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Redskins Tuesday minicamp report, defense: Some easy INT's

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Redskins Tuesday minicamp report, defense: Some easy INT's

The Redskins held the first day of their three-day mandatory minicamp with temperatures hovering near 90 and under skies that looked threatening but stayed dry.

Here are my observations on defense and special teams.

—They started off with special teams like they have been doing since last year. Among those running out when the coaches called for the first team kickoff coverage unit were DaMon Cromartie-Smith, Jeron Johnson, Evan Spencer, Trey Wolfe, Duke Ihenacho, Trevardo Williams, Akeem Davis, Trenton Robinson, and Will Compton.

—With the second-team kickoff unit were Phillip Thomas, Matt Jones, Darrel Young, Justin Rogers, Tevin Mitchel, Ja’Gared Davis, Kyshoen Jarrett, and Martrell Spaight.

—I wouldn’t read too much into who is lining up where; at this point it seems that a lot of second- and third-team players are interchangeable so it likely is the same with special teams.

—It’s been pretty rainy in Ashburn lately, making the field soft. Some big chunks were torn out early in the proceedings (insert your own “feeling right at home”/FedEx Field joke here).

—Kirk Cousins threw a swing pass to full back Jordan Campbell. Linebacker Adam Hayward came running over late yelling, “Who the f*** was supposed to be covering the flat?” Evidently it wasn’t Hayward.

—Cornerback Tajh Hasson had two of the easier interceptions a DB can get. On one, a Cousins pass hit receiver Colin Lockett right in the hands. It bounced out and into the arms of Hassan. Later, on the last play of team drills, Colt McCoy threw to the sideline. Hassan was the only player with 8 yards of the pass and he got another pick.

—Among those on the first-team punting unit were Silas Redd, Adam Hayward, Trevardo Williams, Young, and Niles Paul.

—The coaches had the returners field punts while holding onto a second football with one arm. It’s not easy to do and it really makes the players focus.

—The only punt that I saw fumbled was a boomer by Tress Way. Rookie Trey Williams, who was not holding on to a ball with one arm, had it go through his hands.

—Tom Compton was matched up blocking Keenan Robinson on an outside run. Robinson apparently was not pleased with Compton’s technique. “You gonna hold me the whole time?” the linebacker yelled at the tackle.

—The final session of practice was field goal kicking. On the first attempt, Kai Forbath was wide left from about 35 yards.

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Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—Mock drafts, cap bargains

Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—Mock drafts, cap bargains

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, April 22, five days before the April 27 NFL draft.

Timeline

Days until:

—Redskins rookie camp (5/12) 20
—Redskins OTAs start (5/24) 32
—Training camp starts (7/27) 96
—Redskins opener vs. Eagles (9/10) 141

The Redskins week that was

Redskins full 2017 schedule released—Even with the Caps and Wizards in full playoff mode, the DMV stops to take a look and see when the Redskins will be playing. The Thanksgiving game was surprising. It’s another working day but I worked at various places since I was 14 and last year was the first time I’ve had to work on Thanksgiving so I can’t complain too much about working two in a row. It’s a small price to pay for having the best job in the world.

Don't count out any RB for Redskins at 17—Yeah, I know that NFL teams aren’t supposed to take running backs in the first round any more. But that is one of those trends that comes and goes. In 2013 and 2014 there were no RBs taken in the first. Todd Gurley and Ezekiel Elliott in the last couple of years began to shift the thinking. If the Redskins think that Dalvin Cook or Christian McCaffrey can help them win games more than any other player on the board they should pull the trigger.

Rise of Patrick Mahomes could bring big payoff for Redskins—It seems likely that quarterbacks Deshaun Watson and Mitchell Trubisky will be taken before the Redskins pick at No. 17 goes on the clock. That means that two players in whom the Redskins might be interested will be available, pushed back by the quarter backs. Could Mahomes, out of Texas Tech, push a third player back to Washington. The buzz is that a team might grab him in the first half of the first round.

The Redskins' five best salary cap bargains for 2017—When I started pulling the numbers for this post I thought I’d find more key players with salaries of under $1 million. I only found three and one of them is the kicker. This means that they don’t have very many late-round or undrafted players who are contributing a lot of value. They need more out of players like Anthony Lanier, Matt Ioannidis and Maurice Harris. That is how a team thrives in the salary cap era. A couple of Saturday picks could make or break this draft.

Redskins mock 2.0 goes offense early, defense often—There are a lot of ways the first 16 picks of this draft can work out. It seems almost certain that everyone’s favorite first-round pick, a stud defensive lineman, won’t be a realistic option on the board. This could send things in an odd direction for the Redskins. It’s fun to do a mock and I’ll do one or two more prior to draft day but there are too many variables to think that it has a high degree of accuracy. 

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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Chris Thompson will be with Redskins for at least one more year, team announces

Chris Thompson will be with Redskins for at least one more year, team announces

Coming into Friday the Redskins had two unsigned restricted free agents. Now, they have just one. 

The team announced that running back Chris Thompson has re-signed. If he signed his restricted free agent tender, he will be under contract for one year with a salary of $2.7 million. 

The announcement came just as the deadline for RFA’s to sign offer sheets with other teams passed. That meant that Thompson had no other practical options than to sign with the team. 

MORE REDSKINS: ONE REASON EACH GAME ON THE SCHEDULE WILL BE MUST-SEE TV

Still unsigned is linebacker Will Compton. He got a restricted free agent tender for $1.8 million. We will see how his situation plays out. 

Last season, Thompson was the team’s third-down back and he played in all 16 games for the first time in his career. He posted 68 rushing attempts for 356 yards and three touchdowns and 49 receptions for 349 yards and two touchdowns. All those stats were career highs for Thompson, a fifth-round pick of the Redskins in 2013.

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.