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Need to Know: Galette says Redskins' DBs will make him better than ever

Need to Know: Galette says Redskins' DBs will make him better than ever

Here is what you need to know on this Friday, June 17, 41 days before the Washington Redskins start training camp in Richmond.

Timeline

—The Redskins last played a game 159 days ago. It will be 87 days until they host the Steelers in their 2016 season opener.

Days until: Redskins training camp starts 41; Preseason opener @ Falcons 55; Final roster cut 78

Galette says he’ll be better than ever

Junior Galette has let the world—or at least the portion of it that pays attention to his Instagram feed—know that he is going to be better than ever in 2016.
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He cites the “elite” defensive backs who will be playing behind him as the reason why he will be so good this year. Using their Twitter handles he lists Bashaud Breeland, Deshazor Everett, DeAngelo Hall, Duke Ihenacho, Quinton Dunbar, and Josh Norman. Of that group that only one who anyone not drawing a paycheck signed by Dan Snyder would call elite is the All-Pro Norman. But Galette is entitled to use hyperbole when pumping up his teammates.

What kind of talent did Galette have working behind him in New Orleans in 2013 and 2014 when he had 12 and 10 sacks, respectively?

The Saints’ defense was pretty solid in 2013, Galette’s breakout season. He went from starting one game and getting five sacks in 2012 to 15 starts and 12 sacks. The team was fourth in both yards allowed and points allowed and they went 11-5. Nobody in the defensive backfield made the Pro Bowl but it was a decent group with veterans Jabari Greer and Keenan Lewis at cornerback and Malcolm Jenkins and rookie Kenny Vaccaro at safety. Between the four of them they picked off eight passes.

In 2014 the supporting cast was not nearly as strong. The Saints fell to 28th in the league in points allowed and 31st in yards against and fnished 7-9. Vaccaro and Lewis were back as starters but the other defensive back positions were unstable all year. They gave Jairus Byrd a truckload of money to play safety but he was only healthy enough to play in four games. Corey white and Patrick Robinson shared starts at the at corner opposite Lewis.

How does the Redskins’ current crop of DB’s compare to Galette’s former teammates? Looking at it right now, the presence of Norman puts the Redskins perhaps a cut above. But that’s assuming that Norman is able to transition to a new team successfully and as we’ve learned in Washington, free agent success is far from a given.

In case you missed it 

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Five takeaways: A lot to like about the Redskins' dominant primetime win.

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Five takeaways: A lot to like about the Redskins' dominant primetime win.

Here are my five takeaways from the Redskins’ 27-10 win over the Raiders:

This was the Redskins best defensive performance since 1991. That was the last time they held an opponent to under 128 total yards. They were physical, smart, determined and they made plays. If not for two turnovers they would have had a shutout. Oakland did not cross the Washington 48 without the benefit of a gift. Just dominant. 

With a strong defense, you can do what you want to on offense. I asked Kirk Cousins how much running for a couple of yards a pop as Samaje Perine was doing early in the game helped the offense. He answered in part by saying that the offense can afford to run for a low average per carry when the defense is playing so well. That's true. A punt isn't a bad play when you are confident that you are likely to get the ball back three plays later. 

Chris Thompson just keeps getting better every week. His patience when he has the ball in his hands and his ability to burst into the opening when it's there are textbook excellent. Oh yeah, his open field speed, which he gets to show off after being patient and cutting is amazing. Even the smaller plays, like two near the end of the half, when he wove his way through the cracks in the defense and then got out of bounds after gaining everything he could, are fun to watch. He is the Redskins' offensive MVP so far. 

Doctson showed why the Redskins drafted him on one flash. Nobody is going to give Josh Doctson an MVP award but we did see his potential when he went up and took that deep pass away from David Amerson for the touchdown. Plays like that make you see why the Redskins drafted him in the first round and why they have been patient with him. He will need to develop consistency but in the meantime, splash plays like that help a lot.

It’s hard to find fault in this one. Normally in these posts, I try to find a positive in a loss and something to be critical of in a win. But it’s really hard to find much to be critical about in the immediate aftermath of this one. Jamison Crowder’s muff of a punt certainly was an issue and perhaps Samaje Perine could have made more out of the line’s blocking for him. But from the defense to Cousins to Thompson to Zach Brown to D.J. Swearinger and many more, it was as dominant a game as we’ve seen from this team in a while. Can they keep it up? Tune in next Monday from Arrowhead Stadium and we’ll find out.

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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With one catch, Josh Doctson proved just how dangerous he can be for the Redskins

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With one catch, Josh Doctson proved just how dangerous he can be for the Redskins

LANDOVER, Md. — It took a while, longer than likely anyone expected, but Josh Doctson's first career touchdown catch may just have been worth the wait.

In the third quarter of the Redskins' 27-10 win over the Raiders on Sunday night, Kirk Cousins lofted a deep ball from a bit beyond midfield toward Doctson, who was being boxed out by David Amerson. And as the pass made its descent, Amerson went up to go snag it.

There was just one problem for the corner: Doctson went up and got to it first.

The result? A 52-yard touchdown that made the score 21-0 in favor of the hosts but, far more importantly, opened — quite forcefully, too — everyone's eyes to the sheer talent No. 18 possesses.

MORE: WHY THE DEFENSE'S EFFORT WAS SO ENCOURAGING

"I just made the play," the second-year wideout said afterward, about as nonchalantly as he made the TD look even though it absolutely wasn't. "It was pretty simple to be honest."

Against the Eagles and Rams in Weeks 1 and 2, Doctson suited up for Washington's offense but wasn't involved at all. And in the early going vs. Oakland, it again looked like he'd walk off the field with the same statline as an inactive player, on the verge of facing more questions about why he isn't producing. 

But that all changed on one jump-ball, which is exactly what his head coach has been anxiously waiting for.

"I think it was some relief for him," Jay Gruden answered when asked about the highlight. "I think the players have seen him do that in practice quite often but nobody else has... It wasn't a perfectly thrown ball, but to give him a chance where he can go up and make a big time catch, hopefully we'll get more of that."

RELATED: REDSKINS PLAYERS SIT AND KNEEL DURING ANTHEM

Doctson's QB, who gestured toward him during the post-score celebration as if to say There's the dude you've all been hearing about for months, certainly appreciated it.

"I do like Josh's ball skills and his ability to catch the ball up in the air and I thought, 'You know what, I'm going to give him a chance, they have been asking me to give him that chance and let's give it to him," Cousins said.

As fans of the team know all too well by now, Doctson isn't someone that can be counted on yet. He's oft-injured, and the grab he made over Amerson, while spectacular, was just the third of his career. 

But that sequence provides hope that many more similar to it will follow if he continues to stay healthy and gains more of Gruden's and Cousins' trust this year. He's still far from validating his 2016 first-round selection, but it's now obvious he has the skills to distance himself from those who so badly want to label him a bust.