The Redskins held the first practice of their three-day minicamp on Tuesday. Once again, they were able to take advantage of the presence of their new indoor field as the rainy conditions would have either cancelled or severely curtailed their activities.No tweeting was allowed during the session, so here are some quick notes and observations in Twitter format:-Jammal Brown is looking pretty spry. Should be fine to start the season but what about November?--It looks like Maurice Hurt is packing a few more pounds than the 320 he is listed. After filling in at guard last year it looks like he is working strictly at tackle.--Tim Hightower is looking better and better every week. He was doing some cutting after catching Short passes. Not 100 percent but getting there.--Evan Royster is looking pretty quick. At this early point I would not be shocked to see him start multiple games this year.--M. Williams did a good job moving to the ball to knock down an RG3 pass to Moss. Still not sure he's a lock for the 53 but he looked good there.--Davis with a nice diving catch of an RG3 pass off of a rollout.--We really haven't seen Griffin's vaunted deep ball accuracy yet. He just overthrew Moss by a good 10 yards on a play action rollout.--Something to keep an eye on--Aldrick Robinson on kick returns. That is one aspect of the game that really can't be judged until preseason games start. Still, Robinson looks fluid and natural with a nice burst.--Beau Reliford really looks the part of an NFL tight end and he is fluid and athletic. But he will need to have a big preseason if he is going to make it.--Another diving catch for Davis. Maybe he is really, really getting serious about the game.--In some serious and lively 11 on 11, rG3 completes passes to Davis, Moss, and Garcon twice. The last Garcon grab was a beauty, one handed in the end zone.--Minnifield looks small out there, very skinny legs. But he moves well--Robinson with a picture perfect grab of a picture perfect Cousins bomb. Robinson's stock could be on the rise.--Rex threw behind a cutting Armstrong, allowing the ball to get knocked away. The next play he hit Paulsen deep down the middle for a TD. Good Rex, bad Rex.--And then Rex gets picked by Minnifield, probably for six. Didn't see him.--Bowen being held out today as he has been for most of camp after having a procedure done on his knee in April.--Perhaps the pick earned Minnifield some extra reps. He has been out there a lot today.--Roy Helu has not been participating in team drills as he is banged up. He has feature back ability but his consistent availability is a question mark.--Minnifield again, breaking up an RG3 pass in the end zone. The guy is giving the coaches something positive to ponder for the rest of June and July.--Lance Lewis taking advantage of his opportunity with a nice leaping end zone grab of a Cousins pass.--Rackers clanks a 52 yarder off of the right upright after Gano nailed one from the same distance.
Our offseason over/under predictions for the Redskins rumbles on.
Today we are predicting the numbers involving the Redskins pass-catchers.
Redskins receivers/tight ends over-under
The Redskins’ receiving corps was forced to undergo some changes after top wideouts DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garçon departed via free agency.
How will their replacements do?
How will the talented holdovers perform? Redskins Insiders Rich Tandler and JP Finlay go over-under on some Redskins pass catchers stats.
RELATED: OVER/UNDER - KIRK COUSINS
WR Terrelle Pryor, 1,000 receiving yards
Tandler: I know that a lot of people, including Finlay, are looking for a huge year out of Pryor. I think he’ll do well, but a thousand yards is going to elusive. He did go over 1K last year with the Browns with terrible QBs throwing to him. But Pryor also had the benefit of being one of few viable receivers in Cleveland. That’s not the case here. He won’t get anywhere near the 140 targets he got last year. Under
Finlay: Not sure when I said a huge year for Pyror, that seems like Tandler throwing shade, but I do think he is capable of 1,000 yards. The quantity of targets will certainly drop, but the quality should be much greater. In today's NFL, 1,000 yards is no longer the benchmark it once was. The bulk of the league deploys a pass-first offense, and the Redskins definitely do. 25 wideouts went over 1,000 yards last season, including two on the Redskins. Over
RELATED: WHO IS NEXT AT QB FOR THE REDSKINS?
WR Josh Doctson, 6.5 touchdown receptions
Tandler: When Kirk Cousins sees how well the 2016 first-round pick can get up and high-point the ball Doctson will immediately become the favorite red zone target. I’ve predicted as many as 10 TDs for him this year. That’s bold, perhaps crazy, but I feel safe going with at least seven. Over
Finlay: 10 TDs for basically a rookie wideout is nuts. You're talking Odell Beckham/Randy Moss production. Doctson does have great size and potential for the red zone, but I need to see before I believe. Only Jamison Crowder got to seven touchdowns in 2016, and that was with Kirk Cousins throwing for nearly 5,000 yards. Under
WR Jamison Crowder, 1,000 receiving yards
Tandler: This is the safest bet on the board. His familiarity with Cousins will make him a security blanket when the quarterback gets in trouble. He’s learning and getting better; he ticked up almost 250 yards and 2.5 yards per catch between his rookie and second seasons. And Crowder is durable. Over
Finlay: I like this one. Crowder went for about 850 yards last season, a jump of about 250 yards from his rookie season. Another year with that improvement gets him past 1,000 yards with room to spare. Early last season, Crowder was the 'Skins best receiver. He posted more than 500 yards before the Redskins bye week. In the second half of the year, the focus shifted to DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garçon, which probably wasn't a coincidence as both players demanded the ball knowing they were headed for free agency. I expect Crowder to steadily produce all season in 2017. Over
RELATED: OFFER TO COUSINS NOT NEARLY ENOUGH
TE Jordan Reed, 12.5 games played
Tandler: Although we’re hesitant to make predictions about a player’s health, the fact is that this is the only variable for Reed going into the season. If he is on the field he will produce receiving yards and touchdowns by the bushel. Injuries, not defenses, are what slows him down. He skipped OTAs to spend more time strengthening his body and the results should show. But bad luck happens so this is a tough call. He’s due for some good fortune. Over
Finlay: Tandler is setting these totals with Vegas-like precision. This one is tough. In the last two seasons, Reed has played in 26 games, making 17 starts. I would argue the more important stat is starts, because that's when Reed is actually healthy. Last season, after separating his shoulder against the Cowboys on Thanksgiving, Reed tried to gut out a few performances against the Panthers and the Eagles. He was ineffective in both, yet those count for games played. In nine starts in 2015, Reed was a monster, putting up nearly 1,000 yards and 11 touchdowns. Starts are what matter, and the Redskins should hope for at least nine of them. Under
The Redskins made a mistake issuing a statement about their failed long-term contract negotiations with Kirk Cousins. The team offered too much specific information.
On the field, however, starting next week in training camp, the statement will make zero impact.
Centered around the roller coaster that occurred between Bruce Allen’s statement on Monday afternoon and Kirk Cousins’ Tuesday interview with Grant and Danny on 106.7 the Fan, some Redskins fans think that hopes for the Burgundy and Gold are buried this fall.
Was Allen’s statement a wise move? No. There was no reason to publicly put out the team’s offer, or more importantly, tell the world that Cousins never countered. It seemed like an attempt to control the conversation, and a lame attempt at that.
But here’s the thing: A deal was never happening.
Cousins knew that. The Redskins knew that.
And the zaniness of Monday and Tuesday should not have any impact on the 2017 season.
If Cousins can do anything, it’s compartmentalize.
Last season, he dealt with almost the exact same public mess of a contract squabble. The team never offered him remotely close to market value, and the QB still came out and threw for nearly 5,000 yards.
Cousins will again block out the noise, and deliver his best possible performance for the Redskins. The team should be better too. An improved defense should help immediately (even if that jump goes from bad to average), and a rebuilt receiving group should give Cousins the weapons to again run Jay Gruden’s potent offense.
There are fan theories that the team might implode, and eventually, go to Colt McCoy or Nate Sudfeld at quarterback. I don’t see that happening.
Cousins is under contract for 2017. The coaching staff, and the players, know what he can do. Personally, I don’t think the season unravels. Cousins is a good player. He's established a baseline for his performance over the past two years.
The time since the franchise tag deadline doesn’t change that. The time since the franchise tag doesn’t change Jordan Reed’s ability to get open. It doesn’t change Jamison Crowder’s quickness on the inside or Trent Williams power on the outside.
I don’t expect the Redskins to run off 13 wins. I’ve already written that I don’t even think the team will make the playoffs. To be clear, however, I don’t think Bruce Allen’s statement will make a difference once the players take the field in real games.
On Wednesday, Chad Dukes of the Fan asked me if it’s possible that the Redskins season unravels, and things go sideways with Cousins. I don't expect that, and Dukes wondered if I was being overly optimistic.
Could things fall apart? Sure. Anything is possible in the NFL, and especially with the Redskins.
For me, however, Cousins' talent in the Redskins offensive system will mitigate the local penchant for crazy. Cousins has thrown for 9,000 yards and completed more than 68 percent of his passes in the last two seasons. He also bet on himself, again, to produce at a high level in 2017.
I think Cousins is smart. I think Gruden's offense will work. I think the Redskins defense will be improved.
I don’t think this team makes the playoffs, but they should be close. I also don’t think this team implodes.
Looking at the big picture, I definitely don’t consider myself an optimist. A realist, perhaps, but only time will tell.
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