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Need to Know: Veteran Redskins looking over their shoulders after the draft

May 4, 2016, 5:01 AM EDT

Thompson-vs.-Eagles

Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, May 4, nine days before the Washington Redskins hold their rookie minicamp.

Timeline

—The Redskins last played a game 115 days ago. It will be 131 days until they host the Steelers in their 2016 season opener.

Days until: Rookie minicamp 9; OTAs start 20; Redskins training camp starts 85

Hot topic

We’ve already seen the draft, along with the signing of Josh Norman, cost veteran Chris Culliver his roster spot. Here are some other veterans whose roster spots are in danger after the Redskins picked seven players in the draft.

WR DeSean Jackson—Unlike the others on this list Jackson isn’t in danger of being released before the 2016 season starts. But it’s clear that with Josh Doctson on board the organization will choose to keep either Jackson or Garçon. Keeping neither is also a possibility; keeping both is not. Although Doctson is not the same type of receiver that Jackson is that doesn’t mean that he can’t take his spot as a No. 1 receiver, sending Jackson into the free agent market at age 30.

S Duke Ihenacho—I’m not betting against Su’a Cravens being the Week 1 starting strong safety and that could prove to be problematic for Ihenacho’s job security. Cravens joins DeAngelo Hall, Will Blacksmon, and David Bruton on the safety depth chart with the status of Kyshoen Jarrett pending injury rehab. Ihenacho could be on the outside looking in.

DL Kedric Golston—It’s pretty clear that Matt Ioannidis is a threat to Golston’s position on the D-line rotation. Chris Baker, Stephen Paea, Ricky Jean Francois, and Kendall Reyes are safe. It appears that Trent Murphy will join the group, leaving one spot for Ioannidis, Golston, and Ziggy Hood. I think we know who will get the nod if that is the case.

RB Chris Thompson—When your calling card is speed and a GM who didn’t draft you takes another speedy running back you could be in trouble. Actually, Thompson doesn’t have to worry as much about Keith Marshall as he does about a veteran like Pierre Thomas getting signed. That could make the veteran Matt Jones’ tag team partner and have Marshall and Thompson competing to be the third-down back. I think you know who would be favored in a battle between a McCloughan draft pick and a Shanahan draft pick.

Stat of the day

In 2015 the Redskins recovered 16 opponents’ fumbles, leading the NFL in that category.

In case you missed it

  1. colorofmyskinz - May 4, 2016 at 5:40 AM

    The more we don’t see DJax in the weigh room for offseason workouts the more I believe this season is no different than the past. Scot is about team and you can bet he is taking note who is there and who is not. If DJax does not learn from last offseason, he may not take the field for us. Just my thoughts.

    The others are for sure battles. I give all our draft picks the edge hands down no question. And I think Su’a is a day one starter in September. Marshall is a lock for sure. Thompson would go to practice squad if it was between them. But we only have 4 backs with no fullback. So I think we go with jones, Marshall, Pierre, and Thompson. That would hedge Thompson and Marshall against injury. Maybe we pick up another FA prior to OTAs?

    We need running backs for sure. We need inhencho as well for depth.

    • Skulb - May 4, 2016 at 7:01 AM

      Marshall certainly is not a lock for sure. He’s a seventh round flier who has speed, questionable football IQ and an injury history. Just please, step away from the hype train. The hype train is not good for you.

    • vtsquirm - May 4, 2016 at 7:27 AM

      I don’t think Chris Thompson has any practice squad eligibility left

    • bangkokben - May 4, 2016 at 7:29 AM

      Skulb said it well but I couldn’t resist to chime in here. Thompson cannot go to the practice squad but Marshall can. It remains to be seen how Marshall picks up blitzes or even catches the ball.

      • wvredskins - May 4, 2016 at 10:26 AM

        And to top it off he is not good at identifying holes and being patient enough to follow blockers through holes. Hopefully with coaching he can approve on these aspects. SO yeah he is FAR from a lock to make the roster. But with all that said with 4.27 speed, it would be nice if he could approve and become that electrifying back that we have been missing.

    • celeoinc - May 4, 2016 at 9:35 AM

      Thompson is safe. The only question is his health. When healthy he is very good. He blocks, he catches, and he runs well. I don’t believe that SM will keep an inferior player just because was drafted by him. He will be judged by the number of wins and not by the number of draft picks that makes the team.

      • ET - May 4, 2016 at 12:02 PM

        I believe Chris Thompson is fairly safe as well—if he can remain healthy.

        His skill set is great, and his blocking took a quantum leap last year (for whatever reason). Gruden is clearly intrigued by the possibilities that Thompson brings to the lineup. But the coach was also irked by CT’s past injury history.

    • Mr.moneylover - May 4, 2016 at 10:11 AM

      Djax is working tho…the way he look now he look like he got his speed back and from what I seen I believe him when he said after the season was over he wasn’t fully healthy he came back early to try to help the team…scot m. Words DJax and P.garcon are not going nowhere no time soon…I believe if they both ballout this season scot m. Gonna try to resign them both…pressure is on guys like Stephen paea and Shawn lauvao haven’t shown much since you signed the contract Scot m. Don’t like that and the Chris culliver release shows that….if NT jarrell powe and DE Corey Crawford can improve on what they did last preseason those guys will make the 53 man roster this year scot m. Loves going with the more cheap productive player instead of the expensive player who not playing up to his stanards

      • Skulb - May 4, 2016 at 10:32 AM

        I guess if you get paid 10+mill a year and you’re not a QB there’s going to be a lot of pressure anyway.

  2. abanig - May 4, 2016 at 6:00 AM

    Yeah, it’s definitely going to be a numbers game for the guys you mentioned.

    For the DL, we could keep 7 DL, I think we’ve done that the past few years. Haven’t we? Frank Kearse was the 7th DL. So, I think their will be two more spots so one spot for either Golston or Hood. That spot is likely going to go to Golston but Hood does have the versatility that Golston does, he’s 4 years younger and is at worst equal to Golston in terms of starting experience and ability to play the run.

    I actually think Chris Thompson is safe, he’s such a versatile player and uncoverable by strongbsafeties and linebackers on his option routes and in the slot. He’s so quick that he’s open every time, it’s almost like watching Crowder on those routes. I’d still like to see Thompson lock down the return duties, it’s a bit disappointing that he’s never developed into a good return man for us. I really thought when we drafted him that the kick off and punt return jobs would be his true niche on the team but he’s not developed there. In order to make the team, that might be his biggest key. One thing Keith Marshall does well is play special teams so look out for that.

    As for the secondary, it’s definitely going to be a #s game, my guess is that Jarrett is heading for IR this year. I think Ihenacho makes it because I don’t see Cravens being ready to start week 1. We could keep 5 safeties but it will be hard to keep both 7 DL and 5 safeties and you could make the argument there are 5 or 6 inside linebackers worth keeping as well.

    Ultimately, I see the defensive depth chart like this:

    RDE: RJF, Reyes, Murphy
    NT: Baker, Golston
    LDE: Paea, Ionaiddis

    ROLB: Galette, Preston Smith
    RILB: Compton, Garvin
    LILB: Foster, Riley
    LOLB: Kerrigan, Houston Bates

    RCB: Norman, Blackmon
    LCB: Breeland, Dunbar
    SLOT: Fuller, Toler

    SS: Ihenacho, Cravens
    FS: Hall, Bruton

    I was reading up on David Bruton’s scouting report from when he was coming out at Notre Dame and it says he was a free safety in college and a center fielder. He runs a 4.46 forty-yard dash, so I have to say he can play some FS as well as the SS that he’s primarily played since he’s been in the NFL. I project him to be Hall’s back up which means Ihenacho makes the team and at least starts the season over Cravens at SS but by the middle of the year Cravens will likely be starting.

    On the practice squad I think they put:

    Deshazor Everrett
    Stephen Daniels
    Martrell Spaight
    Corey Crawford
    Anthony Johnson

    • colorofmyskinz - May 4, 2016 at 6:34 AM

      Wow nice depth chart and lineup!!! I agree with 99% of it. That would place some serious depth on the practice squad. We are deep on D!!!!

    • Skulb - May 4, 2016 at 7:08 AM

      I’m pretty sure we’re abandoning 34 this season, or just putting whomever at nose on the rare occasions we do present a 34. If they were planning to really use a nose they would have signed a nose. Or perhaps rehired Knighton. Instead they signed Ioannidis who is best as a 43 DE.

      • abanig - May 4, 2016 at 9:01 AM

        The scheme we run has variations of a 3/4 & 4-3, Wade Phillips developed it that way. The under 3-4 doesn’t have a big NT in it. It has a NT that’s like a Jay Ratliff. The NT in our scheme plays a shade NT/off the shoulder of the C. He plays the first gap and shoots that gap. It requires a strong guy but not a huge guy because you also want a guy with quickness.

        Knighton was let go because he was out of shape last year and didn’t get the job done. He didn’t display quickness or stamina to play the position.

        In this scheme there’s only one two-gap defensive lineman and that’s the RDE, the position that Hatcher and RJF played last year. This year RJF and Reyes will play that position and Murphy will learn it.

        The LDE in our scheme – the position Baker played last year – is basically a 3-technique or under tackle in a 4-3 defense. We signed Paea specifically to play this position last year it’s just Baker beat him out and Paea became his rotational bank up.

        Players on our roster who can play the NT the way we play it are:

        Baker, Golston, Paea, Hood, Ioannidis, Powe and Anthony Johnson

        • bangkokben - May 4, 2016 at 9:36 AM

          Yeah, we’ll be in a four-man front 75% of the time. I’don’t see Baker in the nose on 50% of those snaps. He’ll be starting where he started last year.

        • Skulb - May 4, 2016 at 9:43 AM

          This is all great. But like I said, they stated repeatedly in 15 that they want to move away from the 34 even more. it wasn’t just Knighton’s shape. So if they can make this work better, like you outlined above, they might stick with it. But they have to know that Baker and probably Ioannidis will be wasted at nose. Both of them are too good at generating pressure and disrupting the backfield to have them growing old at nose.
          Looking at the guys we have now a 43 just looks like a better use of resources to me. Maybe I’m wrong though. I’m just trying to read the tea leaves of Redskins FO and coaching pablum we’re always treated to this time of year.

          I mean, do you remember them last year with Robert? Oh Robert’s our guy. He’s the franchise QB. Robert’s gonna start in week 1. We’re thrilled with his progress.
          I called BS on this all along. And it was BS. It was even patently obvious BS after his miserable 14 season. Yet still they were saying it.
          I think it’s the same thing with the defense now. They think we might panic and do something weird if they announce a change in the scheme so they are trying to hide it from us, in the hopes that we won’t notice until they’ve won a game or two. That’s my yearly interpretation of the Redskins media goat entrails.

        • abanig - May 4, 2016 at 9:52 AM

          Who stated that? I’ve never heard anyone in the organizes say that they weren’t going to run a 3-4 D anymore.

          What they said was they weren’t going to run the 2-gap 3-4 defense anymore.

          They were going to run the 1-gap 3-4 defense. This is the defense that San Diego ran and that Barry coached when he was in San Diego.

          It’s the same defense Wade Phillps developed over his career. He ran it at Denver, Buffalo, Dallas, Houston and now Denver.

        • Skulb - May 4, 2016 at 10:02 AM

          I specifically remember them using the phrase, “scale it back” at some point. Not sure if they meant just the 1 gap or 34 entirely though. It’s not as if anything they say is immediately clear to me in most cases. Obviously it would be 1 gap I guess because that’s what a traditional nose tackle is for, unless I have been misled. But again, that was 32% of the time last year, which they again stated that they wanted to “scale back”. It was either Gruden or Barry who said it but it’s apparently disappeared into my spam folder and I can’t remember exactly when or where it was said.

          The rest of the time they were in 2 gap or basically 4-2-5. Maybe you’re right and they just did this because of Knighton’s rather rotund hull. Either way they were certainly not 1 gap 34 purists in 2015.
          I guess we’ll see though. But if they stick with Barry’s 1 gap with the current guys they must be high. Maybe there are interesting weeds growing around their practice field. Judging by all the nonsense they produce every offseason, this might explain any number of things.

        • abanig - May 4, 2016 at 10:09 AM

          Well when they’re in the nickel defense they do look like a 4-3 defense and that’s what they run about 2/3 of the time.

          The traditional NT in a 3-4 two gap system usually plays the zero-technique or right over the center and then when the ball is snapped he’s responsible for the gaps to each side of the center in the run game. Often times this player takes on double teams in the run game all game long like Cofield used to do for us.

        • abanig - May 4, 2016 at 9:59 AM

          Again, the 3-4 under defense has the LDE & the NT one gap. There’s not much difference between the two positions.

          The NT plays the 1 gap (in between the center and guard) and the LDE plays the 3-gap (in between the guard and RT)

          Even if Baker, Paea, Ioannidis, or Hood play some NT they will be playing just one gap, not two. Their job is to do exactly what you said, shoot the 1st gap and put immediate pressure on the center and LG to try to force a double team which free’s up the LDE and LOLB to be single blocked. The NT in our scheme now is exactly what you’re saying Baker & Ioannidis are “generating pressure and disrupting the backfield.” This is a 4-3 part of our current 3-4. The defense we run now blends parts of the 4-3 and 3-4 two gap system together.

          The two gapper will be RJF, Reyes and Murphy or the Hatcher position.

      • abanig - May 4, 2016 at 9:04 AM

        Ioannidis isn’t a 4/3 DE. He was an interior DL at temple.

        Gruden said in his pressed that Ionaiddis will play their current DE position but also be developed to be a NT. He talked about getting him bigger and stronger to play NT. Right now he said Ioannidis is around 300 and they want him to be around 310.

        • Skulb - May 4, 2016 at 9:35 AM

          I learned quickly that there is no reason to listen to Gruden in the spring and summer. The last two years he’s been all roses and happiness about Robert and we all know how that went.

          Last year they were in 34 on 32% of their defensive plays, and said repeatedly that they wanted to scale it back further. In essence they have said that they are transitioning to a 43 defense. They may not actually need a nose now, which I guess is why Knighton left. And for the 25% of plays they do, if that’s what they end up with this year, they can use Baker, Golston or Ioannidis there. Looking at the play style of Ioannidis he’s not a nose but an every down 43 DE. He’s got the motor for that and the brains to be effective at it. It’s not just about size. It;s about play style. The guy would be wasted at nose. And so would Baker.
          So unless they sign someone between now and week 1 I’m gonna assume they’re effectively done with nose tackles.

        • bangkokben - May 4, 2016 at 9:41 AM

          @Skulb

          Just because there are four down linemen doesn’t make it a “43”. The 3 part are the linebackers and in nickle and dime there are just two and one linebacker, respectively. Kerrigan, Galette, and Preston Smith stay on field but at least two are playing with their hands in the dirt (on the line).

        • Skulb - May 4, 2016 at 9:53 AM

          @Bangkok

          But there’s still no need for a nose right? And that was the only point I was trying to make.

        • abanig - May 4, 2016 at 9:59 AM

          Yes, we don’t have a traditional nose tackle anymore in this defense like we did when we ran Haz’s two-gap scheme from 2010-2014

        • Skulb - May 4, 2016 at 10:03 AM

          But wasn’t Knighton basically a traditional nose?

        • abanig - May 4, 2016 at 10:13 AM

          No, he was the size of one but he didn’t play that in our defense unless we were in short yardage because we don’t have a zero-technique in our defense.

          This is why even with Knighton’s out of shape ass you often saw him get past the center and into the backfield. He was shorting the first gap to the side of the center. The big problem with our run game last year was when he did this he often times overran the play, the center pushed him out of the way or he didn’t get in the backfield quick enough to make the tackle.

          When that happened it exposed our ILBs to be blocked sometimes even double teamed by OL.

        • Skulb - May 4, 2016 at 10:20 AM

          That is interesting. Thanks for clearing it up. But my follow up question is why sign the guy at all if we need an undersized nose for the scheme we’re running? Whatever else Knighton was, he was not undersized.

        • abanig - May 4, 2016 at 11:53 AM

          Well I think they were hoping he’d show them something but he didn’t. When Knighton was drafted by Jac, he was the size he is now. It’s by the time his rookie deal ended and when he went to Denver that he ballooned so I think there was hope that he could regain some some of the form he showed from the Jax days and his first year in Denver when he was lighter, quicker and more active.

        • bangkokben - May 4, 2016 at 10:05 AM

          @Skulb

          Yes. I agree with that. But if you agree with that then you’re agreeing with what the coach said in the spring…
          See, where I’m going?

          As to that whole thing. No conspiracy. Gruden is WAY TOO MUCH a straight shooter. The post-presser after the Tampa ’14 game got him a chat with the guys who pay his wages. Then it was sunshine and roses about Griffin. BUT sayin’ he was doing well in practice or is the starter in February isn’t saying he WILL do well in games and cannot lose his job. What is he suppose to say when asked a question about a player? That is completely different then saying we don’t really need a nose tackle. It is beguiling how guile less this man actually is.

        • Skulb - May 4, 2016 at 10:16 AM

          @Bangkokben

          It’s such a mixed bag with him for me. He was lying all offseason last year, in my view because he was ordered to. And the year before that there was so much sugar and fanfare before his first season that it became almost nauseating. He was like Wile Y Coyote building a huge cliff of spin before jumping off it by losing games and being honest, almost rude, as the pressure mounted.
          Obviously this is all a learning experience for him as well. As a character I agree with you. He’s jovial, brutally honest and carefree. His problem is that the media, fans, Allen, Scot and Snyder do care about all the things he doesn’t care about because they’re not football related. So now he feels like he has to pretend to care about those things, which means lying basically. He’s the Baghdad Bob of football coaching. Nothing to see here folks! Everyone’s happy and I’m happy and it’s sunny every day of the year! Those aren’t bombs going off in the background at all. How dare you suggest such a thing!?

        • abanig - May 4, 2016 at 10:20 AM

          Every Hc – if they’re good at handling the media – acts the same way Gruden does. Gibbs rarely divulged information that meant anything, Shanahan same way they’d even kinda tell white lies sometimes. You can’t necessarily be live everything they’re saying except when they talk about the scheme and how the players fit into the scheme.

        • Skulb - May 4, 2016 at 10:24 AM

          No. Still, Gruden sort of was for a while there. Personally I found it highly entertaining, but I guess I am in the minority. I really feel as if he truly hates all the spin and nonsense though. Reportedly he would roll hos eyes every time Robert doled out life advice on Twitter, because he knew he’d have to deal with it in the media the next day.
          He’s like a throwback. Al he cares about is football, and I doubt he’d even have a phone if it wasn’t a strong social norm, just so he wouldn’t have to accidentally waste a second on something not football related.
          You can almost see steam coming out of his ears whenever someone asks him about something other than football. This is really why I love the guy. He’s a caricature of a coach you might draw in a comic book.

        • abanig - May 4, 2016 at 10:41 AM

          I enjoy him also. The only time I didn’t enjoy him was when he was a rookie HC and he threw multiple players under the bus in the media starting with Djax, Jordan Reed and then Kirk Cousins and finally Robert.

          Last year he did a better job at not throwing his players under the bus at press conferences.

        • Skulb - May 4, 2016 at 10:47 AM

          It was slightly unfiltered. But looking back at it this behavior did seem to solidify the locker room behind him. I can remember seeing him in the locker room after a particularly depressing game in 2014, thanking all the players for their efforts as they left the building and shaking their hands. So it wasn’t like he was some mean sociopath who enjoyed ripping people apart at pressers. He was just being honest and I think the players have responded to it now, if they didn’t then.

          Even if it was a somewhat clumsy form of accountability he enforced in 14 it was still accountability. it wasn’t Robert eating Thanksgiving dinner with Snyder the day after losing and playing badly, with all the other players languishing down below as if he were a different species from them.
          If I were a player I would want to play hard for someone who treated everyone the same the way Gruden seems to do. Perform for him and he’ll trust you. Play poorly and he’ll tell you about it.
          As long as he can keep it out of the pressers I’m very happy with this approach to coaching my favorite team.

        • abanig - May 4, 2016 at 11:51 AM

          I agree with that, he still shouldn’t have thrown players under the bus like he did in 2014. I think Allen talked to him about that because notice it abruptly stopped after the Tampa Bay game press conference.

        • Skulb - May 4, 2016 at 1:26 PM

          Oh no question. But then again, that Tampa game was the absolute nadir of all sorts of things for the Redskins. Gruden is not the only one who had some of his worst moments around that time. It was also effectively, looking back, RGIII’s end as a Skin, Cousins was in the dog house and all sorts of questions arose about all aspects of the team. 2014 has to be one of the worst seasons I can remember as a Redskins fan, for all sorts of reasons.
          Right now I’m just relieved we managed to get to our feet as quickly as we did with Scot as GM. All Jay has to do now is win something and all will be forgiven. He may be in our RoF yet.

    • skinsgame - May 4, 2016 at 8:22 AM

      I think Spaight is done. He’s had too many head injuries starting back in college and is really only a ST player.

    • Bryan - May 4, 2016 at 9:00 AM

      I agree with a good amount but I don’t see baker being nt. He played so well at end why move him to spot he didn’t play as well. The coaches seem to be high on Crawford I believe that’s what I read. And also don’t pencil in foster over Riley. Riley played way better when paired with Compton. Also I agree breland and Norman are starting corners but I think breeland moves to slot and fuller moves outside in nickel just based off what I have read about fuller. The dl draft pick is prolly trying bulk up now before the season and will be rotated between nt and end. Not saying I’m right on these just few things I see little different.

      • abanig - May 4, 2016 at 10:06 AM

        In the defense we run the LDE and the NT have nearly identical responsibilities.

        The reason you slide Baker over just one gap is so that Paea can start and you can have your 3 best DL on the field most of the time.

        As others have said, most do the time we’ll be in nickel D anyways with only two or just one 300 pounder anyways and have 2 or 3 of our 3-4 OLbs on the field so it really doesn’t matter anyways.

        Baker may be listed as the starting NT (IMO) but most of the time he’ll be playing just like a regular 4-3 Three technique just like he did most of last year.

    • celeoinc - May 4, 2016 at 9:49 AM

      Everett will make the team because he is very good at special teams. Toler is there as an insurance. He would be the one cut if everybody is heathy in my opinion. The DL is a big question mark! Too many variables

      • abanig - May 4, 2016 at 10:01 AM

        Toler was a special teams ace before he got his big contract in Indy to be a starter. We can stash Everett in the practice squad for one more year.

    • skinsdiehard - May 4, 2016 at 12:42 PM

      Good depth chart but overall just not a top defense. Only one or two pro-bowlers (Norman / Galette). Need more talent on the DL. Baker has been adamant that he does not want to play NT. Martrell Spaight or Steven Daniels should make it over Terence Garvin at ILB. i would lean toward Corey Crawford over Francois as well. Francois did not play well against the run last year. Most of the D-line did not (Hatcher, Baker, Francois).

      • abanig - May 4, 2016 at 12:50 PM

        So Corey Crawford who’s never played in an NFL game is ahead of an 8 year vet? I’m not so sure at this point. It may happen but at this point it’s hard to project.

        Terrance Garvin is a good coverage linebacker and one of the best special teams players in the NFL. He was brought here to be a special teams ace, it’s hard to imagine him not making the team.

  3. troylok - May 4, 2016 at 6:05 AM

    The plan for running backs seems incomplete at this time which makes me wonder if McGloughin has some kind of trade in mind to bring another running back talent. He’s casually mentioned that he could use extra draft picks next year to drum up a trade this year and there’s the possibility that he could trade Garcon, Murphy or some other player that is not part of team McGloughin.

    • Skulb - May 4, 2016 at 7:06 AM

      I have come to the realization that we’re New Orleans 2.0. Jay Gruden plays the part of Sean Peyton, Kirk Cousins is Drew Brees and the running game will be nowhere to be found. You couldn’t make Peyton take the running game seriously if you kidnapped his family and sent him threatening notes every day about running the football. And apparently the same goes for Gruden.

      • rlundy1123 - May 4, 2016 at 8:22 AM

        Not sure that I agree with this….I don’t have data, but it appeared to me like they were running the ball the first few games last year. The wheels fell off when Lauvao and then Lichtensteiger went down, and they abandoned the run after it was clearly not working. In my mind, that’s different from not taking the running game seriously.

        • Skulb - May 4, 2016 at 8:47 AM

          And this is what Saints fans have been saying for the last ten years right. Every offseason they talk themselves up about the running game and every autumn it fizzles or never appears at all.
          I remember the run being talked about as a huge strength on offense last year and instead the passing game was. And we should have known that. Passing is what Gruden loves.
          I’m just going to save myself another season of frustration about this and assume that we’re not going to run the ball at all. That way I won’t be disappointed.

        • bangkokben - May 4, 2016 at 9:06 AM

          I with you on this.

          @Skulb
          As to the Saints, they have been very effective running the ball under Peyton but are also prolific throwing. What in the hell is wrong with that? If you’re somehow enamored with the nostalgia or aesthetics of “three yards and a cloud of dust,” then get a grip on the new NFL and do whatever helps you to avoid “disappointment.” As for me and my household, we prefer 9-7 and winning the division without a running game over having the 5th best rushing team in the NFL and 3-13 any day and especially on Sundays. Does the rushing game need to improve? Yes, but does the team need more carries? No.

        • Skulb - May 4, 2016 at 10:07 AM

          @Bangkok

          I agree with this. I do get disappointed though when they spend the offseason hyping up the run game and then I get one solid game of running in week 2 and nothing whatsoever for the rest of the season. Just don’t say anything if it’s gonna be this inaccurate would be my preference. Stick to “we’re gonna win some football games” and leave the presser. And despite the wins the failures in the running game were a major topic of conversation last year for all of us. And all the media too. So I don’t think I’m the only one who got frustrated by it.

        • bangkokben - May 4, 2016 at 10:20 AM

          @Skulb

          You certainly weren’t the only one frustrated and IT was a major topic. My point is that, last year, it (more carries) wasn’t a means to winning football games — or losing them. And isn’t that the point? As to saying we’re going to be a “running football” team, can’t that be true AT THE TIME and then within the course of the season change? (Injuries to the o-line, ineffectiveness of rushing on early downs, change of QB, changed QB exceeding expectations in the passing game, etc.) Aren’t these factors legitimate reasons for change or does Gruden have to be KEPT TO HIS WORD for what he said in August when these weren’t factors?

        • Skulb - May 4, 2016 at 10:39 AM

          @Bangkok

          No you’re right. The season is a bit like an organism growing and having some accidents on the way to alter its growth. What you start out as isn’t necessarily what you end up as, as was very much the case with the Skins in 15. But another way of looking at it is that the HC of the team apparently has no idea what the team is going to be like before the season starts, which might be a bit concerning. Maybe that’s impossible though. Certainly people like Bellichick seems to just adapt to whatever the changing circumstances are and make the best of the situation in any given week.
          What I, and many others, really reacted to was that it was stated so clearly what the identity of the team was going to be and then it turned out the exact opposite of what had been stated. And they did try to run the ball a lot even when it wasn’t working, so clearly this wasn’t some sort of elaborate smoke screen. They really wanted to run the ball. They just couldn’t. That has to at least make this a valid topic I think.

        • bangkokben - May 4, 2016 at 10:56 AM

          @Skulb

          What you state as a valid topic is exactly the criticism I have for the HC. He puts it out there — even for the opposition — not like one of Shanahan’s red herrings. That is the stuff I want him to just not say. I can’t think of examples but there were times last season as well on his Friday interviews with the radio station. They ask him questions and like Jim Zorn he’d give a definitive yes or no. Fortunately, unlike Zorn, he catches himself most of the time. One thing is trying to establish an identity for your team and another thing is saying this is what were going to do — or more importantly not do — at a particular game.

        • Skulb - May 4, 2016 at 1:37 PM

          @#Bangkoben

          Yes that is a very good argument. I guess you can look at it as Gruden being naive and somewhat foolish for showing his cards. But it could also be that he is actually confident enough to simply lay it out there as a dare for other teams to stop them, particularly on offense. This is what we’re going to do to you. What are you going to do to stop us? When you look at the current receivers on this team this might actually not be as far fetched as one would normally think. How are you supposed to cover all these people with a quick release, highly accurate QB throwing the ball? You can’t right, but have to choose your poison as a DC?

          Personally I much prefer Gruden’s gruff, unnecessarily honest manner to Shanahan’s delphic nonsense. You knew Shanahan was lying about everything so it really became counterproductive in the end. He had lied so much that he was like an old politician. Everyone just assumed that the opposite of whatever he had said was pretty close to the truth. And then you might as well just tell the truth right?

      • sidepull - May 4, 2016 at 9:37 AM

        Grudens definition of a RB: Catches the ball and creates after the catch. He is never going to change. Smash mouth RB is a dead in DC. No FB either.. Just like a NT. Gone from the agenda, plans. Hope it works.

        • bangkokben - May 4, 2016 at 9:45 AM

          Doesn’t work. Oh wait, there’s last year; but that shouldn’t count Romo was injured. Blah, blah, blah.

        • bangkokben - May 4, 2016 at 9:48 AM

          Damn. If we only would’ve handed the ball off…

      • skinsdiehard - May 4, 2016 at 12:42 PM

        I agree. This defense is average to below average. We will need to score 30+ per game.

    • bangkokben - May 4, 2016 at 7:44 AM

      According to SBnation, the ‘skins signed four undrafted free agent running backs.

      Not trading Garcon. That strengthens another team, weakens this team, and negates a compensatory pick in 2018.

  4. kenlinkins - May 4, 2016 at 7:25 AM

    Rich, It seems that the Redskins GM has build up the Roster Talent Level in a few areas. WR, OL, and S all have players that could fill in a roster hole for many teams. Add to that, he picked up 3 draft picks for next year (i.e. he has bullets in his gun). Any one of the above could be used by a team if the injury bug visited them and with a much deeper depth chart it allows the Redskins GM to place and take calls on more even footing and without gutting his team in any one position. We have all ready seen that the GM is more then willing to cut talented players (Amerson & Culliver) for “Business / Cost / Team Fit” reasons, but have not seen a trade that allowed another team to take a player from the Redskins roster. IYO, has the Redskins roster talent level increased to the point that other teams may find interesting deals with the Redskins GM?

    • Rich Tandler - May 4, 2016 at 9:04 AM

      I went through players who could be potential trade bait here a month or so ago. I think every one of them had an issue, age, contract, or injury, that would prevent him from being attractive trade targets.

  5. skinsgame - May 4, 2016 at 8:16 AM

    I don’t know if Ihenacho is sweating, but Deangelo Hall should be. His cap number is way high for a guy that is playing out of position. Hall is not a safety and didn’t look good there last season. I believe he is good for the locker room but I also believe he doesn’t make the cut due to his high cap number and age. We’ll see.

    • ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - May 4, 2016 at 8:51 AM

      We can afford Hall this year, because we have plenty of cap.

      http://overthecap.com/player/deangelo-hall/2109/

      Next year, though, that money will probably be needed for Reed, QB, etc.
      ~

      • bangkokben - May 4, 2016 at 9:14 AM

        This year is make of break for Hall. Let’s see how he does this year before he’s gone next year. He’s making fair money for a starting safety next year and you’d have to think the move to safety is not just a short-term stopgap measure by the team because there are certainly more affordable ways for short-term stopgap solutions.

    • bangkokben - May 4, 2016 at 9:08 AM

      Cap only counts if you NEED the money. With Culliver cut, the need isn’t there. Also, Hall is penciled for FS and Ihenacho is an SS.

    • Tyler McCray - May 4, 2016 at 10:00 AM

      I was at every home game. Hall was like having a coach on the field. He would go up to all the young corners after a play and talk about how to be in better positions and stuff. He has earned his credit.
      Gruden already said Niles Paul would play some full back so thats covered.
      Unless the new DL can play a good NT we might need to still pick up one. We stuff a ton of goal line stands that help us win games.
      HTTR 4 Life.

      • bangkokben - May 4, 2016 at 10:10 AM

        Well said, Tyler.

        As bad as we were against the run, we did well in short yardage and goalline.

  6. howie70 - May 4, 2016 at 8:31 AM

    I don’t see why D Hall wouldn’t be looking over his shoulder. He is mediocre at coverage and plain awful at tackling. Always just trying to throw a shoulder into someone instead of wrapping them up. When he was still playing corner he would get burned then get dragged an extra 20 yards down the field because he was trying to strip the ball instead of tackling.
    I wonder who will lead the team in bonehead unsportsmanlike conduct penalties this year, Hall or Norman?

    • Mr.moneylover - May 4, 2016 at 10:20 AM

      It was Dhall first year playing safety and unlike most safteies he knows how to hit and make key tackles and on top of that he was coming off a major injury and a toe injury he looks like he got better from the videos I seen…I have questions for guys Trent Murphy lack of production and a fear that Chris baker is a one hit wonder after his good season

      • howie70 - May 4, 2016 at 1:23 PM

        “knows how to hit and make key tackles”…. D Hall is an awful tackler. As far as making a hit, as a I said, he will lower his shoulder to hit someone and half the time they will bounce off of him and keep running or he whiffs on the hit.

        • bangkokben - May 4, 2016 at 3:10 PM

          This hasn’t happened in years. At one point it was true — I remember him getting dragged by Jake Delhome that sealed the victory for Carolina — but what you just described was Goldson last year.

        • Mr.moneylover - May 4, 2016 at 7:59 PM

          He made some ppl fumble last year if that’s not a good tackler idk what is…he was the only one not scared to lay a big hit on Jason witten the last game of the season… Game tape backup my argument Dashon Goldson now he was a bad and missed tackles witch is why I don’t think he will get resigned

        • howie70 - May 5, 2016 at 9:03 AM

          “He made some ppl fumble last year if that’s not a good tackler idk what is”…he had one forced fumble last year. Check your “game tape” if you have it and check the stats. I remember watching him whiff on tackle attempts when he would just lower a shoulder. I remember people bouncing off of him and continuing to run.
          What is he schedules to make this year? Someone posted on here he is scheduled to make $8 million this year? That is way too much for him.

  7. renhoekk2 - May 4, 2016 at 8:53 AM

    McCloughan has shown he will not keep a player just because he drafted him. Mitchel and Spencer did not make the team last year. I like Thompson but it seems like he is an injury waiting to happen. Marshall is a little bigger and maybe can take the pounding a little bit more than Thompson. Of course maybe it’s not even an either or decision. They could both stay. Not sure as football team if you can have too much speed on a roster.

    • ET - May 4, 2016 at 12:30 PM

      Mitchel is not a great example. Pretty sure the Skins wanted to stash him on IR but Indy unexpectedly plucked him off the waiver wire. That was a rare strategic error by Scot (while acknowledging that most times other teams will let that rookie clear waivers).

      In general, though, I agree with you. Scot is results-oriented. And culture-oriented. His love for smart, hard working players buys a guy like Murphy more time, for example, than many of our armchair coachin’ experts would like.

    • channer81 - May 4, 2016 at 2:50 PM

      I don’t see how you cut CT when you only have two backs going into the draft. I’ve had a man crush on CT since we drafted him but its taken him a bit to develop. Gruden loves him since he’s his own version of Giovanni Bernard. Cousins really developed a rapport with CT last year relying on him heavily in passing situations when the team was down late in games and CT had a couple of games where he had around 10 catches.. Not to mention he averaged over 6 yards a carry.

      I say Marshall makes the team anyway due to lack of numbers at RB and I don’t trust Jones lasting an entire season..

  8. smotion55 - May 4, 2016 at 10:00 AM

    Jackson here this year, gone next year most likely, I think garcon is a better fit for GM. Craven’s will start I hope, Duke Ihenacho is on the hot seat because he can’t stay healthy here and was hurt in Denver, Way to many injuries at his age. If Golston makes the roster then they will have over estimated the talent on the line. Chris Thompson should make the team because they will keep 4 backs.

  9. Mr.moneylover - May 4, 2016 at 10:00 AM

    Jay gruden and scot m. Likes Keith Marshall a lot they want him to be the backup to matt Jones and jay gruden said the team is willing to work with Keith Marshall to get to that point…I think Chris Thompson is gonna have to battle with mack brown and the three undrafted free agent running back…I think the redskins is fed up with Chris Thompson not bein able to stay healthy…his injury was the reason why they couldnt call his plays in the playoff they called one that left him open for a touchdown but that’s about it….I expect Keith Marshall to be matt Jones backup when the season start…I said before the draft redskins were missing another deep threat p.garcon struggle in that area…josh doctson signing put guys like Ryan grant and rashad Ross in danger for this year…I think Ryan Grant and rashad Ross gonna have to battle to make the roster they added to big WRs…Reginald Diggs Richmond standout WR 6ft3 and they sign Maurice Harris he’s 6’2 …they clearly looking for more big WRs and a backup to Jamison crowder they signed Andre McCullough from cal 5’11…they only added 3 WRs out of 19 undrafted free agents it shows that Andre Roberts gone and ryant grant and rashad Ross jobs not as saft as we think it is….one thing I pick up on jay gruden always praise a player before he cut them did it with rg3 and basically doing it with Kendrick golston calling him our starting NT saying how good he played but after the draft he said matt ioannidis will be the starting NT once he add 15 to 20 pounds witch should be easy

  10. skinsdiehard - May 4, 2016 at 12:35 PM

    I don’t think Francois is safe. He was part of the poor run defense last year, so was Baker. Paea was out so the jury is still out. Hatcher, Francois and Baker were poor against the run last year. I wouldn’t consider them safe. Hall as a starting FS is a disaster. He was late to the ball in his brief time last year, giving up bombs to Sammy Watkins, Riley Cooper and others. He plays the same soft coverage at FS that he did at CB. Let’s move on from DHall. Bruton could do better at FS than Hall. Even possibly start Cravens and Ihenacho together. It would bring more toughness for sure.

    • Mr.moneylover - May 4, 2016 at 8:09 PM

      Ricky jean François is safe…he’s not a guy they want to stop the run he knows how to get after the QB…pot roast not able to get off of blocks along with Dashon goldson not bein in the right position to make a key tackles should help the redskins be better in that area …one thing about this year team they got guys like josh Norman who can get off of blocks to make key tackles along with breeland…if Su’A Cravens pickup things quick he’s another guy that knows how to get off blocks and not scared to tackle and make plays

  11. skinsdiehard - May 4, 2016 at 12:37 PM

    I agree that Ryan Grant should be gone now. Drops a lot of passes and has no speed. He even falls down a lot while running his routes….goofy. See ya Ryan.

  12. Brandon - May 5, 2016 at 7:31 AM

    Redskins are back baby.. Who’s pumped for the 2016 season.. Man it feels good to be a fan.. Especially after the last 25 yrs.. We should def. Keep duke if he can stay healthy he’s great asset … Kedrick gohlston can go.. Never done nothing.. The projected starters looks great for us on offense and defense!! We have the potential to have a breakout year.. Im a Blacksburg native.. I live 5 min. From Va. Tech campus.. K.fuller will be a helluva player for us.. He’s about 90% now.. He could ultimately take breelands spot as the 2nd cb on the D.C .. In yr. Two.. Keith arshall a great pick in the 7th rd. He will be a huge contributor in 2016.. #HTTR #HokieNation

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