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Need to Know: Will the Redskins turn up the pass rush heat?

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Need to Know: Will the Redskins turn up the pass rush heat?

Here is what you need to know on this Friday, November 15, two days before the Washington Redskins play the Philadelphia Eagles.

Nickel coverage

Here from the podium at Redskins Park are five notes and quotes from the head coach and coordinators.

1. When the Redskins were 3-6 last year, Jim Haslett unleashed a variety of blitzes on opposing quarterbacks. As one might suspect, he was not very revealing in his answer. “We’ll try to do whatever we can do if the opportunity arises, but obviously there’s things you can do based on who you’re playing, personnel, all that stuff,” he said. “But we’re always looking to do something to help us win the game.”

2. Mike Vick is unlikely to be playing but that doesn’t mean the Redskins can sleep on the possibility of the quarterback run. Nick Foles can gain some yardage on the ground. “It hasn’t changed at all,” said Haslett when asked about the Eagles’ QB running with Foles in the lineup. “Now they’ll still run the zone read, they still run option, they don’t do anything different than they’ve done before. It’s just instead of maybe a 10-yard gain it’s a six-yard gain. Nick’s got 20 rushing attempts for 80 yards this year.

3. Kyle Shanahan was asked about the notion of running “your” system regardless of how it fits the talent of the players on your roster. He gave a very blunt answer. “It’s pretty stupid. I personally don’t think anybody really does that,” he said. “Guys have systems they believe in but usually a system is language and they have plays that they like, but coaches aren’t just going to keep running plays that their players aren’t good at unless they want to get fired and suck at everything they do.”

4. Last year when the Redskins stood at 3-6 at the bye, Mike Shanahan had a presentation prepared that showed them the path to the playoffs to show that it could be done. The Redskins were three games out of the division lead at the time and they needed to be shown that the playoffs were still a possibility. Now they are a game and a half out so Shanahan took a different tack when meeting with the team this week. “What we did do is we went back through and looked at last year where we were at after nine games and went through the stats on both offense, defense and special teams,” said Shanahan. “Kind of gave them an idea on what we needed to improve on, on both sides of the ball as well as special teams. So you talk about that collectively – what we have to do over the last seven games.”

5. Robert Griffin III has been playing better as the season has gone on and Kyle was asked if that was due in part to some chemistry brewing between the quarterback and play caller. “The more time you get with somebody – I think I’ve got a pretty good feel on what he does best. You know what he does best and you’re always trying to push him to do more and that’s the goal working with him.”

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Stat of the day

—Robert Griffin III has lost three fumbles this season. He lost two all of last year.

Timeline

—Days until: Redskins @ Eagles 2; Monday night 49ers @ Redskins 10; Giants @ Redskins 16

—Today’s schedule: Practice 11:50; Mike Shanahan news conference and player availability after practice (approx. 1:30)

In case you missed it

Shanahan says special teams “much improved”

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Need to Know: The early odds on what happens with Redskins and Cousins

Need to Know: The early odds on what happens with Redskins and Cousins

Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, January 19, 98 days before the NFL draft.

Timeline

Days until:
NFL franchise tag deadline 42
NFL free agency starts 50
First Sunday of 2017 season 235

The coordinator search and more

As noted above, we have 42 days until the deadline for the Redskins to put the franchise tag on quarterback Kirk Cousins. The immediate future of the franchise is contingent this situation being handled correctly by the organization. It’s time to turn the attention and the $100 in imaginary casino chips towards what might happen with Cousins as the process unfold. We will revisit this from time to time as the various deadlines approach so consider this the early odds.

Sign before the tag deadline, $5—This seems unlikely after his rather cold response to my question immediately following the season-ending loss to the Giants when he said, “The ball’s not in my court.” He indicated that it’s up to the Redskins to tag him. It doesn’t look like he and his agent will have much of an inclination to sit down to any serious negotiations before that happens.

Let him go into free agency, $5—Yes, I know that this is out there but it makes no sense to take the chance of the possibility that he could walk with zero compensation. While there might be some logic in finding out what Cousins would be worth in a true free market in order to establish the basis for a fair contract the risk of behind left empty-handed is just too great.

Tag and trade, $20—This also has been discussed by various media types as a possibility. It would involve giving Cousins the non-exclusive franchise tag, which would let him go out and negotiate a deal with another team. The Redskins could then match that offer or choose to get compensation. The CBA calls for compensation of two first-round picks although the two teams may negotiate something less. The most frequently suggested trade partner is the 49ers and their soon-to-be head coach Kyle Shanahan but there are probably around half a dozen teams, maybe more, who could be interested. If the Redskins don’t think they will ever sign Cousins long term this could be the way to go.

Tag and sign by July 15 deadline, $30—This may be a little low for this possibility. Perhaps if the other options are off the table he will consider that he is a perfect match for Jay Gruden’s offense and that he might not be such a good fit elsewhere. There also is the possibility of injury or, for whatever reason, Cousins having a subpar season. Those thoughts could spur him to instruct his agent to get the best deal he can get in Washington.

Tag and play the season on the tag, $40—Right now, this appears to be the mostly likely scenario. They can afford the $24 million cap hit and it would get them one more year of his services. However, the prospects for him remaining in a Redskins uniform for 2018 and beyond would be very cloudy.

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In case you missed it

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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3 of 4 Redskins named to Pro Bowl won't attend

3 of 4 Redskins named to Pro Bowl won't attend

Ryan Kerrigan, Jordan Reed and Brandon Scherff will skip next week's Pro Bowl in Orlando a team spokesman confirmed to CSN. All three players dealt with injuries late in the season, most notably Reed, and playing in the exhibition game is not in the cards. Trent Williams, however, is still slated to play in the game. 

Reed suffered a separated shoulder on Thanksgiving playing against the Dallas Cowboys. For the rest of the season, Reed played through significant pain and his production dipped.

Kerrigan played much of the season with an injured elbow and hurt his finger in the final game against the Giants. Scherff played with ankle pain and was listed on the injury report much of the season's final four games.

For Reed and Scherff, this year marked their first Pro Bowl. The recognition was deserved for both players, and shows that the guard and tight end are gaining national spotlight for their play.

Kerrigan played in the Pro Bowl following the 2012 season. He finished this year with 11 sacks, 2.5 short os his career high 13.5 in 2014. 

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