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Need to Know: The most overrated and underrated Redskins

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Need to Know: The most overrated and underrated Redskins

Happy Independence Day!

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, July 4, 26 days before the Washington Redskins start training camp.

Who's overrated? Underrated?

Pete Prisco of CBS Sports went through each of the 32 NFL teams and picked a player he viewed as overrated and then did another list of the 32 underrated players. I thought his picks for the Redskins were pretty insightful although I don’t completely agree with him.

Washington’s overrated player was safety Dashon Goldson. Here is Prisco’s justification.
“If they think he will fix their safety issues, they can forget about it. He's a box safety in a league where coverage is a premium. He failed in his two years in Tampa Bay as a high-priced free agent, so why think he can turn it around?”
It’s hard to disagree with most of what he says here. But I don’t think that Scot McCloughan traded for him with the idea of him “fixing” the safety position. He’s more of a patch. Even if there were thoughts of bringing back Ryan Clark for one more year, he nixed them by announcing his retirement. There was nobody on the roster who was capable of handling the job on a full time basis. It would have been outright foolish to hope to find help in the draft, which was weak at safety. Goldson was the best available option. That doesn’t mean he’s a fix, just better than whatever else they could reasonably come up with.

The only issue I have with calling Goldson overrated is that I don’t think he’s rated very highly. Sure, there are some Redskins fans who believe that he will revert to the form that made him a first-team All-Pro with the 49ers in 2012. But most neutral observers see him as just a guy at this point in his career.

Prisco’s underrated Redskin is Keenan Robinson:
“After missing all of 2013 with an injury, he emerged as a force on their defense in 2014. He is a thumper in the run game who should be better in coverage with a year of starting under his belt.”
Can’t argue with this assessment at all. Robinson did an admirable job of stepping in for the retired London Fletcher. He played well and also assumed some of the leadership duties that come with calling the plays on defense. I’ll add that he also could improve his pass rush up the middle; he had just 1.5 sacks last year.

The main concern with Robinson is health. He missed the last five games of his rookie 2012 season with a torn pec, all of 2013 with the same injury (sustained a second time), and three games near the end of last season with a knee injury.

Who are your most overrated/underrated Redskins? Let me know in the comments below.

Timeline

—It’s been 188 days since the Redskins played a game. It will be 71 days until they play the Dolphins at FedEx Field.

Days until: Redskins training camp starts 26; Preseason opener @ Browns 40; final cuts 63

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Redskins Playbook: 2017 schedule reveals some good news for Kirk Cousins

Redskins Playbook: 2017 schedule reveals some good news for Kirk Cousins

The Redskins offense performed at a high level in 2016, moving the ball well though the unit struggled in the red zone. Much of the success comes from Kirk Cousins' ability to quickly advance through his progressions and release the football before he takes too many hits.

Expect more of that in 2017, especially early in the season.

The Redskins don't face their first Top 5 sack defense until Week 9 when they travel to Seattle. From there, Cousins will face another Top 5 sack team when the Vikings visit FedEx Field in Week 10. 

After that, Washington's schedule doesn't feature a Top 5 sack defense until nearly Christmas. Unfortunately for Cousins, those two teams will come back to back in December when the Redskins host the Cardinals and the Broncos.

Sacks should not drive too much worry for Redskins fans. The Washington offensive line only allowed 23 sacks last season, two less than the Cowboys vaunted offensive line gave up on Dak Prescott. Cousins quick release and mastery of Jay Gruden's offense helps too. 

The Redskins have plenty to worry about in 2017, though facing fierce sack opponents shouldn't be too high on the list. 

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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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