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Need to Know: Predicting the rest of the Redskins season

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Need to Know: Predicting the rest of the Redskins season

Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, November 3, five days before the Redskins visit the New England Patriots.

Predicting the rest of the Redskins season

Here is what I think is going to happen in the Redskins’ remaining nine games. As usual, your opinion, agreeing or dissenting, is welcome in the comments.

Sunday @ Patriots—Sure, on any given Sunday and all. But there doesn’t seem to be a way for the Redskins to win unless Tom Brady gives it away and he doesn’t give away games.

Winner: Patriots, Redskins record 3-5

Nov. 15 vs. Saints—The Drew Brees we saw on Sunday in the Superdome isn’t the guy we usually see outdoors on grass. The Saints are 0-2 outside this year and their defense is one of the worst in the NFL.

Winner: Redskins, record 4-5

Nov. 22 @ Panthers—I’m not sure that Carolina is as good as its record but they have a solid defense and a quarterback who has to potential to frustrate the Redskins’ defense.

Winner: Panthers, Redskins record 4-6

Nov. 29 vs. Giants—It’s impossible for the Redskins to beat the Giants in New Jersey. It’s merely difficult at FedEx Field. They are just a bad matchup as it seems like Eli Manning can dial up a touchdown pass to Odell Beckham Jr. or a number of other receivers anytime he wants to when they play Washington.

Winner: Giants, Redskins record 4-7

Dec. 2 vs. Cowboys—Unlike the Giants, the Cowboys seem to be a good matchup for the Redskins. So even though Tony Romo is likely to have returned and should have a couple of games under his belt and ignoring the fact that it’s a prime time game, a time when the Redskins usually struggle, I’ll take the home team.

Winner: Redskins,record 5-7

Dec. 13 @ Bears—The Bears are giving some teams a good battle and Jay Cutler can still put the ball on the money at times. Will Matt Forte be in there for the Bears? Will December winds from Lake Michigan knock a key Dustin Hopkins field goal try off target? While I think the Redskins should win, I have a bad feeling about this one.

Winner: Bears, Redskins record 5-8

Dec. 20 vs. Bills—This is a rather odd game to close out the home season. The Bills were going to be an AFC East contender but now it looks like they will be scuffling for a wild card at best. Their defense was going to be tough under Rex Ryan but it’s been just OK at best.

Winner: Redskins,record 6-8

Dec. 26 @ Eagles—Here is where things get kind of tough to figure out. Will the game mean anything to the Eagles? For that matter, will it mean anything to the Redskins? Is Sam Bradford going to be playing still? This is an odd Saturday night prime-time game.

Winner: Eagles, Redskins record 6-9

Jan. 3 @ Cowboys—More murkiness in the crystal ball here. Will either team have anything to play for or will both be playing out the string? Regardless, I think the Redskins are due to sweep the Cowboys.

Winner: Redskins record  7-9

Timeline

Today’s schedule: Off day, no media availability

Days until: Redskins @ Patriots 5; Saints @ Redskins 12; Redskins @ Panthers 19

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Need to Know: The best Redskins late-round picks of the last 10 years

Need to Know: The best Redskins late-round picks of the last 10 years

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, April 29, 25 days before the Redskins start OTAs on May 24.

Timeline

At Redskins Park—Fourth through seventh rounds of the NFL draft; conference calls with players selected; Gruden will speak to media shortly after Redskins’ final pick.

Days until:

—Redskins rookie camp (5/12) 13
—Redskins OTAs start (5/24) 25
—Training camp starts (7/27) 89
—Redskins opener vs. Eagles (9/10) 134

The Redskins’ best late-round picks since of the last 10 years

While no aspect of drafting in the NFL is easy, it is much harder to find key contributors on the last day of the draft than it is in the first three rounds. The Redskins will have seven picks in this afternoon's draft to try to find one or two of them. 

Since the 2007 draft the Redskins have taken 56 players from the fourth round on. Of those, 45 played in at least one NFL game but only 12 of them were the Redskins’ primary starter at their positions for at least one season. Here are the five best of those players.

QB Kirk Cousins (round 4, 2012)—He was probably the most controversial pick on this list since the Redskins had just drafted Robert Griffin III a couple of days earlier. History proved Mike Shanahan right.

RB Alfred Morris (6, 2012)—This pick came a few hours after and with much less noise than the Cousins pick did. Many believed that the Redskins were set a running back with Roy Helu and Evan Royster. Morris not only surprised many by making the team but he lined up as the Week 1 starter. He went on to break the team’s single-season rushing record by piling up 1,613 yards rushing.

LB Perry Riley (4, 2010)—He didn’t get into the lineup until midway through his second season. Riley was always solid for four-plus seasons as the starter but never spectacular. The team let him go last year in training camp and he played well for the Raiders after they picked him up.

CB Bashaud Breeland (4, 2014)—Breeland started 15 games as a rookie. At first he was in the slot but after DeAngelo Hall was injured in Week 3, Breeland moved to the outside and he has stayed there ever since. He has seven career interceptions and seven forced fumbles.

WR Jamison Crowder (4, 2015)—At 5-9, many teams thought Crowder was undersized and he didn’t run a great 40 at the combine. But he was big enough and fast enough to break the Redskins rookie record for receptions in a season and then to lead the team in touchdowns with eight last year.

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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Jay Gruden squashes perception that Alabama defenders don't produce in NFL

Jay Gruden squashes perception that Alabama defenders don't produce in NFL

Alabama dominates college football in a way few teams ever have. In the last two seasons, the Crimson Tide has lost just two games, winning one national title and narrowly missing a second.

The strength of 'Bama, year after year, is their defense. Nick Saban coaches it, Nick Saban knows it, and Nick Saban demands the best from his players. 

Oddly, however, a few recent Alabama defenders drafted to the NFL have not produced. Or at least their production did not match their draft status. 

It's not too hard to pick names that fit that perception. Rolando McClain. Terrance Cody. Dre Kirkpatrick. And at running back, Trent Richardson didn't help.

Still, the Redskins invested heavily in the Tide during the 2017 draft. Their top two picks played for Saban's defense last year, and Washington coach Jay Gruden does not buy any part of the perception that 'Bama products regress in the NFL.

"I don’t see any negative whatsoever with them going to Alabama," Gruden said late Friday night.

The 'Skins selected Jonathan Allen in the first round and Ryan Anderson in the second. Both guys started on the Tide's front seven, and both players dominated.

"They come there and they are well coached. Anytime you watch college football, and you watch other defenses, no disrespect, and then you flip on an Alabama game, it’s different," Gruden said. "The speed is different. They are well-coached, they are in their gaps, they play hard, they play physical, and that’s from Week 1 until the end. That has to appeal to you as a coach. They are using their hands, they are physical, they are chasing the ball, they are running to the ball."

The perception, right or wrong, has two main positions. The first is that the Alabama defense looks so good because it is full of five-star recruits. When everyone is good, or great, on the college level, it's hard to truly judge any singular player's game tape. The second is that Saban is so exhausting, so demanding of his players, they arrive to the NFL with too many reps.

For those around the NFL, both theories are laughable. Pro scouts know game tape. How else can they judge a future first rounder when he matches up against a walk-on? And for every alleged 'Bama bust, think about Haha Clinton-Dox or Landon Collins or C.J. Mosley or Dont'a Hightower. 

Might some Tide players get overdrafted because of their success and high profile? That's a different conversation. What's certain is the Redskins are quite confident in both of their Alabama draft picks.

"We know they are both highly intelligent guys. They understand football, understand X’s and O’s and they both play very hard with a high motor and they are well-coached."

<<<LOOKING AT REDSKINS DRAFT PROSPECTS>>>

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