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Need to Know: Five Redskins who will be in the spotlight vs. the Dolphins

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Need to Know: Five Redskins who will be in the spotlight vs. the Dolphins

Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, September 8, five days before the Washington Redskins open their season against the Miami Dolphins.

Five Redskins who will be in the spotlight vs. the Dolphins

QB Kirk Cousins: When Jay Gruden said, “It’s Kirk’s team” the unspoken thought at the end of it was “as long as he plays well.” Playing well in the opener would buy a lot of capital for him to use if he should struggle down the road. If he stumbles he will be spending some good will that is in short supply.

RB Alfred Morris: If Cousins is going to be successful a strong running game will be his best friend. The vast majority of the rushing yardage will have to come from Morris. He is adjusting to a new scheme and a new line. If he struggles, Cousins’ chances for success against Miami’s tough defense drop dramatically.

RG Brandon Scherff: He will be tasked with controlling Ndamukong Suh, a tall order for any guard and especially tough for a player in his first NFL game. Scherff will get beaten; Suh can win against just about anyone. But if he can maintain his technique and hold his own more often than not he will have gotten past probably his roughest assignment of the year in the very first game.

DE Jason Hatcher: He is as healthy as he has been since he came to Washington. They need a wild card in the pass rush against Ryan Tannehill in case Ryan Kerrigan can’t get going. The Redskins didn’t get the season they were looking for out of Hatcher last year and he needs to get off to a strong start this time around.

FS Dashon Goldson: The veteran acquired by trade from the Bucs was not very impressive in camp. If they Redskins are going to be methodical on offense against Miami the defense has to avoid giving up big plays. A lot of that responsibility falls on Goldson, the last line of defense.

Timeline

Today’s schedule: Player meetings at Redskins Park, no availability

—It’s been 254 days since the Redskins played a game. It will be 5 days until they play the Dolphins at FedEx Field.

Days until: Rams @ Redskins 12; Redskins @ Giants Thursday night 16; Eagles @ Redskins 26

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In case you missed it

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New #RedskinsTalk Podcast: JP & Tandler break down Redskins draft targets, and players to avoid

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New #RedskinsTalk Podcast: JP & Tandler break down Redskins draft targets, and players to avoid

How plausible is a draft day trade? Could the Redskins move up? And what to do about all those 'diluted samples'? JP Finlay and Rich Tandler break it all down.

<<<LOOKING AT REDSKINS DRAFT PROSPECTS>>>

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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Redskins roster by the numbers: Defense

Redskins roster by the numbers: Defense

The Redskins currently have 75 players on their roster. They are about to add some more in the draft and as undrafted free agents. They can have up to 90 players on their offseason roster. Year after year the distribution of those players to positions are consistent. We can look at what they have and see what they need to sign to get through OTAs, minicamp, and training camp.

Let’s break down the numbers by position and see where they will need to add players to get to where they want to be going into training camp. Last week we looked at the offense; today we’ll look at the numbers on defense.

End

Have: 6
Need: 8

Just like in a game, you want plenty of players to rotate through the line in the heat of training camp. They could carry one or two additional players here since they are legitimately in search of players who can have an impact beyond starters Terrelle McClain and Stacy McGee and pass rushing project Anthony Lanier.  

Nose Tackle

Have: 2
Need: 4

Like with the ends, you want to have a few big guys to rotate in when it gets hot in Richmond. It would be surprising if the Redskins didn’t add a nose tackle to the mix in the draft, probably on Saturday.

Inside linebacker

Have: 9
Need: 8

If the Redskins take an inside linebacker in the draft, as many expect that will, this position would get very crowded. They could keep as many as six on the final 53-man roster if there are a couple of key special teams players in the group.

RELATED: NFL Mock Draft Version 10.0

Outside linebacker

Have: 7
Need: 7

They could keep an extra one or two if they find some in the draft. You can’t have too many pass rushers, although they have kept just four on the final roster recently.  

Cornerback

Have: 7
Need: 8

It has always seemed to be a little odd to me that they’ll bring in a dozen wide receivers and only seven or eight corners.

MORE REDSKINS: Redskins mock 2.0 goes offense early, defense often

Safety

Have: 7
Need: 7

The depth chart here is unusual in that all seven players have significant NFL playing time; there is no “training camp fodder” here. If the draft one, an experienced player might be let go.  

Total defensive players under contract: 38
Total needed for camp: 41

There are 34 offensive players and three specialists on the roster, making the total 75. If they don’t make deals and use all 10 of their draft picks that will leave just five spots to sign undrafted free agents. They likely will want to sign more than that meaning that some of the players currently on the roster will end up getting cut, particularly those on the defensive side.

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.