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Need to Know: Redskins accountability in action

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Need to Know: Redskins accountability in action

Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, October 6, five days before the Washington Redskins play the Atlanta Falcons.

More accountability in action            

My CSN colleague Tarik El-Bashir wrote a fine column yesterday of how accountability is becoming a real, tangible thing at Redskins Park. You can read the post right here. Go ahead, check it out, I’ll be right here when you’re done.

Welcome back. As you just read, Tarik uses four examples of how your draft status, tenure with the team and size of your free agent contract just don’t matter as much as they used to. Robert Griffin III and Andre Roberts are on the bench and Kai Forbath and David Amerson are unemployed because they just didn’t get it done as well as others.

But there are plenty more examples of accountability at Redskins Park that Tarik didn’t address. You see, he has to craft a concise column so he only touched on the major points. I am paid to ramble on and go into minutia, so let’s take a look at other players who learned the hard way.

—A few hours before yesterday’s game I ran into Tom Compton in the tunnel outside the locker room. He said his strained calf, which we thought had kept him out of the first two games, was feeling fine. A short time later Compton, who started nine games last season, was on the inactive list. Ty Nsecke, a street free agent who was a surprise member of the 53-man roster, was the only backup offensive tackle active. Since Compton says he’s healthy, he must have been inactive for performance reasons.

—Jeron Johnson was signed to a free agent contract with the idea that he would be the starting strong safety. But the former Seahawk battled with Duke Ihenacho for the job in the spring and lost it to him during training camp. That was not a big surprise. But when Ihenacho went out for the year just eight snaps into the season with a wrist injury it was Trenton Robinson who took his place, not Johnson. We are four games into the season and Johnson has yet to take a single snap on defense.

—Chris Baker was moved up into the starting lineup over free agent pickup Stephen Paea. He already was taking on a larger role.  In the first four games he has played 100 snaps, more than any defensive lineman besides Jason Hatcher. That’s more than free agent acquisitions Terrance Knighton (93), Paea (68), and Ricky Jean Francois (58).

So it doesn’t seem to matter if the player came in before Scot McCloughan arrived as GM or if he was one of his acquisitions. There are no “safe” players, they must perform or an alternative will be found.

Honestly, this really shouldn't be a big deal. It's not really something that should be noted and celebrated by fans. It's the way that most successful teams operate. But the Redskins haven't operated like the better organizations for quite some time. This is no guarantee that they will turn it around but it's a step in the right direction.

Timeline

Today’s schedule: Player meetings, no media availability

Days until: Redskins @ Falcons 5; Redskins @ Jets 12; Bucs @ Redskins 19

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Need to Know: Another big day on the ground on tap for the Redskins?

Need to Know: Another big day on the ground on tap for the Redskins?

Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, December 11, eight days before the Washington Redskins host the Carolina Panthers.

Timeline

Today's schedule: Redskins vs. Eagles 1 p.m.

Days until: Panthers @ Redskins 8; Redskins @ Bears Christmas Eve 13; Giants @ Redskins, New Year’s Day 21

Injuries of note:
Out:
G Long (concussion), S Blackmon (concussion), DE Lanier (leg)
Limited: TE Reed (shoulder), G Scherff (ankle), DE Jean Francois (knee/foot), DE Baker (ankle), G Shawn Lauvao (groin)
Final injury report

Final thoughts on Redskins vs Eagles

—The Redskins have not stopped a team in a goal to go situation since September. The Eagles are good in such situations, converting TDs 84 percent of the time. If the Redskins can get a stop and force a field goal try when the first time the Eagles get down there that would be a big psychological boost for the visitors. Or, better yet, maybe they can just not let the Eagles get any first and goal opportunities. That’s what happened when the teams played in Week 6.

—In that Week 6 meeting the Redskins rushed for 230 yards, their best performance on the ground this season by 79 yards. Matt Jones picked up 135 yards on 16 attempts, Rob Kelley had 5-59, and Chris Thompson kicked in with 9-37. It’s unlikely that Jones will be active so it will be up to Kelley to get things rolling on the ground.

—For all the talk about Kirk Cousins having the Eagles’ number, he had one of his worst statistical games of the year against them in Week 6. He completed just 52.9 percent of his passes, his lowest completion percentage of the season. Cousins also threw perhaps his worst interception of the year, a pick six that tied the game at 14 in the second quarter. The bottom line was that he made some plays and the Redskins won but he likely will have to play better this time for his team to prevail today.

—Carson Wentz has six interceptions in his last three games, including three last week against the Bengals. Josh Norman is due to get an interception, overdue, in fact. Don’t know what will happen but the chances seem good that a Redskin will get his hands on a Wentz pass today.

—We saw last week that the Redskins are not a lock to go on the road and win against a team that is desperately fighting for its playoff life. Fortunately for the Redskins, the Eagles do not have players who are the equals of David Johnson, Larry Fitzgerald, and Patrick Peterson. While plenty can go wrong I think the Redskins come away with with the win.

Redskins 28, Eagles 24

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Redskins bring former starting center back to active roster

Redskins bring former starting center back to active roster

The Redskins officially brought Kory Lichtensteiger back to the active roster, and while the move is now for depth, it could have other ramifications down the road. 

The move is on the NFL's transaction report for Saturday. To make room for Lichtensteiger, the team released defensive lineman A.J. Francis. 

Dealing with injuries up and down the line of scrimmage, Lichtensteiger's return could give the offensive front more flexibility. When Lichtensteiger got injured Week 3 and sent to the injured reserve, third-year pro Spencer Long stepped in and performed well at center. Last week in Arizona, Long sustained a concussion.

That injury opened the door for John Sullivan, who will start this week in Philadelphia with Long ruled out. Sullivan was brought in as a backup to Long once Lichtensteiger was put on IR. With Long now in the NFL concussion protocol, the Redskins need another center should Sullivan get hurt. Alas, Lichtensteiger's return from the IR. 

Left guard Shawn Lauvao also sustained an injured groin, and that's where things could get interesting. Long is capable of playing guard, as is Lichtensteiger in a pinch. Should Lauvao's injury persist, Lichtensteiger might be able to help there.

Against the Eagles, the plan certainly appears to be second-year man Arie Kouandjio starting in place of Lauvao. Kouandjio made one earlier start this season - Week 4 against Cleveland - and the results were mixed.

If Kouandjio stumbles and Lauvao needs more time, Lichtensteiger's return to the roster gives Jay Gruden and Bill Callahan more flexibility, especially when Long returns from injury.

In fact, once the team has Long, Lichtensteiger and Sullivan healthy, there could be a bit of a logjam roster-wise on the offensive line, but considering all the injuries, bumps and bruises that are part of O-line life by the last four games of the season, the Redskins staff likely won't mind figuring that out. 

Want more Redskins? Check out @JPFinlayCSN 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!