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Need to Know: Williams a bright spot for Redskins

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Need to Know: Williams a bright spot for Redskins

Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, September 17, five days before the Redskins play the Lions at FedEx Field.

Nickel coverage

1. Talking to both London Fletcher and DeAngelo Hall yesterday I got something of a sense of desperation from them. It wasn’t panic by any stretch but both of them may be in their last year with the team and it’s likely that they were looking forward to something better than an 0-2 start while giving up 25 points per game in the first half.

2. The Redskins had troubles on third down last year and they are continuing in 2013. They have converted on just five of 21 third downs, a pathetic 23.8 percent. On Sunday the score was 31-0 before they converted their initial third down.

3. The assessments of Mike Shanahan and Pro Football Focus don’t always agree but they did on Trent Williams’ play on Sunday. “I thought Trent played on of his better games, so I was happy with the way he approached that game. It might have been his best game since he’s been here.” Williams’ primary assignment was blocking Clay Matthews, Green Bay’s Pro Bowl outside linebacker. According to PFF, Williams did not allow a quarterback sack, a hit, or even a hurry.

4. Pat White cleared waivers yesterday and he is a free agent. It doesn’t look like the Redskins will bring him back until at least Friday since the status of Kai Forbath won’t be determined until then. Even then, though, Mike Shanahan seemed rather lukewarm when asked if the Redskins were considering bringing him back. “I don’t go into that detail for obvious reasons, but I do think a lot of Pat White. He’s a great person, great guy,” he said.

5. Sav Rocca’s punting got buried under the other issues but it was not a good day for him with a net average of 34.6 yards. For the season his gross average is 38.8 per punt, last in the NFL and his net (gross minus touchbacks and return yards) is 37.4 and that ranks 26th.

Stat of the day

—Reported by @MikeGarafolo of Fox Sports 1 on Twitter: “The Redskins have been getting off to terrible starts. Their minus-43 1st half point differential is the worst through 2 wks since PIT '89.” That Steelers team, by the way, finished 9-7 and won in the first round of the playoffs.

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Timeline

—Days until: Lions @ Redskins 5; Redskins @ Raiders 12; Redskins @ Cowboys 26

—Today’s schedule: Day off, no availability

Shanahan: There’s room for everybody to improve

In case you missed it

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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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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.