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Need to Know: Why doesn't Aldrick play more?

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Need to Know: Why doesn't Aldrick play more?

Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, October 22, five days before the Washington Redskins travel to Denver to play the Broncos.

Nickel coverage

Five notes and quotes from Mike Shanahan’s Monday news conference:

1. Shanahan’s press conference took place a few hours before the NFL announced that Brandon Meriweather would be suspended for two games. He said the following when asked if Meriweather was being coached to avoid helmet-to-helmet hits where they are illegal:

“Well, I think he knows exactly what he has to do and sometimes there’s no intent there. Sometimes you hit a guy a little bit higher than anticipated. Even on the last one, he came to the sideline and said, ‘Hey, the one guy told me it was a good hit and the other official told me that he saw it differently.’ There are a lot of different interpretations of it. At the end of the day, we’ll find out.”

2. Stephen Bowen was diagnosed with a knee injury. “It’s a PCL tear,” said Shanahan. “Right now, he’s sore. [We will] probably know more [in] the next couple of days.” Bowen played through the same injury on his other knee during the 2011 season. The defensive end tweeted the following on Monday evening:

Letting everyone know I am not out for the season just gonna have some hard core rehab. We have some more games to win. #HTTR

— Stephen Bowen (@stevebo72) October 21, 2013

3. It was noted here yesterday that the success that Robert Griffin III had running the ball on Sunday helped out the rest of the offense. Shanahan agreed with that take. “I think the threat of the run is very important,” he said. “Any time the defense is afraid you may run the football, they have to cover the whole field and all the aspects of your game. I think anybody that has a threat of running the ball, you never know who they’re going to take away.”

4. Why doesn’t Aldrick Robinson, who caught two passes, one for 30 yards and another for 45 and a touchdown, get on the field more? He’s an X receiver and that’s Pierre Garçon’s spot. “We’ve got a lot of belief in Aldrick, and he does have some big play capabilities,” said Shanahan. “We need to get him in the ball game a little bit more. [wide receiver] Pierre [Garcon] has been playing well, so you don’t want to take Pierre out of the game too often, but you do want to give him opportunities to make some plays like he did [in the Bears game].”

5. I pointed out to Shanahan that the Redskins averaged 11.5 yards a play in the no-huddle offense. He said that if it continues to work that well they might have to use it more often.

“Our football team is in pretty good shape. We’ve got a fast and quick football team and it helps us when we do kind of change the tempo of the game. We might try to tire out the defense or we may call plays at the line of scrimmage. Just because you hurry up to the line of scrimmage doesn’t always make it a hurry-up offense. A lot of people huddle on the line of scrimmage and they take their time and call out audibles and check defenses out. Other teams will try to go a little bit quicker. We’ll change it up there, but it is a high-tempo offense for us and we do it to keep defenses a little bit off-balance and fortunately it has worked.”


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Stat of the day

—The Broncos are averaging 42.6 points per game. They are on pace to score 681 points for the season. The NFL record for points scored in a season is 589 by the 2007 Patriots.

Timeline

—Days until: Redskins @ Broncos 5; Chargers @ Redskins 12; Redskins @ Vikings 16

—Today’s schedule: No availability, off day.                     

In case you missed it

Why the Redskins drafted Jordan Reed

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Redskins 2017 training camp preview—offense

Redskins 2017 training camp preview—offense

RICHMOND—The Redskins will assemble here tomorrow to get ready to get ready for the 2017 season. There are plenty of position competitions and other storylines. Here is a look at what we at CSN will be paying attention to, starting with the offense.

Kiss Cousins goodbye?

As everyone reading this knows, the Redskins quarterback did not agree to a long-term contract by the deadline last week and he will play out the season on the franchise tag. The situation will have a major impact next spring as free agency approaches but that’s to be sorted out in 2018. The question here is whether Cousins’ contract status will affect what takes place here in Richmond and as the season unfolds starting in September.

Some believe that it will be a major storyline and that it will be a distraction with media asking lots of questions and the possibility that Cousins’ thoughts will drift towards next year and his potential free agency.

RELATED: Redskins 53-man roster projection, defense

However, Cousins was in a similar position last year, when he played on the franchise tag for the first time. There was a flurry of questions at the start of training camp, Cousins answered them, and then they moved on. The rule that prohibits contract negotiations with a tagged player during the season had its intended effect. There was no buzz about the situation until the season was over.

This year the situation is ratcheted up a bit because of the high cost of the tags available to the Redskins next year. But Cousins is very good at deflecting questions about his contract status and he should be able to handle the scrutiny.

Changes at wide receiver

No team had ever lost two 1,000-yard receivers in the same offseason until the Redskins saw both Pierre Garçon and DeSean Jackson depart as free agents in March. It means that Josh Doctson steps into a featured role and Terrelle Pryor will be expected to produce as well as he did in Cleveland last year, if not better.

The changes also mean that Jamison Crowder is likely to see more targets and holdovers Maurice Harris and Ryan Grant could see increased roles. It all will be sorted out in training camp starting on Thursday.

Further down the depth chart, can sixth-round rookie Robert Davis get up to speed soon enough to justify a roster spot? And can veteran Brian Quick rebound from some shaky offseason practices to claim a slot on the 53?

Two-back attack?

Last year Rob Kelley worked his way up from being an overlooked, undrafted free agent rookie to being the starting running back. This year, Samaje Perine comes in as a fourth-round pick with an eye on taking the job away from Kelley.

MORE REDSKINS: Ranking the Redskins roster, 11-20

It is likely that Kelley, who is a favorite of Jay Gruden’s, will be the Week 1 starter. Still, it would not be surprising if Perine led the team in carries and rushing yards in several games as the season unfolds, perhaps more.

Meanwhile, Mack Brown and Keith Marshall (if he can stay healthy) will compete for the fourth running back job—if the team decides to keep that many. They only kept three coming out of camp last year.

O-line stability

The same five starters will line up for the second year in a row. There’s really nothing to see here unless Arie Kouandjio can make a big push and move into Shawn Lauvao’s spot at left guard.

There is some intrigue about the backup center spot. If rookie Chase Roullier can’t get up to speed they may have to look at the waiver wire.

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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Redskins Playbook: 5 forgotten names to remember for training camp

Redskins Playbook: 5 forgotten names to remember for training camp

When the Redskins open training camp in Richmond on Thursday, fans will line up to get autographs from Kirk Cousins, Josh Norman and Jordan Reed. Plenty of other players will excite the fans too as optimism rules the first few days of practice in July and August. 

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

There are other players that fans probably won't scream their names, but who could play a role or fight for a roster spot this fall. Winning in the NFL is almost nearly as dependent on the final 10 players on the roster as it is the first five. Depth is key, and here are a few players that fans might have forgotten about. 

  • RB Keith Marshall - The speedster out of Georgia has a wildly impressive resume - on paper - but just can't stay healthy. In college he started ahead of Todd Gurley for a time, now considered one of the best RBs in the NFL for the Rams. Marshall landed on the injured reserve last year as a rookie but looked healthy and capable at Redskins Park this offseason during OTAs and minicamp. The running back position looks quite full, but if Marshall can show his elite speed and make it through four preseason games, he just might push Mack Brown for a roster spot. 
  • LB Martrell Spaight - A tackling machine in college at Arkansas, Spaight missed most of his rookie season in 2015 before appearing in 14 games last season. Bad luck struck again, and he finished the year on the IR. With the addition of Zach Brown to the interior linebackers, Spaight might have a tough battle for a roster spot. Will Compton, Mason Foster and Brown all seem certain to make the team. Spaight could also start the year on the PUP list, which might be the surest way to stay on the Redskins.
  • LB Chris Carter - Signed as a free agent this year, the journeyman Carter has played for six teams in six years and looks poised to play the special teams role that Terence Garvin took on last year. If Carter makes the roster, that means trouble for Spaight. 
  • DL Anthony Lanier - An undrafted rookie in 2016 that didn't see much game action, Lanier has really impressed coaches with his work ethic this offseason. He has great size at 6-foot-6 and added about 20 pounds of muscle since the season ended, which should allow him the strength to handle the trenches. Lanier could be a sneaky important player this fall for Washington. 
  • S Will Blackmon - D.J. Swearinger and Su'a Cravens look to be the starting safeties for the Redskins in 2017. Swearinger has a proven track record in the NFL secondary, Cravens does not, but showed the ability to do so in college at USC. After those two, and with DeAngelo Hall on the PUP list, the Redskins lack much depth or experience in the defensive backfield. That's where Blackmon should help. A versatile veteran, Blackmon has the speed to keep up with most wideouts and is one of the more cerebral players on the defense. 

Bonus: RB Matt Jones - He might want off the Redskins roster, but that hasn't happened yet. If the team sustains any injuries at the running back position, Jones' fortunes could change quickly. 

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