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Where are we? The state of the Redskins going into the 2014 season

Where are we? The state of the Redskins going into the 2014 season

We’ll start this weekly look at where the Redskins stand by glancing at where they finished last year and a look ahead at what’s coming.

2013 Record: 3-13, fourth place in NFC East
vs. NFC East: 0-6
vs. NFC: 1-11
vs. AFC: 2-2
Home: 2-6
Away: 1-7


Offense (yards/game): 9
Defense (yards/game): 18
Point differential: -144
Passer rating offense: 76.1 (23rd)
Opp passer rating: 96.1 (27th)
Yards/rush attempt: 4.8 (3rd)
Opp. yards/rush attempt:
 4.0 (13th)

2013 Offensive MVP: Pierre Garçon broke the team record for receptions in a season with 113. He was the one consistent target for Robert Griffin III, who would have been in a world of hurt without Garçon. Honorable mentions go to left tackle Trent Williams, who continues to evolve into one of the best in the game, and running back Alfred Morris, whose encore season highly productive if not as spectacular as his rookie year.

2013 Defensive MVP: For the first time since his rookie 2009 season Brian Orakpo hit the elusive double-digit sack total. He finished with 10 and got his first career interception and touchdown on the same play with a 29-yard return against the Bears. Honorable mention for DeAngelo Hall, who had two pick sixes and a fumble return for a touchdown.

Top three storylines:

The debut of Jay Gruden—After toiling in the Arena Football League and in the UFL, Gruden gets his shot at the big time at the age of 47. He is known for his creative offensive schemes and he seems to be a good fit for the job. But we won’t know for a while if he will be successful.

Griffin’s struggles—The Redskins’ quarterback seemed hesitant and indecisive at time in training camp and it carried over into the preseason games. He is learning a new offense in addition to adjusting to Gruden’s fiat that he has to become more of a pocket passer and less of a running quarterback. It’s a work in progress.

Attacking on defense—The team surprisingly decided to retain Jim Haslett as the defensive coordinator. The spin is that he will be able to do things his way without interference from former coach Mike Shanahan. The more aggressive scheme showed some fruit in the preseason as the team recorded 13 sacks. But that doesn’t mean anything now that the games count and we will have to see how it works out.

First three games

Sunday @ Texans (2-14)—Washington opens up against the only team that finished 2013 with a worse record. But Houston has plenty of top-notch players like wide receiver Andre Johnson, $100 million defensive end J. J. Watt, running back Arian Foster, and top draft pick Jadeveon Clowney.

Sept. 14 vs. Jaguars (4-12)—The Jags have improved to the point where they can’t be taken for granted (not that a team that went 3-13 should take anyone lightly). For some reason they will start Chad Henne at quarterback and leave top draft pick Blake Bortles, who looked very ready to play from what we saw of him in the preseason.

Sept. 21 @ Eagles (10-6)—The headline will be the return of DeSean Jackson. The most important dimension here, however, is the need for the Redskins to show that the can play with their division rivals after two mostly uncompetitive games against them last year.

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The Final Countdown: Redskins defense can't stop Matt Stafford for 5th worst play of 2016

The Final Countdown: Redskins defense can't stop Matt Stafford for 5th worst play of 2016

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. 5 worst play of 2016

Redskins at Lions Week 7

0:22 left in Q4, Lions ball at the Redskins 18, 3rd and 10, Redskins leading 17-13

Matthew Stafford pass short left to Anquan Boldin for 18 yards, TOUCHDOWN.

More Redskins: Podcast--All eyes now on Cousins

Tandler: The Redskins had just taken the lead on a nifty 19-yard option run by Kirk Cousins with 1:05 left to play. All they had to do was keep the Lions out of the end zone but the defense was not up to the task. In fact, it was laughably easy for Stafford. The first three times he dropped back he completed passes for 23, 14, and 20 yards and just like that the Lions were in the red zone. It looked for a minute like the Redskins might hang on as two passes went incomplete. But on third down Stafford found Boldin open inside the five and the defense couldn’t get there quickly enough to keep him out of the end zone.

Related: Gruden's fate hinges on Manusky

Finlay: 65 seconds was all the 'Skins defense needed to preserve a win by holding the Lions without a touchdown. 65 seconds away from a five-game win streak, and knowing what we do now, a playoff berth. The Redskins defense couldn't stop Stafford, or Boldin, and lost in Detroit. A gut wrenching loss as the momentum on the Washington sideline seemed incredibly high just minutes before when Cousins ran in what looked like the game-winning score. 

10 best plays countdown

10 worst plays countdown


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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Who else could be trade partners with the Redskins in a Cousins deal?

Who else could be trade partners with the Redskins in a Cousins deal?

With the offensive and defensive coordinators now in place, the Redskins now turn their attention to two other matters.

One is the NFL combine, which gets underway on February 28. The other is the NFL franchise tag deadline, which happens to come the very next day, on March 1.

There has been plenty of talk lately about the possibility of the Redskins giving Kirk Cousins the franchise tag designation and then trading him if they don’t think that they will be able to sign him to a long-term deal.

While one team, the 49ers, has been talked about as a potential landing spot for Cousins they would not be the only interested team if there is going to be a deal.

Let’s take a look at what teams might be moderately interested or highly interested.


49ers (2-14)
Head coach:
Vacant, but will be Kyle Shanahan after the Super Bowl
First-round pick: No. 2
2016 leading passer: Colin Kaepernick

Connecting the dots here is easy as Shanahan was the offensive coordinator when Cousins was drafted by the Redskins in 2012. There would be no need for the two to get familiar with each other; they had two years to do that. Cousins seems like a natural fit in Shanahan’s offense. The 49ers are likely to move on from Kaepernick rather than taking his $19.4 million cap hit. They may try to move that No. 2 pick, or a package of other picks, to try to get Cousins. Anticipated interest: High

Bears (3-13)
Head coach:
John Fox
First-round pick: No. 3
2016 leading passer: Matt Barkley

This is the year that the Bears can finally move on from Jay Cutler without taking a crippling cap hit. Releasing Cutler, who played in just five games last year due to injury, would cost them just $2 million in dead cap. But do they really want to move on from Cutler, who wasn’t bad the last two years he was able to play? If they do, it seems unlikely that they would part with the No. 3 pick. Anticipated interest: Moderate


Jets (5-11)
Head coach:
Todd Bowles
First-round pick: No. 6
2016 leading passer: Ryan Fitzpatrick

In the last four drafts, the Jets have spent a second-round pick on Geno Smith, a fourth on Bryce Petty and a second on Christian Hackeberg. Smith is on his way out, Petty was shaky in four starts last year and Hackenberg didn’t see the field as a rookie. It would not be surprising to see them shop for an established, young-ish starter like Cousins. The No. 6 pick might be too much for Cousins. Another factor to consider is if Cousins would agree to a long-term deal to play in New York. They would have to carve out some cap space to get a deal done; they currently are $7.7 million over the anticipated cap. Anticipated interest: Moderate

Browns (1-15)
Head coach:
Hue Jackson
First-round pick: No. 1 and No. 12
2016 leading passer: Cody Kessler

Robert Griffin III is under contract for 2017 with a $6 million salary plus a $1.5 million roster bonus that the Browns can move on from for a relatively modest $1.75 million cap hit. It would not be outrageous for them to deal the No. 12 pick for Cousins. The question is if Cousins would want to be the latest QB to join the Browns’ Trail of Tears. Anticipated interest: Moderate

Other possibilities: The Cardinals might wonder if Carson Palmer’s slide from MVP candidate to mediocrity will continue and look to bring in an alternative . . . The Broncos can’t be happy with Trevor Simeon as their long-term starter and if they didn’t like what they saw from Paxton Lynch they might want to deal. But John Elway isn’t going to overpay . . . It will be another year before the Texans can move on from Brock Osweiler without a killer cap hit but they could just bench him and bring in their long-term answer a year early . . . Blake Bortles has just one more year left on his rookie deal and the Jaguars may move to get his replacement this year.

Note: The Rams are not mentioned here despite the presence of Sean McVay. They gave up a lot of draft picks to move up to No. 1 overall to take Jarred Goff last year and while he struggled they are not going to move on from him after one season. 


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.