August 23, 2017

Washington Redskins: A look back at how Scot McCloughan’s rookie class performed

Washington Redskins rookie General Manager Scot McCloughan has a great talent of recognizing potential in players, especially rookies. With ten picks in his first draft as a part of the Burgundy and Gold, lets look back on the immediate payout D.C. got.

Starting from the bottom to the top, the Redskins never saw CB Tevin Mitchel, WR Evan Spencer, or C Austin Reiter take part as a member of the active roster once the regular season began.

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Washington Redskins: Everything you need to know from “Clean Out Your Locker Day”

(Photo by: @Mason_Foster)

(Photo by: @Mason_Foster)

It was a somber day at Redskins Park when the players that worked through adversity for much of the year had to come to terms with the fact that their season was over. The close-knit group sat around playing cards to try and delay the inevitable exit interviews and cleaning out of lockers that would officially end their season. Mason Foster put it best on Twitter by posting the picture to the right with the caption “THEM BOYS ARE HAVIN THE TIME OF THEIR LIVES” from Varsity Blues to underscore the special bond the team has developed.

With regards to in-house free agency candidates click here, but here is everything you need to know from the official last day of the 2015-16 season (ordered based on earliest completion of exit interviews):

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Washington Redskins: What do Jay Gruden, Kirk Cousins, and Trent Williams think of Kory Lichtensteiger’s return?

(Photo by: Brad Mills/ USA TODAY Sports)

(Photo by: Brad Mills/ USA TODAY Sports)

Despite the highly anticipated rushing attack of offensive line coach Bill Callahan, the Washington Redskins have gotten away from their legacy of a run first franchise. Much of that has to do with losing left guard Shaun Lauvao in the third week of the season as well as center Kory Lichtensteiger after just five games. While Spencer Long has done a decent job when getting rushed into action, after losing his starting right guard spot in the off-season, converted guard Josh LeRibeus has struggled. Now as the Skins get ready to go roaring into the playoffs, they will get the anchor of the offense back as the Bowling Green product is expected to retake his starting role.

Although Jay Gruden did not make it explicitly clear that Lichtensteiger will return to the starting lineup, he feels “good” about his return when asked about his confidence level. Gruden assures that Lichtensteiger has still been fully involved “from a mental standpoint.” Kirk Cousins reiterated the same idea by mentioning that “he’s never left. He stayed in meetings. He’s always at practice.”

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Washington Redskins: Week 14 Wednesday Press Conference Wrap Up

In the shortened work week following a Monday night game, the Washington Redskins held a walkthrough on Wednesday. Following the latter, head coach Jay Gruden  and quarterback Kirk Cousins addressed the media as they look ahead to the Chicago Bears.

Throughout much of the Cowboys game, Washington was unable to make Matt Cassel feel uncomfortable and allowed him to deliver the ball in a clean pocket. Gruden says that Joe Barry, who does not like to blitz often, is not dialing up many blitzes because of the instability in the secondary. The Redskins do not want to leave their corners on an island, but thinks that as the defensive backs start to become consistent more safety blitzes could be dialed up. Such is a role that both DeAngelo Hall and DaShon Goldson could thrive in.

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Washington Redskins: Week 11 Thursday Press Conference Wrap Up

After practice in the indoor bubble, instead of the soaked practice field, Washington Redskins head coach Jay Gruden and defensive coordinator Joe Barry addressed the media about the Carolina Panthers.

One of the Achilles heels for the Redskins defense this season has been tackling and now with the challenge of facing a 6′ 5”, 250 pound quarterback, Gruden knows that the coaches have to preach sound and fundamental tackling techniques. The Redskins will “have to wrap him and try and get him down”. Gruden believes that Newton is most dangerous as a runner on “drop-back passes” where you do not account for him during man coverage.

During Jay Gruden’s tenure as head coach, the Washington Redskins have been a miserable 1-11 on the road including a current 8 game losing streak away from FedEx Field. Gruden said he doesn’t know what he can do to improve that since the routine is more or less the same. “We have to travel at the same time. We stay at a hotel. We have meetings at night. We get up and play in the morning — at 1:00.” Gruden does not have any “magical pep talks” that will help the team since they are already practicing hard.

Gruden thinks the biggest reason for the success in the run game against the Saints was that the team was able to play “with a lead”. On the contrary, when you are down and have to play catch up, you are unable to stick with the plan. Gruden believes that the “ability to convert on third downs, keep drives alive” helps the run game “tremendously”. Part of the reason for the relatively good offensive line play this year has been the development of second year tackle Morgan Moses. Gruden attributes his rapid development to his “work ethic, attention to detail, and want to get better”.

Contrary to previous belief when the Redskins brought in veteran center Brian de la Puente to possibly start ahead of Josh LeRibeus, Gruden said that the converted guard LeRibeus is still the team’s starter. The real reason why Washington brought in de la Puente was because they were not comfortable with Spencer Long being put into emergency center duties at the end of the first half against New England. Gruden said that the team “knew we needed another center in the building”. Despite LeRibeus’ poor shotgun snaps that Gruden says is being worked on every day, it is overall just something LeRibeus is new to that he will eventually get better at.

Although DeAngelo Hall is still not at 100% as seen by his limited play against the Saints, the Redskins are definitely looking at the possibility of the veteran corner to contribute at free safety. Gruden likes the idea because of the current success that hall of fame candidate Charles Woodson is having with the Oakland Raiders and thinks Hall has a “similar-type of ball skills that you look for at free safety”. Barry would later on that Hall could “absolutely” contribute at safety in the future, but amended that “he’s still going to play corner” too.

Barry spent most of his time addressing the Redskins internal struggles with run defense and how that possibly plays into the hands of the Panthers’ physical run game. Barry concurred with Gruden that the key in both aspects will be simply tackling better. Barry knows that Carolina’s “unique” running game can pose difficulties for defenses which is “why they lead the NFL”.

To end his presser, Barry would applaud Newton for playing “smart” whether it be by throwing the ball away or “running smart”. Barry believes and is corrent when saying “the more you play the more you’re going to grow”, which is what the Redskins hope to get out of Kirk Cousins.

Washington Redskins: Week 11 Injury Report

Despite the considerable amount of starting caliber talent out for the season on injured reserve, the Washington Redskins are a relatively healthy team. Last week against the Saints, only middle linebacker Keenan Robinson missed the game due to injury. This week against the undefeated Carolina Panthers on the road, Washington hopes to have their full roster available.

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Washington Redskins: Week 6 Thursday Press Conference Wrap Up

As injuries continue to mount, the Washington Redskins continue to do their best to prepare for the New York Jets. Today head coach Jay Gruden and defensive coordinator Joe Barry,  an underrated addition to the coaching staff, spoke to the media.

 The promising news with the recent offensive line injuries to the most veteran counterparts of Trent Williams and Kory Lichtensteiger is that Gruden knows that they could play without practicing, if physically capable, because they have gotten the “mental reps” of walkthroughs. If both are unable to go, the offensive line from left to right would be Ty NsekheSpencer LongJosh LeRibeusBrandon Scherff, and Morgan Moses who have a combined 13 starts of which only 1 (from Moses) came from before this year.

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Washington Redskins: Week 6 Injury Report

The Washington Redskins had their worst case of the injury bug last week against the Falcons when four starters on the 22 man roster, not including those who have already had their season ended on injured reserve, were unable to play. DC fans hope that last week’s injury casualties would be the worst of the season, because the Redskins are arguably able to defeat the current undefeated Atlanta franchise is they have impact players like Chris Culliver or DeSean Jackson at their disposal. This week when Washington travels to take on the New York Jets, they may be even more shorthanded relative to last week.

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Washington Redskins: Week 5 Injury Report

The Washington Redskins have had their fair share of injuries to impact players since the beginning of the preseason. Many big time names have been lost for the year, but the team is finally starting to see improvements from their short term injury players. When facing the surprisingly undefeated Atlanta Hawks this week, Washington can use all hands on deck in attempt of another upset.

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Washington Redskins: Week Four Monday Recap after Comeback Win against Eagles

After a great divisional win over the Philadelphia Eagles, the Washington Redskins had a busy Monday while dealing with roster moves, injuries, and evaluating yesterday’s play.

On the game winning 90-yard touchdown drive, Gruden said he saw “poise and confidence” out of Kirk Cousins. Something that Robert Griffin III struggled with, getting through his progressions, is what Gruden credited Cousins with doing yesterday. Gruden believes that the “confidence that he’s starting to get” is leading to improved performances. Gruden also credited the offensive line and specifically now starting left guard Spencer Long for playing “great”, which can only help Cousins as he continues to develop.

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