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Cooley on reduced role: 'I'm handling it just fine'

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Cooley on reduced role: 'I'm handling it just fine'

Since returning to the Redskins last month, Chris Cooley hasn't played a major role in the team's game plan. In fact, the veteran tight end has only been on the field for 29 of 140 snaps – or about 21-percent of the plays.

It's been a major adjustment for one of the franchise's most respected figures, but he's coping with the role reduction "just fine", he said this week.

"I'm not going to get frustrated," Cooley said. "It's about everyone doing what they have to do."

And for Cooley, that means patiently waiting for the chance to reprove himself.

The 30-year-old was released in August after eight seasons in Washington but rejoined the team last month after No. 1 tight end Fred Davis was lost for the season to an Achilles' tendon injury.Since Davis' departure, Logan Paulsen has assumed the primary pass-catching responsibilities among the tight ends, hauling in nine of the 14 balls quarterback Robert Griffin III has thrown to him for a total of 112 yards.

Cooley's role, meantime, has fluctuated, making it difficult to figure out how Mike and Kyle Shanahan intend to use him the remainder of the season.

Against the Steelers, Cooley started and played 19 snaps on offense. Making his first appearance in an NFL game in 53 weeks, Cooley was targeted by Griffin once and did not catch the pass.

Against the Panthers, Cooley played only 10 snaps – nine fewer than Niles Paul and 69 fewer than Paulsen. Again, Cooley was targeted just once and finished without a reception.

"I'm extremely competitive, and I want to be on the field all the time and I have a ton of confidence in what I can do as a football player," Cooley said. "But I'm also a part of this team. To make a team as good as it can, you have to understand where you are and understand your role and contribute in whatever role you can help."

"And that," he added, "is what I'm doing. I'm handling it just fine."

Kyle Shanahan said Cooley has done what has been asked of him.

"Cooley has done a solid job," the offensive coordinator said. "We did a lot of [the same] stuff in training camp, but we've definitely added to it. That's why it was so important to bring a guy back like Cooley, who had some experience [with] what we were doing, but was also is smart enough and works at it hard enough to be able to catch on quickly. He's executed assignments and has done a solid job."

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Cousins confident but for now 'it's all just talk'

Cousins confident but for now 'it's all just talk'

RICHMOND—Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins is ready to move on from all of the talk about how he and the Redskins offense will perform in 2016 and start to see it on the field.

“I think we're going to find out,” Cousins said when asked about where he is in the process of taking ownership of the starting quarterback job. “It's still so early in the development, we're still in the first day of camp in the preseason so we'll find out as we go.

“For right now it's all talk but there's no doubt that you have more comfort if you've played and have been the starter and have been out there and had experiences. What we went through last year has helped me having confidence going forward. Hopefully it translates into a great offense and a lot of production but it's just talk right now until we go out there and do it.”

Cousins started the 2015 season off slowly after being named the starter just two weeks prior to the start of the season. But he came on strong in the last 10 games, throwing 23 touchdowns and three interceptions. If he takes another step forward the Redskins’ offense could be one of the best in the league.

But, as Cousins said, for now that’s just talk. We will see how it turns out when they start playing the games.

 

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Junior Galette willing to 'travel around the world' in order to avoid surgery

Junior Galette willing to 'travel around the world' in order to avoid surgery

Junior Galette has been here before.

The Redskins linebacker is once again facing a full season on the shelf thanks to a right Achilles injury he suffered just days before training camp

It is the same position Galette was in a season ago, when a left Achilles injury stopped him from ever taking the field with the Redskins.

But after having surgery in 2015, the former Temple Owl is willing to do whatever it takes to avoid having to undergo surgery again.

RELATED: SHOULD REDSKINS SWITH TRENT MURPHY BACK TO LINEBACKER?

Other than investing in bionic legs or using duct tape (Both of which were suggested by Twitter users), there are not many options.

Galette could opt to forgo surgery in favor of letting it heal on its own, but immobilization is more likely to lead to another tear than surgery would. 

The immobilization process is not recommended for someone who is actively trying to return to professional sports, even if he has roughly a full calendar year to do so.

At 6-2, 256 pounds, Galette's Achilles tendon is of major importance, and allowing it to heal on its own may not be the best course of action, despite Galette not wanting to go the surgery route.

He could opt for the controversial method of stem cell therapy. Many NFL players have traveled abroad in the past to be injected with stem cells in order to speed up the recovery process. But typically stem cell therapy is used as an aid to surgery, not an alternative.

Nonetheless, the next month is going to be painful for Galette and not just because of his injured Achilles tendon.

He is going to have to make a difficult decision on his future all while watching his teammates getting ready for theirs without him.

RELATED: RANKING THE REDSKINS 53-MAN ROSTER

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OPEN THREAD: Does a healthy Ryan Kerrigan make up for the loss of Junior Galette?

OPEN THREAD: Does a healthy Ryan Kerrigan make up for the loss of Junior Galette?

Most football players never publicly admit that returning from an injury limits their play. The rehab requires such a commitment, both physically and mentally, that top athletes have to believe healthy is healthy.

Ryan Kerrigan fits that mold. Last year, the Redskins linebacker had offseason knee surgery and then suffered a broken hand during the season. Despite the setbacks, Kerrigan started all 16 games for Washington. More impressively, he still logged 9.5 sacks and 33 tackles. In 2014, however, Kerrigan recorded 13.5 sacks and 51 tackles. 

A year remved from the tough 2015 offseason, Kerrigan opened up a little bit about what last season was like. 

MORE REDSKINS: COUSINS FOCUSED ON FOOTBALL, NOT CONTRACTS

"Last year, coming off an injury is a funny thing," he said Tuesday. "While I was technically healthy, you’re not as strong."

Kerrigan explained that some of his muscles atrophied after the surgery, and regaining that strength takes time. Going through that last year, and a healthy offseason this summer, leaves the veteran excited for this fall.

"I'm really excited about this season having not had any offseason surgeries," he said. "I'm hoping for bigger and better things."

With the loss of Junior Galette, better things from Kerrigan could be a big help for the Redskins. Washington's defense should be improved with the addition of cornerback Josh Norman, but much will be needed from Kerrigan and second-year man Preston Smith. If Kerrigan can get his sack total up, say to 12 or more, that would offset some of the set back from Galette's injury.

What do you think - can Kerrigan get to 10 sacks? 12 sacks? More? Let us know in the comments.