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Need to Know: Redskins' free agents bring playmaking ability

chris-culliver-interception.png

Need to Know: Redskins' free agents bring playmaking ability

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, March 14, 47 days before the Washington Redskins go on the clock at the NFL draft.

Redskins free agent acquisitions are playmakers

The 2014 Redskins had some difficulty making big plays on defense. They had just 19 takeaways, tied for 28th in the NFL. They forced just 14 fumbles and only two teams had fewer than their seven interceptions. They ranked 22nd in sacks with 36.

We all know the story here. The Washington offense rarely got favorable field position because the defense couldn’t get takeaways and they struggled to score points.

It appears that Scot McCloughan is attempting to address that problem with his free agent acquisitions. All of the players acquired should add playmaking ability to the Redskins defense.

(2014 performances)

DL Stephen Paea—6 sacks, 3 passes defensed, 2 forced fumbles; Paea would have been second on the team and would have led the defensive line in sacks. Jason Hatcher had the most on the D-line with 5.5.

DL Ricky Jean Francois—3 sacks, 6 passes defensed, 1 fumble recovery; A pass batted down at the line isn’t a huge play but it does make a statement and can shake a quarterback up. IN 2014 Hatcher and Stephen Bowen each defensed one pass so Jean Francois can help out in that department.

DL Terrance Knighton—2 sacks, 3 passes defensed; A nose tackle isn’t expected to make a lot of big plays since he occupies two blockers much of the time. This is a decent contribution for a man in the middle.

CB Chris Culliver—4 interceptions, 15 passes defensed, 1 fumble recovery returned 35 yards for a touchdown; The Redskins had only seven interceptions all year and no player had more than two. And they did not have a single return touchdown.

There is no guarantee that these players will duplicate their 2014 numbers but they are bringing the ability to make plays and that’s all the team can ask for right now.

Timeline

—It’s been 76 days since the Redskins played a game. It will be about 183 days until they play another one.

Days until: Redskins offseason workouts start 37; 2015 NFL Draft 47; Redskins training camp starts 138

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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Need to Know: Is there a surprise coming for the Redskins defensive coordinator job?

Need to Know: Is there a surprise coming for the Redskins defensive coordinator job?

Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, January 22, 95 days before the NFL draft.

Timeline

Days until:
NFL franchise tag deadline 38
NFL free agency starts 46
First Sunday of 2017 season 231

Sunday morning quick hitters

Talk that Greg Manusky is the favorite to get the promotion to Redskins defensive coordinator seems to be based more on deductive reasoning than from any reports from Ashburn. I think he is likely to be the guy but I’m not sure that there won’t be a surprise selection for the job.

The four-year, $42 million contract extension the Rams gave WR Tavon Austin will set the market for DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garçon. Both of their expiring contracts averaged about $8 million per year so they could be in line for healthy raises the year after turning 30. As in other sports, the market is often set by what your dumbest competitior is willing to pay. 

I didn’t give a second thought to leaving DeAngelo Hall off my projection of the defensive roster for the coming season. He said that he would be willing to redo his contract, which calls for him to make $4.25 million this year. That’s fine but I think that the organization will look at the 32 games he missed in the last three seasons combined and decide that they can’t keep a player that they can’t rely on at any price.

How hot is Jay Gruden’s seat in 2017? Assuming he keeps his quarterback, I think that he will be fine with a 10-win season and he will be toast with double-digit losses. The tough call will be if they finish 8-8 or even 9-7 with a playoff miss.

There was a lot of talk about how the Redskins’ salary cap spending on defense last year ($36 million) was dwarfed by what was spent on offense ($78 million). As of right now, the Redskins’ spending is about even, with $57.3 million going to offense and $59.2 million to defense. We’ll see how even the expenditures wind up being when the season starts in September.

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In case you missed it

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The Final Countdown: Eli Manning goes deep for the Redskins 7th worst play of the year

The Final Countdown: Eli Manning goes deep for the Redskins 7th worst play of the year

As should be expected when a team goes 8-7-1, there were plenty of good moments and a lot of frustrating times during the Redskins’ 2016 season. Over the next couple of weeks, Redskins Insiders Rich Tandler and JP Finlay will take detailed looks at the 10 best plays of 2016 and, to present a more complete picture of the season, the 10 worst.

No. 7 worst play of 2016

Giants at Redskins, Week 17

4:02 left in Q4, Giants ball 1st and 10 at their own 31, game tied 10-10

Eli Manning pass deep left to Tavarres King pushed ob at WAS 25 for 44 yards (Will Blackmon).

Related: The Redskins week that was

Tandler: It looked like the Redskins were on the verge of saving their season. They were down 10-0 in the third quarter but they battled back to tie it up in the late going. But after lulling the Redskins defense to sleep with running plays and short passes, Manning launched one deep down the left sideline. King, who had one reception for six yards on the season coming into the game, had a step on cornerback Greg Toler and he hauled in the pass for 44 yards. Four plays later Robbie Gould kicked a 40-yard field goal to give the Giants the lead.

More Redskins: Offensive coordinator situation set?

Finlay: In a terrible game that led to many more questions than answers for the Redskins, this play was just a huge, huge disappointment. Washington fought back to tie up a game that they had largely been outplayed in, particulrly in the first half. Remember, the Giants had nothing to play for while for the 'Skins, a win would put them in the playoffs. The New York offense was laregly nonexistent in the second half of this game, as it became obvious Eli Manning did not want to get hit. And still, the embattled Redskins defense gave up a long pass play to a dude that had contrbuted basically nothing all season. 

10 best plays countdown

10 worst plays countdown

RELATED: 2017 NFL MOCK DRAFT 1.0

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!