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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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Jordan Reed one of four Redskins to begin training camp on PUP list

Jordan Reed one of four Redskins to begin training camp on PUP list

RICHMOND - Jordan Reed will start Redskins training camp on the Physically Unable to Perform list. 

The team's PR informed the media that Reed is experiencing pain and soreness in one of his big toes. The move to PUP was characterized as precautionary and they want to ensure that issues don't linger into the regular season. 

DeAngelo Hall, Houston Bates, and practice squadder Kendal Thompson will join Reed on the PUP list. 

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For Reed, an integral part of the Redskins offense, there is a long history of injuries. In 2016, he missed time with a separated shoulder and a concussion.

Before Redskins fans freak out, remember Reed took part in minicamp and looked dominant. The PUP list also allows the Redskins to activate Reed once he's capable of practicing. 

Reed did not take part in voluntary OTAs with the Redskins in May, but was a full participant with the team at June's minicamp. 

Asked about injured players taking part in practice during Wednesday's press conference, head coach Jay Gruden opened up:

I think the injured guys are injured guys. We’re never going to change how we treat them. It’s the trainers’ job to tell us when they can go. I’m not going to keep a guy out of practice just because I think he might be injured. It’s up to the trainers and up to that player to let me know whether they can go or not. But like you said, we do have a luxury of having 88 or 87 healthy bodies where we can practice and function without somebody who is injured. That’s the trainers’ job​.

Expect much more on this development.

UPDATE:

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Expectations won't change for Kirk Cousins, regardless of contract status

Expectations won't change for Kirk Cousins, regardless of contract status

RICHMOND - Jay Gruden expects the same effort and production from Kirk Cousins, regardless of the now two-year long contract saga between the quarterback and the Redskins.

"The thing about Kirk is you’re never worried about his preparation. It’s not going to vary from day in to day out," the coach said. "He’s not going to come in and be a different guy every day. He’s the same guy every day. [He’s] a great competitor, wants to get better."

Talks between Cousins' represenatives and the Redskins seemed more congenial this offseason, though the result remained the same. Cousins will be paid $24 million this year on the franchise tag, after making $20 million in 2016 on the same tag. 

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Redskins team president Bruce Allen explained in a statment that his organization made an offer to Cousins that included $53 million guaranteed. Considering the funny money nature of NFL deals, the offer really only guaranteed another season at about $28 million for Cousins before a series of advantageous terms for the franchise. The deal had no chance of completion considering Cousins' leverage.

Still, Gruden thinks his quarterback will deliver. 

"He has a lot of room for improvement and he wants to be coached and it’s fun to coach him."

If Gruden sounds confident in Cousins' ability to compartmentalize, he should. The quarterback did just that last season, passing for nearly 5,000 yards with 25 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. 

The Redskins, and Cousins, struggled in the red zone in 2016, and that's something Gruden wants to see improved. 

"The contract status will take care of itself eventually, hopefully, but right now it is what it is and we’re happy to have him for 2017."

Long-term deal, or not, it's time for Gruden to coach and Cousins to quarterback.

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