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Need to Know: Cofield wants to see 'turbo' Meriweather

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Need to Know: Cofield wants to see 'turbo' Meriweather

Here is what you need to know on this Friday, September 13, two days before the Redskins play the Packers at Lambeau Field.

Nickel coverage

1. Yesterday I looked at how some quarterbacks who suffered late-season ACL injuries fared early in their comebacks. It is interesting to note that running back Adrian Peterson took a while to get rolling in his comeback from a Christmas Eve 2011 ACL tear. He had just one 100-yard performance in the first six games of the season. But in their seventh game go went for 153 against the Cardinals and had just one sub-100 yard game the rest of the way.

2. A lot of TV viewers saw Robert Griffin III and the Redskins struggle through their season opener against the Eagles. The telecast set a record for an first-week Monday night game on ESPN with an 11.9 rating

3. Here’s what Barry Cofield had to say about Brandon Meriweather, who should be able to play for the first time this year on Sunday.

That game he played last year, it was like he had a star in Mario Brothers. He was running through everything, he was invincible. He was in turbo speed and we were all regular people. So if he can give us half of that, that'll be great. He's going to be hungry, he's a smart guy, he's been in meetings the whole time. If he can get out there and get healthy and get his confidence back I think he'll help make us a better defense.

4. DeAngelo Hall was fined $20,000 for his horse collar tackle of DeSean Jackson on Monday. That’s a pretty good chunk of money but it pales in comparison to the $65,750 he was fined last year for a horse collar ($20,000), a late hit ($5,750), and getting in a dispute with a referee ($30,000). However, his 2013 fine is coming out of a significantly slimmer paycheck. Last year Hall’s salary was $7 million but after being released in a cap move he came back for about $2.25 million. He’ll still be able to manage to get by but I’m sure his accountant is recommending that he try to avoid getting hit for more fines as the year goes on.

5. How much did the early hole the Redskins got into against the Eagles affect their game plan? A lot, according to Kyle Shanahan:

No, we really never got to do our game plan, to tell you the truth. We had some stuff in there early, but it wasn’t just that that we didn’t get to do, we didn’t get to do about 90 percent of our game plan. It turned into a two-minute drill pretty fast. In the first half, we wanted to set some things up, which is kind of what we always do in our offense, but when you can’t get a first down, we really weren’t able to set anything up, and we didn’t want to just come out and just run it to run it.


Stat of the day
—The Packers are a homegrown operation. Of the 53 players on their roster, 50 have never played a down for another NFL team. Of those players, 33 were drafted by the Packers and they signed nine as undrafted free agents.
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Timeline

—Redskins LB Darryl Tapp was born on this day in 1984

—Days until: Redskins @ Packers 2; Lions @ Redskins 9; Redskins @ Raiders 16

—Today’s schedule: Practice 11:50; Mike Shanahan press conference and player availability after practice (approx. 1:30)

Young knows Redskins must get running game going

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You probably don't realize how effective Kirk Cousins is as a runner

You probably don't realize how effective Kirk Cousins is as a runner

Back at the 2012 NFL Combine, Kirk Cousins ran his 40-yard dash in 4.84 seconds.

Now, as far as QB 40-yard dashes go, that's not a bad number at all, but it's definitely not blazing, either. Defensive lineman Fletcher Cox, for example, ran his in 4.77 seconds that same year (while weighing 84 pounds heavier than the Michigan State signal caller), and 13 out of the 20 passers invited to the event topped Cousins' time.

That, plus the facts that Cousins isn't physically imposing and he clearly prefers to operate within the safe confines of the pocket, would lead you to believe that he's not much of a threat as a runner. But a stat — and this stat is far from an advanced one or a hidden one — indicates otherwise.

MORE: PLAYING OVER/UNDER ON SOME KEY KIRK COUSINS STATS

Over the last two seasons, Cousins has the third-most rushing touchdowns amongst quarterbacks. Cam Newton has 15 (not surprising), Tyrod Taylor checks in with 10 (also not surprising), and then there's Cousins, who rushed for nine scores in 2015 and 2016, which is good enough for a bronze medal on this particular podium (that's quite surprising).

Washington's starter has actually found the end zone with his legs more than peers like Andy Dalton (7), Alex Smith (7) and Aaron Rodgers (5) since taking over the primary gig in D.C., and all of those guys have reputations as runners that exceed Cousins'.

In fact, no one on the Burgundy and Gold has crossed the goal line as a ball-carrier more than the 28-year-old in the past 32 contests; Rob Kelley and Matt Jones are both three short of the man who lines up in front of them on Sundays.

Of course, Cousins isn't going to flatten defenders like Newton does, and he won't run around them like Taylor does. He also won't rip off big-gainers down the sideline when opposing team turns their back on him in man coverage.

But as the following highlights show, he hasn't just cashed in on one-yard sneaks the last couple of seasons, either:

All three of those plays were designed runs, and Cousins, while not exactly resembling Madden 2004 Michael Vickexecuted them perfectly. He doesn't really rack up yards — the numbers vary depending on which site you use, but the consensus is he's picked up about 150 total since 2015 — but Jay Gruden and Co. have developed a tremendous feel of when to use Cousins' feet instead of his arm in the red zone.

Sure, he's not going to show up on your Twitter timeline juking out a corner, and he won't scamper for much more than 10 yards at a time. But in a few games in 2017, Kirk Cousins is going to finish a drive with an impressive touchdown run instead of a throw, and that might shock you — even though it really shouldn't.

RELATED: RANKING THE REDSKINS ROSTER FROM BOTTOM TO TOP

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Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—Cousins talk, back end of D

Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—Cousins talk, back end of D

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, July 22, five days before the Washington Redskins start training camp in Richmond on July 27.

Timeline

The Redskins last played a game 202 days ago; they will open the 2017 season against the Eagles at FedEx Field in 50 days.

Days until:

—Preseason opener @ Ravens (8/10) 19
—Preseason vs. Packers at FedEx Field (8/19) 28
—Roster cut to 53 (9/2) 42

The Redskins week that was

A look at some of the most popular posts and hottest topics from the past week on www.CSNmidatlantic.com and on www.RealRedskins.com.

What would a fair Redskins contract offer to Kirk Cousins look like?  As it turns out, the offer the Redskins made fell below “fair” territory. But perhaps they recognized that a deal never was going to get done, not this year anyway. Cousins is content to see things unfold in 2017 and decide on a longer-term destination next year. So, the team’s offer was not high enough but there really wasn’t an offer that was going to be sufficient.

Cousins explains why he's not offended by Redskins statement—Bruce Allen raised plenty of eyebrows by detailing some of the team’s contract offer in a statement. Clearly the intent of the statement, which revealed some details that weren’t very impressive under closer inspection, was designed to turn public opinion in their favor. Cousins, appearing on the radio the next day, didn’t have a problem with it and said that Allen had told him that he would do it. As expected, plenty of fans and media types decided to be outraged in his place.

Redskins have plenty of 2018 cap room for possible Kirk Cousins offer—With the focus turning to 2018, the fact that the team will have about $60 million in cap space becomes relevant. It’s enough to give him the $35 million franchise tag and perhaps enough to match a front-loaded offer sheet if the Redskins use the transition tag. But the cautionary word is that they have at least a dozen starters and key contributors who also are set to be free agents next year. They will have to find money for them or their replacements somewhere.

Redskins depth chart preview--Safety—Cousins talk dominated the week but other topics did draw plenty of interest. The back end of the defense, with Su’a Cravens converting from linebacker and free agent D. J. Swearinger moving from being mostly a strong safety to playing free, will be under the microscope this year. Whether the defense gets better may hinge on the safety position. 

11 predictions for the 2017 Redskins offense—Does Trent Williams make the All-Pro team? How many yards for Rob Kelley? One prediction for each projected offensive starter here including how many non-receiving touchdowns for Jamison Crowder.

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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