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Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—Rookie camp, Preston Smith and a takeover

Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—Rookie camp, Preston Smith and a takeover

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, May 21, three days before the Washington Redskins start OTAs.

Timeline

—The Redskins last played a game 132 days ago. It will be 114 days until they host the Steelers in their 2016 season opener.

Days until: OTAs start 3; Redskins training camp starts 68; Preseason opener @ Falcons 82

The Redskins week that was

Redskins rookie camp roundup—The weather didn’t cooperate with the desire to get a close look at a large number the rookies. The Friday media availability was pushed to Saturday due to a wet forecast. There were two practice sessions scheduled for Friday and just one for Saturday, and that one was cut short by an approaching thunderstorm. But I was there long enough to gather a few observations and tidbits.

The light has turned on for Redskins’ Preston Smith—From the comments I got on this post it looks like Joe Barry gained some new fans thanks to how he dealt with Smith. Good football players have either talent or a good work ethic. Great players have both. Smith could be one of those players with both.

Long-term answers in place at tackle for Redskins—A year ago it looked like the Redskins had their two tackles in place for the long haul. It still does look like that but it’s Morgan Moses opposite Trent Williams, not Brandon Scherff. They should be in good shape for a while.

Tandler Takeover: What I'd do if I ran the Redskins—The main thing I missed on this list was uncoupling the preseason tickets from the regular season tickets and slash the preseason prices. It’s just indefensible to compel fans to pay for low quality practice football in order to get the real thing. Make them separate, charge $20 or $30 bucks each for them, give away a ton to kids, and try to turn it into a fun event. The team might take a bit of a financial hit but the goodwill gained would be well worth the cost.

Skins' Fuller confident he'll make a full recovery—On the one hand it’s unfortunate that the Redskins are going to have to closely monitor their third-round pick’s knee through OTAs, training camp, and the regular season. On the other hand, it’s fortunate that Fuller was dinged up because other wise he never would have been available in the third round.

Tweet of the day

I found this analysis from my friend to be interesting but perhaps a bit far fetched. In 2015 Kirk Cousins (5) scored more rushing touchdowns than the two Redskins tailbacks combined (4).

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Need to Know: Another big day on the ground on tap for the Redskins?

Need to Know: Another big day on the ground on tap for the Redskins?

Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, December 11, eight days before the Washington Redskins host the Carolina Panthers.

Timeline

Today's schedule: Redskins vs. Eagles 1 p.m.

Days until: Panthers @ Redskins 8; Redskins @ Bears Christmas Eve 13; Giants @ Redskins, New Year’s Day 21

Injuries of note:
Out:
G Long (concussion), S Blackmon (concussion), DE Lanier (leg)
Limited: TE Reed (shoulder), G Scherff (ankle), DE Jean Francois (knee/foot), DE Baker (ankle), G Shawn Lauvao (groin)
Final injury report

Final thoughts on Redskins vs Eagles

—The Redskins have not stopped a team in a goal to go situation since September. The Eagles are good in such situations, converting TDs 84 percent of the time. If the Redskins can get a stop and force a field goal try when the first time the Eagles get down there that would be a big psychological boost for the visitors. Or, better yet, maybe they can just not let the Eagles get any first and goal opportunities. That’s what happened when the teams played in Week 6.

—In that Week 6 meeting the Redskins rushed for 230 yards, their best performance on the ground this season by 79 yards. Matt Jones picked up 135 yards on 16 attempts, Rob Kelley had 5-59, and Chris Thompson kicked in with 9-37. It’s unlikely that Jones will be active so it will be up to Kelley to get things rolling on the ground.

—For all the talk about Kirk Cousins having the Eagles’ number, he had one of his worst statistical games of the year against them in Week 6. He completed just 52.9 percent of his passes, his lowest completion percentage of the season. Cousins also threw perhaps his worst interception of the year, a pick six that tied the game at 14 in the second quarter. The bottom line was that he made some plays and the Redskins won but he likely will have to play better this time for his team to prevail today.

—Carson Wentz has six interceptions in his last three games, including three last week against the Bengals. Josh Norman is due to get an interception, overdue, in fact. Don’t know what will happen but the chances seem good that a Redskin will get his hands on a Wentz pass today.

—We saw last week that the Redskins are not a lock to go on the road and win against a team that is desperately fighting for its playoff life. Fortunately for the Redskins, the Eagles do not have players who are the equals of David Johnson, Larry Fitzgerald, and Patrick Peterson. While plenty can go wrong I think the Redskins come away with with the win.

Redskins 28, Eagles 24

Tandler on Twitter

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Redskins bring former starting center back to active roster

Redskins bring former starting center back to active roster

The Redskins officially brought Kory Lichtensteiger back to the active roster, and while the move is now for depth, it could have other ramifications down the road. 

The move is on the NFL's transaction report for Saturday. To make room for Lichtensteiger, the team released defensive lineman A.J. Francis. 

Dealing with injuries up and down the line of scrimmage, Lichtensteiger's return could give the offensive front more flexibility. When Lichtensteiger got injured Week 3 and sent to the injured reserve, third-year pro Spencer Long stepped in and performed well at center. Last week in Arizona, Long sustained a concussion.

That injury opened the door for John Sullivan, who will start this week in Philadelphia with Long ruled out. Sullivan was brought in as a backup to Long once Lichtensteiger was put on IR. With Long now in the NFL concussion protocol, the Redskins need another center should Sullivan get hurt. Alas, Lichtensteiger's return from the IR. 

Left guard Shawn Lauvao also sustained an injured groin, and that's where things could get interesting. Long is capable of playing guard, as is Lichtensteiger in a pinch. Should Lauvao's injury persist, Lichtensteiger might be able to help there.

Against the Eagles, the plan certainly appears to be second-year man Arie Kouandjio starting in place of Lauvao. Kouandjio made one earlier start this season - Week 4 against Cleveland - and the results were mixed.

If Kouandjio stumbles and Lauvao needs more time, Lichtensteiger's return to the roster gives Jay Gruden and Bill Callahan more flexibility, especially when Long returns from injury.

In fact, once the team has Long, Lichtensteiger and Sullivan healthy, there could be a bit of a logjam roster-wise on the offensive line, but considering all the injuries, bumps and bruises that are part of O-line life by the last four games of the season, the Redskins staff likely won't mind figuring that out. 

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