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Need to Know: Redskins' O-line may need some time to gel

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Need to Know: Redskins' O-line may need some time to gel

Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, August 24, three days before the Washington Redskins play the Baltimore Ravens.

Question of the day

Today's question is from the Real Redskins Facebook page:

Although I cautioned people about overreacting to 16 bad snaps by the offense I do think that the rough performance by the offensive line does deserve some scrutiny. When a quarterback gets hit six times in eight dropbacks, there is cause for concern. So let's take a look at the line and how good (or bad) it might be in 2015.

Willie Smith won’t be the left tackle when the season starts on September 13. He may not even be on the 53-man roster. But the chances are that Trent Williams will miss a game or two. The Redskins need to have a good backup plan in place. My guess is that they would move Morgan Moses over from the right side to the left and insert Tom Compton in Moses’ spot. It’s not an ideal solution but very few NFL teams would be able to get along without their starting left tackles without missing a beat. A lot of fans are saying they need to improve their depth at LT but that is easier said than done.

The right side had issues, too, particularly right guard Brandon Scherff. There are high hopes for Scherff and they probably will come to fruition but he’s not there yet. He could well struggle for a few weeks or a couple of months before finding his stride. The problem with him, as with many dominant college linemen, is that his instincts are still set to be able to physically dominate the player in front of him. In the Big 10, he could do that. In the NFL, he can’t. He needs to master techniques, leverage, and the like. Bill Callahan will work overtime with him to make sure that he does. It will take time, however, and there may be some more struggles in the meantime.

Moses may be further along that Scherff in some ways but he needs some seasoning as well. Don’t forget that he missed the entire offseason program while rehabbing a foot injury so he had a lot of catching up to do.

Bottom line, Randy, I’m not sure what you mean by “as advertised” but the “Hogs” hype is not based in reality. They could be pretty good, perhaps very good. But it won’t happen immediately. The until will take some time to gel.

To give a quick answer to your second question, it’s wait and see. Morris is a favorite of Jay Gruden's, who loves his work ethic, durability and production. But that doesn't make it a lock that he'll stay. We have to see how he performs this year, and if Jones and Thompson can stay on the field all year. If I have to guess right now I'd say Morris will be back but I'd just put the odds at 55 percent stays, 45 percent goes. There are just too many variables and too much that can happen between now and the end of the year to get a firm handle on it.

Timeline

Today’s schedule: Practice 11:45 a.m.; player availability and Jay Gruden news conference after practice (approx. 1:45)

—It’s been 241 days since the Redskins played a game. It will be 18 days until they play the Dolphins at FedEx Field.

Days until: Preseason Redskins @ Ravens 3; final cuts 10; Redskins @ Giants Thursday night 29

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Need to Know: Five final thoughts on Redskins vs. Raiders

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Need to Know: Five final thoughts on Redskins vs. Raiders

 

Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, September 24, eight days before the Washington Redskins play Chiefs in Kansas City.

Timeline

Today’s schedule: Redskins Kickoff 7:30 CSN; Redskins vs. Raiders 8:30 NBC

Days until:

—Monday night Redskins @ Eagles (10/23) 29
—Cowboys @ Redskins (10/29) 35

Five final thoughts on Redskins vs. Raiders

—With Rob Kelley out and Jordan Reed unlikely to play, per Adam Schefter, Samaje Perine will get his first NFL start and Jeremy Sprinkle will be active for the first time. Perine got rolling as the game went on vs. the Rams. In quarters 1-3 he had 11 carries with an average of 2.2 yards per. In the fourth quarter, the rookie carried 10 times for a respectable 4.3 average. If he can get that 4.3 average all game and carry between 15 and 20 times, the Redskins will be fine on the rushing front.

—It was in Week 3 last year that Kirk Cousins got rolling. After throwing one touchdown and three interceptions in his first two games he threw two TD’s and no picks against the Giants. His pattern as the starter has been to start slowly and then pick up steam as the season gets going. Looking at the injury situation and at a Monday night game at Arrowhead Stadium looming next week, today would be a great day for him to get going. The talk in Oakland is that the Raiders will load up to stop the run and challenge Cousins to beat them through the air. Cousins will need to take them up on that challenge.

—The Redskins have four sacks in two games. It will be difficult for them to add to that total today because Raiders QB Derek Carr gets rid of the ball so quickly. The best way to get pressure on a quarterback like that is to take the shortest route. It will be important for Jonathan Allen to get some push up the middle and perhaps Greg Manusky will send Zach Brown or Mason Foster blitzing into the A-gap occasionally. The pressure is also on the secondary to make sure tackles after Carr gets those short completions to make sure they don’t turn into big plays.

—I was skeptical of the impact that Oakland RB Marshawn Lynch would have in his return at age 31 after a poor (417 yards) 2015 season followed by a season in retirement. And although there may be reasons to wonder about his durability over the course of a 16-game season, right now he’s healthy. The Redskins’ worst nightmare would be for Lynch to get 15 carries and grind out four to five yards per pop. That would set up Carr to do whatever he wants to do.

—This looked like a tough one even when it appeared that the Redskins would be at full strength on offense. If Kelley and, especially, Reed are out, the game looks to be an even more daunting task. The Washington defense is going to have to step up and force Carr to make decisions sooner than he wants to. Offensively, the Redskins are going to need to keep Carr and company off the field by controlling the clock. They did it last week against the Rams. If they can take time of possession 35 minutes to 25 again they have a chance to pull off the upset. It’s possible but I’m going to go against it happening.

Raiders 28, Redskins 21

2017 predictions record: 1-1

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

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Report: Rob Kelley out vs. Raiders, Reed unlikely to play

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Report: Rob Kelley out vs. Raiders, Reed unlikely to play

The Redskins could be without two key offensive players against the Raiders tonight, according to a report.

According to ESPN, Redskins starting running back Rob Kelley (rib) is unlikely to play and that Jordan Reed (chest) is a game-time decision but it also is probable that he will sit out. Bot players were listed as questionable on the final injury report on Friday.

RELATED: CRAVENS JERSEY GIVEAWAY A BIG HIT

Kelley was having a career day against the Rams last Sunday before he left the game in the second quarter with a rib cartilage injury. He practiced on a limited basis all week.

Reed, a key target for quarterback Kirk Cousins, missed some snaps after sustaining the injury to his sternum during the game against the Rams. He was out of practice on Wednesday and limited on Thursday and Friday.

Rookie Samaje Perine saw his first NFL action last week and he likely will get his first NFL start in Kelley’s spot tonight. If Reed can’t play, Vernon Davis will start and rookie Jeremy Sprinkle, who was inactive the first two games, will be in uniform.

MORE REDSKINS: A STRONG START FOR SMITH BUT MORE IS NEEDED

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