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Need to Know: High expectations for Redskins' Baker in 2014

Need to Know: High expectations for Redskins' Baker in 2014

Here is what you need to know on this Friday, July 18, six days before the Redskins start training camp.

Three and out

—I wouldn’t say that there is a great deal of hype surrounding DE Chris Baker this offseason but there certainly are some fairly high expectations. He signed a three-year, $9 million contact before free agency started and he is slated to play a key role as either a starter or the first one off the bench. Last year he was in some packages but he played more than 25 snaps in a game just once in the first 11 weeks of the season. His playing time ramped up after that and Baker started the last three games, playing 65 percent of the snaps (134 of 204). It is likely that he will have the heavier workload right off the bat and it will be interesting to see how he is used and how effective he is.

—Any playing time gained by Baker could be lost by Jarvis Jenkins. The 2011 second-round pick has not performed up to the potential it looked like he had when the Redskins drafted him out of Clemson. The best part of his career came during his rookie training camp when it looked like he could be a very effective 3-4 end, if not a star. But he suffered the torn ACL in Baltimore during a preseason game and he hasn’t been the same since. Jenkins is probably safe on the 53-man roster since he is a relatively young player (26) on what is an aging unit. But he’s not a lock and he needs a good camp and preseason to lock up his spot on the 53.

—Speaking of Jenkins, there was a lot of hype about the Redskins’ draft class of 2011 when Bruce Allen and Mike Shanahan did some wheeling and dealing and ended up with 12 picks. But instead of being transformational, the draft class has provided many more questions than answers. With the exception of Ryan Kerrigan—the Redskins exercised the fifth-year option for their first-round pick—all of them have contracts that expire at the end of the season. It would not be totally stunning if Jenkins, Leonard Hankerson, Roy Helu, Evan Royster, Aldrick Robinson, Maurice Hurt, and Chris Neild all were playing somewhere else next year. That would be a faster disappearing act than the one we saw from the group that was drafted in 2008.

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Timeline

—It’s been 201 days since the Redskins played a game; in 51 days they play the Texans in their 2014 season opener.

Days until: Preseason opener vs. Patriots 20; Final cuts 43; Home opener Jaguars @ Redskins 59

Rypien on the 2014 Redskins

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Redskins interview another former Chargers defensive coordinator

Redskins interview another former Chargers defensive coordinator

The Redskins continue to cast a wide net in their search for a new defensive coordinator. On Thursday, they interviewed John Pagano, who was recently let go as the defensive coordinator of the Chargers.

Pagano, the brother of Colts head coach Chuck Pagano, has been coaching with the Chargers since 2002. That year he started as a quality control coach and then he was the linebackers coach from 2005-2011. The Chargers fired defensive coordinator Greg Manusky, a current Redskins coach and another candidate to run the defense in Washington, after the 2011 season and Pagano was promoted into that job.

Related: Projecting the Redskins' roster--defense

In Pagano’s five seasons with the Chargers, the performance of the defense was respectable. In terms of total yards, San Diego was in the top 10 twice and only once were they ranked worse than 20th.

The Redskins fired defensive coordinator Joe Barry on January 5. The list of candidates they have interviewed includes Mike Pettine, Gus Bradley, Rob Ryan, Manusky, and Jason Tarver. They are expected to interview former Jets and Bills defensive coordinator Dennis Thurman on Friday.

More Redskins: Setting the odds on what will happen with Cousins

None of the candidates they have interviewed have accepted positions with other teams so they are all still in play. There is no timetable for the team to make a decision, although the sense is that the process is coming to a close and will be concluded in the near future.

Stay up to date on the Redskins! Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page www.Facebook.com/RealRedskins and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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Need to Know: How long is too long in the Redskins' defensive coordinator search?

Need to Know: How long is too long in the Redskins' defensive coordinator search?

Here is what you need to know on this Friday, January 20, 97 days before the NFL draft.

Timeline

Days until:
NFL franchise tag deadline 40
NFL free agency starts 48
First Sunday of 2017 season 233

Will Pleasant push the defensive coordinator search to a conclusion?

Is the Redskins’ search for a defensive coordinator taking too long? Joe Barry was fired two weeks ago yesterday. The Redskins have made it clear that they want to be very thorough in their search. But taking time creates problems and one just popped up. Assistant defensive back coach Aubrey Pleasant apparently has the option to follow Sean McVay to Los Angeles. But the Redskins want to hold on to him.

The problem is that they don’t want to sign Pleasant to be, say, the cornerbacks coach and tie the hands of the incoming defensive coordinator. They already would like the new guy to keep OLB coach Greg Manusky and ILB coach Kirk Olivadotti. Locking in a third position coach might made it very hard to persuade a quality coordinator to come on board.

Related: Projecting the Redskins' roster--defense

However, they can’t hold Pleasant, who is a young, energetic coach who relates well to the players, back indefinitely. Presumably McVay and defensive coordinator Wade Phillips have a bigger role in mind for him and they won’t wait forever for him to get things resolved in Washington.

But it’s not like the Pleasant situation will need to be resolved by the close of business today. We’re talking days, not hours. How many days? They could lose him due because of the Redskins’ deliberate process if it stretches into sometime early next week. I think the chances are strong that there will be a decision on the new defensive coordinator by, say, the close of business on Tuesday.

More Redskins: Setting the odds on what will happen with Cousins

I’ll wrap this up with a quick round of laying out the $100 in casino chips on the various defensive coordinator candidates. Things have changed since I did it on Monday. I’ll still make Greg Manusky the favorite but I’ll drop him down five bucks to $35. I’m downgrading Mike Pettine down to a $10 wager; I’ve heard that the organization was not impressed with his interview. I’m more than doubling the wager on Gus Bradley to $25. It’s been a few days since reports that the Chargers were pressing him for a decision and yet he remains in play. I’m going with $10 on Dennis Thurmon, who is from the school of the aggressive style of play that Jay Gruden is looking for. Rob Ryan gets not a cent and the remaining $20, including John Pagao, who interviewed yesterday, goes on the field.

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Stay up to date on the Redskins! Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page www.Facebook.com/RealRedskins and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.