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The Week That Was: Redskins' OL continuity rare in today's NFL

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The Week That Was: Redskins' OL continuity rare in today's NFL

Here is what you need to know on this Sunday August 17, one day before the Redskins take on the Steelers at FedEx Field in preseason game No. 2.

That Was the Week That Was

—Going into this round of preseason games, 55 NFL players had suffered season ending injuries. That means that the Redskins, who lost Phillip Thomas (foot) and Keenan Robinson (torn pectoral), are right around the league average. They have yet to lose a projected starter for even a game yet, however, so their luck is holding out there just over three weeks before the start of the regular season. Last year the Redskins had the second highest total of games missed by projected starters in the NFL.

—One are where the Redskins are particularly solid is on the offensive line. When the 32 NFL teams take the field for their openers they will average 1.75 changes on their starting offensive lines. That includes both players new to the team and 2012 starters who switched positions. Eight teams will have at least three changes. The Redskins will have zero changes. And they have all five starters under contract for 2014. Continuity on the line isn’t everything but it helps and the Redskins have the potential to be in good shape there for a few more years.

—Fred Davis wasn’t the only Redskin fined after drawing a 15-yard flag in last week’s preseason game in Tennessee. Bacarri Rambo was hit for $7,875 for shoving Shonn Green after the running back had scored a second-quarter touchdown. Chris Baker was hit for $15,750 for hitting QB Rust Smith in the knees in the fourth quarter. For Rambo, who is earning the rookie minimum, the fine will eat up 33 percent of his first weekly paycheck of about $23,800.

—Jordan Reed has shown some flashes of outright brilliance during training camp. His twisting, over the shoulder catch of a Robert Griffin III pass last week was stunning. But he also has moments where he seems to be lacking in effort like when he has a chance to knock the ball away from a defensive back to prevent an interception or when a ball is thrown that perhaps could be caught by diving for it. It seems to me that he is concerned about getting injured, perhaps a justified fear since he missed all of minicamp with one injury and about a week of practice with another one. He should play on Monday, perhaps extensively, so it will be interesting to see if his, well, cautious ways continue in a game situation.

—When Bruce Allen spoke in Richmond on Friday, he said that the salary cap penalty the team was hit with for 2012 and 2013 will have “repercussions . . . down the road.” And it’s clear that the Redskins will still be paying the price next year and the new two or three if they have to renegotiate contracts in order to get under the cap this year. That will push cap dollars from this year into future years, giving them less to spend in future years. Certainly, the effects won’t be as pronounced as they have been the last couple of years but it still will shrink their available cap room by several million dollars, perhaps more.

In case you missed it

For your Sunday morning reading pleasure, here are links to all 42 Redskins posts from the past week from here and CSNwashington.com.

Sunday 08.11

Monday 08.12

Tuesday 08.13

Wednesday 08.14

Thursday 08.15

Friday 08.16

Saturday 08.17

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The Final Countdown: Redskins 8th worst play came from a big hit in Arizona

The Final Countdown: Redskins 8th worst play came from a big hit in Arizona

As should be expected when a team goes 8-7-1, there were plenty of good moments and a lot of frustrating times during the Redskins’ 2016 season. Over the next couple of weeks, Redskins Insiders Rich Tandler and JP Finlay will take detailed looks at the 10 best plays of 2016 and, to present a more complete picture of the season, the 10 worst.

No. 8 worst play of 2016

Redskins at Cardinals Week 13

5:13 left in Q3, Redskins ball 2nd and 8 at their own 29, Redskins leading 13-10

Kirk Cousins sacked at WAS 36 for -9 yards (Calais Campbell). FUMBLES (Calais Campbell) [Calais Campbell], RECOVERED by ARZ- Markus Golden at WAS 30. Markus Golden to WAS 10 for 20 yards (Chris Thompson).

Related: Projecting the Redskins' roster--defense

Tandler: The Redskins had survived a rocky start and they were in position to take control of the game after the Cardinals missed a long field goal attempt. But the situation turned abruptly when Campbell blew over guard Shawn Lauvao and hit Cousins, sending the ball flying. Golden scooped it up and returned it to the 10. Three plays later Carson Palmer threw a six-yard touchdown pass to Michael Floyd. That was the beginning of the end of the Redskins’ chances to get a road win that they desperately had to have.

More Redskins: An early look at first-round draft possibilities

Finlay: When the Cowboys opened the game by marching right down the field against the Redskins on Thanksgiving, nobody blinked, as Dallas' offense had been superb all season. When Arizona did the same thing the following week, there was reason for concern. The 'Skins were able to stem the Cards early, and even took a lead, before Campbell bull-rushed his way into the Washington backfield and blasted Cousins. The Cardinals defensive line was hitting Cousins all game, and this play almost seemed inevitable. It would later come out Lauvao was playing through injury, but bigger picture, the Cardinals loss was the first game the 'Skins truly needed and the team couldn't win. The loss dropped Jay Gruden's squad out of a playoff spot, and though the team would eventually inch their way back into contention, in hindsight, losing in Arizona was the first real indicator that the 2016 Redskins would not make the postseason. 

10 best plays countdown

10 worst plays countdown

RELATED: 2017 NFL MOCK DRAFT 1.0

Want more Redskins? Check out @JPFinlayCSN and @Rich_TandlerCSN for live updates or click here for the #RedskinsTalk Podcast on iTunes, here for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!

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Redskins defensive coordinator resume: Dennis Thurman

Redskins defensive coordinator resume: Dennis Thurman

The Redskins are set to interview Dennis Thurman for their vacant offensive coordinator position. Here is a look at Thurman’s qualifications for the job.

Before becoming a coordinator: Thurman played in the NFL for the Cowboys from 1978-1985. Redskins fans may best remember him for trying to break up the “Fun Bunch” celebration in a 1983 game. He played for the Cardinals the last season of his career. He coached the secondary for the Cardinals for two years before going to USC and holding the same job there from 1993-2000. Thurman then returned to the NFL as a Ravens defensive assistant and secondary coach. He moved to the Jets to coach the secondary there before getting promoted to defensive coordinator in 2012.

Related: Projecting the Redskins' roster--defense

Note: If you want more complete stats on Thurman’s defenses check out his page on Pro Football Reference. DVOA stats via Football Outsiders. A negative DVOA percentage is better than a positive number. Zero is average.

For players, * designates Pro Bowl selection, + designates first-team All-Pro

2013 Jets (8-8)

Rankings: Yards 5,359 (11th), points 387 (19th), takeaways 15 (31st), 3rd down 38.8% (13th), DVOA -5.6% (12th)
Notable players: DE Muhammad Wilkerson, CB Antonio Cromartie*, S Ed Reed

The Jets traded away their best defender, Darrelle Revis, during the offseason. Wilkerson led a good pass rush as he racked up 10.5 sacks and LB Calvin Pace had 10. It should be noted that head coach Rex Ryan is a defensive-minded head coach and he certainly had influence in what went right and what went wrong on that side of the ball.

2014 Jets (4-12)

Rankings: Yards 5,235 (6th), points 401 (24th), takeaways 13 (32nd), 3rd down 45.2% (30th), DVOA 3.5% (21st)
Notable players: DT Sheldon Richardson*, DE Quinton Cooples

If you want to know how a team can finish in the top six in yards and in the bottom 10 in points allowed just look at the lack of takeaways and the porous third-down defense. An offense with Geno Smith at quarterback couldn’t keep thinks afloat and Thurman was fired along with Ryan after the season.

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

2015 Bills (8-8)

Rankings: Yards 5,702 (19th), points 359 (15th), takeaways 25 (12th), 3rd down 40.5%, DVOA 8.6% (24th)
Notable players: DE Mario Williams, DE Jerry Hughes

Ryan and Thurman both moved to upstate New York when they were hired by the Bills. This unit ranked fourth in both yards and points the year before Ryan and Thurman arrived and they obviously didn’t maintain that. It didn’t help that 2014 first-team All-Pro Marcell Dareus got into some legal trouble during the offseason and his production plummeted from 10 sacks in 2014 to two.

2016 Bills (7-9)

Rankings: Yards 5,712 (19th), points 378 (16th), takeaways 18 (23rd), 3rd down 40.0%, DVOA 8.0 (26th)
Notable players: LB Lorenzo Alexander*, CB Stephon Gilmore

Former Redskin Alexander had a good year, racking up 12 sacks and making the Pro Bowl but there wasn’t much else to talk about on defense. They essentially spun their wheels and Ryan was fired with a game left and Thurman soon followed him out the door.

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.