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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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Need to Know: Redskins look for fifth straight win over Eagles

Need to Know: Redskins look for fifth straight win over Eagles

Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, December 5, four days before the Washington Redskins play the Philadelphia Eagles.


Today's schedule: Practice 1:05; Jay Gruden and Kirk Cousins news conferences and open locker room after practice approx. 3:00

Days until: Panthers @ Redskins 12; Redskins @ Bears Christmas Eve 17; Giants @ Redskins, New Year’s Day 25

Injuries of note vs. Cardinals:
C Spencer Long (concussion), S Will Blackmon (concussion)
Long's concussion could force roster move

First look at Redskins vs. Eagles

The last time: The Redskins won 27-20 at FedEx Field in Week 6 in a game that was not really as close as the score indicated. The Redskins outgained the Eagles 4923 yards to 239 and had the ball for 10 more minutes. Philly scored on a kickoff return and an interception return in a three-minute span in the second quarter and that was about all they had. The Redskins have now beaten the Eagles four straight times. 

The Eagles leaders: Quarterback Carson Wentz got off to a hot start, posting three passer ratings of over 100 in his first four games. In eight games since his passer rating is 70.1 and his high in a game is 91.4. Leading rusher Ryan Matthew had his first 100-yard game in Week 10; he shares the load with Wendell Smallwood and Darren Sproles. Jordan Matthews (57 receptions, 686 yards) is expected back after missing last week with an ankle injury. Sacks leader Brandon Graham (5.0) has only one sack in the last six games.

Be on the lookout: The Eagles have been getting it done on special teams for years. This year they have two kickoff return touchdowns and Darren Sproles averages 13.7 yards per punt return including a 66-yarder.

Hodgepodge: A Washington win would put them 2.5 games ahead of the Eagles with three to play. Barring a Philly win out/Redskins lose out scenario the Redskins would be out of last place in the NFC East in consecutive years for the first time since 2002-2003 . . . The Redskins already are ensured of avoiding double-digit losses in consecutive seasons for the first time since 2001-2002 . . . The Eagles have allowed over 400 yards of offense in two of their last three games.

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When will Jordan Reed return? Jay Gruden says he 'can't predict it'

When will Jordan Reed return? Jay Gruden says he 'can't predict it'

The Redskins best pass cacther did not play in a loss to the Cardinals, and it appears there is still no clear timeline for Jordan Reed's return to the field. 

"Jordan will be day-to-day," Washington coach Jay Gruden said. "You know, we just have to wait and see."

Gruden issued the same statement on Reed last week, and the tight end proceeded to miss all Redskins practices for the week and was announced out for the Arizona game on Friday. Reed's injury came on Thanksgiving in Dallas when he separated his shoulder diving in the end zone for a Kirk Cousins' pass during the first half.

Incredibly, Reed returned in the second half and caught two touchdowns while playing in immense pain. Gruden and Cousins used words like 'stunned' and 'surprised' talking about Reed's return in the Dallas game, but looking forward to Philadelphia, it's hard to know what to expect from the tight end's shoulder.

"Everybody is different with these types of injuries and hopefully he is a fast healer but we’ll take him day-to-day, get him his treatment and go from there," the coach said. "I can’t predict it."

For the season, Reed has 59 catches for 630 yards and five touchdowns in just nine games. Reed missed two games earlier this year after sustaining a concussion against the Ravens.

Without Reed in the lineup against the Cardinals, the Redskins offense dipped in production. Cousins threw for less than 300 yards for the first time in three games, though backup tight end Vernon Davis had five catches for 47 yards. 

If Reed practices Wednesday, even in a limited role, would be a good sign for the 'Skins tight end. 

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