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NTK: The Redskins week that was—Stadium drawings achieve intended effect

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NTK: The Redskins week that was—Stadium drawings achieve intended effect

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, March 19, 40 days before the NFL Draft.

The Redskins week that was

With the bulk of the Redskins’ free agency action consisting of re-signing their own players, readers were interested in a diverse variety of topics including, of course, quarterbacks.

Report: Another team on the West Coast targeting RG3—I’ll save you a click here—the West Coast team was the Los Angeles Rams. The bigger point here is that we’re coming up on two weeks since Griffin was let go and he has had very limited interest. His one visit, which was to the Jets, was more for show than anything else. The team wanted to send a message to Ryan Fitzpatrick that they were exploring alternatives and Griffin’s camp wanted to generate some buzz and make it look like there was some interest in the player. It didn’t seem to work on either count and Fitzpatrick remains unsigned and Griffin has had no other visits. There is still plenty of time for him to get a job but his continued presence on the market in a league with a severe shortage of qualified quarterbacks is telling.

McCoy's pay now fits his role—Colt McCoy was going to be the third-string quarterback when he signed each of his first two one-year contracts with the Redskins. But in 2014 he ended up starting over Griffin and Kirk Cousins when both of them were healthy and last year the deck was shuffled with Cousins becoming the starter and Griffin going to third string. This year McCoy will be Cousins’ backup and his contract reflects that. He got multiple years, a signing bonus, and a pretty good salary for a guy the team hopes never has to take a snap.

Fan questions—When will Redskins TE Jordan Reed get a new contract?—Reed led the Redskins in receptions, receiving yards, and receiving touchdowns, a pretty good feat for a tight end. He’s entering the final year of his rookie contract and he’s slated to make $1.6 million. Reed has not indicated any unhappiness with his deal, even though the Eagles’ Zach Ertz, drafted the same year that Reed was and who is a notch below Reed in terms of production, has already been extended to the tune of $42 million over five years with $13.2 million fully guaranteed at signing. It’s doubtful that Reed will get disgruntled, whether a deal gets hammered out before the start of the season or not. His payday will come.

Do the Redskins have any players they could trade?—After the Eagles traded away three players and got more favorable draft position in return I thought I’d look at players the Redskins might be able to deal away. The answer was that it’s pretty slim pickings.

'A more lively destination:' Next rendering of Skins' stadium is pretty wild—Yes, we’ve spent all week making fun of the Redskins’ futuristic stadium design with the jokes centered on the moat that surrounds the building. I’ve gotten a kick out of people seriously analyzing the utility of the water around the stadium and pointing out how the bridges would serve as choke points for the exiting crowd. Lighten up, folks. It’s a concept design, not a blueprint. Whatever the new place ends up looking like, the concept design generated buzz, which was one of the purposes of putting out the drawings some 10 years before the place will open. The world now knows the Redskins are planning a new stadium and it’s going to be something out of the ordinary. Mission accomplished.

Timeline

—The Redskins last played a game 69 days ago. It will be about 176 days until they play another one.

Days until: Redskins offseason workouts start 30; 2016 NFL draft 40; Redskins training camp starts 131

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Need to Know: Another big day on the ground on tap for the Redskins?

Need to Know: Another big day on the ground on tap for the Redskins?

Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, December 11, eight days before the Washington Redskins host the Carolina Panthers.

Timeline

Today's schedule: Redskins vs. Eagles 1 p.m.

Days until: Panthers @ Redskins 8; Redskins @ Bears Christmas Eve 13; Giants @ Redskins, New Year’s Day 21

Injuries of note:
Out:
G Long (concussion), S Blackmon (concussion), DE Lanier (leg)
Limited: TE Reed (shoulder), G Scherff (ankle), DE Jean Francois (knee/foot), DE Baker (ankle), G Shawn Lauvao (groin)
Final injury report

Final thoughts on Redskins vs Eagles

—The Redskins have not stopped a team in a goal to go situation since September. The Eagles are good in such situations, converting TDs 84 percent of the time. If the Redskins can get a stop and force a field goal try when the first time the Eagles get down there that would be a big psychological boost for the visitors. Or, better yet, maybe they can just not let the Eagles get any first and goal opportunities. That’s what happened when the teams played in Week 6.

—In that Week 6 meeting the Redskins rushed for 230 yards, their best performance on the ground this season by 79 yards. Matt Jones picked up 135 yards on 16 attempts, Rob Kelley had 5-59, and Chris Thompson kicked in with 9-37. It’s unlikely that Jones will be active so it will be up to Kelley to get things rolling on the ground.

—For all the talk about Kirk Cousins having the Eagles’ number, he had one of his worst statistical games of the year against them in Week 6. He completed just 52.9 percent of his passes, his lowest completion percentage of the season. Cousins also threw perhaps his worst interception of the year, a pick six that tied the game at 14 in the second quarter. The bottom line was that he made some plays and the Redskins won but he likely will have to play better this time for his team to prevail today.

—Carson Wentz has six interceptions in his last three games, including three last week against the Bengals. Josh Norman is due to get an interception, overdue, in fact. Don’t know what will happen but the chances seem good that a Redskin will get his hands on a Wentz pass today.

—We saw last week that the Redskins are not a lock to go on the road and win against a team that is desperately fighting for its playoff life. Fortunately for the Redskins, the Eagles do not have players who are the equals of David Johnson, Larry Fitzgerald, and Patrick Peterson. While plenty can go wrong I think the Redskins come away with with the win.

Redskins 28, Eagles 24

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Redskins bring former starting center back to active roster

Redskins bring former starting center back to active roster

The Redskins officially brought Kory Lichtensteiger back to the active roster, and while the move is now for depth, it could have other ramifications down the road. 

The move is on the NFL's transaction report for Saturday. To make room for Lichtensteiger, the team released defensive lineman A.J. Francis. 

Dealing with injuries up and down the line of scrimmage, Lichtensteiger's return could give the offensive front more flexibility. When Lichtensteiger got injured Week 3 and sent to the injured reserve, third-year pro Spencer Long stepped in and performed well at center. Last week in Arizona, Long sustained a concussion.

That injury opened the door for John Sullivan, who will start this week in Philadelphia with Long ruled out. Sullivan was brought in as a backup to Long once Lichtensteiger was put on IR. With Long now in the NFL concussion protocol, the Redskins need another center should Sullivan get hurt. Alas, Lichtensteiger's return from the IR. 

Left guard Shawn Lauvao also sustained an injured groin, and that's where things could get interesting. Long is capable of playing guard, as is Lichtensteiger in a pinch. Should Lauvao's injury persist, Lichtensteiger might be able to help there.

Against the Eagles, the plan certainly appears to be second-year man Arie Kouandjio starting in place of Lauvao. Kouandjio made one earlier start this season - Week 4 against Cleveland - and the results were mixed.

If Kouandjio stumbles and Lauvao needs more time, Lichtensteiger's return to the roster gives Jay Gruden and Bill Callahan more flexibility, especially when Long returns from injury.

In fact, once the team has Long, Lichtensteiger and Sullivan healthy, there could be a bit of a logjam roster-wise on the offensive line, but considering all the injuries, bumps and bruises that are part of O-line life by the last four games of the season, the Redskins staff likely won't mind figuring that out. 

Want more Redskins? Check out @JPFinlayCSN for live updates or click here for the #RedskinsTalk Podcast on iTunes, here for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!