Jan 15, 2016, 5:21 AM EDT
Here is what you need to know on this Friday, January 15, 60 days before the start of NFL free agency.
Five Redskins who will have to step up in 2016
Here are five players who did not necessarily play poorly in 2015 but need to take their games up a level or two to help the team improve.
G Brandon Scherff—He was good, at times very good. And he only missed one offensive snap all year. But to justify being the No. 5 overall pick in the draft he needs to grow into a dominant player. Scherff has the tools and the attitude to do it and the sooner he gets there the better.
RB Matt Jones—He showed that he has the ability to be a legitimate offensive weapon with some long runs and some big gains on screen passes. But he fumbled four times and was maddeningly inconsistent. Jones talked about working to improve and to stay healthy but we’ll have to see it in action.
DL Stephen Paea—There is likely to be a starting job open on the DL due to the possible retirement of Jason Hatcher and Paea, who signed a four-year, $21 million free agent contract last year, should be the one to step into it. But he played just 221 snaps before spending the last four weeks of the season on injured reserve with a toe injury. Paea needs to raise his level of play and become a competent starter or at least a solid rotational player who participates in 50 percent of the snaps.
OLB Ryan Kerrigan—This could be just a matter of Kerrigan staying healthy. Although he won’t say it, it sure looks like the repaired knee that kept him out of OTAs was still hampering him early in the season. From week 11 on he was on a pace that would have produced about 14 sacks over a full season. If he can keep up that pace for 16 games throughout the 2016 season the Redskins defense will be that much better.
CB Bashaud Breeland—If he continues the progression he has been on the last two years there is no reason why he can’t be a top-level cornerback. What might help him most would be an improved pass rush by the players up front. If there is more disruption of the quarterback’s rhythm he should improve on his interception total (4 in two NFL seasons).
—The Redskins last played a game five days ago. It will be about 240 days until they play another one.
—Days until: NFL Combine 40; NFL free agency starts 60; 2016 NFL draft 104
In case you missed it
- Depth chart projection, defense
- Ryan Kerrigan says Redskins must guard against feeling ‘satisfied’ with 9-7 record
- Trent Williams “would hate” to see RG3 stay in the NFC East
- Trent Williams on Pro Bowl: Don’t know how sure I am going this year
- Which Redskins did we over and underrate prior to the season?
- Five Redskins free agents who are unlikely to return
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