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Kirk Cousins knows he needs to deliver more than just yards for 2017 Redskins

Kirk Cousins knows he needs to deliver more than just yards for 2017 Redskins

Kirk Cousins shattered his own Redskins passing record in 2016 as he threw for almost 5,000 yards.

Statistically, Cousins' 2016 season was superb, but his team only won eight games and fell short of the playoffs with an ugly loss in the season finale.

Cousins completed 67 percent of his passes for 4,917 yards to go with 25 touchdowns against 12 interceptions. The numbers earned him a spot in the Pro Bowl, but likely the pass he remembers most is the interception that sealed the Redskins season in that Week 17 loss against the Giants.

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"Clearly, just putting up a bunch of yards isn’t necessarily the catchall. That doesn't just mean you win games," Cousins said on Redskins Nation (full video above). "We certainly want to win our division and all those things, and have great results at the end of the year."

Against the Giants, Cousins had the chance to be a hero for Washington and get the 'Skins to a second straight playoff berth for the first time in 20 years. It didn't work out. The Giants' defense stymied the Redskins, and Cousins, throughout the afternoon. 

Interestingly, the loss to the Giants and an earlier Week 15 home loss to the Panthers illustrates Cousins' point about yards not equaling wins. In those two losses, Cousins threw for more than 600 yards, an impressive total against two top defenses. Yet, the Redskins offense was hardly effective in either game and the team scored only 25 points combined.

In no uncertain terms is Cousins wholly at fault for the defeats, but those are not two games to pin on the struggling Washington defense either.

Moving forward, unsurprisingly, Cousins has a great attitude about his team for 2017 and the work being put in now.

"You can’t win the division in May. It's about a process. It's about what can we do on a Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday here in the spring that gives us a chance in the fall to win games," he said. 

Players are putting the work in to improve in 2017. 

RELATED: One reason to watch every Redskins game this year.

"That's what I’m excited about. I feel the stars of the team, the Josh Normans, the Terrelle Pryors, are coming in and working hard, checking their egos at the door and just showing up being great teammates and great leaders. That's a great step."

One more win. That's all that separated the Redskins from the playoffs in 2016. If Cousins is right, and the process is right, the work in May might deliver that win in December.

Want more Redskins? Click here to follow JP on Facebook and check out @JPFinlayCSN for live updates via Twitter! Click here for the #RedskinsTalk on Apple Podcasts, here for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!

ROSTER BATTLES: Left guard | Tight end Nickel cornerback  | Inside linebacker | Running back

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Fantasy football: Ranking the top eight rookie quarterbacks in 2017

Fantasy football: Ranking the top eight rookie quarterbacks in 2017

Rookie camps are in the books as teams now move to organized team activities. Does that mean it's too early for fantasy football rankings? 

Probably, but seeing as the rookies are new to the scene, we might as well start projecting where and how they fit. 

CLICK HERE FOR CSN'S 2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL ROOKIE QB RANKINGS

Ezekiel Elliott, Dak Prescott, Sterling Shepard and Michael Thomas were among the rookies who produced and then some in 2016.

Based on the early rounds of the 2017 NFL draft, there’s hope for even more first-year standouts.  

Starting with the Bears selecting quarterback Mitch Trubisky second overall, 19 skill players were drafted in the first and second round.

That includes fellow first-round quarterback selections Pat Mahomes and Deshaun Watson. Several sleeper candidates followed. 

Here’s my look at the Elite Eight quarterbacks with the 2017 fantasy football season -- and beyond -- in mind.

CLICK HERE FOR CSN'S 2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL ROOKIE QB RANKINGS

2017 Fantasy Football Rookie Rankings:

Running Backs - No. 1, Leonard Fournette, Jaguars

* Wide receivers - No. 1, Corey Davis, Titans

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Redskins 2017 OTAs to-do list: It's time to find a nose tackle

Redskins 2017 OTAs to-do list: It's time to find a nose tackle

Free agency is done. The draft is history. Rookie minicamp is in the rearview and the 90-man offseason roster has been filled out. Now comes the difficult part for Jay Gruden and his staff: putting it all together. With OTAs set to begin on Tuesday, Redskins Insiders JP Finlay and Rich Tandler will examine top priorities on Gruden’s to-do list as he prepares the team for training camp in Richmond later this summer.

Up today …

Nose tackle

Finlay: There's a lot to do on the Redskins defensive line, and it starts in the middle. Expect free agent addition Stacy McGee to have a big opportunity to take over the nose tackle job. McGee ranked as a +5.5 run defender last season as rated by Pro Football Focus, and at 6-foot-3 and 308 lbs., he has the size to man the middle. McGee has plenty of talent, health has been his hiccup. He has only played all 16 games in one of his four seasons, and in 2016, he played only nine games.

Beyond McGee, the Redskins have some lottery tickets. Practice squad players A.J. Francis and Joey Mbu both have the size to play nose, but neither have the experience. Could Francis or Mbu emerge for significant snaps with the Washington defense? Sure, but it would be unexpected. 

A bigger lottery ticket remains. Phil Taylor, a former first-round pick in 2012, has shown serious talent at the nose tackle position. At 6-foot-3 and 337 lbs., Taylor certainly has the size for the spot. At the same time, Taylor hasn't played an NFL game since 2014, losing both 2015 and 2016 to injury. Counting on Taylor would be short-sighted, but if he can remain healthy, there could be big value.

According to Jay Gruden, the most important piece of the nose tackle puzzle will come from new defensive line coach Jim Tomsula. Gruden said he expects Tomsula to "make" a nose tackle and improve the Redskins D-line. It's a tall order, but Tomsula has an impressive track record working in the trenches. 

Tandler: The organization’s refusal to get a legitimate nose tackle either in free agency or in the draft will lead to them again spend the spring and summer trying to fit a square peg into a round hole.

That’s what they did last year with Ziggy Hood. He took a lot of snaps at nose tackle and he simply wasn’t a fit for the job. It wasn’t his fault that the Redskins allowed a league-worst 5.0 yards per rushing attempt on first down; he’s an end and he was much more effective there.

Matt Ioannidis, a 2016 fifth-round pick, also took some snaps at nose, with similar results. At 6-3, 308, he just doesn’t have the size to be effective.

The worst part of it here is that they really can’t get too far in identifying the 2017 nose tackle. In the spring with no pads and no contact allowed they really can’t do much besides work on technique and learn assignments. Tomsula’s effort to “make” a nose tackle won’t really get going until they get to Richmond in late August.

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Want more Redskins? Check out @JPFinlayCSN and @Rich_TandlerCSN for live updates or click here for the #RedskinsTalk Podcast on iTunes, here for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!

ROSTER BATTLES: Left guard | Tight end Nickel cornerback  | Inside linebacker | Running back