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Play of the day: Can Redskins' Breeland get more picks?

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Play of the day: Can Redskins' Breeland get more picks?

RICHMOND—The good news was that Bashaud Breeland tied for the team lead in interceptions last year. The bad news was that he only had two.

Back to encouraging news, it looked like Breeland was in position to make a few more picks. He lost the handle on a pick in the end zone against the Panthers and he dropped another against the Giants in FedEx Field. The defense gave up touchdowns shortly after the missed opportunities. Holding on to the ball is a major area of opportunity for Breeland if he is going to become a top-level cornerback.

Last week Breeland said that he did a lot of film work over the summer. It also looks like he got to work catching the ball.

During practice on Saturday, Kirk Cousins threw an intermediate pass to rookie wide receiver Maurice Harris. The ball floated and Breeland went up for the interception. He make the catch, which was impressive as you can see in the photo below from the Redskins’ Instagram account. What was perhaps more impressive was that he held onto the ball after hitting the ground hard.

Love picks. #HTTR #LoveVA

A photo posted by Washington Redskins (@redskins) on


Yes, it was just a practice in July. But Breeland developing some sticker hands could go a long way towards helping the defense this year.

It is presumed that teams will avoid throwing towards All-Pro corner Josh Norman, who had two pick sixed last year before teams started throwing to the other side. If that happens then Breeland will see a lot of passes coming his way. If he can make them pay by holding on to chances for interceptions then the defense the lives of opposing offensive coordinators will become very difficult when they are playing the Redskins.

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Need to Know: Did the Redskins underachieve in 2016?

Need to Know: Did the Redskins underachieve in 2016?

Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, January 18, 99 days before the NFL draft.

Timeline

Days until:
NFL franchise tag deadline 43
NFL free agency starts 51
First Sunday of 2017 season 236

The coordinator search and more

Did the Redskins underachieve this year? I know that a metric like Football Outsiders' DVOA is not the final word in the quality of a team but looking at it year after year it usually does work out that the teams with the better numbers in DVOA usually win more games than those with worse numbers. The Redskins finished 2016 eighth in DVOA. Considering that 12 teams make the playoffs, that could be considered a playoff quality team. Yet 15 teams finished with a better record than they did. I’m sure there are some holes in the formula for the stat but just looking at that it sure appears that the Redskins did leave some wins out on the field.

John Keim is reporting that the Redskins are prepared to switch to a 4-3 defense if that is what their new defensive coordinator prefers. They have been in the 3-4 since Mike Shanahan arrived in 2010. Whether it is because of the scheme or lack of draft and free agent resources spent on the line and at safety, the defense hasn’t been very good. As Keim notes, they will need to make some personnel changes if they do change but with a full load of draft picks and $62 million in cap space this may be the time to do it.

I expected the angst that was all over Twitter when word of the Rob Ryan interview got out. But it’s pretty dumb to get all worked up over an interview (with all due respect to readers here who may have been upset). It’s not a hiring. Look, somehow or another Ryan managed to stay employed as an NFL defensive coordinator for 12 straight seasons. I don’t know how to research it without going through some very time consuming and tedious steps but I’d be willing to bet that only about a few dozen men in the history of the league have been able to remain a defensive coordinator for that many season in a row. The organization can learn something from sitting down and talking to him for a few hours.

I understand that we want things to talk about in a relatively slow time. But I just don’t see why there is fear out there over the possibility that Kyle Shanahan will get hired as the coach of the 49ers and somehow steal Kirk Cousins away to be his quarterback. The Redskins can maintain his rights via the franchise tag. They could tag Cousins and trade him to the 49ers but there would be a heavy price in terms of draft picks. But while it’s possible, it’s unlikely. The chances are very, very good that Cousins will be in a Redskins uniform this year via either the tag or a long-term deal. 

Tandler on Twitter

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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#RedskinsTalk Podcast Episode 40 - Seriously, when will the Redskins pick a coordinator?

#RedskinsTalk Podcast Episode 40 - Seriously, when will the Redskins pick a coordinator?

As the Redskins settle into the offseason without both an offensive and defensive coordinator, JP Finlay and Rich Tandler debate who will get the jobs, and when they will be announced. 

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