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Need to Know: Drilling down on Redskins practices

Need to Know: Drilling down on Redskins practices

RICHMOND—Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, August 6, five days before the Washington Redskins open their preseason in Atlanta against the Falcons.

Timeline

Today's schedule: Off day, no practice schedules

—The Redskins last played a game 209 days ago. It will be 37 days until they host the Steelers in their 2016 season opener.

Days until: Preseason vs. Jets @FedEx Field 13; Final roster cut 28; Cowboys @ Redskins 43

Drilling down on Redskins practices

I cover a lot during the live practice blogs that I do every day. But the sheer volume means that I don’t get a chance to go into much in depth. So every few days I like to go back, pull out a few entries from the live practice blog and go into a little more depth.
Cousins practicing throwing on the run. Some of his passes are better than others. Still a skill he needs to work on.
Per Football Outsiders he was one of the worst quarterbacks in the NFL when he was under pressure last year. Apparently the coaches observed this as well and Cousins has been working on throwing on the move. If he’s going to take the next step he needs to be able to make a play when things break down. It’s hard to see if he has evolved in his ability to do that until he gets in live game situations but they are doing what the can for right now.
Both Rashad Ross and Ryan Grant made nice catches of Cousins fastballs in 11 on 11 work.
Generally speaking, Ross has great speed but questionable hands. Grant is reliable catching the ball but he’s slow by NFL standards. If you could combine the two, Ryan Ross would be a Pro Bowl receiver.
Special situations are the theme for this phase of practice. After a two-minute drill they went with plays from deep in their own territory. On the first play of that one Cousins just overthrew Jackson on a bomb after the receiver got a step on Breeland.
Even though the play wasn’t successful I liked the play call. You need to use a talent like Jackson to your advantage in these situations. A 50-yard bomb from that field position can really flip momentum in addition to field position. And if it doesn’t work you have to have confidence that you can get 10 yards on two tries.
WR Maurice Harris just ran past Jay Gruden, who was playing an immobile defender, cut across the middle and flat dropped a pass right in his hands. No eye in the sky needed to evaluate that one, right in front of the head coach.
The wide receiver picture is very clear. There are six roster spots and there are five players with NFL playing experience and the team’s first-round draft pick. Jackson, Garçon, Doctson, Crowder, Ross, and Grant are going to make the roster. Then there are seven others who are undrafted rookies. They are all in the same boat, trying to hang on to get a practice squad spot in Washington or perhaps a job with another NFL team. That is, if they perform well enough in practice to earn snaps in preseason games and impress there as well. It’s tough road but it’s their dream.

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Pierre Garcon getting in some extra work .#Redskins

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Need to Know: Washington Redskins free agency needs—Offense

Need to Know: Washington Redskins free agency needs—Offense

Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, February 23, 14 days before the March 9 start of NFL free agency.  

Timeline

Days until:

—NFL Franchise tag deadline (3/1) 6
—NFL Combine (3/2) 7
—Redskins offseason workouts start (4/17) 53
—NFL Draft (4/27) 63
—First Sunday of 2017 season (9/10) 199

Free agent moves—Offense

Free agency starts two weeks from today. The Redskins have plenty of needs, both big and small. Let’s take a look around and see what offensive positions they might be looking to bolster when things get going. I’ll follow up with the defense in the next few days.

Quarterback—It could be a yawner at this position or there could be plenty of drama. If Kirk Cousins gets franchise tagged or defies current expectations and signs a long-term deal, the depth chart will remain the same. If he is gone via a trade, things could be shaken up. While they may draft a QB in late April they could go for a mid-priced veteran as insurance.

RELATED: NFL Mock Draft Version 3.0

Running back—The Redskins have a depth chart loaded with young, unproven talent at this position. If they want a veteran presence in the meeting room they could look at someone like Robert Turbin (McCloughan had a hand in drafting him in Seattle in 2012) or maybe Knile Davis.

Wide receiver—Things will get very interesting if the word on the street comes to pass and both Pierre Garçon and DeSean Jackson are gone. They have a presumably healthy Josh Doctson in line to replace one but they would need a veteran. Maybe Kenny Stills or Kenny Britt, both young and productive, could be under consideration. If one of the veterans stays they likely will get depth in the draft.

More Redskins: #RedskinsTalk podcast: Is Kirk too nice for his own good?

Tight end—Vernon Davis seems likely to be back. If he’s not, the Redskins probably would rather have an alternative to Niles Paul as Jordan Reed’s primary backup. The probably won’t swim in the deep end of the pool with Martellus Bennett and Jared Cook. But maybe they will look at Jermaine Gresham, who made the Pro Bowl twice in Cincinnati while Jay Gruden was the Bengals’ offensive coordinator.

Offensive line—Yesterday, JP and I discussed what they might do at left guard if they want to upgrade from Shawn Lauvao. Perhaps they could go for Kevin Zeitler, another Bengal who played under Gruden. But he will command a contract in the $8-$10 million range and with Brandon Scherff coming up for an extension next year that might be too much to spend at the guard position. Look for the Redskins to take an eventual Lauvao replacement in the draft.

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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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If Redskins trade Kirk Cousins to 49ers, 5 prospects to consider with No. 2 pick

If Redskins trade Kirk Cousins to 49ers, 5 prospects to consider with No. 2 pick

It still seems like a long-shot the Redskins trade Kirk Cousins, but if there is one persistent rumor, it's that the San Francisco 49ers want the Washington passer. The story is too familiar at this point: New Niners coach Kyle Shanahan was in D.C. when Cousins was drafted and wants the quarterback to come run his offense in San Francisco. With the second overall pick, the 49ers have a tremendous asset they can dangle in trade talks.

<<<CLICK HERE TO SEE 5 PROSPECTS FOR THE REDSKINS AT NO. 2 PICK>>>

Whether or not any of this rumor is true, it sure makes for engrossing speculation. With the NFL Draft Combine next week in Indianapolis, NFL Network analyst Daniel Jeremiah said he wouldn't be shocked to see the trade go down.

That's the backdrop. Beyond the debate of the merits of trading an established QB like Cousins, which is a very serious debate, there's also the notion of what player the 'Skins would select with the second overall pick.  

MORE REDSKINS: 2017 top heavy Cap could be a problem

It's worth examining the impact players available to Washington with the second selection in the 2017 NFL Draft, and the options are varied, including perhaps a new QB. Check it out. 

<<<LOOKING AT REDSKINS DRAFT PROSPECTS>>>

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