Here are some good questions I have received on Twitter (@Rich_TandlerCSN) that deserve a response of more then 140 characters. Feel free to hit me with questions any time.
From @skinsrockflair: Hi Rich. Have you heard anything on [cornerback Chase] Minnifield as far as rehab or expectations that he could play next year?
Normally we do not get rehab updates on players who are on injured reserve. While the doctors and trainers monitor the progress of the rehab process the coaches are not focused on players who will be unable to play this year. Unless a player happens to drop by the locker room while it is open to the media as Fred Davis did last week we just don’t get any updates. We will find out more about Minnifield when conditioning and OTA’s start in the spring.
From @P_Hazard: Will CB Pat Lee be a more likely target for Redskins than Stanford Routt?
The Raiders cut starting cornerback Patrick Lee in order to bring cornerback Ron Bartell off of the revocable IR list. Whenever a starting defensive back hits the market, Redskins fans ask about whether or not their team will be interested. And while it’s possible that the Redskins will take a look at Lee, who has played in 40 NFL games with eight starts in four NFL seasons with the Packers and Raiders, it would be surprising to see the Redskins sign him. They seem to be of the mind that while their secondary is bad they aren’t going to get any substantial help by singing players who were cut by bad teams. So, as they did with Routt, who was released by the Chiefs a couple of weeks ago, they are likely to bypass the opportunity to sign Lee.
From @AndyMoneybags: When does the team resume practice? The usual wed? That’s a lot of time off...
Certainly, the Redskins look like a team that could use some more work. Even if they need to rest their bodies, one would think they could benefit from additional film and meeting time. But a mental break from the game can be just as important as a physical break. And even if Mike Shanahan thought otherwise and wanted to work the team during the bye he couldn’t. The CBA requires five days off during the bye so they are off Wednesday through Sunday. They will report to Redskins Park tomorrow for meetings and perhaps a light practice (we don’t yet have a media schedule). They will be off on Tuesday, another CBA requirement, before starting preparation for the Eagles in earnest on Wednesday.
From Trey_DavisIII: hey Mr. Rich. What do you think the chances of Tanard Jackson coming back to the team this off season is? It would help.
I got a few questions about Jackson both about this year and next. And while the door isn’t closed to him returning to the Redskins it will be a very tricky path. Jackson can’t set foot in an NFL facility until August 30, 2013 at the earliest. He can apply for reinstatement then but there is no guarantee that he will be allowed to come back. So the Redskins would be foolish to rely on his return to fill a hole at safety. They will have to make other plans and if Jackson can return he might serve as added depth. Another possibility is that they may simply release him and clear his $700,000 salary off of the books.
Much of the Redskins offseason has been focused on players like Josh Norman and Kirk Cousins, or the addition of guys like Terrelle Pryor and Zach Brown. Further down the roster, however, is where games are won. Here's a look at three players that will have the opportunity to make a big impact in 2017.
- Kendall Fuller - Let's be honest: the second-year Hokie had a tough rookie year. He started the season injured, and probably wasn't all the way up to speed when he began playing Week 4. Early on he produced at a good level for a rookie, but quickly, the league saw how to beat him. In a November game against the Vikings, Fuller repeatedly got beat on the inside by Vikings wideout Stefon Diggs. After that, the Redskins coaching staff looked elsewhere for a slot corner. 2017 is a new season, and Fuller will be a full year removed from his knee injury. He still has good vision and hips, an NFL pedigree, and should have the first crack at the slot corner role. If he can produce like many expected from him in 2015 - when he was an assumed first-round pick - Fuller could make a big difference for the Washington defense. Third round draft pick Fabian Moreau might also push for snaps at corner, once he gets healthy.
- Stacy McGee - A new addition to the defense, McGee might be the answer Redskins fans want at nose tackle. Last season was by the far the best of McGee's career, and he emerged as a strong run stopper in Oakland. With his frame, and Jim Tomsula's coaching, McGee might play a big role this fall. His biggest hurdle? Staying healthy. In four seasons in the NFL, McGee has only played 16 games one season. Last year, he was limited to just nine games.
- Spencer Long - A free agent at the end of the season, Long comes in to 2017 looking to prove he can be a top tier center in the NFL. He excelled in pass blocking and calling the assignments on the Redskins line, but his run blocking could improve this fall. The literal centerpiece of a strong, young 'Skins line, 2017 will be a big opportunity for Long. Don't forget Washington moved up to draft Chase Roullier from Wyoming in the 6th round, and he played center and guard in college. Life in the NFL always has pressure, and Long will be facing some.
Always something on social: Enjoy the weekend folks.
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ROSTER BATTLES: Left guard | Tight end | Nickel cornerback | Inside linebacker | Running back
Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, May 27, 17 days before the Washington Redskins start minicamp on June 13.
It’s been 146 days since the Redskins played a game. Their season opener against the Eagles at FedEx Field is in 106 days.
—Redskins minicamp (6/13) 17
—Training camp starts (7/27) 61
—Preseason opener @ Ravens (8/10) 75
The Redskins week that was
Here are some of the most popular post from the last week on www.CSNmidatlantic.com and on www.RealRedskins.com
How well will the Redskins' defense adjust to six new starters? The Redskins unquestionably got an infusion of defensive talent but as we have seen in the past that does not guarantee better results. Throw a new defensive coordinator into the mix and it could take some time for this unit to reach its full potential. I think that there will be struggles early in the season and a better (but not dominant) unit by the time November rolls around.
Which Redskins will surprise in 2017? Every player carries expectations into the season. Some will be better than we believe right now (think of what many thought Vernon Davis would do last year) and some will play worse (Josh Doctson). I take out the crystal ball to figure out who will exceed expectations and who will fall below them.
Don't count out 3rd straight franchise tag for Cousins—Yes, Bruce Allen said that he is willing to franchise tag Kirk Cousins for a third time next year, a move that would cost $34 million for one season. But I think that’s a total bluff; the Redskins’ salary cap situation for 2018 would make such a move very difficult for them to pull off. The best hope for Cousins being a Redskin in 2018 is getting him signed to a long-term contract by July 15 of this year. The tone of the conversation regarding a new deal has been positive lately but the team must come up with a serious offer for a deal to happen.
For Redskins, finding a nose tackle needs to be a priority—Well, it’s up to Jim Tomsula to “make” a nose tackle. Phil Taylor is a true NT and he will get a shot. But he hasn’t played a snap since 2014. Undrafted free agent Ondre Pipkins also has nose tackle size at 6-3, 325. But he is a long shot, as are the Redskins’ chances of being significantly better against the run if they don’t find someone, anyone to be an adequate solution as the nose tackle.
Did Vernon Davis make the NFL change celebration rules? Although I prefer the John Riggins way of celebrating a touchdown—hand the ball to the referee because you’ve been in the end zone before and you expect to be back again soon—elaborate celebrations don’t bother me. After a TD in a game I’m covering I’m focused on writing about the scoring drive. When I’m watching at home, my attention goes to Twitter or to the refrigerator. I do think that it was dumb for the Redskins to lose 15 yards of field position because Vernon Davis put a jump shot over the crossbar so that’s why I’m glad that the NFL changed the celebration rules.
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.