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Redskins watch Bengals run away with a win

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Redskins watch Bengals run away with a win

In summary: Earlier this week, Defensive Coordinator Jim Haslett lamented his units propensity for surrendering big plays, particularly in the passing game.

On Sunday, the Redskins defensive secondary struggled again in a 38-31 loss to Andy Dalton, A.J. Green and the Bengals.

The defeat, Washingtons second in a row, had veteran cornerback Josh Wilson searching for answers after the unit yielded 300 or more passing yards for the third time in three games this season. In 16 games last season, the unit yielded 300 or more yards only twice.

It was apparent from the opening play of the game that the Bengals planned to exploit Washingtons defensive backs. The visitors struck on passing touchdowns of 73, 59 and 48 yards, the first coming on a trick play to open that game that seemed to catch the Redskins defensive backs unawares.

We have to make plays, Wilson said. They game-plan, too. We have to be able to think. Its very surprising. Were a way better unit than this. We have to step up and take responsibility.

Giving up 38 point is not our M.O., he continued We have to put up some stops and make plays. If I knew the problems, we wouldnt be giving up 38 points.

Wilson got beat in one-on-one coverage when he gambled and missed the ball and Armon Binns in the first quarter. Binns took Daltons pass 48 yards for a touchdown that put the Bengals ahead 14-7.

In the fourth quarter, rookie Richard Crawford bit on a double move and got beat on a 59 hookup between Dalton and Andrew Hawkins that gave Cincinnati the winning margin.

When you get double move, you cant it was a learning experience, said Crawford, who was playing for Cedric Griffin, who left the game with strained hamstring. I apologize to my teammates. That game was kind of on me. It was my fault.

In addition to the scoring passes, the Redskins secondary surrendered plays of 38, 27, 25 and 22, as well.

Injury update: Big plays are a growing concern. So are injuries.

With Brian Orakpo and Adam Carriker already done for the season and Brandon Meriweather not yet ready to return, the Redskins will be monitoring injuries to Trent Williams (knee), Evan Royster (knee), Roy Helu (foot or ankle), Griffin and Crezdon Butler(hamstring).

Williams, the starting left tackle and likely the most important player on offense behind Robert Griffin III, was injured in the first quarter. After a stint in the locker room, he played four plays in the third before leaving the game again.

After the game, Williams said he planned to have an MRI on Sunday night. He walked with a limp and sported a heavy brace on his right leg as he exited the stadium.

I dont what it is as of now, Williams said. I havent even looked at the replays. I just felt it give out on me.

I could go left, just had trouble going right, he added. Didnt really want to risk giving up a big quarterback hit.

For updates on the others, click here.

Griffin feeling the heat: Griffin completed 21 of 34 passes for 221 yards and accounted for two scores, one running and another passing. He also led the team in rushing with 85 yards.
And, once again, there were questions about how he is being used and whether all the designed runs will eventually lead to an injury. In addition to being sacked six times and hit 13 times on passing plays, Griffin also rushed the ball a career-high 12 times. In all, he has 32 carries in three games.

One play in particular seemed troubling. On an option in the second quarter, Griffin was hit hard by defensive end Carlos Dunlap, causing Griffin to fumble. Griffin was slow to get off the turf.

Coach Mike Shanahan does not agree.

I think we had 20 designed runs, relative to the option, over the first two games and I think he was contacted four times, Shanahan said. Even though its a designed run, he doesnt always get contacted. Now, if he had those designed runs and he was getting hit quite a bit, obviously you couldnt do that.

Take it to the Banks: One of the few bright spots was the creativity the coaching staff used in deploying Brandon Banks on offense. The pint-sized wide receiver carried the ball three times for 29 yards, including a 21-yarder on an option pitch in the third quarter.

Hes very good at that and thats one of the reasons why we kept him, Shanahan said.

By the numbers: Through the first three games, the Redskins defense has yielded 1,288 total yards.

The 213 yards on the ground Alfred Morris had 78 to go along with Griffins total were the most in a single game since Shanahan took over in 2010.

The 99 points the offense has scored the past three games is the most during a three-game stretch since 2005.

Rob Jacksons interception in the end zone marked only the fifth time in NFL history there has been an interception returned for zero yards for a score.

Quotable: Griffin on getting knocked down early and often. Cincinnatis ends were trying to run at me and get quarterback hits on me. Some teams think if you hit the quarterback enough, theyll stop coming after you. I just want to let everybody know that will never happen.

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Redskins Playbook: 5 forgotten names to remember for training camp

Redskins Playbook: 5 forgotten names to remember for training camp

When the Redskins open training camp in Richmond on Thursday, fans will line up to get autographs from Kirk Cousins, Josh Norman and Jordan Reed. Plenty of other players will excite the fans too as optimism rules the first few days of practice in July and August. 

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

There are other players that fans probably won't scream their names, but who could play a role or fight for a roster spot this fall. Winning in the NFL is almost nearly as dependent on the final 10 players on the roster as it is the first five. Depth is key, and here are a few players that fans might have forgotten about. 

  • RB Keith Marshall - The speedster out of Georgia has a wildly impressive resume - on paper - but just can't stay healthy. In college he started ahead of Todd Gurley for a time, now considered one of the best RBs in the NFL for the Rams. Marshall landed on the injured reserve last year as a rookie but looked healthy and capable at Redskins Park this offseason during OTAs and minicamp. The running back position looks quite full, but if Marshall can show his elite speed and make it through four preseason games, he just might push Mack Brown for a roster spot. 
  • LB Martrell Spaight - A tackling machine in college at Arkansas, Spaight missed most of his rookie season in 2015 before appearing in 14 games last season. Bad luck struck again, and he finished the year on the IR. With the addition of Zach Brown to the interior linebackers, Spaight might have a tough battle for a roster spot. Will Compton, Mason Foster and Brown all seem certain to make the team. Spaight could also start the year on the PUP list, which might be the surest way to stay on the Redskins.
  • LB Chris Carter - Signed as a free agent this year, the journeyman Carter has played for six teams in six years and looks poised to play the special teams role that Terence Garvin took on last year. If Carter makes the roster, that means trouble for Spaight. 
  • DL Anthony Lanier - An undrafted rookie in 2016 that didn't see much game action, Lanier has really impressed coaches with his work ethic this offseason. He has great size at 6-foot-6 and added about 20 pounds of muscle since the season ended, which should allow him the strength to handle the trenches. Lanier could be a sneaky important player this fall for Washington. 
  • S Will Blackmon - D.J. Swearinger and Su'a Cravens look to be the starting safeties for the Redskins in 2017. Swearinger has a proven track record in the NFL secondary, Cravens does not, but showed the ability to do so in college at USC. After those two, and with DeAngelo Hall on the PUP list, the Redskins lack much depth or experience in the defensive backfield. That's where Blackmon should help. A versatile veteran, Blackmon has the speed to keep up with most wideouts and is one of the more cerebral players on the defense. 

Bonus: RB Matt Jones - He might want off the Redskins roster, but that hasn't happened yet. If the team sustains any injuries at the running back position, Jones' fortunes could change quickly. 

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Need to Know: Redskins pre-camp 53-man roster projection, defense

Need to Know: Redskins pre-camp 53-man roster projection, defense

Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, July 25, two days before the Washington Redskins start training camp in Richmond on July 27.

Timeline

The Redskins last played a game 205 days ago; they will open the 2017 season against the Eagles at FedEx Field in 47 days.

Days until:

—Preseason opener @ Ravens (8/10) 16
—Preseason vs. Packers at FedEx Field (8/19) 25
—Roster cut to 53 (9/2) 40

Redskins roster projection—Defense

RICHMOND—The Redskins strap it up and start the battle for roster spots in earnest in just three days. Some are locks, others are hoping to hang on. Here is my prediction of the roster will shake out along with players who are on the bubble. The defense is up here, the offense went up yesterday.  

Players I have making the roster who are new to the organization in 2017 are in italics. Rookies are also in bold.

Defensive line (6)

Starters: Jonathan Allen, Terrell McClain, Joey Mbu (NT)
Backups: Stacy McGee, Anthony Lanier, Ziggy Hood

Bubble: Phil Taylor, Matt Ioannidis, A. J. Francis

It appears everybody is getting on the Mbu train so I might as well jump on, at least for the time being. But this area is very much in flux. It would not be a surprise to see any of the bubble players make it.

Inside linebacker (4)

Starters: Will Compton, Zach Brown
Backups: Mason Foster, Martrell Spaight

Bubble: Zach Vigil, Chris Carter

This is another area where the coaches did not tip their hands during the offseason program. Any combination of Brown, Compton, and Foster could start. In fact, you can’t rule out a long shot move by Spaight to get some significant playing time. Should they keep a fifth for special teams, a door could open for Vigil or Carter.

Outside linebackers (4)

Starters: Ryan Kerrigan, Preston Smith
Backups: Ryan Anderson, Junior Galette

Bubble: Houston Bates

Trent Murphy is suspended for the first four games so a tough numbers decision is put off until Week 5. Bates is going to start camp on the PUP list but if he gets on the field quickly and Galette falters, he could steal a roster spot.

Cornerbacks (5)

Starters: Josh Norman, Bashaud Breeland
Backups: Kendall Fuller, Quinton Dunbar, Josh Holsey

Bubble: Fabian Moreau, Dashawn Phillips

Moreau is only on the bubble because he is likely to start camp on the NFI list (non-football injury). The third-round pick will be on the 53 eventually but perhaps not until midseason as he continues to rehab a torn pectoral muscle. That could open the door for Holsey, a seventh-round pick. Even if Moreau is healthy for Week 1, Holsey or Phillips could be kept as the sixth cornerback.

Safety (6)

Starters: D.J. Swearinger, Su’a Cravens

Backups: DeAngelo Hall, Will Blackmon, Deshazor Everett, Montae Nicholson

Bubble: Josh Evans

Evans could get a spot if they decide that Nicholson, a fourth-round pick who is athletic but raw, isn’t ready yet. Everett is likely to be a lock because of his special teams play but an injury at this position or at cornerback could push him off the 53

Specialists (3)

LS Nick Sundberg, K Dustin Hopkins, P Tress Way

With no challengers, there is no bubble here. Both Way and Hopkins need to bounce back from sub standard 2016 performances.

Defensive breakdown: 25 players, four rookies, a total of eight new to the organization.

Full roster breakdown: 25 offense, 25 defense, three specialists. Eight rookies, A total of 13 players new to 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.

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