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Need to Know: The top five QBs the Redskins will face in 2015

Need to Know: The top five QBs the Redskins will face in 2015

Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, July 8, 22 days before the Washington Redskins start training camp.

Nickel coverage: The top passers

Training camp is just a few weeks away and it’s time to start honing in on the Redskins’ opponents for the 2015 season. Here are the quarterbacks who should provide the severest tests for the Redskins’ revamped secondary, the top five QB’s they will face this year (ranked by passer rating).

1. Tony Romo, Cowboys (113.2 rating, 1st in NFL)—I know Redskins fans like to laugh at Romo and talk about some issues he’s had with ill-timed interceptions. But he led the NFL in completion percentage, touchdown pass percentage and passer rating and engineered four fourth-quarter comebacks. He’s as dangerous as them come.

2. Tom Brady, Patriots (97.4, 5th)—Even if the footballs are properly inflated Brady should have a pretty good day against the Redskins. The Patriots don’t have a receiver who will keep Joe Barry up late and they don’t have a workhorse running back to wear down the defense. All they need is Brady.

3. Drew Brees, Saints (96.5, 6th)—He’ll put 350 yards up on you without breaking a sweat. One thing to watch is his problems with ball protection. His interception rate of 2.6 percent was higher than any other QB thought to be very good or elite except for Phillip Rivers. He has put the ball on the ground 19 times the last three years, a total that is alarming even considering he led the league in pass attempts.

4. Matt Ryan, Falcons (93.9, 11th)—Last year he got back Julio Jones, who missed most of 2013 with an injury, and added a full yard to his average net yards/attempt total. Ryan is a cut or two beneath the elite quarterbacks in the game but still a top-quality signal caller.

5. Ryan Tannehill, Dolphins (92.8, 14th)—Would the Redskins have been better off if they had stayed put with the sixth pick of the 2012 draft, taken Tannehill, and kept all those other picks they dealt away to move up to take Robert Griffin III? We won’t find out a definitive answer in the season opener but it will be interesting to get a firsthand look at the QB who hasn’t lit up the league but still was good enough for the Dolphins to believe he warranted a $95 million extension.

Timeline

—It’s been 192 days since the Redskins played a game. It will be 67 days until they play the Dolphins at FedEx Field.

Days until: Redskins training camp starts 22; Preseason opener @ Browns 36; final cuts 59

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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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