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Need to Know: What are the Redskins’ strongest and weakest areas?

Jul 25, 2016, 5:07 AM EDT


Here is what you need to know on this Monday, July 25, three days before the Washington Redskins start training camp in Richmond.


—The Redskins last played a game 197 days ago. It will be 49 days until they host the Steelers in their 2016 season opener.

Days until: Preseason opener @ Falcons 17; Final roster cut 40; Cowboys @ Redskins 55

Strengths and weaknesses

The Redskins are expected to be at least a good team and perhaps a very good one in 2016. But like most other NFL teams they have their strengths and weaknesses. Let’s take a quick look at what look the two strongest aspects of the team and at the two weakest.


Pass catchers: The quality of this group has been a topic of discussion all over the league this offseason and now it’s time to see them start to do it on the field. There is no one star who is going to catch 115 passes or gain 1,400 receiving yards but the group is very deep. There are four receivers who should have at least 60 receptions, Pierre Garçon, Jordan Reed, DeSean Jackson, and Jamison Crowder, and two more, Josh Doctson and Vernon Davis, who won’t catch that many only because there aren’t enough footballs to go around. The group is strong, deep, and they possess diverse skill sets.

Pass rushers: This area doesn’t get talked about as much as the receivers do but they could be just as important. They have two outside linebackers, Ryan Kerrigan and Junior Galette, who are both in their late 20’s and had double-digit sack seasons in 2014. Second-year player Preston Smith led rookies with eight sacks last year and seems to be on the verge of bigger things. Chris Baker had six sacks from his defensive end spot last year. If Joe Barry can figure out how to utilize the group properly they could give the defense its signature group.

Also on the plus side: Cornerbacks


Running back: I like Matt Jones’ potential but he can’t be considered a solution at running back until he actually goes out and does it. Chris Thompson is a competent third down back but he’s not a player who makes defensive coordinators stay up late every night. Keith Marshall is fast but he needs to stay on the field if he’s going to learn how to utilize it. Maybe things will look different by the time midseason rolls around but for right now this is the most suspect unit on the team.

Safety: This is a perpetual problem area for the Redskins and it’s difficult to say with any confidence that things will be better this year. Duke Ihenacho is the only safety who has started an entire season at the position. DeAngelo Hall and Will Blackmon are converted corners and David Bruton was a special teams player and occasional starter in Denver. And it’s not like there is a youth movement there either. Bruton is 29 and Blackmon and Hall are both on the far side of 30.

Also on the minus side: Inside linebackers, defensive line

In case you missed it 

  1. colorofmyskinz - Jul 25, 2016 at 6:22 AM

    Very accurate. If we get Cavens over to safety, we might have a large strength. Everyone talks about DHall, but I am not impressed with him at this position until I start seeing him lay the wood on running backs. Sure he can cover, but tackle and lay the wood I am not convinced. Safeties need to hit like linebackers and play coverage like corners. DHall can cover but nothing has convinced me he can stop a running back clearing second level with a big hit. We know Cravens can. Until I see DHall lay consistent wood we have half a safety IMHO.

    • rlundy1123 - Jul 25, 2016 at 7:17 AM

      I dunno…..I want to say that I’ve seen DHall be willing enough to get in there and tackle guys. You won’t see open-field freight train hits, but Laron Landry proved the futility of always going for a highlight reel-type of hit (he alwas seemed to miss). DHall will wrap his man up. I agree that Hall could have trouble stopping some of the bigger RB’s when they get running downhill.

  2. redskins12thman - Jul 25, 2016 at 6:36 AM

    For the most part I agree.

    I think Quarterback is also on the plus side.

    While we don’t have big names playing inside linebacker, I’m not ready to put Compton, Foster, etc. on the minus side of the ledger yet. Didn’t the play improve as the season went along?

    D-line is the weakest area of the team or at least tied with safety. RB is a definite area of concern but I’m unsure whether it is a weakness yet.

    The O-line is split: LT, RT and RG are a strength; C and LG are a weakness.

    Special teams: K, P, KR and LS were a strength; PR was a weakness.

  3. ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Jul 25, 2016 at 7:37 AM

    Matt Jones needs to stay healthy, too.

  4. bangkokben - Jul 25, 2016 at 8:07 AM

    If we’re going to look at Rich’s strengths and weaknesses and take it as Gospel (why wouldn’t we), the Redskins blueprint for success is to sling the snot out of the ball — including to the backs, build a large lead, and unleash the pass rushers. The key will be how the safeties play. I actually prefer this patchwork to what was there in the past.

    On the other hand, Gruden — whom I think is a fine coach — has started both of his seasons very conservatively. He even remained conservative in game planning all the way through the first Dallas last year. He clearly was hoping to win close games rather than aggressively going for victory. Starting aggressive against the Steelers doesn’t seem likely.

  5. sidepull - Jul 25, 2016 at 8:09 AM

    RB, DL, S need to show what they got. I wish they wouldn’t have let Booker go to the Broncos.

    • bangkokben - Jul 25, 2016 at 8:34 AM

      You would’ve preferred Booker 18 spots earlier instead of Ioanidis in the 5th (152nd) and the Saints 5th round pick next year? Seems as if that was unlikely considering the investment in Jones but there were some of us who were hoping we’d picked David Johnson in 2014 so nothing is unreasonable. Furthermore, that trade was most curious. Moved down 32 spots just to get a 5th next year when there were a ton of players on “fans” boards that got picked in the meantime. (Booker and four other running backs, Andrew Billings and three other DTs, Deon Bush and two other safeties, Dak Prescott, and Cardalel Jones.) I’m sure one of these players will be mentioned multiple times in the next couple years as draft misses.

      • skinsgame - Jul 25, 2016 at 8:45 AM

        I give up arguing about draft picks with folks. The fans and pundits will even argue that “Need is a factor in BPA” but then Scot drafts a WR and yet the same argument will happen again next year. All the while, the roster quietly gets better in spite of all the experts.

        • redskins12thman - Jul 25, 2016 at 8:53 AM

          Yeah. I say in Scot I trust but wonder about passing on Myles Jack (if you are going for BPA) or Alex Collins in the 5th. It so easy for fans to second guess; these guys are studying the players in detail!

        • Trey Gregory - Jul 25, 2016 at 12:27 PM

          WR was a need. Because DJax and Garcon are likely gone after the season. So drafting a receiver now was leverage against having them hold you hostage to resign for more than their worth because you don’t have anyone else or being receiver-less when they go.

          Many people projected Washington would draft a WR after the Norman signing. Because there wouldn’t be enough space to sign DJax/Garcon plus Baker, Reed (at the time), Galette, Cousins, and other free agents + the receivers. It’s not just about the next year man. They have to project needs down the road or else they’ll always be playing catch up.

          If you don’t want to believe need factors into BPA, even a little bit, that’s fine. But don’t fool yourself and say WR wasn’t a need.

        • wildbill1952 - Jul 25, 2016 at 12:46 PM

          One other overlooked item in “the draft according to Scot”. It seems he also has a penchant to look to the future of his current roster, drafting a Trent Murphy when Orakpo was in his last year before his contract was up and a Doctson when you have DeSean and Garcon getting to the same point. Whether he’s doing it as leverage in future contract negotiations or because of players that can be thought of as ‘aging’, it does seem he looks beyond the immediate needs, even if he drafts to future needs one year out. I still think he rolled the dice on Lichtensteiger and Lauvao remaining healthy or if either will upgrade their talent level next season, but I’m just “another expert in my own mind”. There really wasn’t a center in the draft that was worthy of a first round pick after the Alabama guy was picked by Indy, but I thought there was some value in the later rounds with a couple of SEC stalwarts and definite room for improvement at the Skins center position. Time will tell if an opportunity was missed or Scot was looking at next year’s draft for an even better center than those available in the 2016 draft. It wouldn’t surpise me.

        • skinsgame - Jul 26, 2016 at 8:05 AM

          Every position is a need. Bar none. And of course the GM drafts for the future. The team was loaded at OLB, until it wasn’t. Injuries, salaries, age, depth… Those are what make every position a chronic “need”.

      • Trey Gregory - Jul 26, 2016 at 2:22 AM

        That fourth round will probably always be a failure in my book. Because, no matter how you look at it, we lost a fourth round pick. We get a fifth next year. Not a fourth. And there were good prospects left. Who knows if they’ll work out? But who knows if the guys in next year’s draft will work out? Another RB or any position on the front 7 looks really good right about now.

  6. skinsgame - Jul 25, 2016 at 8:38 AM

    If Kerrigan plays like he did last year he could playing backup to Preston Smith and then cut for salary. He needs to step his game up, big time. He’s not living up to that contract so far.

    • bangkokben - Jul 25, 2016 at 10:10 AM

      It would actually cost the Redskins $9.35 million of their available $11 million in cap space to CUT him this year. I’d say the chances of that happening are less than zero. Nobody lives up to their contracts. Tony Romo counts $20.835 million against the cap this year, is 36-years-old, with a history of multiple broken bones. It’s the price of doing business.

      • skinsgame - Jul 26, 2016 at 7:58 AM

        I wouldn’t expect him to get cut this year. Even if he lost his spot. But they wouldn’t pay a backup his salary next year.

        • bangkokben - Jul 26, 2016 at 8:12 AM

          There is little chance he becomes a back-up — even less now due to the Galette injury. But pretend he somehow does, even then his contract is prohibitive from releasing him. He would have to be incredibly bad — not just perceived to be overpaid. It would save the team $2.1 million to release him next year which is barely enough to cover a just-a-guy starter at OLB and the ‘skins would have a dead cap charge of $9.6 million. I get it. You think he should play at a higher level but he is nowhere close to the level where he is in danger of being released.

        • skinsgame - Jul 26, 2016 at 8:23 AM

          Yes, Galettes injury changes everything, particularly for this season. After Von Miller got his deal, Kerrigan is the 4th highest paid OLB. I just can’t see him actually collecting that past this year unless he steps it up.

        • Trey Gregory - Jul 26, 2016 at 11:44 AM

          Just curious, specifically what part of his game would you like to see him improve? What’s not making you happy?

          And they knew exactly who Ryan Kerrigan was when they signed him to this deal. I understand last year was a little disappointing but you can’t discount those injuries. He came on late in the season and played great. So why would they cut a guy when they knew exactly what they were buying when they paid top dollar for him?

    • mtskins - Jul 25, 2016 at 10:11 AM

      Kerrigan was coming off knee surgery in the spring, playing through a broken hand for part of the season, and learning a new defensive scheme. He still logged 9.5 sacks. At one point he admitted he was “overthinking” things early and seemed to do better down the stretch. Still consider him in the plus column when adding up team strengths.

      Plus the contract he signed was a five year extension. He isn’t getting cut anytime soon.

    • Trey Gregory - Jul 25, 2016 at 3:26 PM

      The amount of disrespect Kerrigan gets from Redskins fans is unbelievable. The guy is an outstanding OLB.

      There’s more to playing his position than sacks. You can’t just look at stats and judge an OLB. There’s the way he sets the edge vs the run, drops in coverage, keeps contain (or plays disciplined in general), plays a smart game vs the tackles, and gets pressure even when he doesn’t get sacks. If you like stats, look at his QB pressures. He’s elite if you go by that metric.

      And of course teams are going to shift their protection his way. He’s been the biggest threat. That will change with Galette/Smith but that’s where teams have focused. And you can’t overlook the injuries. He missed the offseason and was still recovering from surgery to start the season. Then broke his hand but STILL has never missed a game. Availability matters, ask Justin Houston, Terrelle Suggs, and Cameron Wake. Then, once Kerrigan got healthy, he exploded in the second half of the season and still got 9.5 sacks. And let’s be real, there’s no such thing as a half sack. The QB went down with Kerrigan’s hand on him. That’s 10 sacks.

      He’s a leader, and stays out of trouble. That contract is about those qualities too. Ask Galette. And when you watch Kerrigan, take in the entire game. Not just play by play. That’s what I meant about playing smart. He might speed rush a tackle the entire first half, doing no other move, and get nowhere. Then, on a big 3rd down, he breaks out a new move that works because he lulled the tackle into a false sense of security, gets the sack, and prevents a score. That’s what big time players do.

      We have a borderline elite group of OLBs and people are still complaining. It’s unbelievable. Smith really hasnt accomplished anything in the NFL yet but you think he’s going to start over Kerrigan? Get real man. I’m excited for Smith too but get a grip.

      • Trey Gregory - Jul 25, 2016 at 3:29 PM

        And now Galette is out for the season. So we better hope Kerrigan and Smith have standout years.

        I knew Galette was pushing it too hard based off his Twitter. God damn it.

        • Trey Gregory - Jul 25, 2016 at 3:47 PM

          Apparently it was the other achillies. So who knows what happened? Seriously, who knows?

      • John - Jul 25, 2016 at 4:09 PM

        Agreed. Not enough give Kerrigan credit. In his spot, the OLB on his side is usually not the big pass rushing threat. That OLB confronts the run a whole lot more as well as covering the pass. He has been a stud. Got to love those balls he tipped, caught and ran in, his first 2 years. In 2012, he was the only pass rushing threat. He’s better, when he has someone crashing in from the other side but not a Kevin Green who used to rush from the same spot years ago for Pittsburgh and Carolina.

        • Trey Gregory - Jul 26, 2016 at 2:05 AM

          Yeah he’s not fast enough to ever truly be an elite pass rusher, but he’s right under then in my opinion. And he makes up for his lack of speed with great technique.

          It’s a good point about him playing on the strong side. Where teams generally run or where he has to cover a TE. Not to mention sometimes the tackle has a TE to help him block. I’m very comfortable anytime Kerrigan is around the ball.

      • skinsgame - Jul 26, 2016 at 8:14 AM

        Well, we should be just fine at OLB with how amazing Kerrigan is, even losing his counterpart, right? Seriously, you just wrote a book about how awesome he is but your worried about Galettet being gone? Kerrigan seems like a great guy and, no he doesn’t get into off field issues, but his salary is for an elite OLB. A game changer. He’s not been that. It’s exactly why every fan knows how bad it hurts losing Galette again.

        • chimps000 - Jul 26, 2016 at 1:01 PM

          I agree with you completely- I like Kerrigan, he’s an above average lb who is payed like an elite player- and I saw him get out of position multiple times last year which led to big plays.

          It’s not his fault the redskins overpaid him, good for him- and for all we know he had bad nagging injuries last year that he is now recovered from. I’m certainly wishing him an outstanding year.

        • Trey Gregory - Jul 26, 2016 at 1:38 PM

          No we actually do know about his injuries. A knee and a broken hand. Still didn’t miss a game.

        • Trey Gregory - Jul 26, 2016 at 1:35 PM

          Look at the best pass rushing teams in the league. Do they have just one guy? Was Von Miller there all by himself or did he have Ware on the other side? Does Justin Houston do it alone or does Tamba Hali play opposite of him? Suggs and Dummerville? It’s called having bookends and it’s a highly desirable commodity. If you just have one legit threat then teams can shift their protection. I don’t know if you think football is a simple game where everyone lines up in the same spot every play, for an even playing field, and we determine who’s good and who sucks based off stats from that fair arangement. But that’s not how it works. Kerrigan is a good player who teams can focus on because he hasn’t had a legitimate threat opposite him for most of his career. Gallette was that threat. You can’t shift protection to both of them. Pick your poison and the other will strike. See how that doesn’t work if it’s only Kerrigan?

          And if 10-13 sacks are good, 10-26 are better. Gallette was good to match Kerrigan’s production. That’s why it sucks. We still have Smith, so that’s good. But I’m not as convinced that he’s going to be a double digit sack guy as everyone else. I need to see the growth first. And I’m mostly mad about depth. One injury to Smith or Kerrigan and we’re really screwed.

          Gallette also brought a different style. There’s not just one way to rush the passer. Gallette had the speed. Kerrigan and Smith (and even Murphy) don’t. And that’s OK. You don’t need elite speed. But Galette added a different dimension. Got all that?

  7. Mr.moneylover - Jul 25, 2016 at 11:38 AM

    The Weakness …I got to say D-line simply because of the unknown… We not gonna know who smash well together until training camp…on offense I got say the WR depth and RB depth simply because we don’t know who gonna step up ….the strongest postions are Pass Rush & Offensive line and possibly the secondary simply because they got good depth at those positions

  8. kenlinkins - Jul 25, 2016 at 2:04 PM

    Rich, Over the years I have asked you if the core of “Me First” guys on the roster has been reduced, so I will ask once again? I really like this 90 man roster and while I agree there are weak spots and there will always be some “me first” guys in a locker room that a GM / Coach can not let go of yet, IYO does this team have the over all sprit of a winning football team? (IMO it does but I do not get to hang around the team and learn what reporters know about these guys). In general, has anyone disappointed you after meeting / interviewing them?

    • Rich Tandler - Jul 25, 2016 at 2:14 PM

      Ken, check back with me after training camp. Didn’t get a chance to talk to all of the draft picks/free agents. And you can’t really get much of a feel when you just watch one day a week and they’re not in pads.

      • Dave b - Jul 25, 2016 at 2:37 PM

        Though I do agree that you have to consider future years and players likely to leave next year when drafting, I still think drafting a wr that high was a huge mistake. We had positions of real need that we did not improve, or at least we didn’t address. We were almost last stopping the run, and we were almost last running it. These things control games. I love the Norman signing otherwise cb would have been on the list as well. We were not good enough to use a top pick on luxury this year.

        That said this GM has built two good teams recently so I am not going to be too down about what we don’t have. We should be able to sling it and be entertaining if Kirk and Jones don’t turn it over too much.

        • Rich Tandler - Jul 25, 2016 at 2:56 PM

          Sorry, but WR was a huge need. That’s a position where you don’t wait for an opening to draft someone. With Jax and Garçon on the last years of their deals it was necessary to take a WR high and groom him for a major role next year.

          “Need” does not necessarily mean “right now”. Or at least not to GMs who know how to build a team.

        • Trey Gregory - Jul 25, 2016 at 3:14 PM

          Thank you.

          This team did it right and people want to criticize.

        • ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Jul 25, 2016 at 3:29 PM

          Especially, a WR with some height was a need.

        • Trey Gregory - Jul 25, 2016 at 3:36 PM

          Absolutely. It has been our one receiving weakness and a big part of our redzone troubles. Desean is almost useless in the redzone. And Reed can’t literally do it all. We needed that receiver to catch the fade. Now we have one. And we have a potential #1 or (what should be) a very good #2 once Garcon and DJax leave. Along with Crowder, Reed, Grant, and Paul. Now, this offense shouldn’t miss a beat when Garcon/Jackson leave. That wouldn’t be the case if we waited to draft a receiver next year.

      • kenlinkins - Jul 25, 2016 at 5:46 PM

        Thanks for placing it on your “To Do” list and not just writing something with no real meaning. That’s why I read this web site first thing every morning. I can trust that I will get an honest answer. Now if I can just figure out the business end of the NFL and get one prediction correct. By the way I am out of imaginary chips, how does one reload?

  9. redskins12thman - Jul 25, 2016 at 3:39 PM

    Galette is out for the season again. Poor guy; I was hoping he would have a great season. Opportunity for Smith, Jefferson, Bates, Trail, etc.

    • colorofmyskinz - Jul 25, 2016 at 3:51 PM


    • Trey Gregory - Jul 25, 2016 at 3:54 PM

      This really is the time for Bates and Jefferson to step up. If Jefferson is ever going to do it, this is it.

      But I have a hard time being optimistic about this. Damn, we might have been better off leaving Murphy at OLB. I wonder if they’ll consider moving him back? Or trading for someone? Because, the way this defense is build (from the outside in) we absolutely must have a good pass rush from our OLBs.

      I don’t meant to get negative. But this is exactly why I wish McCloughan would have used that 4th round pick somewhere along the line. We’re paper thin with real talent. A better DT/DE prospect to help shore up the edge deficiencies sounds real good right now. Or even a better OLB prospect. Or even a RB to help keep our defense off the field. I’m just saying, this is why I don’t like passing up on players for next year.

      • bangkokben - Jul 25, 2016 at 4:44 PM

        Making the team is one thing. Actually being a speed rusher from the edge is something that we don’t have a replacement.

        As for Murphy, he’s better than Bates and may be the Sua’ Cravens of the front seven.

        Just about all of us fans scratched our heads at the 4th round selection. It was almost as if there was division or at least no consensus with who to take at 120 that they decided to just get something for the pick and reset.

        • Trey Gregory - Jul 25, 2016 at 6:14 PM

          Yeah you may be correct about the division. But that’s where McCloughan needs to be the boss and make the decesion. It’s not a disaster but I’m not thrilled that we traded a 4th this year for a 5th next year. Most 4th or 5th round picks take a year or two to develop. So, some of our current core guys could be gone or out of their prime by the time that pick is ready to even contribute. That’s what I didn’t like about it.

          And yes. We’re not going to replace Galette’s speed with anyone currently off the roster. Outside of a blockbuster trade (which I give a 0 % chance of happening) we will not find a guy even close to his caliber as a replacement. Which really sucks. He was one of the main reasons I thought this defense could be pretty good. I’m seeing about 7 wins now. 8 if we sweep philly.

          I like Murphy more than most. But I think they moved him where he needs to be. Unless they’re going to stop dropping him in coverage and mostly let him rush as an OLB. Probably or best bet to compensate for Gallette’s loss is a better interior pass rush. And Murphy has that potential. I’m not saying he will get 6 sacks like Baker. But he has the potential.

        • bangkokben - Jul 25, 2016 at 7:03 PM

          I’m not down on Murphy either. Replacing Galette is at least more conceivable this year due to the timing of the injury — rather finding a replacement for him not on the roster. You can’t replace him equally. As for the fourth, two fifths — Ioanidis and next year’s. I think the desire to get the pick given up for Carrier was a factor — and shouldn’t have been — but that’s pure conjecture as opposed to the normal speculation that is usually based in some evidence.

  10. metalman5150 - Jul 25, 2016 at 3:44 PM

    Gallette down again.
    Terrible news.

  11. colorofmyskinz - Jul 25, 2016 at 3:48 PM

    OMG what freaking luck! Gallette you have to be kidding me!! Screwed!

    • John - Jul 25, 2016 at 4:01 PM

      But we have Trent Murphy, “the beast”, who supposed to save the day. LOL

      • Trey Gregory - Jul 25, 2016 at 4:13 PM

        I know you’re joking. But hopefully they don’t panic and leave Trent at DE. The guy has more potential than you think man. He could be a very good DE for us. Probably not until 2017, but I don’t expect him to suck this year either.

        • John - Jul 25, 2016 at 7:47 PM

          That is the definition of wishful thinking. LOL

        • Trey Gregory - Jul 25, 2016 at 8:18 PM

          No buddy. It’s really not. And it’s based off taking a hard look at him vs just looking at his production the first couple years. I took a hard look at what he did in college, his measurables, and what he actually did on the field. Not just what his stats were. And I think he could actually end up being a pretty decent 3-4 DE. I’m not saying it’s a sure thing, but he has more potential than you’re giving him credit for. Everything about him points to a guy who should be a productive NFL player but was possibly being misused. He was dropped into coverage 80% of the time. That’s not where his strength are.

          If he improved his upper body strength, and once he learns his new position, Trent Murphy had the potential to be a good DE.

        • John - Jul 25, 2016 at 9:54 PM

          He played on the side where your expected to produce as a pass rusher for 2 years, many times in passing situations with his hand in the dirt and what did he do? Not a whole hell of a lot. I don’t see much changing there, regardless of optimistic feelings about a position change.

        • John - Jul 25, 2016 at 10:38 PM

          He will continue to suck in his suckiness.

        • Trey Gregory - Jul 26, 2016 at 2:01 AM

          Really well articulated. I love how you backed up your argument. I don’t know why Stephen A. didn’t replace Skip with you and your amazing hot takes.

        • Trey Gregory - Jul 26, 2016 at 1:58 PM

          John: I’m not arguing that Murphy has been a great player for us. He needs to show more on the field. I completely agree. But he hasn’t been as bad as some fans say either.

          Reality is that all of our OLBs play both sides in this defense. And you can’t just look at it as right or left. The principles of what side is expected to pass rush vs run block etc. is based off strong vs weak. What side do they line the TE on? That’s the strong side. And teams shift that too. Here’s a link with film to prove both of those things are true.

          And regardless of what side he line up on m, he was dropped in coverage 80% of his snaps. That’s a fact. Not an opinion.

          You’ll also see Murphy is very good against the run and blockers don’t push him around. You’ll also see how some of the interior guys can thank him for their sacks BECAUSE of Murphy’s pass rush ability.

          Murphy is actually a very explosive player. His combine vertical was 35.5 and his broad jump was 10 feet. To compare, Jadeveon Clowney (the first overall pick and a consciences “genetic freak”) had a 37.5 vertical and a 10 foot broad jump. Von Miller: 37 inch vertical and about 10.5 broad jump. The place where Murphy suffered was bench press with 19. These aren’t the only numbers that matter but they help paint the picture.

          Murphy has the tools to be a very good player. My point was that if he added more upper body strength (which this weight gain should do) then he improves that deficiency. He should be a much more productive player. So my optimism is based off thinking he wasn’t being used properly.

          He’s a pass rusher and run stuffer. Not a cover guy. Dropping back 80% of the time is too much for him. That won’t be an issue at DE. This optimism is not based off a fantasy.

  12. smotion55 - Jul 25, 2016 at 3:52 PM

    Your 3 on the good list very well could carry this team this year and are deeper now then any time in the last 10 years and the not so good appear to have a chance to improve . The d-line in Barry’s 2nd year is going to evolve and play better then last year just by having hungry young guys in their { Ioannidis will start by the bye week} and with Paea healthy, Ziggy Hood ,Corey Crawford and maybe Murphy. Having Craven’s on the field in several different positions tells me that they are pro active and trying to get faster across the board. Learning ILB and Safety should help, Fuller if is healthy he will put pressure on coaches for playing time also Running back on paper is faster but unknown for sure, and if it becomes a problem they will pick up somebody after 1st week or somebody off last roster cuts. The biggest weakness is at Center and everybody acts like we are good there . Lichtensteiger even fully healthy gets pushed around to much and his pinched nerve might not hold up for long.. So Spencer Long and Reiter, I don’t count LiReibus need to play there in training camp and get somebody ready. it should interesting to see how all these major Question Marks pan out. Still a deeper team and 1 more draft should really shore up some loose ends.

    • Trey Gregory - Jul 25, 2016 at 4:09 PM

      I don’t understand how you can be so high on the Dline but so low on center? The guys on the Dline haven’t proven anything yet. The guys you listed are a bunch of cast offs, rejects from other teams, and most are in their first year of Barry’s scheme. And Ioannidis is a 5th round pick who hasn’t ever played a snap. But Cory has been a very serviceable starter for us. He’s never been great but he hasn’t been bad either. Intelligence and understanding the position is just as importance as power for centers. If his nerve is healed, then we’re fine at center.

      Oh, and just FYI. Cravens is not particularly fast. I think he can be a good player for us too but not because of his speed. He’s going to have to be a modern “moneybacker.” And more of an ILB than safety. Which is great but will hurt us in the run game because he’s too small to actually play ILB. That will be a complicated transition that may not happen this year.

      Murphy does have potential to be a good DE though. I was looking at his combine numbers and it’s obvious what Allen saw in him. The guy has tons of potential. His only rough spot was bench press (18). So the added weight should = more strength. Then we’re cooking with fire. He has more potential to be a good player than many fans want to think. But it will be year one all over again for him too.

      Probably the best we can hope for is an average run D. With excellent cover guys and edge rushers. But Galette is out. So even that is looking grim. We need Bates or Jefferson to break out in a big way.

      • John - Jul 25, 2016 at 4:50 PM

        I can see Paea and Baker contributing but not Murphy. A lot of the highlight hits on video show him coming clean as if out of stunts or A Gap blitzes but not dealing with a blocker. Now that he’s heavier and coming with someone in front of him, I don’t see much happening there. Much like the last 2 seasons.

      • John - Jul 25, 2016 at 10:13 PM

        Murphy is an Allen player. He fits the philosophy of winning off the field.
        Not to worry about the loss of Galette. Scott did a decent job of plugging holes with guys off the street last year. Finding a quality rusher will be a challenge. Someone like Free ney on a 1 year rental would not be to bad. As long as Freeney came in, when they brought in the situational pass rushers (ex: back in 1982/83 Perry Brooks and Tony McGee would always sub in on 3rd down and obvious passing situations).

  13. bangkokben - Jul 25, 2016 at 4:19 PM

    So much for pass rushers.This is terrible.

    • ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Jul 25, 2016 at 4:25 PM

      Yes, especially because Galette gave us something none of the others have: elite speed off the edge.

      • Trey Gregory - Jul 25, 2016 at 4:29 PM


      • bangkokben - Jul 25, 2016 at 4:33 PM

        T’is the season of attrition. Name players from every team will go down before the season even starts. This is the worst part of football. Ugh.

      • goback2rfk - Jul 25, 2016 at 7:19 PM

        Horrible injury for Junior. Who was such a talent off the edge, or used to be. I would imagine the career is closing in on Gallette with a 2nd Achilles. I really wanted to see what he could bring to the lackluster Redskins defense. This is terrible news for Junior, the team, and the Redskins fans. RIP Junior!

  14. bangkokben - Jul 25, 2016 at 4:49 PM

    I haven’t seen this here but Keim is reporting that the Redskins have waived Kyshoen Jarrett after failing a physical.

    “The Redskins also waived safety Kyshoen Jarrett after he failed a physical. Jarrett suffered nerve damage in his arm during the 2015 regular season finale. The Redskins did not anticipate his return this season; Jarrett did not participate in offseason practices. He was a key contributor as a backup safety/slot corner and special teams player as a rookie.”

    • mtskins - Jul 25, 2016 at 4:56 PM

      Yeah. I just read that as well.

      A strong kick to the ribs after the blow that was Galette tearing his Achilles. Wishing Jarrett the best in his recovery.

      • Trey Gregory - Jul 25, 2016 at 5:06 PM

        Yeah Jarrett is gone. Which sucks but I think we all saw it coming. I would be so much more optimistic about or safeties with him coming into year 2 healthy. Now he’s gone gone. What really sucks is he got hurt in a meaningless game with McFadden losing his helmet on everyone.

        I see they’re already reporting we have no interest in Dwight Freeny either. I hope Scot gives that more thought. We could use the depth, experience, and leadership. He was shockingly still effective in AZ last year. He wouldn’t start. He would just need to be available for injuries or for a rotation if a guy is gassed.

        I have to say. It seems like Scot doesn’t think this team will do much this year. Based off him not picking up a FA RB yet, pushing our 4th round pick to next year, and if he’s not interested in signing a veteran edge rusher. Seems like he’s pushing cap space and draft picks to the future. If he thought this team could really compete he would try to shore up these weaknesses.

        • bangkokben - Jul 25, 2016 at 7:23 PM

          “I have to say. It seems like Scot doesn’t think this team will do much this year.”

          Disagree — vehemently. Josh Norman. One thing that speaks louder than all of the things you mentioned. It’s been hours since Galette got injured. Let’s see what his solution is before we jump to conclusions. I will say that he doesn’t seem like the guy that will rush out and trade picks for TJ Duckett, sign Chris Cooley, or go after 36-year-old edge rushers with tire still left on the tread. He understands the long-term consequences of improving the roster for just a season. If he does make a move, it will likely be one that has future potential as well as short-term help — a la Derick Carrier. Now with Carrier’s knee injury that may not reap rewards but the potential was there. An FA RB is at this point a waste of a roster space and cap space until you know you need it. Right now it simply exists as a potential need with the possibility of just the slightest of upgrades. A 4th round pick’s likelihood of helping your team this year is minimal. None of these options are clear upgrades to the team this year with the possibility of costing the team later. if it’s a clear upgrade like Norman, he’ll do it.

        • John - Jul 25, 2016 at 10:34 PM

          A Brooks Reed player would be nice right about now. He unlike Murphy is a productive pass rusher.

    • Jimmy kubas - Jul 25, 2016 at 5:07 PM

      A great find in the 6th round.he was only going to get better. It’s a sham his career is probably over.and I was excited to see what gallette was gonna do for us.

  15. bangkokben - Jul 25, 2016 at 5:13 PM

    The Redskins now have two spaces available on their roster. Not sure what they do with Galette. I imagine he goes to IR which counts against the 90 but doesn’t count when teams trim their roster’s down to 75.

    • Rich Tandler - Jul 25, 2016 at 5:55 PM

      I would think they would waive Galette with an injured designation. I don’t think he can be claimed since he is vested. But if someone claims him, fine, they can pay his salary for the year only to see him become a free agent in 2017. Assuming he clears he can go to IR and rehab.

      • Bryan - Jul 25, 2016 at 6:48 PM


        Will Jarrett go to our ir assuming he doesn’t get claimed?

      • bangkokben - Jul 25, 2016 at 6:53 PM

        Thanks for all you do here Rich — especially but not limited to your comments to your readers.

  16. goback2rfk - Jul 25, 2016 at 7:14 PM

    With Kerrigan’s obvious decline in production last year, the injury to Gallete, along with a thin depth chart and this thing is not looking good for the pass rush.
    This is devastating news not only for Junior but for the Redskins as a whole. Junior Gallete is the type of guy we would need if were were to make the playoffs. Darn It!! Oh Well!

    • mtskins - Jul 25, 2016 at 11:39 PM

      I already made some comments regarding Kerrigan’s “obvious” lack of production last year in an earlier thread. 9.5 Sacks is less than his previous best of 13.5 sacks last year but still better then his first three years on the team. I already named some mitigating circumstances for the “decreased” numbers last year but just wanted to say it one more time. When you consider character, production, leadership intangibles,etc. Ryan Kerrigan is one of the best players on this football team. Period.

      I’m sorry Galette won’t be able to play this year. But Kerrigan is the type of guy you want on this team.

      • Trey Gregory - Jul 26, 2016 at 1:11 PM

        Sometimes people place too much value on stats and not enough on the intangibles and dirty work. Obviously there has to be production in the field, but not all of that shows up in stats. And team’s need those leaders. Talented teams fall apart all the time because the locker room is messed up. And not-as-talented teams over perform all the time because they have a strong locker room with leadership and where the players are generally happy. Like Carolina last year. Kerrigan helps bring that.

  17. redskins12thman - Jul 25, 2016 at 8:19 PM

    Today’s been one of the two most depressing days since the loss to the Packers (the other being when the Penguins defeated the Caps).

    While I knew Jarrett would need at least a year to recover (if he could play again at all), I wasn’t ready for the Redskins to say goodbye to him so soon; I thought Jarrett was heading to the PUP. Like many of you, I was hoping that Galette would have a great season. I feel bad for these two men and wish them well in their recoveries.

    Time for Scot to work some more magic; I wouldn’t be surprised if we pick up a LB and other players when teams start cutting players. His work is never done.

    I hope Rich can find cheerful topics for tomorrow. Today’s just been really depressing.

    • Trey Gregory - Jul 26, 2016 at 2:00 AM

      Yeah McCloughan will probably find another OLB for us. But, whoever it is, won’t be able to replace Gallette’s production. Assuming he was able to come back in full form. I guess there’s a tiny chance we find the next…. well…. Junior Galette (he went undrafted). But guys with that kind of potential don’t usually get cut. And there’s an even smaller chance McCloughan trades for a proven pass rusher. I just don’t see a team parting with a guy worth taking or McCloughan parting with a first round pick, which is what it would take.

      Our best hope is that Smith grows from last year and doesn’t have a slump. Also that him and Kerrigan stay healthy. Then, that we’re all surprised, and the interior creates more of a pass rush than we were expecting. Because it doesn’t matter how good our DBs are. If the QB has time, they’ll find their receiver. Especially the teams we’re playing this year.

      • John - Jul 26, 2016 at 11:05 AM

        Yes, with Larry, Mo and everyone’s favorite, Curly working up front, opposing QBs don’t have much fear of getting their jerseys dirty when playing the Skins. It may not require a 1st to get someone. They don’t necessarily need a dominant rusher off the edge but someone who can do enough to supplement Kerrigan and Smith. Save the high pick for a d rusher or receiver next year.

        • Trey Gregory - Jul 26, 2016 at 1:15 PM

          I just meant to get someone of Gallette’s caliber. And even then, a team would have to be committed to a rebuild to let a top pass rusher go. That was really just my way of saying there’s no way we replace Gallette.

          We do need someone though. I like the idea of an old vet like Freeny. Keeping in my his age and tempering expectations. I would see him as more of a mentor for the young guys and a reliable option in an emergency. Depending on his asking price of course. Archives

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