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Need to Know: Redskins still searching for that complete game

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Need to Know: Redskins still searching for that complete game

Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, October 29, five days before the Washington Redskins host the San Diego Chargers.

Nickel coverage

Five items from Mike Shanahan’s Monday news conference:

1. Did the lack of offseason reps hurt Robert Griffin III’s game this year? It seems pretty obvious that an offseason spent rehabbing rather than honing his game is pretty high up on the list of reasons why he has been so inconsistent this year. You would expect a coach who preaches the importance of the offseason program to at least partially acknowledge this as Shanahan did.  “Everything is a growing experience,” he said when asked if missing the offseason was a factor. “The more reps you get the better off you do get and we all understand that.”

2. NFL teams like to take it one game at a time but the advent of the weekly Thursday night game has changed that. Shanahan said today that although no preparation for the game in Minnesota four days after the Chargers game on the part of the players, the coaching staff would start to formulate a Vikings game plan before Sunday. “From a coaching standpoint; you’re going to work a little bit harder on Friday and Saturday in preparation for that game,” he said. “A lot of times you don’t work on another team in advance but on a Thursday game, a number of times you do. Usually it’s the day before when your game plan is already done for your upcoming opponent.”

3. Although he said that he was going to get more hands on with special teams, Shanahan did not personally address Sav Rocca’s shanked punt that game the Broncos a short field in the fourth quarter of a tie game. “He didn’t have to tell me anything. I didn’t ask him anything,” he said. “I haven’t seen him do that since he’s been here and that’s quite unusual. I’m sure he was trying to directional kick a little bit out of bounds and it just came off the side of his foot. Those things do happen.”

4. Are the Redskins close to playing a full 60-minute game?

“That’s what we’re working for, to get that game. We’ve done it in spots. We haven’t done a complete game, which is frustrating. That’s what we’re working for, but we’ve got guys that will work. We’ve got guys that are showing up, giving us everything they’ve got and when you look at film and you do see that. So we’ve got to eliminate some of those mistakes and hopefully we put that together this weekend.”

5. Shanahan was asked about players who were injured at various times during the Denver game who were not named Robert Griffin III. Here’s what he said: “We’ve got a few guys beat up but I don’t want to talk about any injuries until Wednesday because they’ll go through treatment and a little rehab and see on Wednesday if anybody’s out,” Translation: “I don’t have to put out an injury report until Wednesday afternoon and I’m not giving out any information before I have to.”

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Stat of the day

—The Chargers are last in the NFL with four takeaways on the season. DeAngelo Hall of the Redskins has four takeaways himself with three interceptions and a fumble recovery.

Timeline

—Days until: Chargers @ Redskins 5; Redskins @ Vikings 9; Redskins @ Eagles 19

—Today’s schedule: Off day, no availability         

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Redskins interview another former Chargers defensive coordinator

Redskins interview another former Chargers defensive coordinator

The Redskins continue to cast a wide net in their search for a new defensive coordinator. On Thursday, they interviewed John Pagano, who was recently let go as the defensive coordinator of the Chargers.

Pagano, the brother of Colts head coach Chuck Pagano, has been coaching with the Chargers since 2002. That year he started as a quality control coach and then he was the linebackers coach from 2005-2011. The Chargers fired defensive coordinator Greg Manusky, a current Redskins coach and another candidate to run the defense in Washington, after the 2011 season and Pagano was promoted into that job.

Related: Projecting the Redskins' roster--defense

In Pagano’s five seasons with the Chargers, the performance of the defense was respectable. In terms of total yards, San Diego was in the top 10 twice and only once were they ranked worse than 20th.

The Redskins fired defensive coordinator Joe Barry on January 5. The list of candidates they have interviewed includes Mike Pettine, Gus Bradley, Rob Ryan, Manusky, and Jason Tarver. They are expected to interview former Jets and Bills defensive coordinator Dennis Thurman on Friday.

More Redskins: Setting the odds on what will happen with Cousins

None of the candidates they have interviewed have accepted positions with other teams so they are all still in play. There is no timetable for the team to make a decision, although the sense is that the process is coming to a close and will be concluded in the near future.

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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Need to Know: How long is too long in the Redskins' defensive coordinator search?

Need to Know: How long is too long in the Redskins' defensive coordinator search?

Here is what you need to know on this Friday, January 20, 97 days before the NFL draft.

Timeline

Days until:
NFL franchise tag deadline 40
NFL free agency starts 48
First Sunday of 2017 season 233

Will Pleasant push the defensive coordinator search to a conclusion?

Is the Redskins’ search for a defensive coordinator taking too long? Joe Barry was fired two weeks ago yesterday. The Redskins have made it clear that they want to be very thorough in their search. But taking time creates problems and one just popped up. Assistant defensive back coach Aubrey Pleasant apparently has the option to follow Sean McVay to Los Angeles. But the Redskins want to hold on to him.

The problem is that they don’t want to sign Pleasant to be, say, the cornerbacks coach and tie the hands of the incoming defensive coordinator. They already would like the new guy to keep OLB coach Greg Manusky and ILB coach Kirk Olivadotti. Locking in a third position coach might made it very hard to persuade a quality coordinator to come on board.

Related: Projecting the Redskins' roster--defense

However, they can’t hold Pleasant, who is a young, energetic coach who relates well to the players, back indefinitely. Presumably McVay and defensive coordinator Wade Phillips have a bigger role in mind for him and they won’t wait forever for him to get things resolved in Washington.

But it’s not like the Pleasant situation will need to be resolved by the close of business today. We’re talking days, not hours. How many days? They could lose him due because of the Redskins’ deliberate process if it stretches into sometime early next week. I think the chances are strong that there will be a decision on the new defensive coordinator by, say, the close of business on Tuesday.

More Redskins: Setting the odds on what will happen with Cousins

I’ll wrap this up with a quick round of laying out the $100 in casino chips on the various defensive coordinator candidates. Things have changed since I did it on Monday. I’ll still make Greg Manusky the favorite but I’ll drop him down five bucks to $35. I’m downgrading Mike Pettine down to a $10 wager; I’ve heard that the organization was not impressed with his interview. I’m more than doubling the wager on Gus Bradley to $25. It’s been a few days since reports that the Chargers were pressing him for a decision and yet he remains in play. I’m going with $10 on Dennis Thurmon, who is from the school of the aggressive style of play that Jay Gruden is looking for. Rob Ryan gets not a cent and the remaining $20, including John Pagao, who interviewed yesterday, goes on the field.

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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.