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LIVE Redskins practice report—Day 5

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LIVE Redskins practice report—Day 5

I'll start rolling with the training camp observations just as soon as things get going. Check back and refresh often to get updates as they happen.

--It's overcast right now but the sun had been popping in and out. It looked for a while that this practice might be in danger of being washed out with thunderstorms but so far, so good.

The first move is important on the DL. #Redskins

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--Su'a Cravens is not participating today due to a hamstring injury. They are being cautious but this is going to set back his learning curve.

--Chris Thompson just ran a nice little pop up the middle. Shawn Lauvao's is in with the first team at left guard. Look for him and Spencer Long to share the first team reps with Kouandjio getting most of the second-team work.

--The defenders are trying hard to rip the ball out of the hands of all of the running backs, not just Matt Jones. So far I have not yet seen them be successful.

--Kendall Fuller just got some pointers from defensive backs assistant Aubrey Pleasant after Rashad Ross caught an intermediate pass over the middle.

--Dashaun Phillips sped over and knocked away a sideline pass intended for DeSean Janckson. Not sure if Jackson had enough room to make the catch inbounds anyway but nice play by Phillips.

--Chris Thompson is fast. He just turned on the jets and spend around right end after taking a handoff.

--The Redskins are practicing onside kicks. I hope that the "hands" team they have in isn't the one they would use in a game situation. It decidedly lacks hands, with most of the players on it being defensive linemen and linebackers.

--They now have a better hands team in. Jamison Crowder has made a couple of diving catches kicks that were popped up in the air. They both worked but it's a rather dangerous maneuver. If you don't get the handle the chances of the other team recovering are pretty good.

--Good pass in seven on seven work from McCoy to rookie WR Maurice Harris. The receiver split two defenders in the end zone and McCoy fired a strike.

--In 11 on 11 in the red zone, Cousins threw a little swing pass to Jackson, who scampered in for the score. Jackson did not score a touchdown from a play from the red zone last year.

--Preston Smith is not just a pass rusher. He just got in the backfield and disrupted a play with Jones going up the middle before it ever got started.

--Ryan Grant made a diving attempt to catch a pass in the end zone. There are NFL referees here today and they called it incomplete after conferring. It looked like a catch from where I was sitting and Jay Gruden thought so, too. He went up to the two officials and pleaded his case. After being turned down, Gruden looked at the crowd on the sideline, smiles and said, "Hey, they need practice, too."

--Will Compton stayed with Crowder all the way down the field on a Couins pass deep down the middle. Crowder may have had to slow up a big as he tracked the ball through the air but still impressive work by Compton, who drew praise from the coaches.

--There have been a lot of yellow flags on the field during this 11 on 11 session. They're getting a bit ragged it appears.

--On another try, Crowder got a couple of steps on the inside linebacker--this time it was Tarrance Garvin--and Cousins hit him in stride with the bomb.

--The offense was moving in a two-minute drill until Compton tipped a Cousins pass and Bashaud Breeland came away with the diving interception.

That's it from Richmond today, thanks for coming by. There won't be a live blog during the special teams practice so we'll see you again on Thursday.

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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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