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Need to Know: Five Redskins who are under pressure against the Eagles

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Need to Know: Five Redskins who are under pressure against the Eagles

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, October 15, one day before the Washington Redskins host the Philadelphia Eagles.

Timeline

Today's schedule: No media availability

Days until: Redskins @ Lions 8; Redskins vs. Bengals in London 15; Vikings @ Redskins 29

Five under pressure in Redskins vs Eagles

QB Kirk Cousins—He is on this list until he breaks through and looks like a franchise quarterback. He had his moments against the Ravens, notably on a perfect throw to Pierre Garçon for a third-quarter touchdown. But the problem was, that was their only offensive touchdown. Much of the rest of his day was spent overthrowing some open receivers, especially on third and short. Cousins completed one of six passes on third and one. You can question the play calling if you want but the quarterback has to execute better.

LG Shawn Lauvao—Containing Eagles defensive tackle Fletcher Cox, an active, powerful threat against both the pass and the run, will primarily be the responsibility of Lauvao. Cox plays about 75 percent of the Eagles’ snaps so Lauvao had better pack a lunch, maybe a couple of them plus a snack.

Related: Doctson out, two starters questionable for Redskins vs. Eagles

TE Vernon Davis—As of this writing Jordan Reed’s official status for Sunday is questionable but both the timetable needed to be cleared through the concussion protocol and off-the-record comments from some players make it look nearly certain that he will not play. That means a stepped-up role for Davis, the veteran who has 10 receptions for 94 yards this season. Some of the pressure here works its way down to Niles Paul, who will move up into Davis’ role as the second tight end.

OLB Ryan Kerrigan—This is supposed to be Preston Smith’s permanent spot on this list but Kerrigan is the one who should shine this day. The Eagles’ first offensive play will be the first NFL play for fifth-round pick Halapouliavatti Vaitai, who will play in the place of suspended right tackle Lane Johnson. That should be a favorable matchup for left OLB Kerrigan, who will be close to full strength after dealing with an elbow injury last week.

Related: Crowder letting instincts take over on punt returns

DE Chris Baker—I’m convinced that Baker made a play that may have turned the Redskins’ season around. Baker has one sack this season. It came when the crushed Eli Manning early in the second quarter of the Giants game. Before that hit, Manning was on a roll; after it he was a very average quarterback. That turned the game in the Redskins’ favor and they ended their two-game losing streak to start the season. If Baker can shake up Eagles rookie QB Carson Wentz the Redskins will gain a decided edge.

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Redskins plan to interview Rob Ryan for defensive coordinator, per report

Redskins plan to interview Rob Ryan for defensive coordinator, per report

Plenty of Redskins fans wanted the team to interview Rex Ryan for defensive coordinator.

Well, a report shows they aren't talking to Rex, but instead, his brother Rob, according to Albert Breer of MMQB

Rex Ryan's track record as a defensive coordinator is very impressive.

Rob Ryan's track record as a defensive coordinator is, uh, less impressive. 

In 12 seasons as a coordinator, first in Oakland and then with Cleveland, Dallas and New Orleans, Rob Ryan has two Top 5 finishes in yards allowed. He also has finished 31st out of 32 teams in the league in yards allowed three times.

Below is a chart from Pro Football Reference showing his defensive ranks from 2004 when he became coordinator in Oakland all the way through his last job as a coordinator in New Orleans in 2015.

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The results aren't pretty.

RELATED: 2017 NFL MOCK DRAFT 1.0

It should be noted that in 2016, Rob Ryan served as assistant head coach in Buffalo on his brother Rex's staff.

That team's defense finished 19th in yards allowed. 

Gus Bradley and Mike Pettine have interviewed with the Redskins for their vacant defensive coordinator opening.

Washington is also reported to have reached out to Wade Phillips, who took the same position with the Rams, and Steve Wilks, who took the same position with the Carolina Panthers. Internally, outside linebackers coach Greg Manusky also seems to be under some consideration for the position, and a report last week linked former 49ers head coach Jim Tomsula with the Washington defense.

Want more Redskins? Check out @JPFinlayCSN for live updates or click here for the #RedskinsTalk Podcast on iTunes, here for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!

 

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Award Tour: Tandler & JP name Redskins' Defensive Player of the Year

Award Tour: Tandler & JP name Redskins' Defensive Player of the Year

With the 2017 offseason about to kick into high gear, Redskins Insiders JP Finlay and Rich Tandler are going to take one last look at 2016 in the coming days. That’s right, it’s time to hand out awards for Coach of the Year, Special Teams Player of the Year, Rookie of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year and Offensive Player of the Year.

We’ve picked our top coaches and the Special Teams POY. Today we select the Defensive Player of the Year.

Tandler: This is tough because there were no real standouts on a mediocre unit. Ryan Kerrigan was the only defensive representitive to the Pro Bowl and had 11 sacks but his impact plays were few. You could make a case for Chris Baker, who was the only consistently effective player on the defensive line. The pick here is Josh Norman. He also was invisible for long stretches for good reasons. The only quarterback to throw his way more than seven times in the last half of the season was the Bears’ Matt Barkley and Norman made him pay with two interceptions. A Norman pick set up the clincher in the Browns game and he forced a fumble that put the Packers game beyond even an Aaron Rodgers miracle. Outside of that, he set the tone during the week, staying out a minimum of 30 minutes after every practice, working on his craft. If the defense can get two or three more players just like Norman they’ll be fine.

More Redskins: The Redskins week that was

Finlay: Norman is a strong pick, but since Tandler stole that selection from me, I will go with Kerrigan. I've heard the lack of impact plays argument, and don't agree. His strip-sack to end the Eagles game, a win the reeling Redskins desperately needed, was probably a Top 5 defensive play this season. Without that sack, Philly had all the momentum and a chance to knock the 'Skins out of playoff contention. He also played through a number of injuries, starting every game for the sixth straight season. Baker's name deserves recognition, as does Trent Murphy. The best part of Murphy's eight sack breakout campaign: Excellence is expected of Norman and Kerrigan. With Kerrigan, the expectations are so high that 11 sacks is almost dismissed by some fans and media. Murphy emerged as a viable sack threat for Washington this season, something that he can build upon next year. 

RELATED: 2017 NFL MOCK DRAFT 1.0

Want more Redskins? Check out @JPFinlayCSN and @Rich_TandlerCSN for live updates or click here for the #RedskinsTalk Podcast on iTunes, here for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!