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Redskins respect Foles' ability

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Redskins respect Foles' ability

Although Redskins’ defenders don’t know much about Nick Foles, they are sure of this: they can’t afford to let their guard down simply because the Eagles’ rookie will be making his first NFL start on Sunday.

“This kid is in this league for a reason,” cornerback DeAngelo Hall said. “Our coaches coached him in the Senior Bowl and they definitely told us the kid can make every throw. We have to go out there and treat him like the NFL caliber quarterback he is.”

Foles was indeed coached by Mike Shanahan and his staff at the Senior Bowl in January. But they don't have much game film on the 6 foot 6, 243-pound former Arizona signal caller since he was drafted by the Eagles in the third round of this year’s draft. 

They’ve got his two preseason starts and the two-plus quarters he played Sunday after replacing starter Michael Vick, who is not expected to be available after suffered a concussion in the Eagles' 38-23 loss to the Cowboys, their fifth setback in a row.

That's it. 

“That’s what makes it so tough to prepare for a guy like that – you don’t have a lot of film on him,” linebacker Ryan Kerrigan said. “He’s a guy that runs their offense very well. You can see that from the preseason games we’ve watched and from the last couple of quarters from Dallas game.”

Foles was 22 of 32 for 219 yards with a touchdown and an interception in his first NFL action. He was also sacked twice.

Kerrigan said he also suspects Eagles Coach Andy Reid will lean on running back LeSean McCoy to take some of the pressure off of Foles. McCoy ranks 10th in rushing yards with 705.

“Their skill players are still the same,” Kerrigan said. “And they have one of the best skill player groups in the NFL. We have a challenge in front of us no matter who is at quarterback.”

Defensive lineman Kedric Golston said the key to containing Foles will be playing “assignment football” as opposed to relying on a scouting report.

“He seems like a kid that is very smart, poised and can make all the throws,” Golston said. “You just go out there and play assignment football. You don’t know what he likes to do. You don’t know what his favorite throw is. You don’t know which receivers he likes. So play fundamental football and allow your technique to take you where you need to be.” 

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With receiver group in flux, might Redskins make run at Alshon Jeffery?

With receiver group in flux, might Redskins make run at Alshon Jeffery?

It seems likely the Redskins stand to lose one or both of receivers DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garçon in free agency. That could mean more than 2,000 yards receiving exiting the offense, a significant blow.

Could Bears wideout Alshon Jeffery come to Washington and cushion the blow?

Multiple reports say that Chicago will not put the franchise tag on Jeffery, which means the 6-foot-4 receiver will hit the open market when free agency opens in a little more than a week. Coming off consectuive injury-marred seasons, still expect the market to be ripe for the former South Carolina star.

RELATED: Could FA Dontari Poe fix the Redskins nose tackle issue?

A five-year veteran that will turn 28 in August, Jeffery posted more than 2,500 receiving yards in the 2013 and 2014 seasons to go with 17 touchdowns. An extremely gifted red zone receiver, Jeffery is one of the best in the league at high-pointing the football and coming down with circus catches. His last two seasons, however, the Bears wideout only played in 21 of 32 games and his numbers dipped dramatically: just over 1,600 yards and six TDs combined.

Though Washington will likely lose at least one of Garçon or Jackson, and very possibly both, that does not necessarily make Jeffery a prime target. 

Expect cost to be a major factor as the Chicago receiver will likely command the top free agent payout at the position. And his recent injury history could be a factor as well. 

Further, the Redskins must believe they have a No. 1 receiver already in house in Josh Doctson. The No. 22 overall pick in 2016, Doctson hardly played as a rookie due to an Achilles injury but appears to be progressing well in his rehab. At 6-foot-2 and extremely athletic, Doctson was drafted to be a prime red zone target with the ability to go up and get TDs.

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Could likely free agent Dontari Poe be the Redskins' answer at nose tackle?

Could likely free agent Dontari Poe be the Redskins' answer at nose tackle?

Many Redskins fans have been keeping a close eye on the Chiefs all offseason. Kansas City has two pending free agents in positions that are of great need to Washington. Fans have been watching since January to see what the Chiefs would do with safety Eric Berry and defensive lineman Dontari Poe. They may have their answer.

The organization’s hope was that they could sign one and use the franchise tag on the other. But with the deadline for the tag two days from now and with free agency starting in 10 days, it appears that plan is not going to happen. They are forced to decide and per Ed Werder of ESPN they are going to tag Berry and let Poe test free agency.

RELATED: NFL Mock Draft Version 4.0

Poe is a load at 6-3, 348. His impact is hard to measure in numbers; he has just 13 sacks in his five NFL seasons including two in the last two years. The Chiefs first-round pick out of Memphis in the 2012 draft has forced two fumbles and recovered one. But he is exactly what a defense like the Redskins’ 4-3 scheme needs in the middle to eat up double teams and keep blockers off the linebackers. They would go from having had no credible nose tackle in the seven seasons they have been in the 3-4 base defense to having one who at age 26 is of the very best in the league.

The problem with acquiring the best in the business is that you must pay top dollar. The contracts signed by Marcell Dareus of the Bills, a six-year deal with an average annual value of $15.8 million and Fletcher Cox of the Eagles, who signed a six-year extension with an AAV of $17.1, will be used as guidelines for a Poe free agent deal.

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The Redskins possibly could make that work but it would be a stretch. They already have a top-heavy salary structure with their top three players taking up 35 percent of the salary cap. Another cap hit in the $15 million range would put them in a precarious spot.

It seems unlikely that the Redskins will be real players in the Poe sweepstakes but given that he would be a perfect solution to a long-standing problem area it’s worth keeping an eye on the situation.

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.