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Need to Know: The Redskins five top linebackers of the past 20 years

Need to Know: The Redskins five top linebackers of the past 20 years

Here is what you need to know on this Monday, May 26, one day before the start of OTAs.

Nickel coverage

(I'm on vacation this week so we're going to rerun some of your favorite lists from earlier this year.)

Here are the Redskins’ five best linebackers of the past 20 years as determined by their Approximate Value.

1. London Fletcher (2007-2013), AV of 73—This comes as no surprise as Fletcher led the team in tackles almost every year he was in Washington and he landed four Pro Bowl spots.

2. LaVar Arrington (2000-2005), 49—Few in team history have been such shooting stars. After three straight Pro Bowl appearances, from 2001-2003 he started just 10 more games in part due to injury and in part due to reasons nobody is quite sure of.

3. Ken Harvey (1994-1998), 46—Proof that the Redskins can sign a free agent and see him play as well as he did with his previous team. Harvey signed with Washington after six years with the Cardinals and made four straight Pro Bowls and racked up 41.5 sacks.

4. Marcus Washington (2004-2008), 42—Another free agent who worked out, Washington was the heart and soul of Gregg Williams’ tough defensive units during the Gibbs 2.0 era.

5. Rocky McIntosh (2006-2011), 37—Yeah, I was kind of surprised by this, too. But things did not end well for him here in a year and a half playing out of position at the Jack inside linebacker spot. In three seasons at a starter at outside linebacker he was quite competent as he averaged 64 tackles a season and recorded five sacks and three interceptions.

Next five: Brian Orakpo, Marvcus Patton, Derek Smith, Lemar Marshall, Ryan Kerrigan.

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Timeline

—It’s been 148 days since the Redskins played a game; it will be 104 days until the play the Texans in their season opener.

—Days until: OTAs start 1; Training camp 58; Redskins @ Eagles 118

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Eagles coach's comments on effort create a stir in the locker room

Eagles coach's comments on effort create a stir in the locker room

The day after the Eagles 32-14 loss to the Bengals on Sunday, Philadelphia coach Doug Peterson said that he didn’t think that all his players played hard.

Not everybody, and that’s the accountability that I talk about,” Pederson said, via the Birds 24/7 blog. “I hold coaches accountable for that; I hold myself accountable for that because it all starts with me. I pride myself each week to make sure the guys are ready to go, but at the same time, it comes down to a mentality by each individual player. This is a business where we have to be ready to go every single weekend because every team in the league — there are some teams that are better than others, but for the most part anything can happen any weekend.”

This sort of vague shot fired at the team did not sit well with the players. Safety Malcolm Jenkins, one of the most respected voices on the team, said that the comments put players in a bad spot.

“I know the intent of the guys that I practice with and play with every day, and I didn’t see effort being an issue,” Jenkins said. “It puts us in a little bit of a tough position as players because now everybody wants to know, ‘Well, who were you talking about?’”

Some in the media in Philadelphia surmised that two of the players Pederson was talking about were tight end Zach Ertz and safety Rodney McLeod. One on play it looked like Ertz failed to block Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict on a Carson Wentz scramble.

“I’m not going to get into the details of every thought I had on that play,” said Ertz. “I’m focused on giving this city everything I have on each and every play. I promise going forward, I will do that. I think I have done that in the past.”

It didn’t look like McLeod did everything he could to keep Bengals running back Jeremy Hill from scoring a touchdown on a two-yard run in the first quarter.

“I thought the ball was going to hit somewhere else, and then obviously it came through. By the time I could react, Hill already crossed the plane,” said McLeod. “Just got caught flat-footed, tried to react and by the time I did, I feel like if I were to hit him it could possibly be late. Just a tough situation.”

You can see both of the plays in question here.

We don’t know if Ertz and McLeod are among the players that Pederson was talking about when he spoke of issues with effort. Leaving things vague like that doesn’t do much for the coach’s credibility in the locker room. And when that starts to be in doubt the coach gets asked about his job security. Pederson said that owner Jeffrey Lurie and GM Howie Roseman have been supportive.

“From both of them, it’s been 100 percent support on everything. I meet with Jeffrey and Howie every week and we discuss a lot of things and go over a lot of things. Every week, it’s very positive,” Pederson said. “I just don’t think you can base a guy’s career on one season. I think you got to give it time to develop.

But the fact that these questions are being asked after he has been in his job for a dozen games is an indication that he is facing at least a minor crisis as his team prepares for four games that are likely to be meaningless in terms of the playoff picture. We will see if he can get the train back on the tracks by Sunday.

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Poll: What is your approval rating for the play of Redskins QB Kirk Cousins?

Poll: What is your approval rating for the play of Redskins QB Kirk Cousins?

As usual, answer the poll and either rely on Twitter or come back here and hit the comments section.