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Need to Know: Why will Pat White go the distance on Thursday?

Need to Know: Why will Pat White go the distance on Thursday?

Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, August 28, one day before the Redskins finish up their preseason at the Bucs.

Nickel coverage

Five things from Redskins Park:

1. I’m sure that most of you watched the RG3 documentary “The Will to Win” on ESPN last night. It was the story of his rehab from knee surgery and it took us to Redskins Park, FedEx Field, gyms in Las Vegas and Boulder, Colorado and other stops along his journey. Very well done and Griffin does indeed come off as fitting the “superhuman” label that Dr. James Andrews gave him in the spring. Your skeptical side may wonder if this was an accurate portrayal of Griffin or if it was just so much ESPN-generated hype. I can’t answer that, but I can tell you this. When I walked out of Redskins Park yesterday evening there was one player’s car left in the parking lot. I think you can figure out who it belongs to.

2. Mike Shanahan announced on Tuesday that Pat White will start at quarterback against the Bucs on Thursday and will play the entire game. This could mean one of three things. He might have a shot at making the 53, as one national writer suggested. That seems unlikely as it appears that the more experienced Rex Grossman has the third QB job wrapped up. Or perhaps they are putting him out there in hopes that he performs well enough to convince another team to give up a draft pick for him. That would be great for the Redskins but it’s hard to see an NFL GM giving up a draft pick for a quarterback who was on the street for three years. My guess is that Shanahan wants to protect his other quarterbacks from injury.

3. Those of you who think the Field Turf is safer for players’ knees that natural grass, see the knee injury suffered by the Giants’ Stevie Brown. He picked off a pass and, without being contacted, he suffered a torn ACL during the return. It happens. A grass field that is well maintained (that’s the key) is just as safe as the fake grass. In fact, a study of NFL games played from 2000-2009 showed that the rate of ACL injuries on Field Turf is 67 percent higher than it is on real grass.

4. There has been a lot of talk about who the Redskins’ punt returner is going to be. The most talked about names are Chris Thompson, Santana Moss, DeAngelo Hall and, if a spot can be found for him on the 53, Skye Dawson. But don’t rule out a surprise. In 2010 the punt returner to start the season was cornerback Phillip Buchanon. He did not return any punts during the preseason but there he was in Week 1 against Dallas. In three games Buchanon returned two punts for one yard and he had three fair catches. The Redskins then pulled Brandon Banks from the practice squad and gave him the return duties.

5. There is also some intrigue as to who will return kickoffs. Niles Paul replaced Banks at the end of last year. He and a few others, including Thompson, have been sharing duties in the preseason. Paul wants to keep the job. “I love doing kickoff returns,” he told me yesterday. “I love to start the game off or start the half off.”

Stat of the day

Nobody on the Redskins has been busier this preseason than backup center Kevin Matthews. He has played a team high 167 snaps in the three exhibition games. The rest of the second-team O-line is right behind him—guards Adam Gettis (142 snaps) and Josh LeRibeus (140) and tackles Tony Pashos (133) and Tom Compton (124). The defenders with the most snaps are safeties Bacarri Rambo and Jordan Pugh, who have 103 each.

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Timeline

—It’s been 234 days since the last Redskins game; there are 12 days to go until the next one.

—Days until: Redskins @ Bucs 1; Final cuts 3; Eagles @ Redskins 12

—Today’s schedule: No availability, team travels to Tampa for tomorrow’s game

New Redskins linebackers look to make an impact

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Haz on Tanard Jackson in June: Welcome him back "with open arms". Today: "Don't know where he's at, what he's doing." #RedskinsTalk #newtone

— Rich Tandler (@Rich_TandlerCSN) August 27, 2013

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Redskins interview another former Chargers defensive coordinator

Redskins interview another former Chargers defensive coordinator

The Redskins continue to cast a wide net in their search for a new defensive coordinator. On Thursday, they interviewed John Pagano, who was recently let go as the defensive coordinator of the Chargers.

Pagano, the brother of Colts head coach Chuck Pagano, has been coaching with the Chargers since 2002. That year he started as a quality control coach and then he was the linebackers coach from 2005-2011. The Chargers fired defensive coordinator Greg Manusky, a current Redskins coach and another candidate to run the defense in Washington, after the 2011 season and Pagano was promoted into that job.

Related: Projecting the Redskins' roster--defense

In Pagano’s five seasons with the Chargers, the performance of the defense was respectable. In terms of total yards, San Diego was in the top 10 twice and only once were they ranked worse than 20th.

The Redskins fired defensive coordinator Joe Barry on January 5. The list of candidates they have interviewed includes Mike Pettine, Gus Bradley, Rob Ryan, Manusky, and Jason Tarver. They are expected to interview former Jets and Bills defensive coordinator Dennis Thurman on Friday.

More Redskins: Setting the odds on what will happen with Cousins

None of the candidates they have interviewed have accepted positions with other teams so they are all still in play. There is no timetable for the team to make a decision, although the sense is that the process is coming to a close and will be concluded in the near future.

Stay up to date on the Redskins! Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page www.Facebook.com/RealRedskins and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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Need to Know: How long is too long in the Redskins' defensive coordinator search?

Need to Know: How long is too long in the Redskins' defensive coordinator search?

Here is what you need to know on this Friday, January 20, 97 days before the NFL draft.

Timeline

Days until:
NFL franchise tag deadline 40
NFL free agency starts 48
First Sunday of 2017 season 233

Will Pleasant push the defensive coordinator search to a conclusion?

Is the Redskins’ search for a defensive coordinator taking too long? Joe Barry was fired two weeks ago yesterday. The Redskins have made it clear that they want to be very thorough in their search. But taking time creates problems and one just popped up. Assistant defensive back coach Aubrey Pleasant apparently has the option to follow Sean McVay to Los Angeles. But the Redskins want to hold on to him.

The problem is that they don’t want to sign Pleasant to be, say, the cornerbacks coach and tie the hands of the incoming defensive coordinator. They already would like the new guy to keep OLB coach Greg Manusky and ILB coach Kirk Olivadotti. Locking in a third position coach might made it very hard to persuade a quality coordinator to come on board.

Related: Projecting the Redskins' roster--defense

However, they can’t hold Pleasant, who is a young, energetic coach who relates well to the players, back indefinitely. Presumably McVay and defensive coordinator Wade Phillips have a bigger role in mind for him and they won’t wait forever for him to get things resolved in Washington.

But it’s not like the Pleasant situation will need to be resolved by the close of business today. We’re talking days, not hours. How many days? They could lose him due because of the Redskins’ deliberate process if it stretches into sometime early next week. I think the chances are strong that there will be a decision on the new defensive coordinator by, say, the close of business on Tuesday.

More Redskins: Setting the odds on what will happen with Cousins

I’ll wrap this up with a quick round of laying out the $100 in casino chips on the various defensive coordinator candidates. Things have changed since I did it on Monday. I’ll still make Greg Manusky the favorite but I’ll drop him down five bucks to $35. I’m downgrading Mike Pettine down to a $10 wager; I’ve heard that the organization was not impressed with his interview. I’m more than doubling the wager on Gus Bradley to $25. It’s been a few days since reports that the Chargers were pressing him for a decision and yet he remains in play. I’m going with $10 on Dennis Thurmon, who is from the school of the aggressive style of play that Jay Gruden is looking for. Rob Ryan gets not a cent and the remaining $20, including John Pagao, who interviewed yesterday, goes on the field.

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Stay up to date on the Redskins! Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page www.Facebook.com/RealRedskins and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.