London Fletcher has been banging heads at inside linebacker in the NFL for 14 years and he plans on doing it for at least a couple more seasons.Junior Seau was an NFL linebacker for 20 seasons and experience the same violent collisions from 1990-2009 as Fletcher is now. He died last week and authorities say that his death was at his own hand.Fletcher told Peter Kingd that he has been thinking a lot about Seau since last week. And he is scared.I think about what I'm going to be like at his age, 43, and how I'll be coping with life after football. I keep going over and over it, the Redskins iron man, who has not missed a game in his entire career, told King. What am I going to be like several years down the road? I'm definitely concerned with quality of life after football. This makes me a little more scared about it.''Fletcher doesnt know why Seau did what he did but he thinks it may be tied into the same football players mentality that tells them to ignore injuries. That tendency can carry on after the playing days are over and cause ex-players to fight getting help when they need it most. That is why hed like to see players get mandatory counseling when they leave the game.You take the decision out of guys' hands,'' Fletcher said, "and that way, maybe some of them will be helped.Whether it is made mandatory when he retires or not, Fletcher has vowed to get help on his own.For me, now, I can tell you I'm going to seek help if I feel I need it, he told King. That's what Junior's death has taught me.''Hopefully, many other players will follow Fletchers lead.
The Redskins are missing two key cogs right now to injury: LG Shawn Lauvao and LB Perry Riley. Jay Gruden thinks he knows when both players will be back.
Of Lauvao, Gruden said he does not have a lot of conerns and expects his left guard back soon.
"I think he’s really, really close," Gruden said. "I'd be shocked if he wasn’t ready by Saturday, or as early as Monday."
Lauvao has voiced that he thinks he's ready to be back on the field, but Gruden said the team wants to be sure their guard is confident in changing directions and exploding on his surgically repaired ankle.
"We just want to make sure he's solid and sound before he gets back out there."
Gruden gave a similar prognosis for linebacker Perry Riley.
"He feels like we're holding him back," Gruden said of Riley. "He wants to practice."
Riley's situation is a bit different than Lauvao. When the guard returns, he comes back as the starter. When Riley returns, he will be competing with Will Compton and Mason Foster, a duo that played well last season once Riley went down.
For now, the coach just wants to make sure Riley can go at full speed for a few days without soreness before letting him back on the practice field.
"We want to put him through the drills, look at him run around, make sure he can do it," Gruden said. "His strength is his ability to run laterally, side to side."
RICHMOND - News that first-round rookie WR Josh Doctson would begin training camp on the PUP list was obviously a disappointment, but Redskins coach Jay Gruden says the team is being cautious.
"We weren’t very satisfied with the way his Achilles was coming along," Redskins coach Jay Gruden said of Doctson. "He’d have a lot of soreness in the morning when he’d wake up. We're going to keep him down for a little bit until he’s good to go 100 percent."
Gruden made clear that Doctson has not had surgery on his Achilles, but is receiving extra treatment. The lingering issue has forced Doctson to miss significant time since he was drafted, both in OTAs and minicamp. Missing actual training camp practice is a new thing, and a bigger deal, for the rookie.
"I don’t think he’s very far away, it's more cautious right now because it is a significant deal, an Achilles for a wide receiver with his explosion," the coach said. "You don’t want that to reoccur."
The path to playing time for Doctson was already going to be tricky, with DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garçon solidified as starters and Jamison Crowder locked in the slot. The injury will make that even tougher.
"He’s frustrated, he wants to be out there. He’s a great competitor."
Gruden said the best thing for Doctson right now is patience, as the team's priority is for him to be healthy for 16 games, not training camp. The flip side, however, is the coach wants his first round pick on the field.
"Be patient," Gruden said, "but hurry up."
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.
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“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.