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Need to Know: Redskins' Kerrigan wants to step up his game

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Need to Know: Redskins' Kerrigan wants to step up his game

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, July 12, 12 days before the Redskins start training camp.

Three and out

Let’s look at a few more storylines as the Redskins get ready to report to Richmond.

—The Stephen Bowen situation will be interesting to follow. He may or may not be ready for training camp as he continues to recover from knee microfracture surgery he had late last year. If he’s not and he starts off on the PUP list, when will he be ready? When looking at this situation you have to consider his $4.4 million salary and cap number of just over $7 million. Although if they were going to release Bowen or negotiate a reduced salary they probably would have done it by now, either still could happen. The DeSean Jackson deal unexpectedly ate into the salary cap cushion and they still might seek some breathing room.

—I don’t think that anyone would call Ryan Kerrigan, the 16th overall pick in the 2011 draft who has 24.5 sacks, 10 forced fumbles and two pick sixes on his resume, a disappointment. But, certainly, he could he could be better and that’s his goal. “I’m tired of being consistent,” Kerrigan told the Mucie, Indiana Star Press. “I want to be consistently really, really good. I don’t want to be just consistently average anymore. I want to be consistently good.” Perhaps the Redskins more aggressive defensive scheme and emphasis on creating turnovers will help him get to the next level.

—Last month Robert Griffin III was asked who the team’s prime offensive weapon is. "I think it's (running back) Alfred (Morris),” he said. “With him, defenses have to make a decision whether to put guys in the box to stop him or leave the box light and allow Alfred to go between the tackles and lure in the safeties. I think it will be interesting to see what defenses do against him." Morris could fail to match his 2013 total of 1,275 yards and Griffin could still be right. If teams do put seven or eight in the box to stop Morris, the Redskins could have a pair of 1,000-yard receivers in Jackson and Pierre Garçon thanks in large part to wide open spaces created by the threat of Morris. If defenses don’t honor the run, then Morris racks up big yardage. It all looks good on paper; we’ll see if they can execute it on the field.

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Timeline

—It’s been 195 days since the Redskins played a game; in 57 days they play the Texans in their 2014 season opener.

Days until: Preseason opener vs. Patriots 26; Final cuts 49; Home opener Jaguars @ Redskins 64

Matich: Who’s the most underrated Redskin?

 

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Want to beat the Cardinals? Bring down Carson Palmer

Want to beat the Cardinals? Bring down Carson Palmer

Many considered the Cardinals a Super Bowl contender this season, though the team has not performed to that level so far in 2016. One huge problem for Arizona - protecting quarterback Carson Palmer. 

In its last four games, Arizona has given up 16 sacks on Palmer, including a staggering eight sacks against the Carolina Panthers. In the last two games, Palmer has gone down six times, and both games have been losses. 

With weapons like wideout Larry Fitzgerald and running back David Johnson, Palmer has lots of options to move the ball. That's why Jay Gruden knows how important it is for his front seven to get home.

"It’s going to start with the pass rush," Gruden said. "If Carson [Palmer] has all day to throw and give Larry time to do double moves and stem you inside and vertical and then get back out or break it back across, I don’t care how big you are or how fast you are, it’s going to be hard."

In all six Cardinals losses, Palmer has been sacked at least two times, and in four of the losses, Palmer has gone down at least four times. Beyond the Panthers' eight sacks, the Bills brought down the Cards QB five times, and both the Seahawks and Vikings got to Palmer four times.

While the sack totals stand out, Washington's Preston Smith knows each week is different in the NFL.

"Every game you’re fired up because you feel like it's an opporttunity to get out there and get sacks," Smith said. "You don’t think about what another team did, they’re going to play us different."

Talking on the latest #RedskinsTalk Podcast, Redskins linebacker Trent Murphy acknowledged that the defense knows how beat up the Cardinals' offensive line is. Murphy, who has seven sacks on the season, added that he's 'drooling' for this matchup and the opportunity to take advantage of the Arizona vulnerabilities up front. (Listen to the full podcast below.)

Bruce Arians knows his team is undermanned on the line, and the Arizona offense will be creative to protect Palmer.

"You have to help them," Arians said of his O-line. "You have got to stay balanced and hopefully not get into a situation where it’s a throw, throw, throw game because then you’re putting them in harm’s way and your quarterback in harm’s way."

It doesn't help that in his 14th season, Palmer is probably one of the least mobile quarterbacks in the NFL. After matching up against Aaron Rodgers and Dak Prescott in their last two games, the Redskins defense knows Palmer won't move nearly as much, though that doesn't mean he's neccesarily easier to get down.

"You’re not going against a mobile quarterback but you still got to get to that spot," Smith said. "Carson’s a good quarterback."

Linebacker Mason Foster said that sacks aren't as important as consistent pressure. 

"On a great quarterback like that you want consistent pressure all day long. Make things tough on him, you don’t want a clean pocket," Foster said. "If you have pressure in his face all day and you don’t get no sacks, I think that's a success."

Even at 36, Palmer is still a dangerous quarterback. He's thrown for nearly 3,000 yards this year with a beat-up offensive line and missing one start. But numbers are numbers, and the data shows that if the 'Skins pass rushers can get Palmer to the ground, the chances of a Washington win shoot right up. 

Want more Redskins? Check out @JPFinlayCSN for live updates or click here for the #RedskinsTalk Podcast on iTunes or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!

 

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Poll: What is your approval rating for Redskins coach Jay Gruden?

Poll: What is your approval rating for Redskins coach Jay Gruden?

As always, hit the poll and then head to the comments section here and talk about your answer, or reply on Twitter.