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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.

Tandler on Twitter Instagram

Pierre Garcon getting in some extra work .#Redskins

A video posted by Rich (@richtandler) on


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NFC East Update - Where everybody is losing except the Cowboys

NFC East Update - Where everybody is losing except the Cowboys

The NFC East was a beast for a while, but in recent weeks, the division is fading. All the teams outside of Dallas lost this weekend, and losing streaks are popping up throughout the I-95 Corridor. Here's the NFC East update:

  1. The Minnesota Vikings gave the Dallas Cowboys all they could handle last Thursday night, and yet, the Cowboys won 17-15. Dak Prescott was not impressive in Minneapolis, but Ezekiel Elliott was and the Cowboys defense did just enough to slow the Vikings terrible offense. At 11-1, Dallas has clinched a playoff berth, and with a date in New York this Sunday night, Jerry Jones' crew has a chance to avenge their only loss of the year, which came in Week 1 to the Giants.
  2. It seemed expectations met reality for the New York Giants last Sunday in Pittsburgh. Ben McAdoo's team had won six games in a row, but largely, faced poor competition. In their first tough test since the leaves started falling, Eli Manning's offense could not get going and the Giants fell to 8-4, still in possession of the first NFC Wild Card spot. Even on their win streak, the Giants didn't pass many eye tests. Beat Dallas on Sunday night and all that changes.
  3. Two weeks ago the Washington Redskins were one of the hottest teams in the NFL. Winners of two straight and with a surging Kirk Cousins, the Redskins marched to Dallas on Thanksgiving and gave the Cowboys a real test. Despite the loss, Washington still held its spot with the second NFC Wild Card. After a deflating loss in Arizona, now the 'Skins are on the outside looking in of the playoffs. Good news for Jay Gruden and company: The team can get right back in the thick of things this week in Philly, and the remaining four-game schedule looks advantageous. 
  4. While the Redskins have lost two in a row and are in danger of falling out of the playoff race, the Philadelphia Eagles have lost three in a row and look to be falling apart. Rookie QB Carson Wentz is devoid of offensive weapons to work with and the Eagles have been outscored 85-42 in their last three games. Philly can get their first NFC East win this week with the 'Skins visiting, but it will take a different effort than they've shown in the last month.

Want more Redskins? Check out @JPFinlayCSN for live updates or click here for the #RedskinsTalk Podcast on iTunes, here for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!

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New #RedskinsTalk Podcast - How freaked out should Redskins fans be after Arizona loss?

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New #RedskinsTalk Podcast - How freaked out should Redskins fans be after Arizona loss?

JP Finlay and Rich Tandler address the most important question for Redskins fans after two straight losses - is it time to freak out?

Click here for the #RedskinsTalk Podcast on iTunes, here for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!