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Redskins minicamp depth chart, offense: Are they set at running back?

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Redskins minicamp depth chart, offense: Are they set at running back?

Here is a look at the Redskins’ depth chart on offense as they get set for minicamp next week. Here is my analysis of the defense from yesterday. 

*Denotes a player who is injured

Quarterback (3)

Starter: Kirk Cousins
Backups: Colt McCoy, Nate Sudfeld

Sudfeld has looked good in OTAs and if that carries over to training camp and preseason games it might be hard to get him through waivers and onto the practice squad. Based on the very early returns the 53-man roster looks like his likely spot when final cuts are made.

Tackle (6)

Starters: Trent Williams, Morgan Moses
Reserves: Ty Nsekhe, Takoby Cofield, Al Bond, Kevin Bowen

When Williams missed the OTA on Wednesday it was Nsekhe who lined up with the first team at left tackle. It’s going to be tough for anyone else to break through, although it should be noted that a year go there didn’t appear to be much of a chance that Nsekhe would make the team.

Guard (6)

Starters: Spencer Long, Brandon Scherff
Reserves: Arie Kouandjio, Shawn Lauvao*, Cody Booth, Nila Kasitati

Can Arie Kouandjio push Long and, when he gets healthy, Lauvao for the starting job at left guard? Right now that appears to be a two-man competition but Kouandjio will get his chance to make his case when they put the pads on in Richmond.

Center (3)

Starter: Kory Lichtensteiger
Reserves: Josh LeRibeus, Austin Reiter

The Redskins likely will go into the season with Lichtensteiger as the starter here but they want to be better prepared for an injury than they were last year when he was lost for 11 games. Long has been working at center along with LeRibeus and Reiter.

Tight end (6)

Starter: Jordan Reed
Reserves: Vernon Davis, Niles Paul, Logan Paulsen, Derek Carrier*, Marcel Jensen

This group could be a major strength but there are reasons to be wary due to injury histories and Davis’ low productivity the last two seasons.

Receiver (10)

Starters: Pierre Garçon, DeSean Jackson, Jamison Crowder (slot)
Reserves: Josh Doctson, Ryan Grant, Rashad Ross, Reggie Diggs, Maurice Harris, Valdez Showers, Jarvis Turner

It looks like Diggs, Harris, Showers, and Turner are all fighting for practice squad spots.

Running back (7)

Starter: Matt Jones
Reserves: Keith Marshall, Chris Thompson, Mack Brown, Robert Kelly, Ryan Kerridge, Kelsey Young

It remains to be seen if Marshall can be Jones’ tag team partner in the Redskins’ running back committee. It would not be surprising to see a veteran like Pierre Thomas brought in to help prop things up. If not, Brown, who was on and off of the Redskins’ practice squad last year, or one of the undrafted rookies might have a shot at the 53.

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Redskins Playbook: 2017 schedule reveals some good news for Kirk Cousins

Redskins Playbook: 2017 schedule reveals some good news for Kirk Cousins

The Redskins offense performed at a high level in 2016, moving the ball well though the unit struggled in the red zone. Much of the success comes from Kirk Cousins' ability to quickly advance through his progressions and release the football before he takes too many hits.

Expect more of that in 2017, especially early in the season.

The Redskins don't face their first Top 5 sack defense until Week 9 when they travel to Seattle. From there, Cousins will face another Top 5 sack team when the Vikings visit FedEx Field in Week 10. 

After that, Washington's schedule doesn't feature a Top 5 sack defense until nearly Christmas. Unfortunately for Cousins, those two teams will come back to back in December when the Redskins host the Cardinals and the Broncos.

Sacks should not drive too much worry for Redskins fans. The Washington offensive line only allowed 23 sacks last season, two less than the Cowboys vaunted offensive line gave up on Dak Prescott. Cousins quick release and mastery of Jay Gruden's offense helps too. 

The Redskins have plenty to worry about in 2017, though facing fierce sack opponents shouldn't be too high on the list. 

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Need to Know: The top five running backs the Redskins will face in 2017

Need to Know: The top five running backs the Redskins will face in 2017

Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, June 25, 32 days before the Washington Redskins start training camp in Richmond on July 27.

Timeline

The Redskins last played a game 175 days ago; they will open the 2017 season against the Eagles at FedEx Field in 77 days.

Days until:

—Franchise tag contract deadline (7/17) 22
—Preseason opener @ Ravens (8/10) 46
—Roster cut to 53 (9/2) 69

The top five running backs the Redskins will face in 2017

Here are the five running backs on the Redskins’ schedule who gained the most yards in 2017. We looked at the top QBs last week.

Ezekiel Elliott, Cowboys, 1,631 yards in 2016—The NFL’s leading rusher didn’t pop for a big day against the Redskins as a rookie last year. He still did plenty of damage in two games with a combined 180 yards and three touchdowns. We’ll find out in Week 8 just how much the Redskins’ rushing defense has improved.

David Johnson, Cardinals, 1,239 yards—Yeah, him again. He chewed up the Redskins in Arizona last year, picking up 84 yards rushing and another 91 yards receiving. I think I might pick Johnson over Elliott in a draft simply due to Johnson’s versatility.

LeGarrette Blount, Eagles, 1,161 yards—Blount picked up those yards with the Patriots last year and rushed for 18 touchdowns for good measure. He averaged 3.9 yards per carry, 27th among qualifying running backs. It should be noted that the Eagles probably have a better offensive line than the Patriots do. It’s safe to say Blount is one dimensional; none of the top 50 in rushing yards had fewer than his seven receptions.

Mark Ingram, Saints, 1,043 yards—While Ingram had a good year, the Saints apparently weren’t overly impressed. They signed Adrian Peterson as a free agent and they drafted RB Alvin Kamara in the third round. We’ll have to see who is healthy and on the field in Week 11

Melvin Gordon, Chargers, 997 yards—The 2015 first-round pick missed the last three games and most of another one with an injury. When healthy, he was very effective. His stats projected over 16 games come to over 1,300 yards.

Best of the rest: Carlos Hyde of the 49ers just missed the top five with 988 rushing yards last year Besides Kamara, the only running backs drafted in the first three rounds the Redskins will face are Dalvin Cook (Vikings) and Kareem Hunt (Chiefs). It will be interesting to see if new Rams coach Sean McVay can revive Todd Gurley, who followed a 1,100-yard rookie season with a 4.8 per carry average by gaining 885 yards with a paltry 3.2 average in 2016. Marshawn Lynch comes to town with the Raiders after spending a year in retirement; with the Seahawks, he picked up 111, 72, and 132 on the ground against the Redskins. 

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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