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Need to Know: Redskins' quarterback room remains the same--for now

Need to Know: Redskins' quarterback room remains the same--for now

Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, March 18, 43 days before the Washington Redskins go on the clock at the NFL draft.

Redskins QB room remains the same—for now

There won’t be any changes in the Redskins’ quarterback room. At least not for now.

Colt McCoy has re-signed with the Redskins. He got a one-year deal to return to the team that he made four starts for in 2014. You could make a case that he was the team’s best performer at QB last year.

He joins Robert Griffin III, who Jay Gruden has named the starter for at least the beginning of the season, and Kirk Cousins, who played well in 2014 with the damaging exception of a propensity to turn the ball over. As you know, it’s the same trio that “led” the Redskins to a 4-12 season last year.

That is, it’s the same for now. With none of the three under contract for 2016 the Redskins may be keeping their eyes open to add another.

There are plenty of possibilities for adding another quarterback from making a huge splash like drafting Marcus Mariota to taking a quarterback later in the draft to getting a practice-squad quarterback in the undrafted market to getting another veteran who might get released.

If the Redskins do want a QB in the draft, the signing of McCoy is unlikely to deter them from doing that. If they take a quarterback early in the draft either Griffin or Cousins is likely to be traded. Should they take one late, McCoy could be shown the door.

McCoy is a good quarterback to have on the roster. He is a capable backup who can win a game or two for you if you need him. But he has demonstrated that he is not a 16-game starter, not if you want to be better than 6-10 anyway.

If the QB lineup does wind up being the same as it was last year the emphasis needs to be on figuring out if Griffin or Cousins is a guy you can win with going forward. In other words, McCoy should not be taking any snaps if either Cousins or Griffin is healthy enough to play.

How important was bringing back McCoy? It all comes down to Griffin, as usual. If he makes real progress in OTAs and training camp and carries that into the regular season, McCoy will be what everyone thought he would end up being last year, the third QB who rarely even dresses for a game. If Griffin falters, McCoy will be a major topic of conversation and perhaps a pivotal player in the team’s season.

Timeline
—It’s been 80 days since the Redskins played a game. It will be about 179 days until they play another one.

Days until: Redskins offseason workouts start 33; 2015 NFL Draft 43; Redskins training camp starts 134
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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Redskins RB Thompson still nervous for impending cut down day

Redskins RB Thompson still nervous for impending cut down day

You would think that after spending two years as the team’s third-down back, playing more snaps than any other running back last season, and getting a second-round restricted free agent tender that will pay him $2.7 million this year, Chris Thompson might feel comfortable as the Redskins start up the final phase of their preseason program.

But Thompson says that he is as nervous about making the team as he was when he was a fifth-round in 2013.

“Even after the last preseason game when you guys talk to me I’m going to still be nervous when that time comes around because I never forget that feeling,” he told reporters on Monday prior to the Redskins charity golf tournament at Army-Navy Country Club.

“For me, I’ve just got to come out here and work every day to try to secure my job.”

ROSTER BATTLES: Left guard | Tight end Nickel cornerback  | Inside linebacker | Running back

The approach has worked for him in the past. He struggled with injuries his first two years in the league, playing a total of just six games. In 2015 he found his niche as the third-down back and he hasn’t given it up.

In fact, he may get more opportunities on first and second downs.

“I have a feeling that I might get a little more this year,” he said. “He [coach Jay Gruden] knows that I’m healthy and I can stay healthy. I think that was one of his biggest concerns, that I can handle the load. I think I’ll get a lot more opportunities.”

Rob Kelley is expected to be the starter and fourth-round pick Samaje Perine should get a significant number of carries. If Gruden plans on Thompson getting more work on the ground, that likely means that the Redskins anticipate running the ball more ofent than they did in 2016, when they were 27th in the NFL with 379 rushing attempts.

Health is key for Thompson. He not only played in all 16 games for the first time in his career last year, he came out of the season in good health. Not having the need to rehab is allowing Thompson to work on refining his game.

“[Being healthy] helps me to get away and focus on the little things that I need to work on,” he said. “Having a full offseason, being able to get away, I’ve been able to focus on those things. Just like my quickness, my route running. I know my route running is big for me to make it in this league so I work on that. . . that was my main goal.”

Thompson’s work ethic and his mindset where he takes nothing for granted have served him well. He will be an unrestricted free agent in 2018 and if he continues to produce he will be setting himself up for a nice payday. 

RELATED: OFFSEASON NFL POWER RANKINGS

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RB Matt Jones reportedly not part of Redskins' 2017 plans

RB Matt Jones reportedly not part of Redskins' 2017 plans

Matt Jones entered the 2016 season as the Redskins undisputed starter at running back.

That lasted seven games.

By Week 8, Jones landed on the inactive list, and he never took another snap all year.

With OTAs beginning for the 2017 season, it looks like Jones might not play with the team. 

NFL POWER RANKINGS: WHO GOT BETTER AFTER THE DRAFT?

In April at the NFL Draft, reports surfaced that Washington was trying to trade Jones.

Weeks before that, at the NFL Owner's Meetings in Arizona, Redskins head coach Jay Gruden had to be reminded that Jones was still on the roster as the coach talked about the running back situation for this fall.

Robert Kelley surpassed Jones as the top running back on the team last season with Chris Thompson secure in his third down back role. 

Mack Brown even moved past Jones on the depth chart. When the Redskins drafted Samaje Perine in the fourth round, that signaled even bigger trouble for Jones' roster situation.

The Redskins will likely only keep four running backs this fall, and with Kelley, Perine, Thompson and Brown, it sure seems like Jones is the odd man out.

It's remarkable considering Jones has size, speed and an NFL resume that has three 100-yard games on it in just 20 games. The Redskins spent a third-round pick on Jones in 2015, and he largely ousted fan favorite Alfred Morris from the RB1 role as a rookie. 

Life comes at you quick in the NFL.

Jones is a clear example of that. 

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ROSTER BATTLES: Left guard | Tight end Nickel cornerback  | Inside linebacker | Running back