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Need to Know: Six Redskins over 30 will play key roles in 2015

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Need to Know: Six Redskins over 30 will play key roles in 2015

Here is what you need to know on this Monday, June 29, 31 days before the Washington Redskins start training camp.

The senior citizens

The Redskins are likely to go into the season with six players on their roster who are 30 or older. Most of them will be expected to play key roles this season. Here are the old men of the Redskins and what the team will be looking for from them this year

(Ages as of opening day)

C Kory Lichtensteiger, 30—He will be the starting center and will have to adjust to a change in the running game philosophy from one that emphasized zone blocking to one that will run more power blocking plays. That could be a challenge for the 296-lb. veteran.

DL Kedric Golston, 32—It looks like he will survive a purge on the defensive line that saw three of his line mates from last year depart, although his presence on the 53 is not a sure thing. If he is still around he will play 15-20 snaps in the defensive line rotation, mostly at the end spots but perhaps some at nose tackle as well.

FS Dashon Goldson, 30—He will be the starting free safety. The team will be counting on him to rebound to something close to his 2012 All-Pro form after two bad seasons in Tampa Bay. They don’t have much in the way of depth there so he will need to get it done.

ILB Adam Hayward, 31—It will not be surprising if he ends up as the fifth inside linebacker on the depth chart. His importance to the Redskins comes on special teams where he will again be the captain and show the younger special teamers the Redskins brought in like Evan Spencer and Kyshoen Jarrett the ropes.

CB DeAngelo Hall, 32—The Redskins likely would like to see David Amerson become the third defensive back and have Hall come off the bench in dime situations. But if Amerson’s rocky 2014 shows signs of continuing in this season they won’t hesitate to give Hall a bigger role, assuming he is fully healthy after tearing his Achilles twice last year.

DE Jason Hatcher, 33—The senior member of the team will start at right defensive end and the coaches will be looking for at least eight sacks from him, maybe more. Quality play from Hatcher could also make life easier for young, inexperienced right outside linebackers Trent Murphy.

The Redskins will start three players who are past the age of 30, Lichtensteiger, Goldson, and Hatcher. Last year they had seven players over 30 at the top of the depth chart at the start of the season—Hatcher, Hall, NT Barry Cofield, SS Brandon Meriweather, FS Ryan Clark, and G Chris Chester.

Timeline

—It’s been 183 days since the Redskins played a game. It will be 76 days until they play the Dolphins at FedEx Field.

Days until: Redskins training camp starts 31; Preseason opener @ Browns 45; final cuts 68

If you have any questions about what's going on at Redskins Park, hit me up in the comments. And I'm always on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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Oddsmakers give Kirk Cousins favorable shot at 2017 NFL MVP

Oddsmakers give Kirk Cousins favorable shot at 2017 NFL MVP

There continues to be a (ridiculous) debate on whether or not Kirk Cousins can continue to be a successful starting quarterback for the Washington Redskins.

In the betting industry, there is not much debate with Cousins being listed with 50/1 odds to win the NFL MVP award this upcoming season from Bovada. Among all the other players listed, he is in a tie for 14th. 

He is coming off back-to-back seasons with seven 300 yard passing games, a team record, and has an abundance of fresh, young wide receivers to compliment his passing style. Last year he was third in the league in passing yards with 4,917, trailing only Drew Brees (5,208) and Matt Ryan (4,944). 

The team may not be poised for a Super Bowl run in 2017-18, but if the team makes a post-season run, who will it be on the back of? Jordan Reed? Rob Kelley? Ryan Kerrigan?

No, it will be Kirk Cousins. 

RELATED: Ex-GM outlines staggering contract for Kirk Cousins

Entering this season at 40-years-old, and defending Super Bowl MVP, Tom Brady is the overall favorite at 4/1. He is closely followed by Aaron Rodgers, and young quarterbacks Derek Carr and Dak Prescott. 

BOVADA 2017-18 NFL MVP ODDS:

Tom Brady, NE — 4/1
Aaron Rodgers, GB — 7/1
Derek Carr, OAK — 9/1
Dak Prescott, DAL — 12/1
Ben Roethlisberger, PIT — 12/1
Russell Wilson, SEA — 12/1
Matt Ryan, ATL — 16/1
Ezekiel Elliott, DAL — 20/1
Drew Brees, NO — 25/1
Andrew Luck, IND — 25/1
Cam Newton, CAR — 25/1
David Johnson, ARI — 33/1
Marcus Mariota, TEN — 33/1
Sam Bradford, MIN — 50/1
Antonio Brown, PIT — 50/1
Kirk Cousins, WAS — 50/1
Julio Jones, ATL — 50/1
Eli Manning, NYG — 50/1
Carson Palmer, ARI — 50/1
Adrian Peterson, NO — 50/1
Philip Rivers, LAC — 50/1
Matt Stafford, DET — 50/1
Odell Beckham Jr., NYG — 66/1
Rob Gronkowski, NE — 66/1
Alex Smith, KC — 66/1
Ryan Tannehill, MIA — 66/1
J.J. Watt, HOU — 66/1
Jameis Winston, TB — 66/1
Blake Bortles, JAX — 100/1
Andy Dalton, CIN — 100/1
Joe Flacco, BAL — 100/1
T.Y. Hilton, IND — 100/1
Marshawn Lynch, OAK — 100/1
LeSean McCoy, BUF — 100/1
Von Miller, DEN — 100/1
DeMarco Murray, TEN — 100/1
Carson Wentz, PHL — 100/1

RELATED: After Derek Carr deal, Cousins' best option may be short-term

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True or False: Rob Kelley will be Redskins leading rusher

True or False: Rob Kelley will be Redskins leading rusher

Robert Kelley emerged as the Redskins top running back in 2016, an incredible story of an undrafted guy working his way to the top. Of course, Matt Jones' problems with fumbling helped push Kelley to the top. 

Redskins coach Jay Gruden speaks highly of Kelley, particularly his fluidity and vision, but the team drafted Samaje Perine in the fourth round this year to provide additional competition in the backfield.

Here's the crucial statement: Rob Kelley will lead the Redskins in rushing yards in 2017.

Finlay: True.

Kelley averaged 4.2 yards-per-carry last season and the Redskins ground game is very much centered on a "4 or more" philosophy. Washington running backs coach Randy Jordan joined the #RedskinsTalk podcast and explained that the team wants a runner it can count on for positive yards more than creating big plays. The Redskins offense, as designed by Gruden, sets up for big plays in the pass game, and the run should allow for proper use of play action. 

In just nine starts last year, Kelley gained more than 700 yards. Project that out over 16 games, and he would be over 1,000 yards rushing. Perine has much to learn about the NFL, and understanding pass protections will take time for the rookie out of Oklahoma. Chris Thompson will be a key part of the offense, but much of his yardage will come via the pass game. 

Kelley will lead this team in rush yards. He's looked great in OTAs and minicamp while the coaching staff believes Kelley is in much better shape this year than he was as a rookie. Write it down in pen. 

RELATED: How will Kelley and Perine share the carries?

Tandler: True.

After the draft and during rookie camp I was saying that there was a chance that Perine could lead the team is rushing this year. But after seeing Perine playing with the big boys in OTAs and minicamp it’s apparent that he has a long way to go to become a consistently productive running back.

One thing Kelley seems to have going in his favor is that he has a very sensible outlook on the NFL. As JP noted, Kelley showed up to Redskins Park in better shape than he did as a rookie. This indicates to me that he understands that being an NFL players is a year-round job. Staying in great shape is important in the league but at running back it’s vital. Kelley gets that and because he does, his chances of being available for 16 games are much higher.

In turn, that improves his chance of being the team’s leading rusher. I’m not sure if he’ll get 1,000 yards—Perine will get things figured out enough to take some carries before the season gets too old—but Gruden will make sure that he gets fed plenty as long as he is available. 

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