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Need to Know: Redskins-Ravens notes--Defense delivers some good (mostly legal) hits

Need to Know: Redskins-Ravens notes--Defense delivers some good (mostly legal) hits

Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, August 24, four days before the Redskins wrap up the preseason against the Bucs.

Nickel coverage

Some notes, quotes, and numbers from Saturday’s preseason game in Baltimore.

—There really is no way to put lipstick on the pig that was performance of the first-team offense. The worst number generated was five. That was their net passing yardage in the first half. Robert Griffin III passed for 20 yards on five of seven passing but they lost 15 yards on three sacks. Just plain ugly.

—The Redskins’ front line defense, on the other hand, was not bad. They sacked Joe Flacco twice and held the Ravens to just 17 yards rushing. After going almost three quarters without allowing a touchdown in the preseason, they finally gave on up a touchdown on a nice catch by Steve Smith in the last minute of the first half.

—Jason Hatcher got one of those sacks in his firs game in a Redskins uniform. “It was good to see himout there in a first game experience with us and it looks like he got a sack,” said Jay Gruden. “As for a negative he has to get in playing shape. I could see that he was a little winded out there.” They might have to work Hatcher in gradually over the first few games.

—The Redskins defense got in some jarring hits. All were legal except for one delivered by Brandon Meriweather on Ravens receiver Torrey Smith. That drew a flurry of flags, a 15-yard penalty, and a likely fine for Meriweather. "I’m trying to do what the NFL has me [doing],” said Meriweather, who has been fined and suspended for such hits in the past. “The first chance I get, it seems like I failed."

—If you can base anything on preseason play it’s very possible that Keenan Robinson will represent an upgrade over London Fletcher, the 2013 version of him anyway. Robinson had four tackles, two of them for losses, knocked away a pass, and forced a fumble. He has a long way to go but so far, so good.

If you have any questions about what's going on at Redskins Park, hit me up in the comments. I'll answer all questions as soon as I can get to them. And I'm always on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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Timeline

Today’s schedule: Off day, no availability

—It’s been 238 days since the Redskins played a game; in 14 days they play the Texans in their 2014 season opener.

Days until: Final cuts 6; Home opener vs. Jaguars 21; Redskins @ Eagles 28

In case you missed it

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Need to Know: Did the Redskins underachieve in 2016?

Need to Know: Did the Redskins underachieve in 2016?

Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, January 18, 99 days before the NFL draft.

Timeline

Days until:
NFL franchise tag deadline 43
NFL free agency starts 51
First Sunday of 2017 season 236

The coordinator search and more

Did the Redskins underachieve this year? I know that a metric like Football Outsiders' DVOA is not the final word in the quality of a team but looking at it year after year it usually does work out that the teams with the better numbers in DVOA usually win more games than those with worse numbers. The Redskins finished 2016 eighth in DVOA. Considering that 12 teams make the playoffs, that could be considered a playoff quality team. Yet 15 teams finished with a better record than they did. I’m sure there are some holes in the formula for the stat but just looking at that it sure appears that the Redskins did leave some wins out on the field.

John Keim is reporting that the Redskins are prepared to switch to a 4-3 defense if that is what their new defensive coordinator prefers. They have been in the 3-4 since Mike Shanahan arrived in 2010. Whether it is because of the scheme or lack of draft and free agent resources spent on the line and at safety, the defense hasn’t been very good. As Keim notes, they will need to make some personnel changes if they do change but with a full load of draft picks and $62 million in cap space this may be the time to do it.

I expected the angst that was all over Twitter when word of the Rob Ryan interview got out. But it’s pretty dumb to get all worked up over an interview (with all due respect to readers here who may have been upset). It’s not a hiring. Look, somehow or another Ryan managed to stay employed as an NFL defensive coordinator for 12 straight seasons. I don’t know how to research it without going through some very time consuming and tedious steps but I’d be willing to bet that only about a few dozen men in the history of the league have been able to remain a defensive coordinator for that many season in a row. The organization can learn something from sitting down and talking to him for a few hours.

I understand that we want things to talk about in a relatively slow time. But I just don’t see why there is fear out there over the possibility that Kyle Shanahan will get hired as the coach of the 49ers and somehow steal Kirk Cousins away to be his quarterback. The Redskins can maintain his rights via the franchise tag. They could tag Cousins and trade him to the 49ers but there would be a heavy price in terms of draft picks. But while it’s possible, it’s unlikely. The chances are very, very good that Cousins will be in a Redskins uniform this year via either the tag or a long-term deal. 

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In case you missed it

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

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#RedskinsTalk Podcast Episode 40 - Seriously, when will the Redskins pick a coordinator?

#RedskinsTalk Podcast Episode 40 - Seriously, when will the Redskins pick a coordinator?

As the Redskins settle into the offseason without both an offensive and defensive coordinator, JP Finlay and Rich Tandler debate who will get the jobs, and when they will be announced. 

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