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Need to Know: Another bad debut for Meriweather

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Need to Know: Another bad debut for Meriweather

Here is what you need to know on this Monday, September 16, six days before the Redskins play the Lions at FedEx Field.

Nickel coverage

1. You have to wonder if we’ll see Robert Griffin III going Tom Brady on his receivers or linemen

I just not, you know, I’m not an a-hole. I believe in positive reinforcement. If something happens, I know he’ll make it up the next time he gets that chance. And that’s just the way I lead. If they want me to do that, you know, I’m fine with doing that . . . If that’s what we need to get over this hump and start winning games I’m definitely going to do it.

2. Alfred Morris had a pretty decent 107-yard game. He had two 32-yard runs which is great but that’s not really his game. Morris averaged just under five yards per carry on his other 11 attempts so that’s not bad. The big problem was the 13 total carries; that’s not enough for him to have a truly effective game. But the game situation took him out.

3. Maybe when Brandon Meriweather has recovered from his concussion and gets back into the lineup maybe he can play a solid game without incident. Last year he tore his ACL in the first game of the year he was able to play in. In his season debut on Sunday there was the concussion. Not only that, he’s likely to fined for the hit on the sideline that drew the flag and knocked him out of the game. And, even though it wasn’t flagged, he could get popped for the hit that knocked Eddie Lacy out of the game.

4. Now you can see how Aaron Rodgers could get sacked 51 times last year while the Packers still averaged 27 points per game. They got sacked on three out of four plays between their first two possessions but it didn’t matter. They got the field goal after the two Ryan Kerrigan sacks. After the Orakpo sack they punted and after a penalty the Redskins were back at the seven. Three and out for Washington and then a four-play TD drive to take a 10-0 lead. When you have Rodgers, you can recover.

5. The Redskins were called for seven penalties for 78 yards. Not sure if that’s better or worse than the 10 for 75 they drew against the Eagles, I’ll let you decide. But I will point out that three of them were on special teams and two were for unnecessary roughness (Nick Sundberg, Niles Paul). Considering that the kicking game contributed almost nothing positive, the field position lost on those plays was a big negative.

Stat of the day

—Griffin completed passes to 10 different receivers, tied for the most in team history. It’s now happened nine times in team history, the most recent before yesterday was January 3, 2010 against the Chargers.

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Timeline

—Days until: Lions @ Redskins 6; Redskins @ Raiders 13; Redskins @ Cowboys 27

—Today’s schedule: Player availability 11:15; Mike Shanahan news conference 3:00 (telecast on Comcast SportsNet)

Griffin: I’m not an a-hole

In case you missed it

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Cousins believes "a lot rides" on the coming Redskins season

Cousins believes "a lot rides" on the coming Redskins season

RICHMOND—While Kirk Cousins has had a lot of success in his first two seasons as the Redskins’ starting quarterback, he and the team didn’t finish last season the way they wanted to. They lost four of their last six games to finish out of a playoff spot. With the game on the line in the season finale against the Giants, Cousins threw an interception as the team was driving for a late score to win or tie the game. The loss was the final blow to their playoff hopes.

As with any disappointing situation, Cousins and the team must walk a line between learning from the mistakes that were made—and there were many beyond the Cousins interception—and dwelling on the past. Cousins said today that the failure to make the playoffs will help drive the team this year.

RELATED: Reed one of four to start camp on PUP

“I think what it does is it gives us an edge, because we stay humble and hungry because we left the season realizing we do have a long ways to go,” Cousins said of the late-season woes. “We do need to improve if we want to go in the direction that we all believe we can. In that sense we’ll take the silver lining that nobody is content, nobody is entitled, nobody feels like we can rest on what we’ve done in the past.”

While they can focus on the silver lining for now, Cousins says that they realize that coming close to the playoffs but missing out year after year won’t cut it. That’s what gets coaches fired and leads to players losing their jobs.

MORE REDSKINS: Ranking the Redskins roster, the final update

“We do feel like a lot rides on this season up ahead,” he said. “Hopefully, that gives us a sense of urgency all through training camp to be really focused, and as a result gets the best out of every one of us so that our team can play as well as we possibly can.”

Cousins is playing on the one-year franchise tag. He has been quick to point out that many of his teammates are either on one-year deals or in the final season of a multi-year deal. Cousins is one of over a dozen starters or key contributors who will become free agents in 2018. If they are going to stay around they can’t go 2-4 down the stretch like they did last year.

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerCSN and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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Redskins' Cousins says he bets on the system, not on himself

Redskins' Cousins says he bets on the system, not on himself

RICHMOND—As Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins goes into playing under the franchise tag for the second straight season, the phrase commonly used about him is that he is betting on himself, eschewing the long-term security of a multiyear deal in favor hoping to improve his leverage by playing on the tags.

However, Cousins said that is a misconception.

“I don’t know that I ever bet on myself, I bet on the system, he said. “It has nothing to do with myself. I’m just going out and playing and there’s never been anything but positive feelings. I’m excited to get to work here. As I’ve said, my wife and I love it here and we’re in a good place.”

RELATED: Reed one of four to start camp on PUP

Ever since the deadline for him to sign a long-term contract this year came and went without a new deal, Cousins has been trying to debunk the notion that he has a desire to leave the Redskins as soon as he can. Appearing on 106.7 The Fan last week, Cousins said that the Redskins are his “first choice” to be his team going forward. He talked positively about his future in Washington again today after the Redskins first training camp walkthrough.

Although there was talk that the contract negotiations took a sour turn at the end after team president Bruce Allen revealed some of the details of the team’s final offer to Cousins, Cousins indicated today that everything is fine.

“W e’ve done a good job communicating between me and the team,” he said. “We’re on the same page and we’ve done everything we can possibly do to get that settled and move forward. I think we’re all in a good place right now and we’ve got enough to worry about getting our offense playing at the level we need to have a great season so I can be back in future years.”

MORE REDSKINS: Ranking the Redskins roster, the final update

What it really comes down to, what Cousins believes will make things good in the future for him and the Redskins, is success on the field.

“If you win football games, everything else takes care of itself,” he said.

“In the offseason, the ball’s in the team’s court. But from Week 1 to Week 17, the ball’s in my court and I’ve got to go play football well. That’s where my focus is.”

There likely will be more talk of Cousins future beyond the 2017 seas in the coming weeks and months. It appears that for right now that is the furthest thing from Cousins’ mind.

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerCSN and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.