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Need to Know: Extra duty for Cousins

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Need to Know: Extra duty for Cousins

RICHMOND—Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, August 6, two days before the Redskins open their preseason against the Titans.

Cousins will pull extra duty in preseason

Kirk Cousins is in an odd spot. Since Robert Griffin III is only a partial participant in training camp practices, Cousins is the No. 1 quarterback during a good chunk of practice including the 11 on 11 drills. And, since Griffin won’t pay in any preseason games, Cousins will fill the first-team duties in those games.

But Cousins is, in reality, the second-team QB. It seems likely that Griffin will be back for the season opener or early in the season. And second-team QB’s play an important role in the offseason. They need to provide a solid level of play after the starter leaves so that the team can properly evaluate the players who are fighting for a job.

So, Cousins will work some extra duty in the preseason starting with the Monday night game against the Steelers. Mike Shanahan explained the situation.

“It is a unique situation with Kirk, but it’s unique throughout the whole preseason, like we talked about,” he said. “We’ve got a game plan, getting these guys ready. Kirk will play more in the second and third game than a normal starter would. We’re going to give him a lot of reps, not necessarily as much probably in this first game.”

Shanahan said that the starter usually goes for about 10-15 plays in the first game so that is what Cousins will work on Thursday in Tennessee. The next game the starter usually goes all of the first quarter and maybe a series or two into the second. So at FedEx Field against the Steelers look for Cousins to go all of the first half.

Game three means a half of work for the starter so Cousins could go as long as three quarters against the Bills. Look for Rex Grossman and Pat White to take all the snaps in the preseason finale as Cousins joins RG3 as a spectator in Tampa.

If all goes well, Cousins will return to his spot on the bench while Griffin takes the reigns against the Eagles on Sept. 9

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Today’s schedule (all practices open to the public at the Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Center)

10:00—Walkthrough practice, players available to media coming off the field

After walkthrough (approx. 11:30)—Player press conference TBA

3:20—Full practice, players available to media coming off the field

5:30 (approx.)—Mike Shanahan news conference

Moss serves as Robinson’s mentor

In case you missed it

Days until: Redskins @ Titans preseason opener 2; Preseason game 3 vs. Bills 18; Redskins vs. Eagles 34

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Redskins coaching staff believes backups on O-line will be 'ready to roll'

Redskins coaching staff believes backups on O-line will be 'ready to roll'

All signs point to the Redskins starting Arie Kouandjio at left guard this weekend against the Eagles, and the coaching staff knows it's a big chance for the second-year man.

Incumbent starter Shawn Lauvao injured his groin last week against the Cardinals, and has not practiced all week. Assuming he doesn't play, this would mark Kouandjio's second start this season. He also got the start against the Browns in Week 4.

Washington coach Jay Gruden did not speak glowingly of Kouandjio's play against Cleveland, but it wasn't a negative review, either.

"He’s played one game, he played OK," the coach said. "He has another great opportunity for him. He’s waited his turn, done what’s asked of him. Practiced hard, played hard, and it’s a great opportunity.”

With center Spencer Long currently in concussion protocol and backup John Sullivan started to go in the middle of the Redskins offensive line, the group will have a number of new faces against the Eagles. The right side of the line, with guard Brandon Scherff and tackle Morgan Moses, will be the same as its been all year, though both of those players are nursing ankle injuries. 

"We have confidence in the guys that if some of those guys that are backups need to step up and be ready to roll," offensive coordinator Sean McVay said. 

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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One stat that should make DeSean Jackson very dangerous against Eagles

One stat that should make DeSean Jackson very dangerous against Eagles

The Eagles defense is on a big-play streak, but not one that defensive coordinators will like very much, and it could be very good news for the Redskins and DeSean Jackson. 

At this stage of his career, Jackson is a well-known deep threat. While much of the 2016 season has been disappointing for Jackson, in back-to-back weeks, the vertical passing attack has worked. In Arizona last Sunday, Jackson only caught one pass, but it went for 59 yards. On Thanksgiving in Dallas, Jackson hauled in a 67-yard touchdown pass from Kirk Cousins as part of his season-high 118 receiving yards.

"What he brings to this football team, he brings something that not a lot of people can bring, and that’s obviously the speed and the big play ability," 'Skins head coach Jay Gruden said of Jackson.

The last two games moved Jackson's yards-per-catch average back in normal range with the rest of his career at 16.5. Halfway through this season, Jackson was averaging below 14 YPC, which would have been by far the worst of his career.

"A lot of people think that we haven’t utilized his speed quite like we should, but I think he has had a major impact on this football team," Gruden said. "His deep threat has an impact on the defense. It opens up areas for Jordan Reed and Jamison Crowder and the backs sometimes. He’s been a major influence for this football team in a good way."

Beyond just the big plays, the Eagles defense has given up 645 passing yards in their last two games. Cousins has historically played well in Philadelphia, and should be in good position to do the same this weekend.

And based on the Eagles' past six games, expect Jackson to have another big game at Lincoln Financial Field. 

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!