After Further Review: Offense gets it going in second half

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After Further Review: Offense gets it going in second half

Here is my review after looking at the recording of the Redskins-Bengals game. The second half is here,go here to see the first half review.Third quarterThat was just a good, competent drive for the Redskins first offensive touchdown. The only thing of note was the last play, when Robert Geathers tried to take Morris head off behind the line of scrimmage, but the RB spun out of it and scooted into the end zone.Jarvis Jenkins had a big hand in making a third-down stop on the Bengals ensuing possession. He got into the hole and made the initial contact on BenJarvus Green-Ellis. That held him up long enough for the rest of the defense to take him down.You have to love the way Alfred Morris runs. During the second TD drive he just willed his way through a pile of bodies to pick up seven additional yards. He ran the last five yards with his torso parallel to the ground.The edge defenders have to play the option soft when Banks is in. His speed just terrifies defenses. Good adjustment by Kyle Shanahan to get him in there.Again, Morris. Hes stopped dead after a two-yard gain on second and five at the 12. But his legs keep churning and he moves the pile for enough yardage to get the first down.Had Griffins left foot not been a few inches out of bounds, his arms-out dive to the goal line with the ball touching the pylon would have been an all-timer.But they got the TD on the next play anyway as Griffin found Santana Moss in the front of the end zone with a pinpoint pass on the move. That tied the game at 24-24.Its hard to say for sure, but it doesnt appear that Josh Wilson was touched while he was on the ground after recovering Green-Ellis first fumble in 590 career touches. The all-22 might provide a better view. The veteran refs probably would have let the play proceed and then, since it was a turnover, take a look on the automatic review. But the replacements blew the whistle and signaled timeout very quickly so even if the Redskins had prevailed on a challenge, Wilson would not have been given very many return yards, if any.Fourth quarterThe Redskins twice got good field position after tying the score and twice they squandered it. The first one, after the fumble recovery, was torpedoed by a second-down sack. They got the ball at the end of the third quarter on a punt and that one ended with Mike Shanahans controversial decision to punt on fourth and one from the Cincinnati 44.One of the disadvantages of having Banks in on offenseblocking. Griffin ran on third and eight from the Washington 49 and came up a yard short. Had Banks been able to get anything resembling a block on cornerback Nate Clements it looks like Griffin would have been able to squeeze out another couple of yards and they could have kept the drive alive.Another thing to look for on the all-22 is DeAngelo Halls facemask penalty. It didnt look like he was close enough to Green to do anything to him. It wound up being only a six-yard penalty since Green caught the ball and got down to the 12 but curious anyway.I can see why some wanted pass interference called on the deep pass to Hankerson but I really dont see it. Mays was between Hankerson and the ball and he is allowed to maintain that position. Yes, Hank went to the ground but not until the ball did.It just looked like Richard Crawford was tentative in his coverage of Andrew Hawkins on the 59-yard touchdown pass. He didnt quite believe what his eyes were telling him and by the time he figured it out, Hawkins was well past him.Although they didnt go no-huddle, the Redskins were efficient during their 90-yard drive to make a game of it again. They got off 12 plays in about three and a half minutes. That is a switch from what weve seen in the recent past.On the earlier challenged touchback, the ball was just inches from bouncing in the field of play. Niles Paul was just inches, maybe a foot or so, from legally batting the ball back on the onside kick. It would be a stretch to say the Redskins are about 18 inches away from being 2-1 but it wouldnt be a huge one.The Redskins should have declined the delay of game penalty after Cincinnati took a delay of game from the Washington 36 after the 2:00 warning. Its easier to put a team in the hole from the 41 than it is from five yards closer in.The officials were correct (after being corrected) not to run 10 seconds off of the clock after Leonard Hankerson was injured after the Redskins were out of timeouts and already had received a free timeout when Evan Royster was hurt. The rules, however, do call for a five-yard delay of game penalty in such a situation.Another RG3 Moment happened when Adam Jones hit him out of bounds after a scramble. Jones went sprawling while Griffin remained upright. Goes with the Superman socks.Public service announcementplease do not work on the assumption that the guys in the TV booth know the rules. They dont. There is never, ever a runoff if the clock is stopped.

Redskins G Shawn Lauvao is progressing, but can he reclaim his starting job?

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Redskins G Shawn Lauvao is progressing, but can he reclaim his starting job?

Shawn Lauvao isn’t participating in OTAs, but the Redskins guard is pleased with his progress as he rehabs from multiple offseason surgeries.

“I’m walking,” Lauvao cracked Wednesday, after watching practice from the sideline. “I thank God for that. That’s good.”

Lauvao, who says this is the best his legs have felt in years, is now getting around without the assistance of crutches or a scooter. He’s also begun ramping up the intensity of his rehab with the intention of being full-go in Richmond, Va., on July 28th.

“I’ll be ready for training camp,” he said. “That’s the plan. That’s the whole diagnosis and plan of action we have right now.”

Lauvao was playing well as the Redskins’ first string left guard early last year when he suffered a season-ending ankle injury against the Giants. As it turned out, the 28-year-old ended up having five surgeries, including two major procedures, to repair the ankle and clean up several preexisting ailments on both legs.

“Rehab has been good,” he said. “I’ve been making progress every day. Hats off to the Skins, hats off to my support team and the guys around the building.”

“My biggest thing,” he added, “is being pain free for the first time in a while. You get used to playing with different issues in this game. It was just a compound type of deal from playing the game over the years.  One thing I will say, this is the best I’ve felt in a while. I’m just grateful for that.”

Lauvao’s health could have a domino effect on the Redskins’ O-line. If he’s healthy, it’s possible he’ll regain his starting job from Spencer Long. If that happens, Long could potentially challenge Kory Lichtensteiger for the starting center spot. Long started 14 games in Lauvao’s absence last season, but has been also getting work at center this offseason.

Kirk Cousins is comfortable taking 'ownership' of Redskins' offense now

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Kirk Cousins is comfortable taking 'ownership' of Redskins' offense now

A year ago at this time, Robert Griffin III was the Redskins’ starting quarterback and Kirk Cousins was an afterthought, relagated to taking second and even third team reps.

Now, Cousins is The Man in Ashburn. And it’s changed everything, especially how he leads in the huddle, team meetings and the locker room.    

“Well, you have permission now to take ownership,” Cousins said Wednesday after the second of 10 OTAs practices at Redskins Park. “As a backup or as a guy competing for the spot, it doesn’t get received really well when you start to try to take ownership. It looks like you’re trying to jockey for the position and be one of those guys. You just try to handle it the right way.”

Last offseason, Griffin received all of the first team reps throughout the spring and summer, while Cousins and Colt McCoy split the second and third team snaps. In fact, Jay Gruden didn’t hand Cousins the keys until late August. 

This offseason, it's all different. Griffin is gone and Cousins is coming off a record-breaking season. And, if Cousins doesn’t sign a long-term deal in the coming weeks, he'll play for almost $20 million in 2016. Either way, Cousins is expected to be the highest paid player on the team...in addition to being the most important player on the team.

“Now as the starter, you really can take ownership,” Cousins continued. “And it feels like it did back in college when you were the starting quarterback and you had the chance to really assert yourself.”

Cousins added: “I enjoy being able to do that, and I think it helps me as a quarterback to have ownership because at the end of the day, I’m the one holding the football in my hands.”

No brawl, just competition between Josh Norman and Kirk Cousins

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No brawl, just competition between Josh Norman and Kirk Cousins

Before the public knew him as the NFL's best cornerback of the 2015 season, Josh Norman was best known for getting in a scuffle with quarterback Cam Newton at the Carolina Panthers training camp last August.

While it's crystal clear that Norman brought his gift of the gab from Charlotte to Washington, D.C., a potential dustup between the brash cornerback and star quarterback Kirk Cousins is probably not on the horizon.

"Well, you know, " Norman said with great laughter following Wednesday's OTA. "What can I say? Kirk and I are just a little bit different."

The dust up between Newton and he was all the talk of 2015 training camp, and while it looked bad on the surface, it wasn't much more than two incredibly competitive players, both of whom also enjoy talking smack, refusing to back down. 

The dynamic between he and Cousins is different. Not bad or not positive, just not what it was with Newton.

"There are limits to my madness," Norman said, again, with a great big smile across his face. "But, umm... yeah I think it will be just a bit better," Norman quipped, with the entire group of reporters and personnel laughing. Kirk's my guy. He's great."

But that's not to say Cousins isn't going to make it a competition.

Norman noted that the quarterback was a bit more lively under center on Wednesday, throwing playful jabs at the defense.

 "I was like, 'I don't want to go there yet. I want to be cool,'" Norman said, smile always present. "He looked away a couple times and he didn't throw no balls so I got a little jubilant, ya know? I was like, 'alright, what are you gonna do about it?' Just a little competition."

"I think, on the last play with the ones, he threw a ball, and completed it, and Kirk got all excited again. I was like 'Kirk, I'm gonna whoop y'all butt today."

While no one wants to see teammates fight, Norman brings a level of competitiveness the Redskins can definitely use. While the scuffle with Newton was a hot-button issue, the fact remains that the Panthers' team chemistry was as good as it ever was. The team's cohesiveness was one of the main reasons the Panthers were in San Francisco for Super Bowl 50.

Norman is hoping he can provide competition needed to take the Redskins to the next level, albeit without a fight. 

"It's all fun and games," Norman said to media members.

"We make each other better. We just have to keep challenging each other."

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