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Need to Know: RG3 chooses to remain positive

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Need to Know: RG3 chooses to remain positive

Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, October 31, three days before the Washington Redskins host the San Diego Chargers.

Nickel coverage

Five notes and quotes from Redskins Park:

1. Wide receiver Josh Morgan played just 19 of the Redskins’ 71 offensive snaps against the Broncos. He’s a bit mystified as to why his role has been reduced so drastically this year. “Nobody's happy when they get a reduced role. Whatever they ask you to do you just do,” he said. “I am healthy. I'm definitely healthier, I feel good, my body feels good. I don't ask no questions I just go out there and try to win games.”

2. Linebacker Rob Jackson may find himself covering Chargers tight end Antonio Gates, who is having one of the best seasons of his 11-year career. If there are any great secrets to doing so, Jackson wasn’t talking about them. “I don't think you can stop him, you just have to kind of limit him,” said Jackson. “No touchdowns, obviously. If he does make the catch battle to the ball, get him down, tackle him, no yards after the catch, things like that.”

3. We noted here yesterday that the Chargers have twice won 1:00 games in the Eastern time zone this year. On a conference call with reporters, San Diego coach Mike McCoy said that they start their days early on a regular basis. “I firmly believe and have sold the team that this is one of 16 games and . . . it doesn’t matter what time we play. It’s an opportunity,” the first-year coach said. “We start early in morning. We have 7:20 meetings every day, so we’ve done a nice job at this point in time on the road.”

4. Mike Shanahan was asked how he keeps players “happy” if they don’t think they’re getting the ball enough. His old-school answer was predictable. “You’re not trying to keep everybody happy, you’re trying to get people to perform,” he said. It’s not my job to keep them happy, but you talk about the things they do poorly.”

5. How does Robert Griffin III cope with being the struggling quarterback of a 2-5 team? Accentuate the positive. “It’s very trying. It’s a test and you’re going to get put through tests in your life and you’ve got to decide how you’re going to react to them,” said Griffin. “You can react in a negative way or a positive way. I choose to be positive. I don’t go out there and scream at guys. We talked about this before, but my way of leading, you have to be positive.”

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Stat of the day

—After Sunday, the Redskins will have played eight games and they will have faced five of the top 10 quarterbacks in the NFL in terms of passer rating—Peyton Manning, Philip Rivers, Aaron Rodgers, Tony Romo, and Matthew Stafford

Timeline

—Days until: Chargers @ Redskins 3; Redskins @ Vikings 7; Redskins @ Eagles 17

—Today’s schedule: Player availability 11:15; Jim Haslett news conference 12:00; Practice 1:00; Kyle Shanahan and Mike Shanahan news conferences after practice (approx. 3:00; all news conferences streamed live on CSNwashington.com)

In case you missed it

Tandler talks about O-line, Redskins' chances

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Dale Earnhardt Jr. announces retirement from NASCAR after 2017

Dale Earnhardt Jr. announces retirement from NASCAR after 2017

BY TYLER BYRUM, @theTylerByrum

One of the longest eras in NASCAR will come to an end concluding the 2017 season.

Early on Tuesday morning, Hendrick Motorsports announced that 18-year veteran, longtime Redskins fan and popular driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. would retire at the conclusion of the current season.

Earnhardt, son of the late legendary seven-time champion, Dale Earnhardt Sr., told his No. 88 team members before the organization released the news.

Last season, the 42-year-old missed the final 18 races of the NASCAR season due to a concussion. The injury resulted in a 32nd place finish in the NASCAR standings and it was the first time he missed the association's 'playoffs' since 2010. 

Throughout his long career, Earnhardt captured 26 race wins, two being the elusive Daytona 500 in 2004 and 2014. Due to the legendary status of his father, he never quite lived up to the level many placed on the Earnhardt family name. His win total is roughly a third of his father's and has not won a championship. Best career points finish for Earnahrdt was third in 2003, and finished fifth three times (2004, 2006, 2013). Starting in 603 total races, he has finished in the top 10 in nearly half of those races, 253 times.

Despite the lack of a championship, he was named NASCAR's most popular driver 14 times, trailing only Bill Elliott who won that honor 16 seasons. 

RELATED: EARNHARDT FORCED TO RACE IN EAGLES-THEMED CAR

At the end of 2017, Earnhardt's contract with Hendrick Motorsports was set to expire after 10 seasons with NASCAR's most successful team. Prior to his tenure with Hendrick, he was a part of Dale Earnhardt Inc. for eight years where he won 17 of his total 26 race wins. 

Currently, Earnhardt is 24th in the NASCAR standings, 50 points behind the cut-off for the final playoff spot. There are still 18 races remaining in the season for him to make up the ground with some of his best tracks still on the docket. In addition, a win would boost Earnhardt up into a playoff spot due to NASCAR's playoff system. 

With Earnhardt Jr. retiring, there will be one Earnhardt remaining in the Monster Energy Cup Series to carry the family name. Grandson of Dale Earnhardt Sr., and nephew of Jr., Jeffery Earnhardt is a regular in the series. 

Hendrick Motorsports announced in their release that they will not name a replacement for Earnhardt Jr. just yet. During his 18-race absence in 2016, he was replaced by a young prospect, Alex Bowman and four-time series champion Jeff Gordon.

It is anticipated either Bowman or 19-year-old William Byron, who Rick Hendrick signed to an Xfinity Series contract last season, will take his place. 

As a lifetime fan of the Washington football team, Earnhardt has been known to put his opinion of the team out there.

He was not happy with how the team handled Scot McCloughan situation, and publicly voiced his support of Kirk Cousins

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One significant stat that separates Christian McCaffery from Dalvin Cook

One significant stat that separates Christian McCaffery from Dalvin Cook

Football coaches hate fumbles, and Jay Gruden is no different. Remember that Matt Jones had established himself as the Redskins lead running back despite persistent fumbling issues his first two years in the NFL. That was until a goal line fumble Week 7 in Detroit. Jones never played again in 2016. 

Fast forward to Thursday night's NFL Draft, and the buzz surrounding the Redskins interest in Florida State running back Dalvin Cook and Stanford running back Christian McCaffrey could all boil down to fumbles.

Both Cook and McCaffrey visited Redskins Park, and both players possess the speed and game-breaking ability that could deliver big returns to the Washington offense. Since the NFL Combine, McCaffrey has emerged as the higher draft pick.

Their college statistics are fairly similar. Both players went for more than 5,000 total yards in three college seasons. The size is similar too, Cook gets listed at 6-foot, 209 lbs., while McCaffrey gets listed at 5-foot-11 and 203 lbs.

One area that's quite different: Fumbles. 

An average NFL running back fumbles once every 100 carries. Rich Tandler researched an incredible stat about the two players:

  • McCaffrey averages one fumble every 243 carries.
  • Cook averages one fumble every 63 carries. 

The difference is staggering. And it could be enough to keep the 'Skins away from Cook at 17.

<<<LOOKING AT REDSKINS DRAFT PROSPECTS>>>

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