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Need to Know: QB talk tops the Redskins' week that was

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Need to Know: QB talk tops the Redskins' week that was

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, April 11, 19 days before the Washington Redskins go on the clock at the NFL draft.

The week that was

Here are the top stories we covered this week and some thoughts on what they mean:

Scot McCloughan attends Connor Halliday workout It will be interesting to see how McCloughan handles the quarterback position in the draft. And not just in this one but over the years. When he was a scout with the Packers they took one almost every year; some became trade bait, others were camp fodder. But they kept on taking them. McCloughan didn’t do this in San Francisco but perhaps as Alex Smith struggled year after year he wished he did.

E. J. Biggers visits the Eagles There never seemed to be any chance that the Redskins would bring him back after he became a free agent. It was kind of funny as Redskins fans rooted for the Eagles to sign Biggers, a replacement-level player on his better days. The fans’ wishes were realized later in the day when the Eagles announced that they had signed him.

Marcus Mariota visit to Redskins Park cancelled There are many different ways to spin this one. Neither the Redskins nor Mariota’s camp will say who called off the visit. The guess here is that Mariota’s agent heard something that makes him certain that the Heisman winner will be off the board when the Redskins are on the clock and didn’t want to put his client through what would be a fruitless coast-to-coast trip.

Redskins announce preseason opponents This is an odd drip of information that the NFL gives us about a week or two before the full schedule is unveiled. The opponents and the order in which the games will be played were announced Thursday but exact dates and times don’t come out until the full schedule does. Redskins go to Baltimore for their Week 3 game for the second straight year.

RG3 on Gruden: Not my job to judge to coach The quote that made the headline was Griffin saying of Jay Gruden, "My job is not to characterize or judge him as a coach." That was parsed and interpreted all over the Internet and in the talk world. The most important thing that Griffin said about Gruden, however, was, “We both want to win.” If that happens, the scrutiny that virtually everything that Griffin says will magically disappear.

Timeline

—It’s been 104 days since the Redskins played a game. It will be about 155 days until they play another one.

Days until: Redskins offseason workouts start 9; 2015 NFL Draft 19; Redskins training camp starts 110

If you have any questions about what's going on at Redskins Park, hit me up in the comments. And I'm always on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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Over/under: Redskins running backs in 2017

Over/under: Redskins running backs in 2017

Redskins running backs over-under

The Redskins’ running backs depth chart looks quite different from how it did a year ago. Rob Kelley, who was “ninth-string” back last year per Jay Gruden, is the starter. Samaje Perine enters the mix with expectations that exceed those normally assigned to a fourth-round pick. Chris Thompson is the constant as the third-down back. What kind of numbers will they put up this year? Redskins Insiders Rich Tandler and JP Finlay go over-under on some Redskins running back stats. 

Rob Kelley, 1,000 rushing yards

Tandler: If you project Kelley’s production in the nine games he started over 16 games it comes to about 1,050 yards. He had his ups and downs in those nine starts and he will have them this year. But he should have enough ups to be able to average the 62.5 yards per game needed to hit the thousand-yard mark. Over

Finlay: Unlike wide receivers, where 25 guys broke the 1,000 yard mark in 2016, it's getting harder and harder for a running back to hit four-figures. In 2016, only 12 RBs ran for more than 1,000 yards, and only eight got over 1,100 yards. As the NFL becomes more and more of a passing league, less backs are getting the carries sufficient for a 1,000 yard season. The Redskins haven't had a 1,000 yard rusher since Alfred Morris in 2014. While I think Kelley gets the bulk of the yardage, I think it caps out about 900 yards and Chris Thompson and Samaje Perine creep into the total. Under

RELATED: Who's next at QB for the Redskins?

Kelley, 10 rushing touchdowns

Tandler: He scored six as the starter last year and doing the math that comes to 11 over 16 games. But last year there wasn’t a player like Perine, who could come into the game and vulture some touchdowns after Kelley did the work to get the ball in goal to go position. Under

Finlay: Sorry to keep going back to stats, but last year only seven running backs got to 10 TDs or more. Only seven! Hard to see Kelley getting there on a team that didn't run all that much, or all that well either, in 2016. Under

Samaje Perine, 500 rushing yards

Tandler: It tough to set a line for a guy who hasn’t played. I’ll go off Matt Jones’ 2015 rookie season when he gained 490 yards while sharing time with Alfred Morris. If Perine averages four yards per carry, which is not hard to do, he’ll need about eight carries per game to get to 500. It’s close but if Kelley is effective, as I believe he will be, Perine might not get enough carries to have a chance. Under

Finlay: Tandler's Matt Jones comp pretty much works for Perine, but Jones had explosive speed that Perine doesn't have. A better comp for me was Derrick Henry last year as a rookie with the Titans. DeMarco Murray was established as the top dog, and Henry worked for a productive 490 yards. Under

MORE REDSKINS: Offer to Cousins not nearly enough

Chris Thompson, 60 pass receptions

Tandler: His role is beyond just third down. If the Redskins are behind in the fourth quarter, Thompson is usually in there to try to help spark a rally. Along with TE Jordan Reed and WR Jamison Crowder, Thompson will benefit from Kirk Cousins’ familiarity with him. Over

Finlay: Thompson should be a strong contributor in 2017, but 60 catches is a lot for a running back. Only David Johnson (80) and Le'Veon Bell (75) went over that number in 2016, while James White had exactly 60 catches. Thompson grabbed 49 balls in 2016, an impressive total. I could actually see Thompson getting a bigger percentage increase in carries, he had 68 rushes last season with a very solid 5.2 YPC, than catches. Under

<<<NFL POWER RANKINGS: WHO GOT BETTER AFTER THE DRAFT>>>

Want more Redskins? Check out @JPFinlayCSN and @Rich_TandlerCSN for live updates or click here for the #RedskinsTalk Podcast on iTunes, here for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!

ROSTER BATTLES: Left guard | Tight end Nickel cornerback  | Inside linebacker | Running back

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#RedskinsTalk Podcast: Final refresh before 2017 season truly begins

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#RedskinsTalk Podcast: Final refresh before 2017 season truly begins

Rich Tandler and JP Finlay wrap up the Redskins offseason and prepare for what will be the most intriguing and the most overplayed storylines at training camp in Richmond.

<<<NFL POWER RANKINGS: WHO GOT BETTER AFTER THE DRAFT>>>

Want more Redskins? Click here to follow JP on Facebook and check out @JPFinlayCSN for live updates via Twitter! Click here for the #RedskinsTalk on Apple Podcasts, here for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!

ROSTER BATTLES: Left guard | Tight end Nickel cornerback  | Inside linebacker | Running back