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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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Jonathan Allen plans to model his game after two other All-Pro defenders

Jonathan Allen plans to model his game after two other All-Pro defenders

New Redskins defensive lineman Jonathan Allen is looking to pattern his game after two All-Pro linemen. 

"I'm a very versatile player and can do anything. I love watching Geno Atkins and Aaron Donald," Washington’s first-round draft pick told reporters on a conference call.

The Redskins will be very happy if Allen can be as productive as Atkins and Donald. Atkins has played for the Bengals since the 2010 season. He has been durable, playing in 16 games in six of his seven seasons, and effective, producing 52 sacks, a good total for a defensive tackle. 

MORE REDSKINS: A COMPLETE RECAP OF ROUND 1

Donald was a first-round pick of the Rams in 2014. He was a first-team All-Pro in each of the past two seasons, recording a total of 28 sacks in his three seasons. 

Both players combine outstanding physical talent and high motors. Allen has selected two pretty good role models to follow. 

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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Gruden: Redskins have no concerns about Allen's shoulders

Gruden: Redskins have no concerns about Allen's shoulders

Jonathan Allen was the perfect pick for the Redskins, filling a need with a player who clearly was the best on the board.

Allen’s slide from a top-five prospect to the middle of the first round is believed to be because of issues with both of his shoulders. During his time at Alabama he suffered labral tears in both of his shoulders that were surgically repaired and he also suffers from mild arthritis in both of them. That apparently scared some teams off but not the Redskins.

“We didn't have any concerns,” said coach Jay Gruden. “We talked to Dr. [James] Andrews, he gave thumbs up on him. We feel very good about the injuries.”

Then why did a top talent slide all the way back to the Redskins’ pick?

“As far as him falling to us, their were a lot of things that happened in the draft, three quarterbacks went, a couple of receivers went pretty high, a lot of offensive players went that probably not a lot of people expected,” said Gruden. “So, some of these very good defensive players fell to us and we're happy.”

Allen told reporters that the shoulders did not cause him any problems while he was playing.

“I didn’t even wear a brace for the [2016] season,” Allen said. “So, I mean, it doesn’t even affect me. Every team I talked to, shoulders were medically cleared, no problems. Probably the best I’ve felt in the last four years, to be honest.”

Alabama team doctor Lyle Cain’s assessment of Allen’s shoulders align with those of the player and Gruden.

"He's played without any problems," Cain told NFL Media last month. "This is something that a lot of offensive linemen and defensive linemen have, things guys play with their whole careers. It's just a little earlier for him because he got hurt in college."

We will see how this plays out. It’s possible that his injury problems could limit his effectiveness or cut his career short. But clearly the Redskins saw that the Allen’s talent made the injury risk a worthwhile gamble.

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.