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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

In case you missed it

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Five takeaways: A lot to like about the Redskins' dominant primetime win.

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Five takeaways: A lot to like about the Redskins' dominant primetime win.

Here are my five takeaways from the Redskins’ 27-10 win over the Raiders:

This was the Redskins best defensive performance since 1991. That was the last time they held an opponent to under 128 total yards. They were physical, smart, determined and they made plays. If not for two turnovers they would have had a shutout. Oakland did not cross the Washington 48 without the benefit of a gift. Just dominant. 

With a strong defense, you can do what you want to on offense. I asked Kirk Cousins how much running for a couple of yards a pop as Samaje Perine was doing early in the game helped the offense. He answered in part by saying that the offense can afford to run for a low average per carry when the defense is playing so well. That's true. A punt isn't a bad play when you are confident that you are likely to get the ball back three plays later. 

Chris Thompson just keeps getting better every week. His patience when he has the ball in his hands and his ability to burst into the opening when it's there are textbook excellent. Oh yeah, his open field speed, which he gets to show off after being patient and cutting is amazing. Even the smaller plays, like two near the end of the half, when he wove his way through the cracks in the defense and then got out of bounds after gaining everything he could, are fun to watch. He is the Redskins' offensive MVP so far. 

Doctson showed why the Redskins drafted him on one flash. Nobody is going to give Josh Doctson an MVP award but we did see his potential when he went up and took that deep pass away from David Amerson for the touchdown. Plays like that make you see why the Redskins drafted him in the first round and why they have been patient with him. He will need to develop consistency but in the meantime, splash plays like that help a lot.

It’s hard to find fault in this one. Normally in these posts, I try to find a positive in a loss and something to be critical of in a win. But it’s really hard to find much to be critical about in the immediate aftermath of this one. Jamison Crowder’s muff of a punt certainly was an issue and perhaps Samaje Perine could have made more out of the line’s blocking for him. But from the defense to Cousins to Thompson to Zach Brown to D.J. Swearinger and many more, it was as dominant a game as we’ve seen from this team in a while. Can they keep it up? Tune in next Monday from Arrowhead Stadium and we’ll find out.

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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With one catch, Josh Doctson proved just how dangerous he can be for the Redskins

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USA TODAY Sports

With one catch, Josh Doctson proved just how dangerous he can be for the Redskins

LANDOVER, Md. — It took a while, longer than likely anyone expected, but Josh Doctson's first career touchdown catch may just have been worth the wait.

In the third quarter of the Redskins' 27-10 win over the Raiders on Sunday night, Kirk Cousins lofted a deep ball from a bit beyond midfield toward Doctson, who was being boxed out by David Amerson. And as the pass made its descent, Amerson went up to go snag it.

There was just one problem for the corner: Doctson went up and got to it first.

The result? A 52-yard touchdown that made the score 21-0 in favor of the hosts but, far more importantly, opened — quite forcefully, too — everyone's eyes to the sheer talent No. 18 possesses.

MORE: WHY THE DEFENSE'S EFFORT WAS SO ENCOURAGING

"I just made the play," the second-year wideout said afterward, about as nonchalantly as he made the TD look even though it absolutely wasn't. "It was pretty simple to be honest."

Against the Eagles and Rams in Weeks 1 and 2, Doctson suited up for Washington's offense but wasn't involved at all. And in the early going vs. Oakland, it again looked like he'd walk off the field with the same statline as an inactive player, on the verge of facing more questions about why he isn't producing. 

But that all changed on one jump-ball, which is exactly what his head coach has been anxiously waiting for.

"I think it was some relief for him," Jay Gruden answered when asked about the highlight. "I think the players have seen him do that in practice quite often but nobody else has... It wasn't a perfectly thrown ball, but to give him a chance where he can go up and make a big time catch, hopefully we'll get more of that."

RELATED: REDSKINS PLAYERS SIT AND KNEEL DURING ANTHEM

Doctson's QB, who gestured toward him during the post-score celebration as if to say There's the dude you've all been hearing about for months, certainly appreciated it.

"I do like Josh's ball skills and his ability to catch the ball up in the air and I thought, 'You know what, I'm going to give him a chance, they have been asking me to give him that chance and let's give it to him," Cousins said.

As fans of the team know all too well by now, Doctson isn't someone that can be counted on yet. He's oft-injured, and the grab he made over Amerson, while spectacular, was just the third of his career. 

But that sequence provides hope that many more similar to it will follow if he continues to stay healthy and gains more of Gruden's and Cousins' trust this year. He's still far from validating his 2016 first-round selection, but it's now obvious he has the skills to distance himself from those who so badly want to label him a bust.