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Bacon Bits: Redskins News From Around The Web For The Week Of July 6th 2016


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ESPN’s Adam Schefter does not believe the Redskins and franchise-tagged QB Kirk Cousins will reach a long-term deal before the July 15 deadline.

Schefter thinks it will be “too difficult” to find the right value. “I think there would be teams willing to pay him if he were on the open market today more than Washington feels like it needs to pay him,” Schefter said. “I think a team like the Cleveland Browns would’ve given him $20 million a year, maybe more.” Already set to earn $19.95 million guaranteed this season, there is little reason for Cousins to take less than $20 million per year on a new deal, and the Redskins might want to see another season before shelling out that kind of cash. These deals tend to get done on deadline day, but it is certainly possible Cousins plays out the season under the tag.
Jun 30 – 10:06 AM

CSN Mid-Atlantic expects first-rounder Josh Doctson to flirt with six touchdowns as a rookie.

Beat writers Rich Tandler and Tarik El-Bashir both predicted around a “half dozen” touchdowns for Doctson in year one. Tandler doesn’t believe Doctson will be much of a factor outside of the red zone, however, predicting he catches fewer than 35 passes. Doctson will need to outplay Pierre Garcon and/or Jamison Crowder to earn a regular role in the Redskins’ three-receiver packages.
Jul 1 – 12:05 PM

CSN Mid-Atlantic reports David Bruton is getting the “first crack” at the Redskins’ strong safety job.

Rich Tandler said Duke Ihenacho would have to be “clearly superior” in training camp to unseat Bruton, who started just eight games in his seven years with the Broncos. He does have a fourth-round pedigree, however, and showed well as a short stint as a starter before breaking his leg last season. DeAngelo Hall is locked in at free safety.
Jul 2 – 12:18 PM

RealRedskins.com believes Shawn Lauvao could be released if he doesn’t win left guard duties.

The injury-prone veteran is competing with Spencer Long. Lauvao underwent five surgeries after landing on injured reserve with a foot issue last year, and struggled mightily before going down. Lauvao will probably be eased into camp, giving Long a leg up.
Jul 4 – 2:20 PM

The Washington Post’s Mike Jones reports franchise-tagged QB Kirk Cousins and the Redskins have “made no strides toward an agreement.”

Jones reports the Redskins will make another push before the July 15 deadline, but “there’s not a high level of optimism that those efforts will prove successful.” ESPN’s Adam Schefter agrees, recently saying the deal will prove “too difficult” to get done. Franchise tagged players tend to sign long-term deals on deadline day, but this situation is trending in the other direction. It would not be surprising if Cousins played out this year under the tag.
Jul 5 – 11:29 AM

The Washington Post reports Redskins OLB Junior Galette “(looked) explosive” in padless offseason practices.

Galette is questionable for the start of training camp, but has been progressing without setbacks. GM Scot McCloughan said his “explosion” was already back in April. Galette will be 11 months removed from going down when Washington reports. Galette notched 10 sacks in 2014 for the Saints.
Jul 5 – 2:51 PM

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Bacon Bits: Redskins News From Around The Web For The Week Of June 29th 2016


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CSN Mid-Atlantic’s Rich Tandler said ILB Will Compton is written “in Sharpie” at the top of the depth chart.

Compton started the final nine games last season including the playoffs, but he was a liability in run defense. He should enter this season as a starter, but he will need to take a big step forward to nail down a full-time role. Perry Riley and Mason Foster will vie for the other starting spot. Rookie Su’a Cravens could emerge as the team’s primary sub-package inside linebacker.
Jun 20 – 12:12 PM

 

MMQB’s Albert Breer reports contract negotiations between the Redskins and franchise-tagged QB Kirk Cousins are “going nowhere.”

Breer reports both sides expect Cousins to play out 2016 under the terms of the franchise tag, which would pay him $19.95 million. Likely thinking he will be in an even better negotiating position this time next year, Cousins has little reason to accept a cut-rate deal before the July 15 deadline, and Washington likely wants to see him do it again before they shell out franchise-quarterback money. No matter how grim it looks in June, these deals usually get done at the deadline, but it would not be surprising if Cousins played out the season under the tag.
Source:MMQB
Jun 24 – 9:05 AM

ESPN’s John Keim reports the Redskins “loved how [Jamison] Crowder looked” in the offseason program.

Keim thinks the sophomore will continue to have a role in three-wide sets despite the presence of first-round pick Josh Doctson. That will likely be true early, especially with Doctson missing time with Achilles’ and foot injuries, but Crowder is at best the No. 4 passing-game option either way. A low point-per-target player with limited touchdown upside, Crowder does not need to be drafted in standard leagues.
Source:ESPN
Jun 25 – 12:00 PM

CSN Mid-Atlantic expects Redskins ILB Mason Foster to start opposite Will Compton.

Perry Riley was expected to occupy one of the starting spots, but he was held out of spring practices because of a lingering foot injury. That opened the door for Compton and Foster to cement themselves in starting roles. Set to count $5.05 million against the cap in the final year of his deal, Riley could end up a cap cut if he is not able to claim a starting job.
Jun 26 – 6:41 PM

The Washington Post’s Mike Jones left seventh-round RB Keith Marshall off his 53-man roster projection.

Jones has Matt Jones, Chris Thompson, and Mack Brown making the final roster, but he acknowledged it is possible the Redskins keep four running backs. A 219-pound back with 4.31 wheels, Marshall’s college career was sidetracked by an ACL injury as a sophomore, and he dealt with hamstring issues during the offseason program. Marshall has a ton of athletic upside, but he needs to stay healthy through training camp.
Jun 27 – 12:02 PM

CSN Mid-Atlantic’s Rich Tandler believes Redskins third-round rookie Kendall Fuller “will emerge” as the slot corner.

Fuller was fully cleared in his return from microfracture surgery in May and will be ready to compete for a role in training camp. Josh Norman and Bashaud Breeland are locked in as the starters, but the Redskins are still looking for a No. 3. Fuller will have to beat out undrafted sophomore Quinton Dunbar for the job.
Jun 28 – 9:48 AM

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From In The Bubble To On The Bubble


Taking a gander at the 2016 Washington Redskins depth chart it seems abundantly clear there are some veterans whose job security is in question.  One recent development which will benefit at least two rookies is the approval of the league to keep the practice squad at ten players for the next two seasons.  Here are the players who are and are not locks to make the 2016 roster:

 

The Quarterback position is etched in stone with Kirk Cousins starting and Colt McCoy backing him up.  2016 6th round draft selection Nate Sudfeld is likely headed for the practice squad.

 

The Running Back position is also largely etched in stone.  Matt Jones has been named the starter, Chris Thompson is the only experienced backup on the roster, and Robert Kelley has impressed thus far with limited non-contact action.  Keith Marshall is currently behind 2015 practice squad player Mack Brown on the depth chart and his recent hamstring tweak issue is not helping his cause.  Marshall will have to be ready for and produce in training camp to avoid the practice squad.  There are veterans available in free agency.

 

The Wide Receiver position is etched in stone.  Desean Jackson, Pierre Garcon, Jamison Crowder, Josh Doctson, Ryan Grant, and Rashad Ross are locked in.  It would not be surprising to see Maurice Harris or Reginald Diggs on the practice squad.

 

The Tight End position is one where there is more talent than there are roster positions.  Certainly Jordan Reed is the starter but behind him could be Niles Paul or Vernon Davis.  It seems all three are safe which leaves Logan Paulsen, Derek Carrier, and Marcel Jensen fighting for one roster spot.  Carrier will start the season on IR, leaving Paul and Jensen to battle for one job.  The team likes Paulsen as a blocker but also likes Jensen as a red zone receiving target.  Jensen is, according to the NFL rule change in 2014, eligible for the practice squad as the league allows two players with two accrued seasons or less to be on each team’s PS.

 

The team will not carry a Fullback this season.  A Tight End or Tackle will be used in the rare instances the team goes “Heavy Jumbo” as Joe Bugel used to call it.

 

Offensive line is anything but etched in stone.  Trent Williams is a lock at Left Tackle.  Brandon Scherff is a lock at Right Guard.  Morgan Moses is a lock at Right Tackle.  The team has three players battling for the starting Left Guard position in Spencer Long, Arie Kouandjio, and Shawn Lauvao.  Of the three, Long can play multiple positions.  The team has three Centers in Korey Lichtensteiger, Austin Reiter, and Josh LeRibeus, not including Long, who has been working at Center during mini camps and OTAs.  Lauvao and Lichtensteiger are both coming off major injuries.  It would not be surprising to see Kouandjio at starting Left Guard and Long at starting Center by September.  The team will keep at least nine offensive linemen but they may elect to keep ten.  By position, the locks are probably Williams, Moses, Ty Nsekhe, and Cody Booth at Tackle, Scherff, Long, Kouandjio, and Takoby Cofield at Guard, and Reiter at Center.  That’s nine players.  That would leave Long starting at Center and both Lauvao and Lichtensteiger out.  Al Bond is potential practice squad material.

 

The line is a tough read because Scot McCloughan is known to prefer larger linemen more suited to a power blocking scheme.  Lauvao is that, and the running game was effective until he went down last season, but Left guard Shawn Lauvao, who was placed on injured reserve on Sept. 30 after having left ankle surgery, also had surgery on his right foot and leg. He said he had five total procedures during the last three months. Lauvao said doctors sawed the bone of the first metatarsal in his right foot and did a “slight incision” on the peroneal tendon of his right leg. In addition, Lauvao ruptured the peroneal tendon and tore the ligaments in his left ankle, which was the reason he was placed on IR. Doctors also shaved the bone of his first metatarsal in his left foot.  And then there’s the matter of his $5.0MM salary for the 2016 season.

 

Likewise, Lichtensteiger is costing $3.878MM for the 2016 season.  He’s on the other side of 30 and is undersized for a power blocking scheme.  The fact Long has been working at Center even with both Reiter and LeRibeus on the roster, says the team is looking to go bigger.  One way of accomplishing that would be to retain a healthy Shawn Lauvao at Left Guard and to start Spencer Long at Center.  If Lauvao is not able to start, however, Long may have to start at Left Guard, leaving the Center position to Lichtensteiger.

 

Stay tuned on the offensive line.

 

Next Up: The Defense

 

 

 

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Redskins Vanity Plate


Redskins Vanity License Plate

Redskins Vanity License Plate

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Wallpaper: 2016 Redskins Calendar


2016 Redskins Calendar

2016 Redskins Calendar

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Wallpaper: Redskins Logo On Canvas


Redskins Logo On Canvas

Redskins Logo On Canvas

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Opposing Views: The Pittsburgh Steelers Press


     Each week during the 2016 NFL season theHogs.net will bring you the pregame press from the opponent’s perspective.  As there is already discussion of the opening game, here is what is being said thus far:

The Redskins finished the 2015 season with a 9-7 record, which was good enough to capture the NFC East Division title and a home playoff game. They were promptly booted from the playoffs by the Green Bay Packers, yet hopes are high in the nation’s capital that the team will return to the playoffs for a second consecutive season. The last time the Redskins made the playoffs in consecutive seasons was way back in 1990, ’91, and ’92.

The organization certainly isn’t resting on last year’s accomplishments, as they made several moves during the off-season to help them improve.

The biggest move was franchising quarterback Kirk Cousins. Cousins enters his fifth season, and his second as the team’s full-time starting signal caller. Many criticized the Redskins’ brass for selecting him with their fourth pick in the 2012 draft, right after taking RGIII second overall in the same draft.

However, RGIII’s career has fizzled quickly and the organization appears all the wiser for picking Cousins.

What’s more, Cousins is rapidly developing into one of the better quarterbacks in the league. His career passer rating is 91.3, and last season he threw for 4166 yards and 29 touchdowns.

Cousins’ efficiency could pose some problems for the re-tooled Steelers secondary. Given that this matchup takes place on the NFL’s opening weekend, chances are the Steelers defense won’t have worked out all the kinks.

Possibly compounding the issue is the Redskins formidable wide receiver corps. Leading the way is DeSean Jackson, who’s got plenty of speed and big play ability. Last season, he averaged 17.6 yards/catch. His achilles heel, however, has been his durability. He missed several games last season, but should be in top health for the opener.

In addition to Jackson, the offense also features Pierre Garcon and Jamison Crowder. Both are highly productive receivers. Garcon has averaged nearly 70 catches and 750 yards over the last two years, while Crowder caught 59 passes for 604 yards in 2015, his first in the NFL.

The team also drafted Josh Doctson from TCU with their first pick in this year’s draft.

The Redskins’ running game doesn’t pose as big a threat, but they do have some capable backs in Matt Jones and Chris Thompson. According to The Washington Post, Jones is “a big, physical runner who coaches hope continues to learn how to use his size (6 feet 1, 231 pounds) to his advantage. Chris Thompson is a smaller (5-8, 193), shiftier back who provides both a good change of pace as a runner, and a receiving threat out of the backfield.”

There’s a good chance the Steelers will need to simply outscore the ‘Skins in order to beat them. Can they do it? It would appear so, based on numbers from last season. The Redskins’ defense, while average in total points allowed per game (17th in the league, 23.7 points/game), ranked near the bottom of the league in passing yards allowed per game (258 yards, ranked 25th), rushing yards allowed per game (122.6 yards, ranked 26th), and total yards allowed per game (380.6 yards, ranked 28th).

Like the Steelers, the Redskins have taken steps to try and improve their defense, particularly the secondary, through free agency and the draft. The team signed strong safety David Bruton Jr. from the Super Bowl champion Broncos, and added safety Su’a Cravens from USC with their 2nd pick in the draft and cornerback Kendall Fuller from Virginia Tech in the third round. They’ll join 13-year veteran, DeAngelo Hall, who’s making a switch from corner to safety.

They’ve also added depth along the defensive line and linebacking unit.

The Bottom Line:

As with the Steelers, Washington’s defense may also be experiencing some glitches that the pre-season will not have fixed. Even with Martavis Bryant sidelined for the season, Ben Roethlisberger and company should be able to exploit the weaknesses. The same could happen for Kirk Cousins against the Steelers defense, however. Before it’s over, there’s a good chance that this opening Monday night matchup will be a high-scoring affair.

     http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/pittsburgh-steelers-nfl-features-news-blog-long-form/2016/6/10/11872744/pittsburgh-steelers-2016-season-opponents-week-one-vs-washington

     And don’t forget, our own Deadskins will bring you “The Loser Papers” following each Redskins victory.

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Su’a Cravens in S.T.’s Uniform – Photoshop


Yeah, yeah, yeah… before you even start, I did this graphic up to pay homage to Sean Taylor, not to exploit him or his good name.

After all, not only is Taylor a favorite of many-to-most Redskins fans, he was also the favorite player of the Redskins 2nd round draft pick Su’a Cravens (53rd overall).

cravens

Click on the image for a 1280×800 wallpaper sized version.

Cravens wore number 21 at USC.

It’s not likely Cravens will actually ever see himself in the number 21 of the burgundy and gold – nor will anyone else – so I hope there’s no feathers ruffled with a little bit of Photoshop manipulation to show what it would look like.

The composite uses Sean’s jersey AND pads, and then there is just helmet accents laid over top of the USC helmet. Yeah sure, there are some quirky bits, but it’s just for some burgundy and gold fun. See both images below to see where the composite came from.

Send all complaints to 1-800-EAT-SH… oh, nevermind.

More about Cravens’ pre-NFL days here.

You can actually reach me on Twitter @TheHogsdotNet.

Our Sean Taylor Tribute Page.

Hail. To the Redskins. To Su’a. And especially to Sean. May he rest in peace.

Original images:

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 (Photo by Matt Stroshane/Getty Images)

(Photo by Matt Stroshane/Getty Images)

And just because there is never not a good reason to post this, the original Sean Taylor Tribute wallpaper:

sean

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Mind Reading: A (Too Early) Guess At The 2016 Washington Redskins Final Roster


Yes, it’s early.  Too early.  The FNGs haven’t even been dragged through the week that is rookie camp yet.  Furthermore, anyone who witnessed the last two Washington Redskins drafts knows it’s impossible to read the mind of Scot McCloughan.  The first person who says they saw the Brandon Scherff pick last season or the Josh Doctson pick this season coming before it happened is the first liar.  So, admittedly, this is spitting into the wind.  Nevertheless, it’s the off-season and a) a Skins fan always needs something Skins to talk about, and b) trying to break in and get a feel for what draws interest during the season seems like a would-be exercise in futility.  With that in mind …

Quarterbacks (3) – Kirk Cousins, Colt McCoy, Nate Sudfield.

Running Backs (4) – Matt Jones, Keith Marshall, Pierre Thomas, Rob Kelley.

Tight Ends (3) – Jordan Reed, Niles Paul, Vernon Davis.

Wide Receivers (6) – DeSean Jackson, Pierre Garcon, Jamison Crowder, Josh Doctson, Ryan Grant, Rashad Ross.

Tackles (3) – Trent Williams, Morgan Moses, Ty Nsekhe.

Guards (4) – Brandon Scherff, Spencer Long, Shawn Lauvao, Arie Kouandjio.

Centers (2) – Korey Lichtensteiger, Austin Reiter.

And the Defense …

Defensive Ends (4) – Chris Baker, Stephen Paea, Kendall Reyes, Ricky Jean-Francois.

Defensive Tackles (3) – Kedric Golston, Jerrell Powe, Matthew Ioannidis.

Inside Linebackers (5) – Will Compton, Perry Riley, Mason Foster, Steven Daniels, Martrell Spaight.

Outside Linebackers (4) – Ryan Kerrigan, Preston Smith, Junior Galette, Houston Bates.

Safeties (4) – Sua Cravens, Deangelo Hall, David Bruton, Duke Ihenacho.

Cornerbacks (5) – Josh Norman, Bashaud Breeland, Will Blackmon, Quinton Dunbar, Kendall Fuller.

Kicker (1) – Dustin Hopkins.

Punter (1) – Tress Way.

Long Snapper (1) – Nick Sundberg.

 

 

 

 

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Kirk Cousins By The Numbers


When a team makes a player the highest paid player at his position for the year there are going to be high expectations.  When that team is the Washington Redskins and that player is Kirk Cousins we had better like that.  More importantly, Scot McCloughan had better like that or we’ll be back on the quarterback search trail.  But what does Cousins have to do for Scot McCloughan to like that?  There were things Cousins did exceptionally well last season.  But when you’re paying a player like a top five player at his position, even if it’s on the franchise tag, he needs to perform as such.  Did Cousins?  Let’s take a look.

The Good:

7th in Completions but outside top ten in attempts.
7th in Passing Yards Per Attempt.
5th in Passer Rating.
Outside the top ten in Interceptions.
8th in Adjusted Yards Per Pass Attempt.
7th in Net Yards Per Pass Attempt.
8th in Adjusted Net Yards Per Pass Attempt.
10th in Pass Completions Per Game.
1st in Pass Completion Percentage.
7th in Sack Percentage.
8th in Game-Winning Drives.
10th in Comebacks.
2nd in Fumbles Recovered.

The Bad:

7th in Completions but 10th in passing yards.
Outside the top ten in Passing Attempts Per Game.
Outside the top ten in Interception Percentage.
Outside the top ten in Passing Touchdown Percentage.

The Ugly:

Outside the top ten in Passing Touchdowns.
Outside the top ten in Passing Yards Per Game.
Outside the top ten in Yards Per Completion.
8th in Fumbles.
Outside the top ten in Total Offense.

What Cousins has to do to justify the Franchise Tag and command a long-term contract:

Cousins threw 29 touchdowns last season. The top five quarterbacks threw an average of 35 touchdowns.
Cousins’ touchdown percentage was 5.3%. The top five average was 6.5%.
Cousins’ yards per attempt was 7.7. The top five average is 8.4.
Cousins’ adjusted yards per attempt is 7.8. The top five average is 8.6.
Cousins’ yards per completion average is 11. The top five average is 13.
Cousins’ yards per game is 260.4. The top five average is 300.
Cousins’ net yards per attempt is 6.99. The top five average is 7.7.
Cousins’ adjusted net yards per attempt is 7.14. The top five average is 7.75.
Cousins’ sack percentage is 4.6. The top five average is 3.0.

One can gather from the above much improvement is expected of Kirk Cousins this season.  Not only should he have better passing protection thanks to the replacement of Josh (What’s the snap count, again?) LeRibeus but he also has an additional receiving weapon in 2016 1st round draft selection Josh Doctson and another red zone target in off-season acquisition Vernon Davis.  One has to assume the rushing attack will be better this season. (How could it possibly be worse?)

Cousins will be on a long leash this season because when you’re paying a player over $1.0MM per game you’re not paying him to sit on the bench.  The only way he’s not playing is if he is injured.  That could be good for Cousins or it could be disastrous.  If he’s playing up to expectations expect him to get paid like a top five quarterback.  Before complaining about the potential cost involved take a moment to remember the quarterback history of the team over the course of the last twenty-five seasons.  If he’s not playing up to the level expected it’s going to be a long and painful season for him, for Scot McCloughan, who will have to begin scouting quarterbacks mid-season, for Jay Gruden whose job is balancing on Cousins’ performance, and for the fans.

The real question is: If Cousins performs marginally well, as in top ten but not top five, what does the team do?  They almost certainly won’t tag Cousins again.  That gets very expensive.  If the Skins offer him top ten money but not top five money will he take it?  Or will he take his chances on the open market?  Is he really a team player?  If he is, I like that.

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