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Need to Know: Five Redskins who need to step up in 2015

Need to Know: Five Redskins who need to step up in 2015

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, June 27, 33 days before the Washington Redskins start training camp.

Nickel coverage

Here are five players who need to have a strong 2015 season if the Redskins are going to be successful.

QB Robert Griffin III—How good Griffin needs to be next year depends on how well the rest of the team’s plan comes together. If the defense improves to the point where it is at least average and the running game is frequently used and effective, Griffin will have the luxury of being to make incremental progress. If they give up 27 points per game and average 4.2 yards per carry like they did last year, Griffin will have to be much better for the Redskins to succeed, perhaps an unrealistic expectation.

KR Jamison Crowder—Even if Griffin and the rushing attack perform well the offense will still need some help. I don’t envision much of a role for Crowder on offense but it will be a surprise if he isn’t returning both punts and kickoffs in Week 1. It’s an area where a rookie can make an instant impact. Crowder will need to get a good return to set up the Redskins offense in good field positions once every other game or so. A short field makes both a QB and rushing game that much more effective.

FS Dashon Goldson—He had two down years with the Bucs, no question about it. But why? Bad scheme fit? A player on the wrong side of 30 who is wearing down after eight years of playing a very physical position? Regardless of the reason, the Redskins need him to be better than he was in Tampa Bay. They are paying him $4 million and the options behind him are very unproven.

OLB Trent Murphy/Preston Smith—We know that Ryan Kerrigan will get it done on the left side and post a dozen sacks or so. Murphy, in his second year, and second-round pick Smith will need to team up and produce something close to that on the right. Pass defense starts with pass rush and even if the safety position is a bit shaky solid seasons from Smith and Murphy can compensate for the weakness.

OT Brandon Scherff—He doesn’t need to make the Pro Bowl or anything but he needs to be an upgrade over what the Redskins have been rolling out at right tackle for the past decade or so. Scherff won’t necessarily catch on right away and he will make some mistakes. But he will need to learn from the quickly and become an asset by the time midseason rolls around.

Timeline

—It’s been 181 days since the Redskins played a game. It will be 78 days until they play the Dolphins at FedEx Field.

Days until: Redskins training camp starts 33; Preseason opener @ Browns 47; final cuts 70

If you have any questions about what's going on at Redskins Park, hit me up in the comments. And I'm always on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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Need to Know: Last look at Redskins vs. Raiders

Need to Know: Last look at Redskins vs. Raiders

Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, September 26, six days before the Washington Redskins play Chiefs in Kansas City.

Timeline

Today’s schedule: No media availability

Days until:

—Monday night Redskins @ Eagles (10/23) 27
—Cowboys @ Redskins (10/29) 33

Last look at Redskins vs. Raiders

—I could fill up this entire post with numbers that demonstrate just how dominant the Redskins defense was on Sunday. Here’s one that impressed me—with the exception of two series that started with turnovers deep in Washington territory, the Raiders ran one play on the Redskins’ side of the field. Early in the second quarter, Derek Carr threw a short pass that Marshawn Lynch turned into an eight-yard gain to the Washington 48. On the next play, Kendall Fuller picked off Carr’s pass. That was it until Jamison Crowder muffed a punt, giving Oakland the ball at the Washington 21 with 47 seconds left in the third quarter.

Kirk Cousins passed for over 350 yards with three or more touchdowns and no interceptions for the fourth time as a Redskin. It is the first time Washington quarterback to do that more than once; Joe Theismann did it in 1982 and 1983. Colt McCoy and Mark Rypien did it once each. Cousins is the only one of the group to complete over 80 percent of his passes in such a game; he was 25 of 30, 83.3 percent.

RELATED: UPDATED WEEK 3 NFL POWER RANKINGS

—Again, there are plenty of numbers but what set this game apart was the confidence and attitude on display, particularly on defense. The images that stick in my mind are plays like D.J. Swearinger leveling Marshawn Lynch, Preston Smith just dismissing a Lynch stiff arm to get the stop on third and two, Montae Nicholson getting a textbook legal hit on Michael Crabtree and Zach Brown sending ball carriers to the ground with a vengeance.

—Some are wondering if Mack Brown should be the main backup at running back when Rob Kelley returns from his rib injury, which could be this week. Samaje Perine seemed to miss some openings and at times he seemed to go down with a one-arm tackle. And he fumbled the ball away. But on Sunday night Jay Gruden said that once Kelley is back, Perine will be the backup and Brown is likely to return to the game-day inactive list.

—Let this sink in for a minute—prior to last night’s Cowboys-Cardinals game, the Redskins were fifth in the NFL in rushing attempts (90) and sixth in rushing yards (409). They are on pace to have 480 rushing attempts for 2,180 yards. Last year they ran it 379 times for 1,696 yards.

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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2017 NFL Power Rankings: Week 3 was awfully wacky, wasn't it?

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2017 NFL Power Rankings: Week 3 was awfully wacky, wasn't it?

After Week 2, it looked like the NFL was being divided into three tiers: The bottom feeders, the inconsistent squads and the leaders.

After Week 3, though, those tiers have largely fallen apart.

CLICK HERE FOR CSN'S UPDATED NFL POWER RANKINGS

Blowouts came out of nowhere. Favorites lost to underdogs. And Joe Flacco looked good! (OK, only the first two happened).

After a classically wacky week in the league, how have the power rankings shifted? Click the above or below link to find out.

CLICK HERE FOR CSN'S UPDATED NFL POWER RANKINGS