Quick Links

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

hatcher-on-sled-minicamp.png

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.

Like Real Redskins on Facebook!

Follow Real Redskins on Instagram @RichTandler

Quick Links

A Redskin fan's guide to the NFL Draft Combine

A Redskin fan's guide to the NFL Draft Combine

This week in Indianapolis the NFL world will converge at the Scouting Combine to watch college football players work out, sprint and lift weights in anticipation of the upcoming draft. For the Redskins front office, this draft needs to be a win.

The 2016 Draft could still yield strong results for Washington, but overall the class did not play particularly well as rookies. This year, Scot McCloughan has nine picks at his disposal, with the extra picks late in the draft in the fourth, fifth and sixth rounds.

It's no secret that the 'Skins need help along the defensive line, a lot of help. That should be a major area of focus for the Redskins scouts and coaches, and that will make next Sunday arguably the most important of the week in Indianapolis. 

The combine divides players into 11 position groups, but Groups 7, 8 and 9 will matter most. Groups 7 and 8 represent defensive linemen and 9 are the linebackers. That group officially arrives on Thursday but won't work out on the field until Sunday. The days in between include interviews, psychological testing and the bench press.

Obviously the Redskins won't spend all nine picks on only defensive linemen. The team will likely invest in the offensive line as well, and that group will arrive earlier in the week and work out on Friday. Cornerbacks and safeties are the last to work out on Monday, March 6. 

With the likely departure of at least one of DeSean Jackson or Pierre Garçon, and the possible departure of both, it would make sense for the 'Skins to bring in another receiver via the draft. They work out on Saturday, and should the Redskins decide to take a quarterback in the draft, the passers will work out that day too. 

Running back could be another spot the 'Skins invest. Jay Gruden said that Robert Kelley is locked into the RB1 role, but still the team might want increased competition at the position. The backs will work out Friday.

<<<LOOKING AT REDSKINS DRAFT PROSPECTS>>>

Want more Redskins? Check out @JPFinlayCSN for live updates or click here for the #RedskinsTalk Podcast on iTunes, here for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!

 

Quick Links

Why won’t Redskins brass talk to the media at the NFL Combine?

Why won’t Redskins brass talk to the media at the NFL Combine?

The NFL has released the official schedule of when NFL coaches and executives will take the podium and address the media at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis. You can find it right here but I’ll save you a click—nobody from the Redskins is scheduled to talk.

NFL teams are not required to have a representative speak at the combine but most do. This year only the Saints and Patriots are joining the Redskins in avoiding the media.

Bill Belichick never talks at the combine and I believe that the Saints have bypassed the opportunity to do so in the past. However, the Redskins head coach traditionally has gone to the podium in the past. Joe Gibbs spoke when he was in his second stint as the head coach. Mike Shanahan, as tight lipped as anyone, met with the press in Indy each of his four years as head coach. Jay Gruden has spoken during each of the three years that he has been head coach.

RELATED: NFL Mock Draft Version 3.0

And last year Scot McCloughan held a small media gaggle with local reporters in his hotel in Indianapolis.

This year the Redskins are going somewhat dark. McCloughan did not speak to reporters at the Senior Bowl (Gruden held a brief availability in Mobile), a departure from his first two years with the team. And now no Redskins representatives at the combine.

One of the problems with changing what has been a longstanding practice and going into radio silence is that it leaves people speculating. If the team doesn’t want to put any information out there that is the organization’s option. But if you choose not to fill in the blanks, the fans and media will.

So why aren’t they talking? The best bet is that they are in a delicate stage when it comes to dealing with the future of quarterback Kirk Cousins. He is a pending free agent who is likely to be hit with the franchise tag on Wednesday, the day before the combine starts. At that point, the clock will be ticking on Cousins either signing a long-term contract or getting traded to a team that is willing to meet his asking price. It’s my guess that Jay Gruden does not want to face questions about Cousins’ future.

More Redskins: #RedskinsTalk podcast: Is Kirk too nice for his own good?

Gruden is not a very good liar; his poker face needs a lot of work. Perhaps that is a good quality for a human being but not a very good attribute for someone who would need to go out and talk about Cousins as the long-term quarterback for the team, or at least the QB for the coming season, when his status may be very much in doubt.

This is not to say that there is definitely going to be a trade of Cousins worked out at the combine. But it is very possible that a deal will be discussed with Kyle Shanahan and the 49ers and any number of other quarterback-needy teams. And perhaps there is concern that Gruden will let something slip or, more likely, say a lot on the subject of Cousins by not saying anything.

Again, this is just reading the tea leaves on my part. But by going silent the Redskins are sending an invitation for people to fill in the blanks. I am just taking them up on it.

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.