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Need to Know: Can the Redskins' Cousins become a top-5 quarterback?

Need to Know: Can the Redskins' Cousins become a top-5 quarterback?

Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, March 27, 32 days before the NFL Draft.

Timeline

—The Redskins last played a game 77 days ago. It will be about 168 days until they play another one.

Days until: Redskins offseason workouts start 22; 2016 NFL draft 32; Redskins training camp starts 123

Hot topic

On Wednesday at the NFL owners meetings Jay Gruden talked about the pressure that Kirk Cousins is under now that he’s the starting quarterback playing under the franchise tag. “Now all of a sudden when as you’re trying to establish yourself as one of the top five guys in the NFL, now you have a little bit more pressure on yourself to perform and he knows that,” said Gruden.

The “top 5” part drew some attention. That seems to be a rather ambitious goal for a player who was a fourth-round pick and who a year ago was supposed to play out the final year of his rookie contract and then enter an uncertain future as an NFL journeyman. But things change quickly. With Cousins now getting paid nearly $20 million this year under the franchise tag expectations, as outlined by Gruden, have grown exponentially.

Can Cousins be a top five quarterback? He was fifth in passer rating last year and sixth in DVOA but such designations go beyond one-season numbers. When you talk about getting it done year after year and experiencing success in the playoffs, the top guys are Brady, Brees, and Rodgers followed by Wilson, Roethlisberger, and Eli Manning. Then there are others, such as Rivers, Newton, Palmer, and Ryan, who have put up a multiple very good statistical seasons but have had limited playoff success.

So that fills out the top 10 and we haven’t even talked about some other pretty good ones like Dalton and Flacco and other young payers who will be trying to move into the top five like Winston, Carr, and Mariota.

Right now, when you’re talking about career achievement, you have to put Cousins somewhere between 10 and 15, maybe a touch lower depending on how you want to rank quarterbacks like Cutler and Alex Smith. He has a very tall mountain to climb to even move into the top 10. Unless Scot McCloughan can get a Super Bowl caliber roster together and keep the group together for a few years, the top five may be an unreachable star for Cousins.

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Report: Kevin O’Connell to be hired as Redskins QB coach, possibly signaling future moves

Report: Kevin O’Connell to be hired as Redskins QB coach, possibly signaling future moves

The Redskins are reported to have a new quarterbacks coach. Normally that is not news that moves the needle much but if the report proves to be accurate the move has some big implications for the Redskins coaching staff. 

First, about the coach. Kevin O’Connell was most recently an offensive assistant with the 49ers. Prior to that he was a quarterback who spent time with the Patriots, who drafted him out of San Diego State in the third round in 2008, Lions, Jets, Dolphins, and Chargers. He only saw the field the Patriots and he attempted just six passes. His addition as the Redskins’ quarterbacks coach was reported by Fox Sports.

Related: Redskins offensive coordinator resume: Matt Cavanaugh

The thing is, the Redskins don’t officially have an opening for a quarterbacks coach. The job is held by Matt Cavanaugh. However, the Redskins do need an offensive coordinator since Sean McVay left last week to become the head coach of the Rams. Moving Cavanaugh, who played quarterback in the NFL for 13 seasons before starting a 23-year career in coaching, to offensive coordinator, seems to be the logical move to make to many. 

If O’Connell’s addition to the staff does indeed become a reality, that would all but confirm that Cavanaugh is getting the promotion. Nothing is official until it’s official but this seems to be the way things are heading. 

Stay tuned to CSNmidatlantic.com for the latest. 

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

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Report: Redskins RB Rob Kelley undergoes knee procedure

Report: Redskins RB Rob Kelley undergoes knee procedure

According to a report from Ben Standig of Breaking Burgundy, Redskins running back Rob Kelley has undergone a knee procedure already this off-season.

Kelley has reportedly already resumed walking following the minor procedure.

The injury, which occured in a Week 16 matchup against Chicago, is not expected to impact Kelley into the 2017 season.

Kelley came out of nowhere an impressed in the pre-season and took over the starting job from Matt Jones in Week 9.

Stay tuned for more updates on Kelley.

MORE REDSKINS: Redskins' Ryan Kerrigan undergoes elbow procedure