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Need to Know: Safety in numbers for the 2016 Redskins?

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Need to Know: Safety in numbers for the 2016 Redskins?

Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, March 17, 42 days before the NFL Draft.

Safety in numbers for the Redskins?

—The Redskins’ strategy at safety appears to be to throw numbers at it. They added David Bruton to DeAngelo Hall, Duke Ihenacho, and Kyshoen Jarrett. The door is still open to a return of Dashon Goldson at the right price. Another veteran could come on board. McCloughan certainly wouldn’t bypass the right one on the board in the draft. Joe Barry and Perry Fewell will have the flexibility to mix and match according to situations, there will be depth in case of injuries, and most will contribute on special teams. This might not be the ideal way to do it but with a lack of standout safeties available it’s what they have to do to get by.

—I have to laugh whenever fans get all riled up over things like Josh LeRibeus re-signing with the Redskins. The deal is for around minimum salary and the Redskins could afford to cut him at any time. He has been around for four years, they spent a draft pick on him, and they think he is worth keeping around. Scot McCloughan is not going to bypass a promising interior lineman in the draft because he has LeRibeus on the roster. If they don’t sign a veteran center like Stefen Wisniewski it won’t be because they have LeRibeus.

—After bringing back Junior Galette, will the Redskins move Trent Murphy to defensive end? That has been floated as a possibility and perhaps a final decision was pending Galette’s return. Murphy played as a 4-3 end in college and he has lined up with his hand in the dirt in pass rushing situations with the Redskins. But he would need to put on at least 20 pounds, line up more to the inside, and adjust to playing an entirely different kind of game. We will see what happens and we may not find out anything definitive until OTAs in late May.

—Is Galette the missing link on defense? He can help a lot if he’s healthy and motivated. With a one-year deal that would allow him to hit the free agent market at age 29 the latter seems to be a given. We won’t really know about how healthy he is until we see something we haven’t ever seen—Galette in full pads in a Redskins uniform rushing the passer in a game. Until then, there will be legitimate questions about his explosiveness. There are reasons to be confident that he will be 100 percent in training camp but seeing is believing.

Timeline

—The Redskins last played a game 67 days ago. It will be about 178 days until they play another one.

Days until: Redskins offseason workouts start 32; 2016 NFL draft 42; Redskins training camp starts 133

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Need to Know: The top five running backs the Redskins will face in 2017

Need to Know: The top five running backs the Redskins will face in 2017

Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, June 25, 32 days before the Washington Redskins start training camp in Richmond on July 27.

Timeline

The Redskins last played a game 175 days ago; they will open the 2017 season against the Eagles at FedEx Field in 77 days.

Days until:

—Franchise tag contract deadline (7/17) 22
—Preseason opener @ Ravens (8/10) 46
—Roster cut to 53 (9/2) 69

The top five running backs the Redskins will face in 2017

Here are the five running backs on the Redskins’ schedule who gained the most yards in 2017. We looked at the top QBs last week.

Ezekiel Elliott, Cowboys, 1,631 yards in 2016—The NFL’s leading rusher didn’t pop for a big day against the Redskins as a rookie last year. He still did plenty of damage in two games with a combined 180 yards and three touchdowns. We’ll find out in Week 8 just how much the Redskins’ rushing defense has improved.

David Johnson, Cardinals, 1,239 yards—Yeah, him again. He chewed up the Redskins in Arizona last year, picking up 84 yards rushing and another 91 yards receiving. I think I might pick Johnson over Elliott in a draft simply due to Johnson’s versatility.

LeGarrette Blount, Eagles, 1,161 yards—Blount picked up those yards with the Patriots last year and rushed for 18 touchdowns for good measure. He averaged 3.9 yards per carry, 27th among qualifying running backs. It should be noted that the Eagles probably have a better offensive line than the Patriots do. It’s safe to say Blount is one dimensional; none of the top 50 in rushing yards had fewer than his seven receptions.

Mark Ingram, Saints, 1,043 yards—While Ingram had a good year, the Saints apparently weren’t overly impressed. They signed Adrian Peterson as a free agent and they drafted RB Alvin Kamara in the third round. We’ll have to see who is healthy and on the field in Week 11

Melvin Gordon, Chargers, 997 yards—The 2015 first-round pick missed the last three games and most of another one with an injury. When healthy, he was very effective. His stats projected over 16 games come to over 1,300 yards.

Best of the rest: Carlos Hyde of the 49ers just missed the top five with 988 rushing yards last year Besides Kamara, the only running backs drafted in the first three rounds the Redskins will face are Dalvin Cook (Vikings) and Kareem Hunt (Chiefs). It will be interesting to see if new Rams coach Sean McVay can revive Todd Gurley, who followed a 1,100-yard rookie season with a 4.8 per carry average by gaining 885 yards with a paltry 3.2 average in 2016. Marshawn Lynch comes to town with the Raiders after spending a year in retirement; with the Seahawks, he picked up 111, 72, and 132 on the ground against the Redskins. 

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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Kirk Cousins shows off competitive spirit, soft touch - at Jenga (VIDEO)

Kirk Cousins shows off competitive spirit, soft touch - at Jenga (VIDEO)

After NFL minicamps end in mid-June, and before the grind of training camps start in late July, players are free to have a little bit of fun and try to relax. For Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins that evidently means a game of Jenga.

Fun at Kirk's 10 year high school reunion!!!

A post shared by Julie Cousins (@juliehcousins) on

The video comes from Cousins' wife Julie, and the caption explains that the couple were attending the quarterback's 10-year high school reunion. Looks like a fun scene, and the Michigan waterfront looks even better.

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

For anybody that has watched Cousins on the practice field or listened to him mic'd up during a Redskins game, the competitive outburst is no surprise. Cousins likes to win, period. Even at life-size Jenga during his 10-year high school reunion. 

Obviously, contract talks between Cousins' representatives and the Redskins continue, and likely will until the July 17th franchise tag deadline. Last season, Cousins threw for nearly 5,000 passing yards, completing 67 percent of his passes to go with 25 TDs and 12 INTs. He's allowed to have a little fun here and there.

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