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With no playoff hopes to fight for, the Washington
MessagePosté le: Lundi 21 Octobre 2019, 3h25, Sujet: With no playoff hopes to fight for, the Washington Répondre en citant

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ASHBURN Josh Allen Jersey , Va. (AP)Redskins have developed an approach of 8-8 or bust. ”We’re just trying to finish out the season strong because we know 8-8 looks a lot better than whatever other record we could have,” linebacker Ryan Kerrigan said. Though coach Jay Gruden joked that he never wants to use 8-8 as motivation, winning the final two games against the Denver Broncos and at the New York Giants would be something of a historical accomplishment. Gruden would be the first Redskins coach to post three consecutive .500 or better seasons since Super Bowl winner Joe Gibbs from 1989-1991. Washington hasn’t had three seasons in a row at .500 or better since 1999-2001 under a combination of Norv Turner, Terry Robiskie and Marty Schottenheimer. The Redskins won’t get to the postseason like they did two years ago, but there’s value in not being 6-10 or 7-9. But Gruden understands it would be somewhat of a hollow achievement with no postseason on the horizon, but it is also a chance for players to make a statement. ”I don’t know what the perception is or will be if it’s 7-9 or 8-8 or whatever it is,” Gruden said Monday. ”I know the perception is it probably wasn’t a good enough year for anybody. But to finish strong and get to 8-8 says a lot about the character of these guys and their ability to continue to work hard through tough times.” Injuries have helped bring about those tough times and should be justification enough to make Gruden’s job safe. Beating the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday to improve to 6-8 has at least temporarily quieted any speculation stemming from back-to-back blowout losses at the Dallas Cowboys and Los Angeles Chargers . Reaching 8-8 would mean beating the NFL’s top defense in Denver and then the rival Giants in what could be Eli Manning’s final game with them. Neither of those teams has anything tangible to play for, so the Redskins are finding inspiration where they can get it. ”It doesn’t feel good to lose,” said linebacker Preston Smith, who had an interception and fumble recovery against Arizona. ”We got the monkey off our back. We have got to keep rolling the ball forward. We have to make sure we finish the season strong and try our best to finish out 8-8.” The defense didn’t allow the Cardinals into the end zone and excelled on third down, but the offense and special teams left a lot to be desired. A botched kickoff that Arizona recovered at the Washington 22 Jawaan Taylor Jersey , a leverage penalty on a field goal and a 1 of 9 offensive showing on third down are on Gruden’s must-improve list for the final two games. Special teams units particular have been a sore spot in recent weeks, something Gruden explained was a result of roster turnover. ”We talk about some of the changes we’ve made on offense and defense, but that’s true for special teams also,” Gruden said. ”I think it’s just a matter of trying to get some consistency in the guys who are playing and making sure we coach them up a little better.” NOTES: Rookie DL Jonathan Allen will not return from injured reserve following surgery to repair a left foot injury in October. Allen expressed a desire to get back, but Gruden said the team would prepare him for organized team activities in the spring. … LT Trent Williams has missed four games with a knee injury. Gruden said a decision has not been made ”quite yet” about whether to shut Williams down. … LB Zach Brown will have treatment on his hip, toe and Achilles tendon injuries and is a candidate to practice Wednesday. … Gruden said S Montae Nicholson still has concussion symptoms and that LB Ryan Anderson (knee) and CB Bashaud Breeland (shoulder) are day-to-day. — ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Pro Bowl center Alex Mack rattled off all he does before the snap: Checks for blitzes, keeps an eye on the play clock, makes blocking adjustments and communicates all the changes to everyone else.All that happens in seconds — with 300-pound defenders a few inches away and ready to pounce.“It’s unlike anything else in football,” the Atlanta Falcons standout said.Some might argue the center is the most indispensable player on the roster — the player who mans the only position guaranteed to touch the ball on every play. He calls the shots for the offensive line and begins each play.But an Associated Press analysis revealed that despite their unique skill set, it was centers — not running backs, linebackers or defensive backs — who were becoming more endangered more quickly than players at any other position . In 2009 Josh Oliver Jersey , the average center had six years in the league. This season, the average center had four years of experience.“Really? That’s shocking,” Mack said. “I guess, technically, it’s the last spot for the O-line. If you’re a tackle who can’t play in space, they move you to guard. If you’re a guard that’s having trouble, they move you to center. Oftentimes center is the position that can get the most help. A lot of the blocks are double-teams, so you’re not put on an island nearly as much, so it’s always a position that you can try to improve.”Most teams have in recent years, too.Thirty-eight centers have been drafted over the last five years, and none of them has made a Pro Bowl. Sixteen of those have been taken in the first three rounds of the NFL draft.It helps explain why the experience of the average center has fallen. While every position outside of quarterback, kicker and punter has seen a decline Deandre Baker Jersey , no position sees this sharp a drop-off in the AP survey.“It’s one of those tough, nasty, gritty positions that you have to just keep fighting at, and kids nowadays just aren’t quite the same,” said retired NFL center Brad Meester, a 14-year starter for the Jacksonville Jaguars. “Even at the high school level, those kids are getting harder and harder to find anymore.“They’re just not the same as they were years ago. I don’t know if that’s been part of the reason play has gone down and we’re seeing this dip in longevity, but it could be.”Since centers are typically the smallest offensive linemen in college, Mack and Meester believe some undersized guys have trouble making the NFL jump — especially with defensive linemen getting bigger, faster and stronger each year.“In college, if you have a guy who’s big enough to play in the NFL, he’s probably playing tackle or guard ,” Meester said. “He might get moved to center at the next level, and then you end up with centers that are a little raw going into the NFL.”That’s exactly what happened to Chicago Bears Pro Bowl center Cody Whitehair, who started his college career as a guard and moved to left tackle as a senior at Kansas State. The Bears drafted him in the second round in 2016 and then moved him to center a week before his rookie year.“It’s hard to transition into the NFL,” Whitehair said. “It definitely takes a special breed to come in out of college and be ready to start on the offensive line, especially at center.”Still, Whitehair was surprised to learn that the longevity of centers isn’t what is used to be. He said it could be that centers are asked to do so much more in the NFL than in college, where more prevalent spread systems often take their cues from the sideline inside of adjusting on the fly.But Whitehair pointed to Mack (10th season), New Orleans’ Max Unger (10th), Philadelphia’s Jason Kelce (8th) and the Pouncey twins (8th and 7th, respectively) as long-term starters he thought would be enough to make a difference in the changing landscape.“We just got to get the younger generation to follow in those footsteps,” Whitehair said.For every success story such as Whitehair, it seems there’s a recently drafted center who’s already out of the league — guys like David Molk Julian Love Jersey , Philip Blake, Peter Konz, Khaled Holmes, Bryan Stork and Hroniss Grasu to name a few.“A center really is your quarterback of the offensive line, the guy who right along with the quarterback is reading defenses, reading stunts, blitzes, secondaries,” Meester said. “If you get a guy in there that can do that, you keep him.”
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