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Need to Know: Safety in numbers for the 2016 Redskins?

Mar 17, 2016, 5:16 AM EDT


Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, March 17, 42 days before the NFL Draft.

Safety in numbers for the Redskins?

—The Redskins’ strategy at safety appears to be to throw numbers at it. They added David Bruton to DeAngelo Hall, Duke Ihenacho, and Kyshoen Jarrett. The door is still open to a return of Dashon Goldson at the right price. Another veteran could come on board. McCloughan certainly wouldn’t bypass the right one on the board in the draft. Joe Barry and Perry Fewell will have the flexibility to mix and match according to situations, there will be depth in case of injuries, and most will contribute on special teams. This might not be the ideal way to do it but with a lack of standout safeties available it’s what they have to do to get by.

—I have to laugh whenever fans get all riled up over things like Josh LeRibeus re-signing with the Redskins. The deal is for around minimum salary and the Redskins could afford to cut him at any time. He has been around for four years, they spent a draft pick on him, and they think he is worth keeping around. Scot McCloughan is not going to bypass a promising interior lineman in the draft because he has LeRibeus on the roster. If they don’t sign a veteran center like Stefen Wisniewski it won’t be because they have LeRibeus.

—After bringing back Junior Galette, will the Redskins move Trent Murphy to defensive end? That has been floated as a possibility and perhaps a final decision was pending Galette’s return. Murphy played as a 4-3 end in college and he has lined up with his hand in the dirt in pass rushing situations with the Redskins. But he would need to put on at least 20 pounds, line up more to the inside, and adjust to playing an entirely different kind of game. We will see what happens and we may not find out anything definitive until OTAs in late May.

—Is Galette the missing link on defense? He can help a lot if he’s healthy and motivated. With a one-year deal that would allow him to hit the free agent market at age 29 the latter seems to be a given. We won’t really know about how healthy he is until we see something we haven’t ever seen—Galette in full pads in a Redskins uniform rushing the passer in a game. Until then, there will be legitimate questions about his explosiveness. There are reasons to be confident that he will be 100 percent in training camp but seeing is believing.


—The Redskins last played a game 67 days ago. It will be about 178 days until they play another one.

Days until: Redskins offseason workouts start 32; 2016 NFL draft 42; Redskins training camp starts 133

In case you missed it

  1. abanig - Mar 17, 2016 at 5:33 AM

    Yes, throwing #s at the Safety position has been the Redskins way since Sean died. Instead of investing in “that dude” in the draft or a really good free agent, they’ve gone for the numbers game. To my knowledge of hasnt worked out yet… Has it?

    That being said, I think D Hall will be our best FS since Taylor. Hall has more speed than most safeties in the NFL still, even at 32. He’s a pretty solid tackler, especially if he’s playing FS and deeper and not having to get mixed up around the running game too much like he was asked to do last year as the SS.

    I like the Burton signing. I think he has the best shot to start At SS. He made a lot of plays last year in spot duty. He’s a good blitzer, sound tackler and from what I’ve seen athletic enough to cover TEs downfield.

    I agree with Rich about LeRibeus. He’s at best a back up G/C. Having him means we won’t feel we “MUST” draft a similar player, but I think we still will in the mid to late rounds because eventually a center will be the BPA.

    Murphy’s best position in the 3-4 is a DE IMO, I’ve been saying this since after his rookie season in 2014. I think he’s been miscast as a 3-4 OLB. At Stanford he played 3-4 OLB in stanfords 3-4 but his isn’t college. The OTs are better blockers.

    Some thought when Smith was drafted – myself included – that the skins would put 10-15 pounds on Preston Smith, I’m glad they didn’t though.

    Smith has pass rushing ability, quickness, speed and bend when he’s turning the corner that Murphy doesn’t have. Smith uses his long arms well to separate from Ots and his hand well. Smith just had 9 sacks 6 Games of the season, including a forced fumble and a safety/sack in the playoff game. If they wanted Smith to make the transition to 3-4 DE, they would have had him gain weight last year And played him there as a rookie. So I don’t see it happening after what just happened with his production last year.

    Murphy is a different story, he’s mostly a failure as a 3-4 OLB pass rusher. I’d call him a tweener. He’s our 4th or 5th best passer as an OLB, I think Bates is a better pass rusher than Murphy, but Murphy is better against the run. Murphy put on 10 pounds after the draft in 2014 to get to 260, he put on 10 pounds last offseason to get to 270, why not have him put on more weight to make the transition to a 3-4 pass rushing DE that can back up as an OLB still and play goal line they’re defense as an edge run defense.

    And contrary to people’s beliefs, Murphy has the frame to add 20+ pounds of mostly good weight to be a full time 3-4 DE.

    Murphy – just like Smith – rushed some from DT & 3-4 DE and DE on a 4-3 DL at Stanford also so yeah, the opinion that Smith can do it but Murphy can’t don’t fly.

    They’re the same size, 6’5, 270 with long arms. Murphy has played and rushed inside for the Redskins as a DT/3-4 DE in his two seasons, Smith hasn’t done that. It makes much more sense to continue Murphy’s trajectory towards a full time 3-4 DE than it does to start the process with the more physically gifted 3-4 OLB/edge pass rusher Smith.

    • colorofmyskinz - Mar 17, 2016 at 6:50 AM

      Agreed here on Murphy. Especially as one of the best tacklers and run stoppers. I think he could make a strong ILB. Should be vonsidered there as well. But add 10 pounds for DE or lose 10 LBS for ILB. Look at green bays Clay Matthews! Murphy is smart and even could be Mike Backer if need be.

      I think he could fit both positions.

      • abanig - Mar 17, 2016 at 7:22 AM

        Murphy can’t cover, he’d be awful as an ILB. ILBs in the 3-4 are more athetic than 3-4 OLbs. They have to be able to drop into coverage and they have to have the ability to turn their hips and run a lot like defensive backs do.

        There’s no way Murphy will be an ILB.

        It’s either keep him as the 4th OLB or have him put on weight like the last two offseason and use him in the DL rotation as a 3-4 passing down DE.

        • Rich Tandler - Mar 17, 2016 at 8:35 AM

          This is correct. Everyone points to Clay Matthews making the move from OLB to ILB. But he was a linebacker, not a converted DE like Murphy.

        • abanig - Mar 17, 2016 at 11:04 AM

          Well not only that but their athleticism and skill sets are totally different.

          Heck, I’d put Orakpo or Kerrigan at a traditional linebacker spot like a 4-3 SLB/Sam or a 3-4 ILB way, way before Murphy and while Rak & Kerrigan are more athletic than Murphy, even I know that’s would be a disaster! Lol

  2. troylok - Mar 17, 2016 at 5:44 AM

    If they were moving Murphy to end they wouldn’t have waited until Galette was signed, I don’t think. Packing on extra weight in the NFL is not just about eating a gallon of ice cream a day. It requires a change in diet and conditioning and it takes time. I think moving Murphy to end would be a wise move but I don’t think we will see it this season.

    As for safety, I think it was a really good thing to get someone like D. Hall in the safety corps. He has sideline to sideline speed and they can put him in one deep coverage. Unfortunately, Hall is the only safety with that kind of speed. I wouldn’t mind seeing them pick up another speedster for the safety rotation.

    • ET - Mar 17, 2016 at 9:57 AM

      You have a point about the time & effort required to bulk Murphy up and move him. But we have no idea what’s happening with him this offseason. I expect Murph continues to put on strength and weight whether or not a move to DE is in his immediate future or not. My guess is he continues to platoon with Smith or Galette so he can be utilized on run downs.

  3. colorofmyskinz - Mar 17, 2016 at 6:40 AM

    Great to sign Gallette! Wish it was for longer however, but I know he wanted the prove it deal. So he will be motivated for us and we can replace him in the draft next year.

    Briton was a great find!!! We really needed that!! Nice move Scot!

    Seems like us fans knew the strategy, add Dline and Safety in FA to pull pressure off the draft.

    We should really do the final step us fans outlined, pick up that center Weisenski. He is better than Kory and we can pick up a center in the draft to develop.

    ReLibeus is an OK added depth at multiple positions without having to learn the plays, and cheap.

    Just pick up Weisenski and one more Dline as depth prior to draft and we will be set!

  4. scottmccloughanfan - Mar 17, 2016 at 7:24 AM

    For all we know, these moves at S and C/G were made to throw smoke at opposing GM’s to keep them guessing as to what moves REDSKINS plan in the draft.

    Sometimes if the GM paints himself into a corner, an opposing GM will grab the player you really want just to keep you from getting him.

    • Mr.moneylover - Mar 17, 2016 at 8:25 AM

      Yea I agree….I think they seen josh as a reliable backup not a starter yet until he improve his long snap….WR could be the redskins first pick or CB or S….DL depth in this draft goes from rounds 1-3

  5. skinsgame - Mar 17, 2016 at 7:35 AM

    I like D Hall but that doesn’t mean he’s any good at safety.

  6. scottmccloughanfan - Mar 17, 2016 at 7:41 AM

    ‘Safety’ in numbers is fine, but I sure can’t wait for the REDSKINS to improve to the point where center and free safety will become points of strength rather than a make-do situation.

    • sidepull - Mar 17, 2016 at 7:56 AM

      As long as they are running a 3-4 it would be nice to see them have a point of strength at the NT position as well. Last year they had Knighton on a 1 year deal, but overall they have never had a real NT that has anchored that line over a period of time. Really, ever since they switched from a 4-3. I hope the draft settles this once and for all. Go find a Vince Wilfork, Haloti Ngata….get busy!

      • Mr.moneylover - Mar 17, 2016 at 8:31 AM

        NT Jarell powe showed hes a powerful NT I think he’s gonna be a new face in the starting lineup he will have competition to keep the job…I’m really liking Andrew billings from Baylor he’s a powerful DE witch redskins need…I think Scot m. First three picks will make a big impact for the redskins this season…he already said the first pick will be somebody who can come in and start day 1 of the season

        • sidepull - Mar 17, 2016 at 10:22 AM

          Money I would be psyched if they snagged Billings.

  7. scottmccloughanfan - Mar 17, 2016 at 7:42 AM

    Let’s keep working on CB and ILB.

    • ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Mar 17, 2016 at 8:08 AM

      April 28th is so far away, isn’t it?

      If you’re picking at 21, would you rather go Reggie Ragland, or best DT on the board?

      • scottmccloughanfan - Mar 17, 2016 at 10:41 AM

        DT then C in the second then CB in the third, but you never know how things will shake out, or what player will be available when you’re on the clock.

      • scottmccloughanfan - Mar 17, 2016 at 10:41 AM

        DT then C in the second then CB in the third, but you never know how things will shake out, or what player will be available when you’re on the clock.

  8. babyteal1 - Mar 17, 2016 at 8:10 AM

    Sign Reggie Nelson

  9. Mr.moneylover - Mar 17, 2016 at 8:15 AM

    Trent Murphy playing DE is a really bad idea he will get pushed around just like he did as a pass rush…Preston smith showed he can get to the QB and played DE and NT in college because his length… Kyshoen Jarrett got one more month to wait before he can start rehabbing and try to regain his strength back word is he got skinny by not lifting weights but I think he’s expected to make a full recovery he said he hopeful he can get his strength back up by training camp….I personally think its gonna be some new faces on the D-line next year…Trent Murphy will be coming off the bench this season I think Preston smith will get the nod before Trent Murphy does…Trent Murphy to me had two years to improve and didn’t a rookie Preston smith came right in and got 8 sacks against some of the best LTs in the league Preston smith made Jason peters look like a rookie offensive lineman

  10. Mr.moneylover - Mar 17, 2016 at 8:19 AM

    Josh leRibeus signing is if our rookie center struggle and if Kory L. Don’t STEPUP and get stronger and play better…I still think they might sign a center somewhere late in the draft

    • ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Mar 17, 2016 at 8:38 AM

      LeRib is good because he backups two positions. He’s bad if you actually have to put him in a game.

      Of course, he’s only 26…there’s time for him to turn it all around. But I’d guess not much more time.

      • ET - Mar 17, 2016 at 10:12 AM

        Unfortunately LeRibster has had a generous helping of opportunities. He’s been only been adequate at best. I get the signing from a depth perspective. He can fill multiple positions (and to his credit, he jumped into the center role when someone was sorely needed). But LeRibeus is nothing but an emergency band aid in my opinion.

  11. smotion55 - Mar 17, 2016 at 9:07 AM

    Well written Rich, thanks. They still have to fill the 90 player roster and if LeRibeus makes the final 53 great if not no big dea , just like Murphy and others some people hate on this roster. Last year they made it clear Best Players Play. People want to clean house and have nobody to fill the 90 out.l. He does know the system and at bare minimum he will compete. With yesterdays signings we should be getting low on cap money. Any others in the wind I wonder. No loose lips with the exception of the Cousins drama before the Tag was put on him. Hopefully no more until late June on that issue.

    • bangkokben - Mar 17, 2016 at 11:15 AM

      I think they still have $10,000,000 in cap space and have 70 guys signed. They’ll have their draft picks and undrafted guys but this will only take another $2-3M due to the rule of 51. So they have about $7,000,000 of wiggle room for now.

  12. bk70 - Mar 17, 2016 at 9:15 AM

    “Safety in numbers for the Redskins?… They added David Bruton to DeAngelo Hall, Duke Ihenacho, and Kyshoen Jarrett. The door is still open to a return of Dashon Goldson at the right price.”

    Only 4 S on the roster today. Don’t we need 7-8 on the roster before going to training camp. If I remember right, both Will Blackmon and Deshazor Everett are CB/S. I would like to see some youthful SS on the roster, like Jeremy Cash/Duke or Miles Killebrew/Southern Utah. They should go in the early rounds of the draft. If looking toward the end of the draft Michael Caputo/Wisc and Tevin Carter/Utah have some speed to go along with hard hitters. They should also work well on specialty teams. Maybe the GM will pick up an extra pick and draft two safeties. More Depth at Safety. HTTR

  13. colorofmyskinz - Mar 17, 2016 at 1:03 PM

    I can’t believe we passed up Long for $2 Million! Archives

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