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Need to Know: Rapid fire—Who will the top three Redskins cornerbacks be in 2015?

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Need to Know: Rapid fire—Who will the top three Redskins cornerbacks be in 2015?

Here is what you need to know on this Monday, June 15, one day before the Washington Redskins start minicamp.

Question of the day

A few days a week I’ll give an in-depth answer to a question submitted by a fan on my Twitter feed, via the Real Redskins Facebook page, or in the comments section here. On Twitter address the questions to me at @Rich_TandlerCSN with the #NTK hashtag. There will be a comment thread set up on the Facebook page and if you’re asking your question here, put “for NTK” at the start of the comment.

I’ll also take your Need to Know questions via email. Hit me up rich.tandler+csn@gmail.com with “NTK” in the subject line. Just keep the questions relatively brief, please. 

I didn’t get to the rapid fire this weekend so let’s do it today. During the week I get a lot of good submissions for question of the day that don’t warrant an answer long enough to fill an entire post. So I skim off the best of those and answer them in one post. Here we go:

https://twitter.com/SkinsfanDanny/status/609688567196053504

If Kai Forbath stays healthy, not very good. Of course, Forbath staying healthy has been an issue. He missed three games in 2013 and Way had to handle kickoffs for him for a few games when he was having issues with his leg last year. But when Forbath was healthy, Way went back to just punting. And they want him to continue to focus on punting. Although he has a booming leg and led the league in gross punting average, Way still has a lot of refining to his punting game. I believe that the coaches want him to work on pooch kicking, directional kicking, and other aspects of punting and then look at having him double as the kickoff guy. Barring an emergency (again, certainly a possibility) I’m not looking for him to kickoff until 2016.

The one thing that’s clear is that Chris Culliver will start and may follow the opponent’s best receiver from side to side. So that leaves three players competing for the other two starting spots. David Amerson, DeAngelo Hall, and Bashaud Breeland all have NFL starting experience. During OTAs we’ve seen Breeland paired with Culliver in the regular defense and Amerson coming in for nickel situations and playing on the outside while Breeland moved into the slot. I think Breeland still plays the slot when the season starts and if Hall is physically ready after rehabbing his twice-torn Achilles tendon, he will get the nod on the outside.

I got a lot of questions about Grant so I’ll let this one represent all of them. Grant has been getting additional snaps in the OTA sessions that have been open to the media due to the absence of DeSean Jackson and he has been taking advantage of the situation. His route running is sharp and last week he made a nice catch in the end zone, just getting both feet in along the sideline. I’m not going to predict a breakout season for him but I think he can get some more snaps and improve on his production from last year. Remember that he was a fifth-round pick and he’s not particularly big or fast. It will take him time to master his craft to the point where we can see if he can be a starting caliber receiver. We should start to find out more about his potential in 2016.

Yes, $20 million is a lot at one position but it is manageable. I could see them both staying if the Redskins aren’t paying Robert Griffin III that $16 million option (either via his departure or a new deal with a lower cap number). If the two players account for 2,000 yards of offense combined and keep the defense honest to open up the running game then it’s a worthwhile investment. But if they do see the need to let go of one or the other it will be a tough call. Jackson is more of a threat but Garçon is the better teammate. Right now I’d guess that Jackson would be the one to go because Scot McCloughan prefers bigger receivers but a lot depends on how 2015 plays out.

Timeline

—It’s been 169 days since the Redskins played a game. It will be 90 days until they play the Dolphins at FedEx Field.

Days until: Redskins minicamp starts 1; Redskins training camp starts 45; Preseason opener @ Browns 59

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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In case you missed it

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A Redskin fan's guide to the NFL Draft Combine

A Redskin fan's guide to the NFL Draft Combine

This week in Indianapolis the NFL world will converge at the Scouting Combine to watch college football players work out, sprint and lift weights in anticipation of the upcoming draft. For the Redskins front office, this draft needs to be a win.

The 2016 Draft could still yield strong results for Washington, but overall the class did not play particularly well as rookies. This year, Scot McCloughan has nine picks at his disposal, with the extra picks late in the draft in the fourth, fifth and sixth rounds.

It's no secret that the 'Skins need help along the defensive line, a lot of help. That should be a major area of focus for the Redskins scouts and coaches, and that will make next Sunday arguably the most important of the week in Indianapolis. 

The combine divides players into 11 position groups, but Groups 7, 8 and 9 will matter most. Groups 7 and 8 represent defensive linemen and 9 are the linebackers. That group officially arrives on Thursday but won't work out on the field until Sunday. The days in between include interviews, psychological testing and the bench press.

Obviously the Redskins won't spend all nine picks on only defensive linemen. The team will likely invest in the offensive line as well, and that group will arrive earlier in the week and work out on Friday. Cornerbacks and safeties are the last to work out on Monday, March 6. 

With the likely departure of at least one of DeSean Jackson or Pierre Garçon, and the possible departure of both, it would make sense for the 'Skins to bring in another receiver via the draft. They work out on Saturday, and should the Redskins decide to take a quarterback in the draft, the passers will work out that day too. 

Running back could be another spot the 'Skins invest. Jay Gruden said that Robert Kelley is locked into the RB1 role, but still the team might want increased competition at the position. The backs will work out Friday.

<<<LOOKING AT REDSKINS DRAFT PROSPECTS>>>

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Why won’t Redskins brass talk to the media at the NFL Combine?

Why won’t Redskins brass talk to the media at the NFL Combine?

The NFL has released the official schedule of when NFL coaches and executives will take the podium and address the media at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis. You can find it right here but I’ll save you a click—nobody from the Redskins is scheduled to talk.

NFL teams are not required to have a representative speak at the combine but most do. This year only the Saints and Patriots are joining the Redskins in avoiding the media.

Bill Belichick never talks at the combine and I believe that the Saints have bypassed the opportunity to do so in the past. However, the Redskins head coach traditionally has gone to the podium in the past. Joe Gibbs spoke when he was in his second stint as the head coach. Mike Shanahan, as tight lipped as anyone, met with the press in Indy each of his four years as head coach. Jay Gruden has spoken during each of the three years that he has been head coach.

RELATED: NFL Mock Draft Version 3.0

And last year Scot McCloughan held a small media gaggle with local reporters in his hotel in Indianapolis.

This year the Redskins are going somewhat dark. McCloughan did not speak to reporters at the Senior Bowl (Gruden held a brief availability in Mobile), a departure from his first two years with the team. And now no Redskins representatives at the combine.

One of the problems with changing what has been a longstanding practice and going into radio silence is that it leaves people speculating. If the team doesn’t want to put any information out there that is the organization’s option. But if you choose not to fill in the blanks, the fans and media will.

So why aren’t they talking? The best bet is that they are in a delicate stage when it comes to dealing with the future of quarterback Kirk Cousins. He is a pending free agent who is likely to be hit with the franchise tag on Wednesday, the day before the combine starts. At that point, the clock will be ticking on Cousins either signing a long-term contract or getting traded to a team that is willing to meet his asking price. It’s my guess that Jay Gruden does not want to face questions about Cousins’ future.

More Redskins: #RedskinsTalk podcast: Is Kirk too nice for his own good?

Gruden is not a very good liar; his poker face needs a lot of work. Perhaps that is a good quality for a human being but not a very good attribute for someone who would need to go out and talk about Cousins as the long-term quarterback for the team, or at least the QB for the coming season, when his status may be very much in doubt.

This is not to say that there is definitely going to be a trade of Cousins worked out at the combine. But it is very possible that a deal will be discussed with Kyle Shanahan and the 49ers and any number of other quarterback-needy teams. And perhaps there is concern that Gruden will let something slip or, more likely, say a lot on the subject of Cousins by not saying anything.

Again, this is just reading the tea leaves on my part. But by going silent the Redskins are sending an invitation for people to fill in the blanks. I am just taking them up on it.

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.