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Despite NFL QB shortage, Redskins will not bring back McCoy

Despite NFL QB shortage, Redskins will not bring back McCoy

The NFL is facing a quarterback shortage. A number of teams need both starters and backups and the pool of available signal callers in the draft and in free agency is very thin.

Some are saying that this diminished QB pool is a good reason for the Redskins to trade Kirk Cousins. The laws of supply and demand would say that the team could get a high return for Cousins, who has showed signs of being a capable starter and solid backup options.

But according to multiple reports, the Redskins intend to keep him as the backup to Robert Griffin III with the possibility that he could take on a greater role should Griffin get injured or should his play not be up to par.

You don’t have to dig too deep to find the reasoning behind this decision. A reliable backup is needed for Griffin, who missed games due to injuries in 2012 and last year. If they were to part with Cousins they could have a difficult time securing a backup.

It does not appear that Colt McCoy is going to return to be an alternative to Griffin or Cousins. He started four games for the Redskins, one after Jay Gruden benched Cousins and three after Gruden decided that Griffin needed to sit.

But Gruden won’t have McCoy to turn to, at least not according to a report by Ian Rapoport of NFL Media. He tweeted “Colt McCoy likely elsewhere” after saying it looks like Cousins is staying put.

McCoy is slated to be an unrestricted free agent. Although his arm strength is not ideal for an NFL quarterback he can get you by for a few games. But Scot McCloughan is not interested in bringing him into the mix. Perhaps he would rather have Griffin and Cousins go man to man. They are both going into the final years of their contracts and the team has to make decisions on both of them. McCoy could muddy the waters, taking snaps that are needed to determine if the team has a long-range solution at the most important position on the field.

McCoy is unlikely to be that long-term solution so the Redskins will move on, at least for now. Nothing is set in stone some six months prior to the start of the season.

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Trent Murphy had offseason foot surgery to repair broken bone, per source

Trent Murphy had offseason foot surgery to repair broken bone, per source

Redskins outside linebacker Trent Murphy underwent surgery this offseason to repair a broken bone in his foot, per a source with knowledge of the situation. Murphy has completely healed and is a full participant at training camp. 

The injury came late in the 2016 season and he played the Redskins final game of the season with the broken foot. He was listed on the injury report for that game as limited with a foot injury. He was not listed on the Week 16 injury report against the Bears.

Hit with a four-game suspension for performance enhancing drugs this offseason, Murphy won't suit up for the Redskins until Week 6. He will be forced to miss the first four games, and then the Redskins have a bye in Week 5. 

Murphy had a breakout season in 2016, finishing the year with nine sacks and 47 tackles. A second round pick in 2014, Murphy had a combined six sacks in the two seasons prior. Last offseason, Murphy was tasked with gaining weight for a position switch to defensive end. After he gained the weight, outside linebacker Junior Galette was lost for the season, and Murphy was moved back to outside linebacker. 

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Redskins' Gruden will readjust to calling plays by going off script

Redskins' Gruden will readjust to calling plays by going off script

RICHMOND—The Redskins offense is dealing with some challenges on the field. Their top two wide receivers from last year left as free agents and replacements Terrelle Pryor and Josh Doctson have little game experience with quarterback Kirk Cousins. Tight end Jordan Reed (toe) was a surprise entry on the PUP list. Running back Rob Kelley needs to prepare to get ready to carry the load for 16 games.

There is one other change the team must deal with. Sean McVay, the team’s offensive coordinator, left in January to become the head coach of the Los Angeles Rams. He had been calling the plays for the past two years. That duty will now fall on head coach Jay Gruden.

RELATED: Reed one of four to start camp on PUP

Play calling is not new to Gruden. He did it from 2011-2013 for the Bengals when he was the offensive coordinator in Cincinnati. Gruden also made the play calls in 2014, his first season as the Redskins head coach.

Still, he wants to make sure that he’s ready to retake the play caller’s headset. The method he will use is to throw away the script.

“I think early on we’re going to have scripted practices, and once we get going, get our main core of plays in there, I think we’ll have a lot of unscripted practices where I can call plays,” he said. “So I think that’s the most important thing, the unscripted practice. Whether it’s two -minute, whether it’s drives down the field, whether it’s third downs, all that good stuff, do a lot of unscripted work, red zone and go from there, but I feel pretty comfortable already.”

That certainly makes sense. Games are not scripted and the successful play callers who can adjust to the ebb and flow of the game. You can’t duplicate the dynamic but you can come close in 11 on 11 work on the practice field.

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Another key to making this work will be trusting his defensive and special teams coaches. If Gruden can’t delegate to them he will be getting pulled in too many directions on game days.

“How well I handle that will be how successful I will probably be as a coordinator calling plays and as a coach,” he said. “I feel good about the staff that I have around me. Coach [Greg] Manusky and Jim Tomsula and Torrian Gray on the defensive side of the ball, I don’t think I have to worry so much about that, Ben Kotwica, Bret Munsey on the special teams. The big thing is I have got to be involved in the football game, make sure I’m ready for the red flag tosses and all that good stuff, but for the most part I have confidence in the defense and special team coaches and players.”

We will see how well it works out. As a rookie coach he occasionally seemed to be overwhelmed by all that he had piled on his plate (the situation was complicated by his curious decision not to hire a quarterbacks coach). But now, with three years under his belt and an exponentially better understanding of what is involved in coaching an NFL game, there should be more confidence that he can handle it.

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.