Quick Links

Redskins Turn To Lunch Pail Types on Day 2

Redskins Turn To Lunch Pail Types on Day 2

Skins Take Lunch-Pail Players on Day 2

After spend a pair of first-round picks on players in glamour positions on Saturday and took a pair of linebackers and a pair of fullbacks on the second day.

Of the four picks—Robert McCune of Louisville (5th round) and Jared Newberry of Stanford (6th) are the linebackers and Manuel White of UCLA (4th) and The Citadel’s Nehemiah Broughton (7th) are the FB’s—McCune is by far the most interesting. He’s 26 and came to Louisville on a National Guard scholarship, not a football scholarship. Without checking, I’d have to guess that he’s the oldest player the Redskins have drafted since George Allen drafted Moses Denson, a CFL veteran, in 1973. McCune is a veteran too, but of tours of duty in Kuwait and Korea, not of a sports league.

Again with the caveat that it takes a few years to judge a draft, why draft these players? The last time I checked, Gibbs’ offense didn’t use a fullback and even with the departure of Antonio Pierce the field is rather crowded there.

The nose-in-the-dirt nature of all four of these players indicates that Joe Gibbs is furthering his efforts to improve the Redskins’ special teams. In the Scout.com reports of each player, a role on special teams is mentioned prominently.

That would be nothing new to McCune. As a non-scholarship player he earned his way onto the Louisville roster as a special teams guy. At 6-0 and a well-chiseled 245, McCune was hand timed at a 3.37 40 at the combines (his official time was 4.5). You look up “wedge buster” in the NFL glossary and there’s a picture of a guy like McCune there.

If you can tell that I like McCune despite never having seen him play save for a video clip here and there, you’re right. How can you not like a guy who has earned the nickname The Hammer. Not Hammer, not the Hammer, but The Hammer. If you think that this is a distinction without a difference, all I can say is that you’re wrong.

These selections didn’t cause nearly the consternation among the Redskins faithful as did the selection of Jason Campbell (although their “failure” to pick up local faves such as UVa’s Chris Canty and Elton Brown did). As the selection of Carlos Rogers, in my view, bordered on a no-brainer, the Campbell pick is the only one that warrants much further discussion.

The odd thing about this pick is that Campbell doesn’t even have to take a snap in order to be a good selection. Here’s a little story that might seem familiar: A young quarterback drafted in the overall early 30’s. In the early going he shows equal parts of promise and struggle and a veteran is brought in. When the vet can’t get it done, the team drafts a QB in the first round. And all of a sudden Drew Brees goes to the Pro Bowl. Without seeing any significant action, Philip Rivers plays a major role in the Chargers making the playoffs while Doug Flutie rides off into the sunset.

Patrick Ramsey is easy to root for. By all indications he’s a great guy, he says all the right things, he’s smart, he’s tough. But the cold, hard fact is that he still has yet to establish himself as an NFL quarterback. So does Joe Gibbs just work with him and wait and see if he develops? Or does he scare the hell out of him by spending a first, a third, and a fourth to draft his potential successor?

There’s one more important thing to remember. Ramsey was the selection of the previous administration, ie the one with Dan Snyder in charge. Quarterbacks are to head coaches as Secretaries of State are to the president—they serve at the boss’ pleasure. A new administration is not bound by the decisions of the previous one (although salary cap considerations, of course, are meaningless in the federal government).

Quick Links

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. 

<<<NFL POWER RANKINGS: WHO GOT BETTER AFTER THE DRAFT>>>

Want more Redskins? Click here to follow JP on Facebook and check out @JPFinlayCSN for live updates via Twitter! Click here for the #RedskinsTalk on Apple Podcasts, here for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!

ROSTER BATTLES: Left guard | Tight end Nickel cornerback  | Inside linebacker | Running back

Quick Links

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.

Tandler on Twitter

In case you missed it