Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, May 14, two days before the Redskins’ hold their rookie minicamp.
Here are five NFC East draft picks who should concern the Redskins:
WR Odell Beckham, NYG—The Giants lost Hakeem Nicks, who appeared to be in decline, to free agency. They replaced him with Beckham, who is faster and will start giving the Redskins fits right away.
OL Zack Martin, DAL—A couple of years ago the Cowboys’ offensive line was a joke. Now the left side and center are solid as a rock. Martin is penciled in at left guard between tackle Tryon Smith and center Travis Frederick. That will give Tony Romo some of the best blindside protection in the league.
DE Demarcus Lawrence, DAL—It will be very interesting to watch how the career of Lawrence develops as this was the player the Cowboys traded up with the Redskins to acquire.
OLB Marcus Smith, PHI—They said that he was a “reach” in the first round (pick 26) but that won’t matter much if he ends up chasing Robert Griffin III around during their twice a year meetings.
WR Jordan Matthews, PHI—Technically he’s DeSean Jackson’s replacement but, at 6-3, he’s obviously a very different player. He won’t break off many big plays like Jackson but he will catch a lot of passes and move the chains in Chip Kelly’s fast-paced offense.
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—It’s been 136 days since the Redskins played a game; it will be 116 days until they play the Texans in the 2014 season opener.
—Days until: Rookie minicamp 2; Training camp starts 70; Preseason opener Patriots @ Redskins 85
In case you missed it
Gruden on the draft
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Of course, Kirk Cousins is disappointed the Redskins didn’t make the playoffs, but among the various things he’s done in the offseason, one of them is a little curious.
Sunday, Cousins wasn’t just watching the Falcons dominate the Packers, 44-21, in the NFC Championship Game. He sent out a picture on Instagram from the stands of the Georgia Dome.
“Watching two of the best in the world do what they do & taking notes to make it to this game next year -score a lot of points!” Cousins wrote.
But — especially with rumors that Atlanta offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan will be offered the head coaching position with the 49ers — is there more to this post than the Redskins’ quarterback simply watching the game?
Shanahan was the Redskins’ offensive coordinator from 2010-2013 and was reportedly “integral” in the team selecting Cousins in the 2012 NFL Draft.
So if Shanahan makes the move out to San Francisco and if the Redskins don’t put a franchise tag on Cousins, could the pair be reunited?
It’s possible, according to NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport, who said, “don’t be surprised if the 49ers make a run at Kirk Cousins if the Redskins do not make him their exclusive franchise player.”
There’s a lot of if’s involved for that to happen, but it’s possible. It’s also possible Cousins was just enjoying the NFC Championship Game and decided to Instagram about it.
MORE REDSKINS: Why Matt Cavanaugh makes sense for Washington
Championship Sunday produced a flurry of Redskins news. A pair of internal promotions erased the team's vacant coordinator positions, as Greg Manusky landed the defensive coordinator spot and Matt Cavanaugh will take over as offensive coordinator. When Sean McVay left to coach the Rams, many expected Cavanaugh to take over his spot. Here are three reasons why:
- If it ain't broke, don't fix it - There was plenty to criticize from the Redskins the last two seasons, but not much of it came on offense. Cavanaugh joined the organization in 2015 as quarterback coach, and the offense has consistently improved in those two seasons. Though the team struggled to score TDs in the Red Zone, the 2016 version of the Redskins moved the ball at a team-record clip and ranked among the top offensive teams in NFL yardage. When something is working as well as the 'Skins offense, it's not wise to change it dramatically.
- Impressive work - Cavanaugh began coaching QBs for the Redskins in 2015. Kirk Cousins took over as Redskins starting quarterback in 2015. In two years working together, Cousins twice broke the Redskins franchise passing record and is now poised to get a mega-contract in free agency. Talking after the 'Skins loss to the Giants earlier this month, Jay Gruden said, "I think [Cousins'] really improved his game a lot in the last couple years. And a lot of it has to do with Matt Cavanaugh and Sean McVay."
- Make the call - The biggest question remaining for the Redskins - outside of the HUGE unknown surrounding Cousins - will be about play calling. All indications are that Jay Gruden will return to calling the plays from the Washington sideline, and obviously, that's a situation Cavanaugh understands. For two seasons now, Cavanaugh along with McVay, Gruden and offensive line coach Bill Callahan have had input on play calling. With McVay gone, Cavanaugh and Callahan will likely contribute even more in support of Gruden.
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