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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: After worst to first in 2016, how strong will NFC East be?

Redskins Playbook: After worst to first in 2016, how strong will NFC East be?

When the Redskins won the NFC East in 2015 with a 9-7 record, most critics dismissed the division as weak. That theory was largely proved right when the Redskins got stomped at home in the first round of the playoffs by the Wild Card Green Bay Packers.

In 2016, however, the NFC East largely looked like the best division in football, or at least among the best divisions. Dallas won 13 games and took the NFC East title, the Giants won 11 and took the NFC's top Wild Card spot. The Redskins had a chance to make the playoffs in Week 17, but unceremoniously lost and fell short.

Still, Washington won eight games and Philadelphia won seven. In fact, the NFC East was the only division in the NFL without a team that lost 10 or more games. The AFC West - a division that some would argue was tougher than the NFC East - still had the Chargers and their 5-11 record.

What does it mean for 2017? If anything the only team expected to regress would be the Cowboys, and their regression could easily still have them looking to win around 10 games. 

The Eagles have improved with young, star QB Carson Wentz. New York will be interesting, as they have some age at various spots on their roster but still feature a two-time Super Bowl winning QB in Eli Manning and one of the best defenses in the NFL.

As for Washington? The defense should be much improved. It almost has to be as the 2016 version struggled significantly. If the defense can just be average (and I'd argue it could push for Top 15) the offense should continue to move the ball well. Producing in the red zone needs to look different than last season too.

The NFC East looks like a beast yet again. It would be no surprise if both NFC Wild Cards come from the division.

Let us know what you think in the comments. 

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Need to Know:Redskins faced one of the toughest schedules in NFL in 2016

Need to Know:Redskins faced one of the toughest schedules in NFL in 2016

Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, May 28, 16 days before the Washington Redskins start their mandatory minicamp on June 13.

Timeline

Days until:

—Training camp starts (7/27) 60
—Preseason opener @ Ravens (8/10) 74
—Season opener Eagles @ Redskins (9/10) 105

Note: I am on vacation this week in the Outer Banks. Need to Know will be a mix of new content and some of the most popular posts of 2017.

Redskins faced one of NFL’s toughest slates in 2016

(originally posted January 28)

As the Redskins came off their 2015 playoff season and looked towards 2016, one thing jumped out. Even before any games were played it looked like their path to a repeat playoff appearance would be difficult, more so than it was when they went 9-7 and took the NFC East title.

The 2015 schedule looked fairly easy when applying the eyeball test. They played just two games against teams that made the playoffs and those teams, the Patriots and Panthers, plus the Jets were the only teams they faced that finished the season with winning records.

The eyeball test was borne out by the numbers. According to the stat gurus at Football Outsiders the Redskins faced the 28th toughest schedule in terms of the DVOA of opposing defenses and the opposing offenses added up to the 24th most difficult.

The going was considerably tougher in 2016. The Redskins played seven games against teams that were in the playoff field. The defenses they faced stacked up as the toughest group of any NFL team. They played nine games against teams that finished in the top 11 in defensive DVOA. The offenses they faced were a little better than average, ranking 13th as a group.

While the Redskins’ season was widely regarded as a disappointment, it would be reasonable to say that given vastly improved quality of the competition that they did well in only having their record drop by half a game.

Of course, the goal is to be good enough to prosper and make the playoffs no matter what mix of teams the luck of the draw happens to put on the schedule. They will need to get there in a hurry. Awaiting the Redskins on their 2017 schedule are seven 2016 playoff teams plus one more that finished the year with a winning record.

The fortunes of NFL teams can’t always be predicted in advance, especially more than seven months before the season kicks off. But it’s safe to say that the 2017 slate will be challenging. If they are going to improve their record they are going to have to improve their level of play dramatically.

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.