There hasn't been a shortage of pictures of Robert Griffin III pictures around but he's either been in a suit or adidas gear or in other attire besides a Redskins uniform.That was remedied today by the release of RG3's rookie card from Panini America:
At this time in each of his previous four NFL seasons Cousins has been competing for a spot on the depth chart but not the top one. That belonged to Robert Griffin III. Cousins spent training camp and the preseason trying to make an impression and plan how he was going to stay prepared should he get his chance.
“That as a backup I was always trying to play well enough that the coaches would go back and say, ‘We can’t wait for this guy to get on the field. It may not be this Sunday, it may not be this season, but, boy, it’s exciting to see the way he practices and how efficient he is,’” said Cousins. “We can’t wait to see what he’d do in a real game.’ That was always my mindset.”
After the chain of events a year ago that led to Cousins being promoted to the No. 1 job and that led to him getting the franchise tag and the $20 million salary that goes with it. That paycheck has him entrenched as the starter and with a different focus than in previous seasons.
“As a starting quarterback, I think you want to be really sharp . . . in training camp you’re not trying to necessarily be ready to go for the first preseason game, you’re trying to be ready to go for Week 1. So you’re trying to build everything towards Week 1 a little bit more than when you’re fighting for that backup spot trying to earn just a spot on the team.”
Cousins’ preparation was mostly normal for an NFL starting quarterback until last Friday. The starter usually plays 2-3 series in the second preseason game but Jay Gruden decided to start Colt McCoy at quarterback and sit Cousins, along with some other key starters on both offense and defense. That means that the starters will play a lot against the Bills on Friday. They team’s approach to the game is similar to how they would approach a regular-season game.
“Yeah, I would say it is in the sense that we have a rhythm of a full week coming off the Jets game on a Friday, the Bills game on a Friday,” said Cousins. “We truly have that one week to turn around and be ready to go for the next game. So it’s a good simulation of our normal rhythm during the regular season. And like you said, the preparation may not be quite as extensive from a game planning standpoint but the rhythm is there.”
Cousins said that he is watching some film of the Bills defense to prepare for Friday. He probably has done that in his previous seasons in the league. But it was to be ready to make the best possible impression if he got a chance to play, not a part of a process to get ready for Week 1.
We will see if Cousins going through the offseason process in its entirety helps him take the next step once the season starts on September 12.
Surprising news Wednesday when word leaked that the Patriots will release center Bryan Stork. Could New England's loss be the Redskins gain? Maybe.
A stunner: Former starting center Bryan Stork is being released by the #Patriots today, I'm told. Crazy.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) August 24, 2016
The Patriots selected Stork in the fourth round of the 2014 draft from Florida State, and in two seasons with New England he has started 17 games. Stork has also dealt with concussion issues, last year playing just eight games and starting six.
Listed at 6-foot-4 and 315 lbs., Stork is big for a center. Current Redskins starter Kory Lichtensteiger lists at 6-foot-2 and 295 lbs., and was limited to five regular season games last season. Behind Lichtensteiger, the Redskins have Spencer Long and Josh LeRibeus competing at the backup center spot, though Long is also currently taking snaps on the first team offensive line at left guard.
LeRibeus struggled last season when forced to step in at center, both in blocking and snapping, and it's hard to imagine the 'Skins want to see him in that position again. If Shawn Lauvao proves healthy and capable of taking back over at left guard, that would allow Long to backup or even compete with Lichtensteiger at center.
So how does Stork fit in with any of this? At times, he has been a better center than the current Redskins options. At other times, however, he hasn't.
Good insight from CSNNE.com Patriots beat writer Phil Perry:
Stork could help a team in need of a center, but there are a few things worth looking into before investing in him. First and foremost, he has an injury history that could be concerning. He was placed on short-term IR before the start of last season, and he recently missed a week of training camp practice with what was reported as a head injury. Second, he plays with a mean streak that can sometimes go over the line. He has been kicked out of two practices (one during OTAs, one during camp) for fighting, and he picked up an unnessesary roughness penalty in the AFC title game last season. Third, he has graded out as a below-average center by Pro Football Focus. Not only did the Patriots choose David Andrews, a second-year undrafted player out of Georgia, to start over Stork, but Andrews' rise made Stork expendable. Any team that picks up the Florida State product will get a center with good size (6-4, 313 pounds) and a Super Bowl start under his belt, but he won't arrive without his share of questions.
It's August and many more players are going to get cut. Scot McCloughan and his scouting team will be watching all the action unfold, and will consider their options with each player. Considering the red flags surrounding Stork - injuries, aggressiveness, and losing his job to an undrafted guy - he might not seem to be the right fit for the 'Skins. That said, he is a big mauler for the front line, a commodity McCloughan values.
The side practice field at Redskins Park hosted a pair of surprises on Tuesday. On one hand Josh Doctson ran routes, showing more athleticism than he had in months. On the other, Jamison Crowder worked out next to Matt Jones, neither player in pads. Jones' workout on the side field - tended to by trainers - came as no surprise. Crowder, however, did. Here's what to watch on Wednesday as Washington takes the practice field at 1:10 p.m. for their last serious work before Friday night's preseason game against the Bills.
- Crowder watch - The Redskins slot receiver missed the first preseason game in Atlanta before playing last Friday against the Jets. Now dealing with a knee injury, Jay Gruden said Tuesday that "He’s just going through the rehab. We’ll see if he’s ready for Friday or not. I don’t know yet." Whether or not Crowder practices Wednesday will tell a lot toward his availability for the Bills game.
- More Norman noise - An ESPN the Magazine article focused on Josh Norman made headlines Tuesday, but the new Redskins cornerback did not want to address the buzz surrounding the story on Tuesday. Norman's comments may well blow over, but it's likely to generate a bit more questions for the next few days.
- Guarding the line - Friday night will be interesting for many reasons, but the Redskins starters are expected to play the first half, and that includes the offensive line. Four out of the five positions seem certain, though left guard could be a bit of a mystery. Spencer Long has been taking reps with the first unit, though many expect that spot to eventually belong to Shawn Lauvao. Wednesday's practice could determine if Redskins brass thinks Lauvao is ready to reclaim the spot he held before injuries shut down his 2015 season, or if Long has secured his spot on the starting line.
Stay tuned all day for updates from @JPFinlayCSN.