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How can Kirk Cousins 'win' a Redskins QB competition that never happened?

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How can Kirk Cousins 'win' a Redskins QB competition that never happened?

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Joe Theismann made some comments on the Redskins’ quarterback situation during the TV broadcast of the Redskins-Ravens preseason game last night. In case you didn’t catch them, here is the key part.

“It's going to be a decision that Jay Gruden is going to have to make," Theismann said. "Right now, Robert Griffin III is his quarterback. Now, if there was a quarterback competition, it wouldn't be a competition. Kirk Cousins would be the man I believe he would have to go to, because of the efficiency with which he has run (the offense).”

Well, maybe Joe, but here’s the thing. There wasn’t a quarterback competition. If there had been a quarterback competition then Cousins would have been in the game last night with some reps against Terrell Suggs, Haloti Ngata, Chri Canty, and other front-line Ravens defenders. As it was, those starters and the Ravens' other front-line players were in there and made life difficult for Griffin. They were gone when Cousins came into the game early in the third quarter.

And Griffin would have had his shots against the likes of Pernell McPhee, DeAngelo Tyson, and Kapron Lewis-Moore.

Had there been a competition then Cousins would have taken first-team reps in training camp against Ryan Kerrigan, Brian Orakpo, DeAngelo Hall, and the rest of the defensive starters. He didn’t. And when the Patriots were in town, Cousins would have gone up against Darrell Revis, Brandon Browner, and Vince Wilfork. And Griffin would have had snaps against the Patriots backups.

Now let’s look at the other side the coin. Had there been a QB competition then Cousins would have played last night with Trent Williams at left tackle and he would have been throwing to Jordan Reed, Pierre Garçon, and DeSean Jackson last night. Griffin would have had some snaps with Tom Compton at left tackle and with Ryan Grant, Logan Paulsen, and Santana Moss as his primary pass targets.

We can debate all day who might have looked better surrounded by that talent and with those defensive matchup. However, the debate would be pointless. We have no way of knowing.

It makes no sense for Theismann to say that Kirk Cousins “won” the quarterback “competition” because there wasn’t one. It also would be illogical to say that Griffin would have “won”. We have no idea how it would have played out if Jay Gruden had conducted a competition. It’s just hypothetical.

The reality here and now is that it’s too late to have a QB competition even if Gruden was inclined to have one (and he’s not). How about if we deal with actual events instead of creating a phony QB controversy?

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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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