A few questions will be answered as the Redskins start up their OTAs today in Ashburn. At a handful of positions, it will be interesting to see who lines up with the first team. While jobs that are up for grabs are not won in May with the opening game 111 days away, lining up with the first team sends a signal that it is the players job to lose.That can be the case even when the job is a backup role. Left guard Kory Lichtensteiger will be sitting out as he rehabs his injured knee. Does Maurice Hurt, who filled in there for the last half of the season, line up at left guard in Lichtensteigers absence? Or will it perhaps be rookie Josh LeRibeus?There is no question about who we will see with the first unit at quarterback. And it is likely that Robert Griffin III will be handing the ball off to Roy Helu Jr. The anticipated battle for the starting running back job between Helu and Tim Hightower will not take place until training camp as Hightower recovers from a knee injury.One third of the teams trio of top receivers will be sidelined today. Leonard Hankersons surgically-repaired hip isnt recovered enough for football activities so hell watch Pierre Garon and Josh Morgan catch passes from RG3. Santana Moss should be the third wide receiver but that spot will bear watching. If Anthony Armstrong or Aldrick Robinson gets significant time there, that could be a sign that the team is looking at moving on without Moss. That is not expected but there is always a surprise or two during this part of the year.Adam Carriker has been the staring left defensive end for the past two years. Jarvis Jenkins was drafted in the second round a year ago to take his place. Jenkins suffered a torn ACL in a preseason game so the plans were put on hold for a season. Will Jenkins line up with the first team today?The rest of the defensive front seven is pretty well set as are the starting cornerbacks. But when they line up with three corners, who goes in with Josh Wilson and DeAngelo Hall? Will it be Kevin Barnes, who held the nickel corner job las year? Or Cedric Griffin, the veteran free agent signed in March?Finally, who does secondary coach Raheem Morris line up at safety? It seems likely that Tanard Jackson, who followed Morris here from the Bucs, will get one of the spots. Will the other safety be be free agent Brandon Meriweather? Or will DeJon Gomes get the first crack at holding on to the job he had at the end of last season?Again, nothing is set in stone in May. But any player would rather be working with the first team than not.
DETROIT - Looking at quarterback Kirk Cousins' stat line from Sunday's game against the Lions, and the Redskins passer certainly had a good day. Completing nearly 77 percent of his passes and going over 300 yards, Cousins moved the Washington offense efficiently for much of the game.
Yet, receivers DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garçon combined for 55 total yards. Jackson, arguably the best vertical threat in the NFL, had a long catch of 12 yards. Yep, 12 yards.
Cousins' longest pass for the game went to Vernon Davis for 27 yards. In fact, Davis and Jamison Crowder combined for 13 catches and nearly 200 yards, though much of their work was done in underneath spots. With a depleted secondary, the Lions defense largely played deep zone, keeping the best options to move the ball short, and Cousins proved quite capable of completing passes, going 30 of 39 for the game.
But after a tough loss - especially after it seemed the Redskins and Cousins would pull off an extraordinary win - some might question if the 'Skins offense became too reliant on shallow drag and crossing routes and did not look down field enough.
Garcon, however, refuted that.
"I guess that's just how the game flowed because we always try to go deep but you know things are called but we don't have time or they play a different coverage," Garçon said. "We can't really control it."
The deep ball does not always equal a win for the Redskins either. Cousins' longest pass this season (57 yards) came in a Week 2 loss to Dallas and in a win over Baltimore the QB's longest pass was also 27 yards, same as in Detroit.
Moving the ball is moving the ball - and Cousins does it well. After a four-game win streak snapped by a dispiriting loss in Detroit, Redskins fans should expect plenty of fans about the long ball.
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By Jason Dobkin (@jasondobkin)
Washington Redskins tight end Vernon Davis was featured Sunday in a 60 Minutes story about a financial adviser who convinced dozens of NFL players in 2008 to invest in a company that ended up quickly failing.
Jeff Rubin, a financial adviser registered at the time by the NFL Players Association, convinced the players to invest in a new entertainment and gambling development in Alabama called Country Crossing. The draw was electronic Bingo, which Rubin said would make the players a ton of money. Davis made an initial investment of half a million dollars in the venture.
He told 60 Minutes' Armen Keteyian how easy it was to buy in to the picture Rubin painted.
"It was beautiful," Davis said. "It was a painting I’d never seen before. It was fantastic."
The only problem with the whole thing was that electronic Bingo would turn out to be illegal in Alabama, unbeknownst to the players. Two weeks after Country Crossing opened, it was raided by police, and it eventually tanked, losing the players a total of $43 million.
Rubin owned 4 percent of Country Crossing, and 60 Minutes got a hold of documents showing he funneled 10 percent of the money he got from the NFL players into his personal corporation.
Davis said the whole situation was a "nightmare," but he doesn't blame Rubin for his losses.
"I take most of the blame, and I think as athletes and players in this union, in the NFL, I think we should take the blame because we can change it," Davis said. "We just gotta wake up."
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