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Need to Know: Five Redskins draft picks with opportunities in 2014

Need to Know: Five Redskins draft picks with opportunities in 2014

Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, January 7, Day 9 of the Redskins’ search for a new head coach.

Nickel coverage

With 21 free agents on the roster and a new coach coming in, there is plenty of opportunity on the 2014 Redskins team. The ideal solution here would be to have a player drafted by the team 2-3 years ago step up and claim a starting job. Here are five 2011-2012 draft picks who will have a chance to step into the lineup:

1. CB Richard Crawford (Round 7-2012)—Virtually the entire Redskins secondary will be free to walk this offseason. Crawford seems to be doing well in rehabbing his injured knee. If he is healthy he should be an asset as a punt returner. He was starting to come around as a nickel corner during the Redskins’ playoff run in 2011.

2. DE Jarvis Jenkins (2-2011)—Yes, he was the starter for a while but he wasn’t by the time the season ended. This year he didn’t progress and perhaps regressed in some ways. If you invest a second rounder in a defensive lineman you expect to have a starter for 6-8 years. Jenkins has some work to do.

3. Keenan Robinson (4-2012)—If the injury bug can stay away from him he could work his way in as a starter at inside linebacker. He’s fast and athletic but one torn pectoral muscle cut short his 2012 season and another cost him all of last year.

4. Aldrick Robinson (6-2011)—They say you can’t teach speed and Robinson has plenty of that. But it appears that the Redskins coaching staff has been unable to teach him what you’re supposed to be able to teach. Perhaps a new staff can get him up to speed (so to speak) on the finer points of the game.

5. Tom Compton (6-2012)—Of the three O-linemen the Redskins drafted in 2012, Compton could have the best chance of breaking through to become a starter. He could play in a zone scheme or add some weight and play in a power blocking scheme. If either Compton, Josh LeRibeus (3rd round), or Adam Gettis (5th) can’t develop into a starter the 2012 draft will be a disappointment despite bringing Robert Griffin III and Alfred Morris to town.

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—On this date in 2004, Joe Gibbs agreed to coach the Redskins for a second time.

—It’s been nine days since the Redskins played a game; it will be about 243 days until they play another one.

—Days until: NFL free agency 64; Offseason workouts start 90; 2014 NFL Draft 121

In case you missed it

Chris Cooley talks about the coaching search

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Kirk Cousins had his eye on Kyle Shanahan's offense, but is there more to it?

Kirk Cousins had his eye on Kyle Shanahan's offense, but is there more to it?

Of course, Kirk Cousins is disappointed the Redskins didn’t make the playoffs, but among the various things he’s done in the offseason, one of them is a little curious.

Sunday, Cousins wasn’t just watching the Falcons dominate the Packers, 44-21, in the NFC Championship Game. He sent out a picture on Instagram from the stands of the Georgia Dome.

“Watching two of the best in the world do what they do & taking notes to make it to this game next year -score a lot of points!” Cousins wrote.

But — especially with rumors that Atlanta offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan will be offered the head coaching position with the 49ers — is there more to this post than the Redskins’ quarterback simply watching the game?

Shanahan was the Redskins’ offensive coordinator from 2010-2013 and was reportedly “integral” in the team selecting Cousins in the 2012 NFL Draft.

So if Shanahan makes the move out to San Francisco and if the Redskins don’t put a franchise tag on Cousins, could the pair be reunited?

It’s possible, according to NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport, who said, “don’t be surprised if the 49ers make a run at Kirk Cousins if the Redskins do not make him their exclusive franchise player.”

There’s a lot of if’s involved for that to happen, but it’s possible. It’s also possible Cousins was just enjoying the NFC Championship Game and decided to Instagram about it. 

MORE REDSKINS: Why Matt Cavanaugh makes sense for Washington

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3 reasons why Redskins promoting Matt Cavanaugh to offensive coordinator makes sense

3 reasons why Redskins promoting Matt Cavanaugh to offensive coordinator makes sense

Championship Sunday produced a flurry of Redskins news. A pair of internal promotions erased the team's vacant coordinator positions, as Greg Manusky landed the defensive coordinator spot and Matt Cavanaugh will take over as offensive coordinator. When Sean McVay left to coach the Rams, many expected Cavanaugh to take over his spot. Here are three reasons why:

  1. If it ain't broke, don't fix it - There was plenty to criticize from the Redskins the last two seasons, but not much of it came on offense. Cavanaugh joined the organization in 2015 as quarterback coach, and the offense has consistently improved in those two seasons. Though the team struggled to score TDs in the Red Zone, the 2016 version of the Redskins moved the ball at a team-record clip and ranked among the top offensive teams in NFL yardage. When something is working as well as the 'Skins offense, it's not wise to change it dramatically.
  2. Impressive work - Cavanaugh began coaching QBs for the Redskins in 2015. Kirk Cousins took over as Redskins starting quarterback in 2015. In two years working together, Cousins twice broke the Redskins franchise passing record and is now poised to get a mega-contract in free agency. Talking after the 'Skins loss to the Giants earlier this month, Jay Gruden said, "I think [Cousins'] really improved his game a lot in the last couple years. And a lot of it has to do with Matt Cavanaugh and Sean McVay."
  3. Make the call - The biggest question remaining for the Redskins - outside of the HUGE unknown surrounding Cousins - will be about play calling. All indications are that Jay Gruden will return to calling the plays from the Washington sideline, and obviously, that's a situation Cavanaugh understands. For two seasons now, Cavanaugh along with McVay, Gruden and offensive line coach Bill Callahan have had input on play calling. With McVay gone, Cavanaugh and Callahan will likely contribute even more in support of Gruden. 


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