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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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In case you missed it

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Josh Norman didn't stand a chance defending Kyle O’Quinn on this dunk

Josh Norman didn't stand a chance defending Kyle O’Quinn on this dunk

Josh Norman is a man of many talents — at least on the football field, and in the friendliest possible way, he was reminded of that this weekend during a charity basketball game.

Opposite of the defensive nightmare Norman can be for receivers, the New York Knicks' Kyle O’Quinn had a little fun with the Redskins cornerback and the 10-inch height difference they share during the during Bam Bam’s Spring Jam at the Ted Constant Convocation Center in Norfolk, Virginia.

O'Quinn got the ball and went up for a particularly easy dunk as Norman jumped and tried to swat the ball away but his effort was futile. 

While this was all in good fun, Norman should probably stick to football. 

Former Virginia Tech defenseive back and current Seattle Seahawk Kam Chancellor's foundation is behind the charity game, which also included Redskins' Lynden Trail, Marshawn Lynch, Michael Bennett and Antoine Bethea.  

Related: Kirk Cousins got some tips from an 85-year-old woman

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Memorial Day Reflection: Kirk Cousins appreciates the cost of freedom

Memorial Day Reflection: Kirk Cousins appreciates the cost of freedom

On Memorial Day, people all over the United States stop to reflect on the freedoms provided for by the military. Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins is no different.

"So grateful for living in this country and understanding that that came at a price and I just want to say thank you," Cousins said.

Speaking after an OTA session last week with military members in attendance, Cousins explained that he appreciates the added sense of history and obligation that comes from living in and around D.C.

"It’s a good reminder why it’s such a benefit to play here in Washington. It just feels like it’s that much more real with Andrews Air Force Base here and so many soldiers here. There’s something special about playing for the city of Washington, D.C. and driving 30 minutes into the city and going by the White House and the Pentagon and the monuments."

The Redskins hosted military members from multiple branches at their OTAs, and afterward, Cousins and a number of other players signed autographs. 

"You say ‘Man, I want to give these soldiers, these fans something to cheer about and make them excited and bring this city together.' Hopefully winning football games can do that. What a great thing. That’s the vision we’re chasing," the Redskins passer said. "Hopefully we can get it done this season."

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