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

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

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, July 11, 19 days before the Washington Redskins start training camp.

Nickel coverage

Earlier this week I looked at the top five quarterbacks the Redskins will face this season. Here are the top five running backs on the schedule according to yards gained in 2014:

1. DeMarco Murray, Eagles (1,845 yards, 1st in NFL)—He ran up a good chunk of his rushing total last year at the expense of the Redskins, rolling for 241 on 39 carries in two games with the Cowboys. Was it that Dallas O-line that was mostly responsible? We’ll get some insight into that when we see Murray twice this year in a new uniform.

2. LeSean McCoy, Bills (1,319 yards, 3rd)—This thorn in the Redskins’ side (807 yards rushing vs. them in 11 games) was traded to the other conference but the luck of the schedule draw has the Redskins facing Buffalo this year. Washington actually did a better job against him last year than they have in the past, yielding 110 yards on 41 carries in two games to the Eagles back, an average of just 2.7 yards per carry.

3. Matt Forte, Bears (1,038 yards, 12th)—His 3.9 yards per rushing attempt average was the lowest of any back who finished in the top 20 in yards. But he was quite dangerous as a receiver, catching 102 passes for 808 yards (7.9 avg.). He will test the coverage skills of the Redskins’ linebackers when the teams meet in December.

4. Mark Ingram, Saints (964 yards, 14th)—The Saints traded away their 2012 first-round pick to move up to take Ingram in the first round in 2011. It appeared to be a mistake as he never gained more than 602 yards in any of his first three seasons. It still may prove to have been a bad move but his career could be on track after a solid 2014 season.

5. Chris Ivory, Jets (821 yards, 18th)—His carries in New Orleans dried up when they brought in Ingram, so the Saints shipped him to the Jets in 2013 in exchange for a fourth-round pick.

Timeline

—It’s been 195 days since the Redskins played a game. It will be 64 days until they play the Dolphins at FedEx Field.

Days until: Redskins training camp starts 19; Preseason opener @ Browns 33; final cuts 56

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The Redskins plan to add multiple new front office positions, according to Bruce Allen

The Redskins plan to add multiple new front office positions, according to Bruce Allen

The Redskins will be adding as many as three new positions to their front office, team president Bruce Allen said on Monday.

Speaking with the media at the Redskins Charitable Golf Foundation, Allen explained that he has spoken with 12 people from outside the organization about possible jobs.

Many wondered if the Redskins would make a hire after the early March firing of former general manager Scot McCloughan.

Reports showed that Allen wanted to promote a new GM from within, and that could still be the case. Doug Williams, Scott Campbell and Eric Schaefer are considered the internal leaders for the vacant position.

MORE REDSKINS: Who will stand out this season and who will disappoint?

Want more Redskins? Click here to follow JP on Facebook and check out @JPFinlayCSN for live updates via Twitter! Click here for the #RedskinsTalk on Apple Podcasts, here for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!

ROSTER BATTLES: Left guard | Tight end Nickel cornerback  | Inside linebacker | Running back

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What — if anything — can Redskins learn from Patriots' situation with Jimmy Garoppolo?

What — if anything — can Redskins learn from Patriots' situation with Jimmy Garoppolo?

Despite reports of a highly motivated trade market for Jimmy Garoppolo, the New England Patriots decided to hold on to their backup quarterback this offseason. It's easy to dismiss the notion of keeping Garoppolo as just one part of the unique genius of Pats coach Bill Belichick, but that might be overly simplistic.

In an article last week for MMQB.com, Albert Breer writes that New England ultimately decided there is more value in a QB a team trusts than a package of draft picks, even high draft picks.

Your off-season lesson for this week: Having a good young quarterback on your own roster is more important than what he’s worth as an asset.

The emphasis belongs to Breer, and it could be an interesting lesson for Redskins fans. 

A vocal part of the fan base believed that Washington should have moved QB Kirk Cousins before the draft. The logic went that since the Redskins can't get a long-term deal done with Cousins, the organiztion should maximize the value with the passer and trade him, potentially for the first or second overall pick in the 2017 draft.

Breer's argument, however, might poke holes in that theory. 

Belichick and the Pats decided to keep Garoppolo despite plenty of reasons to move the young signal caller. The first - and super obvious - reason being a healthy Tom Brady. That needs no explanation.

Beyond Brady, Breer explains that it seems more likely Garoppolo's stock will actually decrease in 2017, just because it's so high right now. Looking ahead to the 2018 draft, a number of quarterbacks are expected to be worth high selections, starting with USC quarterback Sam Darnold.

If there was a time to move Garoppolo, it would have been this offseason. And Belichick didn't do it. That suggests the Patriots want to keep the former Eastern Illinois product playing in Foxborough, especially if age ever catches up to the 39-year-old Brady. 

One more note on Garopollo - he is slated for free agency in 2018. Just like Cousins. It's entirely possible Jimmy G walks in free agency next season, and the Pats get no compensation. The exact same possibility is in play for Cousins and the Redskins. New England could franchise Garoppolo too next offseason, as has been the case for Cousins the last two seasons in Burgundy and Gold. 

The truth is Garoppolo has thrown less than 100 passes in the NFL. Cousins threw more than 600 just last season. There is no true comparison for Cousins' situation, just as there isn't for Garoppolo's. Both players have great value. Cousins has proved he's an NFL starter. Garoppolo certainly looked like one in two starts in 2016. 

One key takeaway: Belichick opted to keep Garoppolo this year, even though the Patriots could have recouped a lot of value, and knowing that the 2018 QB market should be significantly better than the 2017 crop. And that's with a very uncertain contract future for Garoppolo and the organization.

In some ways, the Redskins and Bruce Allen made the same decision with Cousins. It could certainly backfire. Cousins might leave next offseason and Washington gets nothing in return. Still, the Redskins will have their passer for 2017, and with an improved defense, should be an NFC playoff contender. It also remains possible the team finalizes a deal with Cousins before the July 15th deadline. It's not probably, but definitely possible. 

But in a league where most can only hope to emulate the success in New England, maybe, just maybe, Washington is following the Patriots handbook. 

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Want more Redskins? Click here to follow JP on Facebook and check out @JPFinlayCSN for live updates via Twitter! Click here for the #RedskinsTalk on Apple Podcasts, here for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!

ROSTER BATTLES: Left guard | Tight end Nickel cornerback  | Inside linebacker | Running back