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 Saturday, January 21, 96 days before the NFL draft.
—NFL franchise tag deadline 39
—NFL free agency starts 47
—First Sunday of 2017 season 232
The Redskins week that was
A look back at the week with some of the top posts on RealRedskins.com and on CSNmidatlantic.com.
An early look at 1st-round draft possibilities for the Redskins—This post marked 100 days until the draft and now were a few days closer. It’s very early but the preliminary big boards make it look like the Redskins are likely to have a defensive lineman such as Solomon Thomas of Stanford or Mailk McDowell of Michigan State wind up as the best available player so that both the fans a Scot McCloughan can be happy.
Cap room a dilemma for Redskins McCloughan?—There is plenty of talk about how expensive Kirk Cousins’ contract or franchise tag will be and how the expense could affect the ability to spend in other positions. But the team has $62 million in cap space. If they don’t spend a good chunk of it on Cousins what will they do with it? They could bring back Pierre Garçon, Chris Baker and make new deals for eligible 2014 draft picks like Bashaud Breeland and Morgan Moses and still have a lot left over. If they don’t spend it a quarterback, what will they do with it? I do know that if they have, say, $20 million in cap space left and they are around .500 again, the fans and media will not be happy.
Projecting the Redskins 2017 roster—Offense—The changes on this side of the ball will feel more like reloading than rebuilding. I’m assuming Cousins will be back one way (long-term deal) or another (tag). At least four out of the five O-linemen are set and the tight ends will get set if McCloughan can lure Vernon Davis back. We’ll see if the running back corps gets shaken up in the draft or in free agency. The one area that could be wide open is receiver and even that could remain relatively stable if Garçon returns.
3 of 4 Redskins named to Pro Bowl won't attend—I think fans generally have become much more apathetic about Pro Bowl selections compared to, say, seven or eight years ago. Playing in the exhibition game is an “honor” that so many choose not to accept or, as was the case with Brandon Scherff, Ryan Kerrigan, and Jordan Reed, they are too injured after a 16-game season to take part. Meanwhile, alternates Cousins, Josh Norman, and Jamison Crowder (as a kick returner) have not yet heard their phones ring. Why does the NFL even bother with the Pro Bowl? People still watch it. Ratings for the last edition (4.5) were about a point lower than the MLB All-Star game (5.4) and a tick above the NBA All-Star game (4.3). Those are not huge ratings but big enough to turn a profit.
The early odds on what happens with Redskins and Cousins—I think that the first offer that both sides make here is going to be critical. If the Redskins lowball Cousins again it will set a bad tone. If Cousins’ offer is too high the Redskins could think that Cousins is determined to leave. And both sides need to be willing to negotiate. If any of that took place last year there was very little. With no give and take the talks will go nowhere.
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In case you missed it
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Well it looks like the name many considered to be the Redskins top choice at defensive coordinator is off the market. Adam Schefter broke the news of Gus Bradley to the Los Angeles Chargers.
The Redskins interviewed Bradley early in their process of selecting a new defensive coordinator. His latest gig ended poorly after he was fired as head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars, but Bradley's best success came as defensive coordinator with the Seattle Seahawks.
When he served in that role with Seattle, Bradley worked with Scot McCloughan. And prior to his coaching stint in Seattle, Bradley coached in Tampa, where he worked with both Bruce Allen and Jay Gruden.
Those connections, and his success in Seattle, had many fans hoping Bradley would take over for Joe Barry, who Washington dismissed more than two weeks ago.
The connection between Bradley and the Chargers comes as no surprise, and it leaves Washington still in need of a defensive boss.
Mike Pettine probably jumps to the top of the ranks of other coaches the Redskins have interviewed, but it still seems internal candidate Greg Manusky could be in position to move up to coordinator. Manusky spent the 2016 season as outside linebackers coach and has prior coordinator experience.
The Skins have also interviewed Dennis Thurman, last of Buffalo, Jason Tarver, last of San Francisco, Rob Ryan, also last in Buffalo, and John Pagano, last with the Chargers.
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