Here is what you need to know on this Friday, July 1, 27 days before the Washington Redskins start training camp in Richmond.
—The Redskins last played a game 173 days ago. It will be 73 days until they host the Steelers in their 2016 season opener.
—Days until: Franchise tag contract deadline 14; Preseason opener @ Falcons 41; Final roster cut 64
—One thing that needs to be taken into account when talking about the Andrew Luck contract extension and its effect on Kirk Cousins’ negotiations is that the deal did not come out of the blue. Jim Irsay has been talking about it publically for a couple of months and the $25 million per year figure has been speculated by many. Redskins cap guru Eric Schaffer certainly has had figures close to the actual amounts in Luck’s deal plugged into his evaluation of the QB market. Ditto for Mike McCartney, Cousins’ agent. Luck’s contract is still a game changer but the change took place long ago.
—Last year the Redskins defense was 12th in the NFL in stopping opponents on third down, allowing the opposition to convert 37.7 percent of the time. As anyone who watched them consistently last year might guess, their room for improvement comes in their rushing defense. When opponents passed the ball the Redskins allowed a first down 31.4 percent of the time, significantly better than the league average of 36.2 percent. But when opponents ran the ball on third down they were successful 51.2 percent of the time, a tick over the league average of 50.6 percent.
—For the sake of comparison the 2014 Redskins, who were 24th in opponents’ third-down percentage, were better against the run than against the pass. They beat the league average against the run with 43.2 percent conversions compared to 48.8 percent for the league. But they were 31st against the pass, allowing first downs on 43.8 percent of third down pass plays compared to the league average of 37.8 percent. Since teams pass on third down almost four times more often than they run the ability to stop the pass on third down is much more important to overall third down success.
—Joe Barry and company deserve some credit for the improvement in third down conversions between 2014 and last year. That and improvement in takeaways (19 in 2014, 27 last year) were big reasons why the Redskins were able to rank 17th in points allowed while standing at 28th in yards allowed. That is a good statistical picture of a bend but don’t break defense.
Thursday on Twitter
If the Redskins could get Cousins to accept this they should send a plane for him and get him to sign it immediately.
Joel Corry on a July Cousins deal: "You're going to have to give him $60M in guarantees, $35M in full guarantees and at least $20M a year."— Grant Paulsen (@granthpaulsen) June 30, 2016
In case you missed it
- Norman sets new 'Top 100' standard for Redskins
- $20 million per year now the floor for Cousins
- NTK: Are the Cowboys the Redskins' biggest threat?
- Will the Redskins special teams continue to improve?