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LIVE Redskins practice report--Day 3

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LIVE Redskins practice report--Day 3

They're putting the pads on today so the intensity will go up another notch. I'll be updating this report frequently as events warrant so drop by and refresh frequently.

--The afternoon has been somewhat eventful with the Bon Secours Training Center getting evacuated for a while due to lightning in the area. There have been period of rain, clouds, and sun. The skies remain threatening so if this blog gets cut off abruptly it's because they opened up.

--They are running possibly the most boring special teams drill imaginable. They are in kickoff formation and Dustin Hopkins is running up to the ball, swinging his leg, and not kicking it. The coverage team runs about 10 yards downfield and stops. They go back to the line and do it again. I'm sure there's some value in it in regards to getting in your lane but it sure is boring.

--Keith Marshall had a little bit of trouble in individual drills. First he had problems high stepping over the ropes and then he stumbled after he was hit with pads after catching a short pass. He is going to have to gain a lot of polish to his game very quickly is he intends to be on the 53-man roster.

A little difficulty for Keith Marshall at the end here. #Redskins

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--Jamison Crowder put a slick little move in Bashaud Breeland in a coverage drill. The receiver gained two steps on Breeland with the move and caugh the pass over the middle. Great route running.

--Then in 11 on 11, Pierre Garçon put a similar quick move on Breeland and got open to make the grab over the middle.

--Nate Suffield got a rep, threw a short, wobbly pass that was tipped and almost picked off. Then he went back to watching. Tough to make an impression that way.

--Martrell Spaight just got a good pop on a would-be returner in a one-on-one drill. Those backup linebacker spots will be determined by special teams and it seems that Spaight is well aware of that.

--Joe Barry was a very vocal presence in the special teams drills that just concluded.

--Nice long pass by Colt McCoy. He arched it deep down the middle to WR Dez Stewart, who had a couple of steps on fellow rookie Lloyd Carrington. The pass his Stewart in stride and he made the catch for an easy touchdown.

--kAn action-packed couple of minutes.  Breeland with a leaping, falling pick of Cousins. Cousins to Jackson, who streaked out of nowhere past Norman to make the catch. Then Trent Murphy read a Cousins screen and picked it off. All of a sudden a lot of fun broke out.

--Ross is trying hard to make up for his earlier drop. He made a nice diving catch over the middle and then caught one around the hash mark and made a nice move to shake Kendall Fuller and jetted upfield.

--There was a brief skirmish between Niles Paul and Spaight after some action downfield.

That's it for today, thanks for dropping by. They are off tomorrow, see you Monday afternoon.

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Jay Gruden disappointed by firing of Scot McCloughan, yet optimistic for 2017

Jay Gruden disappointed by firing of Scot McCloughan, yet optimistic for 2017

It's never easy to say goodbye to a well-liked coworker, especially when that employee has been fired. In the NFL, that's no different. Redskins head coach Jay Gruden opened up about the departure of former GM Scot McCloughan while speaking with reporters at the NFL Owners Meetings in Phoenix.

"I was disappointed. I liked Scot. I liked working with Scot. He’s a good person, and a great talent evaluator," Gruden said.

The highly publicized demise of McCloughan as Redskins general manager made plenty of headlines, but as far the organization goes, Gruden believes the team is still in good shape.

"Any time you lose somebody that you become close with, whether it’s a coach or a GM or a player it's disappointing but at the end of the day in pro football, anybody that’s been around it long enough understands, change is going to happen and you have to react and adjust to it and move forward with a positive outlook," Gruden said.

Part of that positive outlook stems from moves the team has made this offseason.

Offensively the franchise brought in a big new weapon in receiver Terrelle Pryor. Paired with 2016 first-round pick Josh Doctson, assuming he's healthy, the Redskins could have two dynamic pass catchers to offset the loss of DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garçon. On the defensive line, Gruden thinks new players Terrell McClain and Stacy McGee can emerge as solid players with high upside. Further, Gruden made clear he thinks new defensive line coach Jim Tomsula will make the players on the 'Skins roster into better defensive linemen.

For many fans it's hard to remain optimistic after the controversy that surrounded McCloughan's ouster, but on the field, there's little reason to expect the 'Skins to slide.

In 2016, the team finished one game out of a playoff berth, losing a disappointing final game to the Giants to seal that fate. In 2017, Gruden expects to be right back in the playoff hunt.

"I think everybody in this organization has a positive outlook," Gruden said. "We are going to miss Scot, obviously, but we’re also positive that we can get things we need to get done to be successful."

<<<LOOKING AT REDSKINS DRAFT PROSPECTS>>>

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Peter King, Ian Rapoport say Redskins can't afford to let Kirk Cousins get away

Peter King, Ian Rapoport say Redskins can't afford to let Kirk Cousins get away

After he signed the franchise tag a couple of weeks ago, the speculation, rumors and, for some fans, panic around Kirk Cousins has largely quieted down.

The Redskins can ink their quarterback to a long-term deal any time between now and July 15, but talks may not pick up until summer rolls around. A trade can also occur, but no recent reports have indicated that one is in the works.

Therefore, it currently looks like Cousins and the franchise that drafted him back in 2012 will be together for at least one more season. And according to Sports Illustrated's Peter King, that's a wise choice by the Burgundy and Gold.

"I think they did the absolute right thing in making sure Kirk Cousins is gonna be their quarterback this year," King told CSN Redskins Insider JP Finlay at the NFL owner's meetings in Phoenix. "I absolutely, unequivocally would not trade him. That's a white flag." 

As for why King wouldn't move on from No. 8, his explanation was very simple.

"You don't get rid of a guy who's got the second-most passing yards in football over the last two years," he said.

MORE REDSKINS: WILL JAY GRUDEN'S ROLE IN DECISION-MAKING EXPAND THIS YEAR?

Finlay also gathered input on the Redskins' and Cousins' relationship from the NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, who's another major voice in the league's media. Rapoport first stated that he would be "beyond stunned" if the 28-year-old was not in D.C. for the 2017 campaign and then laid out how he envisions the year unfolding.

"I do not believe he will sign the extension before the season," he said. "So, he's going to go out there, play on another one-year deal, bet on himself like he did last year. You hope it's the same thing. And then we'll see, because I know there's some talk about him not signing an extension — I'm not so sure about that. Everyone has a price, right?"

"If they offer him $25 [million] a year, Andrew Luck's deal, I would imagine plans would change pretty quickly, right?" Rapoport continued. "So you get to the end of the season, assess where you are, assess the value and see if you can make a business deal. It's terrible to have to pay so much money to your quarterback. The only worse thing is not being able to pay so much money to your quarterback." 

King and Rapoport are clearly both in agreement that losing their rising signal caller would be a huge blow to the Redskins. But while King says Washington should keep Cousins because of his production, Rapoport took a different route when concluding how the negotiations will end up.

"Really good quarterbacks never leave their team. It just never happens," he said. "So I would think there's a way to work this out."

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