Putting the Redskins’ 2014 schedule under the microscope:
—What’s the first thing that most players look for when the schedule comes out? The bye week. It’s in Week 10 this year, with nine games before the break and seven games after it. That’s right about where the players want it.
—The requirement that every team plays on a Thursday means there’s a “mini” bye on the schedule as well and this year the Redskins get an extra day tacked on to theirs. Their Week 5 game is at home on a Thursday against the Giants. They then have 11 days between that and their Monday night meeting with the Seahawks, also at home. Depending on how generous Jay Gruden is feeling, he could give the team off from the end of the Giants game until the following Wednesday.
—The Redskins are on the road before that Thursday game but they are just up I-95 with a 1:00 game in Philly. They’ll land at Dulles before the late afternoon games end so it’s as close to ideal as you can find.
—But their trip after that Seattle game is far from ideal. After the Monday night game they have a short week and then they have a four-hour plane ride to Arizona. It’s certainly not unfair or an undue burden; almost every team has a stretch like this.
—The preseason game dates and times were announced along with the regular season schedule. Previously, weeks, opponents, and some game times had been announced but not the final details. The preseason opener will be on Thursday, August 7 at 7:30 at FedEx Field against the Patriots. You can see the full preseason schedule here.
—Players can be required to report to camp no earlier than 15 days prior to the first preseason game. So if you count back 15 days from August 7 you have the players reporting to camp in Richmond on Wednesday, July 23 with the first practice the following day. That’s not official, look for the full camp schedule to be released sometime in the next month or so.
—The Redskins have three of their first five games at home and three of their last four are also at FedEx Field. You know they have to pay for that at some point. They do just that from mid October to the end of November. They host the Titans on Oct. 19 and they have just one home game between that one and a Dec. 7 game against the Rams. If they return from that stretch, which includes games in Dallas, Minnesota, San Francisco, and Indianapolis, still in contention for a playoff spot they would have to feel pretty good about their chances.
—Traffic alert—On the first two months of the schedule, including the preseason, the Redskins have four weeknight home games. If you’re planning on attending any of these games you might want to put in your request to leave work early now so that you can avoid the inevitable Beltway traffic snarls.