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Need to Know: The five best performances by a Redskin in the Super Bowl

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Need to Know: The five best performances by a Redskin in the Super Bowl

Here is what you need to know on this Super Bowl Sunday, February 2, 95 days before the NFL Draft.

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Yes, there were days when the Redskins played in Super Bowls. Here are the team’s five best individual performances in the big game.

1. John Riggins XVII—He just pounded the Dolphins into submission with 38 carries for 166 yards. The yardage record has been broken but no running back has dominated a Super Bowl like Riggins. His 43-yard touchdown run on fourth down in the fourth quarter is one of the most underrated big plays in Super Bowl history.

2. Doug Williams XXII—Going into the second quarter Williams was four for 10 for 78 yards. It wasn’t even certain that he would come out for the first snap of the second quarter after he with following a knee injury. But he came in, launched an 80-yard TD bomb to Ricky Sanders on his first snap of the second quarter and the rest is NFL history. He was 9 of 11 for 228 yards and four touchdowns.

3. Ricky Sanders XXII—Art Monk played but his game was seriously hampered by a knee injury. That left The Posse down to two members and it was Sanders who stepped up. As noted above, he and Williams opened the floodgates with their 80-yard TD connection on the Redskins’ first snap of the second quarter. The play was supposed to be a seven-yard hitch but Sanders recognized press coverage from cornerback Mark Haynes and just blew by him. He also hauled in a 50-yard TD from Williams later in The Quarter. On the day, seven receptions for 166 yards for Sanders.

4. Joe Jacoby XVII—I pitched his Hall of Fame worthiness yesterday and this game is one of the big reasons why. The left tackle slammed into defensive end Kim Bokamper time after time as the Redskins literally ground the Dolphins into submission. The other Hogs who started that day—LG Russ Grimm, C Jeff Bostic, RG Fred Dean, and RT George Starke—get strong honorable mentions here.

5. Brad Edwards XXVI—The defense needs to be represented here somewhere and Edwards’ performance against the Bills. He picked off Hall of Fame QB Jim Kelly twice and knocked down five passes. Andre Reed, named to the Hall of Fame yesterday, caught just five passes for 34 yards. That wasn’t all Edwards but he was a big part of it as his big hits gave Bills receivers a severe case of alligator arms.

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Timeline

—Born on this day: Redskins OL Josh LeRibeus (1989) and former Redskins DE Dexter Manley (1958).

—It’s been 35 days since the Redskins played a game; it will be about 217 days until they play another one.

—Days until: NFL Combine 17; NFL Free agency starts 37; Offseason workouts start 64; NFL Draft 95

In case you missed it

Sunday 01.26

Monday 01.27

Tuesday 01.28

Wednesday 01.29

Thursday 01.30

Friday 01.31

Saturday 02.01

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Jay Gruden squashes perception that Alabama defenders don't produce in NFL

Jay Gruden squashes perception that Alabama defenders don't produce in NFL

Alabama dominates college football in a way few teams ever have. In the last two seasons, the Crimson Tide has lost just two games, winning one national title and narrowly missing a second.

The strength of 'Bama, year after year, is their defense. Nick Saban coaches it, Nick Saban knows it, and Nick Saban demands the best from his players. 

Oddly, however, a few recent Alabama defenders drafted to the NFL have not produced. Or at least their production did not match their draft status. 

It's not too hard to pick names that fit that perception. Rolando McClain. Terrance Cody. Dre Kirkpatrick. And at running back, Trent Richardson didn't help.

Still, the Redskins invested heavily in the Tide during the 2017 draft. Their top two picks played for Saban's defense last year, and Washington coach Jay Gruden does not buy any part of the perception that 'Bama products regress in the NFL.

"I don’t see any negative whatsoever with them going to Alabama," Gruden said late Friday night.

The 'Skins selected Jonathan Allen in the first round and Ryan Anderson in the second. Both guys started on the Tide's front seven, and both players dominated.

"They come there and they are well coached. Anytime you watch college football, and you watch other defenses, no disrespect, and then you flip on an Alabama game, it’s different," Gruden said. "The speed is different. They are well-coached, they are in their gaps, they play hard, they play physical, and that’s from Week 1 until the end. That has to appeal to you as a coach. They are using their hands, they are physical, they are chasing the ball, they are running to the ball."

The perception, right or wrong, has two main positions. The first is that the Alabama defense looks so good because it is full of five-star recruits. When everyone is good, or great, on the college level, it's hard to truly judge any singular player's game tape. The second is that Saban is so exhausting, so demanding of his players, they arrive to the NFL with too many reps.

For those around the NFL, both theories are laughable. Pro scouts know game tape. How else can they judge a future first rounder when he matches up against a walk-on? And for every alleged 'Bama bust, think about Haha Clinton-Dox or Landon Collins or C.J. Mosley or Dont'a Hightower. 

Might some Tide players get overdrafted because of their success and high profile? That's a different conversation. What's certain is the Redskins are quite confident in both of their Alabama draft picks.

"We know they are both highly intelligent guys. They understand football, understand X’s and O’s and they both play very hard with a high motor and they are well-coached."

<<<LOOKING AT REDSKINS DRAFT PROSPECTS>>>

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Redskins focus on defense through three rounds in the NFL Draft

Redskins focus on defense through three rounds in the NFL Draft

Coming into the offseason, there was plenty of talk coming from the Redskins organization that the team needed to upgrade the defense. Those who have been following the team for a while have heard this for many years now. However, usually the talk is just that, with more draft capital and free agency money going to the offense year in and year out.

But this year things are different.

The lion’s share of free agent spending went to the defense. They added linemen Terrell McClain and Stacy McGee, linebacker Zach Brown, and safety D.J. Swearinger. Now they have started off their draft with a laser focus in the defensive side of the ball.

RELATED: Redskins add cornerback with first round talent, but injuries pushed him to the third round

In the first round, they were delighted to take Jonathan Allen, the top-rated defensive lineman on their board. In the second round they went with outside linebacker Ryan Anderson, a teammate of Allen’s at Alabama. Then in the third round the pick was cornerback Fabian Moreau out of UCLA.

It’s been 20 years since the Redskins have gone so heavy with defensive picks at the top of the draft. Not since 1997 have they taken defensive players in the first three rounds of the draft. That year they took DE Kenard Lang, LB Greg Jones, and LB Derek Smith in rounds one, two, and three, respectively.

We will see how much impact the three draft picks have on the defense and, as Redskins fans have learned over the years, an influx of free agents on defense doesn’t guarantee improvement on that side of the ball.

But at least the Redskins organization is putting its money, and its draft picks, where its mouth is and that has be considered a positive development.

MORE REDSKINS: Redskins make it two Alabama defenders in the 2017 draft class so far

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.