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Need to Know: Redskins' restructure money already spent

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Need to Know: Redskins' restructure money already spent

Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, September 5, four days before the Redskins open up their season against the Eagles at FedEx Field.

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1. Pierre Garçon says that he is 100 percent healthy after missing six games last year with a toe injury and having surgery to repair a torn labrum during the offseason. It is typical for athletes to say they are “fine” when dealing with an injury when they are anything but. In this case, however, it seems that the athlete is accurate in his self-assessment. Garçon took a few days off during training camp but no more than most other veteran players. He didn’t play a whole lot in preseason but neither did Alfred Morris. Certainly something could happen along the way but for right now it looks like all systems are go for the player who helps the Redskins’ offense go.

2. The Redskins restructured the contracts of Stephen Bowen, Adam Carriker, and Barry Cofield in recent days to create some cap room. But don’t get excited about the prospects of them going after a free agent. As Bruce Allen indicated during training camp, the Redskins are restructuring deals just to be able to stay under the salary cap. During the offseason only the top 51 contracts count towards the cap. Once the season starts, the contracts of all 53 active players plus players on PUP and injured reserve and the practice squad count towards. The Redskins had some trimming to do to get in compliance with the cap and to give themselves some cushion during the season. In short, the savings from the restructures are already spent.

3. I predicted yesterday that the conversation on RG3 would turn the corner from “concerns” and other such controversies to playing in games. And what transpired during Griffin’s Wednesday press conference was in line with that. There were 19 questions asked and only two of them had to do with what has transpired since Thursday, when Dr. James Andrews cleared Griffin to play against the Eagles, i. e. the “concerns”. To be sure, many of the others dealt with returning from the injury but those would be there even if there had been total radio silence on the rehab from Redskins Park. We’re not out of the woods on the knee talk yet but we’re getting there.

4. There is injury report today even though you have probably read that most of the other teams around the league had to issue one. That’s because when a team has a Monday night game the reports go out Thursday-Saturday instead of Wednesday-Friday. The only real concern this week seems to be Brandon Meriweather, who has a pulled groin in addition to his still-recovering knee.

5. Even though Griffin has been a spectator for much of the offseason, he remains the leader of the team. He was asked if he gave the rookies any advice. After joking that people were treating him like he was a five- or seven-year veteran, he got serious.

“For the rookies, you know, I talked to the guys on our team like Chris Thompson playing running back, you are here for a reason and you’ve got to believe it. Your coaches believe in you. That’s why they drafted you. That’s why you made the team. So if you step on that field and don’t feel like you don’t belong, then it will come out and you’ll play like you don’t belong. But if you go out on that field and play like you belong and trust in yourself and trust your preparation, then you have nothing to worry about.”


Stat of the day

—Of the 53 players who are on the Redskins’ roster, 11 are new to the organization since the end of last season. A total of 17 were not on the opening 53-man roster in 2012.

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Timeline

—Redskins quarterback Billy Kilmer was born on this day in 1939

—It’s been 239 days since the last Redskins game; there are four days until the next one

—Days until: Eagles @ Redskins 4; Redskins @ Packers 10; Lions @ Redskins 17

—Today’s schedule: Player availability 11:15; Jim Haslett press conference 12:00; practice 1:00; Kyle Shanahan and Mike Shanahan press conferences after practice (approx. 3:00)

Tandler looks at the Eagles

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Over/under: Redskins running backs in 2017

Over/under: Redskins running backs in 2017

Redskins running backs over-under

The Redskins’ running backs depth chart looks quite different from how it did a year ago. Rob Kelley, who was “ninth-string” back last year per Jay Gruden, is the starter. Samaje Perine enters the mix with expectations that exceed those normally assigned to a fourth-round pick. Chris Thompson is the constant as the third-down back. What kind of numbers will they put up this year? Redskins Insiders Rich Tandler and JP Finlay go over-under on some Redskins running back stats. 

Rob Kelley, 1,000 rushing yards

Tandler: If you project Kelley’s production in the nine games he started over 16 games it comes to about 1,050 yards. He had his ups and downs in those nine starts and he will have them this year. But he should have enough ups to be able to average the 62.5 yards per game needed to hit the thousand-yard mark. Over

Finlay: Unlike wide receivers, where 25 guys broke the 1,000 yard mark in 2016, it's getting harder and harder for a running back to hit four-figures. In 2016, only 12 RBs ran for more than 1,000 yards, and only eight got over 1,100 yards. As the NFL becomes more and more of a passing league, less backs are getting the carries sufficient for a 1,000 yard season. The Redskins haven't had a 1,000 yard rusher since Alfred Morris in 2014. While I think Kelley gets the bulk of the yardage, I think it caps out about 900 yards and Chris Thompson and Samaje Perine creep into the total. Under

RELATED: Who's next at QB for the Redskins?

Kelley, 10 rushing touchdowns

Tandler: He scored six as the starter last year and doing the math that comes to 11 over 16 games. But last year there wasn’t a player like Perine, who could come into the game and vulture some touchdowns after Kelley did the work to get the ball in goal to go position. Under

Finlay: Sorry to keep going back to stats, but last year only seven running backs got to 10 TDs or more. Only seven! Hard to see Kelley getting there on a team that didn't run all that much, or all that well either, in 2016. Under

Samaje Perine, 500 rushing yards

Tandler: It tough to set a line for a guy who hasn’t played. I’ll go off Matt Jones’ 2015 rookie season when he gained 490 yards while sharing time with Alfred Morris. If Perine averages four yards per carry, which is not hard to do, he’ll need about eight carries per game to get to 500. It’s close but if Kelley is effective, as I believe he will be, Perine might not get enough carries to have a chance. Under

Finlay: Tandler's Matt Jones comp pretty much works for Perine, but Jones had explosive speed that Perine doesn't have. A better comp for me was Derrick Henry last year as a rookie with the Titans. DeMarco Murray was established as the top dog, and Henry worked for a productive 490 yards. Under

MORE REDSKINS: Offer to Cousins not nearly enough

Chris Thompson, 60 pass receptions

Tandler: His role is beyond just third down. If the Redskins are behind in the fourth quarter, Thompson is usually in there to try to help spark a rally. Along with TE Jordan Reed and WR Jamison Crowder, Thompson will benefit from Kirk Cousins’ familiarity with him. Over

Finlay: Thompson should be a strong contributor in 2017, but 60 catches is a lot for a running back. Only David Johnson (80) and Le'Veon Bell (75) went over that number in 2016, while James White had exactly 60 catches. Thompson grabbed 49 balls in 2016, an impressive total. I could actually see Thompson getting a bigger percentage increase in carries, he had 68 rushes last season with a very solid 5.2 YPC, than catches. Under

<<<NFL POWER RANKINGS: WHO GOT BETTER AFTER THE DRAFT>>>

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

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

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#RedskinsTalk Podcast: Final refresh before 2017 season truly begins

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#RedskinsTalk Podcast: Final refresh before 2017 season truly begins

Rich Tandler and JP Finlay wrap up the Redskins offseason and prepare for what will be the most intriguing and the most overplayed storylines at training camp in Richmond.

<<<NFL POWER RANKINGS: WHO GOT BETTER AFTER THE DRAFT>>>

Want more Redskins? Click here to follow JP on Facebook and check out @JPFinlayCSN for live updates via Twitter! Click here for the #RedskinsTalk on Apple Podcasts, here for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!

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