Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, October 24, one day before the Washington Redskins host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
5 who need to step up for the Redskins to beat the Bucs
It’s “code red” as the Redskins take on the Bucs. In order for the Redskins to avoid going into the bye with the taste of a home loss to a mediocre opponent, a few players need to step up.
QB Kirk Cousins—He needs to have a game good enough to halt the chatter that he should be replaced. The backup quarterback, whether it’s Colt McCoy or Robert Griffin III, has already become very popular with some fans and at some point an alternative could start looking good to Jay Gruden. Throwing for 225 yards with two touchdowns and no picks in a win would go a long way towards quieting things down and help the Redskins pick up a badly needed “W”.
OL Josh LeRibeus—The fourth-year player didn’t get embarrassed in his first start at center against the Jets but he wasn’t very good, either. His contract is up after this season and if he can’t prove that he is capable of starting or at least being a viable backup there isn’t much point in keeping him around. The Redskins need to run the ball if they are going to win and if they are not strong up the middle against the Bucs that will be difficult to accomplish.
RB Matt Jones—Since rushing for 123 yards in Week 2, Jones has run for a combined 69 yards in three games. He appears to be recovered from the toe injury that kept him out last week and if Chris Thompson (doubtful, back) can’t go Jones will have to step in and take on the third-down role. The Redskins are 33 percent on third-down conversions over the last two weeks so we’ll see if Jones can help turn that around.
CB Bashaud Breeland—Most of the players on this list are struggling to one degree or another. You can’t say that about Breeland, who would have been up for defensive player of the week honors after his three-takeaway game against the Jets had the Redskins won. But he needs to keep it up and continue to create turnovers while covering either 6-5 receiver Mike Evans or 6-5 receiver Vincent Jackson.
LB Ryan Kerrigan—We’re a little over one-third of the way through the season so his 3.5 sacks almost have him on pace for a double-digit total. It’s not like he has disappeared this year but more is expected out of him. A couple of sacks of Bucs rookie quarterback Jameis Winston and a few hits and hurries on top of those would help the Redskins do what they need to get done defensively.
—Today’s schedule: Walkthrough at Redskins Park; no availability
—Days until: Bucs @ Redskins 1; Redskins @ Patriots 15; Saints @ Redskins 21
In case you missed it
After NFL minicamps end in mid-June, and before the grind of training camps start in late July, players are free to have a little bit of fun and try to relax. For Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins that evidently means a game of Jenga.
The video comes from Cousins' wife Julie, and the caption explains that the couple were attending the quarterback's 10-year high school reunion. Looks like a fun scene, and the Michigan waterfront looks even better.
ROSTER BATTLES: Left guard | Tight end | Nickel cornerback | Inside linebacker | Running back
For anybody that has watched Cousins on the practice field or listened to him mic'd up during a Redskins game, the competitive outburst is no surprise. Cousins likes to win, period. Even at life-size Jenga during his 10-year high school reunion.
Obviously, contract talks between Cousins' representatives and the Redskins continue, and likely will until the July 17th franchise tag deadline. Last season, Cousins threw for nearly 5,000 passing yards, completing 67 percent of his passes to go with 25 TDs and 12 INTs. He's allowed to have a little fun here and there.
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Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, June 24, 33 days before the Washington Redskins start training camp in Richmond on July 27.
The Redskins last played a game 174 days ago; they will open the 2017 season against the Eagles in FedEx Field in 78 days.
—Franchise tag contract deadline (7/17) 23
—Preseason opener @ Ravens (8/10) 47
—Roster cut to 53 (9/2) 70
The Redskins week that was
Pressure Points: Focus is on Jay Gruden like never before—So you lost two coordinators and your top two wide receivers? Well, the Redskins gave him a two-year contract extension because they think he can deal with problems like those. Gruden will be cut zero slack.
Post-minicamp 53-man roster projection, offense—Sure, there will be plenty of lip service about everyone having a chance of making the 53-man roster. But this cake is very nearly baked. But the real competition in training camp will be for the 10 practice squad spots. I picked 25 offensive players to make it and I’m confident that 23, maybe 22 of the picks will be right. There seems to be more questions on defense (roster projection here) but even on that side of the ball, few jobs are truly up for grabs.
Redskins in a no-lose situation with confident Galette—We haven’t seen Junior Galette practicing in the spring before. Two years ago, he wasn’t with the team yet and last year he was held out so he could rehab his torn Achilles. That means we don’t have much comparison to make but he did look good. Next step is to do it with the pads on.
Snyder 'THRILLED' with ruling that should protect Redskins name—The legal part of the fight to get the Redskins to change their name is over after the recent Supreme Court ruling. They will not lose their trademark protection, which would effectively force them to change the team. However, it seems likely that the political and social battle will go on.
Is a Redskins-Cousins deal not only possible but probable?—One analyst thinks that the Redskins have too much to lose to not get a deal done by July 17. I think he’s right but I’m not sure if I’ll go along with his odds.
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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In case you missed it