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Need to Know: Is Reed pushing Davis out?

jordan-reed-vs-packers.png

Need to Know: Is Reed pushing Davis out?

Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, September 19, three days before the Redskins play the Lions at FedEx Field.

Nickel coverage

1. The Redskins have their kicker health issues but the Lions seem to be the less healthy of the two teams. Three Lions starters didn't practice on Wednesday—Reggie Bush (left knee), FS Louis Delmas (knee) and RT Jason Fox (groin). The absence of Bush would be a big blow to the Lions’ offense; they had difficulty moving the ball when he left the game after hurting his knee last Sunday against the Cardinals.

2. I gave you some incomplete information here yesterday. I said that the last team to start a season 0-2 and still make the playoffs was the 2008 San Diego Chargers. That same year the Vikings started 0-2 but finished the season 10-6 to take the NFC North. And the ’08 Dolphins also went winless in their first two games but rallied to finish 11-5 and take the AFC East title.

3. I think the defense has bigger issues but the offense is a little ways off. Here’s what Robert Griffin III said:

“I feel like, just as a group, we’ve all been off a little bit. We’ll figure that out and we’ll get it going. We’ve been hitting in practice, in the games at times we are hitting, so I don’t think it’s necessarily a problem. It’s showing up, especially on third down, we just have got to execute better and we will.”

4. A week ago Jim Haslett was a bit testy during his weekly press conference last week (although it wasn’t a potential Coors Light commercial as some outlets inferred). After another game where his defense got torched, it will be interesting to see if his mood has improved.

5. Is Fred Davis being relegated to a reserve role? It’s too soon to tell but the situation bears watching Against the Packers he played just 16 snaps while rookie Jordan Reed played 29. Shanahan was asked why and he spoke generically but it was clear why Reed got the call and Davis watched most of the game.

“Most of the decisions we make are based on how people practice and what gives us the best opportunity to win. So if a guy goes into those situations, it means that he’s done a great job during the week and we feel like he deserved that opportunity. Or it could be a guy drops a ball during a game, the other’s guy is hot, and you go in that direction. There are a lot of factors that are involved. You’re trying to do what you think gives you the best chance to win.”


Stat of the day

—On average the Redskins have started their possession on their own 22-yard line; their opponents have started their drives at the 33.

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Timeline

—Former Redskins running back Larry Brown was born on this day in 1947

—Days until: Lions @ Redskins 3; Redskins @ Raiders 10; Redskins @ Cowboys 24

—Today’s schedule: Player availability in locker room 11:15; Jim Haslett press conference 12:00; Practice 1:00 (closed to media after first 30 minutes); Kyle Shanahan and Mike Shanahan news conferences after practice (approx. 3:00; streamed on CSNwashington.com)

Shanahan: There’s room for everybody to improve

In case you missed it

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3 reasons why Redskins promoting Matt Cavanaugh to offensive coordinator makes sense

3 reasons why Redskins promoting Matt Cavanaugh to offensive coordinator makes sense

Championship Sunday produced a flurry of Redskins news. A pair of internal promotions erased the team's vacant coordinator positions, as Greg Manusky landed the defensive coordinator spot and Matt Cavanaugh will take over as offensive coordinator. When Sean McVay left to coach the Rams, many expected Cavanaugh to take over his spot. Here are three reasons why:

  1. If it ain't broke, don't fix it - There was plenty to criticize from the Redskins the last two seasons, but not much of it came on offense. Cavanaugh joined the organization in 2015 as quarterback coach, and the offense has consistently improved in those two seasons. Though the team struggled to score TDs in the Red Zone, the 2016 version of the Redskins moved the ball at a team-record clip and ranked among the top offensive teams in NFL yardage. When something is working as well as the 'Skins offense, it's not wise to change it dramatically.
  2. Impressive work - Cavanaugh began coaching QBs for the Redskins in 2015. Kirk Cousins took over as Redskins starting quarterback in 2015. In two years working together, Cousins twice broke the Redskins franchise passing record and is now poised to get a mega-contract in free agency. Talking after the 'Skins loss to the Giants earlier this month, Jay Gruden said, "I think [Cousins'] really improved his game a lot in the last couple years. And a lot of it has to do with Matt Cavanaugh and Sean McVay."
  3. Make the call - The biggest question remaining for the Redskins - outside of the HUGE unknown surrounding Cousins - will be about play calling. All indications are that Jay Gruden will return to calling the plays from the Washington sideline, and obviously, that's a situation Cavanaugh understands. For two seasons now, Cavanaugh along with McVay, Gruden and offensive line coach Bill Callahan have had input on play calling. With McVay gone, Cavanaugh and Callahan will likely contribute even more in support of Gruden. 

RELATED: 2017 NFL MOCK DRAFT 1.0

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Poll: What is your approval rating for the Manusky hire?

Poll: What is your approval rating for the Manusky hire?

Hit the poll and then come back here to comment or just replay on Twitter. Thanks!