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Need to Know: Who could be a surprise Week 1 starter for the Redskins?

Apr 12, 2015, 5:29 AM EDT


Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, April 12, 18 days before the Washington Redskins go on the clock at the NFL draft.

Question of the day

A few days a week I’ll give an in-depth answer to a question submitted by a fan on my Twitter feed, via the Real Redskins Facebook page, or in the comments section here. On Twitter address the questions to me at @Rich_TandlerCSN with the #NTK hashtag. There will be a comment thread set up on the Facebook page and if you’re asking your question here, put “for NTK” at the start of the comment.

On the weekend I like to empty out the inbox and take some questions that perhaps don’t require a long explanation and answer them rapid-fire style.

The first thing that should be noted here is that the acquisition of Dashon Goldson should not affect the team’s draft plans. He’s going to be 31 when Week 2 comes around and he’s essentially on a one-year contract. A smart GM doesn’t alter his draft plans when he gets one-season patch at a position. As far as Collins, I’m skeptical that McCloughan would invest a first-round pick in a 6-0 safety who is pretty well limited to playing in the box. I think he would prefer a bigger player patrolling the secondary. Although I wouldn’t rule out taking the Crimson Tide safety if they trade back, I’d say the chances are against it.

The spotlight will be on him from the moment he steps on the field for the first OTAs up until the last practice before the start of the regular season. Each day Jay Gruden, Sean McVay, and Matt Cavanaugh will review the tape from that day’s practice and come up with a list of what Griffin needs to do to correct his flaws. I don’t think that the approach will be to let him work his way through any issues he might be having; they will be proactive in dealing with them.

I’ll give you two. Well, one and a half really. The half is Ryan Grant, who I think will push Andre Roberts out of the way and get more snaps than him as the third wide receiver. I just think he’ll work his way into a role despite his lack of blazing speed. So, to the extent that the slot receiver in a starter that’s one change that could happen. The other one is on the defensive side of the ball where Will Compton will give Perry Riley a run for his money at the Jack inside linebacker spot.


From what I have heard from one of the players on the line, they will typically line up with a four-man line in nickel situations. Jason Hatcher and Stephen Paea are likely to line up as the tackles. Pick two from Ryan Kerrigan, Trent Murphy, Chris Baker and an edge defender taken in the draft to line up at end. There will be variations off of this with maybe just one or two down linemen and rushers in two-point stances coming from different angles.


—It’s been 105 days since the Redskins played a game. It will be about 154 days until they play another one.

Days until: Redskins offseason workouts start 8; 2015 NFL Draft 18; Redskins training camp starts 109

If you have any questions about what’s going on at Redskins Park, hit me up in the comments. And I’m always on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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In case you missed it

  1. jtaylor68 - Apr 12, 2015 at 6:59 AM

    Rich, I’m with you on Will Compton and the strong possibility he starts this year. I was really impressed with his play and hustle, last year when he got the chance. I compared his combine stats with Riley and discovered that he ran a 4.5 sec 40 vs Riley’s 4.69 along with he is 6’2″ vs 6’0″. Good tape and better measurements should give him the edge to start. Do you think the skins try to draft Stephone Anthony and if so, what effect would it have on this topic ?

    • obxskins - Apr 12, 2015 at 7:34 AM

      The effort Compton gives is unquestionable too!! Guy seems to leave it all out non field!

      • jtaylor68 - Apr 12, 2015 at 9:07 AM

        He does have a motor, kinda like a Kerrigan jr.

  2. Stephfan - Apr 12, 2015 at 7:01 AM

    I like the idea of grant starting, I think he has all the talent in the world to be good if not a great reciver. My suprise starter would be amerson starting. I believe he should get the starts and it should be his job to lose to breeland. Breeland I think is good but not as great as everyone hypes him to be.

    • mr.moneylover - Apr 12, 2015 at 9:37 AM

      You must be blind…david amerson waking up late leaving practice early and not dedicating his time in the film he deserves to lose his job hes likely the odd man out of starting….breeland LOVES football his teammates say hes the first player in the film room studying game film and his work ethic is good and he earned his teammates respect and jay gruden trust him can breeland improve? Yea he can ? Can he get more INTS? Sure he can but realize this who raned 30 yards to strip the ball from demarco murray ? Breeland… who dez bryant raned from in the finale game cause he was scared to get shut down again? Breeland…who got torched by almost every wide receiver ? David amerson …in the nfl they pick on the weak…yeah you might say odell Beckham burn breeland but the nfl sent jay gruden a apology letter for multiple mistake flags that shouldn’t have been called on breeland and when I look at that game play odell Beckham really good

      • Stephfan - Apr 12, 2015 at 10:08 AM

        Moneylover so what you telling is that amerson can’t improve? And what did dez do to breeland in the second game. A lot of people only look at the Dallas game as breeland’s greatest game. He had a good game that one time, after and before that he had average games at best. Nothing like the Dallas game. So let’s not hold breeland as the best corner on the team because he isn’t. Breeland is average but with better coaches he can get better I have no doubt. But he has to have more games like that Dallas game because not all of his games were like that.

        • jonevans511 - Apr 12, 2015 at 1:06 PM

          Average at best? His performance against Odell Beckham (let’s not forget two of the penalties weren’t penalties) was FAR from average. You’re talking about a rookie player who played better than most rookies, and who has the skills improve every year. The only thing Breeland really needs to work on is technique in terms of how to play “smart” aggressive instead of just plain aggressive. This way he’ll avoid some of the penalties that plagued him last year. If he does that you cannot say with a straight face that he can’t be a stud corner in this league.

      • brucefan1 - Apr 12, 2015 at 11:53 PM

        Oh oh!

        Is “polofourme” sneaking back into the comments section under a new handle?

        Cuz…I’m pretty sure I’d recognize those…ellipses…anywhere! LOL!

    • ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Apr 12, 2015 at 10:07 AM

      Amerson has all the tools, but he lost his starting position the old-fashioned way:

      He unearned it.

      He was awful last year. He’ll have to be a brand new guy this year to win it back. Number 1, busting his behind to get better. Number 2, proving it on the field.

      • ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Apr 12, 2015 at 10:32 AM

        By the way, PFF rated Amerson the worst corner in pro football in 2014.

  3. sidepull - Apr 12, 2015 at 7:12 AM

    I like Ryan Grant. I hope he gets the start. I frankly felt he could have been worked in more last year considering there was nothing to lose and everything to gain in regard to experience. Its not like Roberts was setting the world on fire.

    • jtaylor68 - Apr 12, 2015 at 9:05 AM

      If we had more quality depth and didn’t need Roberts as a returner, we would have seen that. This could be the year for him to step-up.

  4. obxskins - Apr 12, 2015 at 7:34 AM

    If Grant starts would Redskins consider starting him,I know his return last year left us needing more? Didn’t know if releasing him would help us out lots of salary cap especially with the high numbers of our top 2 receivers..? ANy thoughts anyone?? Thanks!

  5. mr.moneylover - Apr 12, 2015 at 9:18 AM

    Jay gruden liked will compton playing along the side of keenan Robinson but he wasnt running the defense jim hasslet was and jay gruden said before last season he gonna let the coaches around him do they job…perry riley need to be on the bench or out of work they plan on drafting linebackers as well so he really might lose his job this summer scot m. Not playing no games with these players he will bring in his kinda players who is capable of starting and play at a high level #NOMOREDIVAPLAYERS

    • Stephfan - Apr 12, 2015 at 9:22 AM

      How is Riley a diva player

      • mr.moneylover - Apr 12, 2015 at 9:40 AM

        Not saying perry Riley a diva just players in the locker room who think they better then everybody and think they aint gotta prove they self

      • jtaylor68 - Apr 12, 2015 at 9:56 AM

        He was “generally speaking”.

        • Stephfan - Apr 12, 2015 at 10:12 AM

          What are you his side kick? He shouldn’t said two players names and then said diva players. Because last I seen Riley isn’t one and every team is gonna have a diva player. Every place has someone like it so get used to it

        • jtaylor68 - Apr 12, 2015 at 12:34 PM

          No, I’m not his sidekick, I was just responding on how I read money’s comment. You on the other hand talk like your Amerson’s sidekick who had a season last year that is open to criticism, considering he was both a second year player and a 2nd round draft pick unlike Breeland who was a rookie and 4th rounder. It’s ok for you to support the guy, as most of us do, just try to have a conversation even if you disagree.

        • Stephfan - Apr 12, 2015 at 12:37 PM

          Lmao ok..

    • jtaylor68 - Apr 12, 2015 at 9:28 AM, who do you like at mlb as a pick for us? I like Stephone Anthony from Clemson. While watching game video of Beasley, I kept asking “who is this guy flying around and making plays”?

      • mr.moneylover - Apr 12, 2015 at 9:43 AM

        Stephen Anthony should be there when we pick in the third round or he might go late second round…im hoping redskins get him because hes a nasty kinda player …very physical

        • jtaylor68 - Apr 12, 2015 at 9:53 AM

          I hope so. Do you think he could start over Riley and/or Comptom ?

  6. mr.moneylover - Apr 12, 2015 at 9:46 AM

    Stephen Anthony from clemson I watched one of his games he actually got ejected from a game for bein way to physical on players when I think he was just doing his job…I know a NFL team would love his hustle

    • jtaylor68 - Apr 12, 2015 at 9:55 AM

      Imagine we draft Beasley and Anthony joining/re-uniting with former Clemson teammate Breeland. Nasty!

  7. kenlinkins - Apr 12, 2015 at 11:18 AM

    Rich: Here is a real long shot, how about Bridget starting a nickel back or Special teams. He was hurt early in Camp in 2014 but Redskins did keep him on IR all year so he must have shown something. He has the size at 6’3′ 195 that the new GM likes in a CB/DB . Yes, I understand he is a very long shot to make the 53 man roster right now but with all the changes in the defense backfield and a new DB coach everyone will have to earn their bones again. Not every move made to date will work out and this could lead to a real long shot making the jump from UDFA in 2014 to Special Team ace in 2015 if (and only if) he can show the Redskins what they are looking for in a young – hard working – do what ever they ask football player (like maybe move to FS?). The knock on him is “light in the pants, didn’t hit real hard” but could cover. He added 7 lbs already and maybe he can carry 200 and still be able to run. He will be one to watch early in Training Camp to see if he can earn some reps.

    • mr.moneylover - Apr 12, 2015 at 2:08 PM

      Cant really count nobody out right now…he also like jerry rice jr. The thing with these guys is that will they play the same before they got injured

    • Rich Tandler - Apr 12, 2015 at 4:16 PM

      I’m not a Courtney Bridget fan. I’m not saying the has no chance to stick because, as you noted, they did keep him around on IR. But he was unimpressive in camp before getting injured and it’s a leap to think he could push for playing time this year. Starting seems out of the question.

  8. redskinscaio - Apr 12, 2015 at 1:06 PM

    My memory is a little fuzzy, but I think Ryan Grant had a heck of a preseason last year.

    • mr.moneylover - Apr 12, 2015 at 2:00 PM

      Yep, he sure did and did it against the starters as well he has a thing of creating space between him and whoever is covering him same thing as jordan reed but jordan reed stay injured to much to put up big numbers that guy ryan grant gonna open things up for p.garcon thats what was missing last year a third wide receiver threat…

      • redskinscaio - Apr 14, 2015 at 3:04 PM

        The Ravens in 2012, this offensive line was a BEAST.

        At center was the perennial pro bowler, Matt Birk, 6-time Pro Bowler, and 2-time all pro

        Yanda at guard (he’s one of the best guards in the league, 4 time pro bowler, once First team all pro, twice second team all pro)

        Michael Oher (first round pick) and

        McKinnie at left takle (pro bowler and 1st round pick).

        One of the best offensive lines in all of football that year.

      • redskinscaio - Apr 14, 2015 at 3:17 PM

        2010 Packers –

        Bryan Bulaga was a first round pick that year, was on the NFL All Rookie Team

        Chad Clifton – 2 time pro bowler –

        Scott Wells – one time pro bowler

  9. mr.moneylover - Apr 12, 2015 at 1:49 PM

    @stephfan ….not saying david amerson cant improve but breeland was a rookie in jim hasslet defense David amerson was in his second year theres no way david amerson shouldn’t have looked worst then breeland it should’ve been the other way around…with the addition of chris culliver I dont see david amerson starting week 1 unless a injury happen and he gets the job by default…jay gruden trust the players he draft more then the players that mike shanahan draft…ill say the only player that jay gruden trust that mike shanahan draft is niles paul and scot m. Gave him a three year deal for working hard and getting better week by week…everybody else gonna be under a close watch of scot m. Once they start practicing

  10. Derrick Williams - Apr 12, 2015 at 2:17 PM

    I agree with Rich here in saying Grant we make a strong push for minutes this year. This guy runs CRISP routs with better hands than Roberts in my opinion. If he worked on his speed in the offseason then I think his ceiling can be a bit higher than most people projected.

  11. nomaan78 - Apr 12, 2015 at 2:30 PM

    I think a suprise starter would be DeAngelo Hall. Hall and Culliver will start with Breeland as the third and Amerson rotating in for all three as the fourth CB

  12. jasonnecros04 - Apr 12, 2015 at 2:42 PM

    I think ryan grant or silias redd can start for us.. ryan grant in preseason was pretty good. ran good routes but isn’t a burner. red surprised me with his power and speed

  13. bowlregard - Apr 12, 2015 at 2:57 PM

    Nixon at RT would be a surprise, but not out of the realm of possibility. Chester at RG would be a surprise at this point, and a disappointment.

    • skinsgame - Apr 12, 2015 at 6:50 PM

      Chester at RG a disappointment. Hear Hear!!!

    • mr.moneylover - Apr 13, 2015 at 1:17 PM

      I like tackle Z.nixon I actually think he is a strong candidate to start on the right side on the O-line…and hes the reason why I say redskins might not think the right side is that important as to what everybody saying they might look to add depth but I think we have players who can actually start on the right side …we gotta sure up the tight ends blocking skills and alfred morris gotta get better in that area as well

  14. thekyle1591 - Apr 12, 2015 at 5:31 PM

    The thing is that Knighton isn’t just a run stuffer. PFF had him as one of their best inside rushers.

  15. deepball1 - Apr 12, 2015 at 7:34 PM

    my surprise starter this September is Robert Griffin. As of now, the offense is pretty much the same as it was 4 months ago. I mean…what has changed. Robert started…same receivers…same offensive line…same running back….same coach and same system…..

    So in another 4 months if nothing dramatic changes, then the results should look the same. Robert, standing in the pocket, staring down receivers, hesitant and throwing late, and getting sacked. If something major changes then I will alter this opinion but until then….I look for Kirk Cousins to win the starting job.

    • Stephfan - Apr 12, 2015 at 8:48 PM

      Griffin hater

    • timwillhidetimwillhide - Apr 12, 2015 at 11:45 PM

      I think an Offensive lineman that is not currently on the roster will start at one of the positions except LT

    • brucefan1 - Apr 13, 2015 at 12:01 AM

      In your “nothing’s changed” scenario, db1, what then would keep Cousins from continuing to throw devasting interceptions (as opposed to “non-devasting” interceptions?? LOL) and then hanging his head like a kid who just got his lunch money stolen by the school bully?

    • bangkokben - Apr 13, 2015 at 11:53 AM

      This is one of the dumbest arguments ever put forth. Year after year, someone has a breakout season (Justin Forsett) and more often then not some guys level of play falls off despite no obvious changes. In 2013, Griffin clearly played worse than in 2012 coming off of injury but Tyler Polumbus actually played better. Josh Morgan and Fred Davis couldn’t find the field despite being solid contributors the year before. Logan Paulsen started his decline which continued in 2014. Lichtenstieger was expected to be better another year after his knee but was not any better. Montgomery was much worse at center. Aldrich Robinson disappeared and that’s just on offense. None of these guys decline in play were a result of Griffin’s injury and none of them played any better in the final three games that Kirk started. Sometimes the change that occurs is the player.

      Moreover, Gruden was hired and paid to turn this team around presumably with the resources the team has which includes Griffin.The defense which Shanahan built – one designed to create turnovers never materialized. A Shanahan standard going back to Denver. Even Gibbs knew that in order to be competitive you had to start with defense. This team needs a defense and special teams to keep the opponents below 21. If that can be done then the offense even with zero change might have a chance.

    • mr.moneylover - Apr 13, 2015 at 1:25 PM

      It will not be the same offensive line trust me….instead of cutting players jay gruden keeping them on the roster FOR NOW to battle for starting position redskins gotta get 90 players on they roster so why cut players now ??? When its time to cut down to the 53 man roster scot m. And jay gruden will go over each player to keep the best 53 players… Archives

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