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Need to Know: Redskins special teams still adjusting

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Need to Know: Redskins special teams still adjusting

Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, October 17, three days before the Washington Redskins play the Chicago Bears at FedEx Field.

Nickel coverage

Five things from Redskins Park

1. As one might expect, special teams were a big topic of discussion on Wednesday at Redskins Park. Here is what two core special teams players had to say about the situation. First, this from Niles Paul; you’ll notice a theme in his remarks:

Keith Burns, he's a different individual than Danny. Everybody here loved Danny. Having Danny here was very beneficial to everybody. Keith is a different guy with a different scheme and everybody has to get used to that and believe in the coaches. At the end of the day, we just have to make plays. That's what Danny allowed us to do last year was go out and make plays. It was a simple as that and that's what we're missing this year. We just have to go out there and make plays. You need five or six guys rallying to the ball instead of one or two making the tackle.

2. Reed Doughty had similar thoughts when it came to making plays but he was not inclined to place much of the reason for the special teams issues on the change in coaches:

[The scheme is] definitely a little bit different. But at the end of the day we get paid to go out on Sunday and make plays. Whether it's because of the system or in spite of the system, what ever your feelings are, it really doesn't matter. It's still a reflection of us if they scored a touchdown on Sunday and had another big return.

3. Pierre Garçon was asked about how much pressure Robert Griffin III is putting himself under:

You always want to put pressure on yourself as a football player because you never want to think that you've arrived. I put pressure on myself, he puts pressure on himself. But this year is different from last year. As you get older in this league you have to be able to adjust and keep your head in the game. We're just finding out game . . . I don't think he's putting too much pressure on himself.

4. And here is Robert Griffin III talking about the pressure that Robert Griffin III faces:

“There’s just an expectation. Whenever you play the way we played as an offense in general – not just myself – moving the ball, making big plays, putting points on the board, whenever you play like that and you come back the next year and you don’t play like that and your quarterback has a significant knee injury in the offseason, the scrutiny is going to be there. But I think for a lot of guys in this locker room, nothing has ever been easy for us as far as in life. It’s never been given to us. Some guys in this league get a break and some guys don’t. With all the scrutiny going on with our team as far as the name, my knee injury, the way we started the season – all that stuff can pile up.

5. Mike Shanahan talking about how, well, stuff happens:

We missed a handoff on a draw. That’s what happened. Sometimes those things do occur . . . Robert went a little further back than he should have. Those things, sometimes we fake a little bit of a pass and sometimes the timing is not perfect, but we have been doing a pretty good job on that. That was one of those times we didn’t do a good job.


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Stat of the day

—The Redskins average 5.3 yards per rushing attempt, second in the NFL. The league average is  4.1 yards per attempt.

Timeline

—Days until: Bears @ Redskins 3; Redskins @ Broncos 10; Chargers @ Redskins 17

—Today’s schedule: Player availability 11:15; Jim Haslett news conference 12:00; Practice 1:00 (open to media for first 30 minutes); Mike Shanahan and Kyle Shanahan news conferences after practice (approx. 3:00), available streaming on CSNwashington.com.                                        

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The best players left in the draft for the Redskins—Offense

The best players left in the draft for the Redskins—Offense

The Redskins have seven picks in the final four rounds of the draft today. Here are some of the top players available on offense. Will look at the defense a little later this morning.

Offensive line

G Dorian Johnson, Pitt—The Redskins probably would want him to add a few pounds to his frame, as at 6-5 he currently carries “only” 300 pounds. He’s smart, tough, and athletic.

G Nico Siragusa, San Diego State—At 6-4, his weight is about right at 319 pounds. A three-year starter with a great power game and pass protection skills that will need to be coached up.

RELATED: Redskins focus on defense in first 3 rounds

Tight end/receiver

TE Bucky Hodges, Virginia Tech—He’s big enough to be your blocking tight end and athletic enough to line up split out wide.

WR Dede Westbrook, Oklahoma—One of the most productive receivers in the country and a Heisman finalist. He’s a little small at 6-0, 178 but he has excellent deep speed.

Running back

RB Samaje Perine, Oklahoma—As a true freshman in 2014 he set the national record by rushing for 427 yards in a game against Kansas. He probably doesn’t have that kind of monster game in him at the next level but he will be a solid, reliable back who can handle a heavy workload.

RB Jeremy McNichols, Boise State—A very productive runner and pass catcher who posted over 2,200 yards of offense last year.

MORE REDSKINS: Three reasons to like the pick of Ryan Anderson 

Quarterback

QB Nathan Peterman, Pitt—Nobody would have batted an eye if he had gone off the board in the third or maybe even the late second round. If the Redskins are concerned about Kirk Cousins leaving as a free agent, Peterman carries a very similar set of skills.

QB Brad Kaaya, Miami—Another QB many thought may be off the board by now, Kaaya has the mental makeup to succeed at quarterback but his game needs a lot of polish.

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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Need to Know: The best Redskins late-round picks of the last 10 years

Need to Know: The best Redskins late-round picks of the last 10 years

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, April 29, 25 days before the Redskins start OTAs on May 24.

Timeline

At Redskins Park—Fourth through seventh rounds of the NFL draft; conference calls with players selected; Gruden will speak to media shortly after Redskins’ final pick.

Days until:

—Redskins rookie camp (5/12) 13
—Redskins OTAs start (5/24) 25
—Training camp starts (7/27) 89
—Redskins opener vs. Eagles (9/10) 134

The Redskins’ best late-round picks since of the last 10 years

While no aspect of drafting in the NFL is easy, it is much harder to find key contributors on the last day of the draft than it is in the first three rounds. The Redskins will have seven picks in this afternoon's draft to try to find one or two of them. 

Since the 2007 draft the Redskins have taken 56 players from the fourth round on. Of those, 45 played in at least one NFL game but only 12 of them were the Redskins’ primary starter at their positions for at least one season. Here are the five best of those players.

QB Kirk Cousins (round 4, 2012)—He was probably the most controversial pick on this list since the Redskins had just drafted Robert Griffin III a couple of days earlier. History proved Mike Shanahan right.

RB Alfred Morris (6, 2012)—This pick came a few hours after and with much less noise than the Cousins pick did. Many believed that the Redskins were set a running back with Roy Helu and Evan Royster. Morris not only surprised many by making the team but he lined up as the Week 1 starter. He went on to break the team’s single-season rushing record by piling up 1,613 yards rushing.

LB Perry Riley (4, 2010)—He didn’t get into the lineup until midway through his second season. Riley was always solid for four-plus seasons as the starter but never spectacular. The team let him go last year in training camp and he played well for the Raiders after they picked him up.

CB Bashaud Breeland (4, 2014)—Breeland started 15 games as a rookie. At first he was in the slot but after DeAngelo Hall was injured in Week 3, Breeland moved to the outside and he has stayed there ever since. He has seven career interceptions and seven forced fumbles.

WR Jamison Crowder (4, 2015)—At 5-9, many teams thought Crowder was undersized and he didn’t run a great 40 at the combine. But he was big enough and fast enough to break the Redskins rookie record for receptions in a season and then to lead the team in touchdowns with eight last year.

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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