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The state of the Redskins, Week 4

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The state of the Redskins, Week 4

Here is where the Redskins stand in Week 3 of the NFL season.

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

Key numbers changes from 2014-2015

 

Rankings (through Sunday’s games)

Offense (yards/game): 371.7 (12th)
Defense (yards/game): 277.3 (2nd)
Passer rating offense: 81.3 (22nd)
Opp passer rating: 96.3 (20th)
Yards/rush attempt: 4.6 (5th)
Opp. yards/rush attempt:
 3.6 (11th)
DVOA through Week 14 (Football Outsiders): 6.1% (13th)

Top three storylines:

A season on the brink?—Last year the Redskins started 1-1 but a four-game losing streak followed and the season essentially was over before the middle of October. This year they have a chance to right their season at home at the expense of a scuffling division rival in the Eagles. They need to take advantage of it.

Changing of the guard—Left guard Shawn Lauvao was playing well, frequently pulling and leading the way on successful runs to the left. Now he is out for the season and either Spencer Long or Arie Kouandjio will get his first NFL start on Sunday. It’s not an ideal situation but if you are going to have an inexperienced player on the line, guard is the place to have him.

In search of takeaways—The Redskins are turning the ball over more than they should—six times in three games. But they could partially mitigate those issues by take the ball away more frequently on defense. They have just one takeaway, the fumble that Preston Smith forced and recovered in the opener. Obviously, that needs to change.

Next three games

Sunday vs. Eagles (1-2)—Right now it looks like Chip Kelly deserves the dunce cap more than the genius label. His three highest-profile offseason acquisitions, running back DeMarco Murray, quarterback Sam Bradford, and cornerback Byron Maxwell, have been disappointments in the early going. We will see if they can right the ship against the Redskins

Oct. 11 @ Falcons (3-0)—Kyle Shanahan has Matt Ryan, Julio Jones, and the rest of the Atlanta offense rolling and Dan Quinn has the team believing. In their last two games they have overcome double-digit deficits on the road to win against the Giants and Cowboys the last two weeks.

Oct. 18 @ Jets (2-1)—Former Redskins safety Todd Bowles (1986-1990, 1991-1992) has the Jets playing pretty well. They are getting it done the way the Redskins want to get it done, with a stout defense, a game managing QB, and a stout rushing attack.

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Need to Know: Will the Redskins be interested in C Mangold, RB Murray?

Need to Know: Will the Redskins be interested in C Mangold, RB Murray?

Here is what you need to know on this Monday, February 27, 2 days before the March 1 NFL franchise tag deadline.  

Timeline

Days until:

—NFL Combine (3/2) 3
—Start of NFL free agency (3/9) 10
—Redskins offseason workouts start (4/17) 49
—NFL Draft (4/27) 59
—First Sunday of 2017 season (9/10) 195

Monday morning Redskins musings as free agency approaches

1. It appears that the Raiders are going to let Latavius Murray, who rushed for over 1,800 yards combined in the last two seasons, test free agency.

I’d be surprised if the Redskins showed any interest. I’m not sure that they will be jumping into the RB free agent pool, at least not into the deep (expensive) end of it. They might draft a back to compete with Rob Kelley, Matt Jones, and Mack Brown. Chris Thompson will remain the third-down back.

2. Do you wonder why the Redskins have been reluctant to draft a safety?

Eventually, someone will need to figure out the safety position in the NFL. With all the spread offenses that safeties face in college the safeties have become more like additional corner. Also, the better defensive backs in college want to be cornerbacks because it pays better in the pros. The pool coming out is generally small to begin with and then it shrinks even further for each team due to the scheme factors that Farrar discusses. Su'a Cravens could be the solution to one safety spot for the Redskins but they continue to be in search of someone to pair with him. 

RELATED: NFL Mock Draft Version 4.0

3. The Jets allowed C Nick Mangold to announce his own release. He was one of the best centers of the past decade; Mangold went to seven Pro Bowls and was named first-team All-Pro twice. But I don’t see him being of interest to the Redskins. They are happy with Spencer Long and even if they weren’t, Mangold is 33 and he missed half of last season with an ankle injury. Those factors likely will make the Redskins steer clear.

4. Maybe some fans don’t care if they are getting information from the team through the media at the combine. Or at the Senior Bowl. Or anywhere. And it is the team’s option to have someone available or not during most of the offseason (a press conference prior to the draft is mandatory). But they are missing out on a chance to give their side of the story.

One of the problems with changing what has been a longstanding practice and going into radio silence is that it leaves people speculating. If the team doesn’t want to put any information out there that is the organization’s option. But if you choose not to fill in the blanks, the fans and media will.

More Redskins: #RedskinsTalk podcast: Is Kirk too nice for his own good?

5. We have another D-lineman signed as the Panthers retained DE Mario Addison.

Addison, who was with the Redskins for five games in 2012, also had six and 6.5 sacks the previous two year, not bad for a guy who has started just one game in the last three seasons. That average of just over $7 million per year sets another data point for the Redskins to use to try to retain Chris Baker. Addison is a 4-3 end while Baker is a 3-4 end so it’s not an apples to apples comparison but it will help figuring out what a reasonable contract is. Without seeing the details, it looks like Addison gave the Panthers something of a hometown discount as that’s a good price for a guy who was half a sack away from double digits.

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 Facebook.com/TandlerCSN and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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A Redskin fan's guide to the NFL Draft Combine

A Redskin fan's guide to the NFL Draft Combine

This week in Indianapolis the NFL world will converge at the Scouting Combine to watch college football players work out, sprint and lift weights in anticipation of the upcoming draft. For the Redskins front office, this draft needs to be a win.

The 2016 Draft could still yield strong results for Washington, but overall the class did not play particularly well as rookies. This year, Scot McCloughan has nine picks at his disposal, with the extra picks late in the draft in the fourth, fifth and sixth rounds.

It's no secret that the 'Skins need help along the defensive line, a lot of help. That should be a major area of focus for the Redskins scouts and coaches, and that will make next Sunday arguably the most important of the week in Indianapolis. 

The combine divides players into 11 position groups, but Groups 7, 8 and 9 will matter most. Groups 7 and 8 represent defensive linemen and 9 are the linebackers. That group officially arrives on Thursday but won't work out on the field until Sunday. The days in between include interviews, psychological testing and the bench press.

Obviously the Redskins won't spend all nine picks on only defensive linemen. The team will likely invest in the offensive line as well, and that group will arrive earlier in the week and work out on Friday. Cornerbacks and safeties are the last to work out on Monday, March 6. 

With the likely departure of at least one of DeSean Jackson or Pierre Garçon, and the possible departure of both, it would make sense for the 'Skins to bring in another receiver via the draft. They work out on Saturday, and should the Redskins decide to take a quarterback in the draft, the passers will work out that day too. 

Running back could be another spot the 'Skins invest. Jay Gruden said that Robert Kelley is locked into the RB1 role, but still the team might want increased competition at the position. The backs will work out Friday.

<<<LOOKING AT REDSKINS DRAFT PROSPECTS>>>

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