to long before Stafford was born. I’ve always liked him as a player although he perhaps has been a little more of a gunslinger that I’d prefer in my ideal QB. The Lions haven’t lost in any of his three career starts against the Redskins.

—The Lions are dealing with some injuries at running back. They picked up Justin Forsett after the Ravens let him go but last week their feature back was Zach Zenner, who came to Detroit as an undrafted free agent in 2015. Against the Rams last week he had 14 carries for 58 yards. Ameer Abdullah was supposed to be their lead dog at running back but he is on injured reserve with a foot injury. Theo Riddick is their leading rusher this year but he sat out the Rams game with a hip injury and his status is up in the air.

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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.


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.


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.