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A trio of punt returner candidates

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A trio of punt returner candidates

Something I left out of Thursdays training camp notes:The Redskins had just three players fielding punts during the special teams portion of yesterdays practice. Actually, four players were gathered near where the JUGS machine was sending punts. Incumbent Brandon Banks, second-year receiver Aldrick Robinson and rookie free agent receiver Brian Hernandez actually fielded punts while veteran Santana Moss watched.The punts were fielded flawlessly with the exception of one muffed Hernandez, the player who can least afford a gaffe. He dropped and did some pushups after the miscue but that wont erase the fumble from the eye in the sky.This is something that Ill be sure to monitor from day to day. Banks has been told that the team will not keep him as just a return specialist, that he must be able to contribute at wide receiver to stay on the roster. Since that is problematic, the competition at the position is very real. We will see how it turns out.

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Redskins have been protecting Cousins well

Redskins have been protecting Cousins well

ASHBURN, VA--The Redskins need to do some shuffling on their offensive line. They hope that they can keep up their performance in one particular area.

Washington is fourth best in the NFL when it comes to giving up sacks. Kirk Cousins has been sacked on four of his 124 pass attempts, a rate of 3.1 percent. Around the league quarterbacks are sacked on 5.5 percent of pass attempts.

Per Pro Football Focus, Morgan Moses is responsible for two of the sacks but that perhaps isn’t fair. One of them had to have been the sack that Cousins took on the last play of the first half as the clock ran out. On that play Cousins was supposed to get rid of the ball immediately and Moses blocked Jason Pierre Paul accordingly. He had no idea that Cousins was going to move around.

The low sack total is no surprise. Last year the Redskins were fifth in the NFL with a sacks against rate of 4.6 percent. That likely is a big reason they elected not to make changes on the line during the offseason.

It should be noted that sacks are not all on the offensive line. Although you rarely see a QB charged with one, Cousins should have been on the play discussed above. Jordan Reed was responsible for a sack against the Cowboys, although one can wonder about a play design that has Reed responsible for blocking a defensive end.

The quarterback also should get credit for sack prevention. Cousins does get rid of the ball quickly, perhaps too quickly sometimes. Occasionally that results in a missed opportunity for a big play but it does keep him off of the ground.

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Redskins Playbook: Nothing certain for Redskins at left guard

Redskins Playbook: Nothing certain for Redskins at left guard

After a very wet day of practice on Wednesday, the Redskins will head inside to the practice bubble for Thursday's session. There is plenty to watch before the 'Skins face off against the Browns on Sunday. Here's what we'll be watching:

  1. Questions remain at LG -  Jay Gruden has been very hesitant to commit to Arie Kouandjio at left guard. With John Sullivan in town and working to get ready at center, and the possibility of Trent Williams remaining at left guard left a little bit open, this week has hardly been a testament to the organization's belief in the second-year man out of Alabama. If Sullivan can go - and that's a big if - then it seems the 'Skins would like to play him at center and Spencer Long at left guard.
  2. DeSean back? - Speed WR DeSean Jackson missed Wednesday's practice, and it's becoming a pattern. He also missed practice last Wednesday. What Gruden cares about - Jackson has been good to go for all three games despite battling knee and ankle injuries. The team expects Jackson to again be fine for the Browns game.
  3. Back to Reed - After a breakout season in 2015, expectations for tight end Jordan Reed skyrocketed this offseason when the team and player agreed to a nearly $50 million contract extension. Through three games Reed's numbers have been impressive - 16 catches for 190 yards - but Reed is yet to get into the end zone for Washington. Gruden said opposing defenses have been banging Reed at the line of scrimmage and deploying more zone defenses to stop him inside the 20. 

For live updates, check out @JPFinlayCSN from the bubble. And listen below to the #RedskinsTalk podcast.