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Need to Know: Redskins allow no sacks vs. Chargers

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Need to Know: Redskins allow no sacks vs. Chargers

Here is what you need to know on this Monday, November 4, three days before the Washington Redskins visit the Minnesota Vikings.

Nickel coverage

Five notes from the Redskins’ 30-24 overtime win over the Chargers:

1. It appears that the Redskins have shaken the third-down woes that were drive stoppers during the early part of the season. Skins were 12-17 on 3rd down against the Chargers (70.6 percent). They are now 33-60 (55 percent) since the bye. They were 16-50 (32 percent) before the bye.

2. The Redskins did not allow a sack for the first time this season. It was the first time that they have not allowed a sack in a game with 30 or more pass attempts since a game against the Saints on December 6, 2009. It was a nice bounce back performance for the line after Robert Griffin III was hit about a dozen times last week against the Broncos.

3. The Redskins rushed for 209 yards and passed for 291. It was the third time this year they have rushed for over 200 yards and passed for over 200 in the same game. All of the other teams in the league have combined to do it twice this year. Washington’s 500 total yards were the most for the team since they beat the 49ers in overtime on December 26, 1999.

4. Running back Alfred Morris posted season highs in rushing attempts (25) and rushing yards (121). The Redskins are now 10-1 in games in which Morris records 20 or more rushing attempts, dating back to Morris’ rookie season last year. He rushed for the 18th touchdown on his career and his fifth of the season on a five-yard run. It marked the first time this season Morris had scored a touchdown in consecutive games.

5. Pierre Garçon’s 172 receiving yards were the most by a Redskin since Santana Moss gained 178 against the Lions on September 27, 2009. It was his 10th career 100-yard game and his fourth since joining the Redskins.

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Timeline

—Days until: Redskins @ Vikings 3; Redskins @ Eagles 13; Monday night 49ers @ Redskins 21

—Today’s schedule: Mike Shanahan news conference 5:30

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Fletcher talks about the goal line stand

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Need to Know: Redskins' Gruden's fate hinges on Manusky, McCloughan

Need to Know: Redskins' Gruden's fate hinges on Manusky, McCloughan

Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, January 24, 36 days before the NFL franchise tag deadline.

Timeline

Days until:

NFL free agency starts 44
—NFL Draft 93
First Sunday of 2017 season 229

Gruden's fate rests on Manusky, McCloughan

In his press conference the day after the Redskins lost to the Giants to end their season, Jay Gruden talked about the decision-making process that would unfold if there were changes in the coaching staff.

“Ultimately I would think it is my call – our call,” he said. “Bruce [Allen] will have some input, Dan [Snyder] will have some input, Scot [McCloughan] will have some input, but from a staff standpoint, I like to think I have a lot of pull on that one.”

That doesn’t make it sound like he was completely free to replace the fired Joe Barry and new Rams head coach Sean McVay with whomever he chose. Others could make suggestions and have input and possibly veto power.

The decision to make Greg Manusky the defensive coordinator likely was influenced by and/or had the approval of, McCloughan. Manusky ran the defense in San Francisco when McCloughan was the GM there. McCloughan was instrumental in getting Manusky to come to the Redskins to coach the outside linebackers a year ago, after he was fired as the Colts’ defensive coordinator.

Related: Redskins defensive coordinator resume: Greg Manusky

Having McCloughan’s approval for the hire provides Gruden with some degree of security. If it doesn’t work out, if the Redskins upgrade the talent on defense and still don’t get better results, the heat will be on McCloughan as well as Gruden.

Still, Gruden will be the one in the spotlight this season. When the annual media lists of coaches on the hot season in 2017 come out, Gruden is sure to be atop many of them. It’s simple math, really. In Gruden’s three seasons the team has gone 4-12, 9-7, and 8-7-1. A return to double-digit loss territory would be a regression and there would be legitimate concern over whether Gruden is the guy who can make progress and then maintain it and build on it.

Did Gruden get his first pick for the job? Probably not. It seems that Gus Bradley was the favorite, having built the aggressive Seattle defense and having ties with McCloughan from there and with Gruden and Allen from Tampa Bay. But he decided to head west and take over the Chargers’ defense, perhaps wondering about Gruden’s job security. If Bradley didn’t top the list, then Gruden’s top choice probably was Cincinnati defensive coordinator Paul Guenther. But he is under contract and the Bengals denied permission for him to talk about making a lateral move.

More Redskins: Redskins stay in house

Wade Phillips decided to go to the Rams, who have decidedly better defensive personnel than the Redskins, before he had a chance to meet with Washington. We’re not sure how seriously Gruden pursued Phillips but it’s possible that he would have taken him over Manusky if he had the chance. That means that Manusky was at best Plan C or Plan D.

But that’s water under the bridge. Gruden’s fate now lies in the hands of Manusky and in the hands of McCloughan, who must set out to get the new defensive coordinator a significant talent upgrade. If Gruden gets a better defense and can maintain a top offensive attack (given Kirk Cousins’ contract status, he needs McCloughan’s help there, too) and the Redskins can take the next step he should be expecting to start serious extension talks in 2018.

If the Redskins spin their wheels and end up around .500 again or if they regress and post double-digit losses like they did for five out of six years from 2009-2014 they could be cleaning house and starting over again. That wouldn’t be a good scenario for anyone. The organization is counting on Manusky, who was Plan C, and McCloughan to help Gruden get things on track.

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Stay up to date on the Redskins! Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page www.Facebook.com/RealRedskins and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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The Redskins newest coach has a rap video in his honor

The Redskins newest coach has a rap video in his honor

On Monday morning, the Redskins made several new coaching hires official, including Jim Tomsula as the new defensive line coach.

Tomsula was out of football in 2016 after serving as the 49ers head coach for the 2015 season in which the team finished 5-11.

Despite struggling as a head coach, Tomsula gained an odd, if not heavy cult following. It made little sense considering he has the look and demeanor of someone who was put on this earth to coach football and coach football only. But through the glories of the internet came this:

The Jimmy Tomsula rap song.

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It's just a demo, and I suppose the full version could be out there somewhere since this song is over a year old. But there's something hypnotizing about 60 consecutive seconds of "Open up my shirt like im Jimmy Tom-Sula."

How long before we begin hearing this song at FedEx Field on Sundays?