Here is what you need to know on this Monday, May 23, one day before the Washington Redskins start OTAs.
—The Redskins last played a game 134 days ago. It will be 112 days until they host the Steelers in their 2016 season opener.
—Days until: Redskins training camp starts 66; Preseason opener @ Falcons 80; Final roster cut 103
Two up, two down
Here are four Redskins who I think will surprise in 2016; two who will exceed expectations and two I think will fall short of expectations.
DL Stephen Paea—I think after last year the expectations of him are so low that he could do just about anything and exceed them. Paea has last year’s injuries behind him, he’s had a year in the defense, and he should be ready to contribute. I’ll put him down for about eight starts, 650 snaps, and five sacks. He isn’t going to get any Pro Bowl votes but he should be a solid contributor.
S DeAngelo Hall—He will be 33 before the season ends and many are skeptical that he can learn a new position and thrive. I think he will do well if—and this is a big if—he can make at least 14 starts. Hall missed major portions of the last two seasons but he has been healthy most of his career. If he makes 14 starts I think he plays almost every snap and ends up with six interceptions.
WR DeSean Jackson—I sense some high expectations for Jackson this year but I’m not so sure that a big year for him is in the cards. I don’t think he’ll be a bust but I don’t think he’ll approach his 2014 stat line of 56 receptions for 1169 yards (20.9 yards/catch) and six touchdowns. He’s likely to miss a few games with injuries—he has only played 16 games in a season only once in his eight years in the league. And the additions of Josh Doctson and Vernon Davis and a possible resurgence in the running game will mean fewer targets for him. Jackson will be more productive than he was last year (30/528/4) but a 1000-yard seasons looks unlikely.
CB Josh Norman—I think that Norman will be a victim of high expectations and expected to do things that he isn’t necessarily capable of doing. He’s not a shutdown corner who will be expected to take the other team’s best receiver out of the game. And he’s not going to get eight or ten picks; he has only seven interceptions in his four-year career. He will contribute a lot but I think a lot of fans will be looking for numbers that he won’t deliver.
Stat of the day
Kirk Cousins completed 69.2 percent of his passes on third down last year, the highest completion percentage among the 26 quarterbacks who had at least 100 third-down passing attempts.
In case you missed it
- Which classic Redskins games do you want to see again?
- How many O-line jobs are up for grabs?
- What's Josh Norman's biggest task in the coming weeks?