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State of the Redskins, Week 9: Getting healthy

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State of the Redskins, Week 9: Getting healthy

Here is where the Redskins stand in Week 9 of the NFL season.

Record: 3-4, T-2nd in NFC East
vs. NFC East: 1-1
vs. NFC: 3-2
vs. AFC: 0-2
Home: 3-1
Away: 0-3

Key numbers changes from 2014-2015

Rankings (through Sunday’s games)

Offense (yards/game): 340.3 (25th)
Defense (yards/game): 360.4 (17th)
Passer rating offense: 84.7 (21st)
Opp passer rating: 97.9 (24th )
Yards/rush attempt: 3.7 (28th)
Opp. yards/rush attempt:
 4.9 (30th)
DVOA through Week 8 (Football Outsiders): -5.6% (18th)

Top three storylines:

Returning to health—It looks like wide receiver DeSean Jackson will be back for Sunday’s game against the Patriots, although we still have to see how much he can participate in practice this week. Cornerbacks Chris Culliver and DeAngelo Hall appeared on the field this week for the first time in a while. Center Kory Lichtensteiger was wearing a helmet during Monday’s workout for the first time in a couple of weeks. It’s unlikely that they will go into New England at full strength but they should be there at some point later this month.

Tall tasks ahead—This team has struggled on the road and they have two road games with undefeated teams coming up in the next three weeks. The Patriots are dominating while the Panthers are just getting by. The odds are very much against the Redskins winning either game but how resilient they are will tell us a lot about how they may do the rest of the season.

Get a running back going—Jay Gruden said that both Matt Jones and Alfred Morris would get touches. But he has to find a hot hand to get a rushing attack that is now ranked 30th in the NFL in terms of average yards per carry going.

Next three games

Sunday @ Patriots (7-0)—It’s no insult to Gruden or Kirk Cousins to say that this one is a big mismatch at both head coach and quarterback with Bill Belichick and Tom Brady on the other side.

November 15 vs. Saints (4-4)—The Saints look a whole lot better than they did a few weeks ago, after they handed the Falcons their first loss and then moved the ball at will against the Giants as Drew Brees threw a record-tying seven touchdown passes. Historically they are a different team playing outdoors on grass; we will see.

November 22 @ Panthers (7-0)—They lost a 17-point fourth-quarter lead to the struggling Colts so the strength of their vaunted defense has to be questioned. But Cam Newton seems to be able to move the chains whenever he really needs to and that has helped to keep them spotless in the loss column.

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The Redskins plan to add multiple new front office positions, according to Bruce Allen

The Redskins plan to add multiple new front office positions, according to Bruce Allen

The Redskins will be adding as many as three new positions to their front office, team president Bruce Allen said on Monday.

Speaking with the media at the Redskins Charitable Golf Foundation, Allen explained that he has spoken with 12 people from outside the organization about possible jobs.

Many wondered if the Redskins would make a hire after the early March firing of former general manager Scot McCloughan.

Reports showed that Allen wanted to promote a new GM from within, and that could still be the case. Doug Williams, Scott Campbell and Eric Schaefer are considered the internal leaders for the vacant position.

MORE REDSKINS: Who will stand out this season and who will disappoint?

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

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What — if anything — can Redskins learn from Patriots' situation with Jimmy Garoppolo?

What — if anything — can Redskins learn from Patriots' situation with Jimmy Garoppolo?

Despite reports of a highly motivated trade market for Jimmy Garoppolo, the New England Patriots decided to hold on to their backup quarterback this offseason. It's easy to dismiss the notion of keeping Garoppolo as just one part of the unique genius of Pats coach Bill Belichick, but that might be overly simplistic.

In an article last week for MMQB.com, Albert Breer writes that New England ultimately decided there is more value in a QB a team trusts than a package of draft picks, even high draft picks.

Your off-season lesson for this week: Having a good young quarterback on your own roster is more important than what he’s worth as an asset.

The emphasis belongs to Breer, and it could be an interesting lesson for Redskins fans. 

A vocal part of the fan base believed that Washington should have moved QB Kirk Cousins before the draft. The logic went that since the Redskins can't get a long-term deal done with Cousins, the organiztion should maximize the value with the passer and trade him, potentially for the first or second overall pick in the 2017 draft.

Breer's argument, however, might poke holes in that theory. 

Belichick and the Pats decided to keep Garoppolo despite plenty of reasons to move the young signal caller. The first - and super obvious - reason being a healthy Tom Brady. That needs no explanation.

Beyond Brady, Breer explains that it seems more likely Garoppolo's stock will actually decrease in 2017, just because it's so high right now. Looking ahead to the 2018 draft, a number of quarterbacks are expected to be worth high selections, starting with USC quarterback Sam Darnold.

If there was a time to move Garoppolo, it would have been this offseason. And Belichick didn't do it. That suggests the Patriots want to keep the former Eastern Illinois product playing in Foxborough, especially if age ever catches up to the 39-year-old Brady. 

One more note on Garopollo - he is slated for free agency in 2018. Just like Cousins. It's entirely possible Jimmy G walks in free agency next season, and the Pats get no compensation. The exact same possibility is in play for Cousins and the Redskins. New England could franchise Garoppolo too next offseason, as has been the case for Cousins the last two seasons in Burgundy and Gold. 

The truth is Garoppolo has thrown less than 100 passes in the NFL. Cousins threw more than 600 just last season. There is no true comparison for Cousins' situation, just as there isn't for Garoppolo's. Both players have great value. Cousins has proved he's an NFL starter. Garoppolo certainly looked like one in two starts in 2016. 

One key takeaway: Belichick opted to keep Garoppolo this year, even though the Patriots could have recouped a lot of value, and knowing that the 2018 QB market should be significantly better than the 2017 crop. And that's with a very uncertain contract future for Garoppolo and the organization.

In some ways, the Redskins and Bruce Allen made the same decision with Cousins. It could certainly backfire. Cousins might leave next offseason and Washington gets nothing in return. Still, the Redskins will have their passer for 2017, and with an improved defense, should be an NFC playoff contender. It also remains possible the team finalizes a deal with Cousins before the July 15th deadline. It's not probably, but definitely possible. 

But in a league where most can only hope to emulate the success in New England, maybe, just maybe, Washington is following the Patriots handbook. 

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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