Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, March 24, 35 days before the NFL Draft.
I’m changing around the Need to Know format a bit. There may be some more tweaks in the coming days and weeks; your comments are welcome.
—The Redskins last played a game 74 days ago. It will be about 171 days until they play another one.
—Days until: Redskins offseason workouts start 25; 2016 NFL draft 35; Redskins training camp starts 126
It looks like the Redskins just might to into the season without a true nose tackle.
They let Terrance Knighton leave in free agency and he was the only big-body, 3-4 style nose tackle on the roster. They looked at a few in free agency, but either they didn’t like what they saw or the bidding go too high for them.
So now it looks like they might turn to the Redskins longest tenured player to play the position. At least that's what Jay Gruden said yesterday. “But you still need to have a big nose guard in there that can stop the run and Kedric [Golston] can do that,” said Gruden at the owners meetings yesterday. “He’s proven to do that. He’s a 12- to 15-play per game kind of guy. And when you’re in base defense, really you’re looking at about 20 percent of the time nowadays is all you are.”
There are 64 snaps per team in an average game so 20 percent would mean about 13 snaps per game for Golston. That’s just about what he averaged last year.
The big question, so to speak, is his size. He’s not much over 300 pounds and the position typically calls for a player who is at least 40 pounds heavier than that.
Then again, Golston could just be a placeholder. It's possible that they have a draft prospect like Andrew Billings, who could play 3-4 nose tackle and also end in other alignments, in their sights. We will see how it works out.
Fan question of the day
Jay Gruden indicted yesterday that Bruton and Duke Ihenacho will compete for the starting job at strong safety while DeAngelo Hall will be the free safety.
But it’s not as simple as that. Gruden said that all three safeties have the range and in-the-box ability to play either safety position. And he also mentioned that Bruton was a three-time special teams captain in Denver and he will certainly have a role there.
The bottom line here is that we don’t know any of the safeties’ roles at this point. It’s late March, about four months from the start of training camp. They have to take these players through OTAs and training camp to sort out their roles. Bruton and the others, and probably others who are not currently on the roster. I don’t think you can rule out any role for Bruton at this point, from starter to occasional defensive sub and special teams captain.
(Hit me up on Twitter with #NTK @Rich_TandlerCSN or here in the comments to submit a question)
Stat of the day
Alfred Morris averaged 100.8 rushing yards per game in 2012. The only Redskin to average more than in a season that was Larry Brown at 101.3 in 1972, but that stat carries an asterisk. Brown played in just 12 of the 14 scheduled games that season. He was held out of the last two to get him some rest for the playoffs.
In case you missed it
- Gruden: 'Great concern' at safety
- RB Pierre Thomas still on the Redskins' radar
- Jay Gruden "very concerned" about future health of Kyshoen Jarrett
- Gruden talks change of scenery for RG3
- Conducting experiments: NFL passes two rules for 2016
- McCloughan: Contract talks with Cousins are 'ongoing'
- Can the Redskins save cap room using post June 1 cuts?