Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, July 5, 25 days before the Washington Redskins start training camp.
Backup to starter?
Here are five Redskins who could be backups in Week 1 but could be starting at some point as the season wears on.
—ILB Martrell Spaight—Some fans think he will jump in and start Week 1 but it would be highly unusual for a fifth-round pick to come in and knock out an established starter like Perry Riley. But the coaches seem to be pretty high on Spright and Riley is just a guy. It’s possible that Spaight could push into a starting job alongside Keenan Robinson at some point in the second half of the season.
—WR Jamison Crowder—I guess slot receiver technically isn’t a starting position but the Redskins will frequently line up with three receivers. If Andre Roberts can’t fix the case of the drops he had last year (seven, most on the team) and make some big plays (average of 12.6 per catch), Crowder could get a shot.
—OLB Preston Smith—I don’t see Smith knocking Trent Murphy out of the starting job on the right side during training camp. But as Smith gains experience and learns the tricks of the trade while playing 30 or 40 snaps a game in sub packages he could narrow the gap and eventually overtake Murphy.
—CB David Amerson—He started 15 games at cornerback last year and he could be starting again by the time the season is done. Amerson certainly isn’t going to push Chris Culliver to the bench. But if (and this is a big IF) he matches Bashaud Breeland’s off-field preparation habits he could well end up starting in front of last year’s rookie surprise at some point.
—DE Chris Baker—My faith in the ability of Jason Hatcher to both stay healthy and play effectively for 16 games is very much on the low side. If he falters Baker will be ready to step up from his sub role into one as a starter.
—It’s been 189 days since the Redskins played a game. It will be 70 days until they play the Dolphins at FedEx Field.
—Days until: Redskins training camp starts 25; Preseason opener @ Browns 39; final cuts 62
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Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, September 20, four days before the Washington Redskins play the Raiders at FedEx Field.
Today’s schedule: Practice 1:45; Jay Gruden and Kirk Cousins press conferences, open locker room after practice, approx. 3:30
—Monday night Redskins @ Chiefs (10/2) 12
—Monday night Redskins @ Eagles (11/23) 23
—Cowboys @ Redskins (10/29) 39
First look at Redskins vs. Raiders
—This tweet seems a bit audacious. It’s from Vic Tafur, who writes about the Raiders for the pay site The Athletic.
They are second in the NFL in offensive yards and first in points scored. Oakland is fourth in rushing yards and 13th in passing yards. QB Derek Carr is third in the NFL with a stellar 126.5 passer rating and Marshawn Lynch has a bruising 121 yards rushing. They’re good but I would reserve phrases like “doing whatever they want” for teams like the Greatest Show on Turf or the ’07 Patriots. The Raiders aren’t there yet.
—Defensively, the Raiders are just OK, especially considering they have played a Titans team that is solid but not an offensive juggernaut and the putrid Jets. They are 17th in yards given up and tied for 11th in points allowed. They haven’t intercepted a pass although they have two fumble recoveries. They have five sacks, one more than a Redskins team that talks a lot about a need to get to the quarterback.
—Carr and Kirk Cousins have very similar numbers in the two seasons plus two games that they both have been starters. One area where Carr has an edge is in the touchdown passes column. Carr has 65 while Cousins has just 46. The Raiders have some quality receivers in Michael Crabtree and Amari Cooper. But Cousins could throw to DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garçon up until this season and Washington also has tight end Jordan Reed. It’s at least a wash in terms of quality of targets if not an advantage to the Redskins. It is something that Carr has solved that Cousins has not. Carr’s ability to get the ball into the end zone helped him become the NFL’s highest-paid player, albeit temporarily.
—Although the Raiders’ offense is not going to make history, the Redskins still need to be prepared to be in a shootout on Sunday night. To be sure, the Redskins defense has improved but it’s hard to see the Raiders scoring less than somewhere in the mid to upper twenties. That means that the Redskins will have to score at least as many points as they did against the Rams, maybe more. They started and ended well in LA; to win next Sunday they probably won’t be able to get away with zero second-half points until after the two-minute warning.
Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerCSN and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.
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In case you missed it
It took the New York Giants a full game and another quarter before they scored their first touchdown of the 2017-18 NFL season.
Giants rookie Evan Engram was the recipient of their first touchdown of the season, scoring the first of his career on Monday Night Football.
Naturally he began to celebrate his accomplishment, but perhaps his celebration was too natural.
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In the clip, right in front of the cameraman, the 23-year-old proceeds to dance with a finishing move crotch grab in the midst of his teammates.
Apparently the loosened NFL celebration rules from this off-season did not take out any sexually suggestive actions.
It resulted in a 15-yard penalty on the ensuing kick-off for the Giants.
With the ball then kicked out of bounds the Lions had the ball at their own 45-yard line.
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Likely the grab will give Engram a fine from the NFL.
Last season Antonio Brown was fined for a similar celebration, by twerking following a score.
The touchdown remains the only time New York has found the end-zone through two games.
With only 13 points it is the lowest scoring two game start in 70 years for the franchise.