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Need to Know: Five things the Redskins must do better in 2014

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Need to Know: Five things the Redskins must do better in 2014

Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, January 5, 65 days before the start of free agency.

Offense or defense? How about neither?

Here are five numbers the Redskins’ new coach is going to work to improve in 2014:

1. Defensive passing yards per play: Redskins 7.58, NFL average 6.65—This means that every time the other team drops back to pass it gains almost a yard more than the league average (this number takes yards lost by sacks into account) and over two yards more than the Seahawks and Bengals.

2. Punt return average allowed: Redskins 16.8, NFL average 9.4—We’ll just let this represent all of the special teams woes since this entire post could be made of kicking game performance that were well below the NFL average.

3. Offensive interception rate: Redskins 3.11%, NFL average 2.77%--This could be an anomaly due to Robert Griffin III’s struggles and Kirk Cousins appearing in garbage time earlier in the season and then having some issues in NFL starts number 2,3, and 4. But the turnovers have to stop.

4. Fumbles lost: Redskins 15, NFL average 9.75—The other element of the turnover equation didn’t look too good either. They didn’t have particularly bad luck in recovering fumbles; they put the ball on the ground 30 times and a 50 percent recovery rate is right around the NFL average.

5. First quarter scoring differential: Redskins minus-79 points, league average 0—The Redskins were last in the league here and one of the five worst in NFL history. A team that has to play from behind from the very beginning game after game is not going to be very successful.

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Timeline

—On this date in 1991, the Redskins beat the Eagles 20-6 in a Wild Card playoff game. The win was revenge for the “Body Bag” game in Philadelphia two months earlier.

—Days until: NFL free agency 65; Offseason workout start 92; 2014 NFL Draft 123

In case you missed it:

Sunday 12.29

Monday 12.30

Tuesday 12.31

Wednesday 01.01

Thursday 01.02

Friday 01.03

Saturday 01.04

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Redskins Playbook: Beyond Jordan Reed, questions mount as training camp opens

Redskins Playbook: Beyond Jordan Reed, questions mount as training camp opens

RICHMOND - Everything seemed cool at the Bon Secours training facility when Jay Gruden left the podium on Wednesday, but that quickly changed when the Redskins released their  Physically Unable to Perform list a few hours later. Jordan Reed landing on the PUP list was an unexpected bomber, a big deal even if the star tight end returns to the field quickly.

On Thursday, the Redskins will take to the field for their first day of training camp. There will be plenty of questions:

  1. When and why? Reed on the PUP list for the first day of camp does not mean Redskins fans should panic, but it also doesn't mean there isn't reason for alarm. Reed has a distinct injury history and it seems the team is being smart trying to handle an injury rather than let it linger. The Washington offense is at its best with Reed on the field. Jay Gruden will be asked about Reed a lot in his Thursday press conference; perhaps their will be some clarity.
  2. D-Line questions - Rookie Jonathan Allen should immediately help the 'Skins up front defensively, but beyond that, there are no sure things in the trenches. The Redskins added Stacy McGee from the Raiders and Terrell McClain from the Cowboys in free agency, and both are expected to have a significant role right away. Those guys have had productive flashes in their past, but injuries have been an issue. The Redskins need them to be good, and healthy, right away.
  3. Time to shine - Josh Doctson hardly had a rookie season as he dealt with Achilles injuries. He played just two games in 2016. With DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garçon gone, the Redskins need last year's first-round draft pick to produce in 2017. A strong training camp, develping chemistry with Kirk Cousins, could help calm fears about the revamped 'Skins offense. 

Stay with CSN all day for updates from the Redskins first training camp practice of the 2017 season. Football is finally here.

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ROSTER BATTLES: Left guard | Tight end Nickel cornerback  | Inside linebacker | Running back

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Reed on PUP is not a reason to panic, at least not yet

Reed on PUP is not a reason to panic, at least not yet

RICHMOND—Redskins fans got into a panic when the news that Jordan Reed will start the season on the PUP list with a sprained big toe. But the injury is no cause for great concern. At least not for now.

It’s not that Reed isn’t an important cog in the offense. Of course he is. He was No. 2 in our ranking of the Redskins who will have the most impact in 2017. But there is every indication that the move is precautionary. History indicates that toe injuries tend to linger. Similar to hamstring injuries, the best path often is to rest and rehab until the pain is gone and then rest and rehab a little while longer. That minimizes the chances of the injury coming back.

RELATED: Reed one of four to start camp on PUP

The irony here is that Reed did not go to OTAs in order to work on conditioning in Miami. Most areas of his body probably are bullet proof. But there is not a lot you can do to prevent a toe injury; it’s just not one of those areas of the body you can fortify with conditioning.

We don’t yet have a timetable for Reed’s return. They will not be in any hurry. Reed knows the offense and he has good timing and rapport with Kirk Cousins. After missing OTAs he came in a dominated the two-day minicamp. The Redskins could choose to have him work on rehab and conditioning until the third preseason game one month from today. They can let him get a little tune up against the Bengals and then put him back in bubble wrap until they open the season against the Eagles on September 10.

MORE REDSKINS: Ranking the Redskins roster, the final update

That sounds like a good plan but there is always the possibility of a relapse. These injuries are tricky. And while it’s too soon to panic, some great concern would be warranted if Reed still is on PUP in a month.

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.