Here is what you need to start off your Tuesday, the last day that training camp will be open to the public.Keep an eye on the weatherAt least, todays practice is scheduled to be open to fans. There is a pretty good chance of rain off and on today and if the rain is on during practice the session could be moved to the bubble. Theres no room for fans in there so we may already have seen the last practice open to fans in Ashburn until 2020 since camp is scheduled to move to Richmond for at least seven years starting next summer.Check back here and via all of the other web and social media outlets for information.Some Briscoe buzzIt would be an exaggeration to say that Dez Briscoe, the wide receiver who the Redskins claimed on waivers from the Bengals has been the talk of camp. He hasnt done much that could be considered eye opening. Eleven players were targets of passes last Thursday in Buffalo and Briscoe was not one of them. But many I talk to around camp have been impressed.At 6-3 he is a legitimate red zone target. On Saturday, he ignored a crowd of defenders in the end zone reached up and snagged a Kirk Cousins pass for a touchdown. He routinely reaches up and makes nice grabs with his long arms and secure hands.The Redskins arent the only team that wanted him when the Bucs cut him loose. The Bengals, Eagles, and Cowboys also put in waiver claims.Briscoe is not an ideal player. He has had some personal issues that have played out on a public stage and his attention seems to wander sometimes when hes not actually playing wide receiver.But when he does play wide receiver, he plays it well, perhaps better than anyone on the roster outside of the top four. At age 22, he is the youngest receiver on the roster despite the fact that he has two years of NFL experience. If he gets some passes thrown his way on Saturday in Chicago, dont be surprised if he become one of those surprise players.Saturday TVHere is the TV viewing information I have been able to gather for the Redskins-Bears on Saturday.If youre in the Redskins market, the game will be shown in HD exclusively on Comcast SportsNet. If youre tuning in the game with rabbit ears, or whatever the digital signal equivalent of those are, you can also get the game in standard definition on NBC 4.The game will be rebroadcast numerous times. The first airing on Comcast SportsNet will be Sunday at 1 p.m. If youre out of the area, it will be on NFL Network on Sunday at 4 p.m.In case you missed itIn my view there are 34 Redskins on the bubble. My post on them generated some good discussion; its not too late to jump in with your opinion.The Redskins offensive line is beginning to return to health, although they arent quite there yet.Graham Gano did not have a good practice on Monday. Others, like Logan Paulsen, did.Days until: Redskins @ Bears 4; RG3 vs. Luck @ FedEx Field; final cuts 17; Redskins @ Saints 26; preseason opener vs. Bengals 40
Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, February 25, 12 days before the March 9 start of NFL free agency.
—NFL Franchise tag deadline (3/1) 4
—NFL Combine (3/2) 5
—Redskins offseason workouts start (4/17) 51
—NFL Draft (4/27) 61
—First Sunday of 2017 season (9/10) 197
The Redskins week that was
Here is my take on some of the week’s top stories from Real Redskins and CSN Mid Atlantic.
Cousins trade to 49ers could happen at combine, per NFL analyst—The Redskins must decide if they are ever going to sign Kirk Cousins long term. If the answer is no, they must figure out if they are better off having him around for one year prior to losing him without compensation or trying to trade him now. It is possible to simultaneously believe that the Redskins should sign Cousins for the long term but that trading him may be necessary.
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Will McCloughan go defense in 1st round? If the best player available plays defense, he will. If he doesn’t I’m just going to have to shut down Twitter for a while. Or maybe I won’t have to since it will crash.
Under the radar issues for the Redskins—The offseason checklist has more than quarterback, D-line and wide receiver on it. The nine draft picks they have will be critical as they try to build on 2016’s occasionally frustrating results.
Why can't the Redskins sign Garcon and Jackson? That question is easy to answer—with Jamison Crowder due to get an extension next year they will run into cap problems if they bring both of them back. It does look like the numbers will work with one of them coming back, however, and if they do let both walk it will be a head-scratcher.
More Redskins: #RedskinsTalk podcast: Is Kirk too nice for his own good?
Can McCoy produce similar results at less cost than Cousins? With Colt McCoy under contract for $3 million and a potential Cousins tag costing nearly $24 million some at Redskins Park are wondering if Cousins is eight times better than McCoy and if he’s not, why pay him? This is kind of a silly question, like asking if Trent Williams is 15 times better than Ty Nsekhe or if Josh Norman is 20 times better than Kendall Fuller. The question is, does that player at that key position good enough to play his part in getting the team into the playoffs? McCoy hasn’t proven that he is, while Cousins has been to the playoffs once and just missed last year. The proven ability to do something counts for a lot in the form of the number of zeros in a player’s paycheck.
Tandler on Twitter
In case you missed it
- Redskins have cap room for a top free agent addition at safety
- Redskins' Cousins called a 'mercenary' and that's a goo...
- Redskins offseason questions: Can Cousins take the next step in 2017?
- Good news from Redskins Park: Josh Doctson running, catching football
- Uncertainty at QB impacts Redskins' pursuit of free agent WRs
The good news for the 2016 Redskins was that they didn’t collapse after winning the division the previous season as has been their pattern in the past. The bad news was that they didn’t take the next step and improve from a franchise that can compete to make the playoffs into one that is playing multiple postseason games year in and year out.
That work begins right now for Jay Gruden, Scot McCloughan and the players. In the coming weeks, Redskins reporters Rich Tandler and JP Finlay will examine the biggest questions facing the Redskins as another offseason gets rolling.
Will Kirk Cousins take the next step in 2017?
Finlay: The better question might be what constitutes the next step for Cousins? And going one step further, will it be with the Redskins? Answering the second part first, Cousins will be the 'Skins quarterback in 2017. Taking the next step is trickier, since the passer has thrown for more than 9,000 yards in the last two seasons.
For me, Cousins can still get much better, particularly in the red zone. If the Redskins scored at the same pace they pile up yards, this team would have won 11 games in 2016.
In 2016, Cousins ranked 3rd in the NFL in passing yards, yet outside of the Top 10 in TDs with 25. To really enter the next phase of his career, Cousins needs to lead an offense that scores more, and that means 30+ touchdowns. He can do it.
Tandler: I don’t look at the next step for Cousins being about numbers. Sure, maybe he can throw for 5,000 yards and 30-plus touchdowns on year. But being a top quarterback is more than that.
I want to see him go into Seattle next year and rally the Redskins from a 10-point deficit in the fourth quarter. I want to see him go into a playoff game and, unlike what happened against the Packers after the 2015 season, will the team to a win when the Redskins aren’t playing their best and when a QB like Aaron Rodgers is on the other side. I want to see him glare at a lineman who missed an assignment and correct a receiver who went the wrong way on a route.
To be sure, he has led the team to some comeback wins and he has played very well in some key games, like the division-clinching win in Philadelphia in 2015. But a top-flight quarterback can’t essentially negate one of those with a play like the season-ending pick against the Giants. Sure, any quarterback is going to have an off day. But you have to have more pluses than minuses on the ledger.
Cousins has been a starter for just two years so maybe he can develop into a top-shelf quarterback. Putting up good stats is part of the picture but he won’t be there until he elevates and motivates those around him. Maybe he can take that next step but until he does there is no way of knowing if he will.
More offseason questions:
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!