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Need to Know: Redskins getting players to buy in to special teams

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Need to Know: Redskins getting players to buy in to special teams

Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, June 29, 25 days before the Redskins start training camp.

Three and out

—There was very little down time in special teams practices at Redskins Park. “We’re able to break up and [Special Teams Coordinator] Ben [Kotwica] does an outstanding job of utilizing everybody and getting the most out of his 10-15 minute allotments,” said Jay Gruden. “You see guys running around, all types of different areas, working tackling drills, cover drills, punting, kicking, protection, all that. You get all that taken care of and in order to do that, assistant coaches have to be part of it.” Gruden said that the process is helping to get players to buy in to the importance of special teams. The fact that has to be done is not good but it is a good sign that the team might have a good chance of turning it around on specials teams this year.

—We heard the word “multiple” used a lot regarding the offense, by Gruden and by Robert Griffin III in particular. “But after that, I think the good thing about our offense right now is we have multiple threats and the biggest key will be to distribute the ball, try to distribute it evenly and make sure everybody feels a part of the offense,” said Gruden. “Jordan Reed has had a great camp. Pierre [Garçon] had a great day today. DeSean [Jackson] has done his thing. Andre Roberts has done good things. There’s been other players. Ryan Grant had some big plays today. Alfred Morris is going to do his thing in the running game. [Roy] Helu has made some big plays. So it’s just a matter of getting people involved and getting excited about the game plan and knowing every play, there could be somebody different that could hurt you.”

—We’re hearing a lot about the defense becoming more aggressive and putting more of an emphasis on rushing the passer. This doesn’t just apply to the linebackers; it applies to the line as well. “We expect big things out of Chris and Jarvis, and they’re doing a much better job of getting off blocks and transitioning from a run-type of front to a pass rush on the playactions,” said Gruden. “Everybody down there, from all those defensive tackles, linemen are doing a good job. [Defensive end Kedric] Golston’s doing a good job - they’re all rushing the passer a lot better. They’re still maintaining their run gaps and playing good run defense also at their pad level but transitioning from a run-style stance to a pass rush isn’t easy for a lot of people but our guys are doing a good job.”

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Timeline

—It’s been 182 days since the Redskins played a game; in 70 days they play the Texans in their 2014 season opener.

Days until: Training camp 25; Preseason opener vs. Patriots 39; Home opener Jaguars @ Redskins 77

In case you missed it

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Redskins plan to interview Rob Ryan for defensive coordinator, per report

Redskins plan to interview Rob Ryan for defensive coordinator, per report

Plenty of Redskins fans wanted the team to interview Rex Ryan for defensive coordinator.

Well, a report shows they aren't talking to Rex, but instead, his brother Rob, according to Albert Breer of MMQB

Rex Ryan's track record as a defensive coordinator is very impressive.

Rob Ryan's track record as a defensive coordinator is, uh, less impressive. 

In 12 seasons as a coordinator, first in Oakland and then with Cleveland, Dallas and New Orleans, Rob Ryan has two Top 5 finishes in yards allowed. He also has finished 31st out of 32 teams in the league in yards allowed three times.

Below is a chart from Pro Football Reference showing his defensive ranks from 2004 when he became coordinator in Oakland all the way through his last job as a coordinator in New Orleans in 2015.

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The results aren't pretty.

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It should be noted that in 2016, Rob Ryan served as assistant head coach in Buffalo on his brother Rex's staff.

That team's defense finished 19th in yards allowed. 

Gus Bradley and Mike Pettine have interviewed with the Redskins for their vacant defensive coordinator opening.

Washington is also reported to have reached out to Wade Phillips, who took the same position with the Rams, and Steve Wilks, who took the same position with the Carolina Panthers. Internally, outside linebackers coach Greg Manusky also seems to be under some consideration for the position, and a report last week linked former 49ers head coach Jim Tomsula with the Washington defense.

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!

 

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Award Tour: Tandler & JP name Redskins' Defensive Player of the Year

Award Tour: Tandler & JP name Redskins' Defensive Player of the Year

With the 2017 offseason about to kick into high gear, Redskins Insiders JP Finlay and Rich Tandler are going to take one last look at 2016 in the coming days.

That’s right, it’s time to hand out awards for Coach of the Year, Special Teams Player of the Year, Rookie of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year and Offensive Player of the Year.

We’ve picked our top coaches and the Special Teams POY. Today we select the Defensive Player of the Year.

Tandler: This is tough because there were no real standouts on a mediocre unit. Ryan Kerrigan was the only defensive representitive to the Pro Bowl and had 11 sacks but his impact plays were few. You could make a case for Chris Baker, who was the only consistently effective player on the defensive line.

The pick here is Josh Norman.

He also was invisible for long stretches for good reasons. The only quarterback to throw his way more than seven times in the last half of the season was the Bears’ Matt Barkley and Norman made him pay with two interceptions. A Norman pick set up the clincher in the Browns game and he forced a fumble that put the Packers game beyond even an Aaron Rodgers miracle.

Outside of that, he set the tone during the week, staying out a minimum of 30 minutes after every practice, working on his craft.

If the defense can get two or three more players just like Norman they’ll be fine.

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Finlay: Norman is a strong pick, but since Tandler stole that selection from me, I will go with Kerrigan.

I've heard the lack of impact plays argument, and don't agree. His strip-sack to end the Eagles game, a win the reeling Redskins desperately needed, was probably a Top 5 defensive play this season. Without that sack, Philly had all the momentum and a chance to knock the 'Skins out of playoff contention. He also played through a number of injuries, starting every game for the sixth straight season.

Baker's name deserves recognition, as does Trent Murphy. The best part of Murphy's eight sack breakout campaign: Excellence is expected of Norman and Kerrigan. With Kerrigan, the expectations are so high that 11 sacks is almost dismissed by some fans and media. Murphy emerged as a viable sack threat for Washington this season, something that he can build upon next year. 

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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!