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DeSean Jackson and Odell Beckham Jr. are working out together


DeSean Jackson and Odell Beckham Jr. are working out together

DeSean Jackson must believe in the age old adage, "Keep your friends close, and the really good wide receivers who play on your team's longtime division rival closer." What other way is there to explain the fact that he's spending this part of the offseason with Giants pass catcher Odell Beckham Jr.?

The two NFC East stars — who have combined for five Pro Bowls and 67 receiving scores in their respective careers — have been working out together at UCLA, according to geotags on a couple of photos of them (don't you love journalism research methods in 2016?).

Here's a sampling:

#Work #Work #Work bout dat Time !!

A photo posted by Desean Jackson (@0ne0fone) on Apr 1, 2016 at 1:19pm PDT

#odellbeckhamjr #deseanjackson #nfl #WRU #washingtonredskins #newyorkgiants #california #ucla. @0ne0fone @iam_objxiii

A photo posted by COACH G2 (@frampcamp_east) on Apr 1, 2016 at 1:46pm PDT

Lol they still think it's a game! Got wit big cuzzo @0ne0fone and the Madden man him self @iam_objxiii #Lessons

A video posted by Dwayne Frampton (@frampcamp) on Apr 1, 2016 at 1:19pm PDT

FrampCAMP x Desean Jackson @0ne0fone x Odell BECKHAM @iam_objxiii =PROBOWL #Releases #LittleThings

A video posted by Dwayne Frampton (@frampcamp) on Apr 1, 2016 at 2:42pm PDT

One of the fastest deep threats in the league and the Madden cover boy teaming up together to work on the finer points of their position? That's basically just one big fire emoji right there.

These two probably can't exactly be buddies during the regular season, but in April, there's nothing wrong with it. They can push each other to get better, talk about how much they dislike the Eagles, and trade tips on how to come up with the coolest hairstyle. And if Jackson comes out next season and pulls off a mind-melting one-handed catch, you'll know where he learned it from.


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Redskins Playbook: Looking at Kirk Cousins' Week 2 hits and misses

Redskins Playbook: Looking at Kirk Cousins' Week 2 hits and misses

Kirk Cousins played better in Week 2 than he did in Week 1, but the quarterback still didn't play as well as he's proved capable in previous seasons. He finished the 27-20 win over the Rams by going 18 of 27 for 179 yards with a touchdown. Important for Cousins, after three turnovers in a Week 1 loss, he did not fumble or throw an interception in Los Angeles. 


Digging deeper into the numbers, one trend has emerged: Cousins and the Redskins are not having much luck in the downfield passing game. Stats provided by Pro Football Focus.

  • This season, Cousins has not completed a pass longer than 20 yards in the air. Against the Eagles in Week 1, Cousins missed on five deep attempts. Against the Rams, Cousins didn't have a deep attempt. 
  • Not surprisingly, Cousins does much better when he's not under pressure. On the season, the Redskins passer is completing nearly 70 percent of his passes without pressure, and that number drops to just below 43 percent under pressure. 
  • Cousins took four sacks against the Eagles, but that number dropped in half against the Rams.
  • Against the Rams, Cousins found his greatest success throwing to his left. On attempts to his left side, he completed all five attempts. Throwing over the middle or to the right, he threw 19 passes and completed 13. Week 1 Cousins also found his best success throwing to his left. 


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Preston Smith off to a strong start but Redskins want to see more

Preston Smith off to a strong start but Redskins want to see more

The end of Preston Smith’s 2015 rookie season set high expectations for his future. The outside linebacker racked up six sacks in the final four games including three in the Redskins’ division-clinching win in Philadelphia and one that got Aaron Rodgers for a safety in their wild-card playoff game. His eight sacks led all NFL rookies

But he wasn’t the player the team hoped he would be in 2016, at least not consistently. Smith got 4.5 sacks on the year. He had some dominant games like the one against the Vikings when he got two sacks and his first career interception. But he also disappeared for weeks at a time.

This past offseason the Redskins drafted outside linebacker Ryan Anderson in the second round and they re-signed Junior Galette. You always want to have good depth at the edge rushing position but it also appeared that the organization wanted to ensure that it would have alternatives if Smith’s sophomore slump extended into his third season.


But so far, we have seen a Preston Smith who looks more like the one who finished up his rookie season than the often invisible 2016 version. He has two sacks in two games plus two quarterback hits and two hurries. While it’s very early, Smith is starting to live up to the potential he showed as a rookie.

His versatility has impressed Jay Gruden.

“I think he’s doing good against the run, number one,” he said. “That’s what we have to do. He’s got to set the point. You’ve got to set the point of attack, and he’s done a good job of that.”

Per Pro Football Focus, Smith has played 86 snaps. He has rushed the passer in most his plays, 46. But he also has defended the run 28 snaps and has dropped back into coverage 12 times. He has allowed one reception for six yards in those coverage snaps.


The rest of Gruden’s answer to the question about Smith’s play was interesting.

And then when he’s asked to rush some, he’s done fine. I think he and Junior [Galette] had some good rushes. Junior got that critical holding call that pushed them back out of the red zone and forcing them into a field goal and obviously [Ryan] Kerrigan is doing his thing, so all three of those guys are doing a great job as far as giving a chance of pace. Preston is doing a good job. He can go inside, he can use his bull [rush] and he’s working on his get off. So I think he’s getting better and better.

Note that Gruden is nowhere near over the top in his praise of Smith. He brings in Galette and Kerrigan to turn the topic to the pass rush in general and uses words like “fine” and “good” to describe Smith’s play. Smith has been a source of frustration for the coaches as he often has relied on his natural ability rather than working to master the finer points of the job. The willingness to work on the details is often the difference between a talented player who just gets by and one who racks up 15-sack seasons, goes to Pro Bowls, and gets paid with large contracts.

Smith’s start is encouraging for the Redskins but Gruden and company are going to want to see a lot more before they dish out big compliments for him.

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerCSN and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.