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Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—rebuilding the defense

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Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—rebuilding the defense

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, February 13, 11 days before the NFL Combine in Indianapolis.

The Redskins week that was

A look at five of the most popular posts of the week here at Real Redskins and at CSNmidatlantic.com:

Why haven't the Redskins released RG3? —Some have complained that this post was unnecessary but when I get a question asked over and over again in the comments and on social media, I figure it’s best to write a post to flesh it out and send people to that. Over 100,000 people have read it so obviously there are plenty of people still wondering and/or interested in the topic.

Despite 2015 success, Vegas not high on 2016 Redskins—Those of you who like it when the Redskins are underdogs and under the radar should be happy this offseason. The Super Bowl odds discussed in this post come from Bovada.lv and they have the Redskins with worse odds than every other team in the NFC East. I think that a healthy Romo (not a sure thing for 16 games) will help Dallas but I find it hard to see the Eagles and Giants, both with rookie head coaches among other issues, as favorites over a fairly stable Redskins team.

Who has the best chance of being the Redskins' first pick?—Interest in the draft is high even though we are still almost two weeks away from the NFL Combine, which is more than two months before the draft. I can see the Redskins going to just about any position in the first round with the exception of quarterback, tight end, and offensive tackle. There would have to be a real steal at some positions like outside linebacker but it’s possible.

Jarrett: 'He's a mature guy for a rookie'—Kyshoen Jarrett was one of the most pleasant draft surprises in years. He was expected to play some special teams and fill in at safety here and there. But he became a Swiss Army knife, playing 616 snaps nickel corner, corner, and safety. If you can find one or two of those a year is the difference between good drafts and excellent drafts.

Will McCloughan try to build the Redskins' defense through free agency?—I got an interesting question from a reader on Scot McCloughan’s plans for free agency. Last year he tried to build up the defense through some signings and they experienced mixed results. Will he give it another go and bring in veterans to bolster a defense that ranked 28th in yards allowed and in the bottom third in many other statistical categories? Or will he want to add some draft picks to the mix and have Joe Barry and company focus on developing them and some of the young talent already on the roster? A mix of both is likely but I suspect it will be more of the latter than the former.

Timeline

—The Redskins last played a game 34 days ago. It will be about 211 days until they play another one.

—About 166 days until fullbacks and safeties report to Richmond.

Days until: NFL Combine 11; NFL free agency starts 25; 2016 NFL draft 75

In case you missed it

 

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Terrelle Pryor reportedly working out with special glasses based on Antonio Brown's advice

Terrelle Pryor reportedly working out with special glasses based on Antonio Brown's advice

New Redskins receiver Terrelle Pryor has been working out with Steelers All-Pro Antonio Brown this offseason. 

The pair documented their receiving drills, ladder drills and even yoga on social media. But what you didn't see, according to ESPN's John Keim, is Pryor practicing with special glasses that Brown recommended. 

Based on Brown’s advice, Pryor has also worn special sunglasses during offseason workouts, designed to prevent him from seeing an object – in this case the ball – until it is almost upon him. Sometimes he takes his gloves off, just to get a feel for the ball with his hands.

The glasses Keim describes sound more like blinders, or even tunnel vision, but the idea is to help Pryor get an instinctive feel for running routes. 

Despite putting up 1,007 receiving yards with the Browns last year, Pryor has only played the position since 2015. His first four seasons in the NFL were spent trying to make a roster playing quarterback. 

Now penciled into a starting receiver role for the Redskins, he knows he has a lot of catching up to do. 

"The good ones, they ask questions and never think they’ve got it. They always want to learn," Pryor said, "I’m not calling myself a great one, but I think I can get there."

MORE REDSKINS: Redskins Playbook: Some good news for Kirk Cousins

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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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