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Redskins report card vs Eagles—O-line shines

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Redskins report card vs Eagles—O-line shines

Here are my grades for some of the key players and other elements in Sunday’s 27-20 win over the Eagles.

A

Let’s give the Redskins’ offensive line an A+. They opened holes for three different running backs, setting up the team’s best day running the ball in nearly four years. They kept Kirk Cousins clean against one of the league’s top pass rushing units (the Eagles had at least three sacks in each of their first four games).

How often have the Redskins faced a fill-in player in a key position and then failed to exploit the weakness? Yesterday Ryan Kerrigan lined up against Eagles right tackle Halapoulivaati Vaitai, a rookie getting his first snaps in the NFL. Kerrigan dominated the matchup, getting two sacks before the Eagles knew what hit them.

The team’s mindset is as solid as a rock. Past Redskins teams would have folded and allowed the Eagles 14-0 run on the kickoff return and interception return to turn into a tidal wave. Instead, they scored the next 10 points and reestablished control of the game.

I suppose that somebody will look at film of Matt Jones’ from yesterday and figure that he should have gained 300 yards. But he played pretty well while rushing for a career best 135 yards. His 57-yard run was the Redskins’ longest in a “run out the clock” situation (up by 1-7 points, less than 2 minutes left) since at least 1994.

Related: The numbers indicate a major Redskins turnaround

B

Tight end Vernon Davis was ready to go in the absence of Jordan Reed. He had two receptions for 50 yards, not up to Reed’s usual production but good enough. He gets dinged a bit because of what turned out to be a very costly celebration penalty, but not a lot because it’s a dumb rule.

After being in town for just a couple of weeks Donte Whitner made an impact. He played 40 snaps, got four solo tackles and was solid in coverage. Duke Ihenacho started but played just 17 snaps. Read into that what you will.

Normally someone who plays just nine snaps has too small a sample size to evaluate. But Robert Kelley’s 45-yard run was a thing of beauty as he changed direction and navigated through traffic.

Josh Norman had a very quiet day. The Eagles threw at him just once, for 12 yards. It’s hard to have much impact when they won’t send any action your way.

Related: Redskins defense continues second half dominance

C

Is it fair to give Kirk Cousins a C when he passed for 263 yards in a win? Maybe not but the pick six was ugly and he completed just eight of 20 passes after that. His passer rating was 85.8, under the NFL average of 89.5. So you can add a plus to the C but it was about an average quarterbacking performance.

DeSean Jackson probably didn’t have as big a day as he wanted to against his old team and he did have a drop of a likely TD. But he did have four catches for 55 yards, including a 35-yard reception that helped set up the Redskins’ first touchdown.

Who else deserves a good grade? Who should get a bad one? Sound off here in the comments!

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Redskins plan to interview Rob Ryan for defensive coordinator, per report

Redskins plan to interview Rob Ryan for defensive coordinator, per report

Plenty of Redskins fans wanted the team to interview Rex Ryan for defensive coordinator.

Well, a report shows they aren't talking to Rex, but instead, his brother Rob, according to Albert Breer of MMQB

Rex Ryan's track record as a defensive coordinator is very impressive.

Rob Ryan's track record as a defensive coordinator is, uh, less impressive. 

In 12 seasons as a coordinator, first in Oakland and then with Cleveland, Dallas and New Orleans, Rob Ryan has two Top 5 finishes in yards allowed. He also has finished 31st out of 32 teams in the league in yards allowed three times.

Below is a chart from Pro Football Reference showing his defensive ranks from 2004 when he became coordinator in Oakland all the way through his last job as a coordinator in New Orleans in 2015.

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The results aren't pretty.

RELATED: 2017 NFL MOCK DRAFT 1.0

It should be noted that in 2016, Rob Ryan served as assistant head coach in Buffalo on his brother Rex's staff.

That team's defense finished 19th in yards allowed. 

Gus Bradley and Mike Pettine have interviewed with the Redskins for their vacant defensive coordinator opening.

Washington is also reported to have reached out to Wade Phillips, who took the same position with the Rams, and Steve Wilks, who took the same position with the Carolina Panthers. Internally, outside linebackers coach Greg Manusky also seems to be under some consideration for the position, and a report last week linked former 49ers head coach Jim Tomsula with the Washington defense.

Want more Redskins? Check out @JPFinlayCSN for live updates or click here for the #RedskinsTalk Podcast on iTunes, here for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!

 

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Award Tour: Tandler & JP name Redskins' Defensive Player of the Year

Award Tour: Tandler & JP name Redskins' Defensive Player of the Year

With the 2017 offseason about to kick into high gear, Redskins Insiders JP Finlay and Rich Tandler are going to take one last look at 2016 in the coming days.

That’s right, it’s time to hand out awards for Coach of the Year, Special Teams Player of the Year, Rookie of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year and Offensive Player of the Year.

We’ve picked our top coaches and the Special Teams POY. Today we select the Defensive Player of the Year.

Tandler: This is tough because there were no real standouts on a mediocre unit. Ryan Kerrigan was the only defensive representitive to the Pro Bowl and had 11 sacks but his impact plays were few. You could make a case for Chris Baker, who was the only consistently effective player on the defensive line.

The pick here is Josh Norman.

He also was invisible for long stretches for good reasons. The only quarterback to throw his way more than seven times in the last half of the season was the Bears’ Matt Barkley and Norman made him pay with two interceptions. A Norman pick set up the clincher in the Browns game and he forced a fumble that put the Packers game beyond even an Aaron Rodgers miracle.

Outside of that, he set the tone during the week, staying out a minimum of 30 minutes after every practice, working on his craft.

If the defense can get two or three more players just like Norman they’ll be fine.

RELATED::THE REDSKINS WEEK THAT WAS

Finlay: Norman is a strong pick, but since Tandler stole that selection from me, I will go with Kerrigan.

I've heard the lack of impact plays argument, and don't agree. His strip-sack to end the Eagles game, a win the reeling Redskins desperately needed, was probably a Top 5 defensive play this season. Without that sack, Philly had all the momentum and a chance to knock the 'Skins out of playoff contention. He also played through a number of injuries, starting every game for the sixth straight season.

Baker's name deserves recognition, as does Trent Murphy. The best part of Murphy's eight sack breakout campaign: Excellence is expected of Norman and Kerrigan. With Kerrigan, the expectations are so high that 11 sacks is almost dismissed by some fans and media. Murphy emerged as a viable sack threat for Washington this season, something that he can build upon next year. 

RELATED: 2017 NFL MOCK DRAFT 1.0

Want more Redskins? Check out @JPFinlayCSN and @Rich_TandlerCSN for live updates or click here for the #RedskinsTalk Podcast on iTunes, here for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!