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Need to Know: Redskins read and react, the week that was in Richmond

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Need to Know: Redskins read and react, the week that was in Richmond

Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, August 5, eight days before Washington Redskins open their preseason against the Browns in Cleveland.

If you need to catch up on what's happening in Richmond, scroll to the bottom for a list of our posts from the last 24 hours. 

Read and react

Here’s a look at some of the headlines from the past week and my quick take on them.

Amerson suffers shoulder injury—He did a good job of covering DeSean Jackson on a deep pass but he tumbled to the ground and immediately went to see the trainers. It turns out it was an AC joint sprain, not a serious injury. That’s good because the Redskins are getting thin at cornerback

Shoulder injury likely to cost Tevin Mitchel full seasonThe coaches were high on the sixth-round pick as a future slot corner. Now he will have to start over again, although he will be at Redskins Park all season for meetings, etc.

Trent Williams contract talks are ongoing—There is no deadline on when a new deal can get done for Williams, perhaps the team’s most important player. The Redskins can negotiate with the knowledge that they could use the franchise tag on Williams next spring. Such a move would cost in the neighborhood of $13 million for the season.

Gruden confirms Breeland will miss 4 to 6 weeks—Breeland’s injury was bad but not nearly as bad as it could have been. His knee bent at an unnatural angle and nobody would have been surprised if his season had ended right there. As it is, it looks like he will miss only one game and that one not due to injury but because of an incident that happened a year ago in Richmond.

Redskins' Breeland will serve a one-game suspension—The wheels of “justice”, if you want to call it that, turn slowly in the NFL. Almost a year after getting arrested for simple possession of marijuana on the VCU campus, Breeland finally found out what his fate would be. As it turns out, he’ll miss a game that he possible would have missed anyway due to his injury.

Redskins and LB Junior Galette agree to deal—The Redskins will test the proposition that you can’t have too many good pass rushers. Galette joins Ryan Kerrigan, Jason Hatcher, Trent Murphy and Preston Smith as players who have a demonstrated ability to get after the quarterback. Kerrigan, Hatcher, and Galette have all had NFL seasons with double-digit sacks, Murphy led the nation in sacks as a senior at Stanford in 2013 and Smith had nine playing in the SEC last year. Sure, there is some character risk with Galette. But his $745k vet minimum salary minimizes that risk.

Kerrigan agrees to long-term extension with Redskins—We arrived to training camp to this news. Good guy, very good player, good move by the Redskins.The average of $11.4 million per year may seem a bit high but like most deals it will shrink in comparison to the rising salary cap over the next few years.

Timeline

Today’s schedule: Redskins walkthrough, 10:35 a.m.; Jay Gruden news conference approx. 2:45; Redskins practice, 3 p.m.

—It’s been 220 days since the Redskins played a game. It will be 39 days until they play the Dolphins at FedEx Field.

Days until: Preseason opener @ Browns 8; final cuts 31; Redskins @ Giants Thursday night 50

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In case you missed it

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Redskins Playbook: After worst to first in 2016, how strong will NFC East be?

Redskins Playbook: After worst to first in 2016, how strong will NFC East be?

When the Redskins won the NFC East in 2015 with a 9-7 record, most critics dismissed the division as weak. That theory was largely proved right when the Redskins got stomped at home in the first round of the playoffs by the Wild Card Green Bay Packers.

In 2016, however, the NFC East largely looked like the best division in football, or at least among the best divisions. Dallas won 13 games and took the NFC East title, the Giants won 11 and took the NFC's top Wild Card spot. The Redskins had a chance to make the playoffs in Week 17, but unceremoniously lost and fell short.

Still, Washington won eight games and Philadelphia won seven. In fact, the NFC East was the only division in the NFL without a team that lost 10 or more games. The AFC West - a division that some would argue was tougher than the NFC East - still had the Chargers and their 5-11 record.

What does it mean for 2017? If anything the only team expected to regress would be the Cowboys, and their regression could easily still have them looking to win around 10 games. 

The Eagles have improved with young, star QB Carson Wentz. New York will be interesting, as they have some age at various spots on their roster but still feature a two-time Super Bowl winning QB in Eli Manning and one of the best defenses in the NFL.

As for Washington? The defense should be much improved. It almost has to be as the 2016 version struggled significantly. If the defense can just be average (and I'd argue it could push for Top 15) the offense should continue to move the ball well. Producing in the red zone needs to look different than last season too.

The NFC East looks like a beast yet again. It would be no surprise if both NFC Wild Cards come from the division.

Let us know what you think in the comments. 

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Need to Know:Redskins faced one of the toughest schedules in NFL in 2016

Need to Know:Redskins faced one of the toughest schedules in NFL in 2016

Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, May 28, 16 days before the Washington Redskins start their mandatory minicamp on June 13.

Timeline

Days until:

—Training camp starts (7/27) 60
—Preseason opener @ Ravens (8/10) 74
—Season opener Eagles @ Redskins (9/10) 105

Note: I am on vacation this week in the Outer Banks. Need to Know will be a mix of new content and some of the most popular posts of 2017.

Redskins faced one of NFL’s toughest slates in 2016

(originally posted January 28)

As the Redskins came off their 2015 playoff season and looked towards 2016, one thing jumped out. Even before any games were played it looked like their path to a repeat playoff appearance would be difficult, more so than it was when they went 9-7 and took the NFC East title.

The 2015 schedule looked fairly easy when applying the eyeball test. They played just two games against teams that made the playoffs and those teams, the Patriots and Panthers, plus the Jets were the only teams they faced that finished the season with winning records.

The eyeball test was borne out by the numbers. According to the stat gurus at Football Outsiders the Redskins faced the 28th toughest schedule in terms of the DVOA of opposing defenses and the opposing offenses added up to the 24th most difficult.

The going was considerably tougher in 2016. The Redskins played seven games against teams that were in the playoff field. The defenses they faced stacked up as the toughest group of any NFL team. They played nine games against teams that finished in the top 11 in defensive DVOA. The offenses they faced were a little better than average, ranking 13th as a group.

While the Redskins’ season was widely regarded as a disappointment, it would be reasonable to say that given vastly improved quality of the competition that they did well in only having their record drop by half a game.

Of course, the goal is to be good enough to prosper and make the playoffs no matter what mix of teams the luck of the draw happens to put on the schedule. They will need to get there in a hurry. Awaiting the Redskins on their 2017 schedule are seven 2016 playoff teams plus one more that finished the year with a winning record.

The fortunes of NFL teams can’t always be predicted in advance, especially more than seven months before the season kicks off. But it’s safe to say that the 2017 slate will be challenging. If they are going to improve their record they are going to have to improve their level of play dramatically.

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.