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Could Redskins’ Kirk Cousins be ‘better than any other young QB’?

Could Redskins’ Kirk Cousins be ‘better than any other young QB’?

Kirk Cousins has had a good nine-plus months. Since the end of August, when he was named the Redskins starting quarterback, he has set several team records, led his team to a division title, gone viral with his “You like that!” outburst after leading the biggest comeback victory in team history and signed a contract that guarantees him a $19.95 million salary for 2016.

But during that time span did he somehow go from being a backup with an uncertain future do being the best young quarterback in the game? This is what an assistant coach who spoke to Mike Freeman of the Bleacher Report said about it:

"It's possible we will look back maybe 10 years from now and say Kirk Cousins was better than Andrew Luck or almost any other young quarterback today. Maybe better than Russell Wilson, as well. I would have never thought that a year ago—mainly because I feel like a good quarterback there didn't have the organizational support. That owner [is not good], but now he seems to be staying out of the way. His coach believes in him, and that offense is perfect for him. He's got weapons and an improving defense. He may shock a lot of people in the end."

Freeman said that “other assistant coaches” have told him the same thing.

What should be made clear here is that the assistant coach is projecting. He’s not saying that Cousins is better than Wilson, who has a Super Bowl ring, and Luck, who has led his team to a conference title game, right now. He’s saying that Cousins has the weapons, the coach, and the organization needed to start on a highly successful run that would vault him past Wilson, Luck and, presumable, Derek Carr, Cam Newton, and other quarterbacks under the age of 30.

While I’m skeptical that in 2026 we will look back at the previous decade and view Cousins as the top QB in that time span I can’t rule it out, either. I mean, four years ago if you would have said that Wilson would have multiple Super Bowl appearances and Robert Griffin III would be battling for the job in Cleveland after having been cut loose by the Redskins I would have said you were crazy.

We will see how it all unfolds.

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Need to Know: Another big day on the ground on tap for the Redskins?

Need to Know: Another big day on the ground on tap for the Redskins?

Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, December 11, eight days before the Washington Redskins host the Carolina Panthers.

Timeline

Today's schedule: Redskins vs. Eagles 1 p.m.

Days until: Panthers @ Redskins 8; Redskins @ Bears Christmas Eve 13; Giants @ Redskins, New Year’s Day 21

Injuries of note:
Out:
G Long (concussion), S Blackmon (concussion), DE Lanier (leg)
Limited: TE Reed (shoulder), G Scherff (ankle), DE Jean Francois (knee/foot), DE Baker (ankle), G Shawn Lauvao (groin)
Final injury report

Final thoughts on Redskins vs Eagles

—The Redskins have not stopped a team in a goal to go situation since September. The Eagles are good in such situations, converting TDs 84 percent of the time. If the Redskins can get a stop and force a field goal try when the first time the Eagles get down there that would be a big psychological boost for the visitors. Or, better yet, maybe they can just not let the Eagles get any first and goal opportunities. That’s what happened when the teams played in Week 6.

—In that Week 6 meeting the Redskins rushed for 230 yards, their best performance on the ground this season by 79 yards. Matt Jones picked up 135 yards on 16 attempts, Rob Kelley had 5-59, and Chris Thompson kicked in with 9-37. It’s unlikely that Jones will be active so it will be up to Kelley to get things rolling on the ground.

—For all the talk about Kirk Cousins having the Eagles’ number, he had one of his worst statistical games of the year against them in Week 6. He completed just 52.9 percent of his passes, his lowest completion percentage of the season. Cousins also threw perhaps his worst interception of the year, a pick six that tied the game at 14 in the second quarter. The bottom line was that he made some plays and the Redskins won but he likely will have to play better this time for his team to prevail today.

—Carson Wentz has six interceptions in his last three games, including three last week against the Bengals. Josh Norman is due to get an interception, overdue, in fact. Don’t know what will happen but the chances seem good that a Redskin will get his hands on a Wentz pass today.

—We saw last week that the Redskins are not a lock to go on the road and win against a team that is desperately fighting for its playoff life. Fortunately for the Redskins, the Eagles do not have players who are the equals of David Johnson, Larry Fitzgerald, and Patrick Peterson. While plenty can go wrong I think the Redskins come away with with the win.

Redskins 28, Eagles 24

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Redskins bring former starting center back to active roster

Redskins bring former starting center back to active roster

The Redskins officially brought Kory Lichtensteiger back to the active roster, and while the move is now for depth, it could have other ramifications down the road. 

The move is on the NFL's transaction report for Saturday. To make room for Lichtensteiger, the team released defensive lineman A.J. Francis. 

Dealing with injuries up and down the line of scrimmage, Lichtensteiger's return could give the offensive front more flexibility. When Lichtensteiger got injured Week 3 and sent to the injured reserve, third-year pro Spencer Long stepped in and performed well at center. Last week in Arizona, Long sustained a concussion.

That injury opened the door for John Sullivan, who will start this week in Philadelphia with Long ruled out. Sullivan was brought in as a backup to Long once Lichtensteiger was put on IR. With Long now in the NFL concussion protocol, the Redskins need another center should Sullivan get hurt. Alas, Lichtensteiger's return from the IR. 

Left guard Shawn Lauvao also sustained an injured groin, and that's where things could get interesting. Long is capable of playing guard, as is Lichtensteiger in a pinch. Should Lauvao's injury persist, Lichtensteiger might be able to help there.

Against the Eagles, the plan certainly appears to be second-year man Arie Kouandjio starting in place of Lauvao. Kouandjio made one earlier start this season - Week 4 against Cleveland - and the results were mixed.

If Kouandjio stumbles and Lauvao needs more time, Lichtensteiger's return to the roster gives Jay Gruden and Bill Callahan more flexibility, especially when Long returns from injury.

In fact, once the team has Long, Lichtensteiger and Sullivan healthy, there could be a bit of a logjam roster-wise on the offensive line, but considering all the injuries, bumps and bruises that are part of O-line life by the last four games of the season, the Redskins staff likely won't mind figuring that out. 

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