Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, February 17, four days before the NFL Combine.
That was the week that was
—A lot of fans are saying that the Redskins’ 2013 schedule is as tough as a five-dollar stead. But a look at the numbers reveals that it’s more middle of the pack in terms of difficulty.
—Barry Cofield doesn’t put up huge numbers but he is still a valuable member of the defense. I think he’s a good nose tackle for a passing league.
—Darrel Young doesn’t play every snap on offense but in 2012 he was usually near the action when he was in there. He’ll be a restricted free agent and it’s likely that the Redskins will work out some sort of deal to get him back.
—The Redskins need to be careful about compensating for their 2013 salary cap penalty by pushing too much money into 2014. The cap is likely to be essentially flat next year so robbing Peter to pay Paul won’t work because Peter is broke, too.
—Leonard Hankerson lost his first offseason program to the NFL lockout and the lost his second one to injury. If he’s going to reach his full potential he needs to take full advantage of OTA’s and minicamp this year.
—Mike Shanahan wears two hats as head coach and the man with the final say on personnel matters. The arrangement has served the Redskins well in his first three years in town as they won the NFC East in 2012. But going forward, can he put aside the conflicts inherent in the dual roles and make the decisions that are best for the team?
—The Redskins hired Keith Burns to run the special teams. If you want a definition of “Shanahan guy”, here it is. As a player he left the Broncos twice only to return the following year.
—The pass defense went from awful in the first half of the season to just bad in the second half. It is an area that will need some major work in 2013, especially at safety.
—If the Redskins are going to look for a right tackle in free agency, the law of supply and demand should help them out. There should be plenty of them out there and therefore they should be able to fit a suitable player into their tight budget.
—The rapid development of Robert Griffin III was impressive, in many ways historic. Can he avoid taking a step backwards into a dreaded sophomore slump in 2013?
—Reed Doughty was the second-leading tackler on special teams last year and he ended up starting 10 games at strong safety. He may have been part of the problem in coverage but every NFL team needs someone like Doughty.
—We know that the Redskins are going to have to watch their free agent dollars. Safety Chris Clemons of the Dolphins could be the kind of smart acquisition they will have to make.
—What are the Redskins’ options regarding free agent tight end Fred Davis and what should the do? Here is an in-depth look at the situation.
—Imagine how good the Redskins’ offense could have been if it got the ball more often. If the defense can get off the field on third down a little more often in 2014 we could see the entire team take another step forward.
—It seems that the Redskins are still trying to fight their $18 million cap penalty but the chances they can do anything about it are remote.
—The Redskins let word get out that they are growing more confident that RG3’s knee will be well enough for him to start the season opener. I’m not sure how meaningful just five weeks after the surgery but that’s out there for you to make of what you will.
—The Redskins are going to give Ron Brace, a nose tackle who was a second-round pick of the Patriots in 2009, a shot on their defensive line.
—Bruce Allen spoke to reporters at the groundbreaking for the team’s new training camp site in Richmond. He reiterated that RG3 is doing well in his rehab (although he wouldn’t go so far as to confirm the ESPN report that he’s be ready for the opener). He also said that there would be no field turf at FedEx Field and that London Fletcher can play until he’s something like 100 years old or so.
—Percy Harvin sure jumped into the conversation in a big way this week with word that the Vikings may be willing to trade him. Tarik and Tandler argue over whether or not the Redskins should go after Harvin or any major upgrades a wide receiver.
—Eric Reid of LSU is one of the safeties that the Redskins will be looking at when the NFL Combine gets underway this week.
—Can the Redskins find a starting cornerback to plug into their lineup? They’ll start looking at the Combine this week.
—When RG3 or any other players are at Redskins Park, no football is allowed due to union rules.
—Will a mobile quarterback ever win the Super Bowl?
Days until: NFL Combine 4; Start of NFL league year 23; NFL draft 67