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Redskins vs Rams 1st quarter

Redskins vs Rams 1st quarter

Pregame

There is something of a big-game atmosphere here at FedEx Field. We weren't quite sure what to think of the Redskins when they last were here on September 21. They had just beaten two playoff contenders at home and, while they were starting to get it together, few thought that they would be 4-1 and the talk of the NFL. But indeed they are 4-1 and nearly every seat that is visible from here is occupied prior to the playing of the Star Spangled Banner. There is no real electricity yet, but that will be determined when the game starts. The Redskins will receive.

11:00—The Redskins' opening drive doesn't seem to be very aggressive, with some Portis runs and short slants being the staples. Only a 12 men on the field penalty against the Rams kept in from being a three and out. I would think that Zorn would want to start off and bury the Rams early, but it appears he's setting up stuff for later on in the game.

10:50—I guess Zorn figured that the Rams would bury themselves. Jackson fumbles and LaRon Landry recovers. One play later, Portis for three off the right side and the Redskins are up.

Portis 3 run (Suisham kick)
Redskins 7, Rams 0

Brooks set up the drive with a perfect pooch punt that rolled dead at the three. He seems to have been alternating good and bad games, maybe this will turn out to be a keeper.

9:56—The thigh-slapper defense is a keeper. Before the third-down snap, London Fletcher did a couple of 360-degree turns, while slapping both thighs, apparently giving a signal to the defense. The result was a tipped pass and a should-have-been interception by Landry. A second takeaway would have had Landry in the running for defensive player of the week honors just 20 minutes into the week.

9:15—The Rams shuffled six players in between second and 10 and third and seven. I'm sure that caught the attention of the coaches upstairs. There has to be someone to target on first-down passing situations if that's the case.

9:00—Campbell took a sack and I'm 100% certain that he would have coughed up the ball on the same hit last year. It was a cornerback from the blindside but he managed to hold on.

5:51—The Redskins are going to have to get some pressure on Bulger. In this drive he has converted after being second and 15 and second and 17. They're not getting very close to him and he's finding his receivers in the seams.

FG Brown 51
Redskins 7, Rams 3

The Rams made Josh Brown a good-sized contract to lure him away from the Seahawks this past offseason. He could be a valuable asset if St. Louis could get into some competitive contests.

Swing pass to 26 gets the offense into a rhythm?

0:58—The Redskins were just getting into a rhythm on offense after a swing pass to Portis for about 14. Then it was a pass to Moss for about 15, Portis for 5, pass to Cooley for 4, Betts for 3 on third and one. Cooley had another first down when he fumbled for the Skins' first offensive turnover of the year. It came fairly deep in Ram territory, so the damage was minimal. It will be interesting to see if they regain the rhythm when they get the ball back.

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Redskins interview another former Chargers defensive coordinator

Redskins interview another former Chargers defensive coordinator

The Redskins continue to cast a wide net in their search for a new defensive coordinator. On Thursday, they interviewed John Pagano, who was recently let go as the defensive coordinator of the Chargers.

Pagano, the brother of Colts head coach Chuck Pagano, has been coaching with the Chargers since 2002. That year he started as a quality control coach and then he was the linebackers coach from 2005-2011. The Chargers fired defensive coordinator Greg Manusky, a current Redskins coach and another candidate to run the defense in Washington, after the 2011 season and Pagano was promoted into that job.

Related: Projecting the Redskins' roster--defense

In Pagano’s five seasons with the Chargers, the performance of the defense was respectable. In terms of total yards, San Diego was in the top 10 twice and only once were they ranked worse than 20th.

The Redskins fired defensive coordinator Joe Barry on January 5. The list of candidates they have interviewed includes Mike Pettine, Gus Bradley, Rob Ryan, Manusky, and Jason Tarver. They are expected to interview former Jets and Bills defensive coordinator Dennis Thurman on Friday.

More Redskins: Setting the odds on what will happen with Cousins

None of the candidates they have interviewed have accepted positions with other teams so they are all still in play. There is no timetable for the team to make a decision, although the sense is that the process is coming to a close and will be concluded in the near future.

Stay up to date on the Redskins! Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page www.Facebook.com/RealRedskins and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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Need to Know: How long is too long in the Redskins' defensive coordinator search?

Need to Know: How long is too long in the Redskins' defensive coordinator search?

Here is what you need to know on this Friday, January 20, 97 days before the NFL draft.

Timeline

Days until:
NFL franchise tag deadline 40
NFL free agency starts 48
First Sunday of 2017 season 233

Will Pleasant push the defensive coordinator search to a conclusion?

Is the Redskins’ search for a defensive coordinator taking too long? Joe Barry was fired two weeks ago yesterday. The Redskins have made it clear that they want to be very thorough in their search. But taking time creates problems and one just popped up. Assistant defensive back coach Aubrey Pleasant apparently has the option to follow Sean McVay to Los Angeles. But the Redskins want to hold on to him.

The problem is that they don’t want to sign Pleasant to be, say, the cornerbacks coach and tie the hands of the incoming defensive coordinator. They already would like the new guy to keep OLB coach Greg Manusky and ILB coach Kirk Olivadotti. Locking in a third position coach might made it very hard to persuade a quality coordinator to come on board.

Related: Projecting the Redskins' roster--defense

However, they can’t hold Pleasant, who is a young, energetic coach who relates well to the players, back indefinitely. Presumably McVay and defensive coordinator Wade Phillips have a bigger role in mind for him and they won’t wait forever for him to get things resolved in Washington.

But it’s not like the Pleasant situation will need to be resolved by the close of business today. We’re talking days, not hours. How many days? They could lose him due because of the Redskins’ deliberate process if it stretches into sometime early next week. I think the chances are strong that there will be a decision on the new defensive coordinator by, say, the close of business on Tuesday.

More Redskins: Setting the odds on what will happen with Cousins

I’ll wrap this up with a quick round of laying out the $100 in casino chips on the various defensive coordinator candidates. Things have changed since I did it on Monday. I’ll still make Greg Manusky the favorite but I’ll drop him down five bucks to $35. I’m downgrading Mike Pettine down to a $10 wager; I’ve heard that the organization was not impressed with his interview. I’m more than doubling the wager on Gus Bradley to $25. It’s been a few days since reports that the Chargers were pressing him for a decision and yet he remains in play. I’m going with $10 on Dennis Thurmon, who is from the school of the aggressive style of play that Jay Gruden is looking for. Rob Ryan gets not a cent and the remaining $20, including John Pagao, who interviewed yesterday, goes on the field.

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In case you missed it

Stay up to date on the Redskins! Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page www.Facebook.com/RealRedskins and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.