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Need to Know: What are the chances of a winning season for the 2015 Redskins?

Need to Know: What are the chances of a winning season for the 2015 Redskins?

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

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Tarik El-Bashir and I did an over/under series last week. After looking at possibilities for Robert Griffin III, Alfred Morris, and other individuals, we looked at team success and, specifically, wins. The format didn’t allow us to go into much detail about the reasoning behind our picks so I want to expand on my thinking a little bit.

The line for wins was 6.5 and I took the under. As of right now I have them at six wins on the nose. But there are other possibilities, of course. I’m going to take the mythical $100 in casino chips and place them on the possible win totals for the 2015 Redskins.

0-3 wins, $15—I don’t see them sliding back in the wins column but with the organization’s recent track record it would be foolish to completely dismiss the possibility. If they don’t play well in home games against the Rams and Bucs in the first half of the season, this scenario could be in play.

4-5 wins, $30—This team was outscored by 137 points in 2014. They could show some very real improvement and not have it show up much in the wins column. If the Redskins are better but suffer from some bad breaks they could spin their wheels in terms of wins.

6-8 wins, $45—This just seems to be their zone this year. It will take some time for upgrade in talent on defense and revamped offensive line to gel but they should be able to pick up some wins against a fairly soft schedule early and score an upset or two in the tougher November and December portion of the schedule.

9+ wins, $10—I spent a while with the last $5 chip in my hand, deciding whether I should put it on the most pessimistic end or here. The team’s track record over the last six seasons was the deciding factor in putting the other fiver on 0-3 wins. But if the defense can get it together sooner rather than later and if Robert Griffin III can stay upright and perform competently, things could be looking up. But I think that a winning record is unlikely before 2016.

Timeline

—Redskins left tackle Trent Williams was born on this day in 1988 (27 years old).

—It’s been 203 days since the Redskins played a game. It will be 56 days until they play the Dolphins at FedEx Field.

Days until: Redskins training camp starts 11; Preseason opener @ Browns 25; final cuts 48

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Redskins RB Thompson still nervous for impending cut down day

Redskins RB Thompson still nervous for impending cut down day

You would think that after spending two years as the team’s third-down back, playing more snaps than any other running back last season, and getting a second-round restricted free agent tender that will pay him $2.7 million this year, Chris Thompson might feel comfortable as the Redskins start up the final phase of their preseason program.

But Thompson says that he is as nervous about making the team as he was when he was a fifth-round in 2013.

“Even after the last preseason game when you guys talk to me I’m going to still be nervous when that time comes around because I never forget that feeling,” he told reporters on Monday prior to the Redskins charity golf tournament at Army-Navy Country Club.

“For me, I’ve just got to come out here and work every day to try to secure my job.”

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

The approach has worked for him in the past. He struggled with injuries his first two years in the league, playing a total of just six games. In 2015 he found his niche as the third-down back and he hasn’t given it up.

In fact, he may get more opportunities on first and second downs.

“I have a feeling that I might get a little more this year,” he said. “He [coach Jay Gruden] knows that I’m healthy and I can stay healthy. I think that was one of his biggest concerns, that I can handle the load. I think I’ll get a lot more opportunities.”

Rob Kelley is expected to be the starter and fourth-round pick Samaje Perine should get a significant number of carries. If Gruden plans on Thompson getting more work on the ground, that likely means that the Redskins anticipate running the ball more ofent than they did in 2016, when they were 27th in the NFL with 379 rushing attempts.

Health is key for Thompson. He not only played in all 16 games for the first time in his career last year, he came out of the season in good health. Not having the need to rehab is allowing Thompson to work on refining his game.

“[Being healthy] helps me to get away and focus on the little things that I need to work on,” he said. “Having a full offseason, being able to get away, I’ve been able to focus on those things. Just like my quickness, my route running. I know my route running is big for me to make it in this league so I work on that. . . that was my main goal.”

Thompson’s work ethic and his mindset where he takes nothing for granted have served him well. He will be an unrestricted free agent in 2018 and if he continues to produce he will be setting himself up for a nice payday. 

RELATED: OFFSEASON NFL POWER RANKINGS

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RB Matt Jones reportedly not part of Redskins' 2017 plans

RB Matt Jones reportedly not part of Redskins' 2017 plans

Matt Jones entered the 2016 season as the Redskins undisputed starter at running back.

That lasted seven games.

By Week 8, Jones landed on the inactive list, and he never took another snap all year.

With OTAs beginning for the 2017 season, it looks like Jones might not play with the team. 

NFL POWER RANKINGS: WHO GOT BETTER AFTER THE DRAFT?

In April at the NFL Draft, reports surfaced that Washington was trying to trade Jones.

Weeks before that, at the NFL Owner's Meetings in Arizona, Redskins head coach Jay Gruden had to be reminded that Jones was still on the roster as the coach talked about the running back situation for this fall.

Robert Kelley surpassed Jones as the top running back on the team last season with Chris Thompson secure in his third down back role. 

Mack Brown even moved past Jones on the depth chart. When the Redskins drafted Samaje Perine in the fourth round, that signaled even bigger trouble for Jones' roster situation.

The Redskins will likely only keep four running backs this fall, and with Kelley, Perine, Thompson and Brown, it sure seems like Jones is the odd man out.

It's remarkable considering Jones has size, speed and an NFL resume that has three 100-yard games on it in just 20 games. The Redskins spent a third-round pick on Jones in 2015, and he largely ousted fan favorite Alfred Morris from the RB1 role as a rookie. 

Life comes at you quick in the NFL.

Jones is a clear example of that. 

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