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All's well that ends well for Briscoe

All's well that ends well for Briscoe

Friday was Dezmon Briscoes 23 birthday. It was also cutdown day around the NFL, and the Redskins wide receiver wasnt certain he had done enough in the preseason to earn a spot on the 53-man roster.Everybody kept asking me what I wanted for a present, Briscoe said. I really didnt want anything. I told them, Just pray for me. The only thing I really wanted for my birthday was to make the team.On Friday morning, his cell phone rang. It was Paul Kelly, the teams director of football operations.He said, Coach wants to see you, Briscoe said. I was like, Um Then he was like, Calm down. Its not one of them calls. It was a good feeling.Briscoe said his talk with Shanahan was more of the personal one. But Shanahan was also very clear when the conversation turned to on-field expectations, he added.He just wanted to get to know me, said Briscoe, who was claimed off waivers from Tampa Bay on July 28 after the Buccaneers released him for reportedly failing a conditioning test. He didnt really know me as a person. He just wanted us to get to know each other a little better.Shanahan also said he wants me to come in and keep doing what Im doing, he continued. Keep making plays, catch every ball that comes my way, contribute anyway I can, whether its scout team or getting reps on offense.Added Shanahan: I felt very good about my conversation with him.Still, Briscoe didnt allow himself to relax until the 9 p.m. deadline for submitting rosters had passed. At 7:30, Briscoe tweeted, I hour 30 minutes A second call from Kelly never came. The team released Anthony Amrstrong instead to create a spot for him.No call is a good call, said Briscoe, who tweeted HTTR just after the deadline. I just basically showed up Saturday and had a locker.It was the end of a stressful week for Briscoe, who sounded downtrodden after the Redskins preseason finale against the Buccaneers. He had expected to see ample playing time but didnt enter the game until the second half and was hardly used, leading him to believe he wasnt in the teams plans.I was on the edge because I didnt play special teams, he explained.As it turned out, the 6 foot 2, 210 pound third year professional out of Kansas had already shown Shanahan enough. In three preseason games, Briscoe had hauled in six passes for 117 yards and two touchdowns.Briscoe is a little bit bigger guy, Shanahan said. A very physical receiver, whereas Anthony is more of that X guy where hes got that great speed, very similar to Pierre Garon, Aldrick Robinson and even Brandon Banks. So we thought we were a little deeper at that X position than we were at that Z position, so thats why we went in that direction.So after an anxious birthday, Briscoe got the present he wanted. But he said Monday that he also knows this is not the time to celebrate, not for a player listed on the third string behind Garon, Morgan, Leonard Hankerson and Santana Moss.Just dont slack off, Briscoe said. Everything can easily get taken away. Dont take it for granted. Just go out there and contribute any way that I can.

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Redskins practice observations OTAs 05.24.17—Injured players getting back on track

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USA Today Sport Images

Redskins practice observations OTAs 05.24.17—Injured players getting back on track

The skies were dry but the fields were wet and that forced the Redskins into the bubble for their second OTA practice.

Here are my observations from the session:

OLB Junior Galette took a light workload but it was surprising that he did anything at all considering that he is 10 months removed from an Achilles tendon tear. He was sprinting during stretching and he took part in some team drills. It’s early but if he is healthy in September the Redskins’ pass rush could be a force.

Not present were TE Jordan Reed, OT Trent Williams, and RB Matt Jones. Jay Gruden said that Reed and Williams are working out elsewhere and he was vague about the absence of Jones, although he said that it was not unexpected.

Also in good health was TE Niles Paul. He suffered a shoulder injury in Week 8 last year and finished the season on injured reserve. The veteran appeared to be a full go in both individual and team drills.

RB Rob Kelley looks like he lost a few pounds in an effort to become more durable and maybe a little quicker. He also is sporting a new jersey number.

Rob Kelley now wearing No. 20. #Redskins

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P Tress Way is in midseason form. He lofted a punt that landed in one of the light fixtures some 100 feet above the floor of the practice bubble and stayed in it. The third-year player said that he couldn’t do that again if he tried 100 times.

RB Mack Brown faces some serious competition for his job but he is not going to give it up easily. He looked good on some runs off tackle, showing some good speed and quickness.

They rotated a lot of defensive linemen through during team drills. Undrafted rookie Ondre Pipkins got a lot of run at nose tackle and Anthony Lanier played quite a few snaps at end as did Ziggy Hood. Top draft pick Jonathan Allen’s reps were somewhat limited as were those of Phil Taylor. They likely plan to rotate  their linemen a lot throughout OTAs, minicamp, and training camp to try to find a good combination.

QB Kirk Cousins mostly kept to shorter passes but in seven on seven drills he did launch one deep down the middle that WR Maurice Harris went up and grabbed for the nicest offensive play of the day.

Rookie TE Jeremy Sprinkle dropped a pass on a short crossing pattern. As a fifth-round pick he can afford some mistakes now but he can’t drop too many in August.

QB Nate Sudfeld was shaky in the beginning, throwing a few passes at the shoe tops of his receivers. But he did get better as the practice went on, through some nice, accurate passes while rolling out.

Gruden called for a trick play at the end of on team session. Cousins threw a quick backwards pass to WR Jamison Crowder, who was on the left. RB Chris Thompson snuck out of the backfield and he was open along the right hashmark. But Crowder’s pass was underthrown, allowing ILB Zach Brown to break it up.

Brown, Will Compton, and Mason Foster rotated in and out at inside linebacker. All possible combinations of the three were on the field at various times. It will be interesting to see how the lineup settles in when the season starts.

I think that S D.J. Swearinger is going to be annoying to players and fans from other teams. After Harris caught a pass, he was jogging down the field with the ball after the whistle blew. Swearinger came up and gave the ball a bunch to try to knock it out of his grasp. It was more playful than violent but I can see how he will get under the skin of opponents.

WR Josh Doctson appears to be healthy. He turned on the jets to catch a QB Colt McCoy pass down the right sideline. Of course, it’s May and the goal is for him to be healthy in September but it looks like it’s so far, so good.

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Kirk Cousins sounded optimistic about contract talks with Redskins

Kirk Cousins sounded optimistic about contract talks with Redskins

Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins repeatedly sounded optimistic about his ongoing contract negotations with the organization, though he acknowledged the talks will probably go until the last minute.

"Deadlines do deals," Cousins said.

Speaking Wednesday to the media after an OTA session, Cousins explained that talks with the Redskins have been positive and ongoing. He also admitted that he doesn't expect a deal to get finished before the July 15th franchise tag deadline.

In 2016, conversations between the Redskins and Cousins largely broke down before the tag deadline. That seems to be a different story in 2017, and while it may only be a glimmer of hope, it's an encouraging development for Washington fans that want to keep their passer. 

"It's been very positive," he said. Of July 15th, Cousins said, "it will be a telling date, as it was last summer."

Over the last two seasons as starter, Cousins has thrown for more than 9,000 yards, twice breaking the franchise single-season passing record. In 2015, Cousins emerged in the second half of the year to play some terrific football and lead the Redskins to a division title. In 2016, Cousins never quite hit the same highs as 2015, but was much more consistent and piled up passing yards. 

Redskins team president Bruce Allen said earlier this week he remains positive about a long-term deal for Cousins. Allen maintained that talks are ongoing with Cousins' representatives, and similarly to Cousins, expects the bulk of the talks closer to July 15th.

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