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Need to Know: It's lying season again

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Need to Know: It's lying season again

Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, January 9, Day 11 of the Redskins’ search for a new head coach.

Beware of smokescreens

Every year as the NFL draft approaches, I make it part of my civic duty to warn fans that the closer the draft gets the more likely it is that anything you hear is a lie. Smokescreens are as common in April as tulips.

It’s time for another public service announcement. When the coaching carousel is turning, it’s also lying season.

I hit on this a bit yesterday when discussing Mark Maske’s report that Jay Gruden might prefer to work for the Titans rather than the Redskins. Many fans took this tidbit to be the gospel truth and started complaining about getting into a bidding war and wondering why the Redskins would want a coach who would rather be somewhere else.

But tap brakes here a bit. Where did this “information” come from? It had to come from Gruden’s camp, right? I mean, is he going to tell the Redskins that he’s rather be in Tennessee and, even if he does say that, why would the Redskins push that out to the media?

It’s the oldest trick in the book and it’s been around for so long because it works. It looks like Gruden has two teams that want him. The Titans know they are up against Daniel Snyder, who has some of the deepest pockets in the league and a willingness to empty them out to get what he wants. And the Redskins have now heard that Gruden might prefer Tennessee. Each team had better come forward with its best offer.

Now, the Redskins know every trick in the book themselves. They know that this is “information” coming from the Gruden camp. But Gruden might actually rather be in Nashville than in Ashburn so they can ignore the leak at their own peril.

The lesson for fans is to not hang to and react (or overreact) to every report that comes out. There is a good chance that your blood pressure is going up over something that is not true in the first place.

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Timeline

—It’s been 11 days since the Redskins played a game; it will be about 241 days until they play another one.

—Days until: NFL free agency 61; Offseason workouts start 88; 2014 NFL Draft 119

In case you missed it

Tandler on Redskins Nation

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Pierre-Paul injury a big loss for Redskins' playoff rival

Pierre-Paul injury a big loss for Redskins' playoff rival

When you’re fighting for a playoff spot, it’s not only about what happens to you. It’s also about what happens to the teams you’re competing against for that playoff spot. And one of the Redskins’ main competitors got some very bad news this morning.

The Giants, who are in the No. 5 spot in the NFC, the first wild card spot, got word today that defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul has had sports hernia surgery. The recovery time is at least four weeks, probably more like six. The Giants’ season is likely to be over by the time six weeks elapse, barring a playoff run without one of their best defensive players.

Pierre-Paul has helped solidify what was a shaky Giants defense last year. He has seven sacks and a fumble recovery returned for a touchdown. He has been heating up down the stretch with 5.5 sacks in his last three games.

His loss is a big blow for the Giants. They are a game ahead of the Buccaneers, who hold the No. 6 spot, and a game and a half ahead of the Redskins, who are currently seventh.

The Redskins play New York in Week 17 so the Redskins have to pick up just one game on the Giants over the next three to have a shot at passing them in the season finale.

The chances of that happening looked pretty good with Washington playing playing three teams with losing records in the Eagles, Panthers, and Bears and the Giants going against division leaders Dallas and Detroit in addition to the Eagles. With the Giants now without Pierre-Paul, the Redskins’ probabilities got tilted in their direction a little bit more.

Just finishing ahead of the Giants wouldn’t guarantee a playoff spot but it would come close. It would mean that the Redskins would have at least nine wins and the Redskins’ tie means that two teams would have to get to 10 wins to knock them out of the playoffs. The Bucs have to win three more games to get to nine wins and the Packers and Vikings would have to run the table.

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Redskins Stat Breakdown: What worked — and what didn't — against Arizona

Redskins Stat Breakdown: What worked — and what didn't — against Arizona

CSN has teamed up with The Edge Systems to provide the occasional statistical review of Redskins game film. The Edge is analytical football software currently being used by coaches in the NFL, SEC, ACC and the media, providing some of the fastest and best data in football.

Below is a breakdown of the Redskins run game against Arizona - a game coach Jay Gruden admitted did not feature enough carries for Robert Kelley. 

The Redskins had a lot of success with their GAP runs early in the game.

In the first half they were successful on 75 percent of their GAP runs. 

As the game wore on the Redskins moved away from what had been successful and only ran two GAP runs in the second half.

As the Redskins power run game vanished, so did their prospects for winning the game.

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