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Ranking the Redskins #9 - #16

Ranking the Redskins #9 - #16

Who are the Redskins’ best players and who are the ones who are starting just because there isn’t enough talent to push them out? If another team had a shot at anyone on the Redskins’ roster to use for the 2005 season, who would they gobble up and who would they say thanks, but no thanks to?

To help answer this, the Redskins starters were ranked from the most expendable to the most valuable. Today, the middle of the pack, #9-#16.

You can reach Rich Tandler by email at WarpathInsiders@comcast.net

In inverse order, here are my rankings of the Redskins 24 starters, including punter and kicker, based on what they might do in 2006. Their 2005 rankings here (Part 1, Part 2), where applicable, are in parenthesis:

16. DE Phillip Daniels (18)—At age 33, which is the real Daniels? The one who spend most of the 2004 on the injured list or the one who started 16 games last year and racked up eight sacks, four in the key won over Dallas?

15. WR Antwaan Randle El (NR)—We’re going with a 3-WR, one TE and one running back set here. This is looking at Randle El strictly as a receiver, not taking into account his return skills, which will be his major value to the team.

14. CB Shawn Springs (4)—He was great in ’04, good last year. With his 31st birthday in the rear view mirror, will the decline continue?

13. WR Brandon Lloyd (NR)—In San Francisco, Lloyd displayed a knack for both the spectacular catch and the drop of the easy one. He needs to get rid of the latter tendency so that it doesn’t undo the good of the former.

12. LB Lemar Marshall (24)—He was the lowest-ranked Redskin here last year primarily because he had never taken an NFL snap at middle linebacker at the time. Marshall proved to be a quick study and became a playmaker, leading the team in interceptions.

11. T Jon Jansen (6)—His comeback season was a little bit off from his pre-2004 standards, as he had to deal with a broken thumb on each hand. While his holding calls were down, so was his overall effectiveness.

10. TE Chris Cooley (8)—With the weapons the Redskins added on offense, Cooley could play better this year than last, but catch fewer passes.

9. S Adam Archuleta (NR)—This may be a bit higher ranking than his coverage skills warrant, but his potential to be a force blitzing and run stopping in Gregg Williams’ defense moves him up the list.

Rich Tandler is the author of The Redskins From A to Z, Volume 1: The Games. This unique book has an account of every game the Redskins played from when they moved to Washington in 1937 through the 2001 season. For details and ordering information, go to http://www.RedskinsGames.com

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Dale Earnhardt Jr. announces retirement from NASCAR after 2017

Dale Earnhardt Jr. announces retirement from NASCAR after 2017

BY TYLER BYRUM, @theTylerByrum

One of the longest eras in NASCAR will come to an end concluding the 2017 season.

Early on Tuesday morning, Hendrick Motorsports announced that 18-year veteran, longtime Redskins fan and popular driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. would retire at the conclusion of the current season.

Earnhardt, son of the late legendary seven-time champion, Dale Earnhardt Sr., told his No. 88 team members before the organization released the news.

Last season, the 42-year-old missed the final 18 races of the NASCAR season due to a concussion. The injury resulted in a 32nd place finish in the NASCAR standings and it was the first time he missed the association's 'playoffs' since 2010. 

Throughout his long career, Earnhardt captured 26 race wins, two being the elusive Daytona 500 in 2004 and 2014. Due to the legendary status of his father, he never quite lived up to the level many placed on the Earnhardt family name. His win total is roughly a third of his father's and has not won a championship. Best career points finish for Earnahrdt was third in 2003, and finished fifth three times (2004, 2006, 2013). Starting in 603 total races, he has finished in the top 10 in nearly half of those races, 253 times.

Despite the lack of a championship, he was named NASCAR's most popular driver 14 times, trailing only Bill Elliott who won that honor 16 seasons. 

RELATED: EARNHARDT FORCED TO RACE IN EAGLES-THEMED CAR

At the end of 2017, Earnhardt's contract with Hendrick Motorsports was set to expire after 10 seasons with NASCAR's most successful team. Prior to his tenure with Hendrick, he was a part of Dale Earnhardt Inc. for eight years where he won 17 of his total 26 race wins. 

Currently, Earnhardt is 24th in the NASCAR standings, 50 points behind the cut-off for the final playoff spot. There are still 18 races remaining in the season for him to make up the ground with some of his best tracks still on the docket. In addition, a win would boost Earnhardt up into a playoff spot due to NASCAR's playoff system. 

With Earnhardt Jr. retiring, there will be one Earnhardt remaining in the Monster Energy Cup Series to carry the family name. Grandson of Dale Earnhardt Sr., and nephew of Jr., Jeffery Earnhardt is a regular in the series. 

Hendrick Motorsports announced in their release that they will not name a replacement for Earnhardt Jr. just yet. During his 18-race absence in 2016, he was replaced by a young prospect, Alex Bowman and four-time series champion Jeff Gordon.

It is anticipated either Bowman or 19-year-old William Byron, who Rick Hendrick signed to an Xfinity Series contract last season, will take his place. 

As a lifetime fan of the Washington football team, Earnhardt has been known to put his opinion of the team out there.

He was not happy with how the team handled Scot McCloughan situation, and publicly voiced his support of Kirk Cousins

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One significant stat that separates Christian McCaffery from Dalvin Cook

One significant stat that separates Christian McCaffery from Dalvin Cook

Football coaches hate fumbles, and Jay Gruden is no different. Remember that Matt Jones had established himself as the Redskins lead running back despite persistent fumbling issues his first two years in the NFL. That was until a goal line fumble Week 7 in Detroit. Jones never played again in 2016. 

Fast forward to Thursday night's NFL Draft, and the buzz surrounding the Redskins interest in Florida State running back Dalvin Cook and Stanford running back Christian McCaffrey could all boil down to fumbles.

Both Cook and McCaffrey visited Redskins Park, and both players possess the speed and game-breaking ability that could deliver big returns to the Washington offense. Since the NFL Combine, McCaffrey has emerged as the higher draft pick.

Their college statistics are fairly similar. Both players went for more than 5,000 total yards in three college seasons. The size is similar too, Cook gets listed at 6-foot, 209 lbs., while McCaffrey gets listed at 5-foot-11 and 203 lbs.

One area that's quite different: Fumbles. 

An average NFL running back fumbles once every 100 carries. Rich Tandler researched an incredible stat about the two players:

  • McCaffrey averages one fumble every 243 carries.
  • Cook averages one fumble every 63 carries. 

The difference is staggering. And it could be enough to keep the 'Skins away from Cook at 17.

<<<LOOKING AT REDSKINS DRAFT PROSPECTS>>>

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