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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: Last look at Redskins vs. Raiders

Need to Know: Last look at Redskins vs. Raiders

Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, September 26, six days before the Washington Redskins play Chiefs in Kansas City.

Timeline

Today’s schedule: No media availability

Days until:

—Monday night Redskins @ Eagles (10/23) 27
—Cowboys @ Redskins (10/29) 33

Last look at Redskins vs. Raiders

—I could fill up this entire post with numbers that demonstrate just how dominant the Redskins defense was on Sunday. Here’s one that impressed me—with the exception of two series that started with turnovers deep in Washington territory, the Raiders ran one play on the Redskins’ side of the field. Early in the second quarter, Derek Carr threw a short pass that Marshawn Lynch turned into an eight-yard gain to the Washington 48. On the next play, Kendall Fuller picked off Carr’s pass. That was it until Jamison Crowder muffed a punt, giving Oakland the ball at the Washington 21 with 47 seconds left in the third quarter.

Kirk Cousins passed for over 350 yards with three or more touchdowns and no interceptions for the fourth time as a Redskin. It is the first time Washington quarterback to do that more than once; Joe Theismann did it in 1982 and 1983. Colt McCoy and Mark Rypien did it once each. Cousins is the only one of the group to complete over 80 percent of his passes in such a game; he was 25 of 30, 83.3 percent.

RELATED: UPDATED WEEK 3 NFL POWER RANKINGS

—Again, there are plenty of numbers but what set this game apart was the confidence and attitude on display, particularly on defense. The images that stick in my mind are plays like D.J. Swearinger leveling Marshawn Lynch, Preston Smith just dismissing a Lynch stiff arm to get the stop on third and two, Montae Nicholson getting a textbook legal hit on Michael Crabtree and Zach Brown sending ball carriers to the ground with a vengeance.

—Some are wondering if Mack Brown should be the main backup at running back when Rob Kelley returns from his rib injury, which could be this week. Samaje Perine seemed to miss some openings and at times he seemed to go down with a one-arm tackle. And he fumbled the ball away. But on Sunday night Jay Gruden said that once Kelley is back, Perine will be the backup and Brown is likely to return to the game-day inactive list.

—Let this sink in for a minute—prior to last night’s Cowboys-Cardinals game, the Redskins were fifth in the NFL in rushing attempts (90) and sixth in rushing yards (409). They are on pace to have 480 rushing attempts for 2,180 yards. Last year they ran it 379 times for 1,696 yards.

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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2017 NFL Power Rankings: Week 3 was awfully wacky, wasn't it?

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2017 NFL Power Rankings: Week 3 was awfully wacky, wasn't it?

After Week 2, it looked like the NFL was being divided into three tiers: The bottom feeders, the inconsistent squads and the leaders.

After Week 3, though, those tiers have largely fallen apart.

CLICK HERE FOR CSN'S UPDATED NFL POWER RANKINGS

Blowouts came out of nowhere. Favorites lost to underdogs. And Joe Flacco looked good! (OK, only the first two happened).

After a classically wacky week in the league, how have the power rankings shifted? Click the above or below link to find out.

CLICK HERE FOR CSN'S UPDATED NFL POWER RANKINGS