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Need to Know: Five possible veteran replacements for Kirk Cousins

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Need to Know: Five possible veteran replacements for Kirk Cousins

Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, February 4, 93 days before the NFL Draft.

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If the Redskins trade Kirk Cousins, who would serve as the backup for Robert Griffin III? Here are five possibilities from among pending veteran free agent QB’s.

1. Tarvaris Jackson, SEA—His experience as a starter (34 games) gives him some added value. It may take some extra money to pry him out of Seattle, where he will collect playoff money and a ring after Sunday’s game.

2. Josh McCown, CHI—He might not be too anxious to leave his current team and he may want to go someplace where he can get a chance to start. But not too many fan bases are going to get energized over their team bringing in a 35-year-old journeyman to start no matter how well he played last year in relief of Jay Cutler.

3. Matt Flynn, GB—Yes he bombed in Oakland but he wasn’t exactly surrounded by the best talent there, either. He struggled in Green Bay when they first brought him in but he ultimately saved their season by beating the Cowboys. And anyone who can beat the Cowboys should be welcome in Washington.

4. Shaun Hill, DET—He’s an old (34) Maryland alum so he knows the area. Might not thrill anyone who isn’t a Terp but he’s started 26 NFL games and has a career completion percentage of almost 62.

5. Rex Grossman, WAS—He would be stepping up a notch from third to second string, making the possibility that he might have to actually come into a game much greater than it has been. But there are worse alternatives out there and Griffin loves having him around.

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Timeline

—It’s been 37 days since the Redskins played a game; it will be about 215 days until they play another one.

—Days until: NFL Combine 15; NFL Free agency starts 35; Offseason workouts start 62; NFL Draft 93

In case you missed it

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Angry Jay Gruden says Redskins 'not even close' to thinking about playoffs

Angry Jay Gruden says Redskins 'not even close' to thinking about playoffs

Angry is one way to describe it. 

Jay Gruden was clearly fuming with his Redskins team after a lackluster loss in Arizona. 

The Washington coach said that his team "underachieved" in the 31-23 loss and Gruden questioned if his team was properly focused early in the game. 

And it wasn't just with the media that Gruden voiced his disgust. The Skins coach let the players have it in the locker room after the game; so loud that his voice could be heard next door in the interview room. 

Generally an easy going guy – especially for an NFL head coach – Gruden's post game comments showed the coach at a level of frustration not often seen. 

Asked about his team's chances for the playoffs, Gruden wouldn't even entertain the notion. The coach said his team would focus on its next game in Philadelphia and that the Skins are "not even close" to thinking about the playoffs. 

MORE REDSKINS: Where do the Redskins go from here?

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Five observations from the Redskins' loss to the Cardinals

Five observations from the Redskins' loss to the Cardinals

GLENDALE, AZ—Here are my five observations on Cardinals 31, Redskins 23:

—Jay Gruden said that the Redskins “underachieved” against the Cardinals today. He was right but he didn’t go far enough. At 6-5-1, the Redskins have underachieved all year. They have left points on the field with red zone and goal to go problems. With the talent they have on offense they already should have double-digit wins instead of fighting to stay above .500.

—I’m not going to forget the defense here. They have given up 31 points two weeks in a row. One of the touchdowns today came after a turnover so the Cardinals had only 10 yards to go but they did have a chance to get away with just a field goal but they couldn’t make a third-down stop. On their first drive the Cardinals converted on third and 11 and third and 12. That set the tone for a day on which Arizona converted 10 of 16 on third down. The D helped carry the team for a while in late September and in October but the unit is fading when it needs to be getting stronger.

—Kirk Cousins probably didn’t cost himself any money in a new contract today but he sure did get off to a bad start. He misfired to a few open receivers when he had time to throw. Some of these plays may have gone down as “drops” since the receiver got both hands on them but they could have been better passes that produced yards after the catch. After he got warmed up he hit on some nice passes, especially a 59-yard bomb to DeSean Jackson early in the second half to set up their first touchdown. But it wasn’t enough to overcome the tough start.

—Back to the defense, the Cardinals came into the game with two viable offensive weapons, RB David Johnson and WR Larry Fitzgerald. The Redskins knew that if they could stop those two the Cardinals would have a tough time scoring. But both made plays, particularly Johnson, who had 175 yards of total offense and had a touchdown rushing and one receiving. Not everyone is Bill Belichick but you have to be able to scheme to take away the team’s most obvious threat.

—The Redskins have lost two straight, the Buccaneers won against the Chargers so for the first time in a few weeks the Redskins are on the outside looking into the NFC playoff picture. That’s not where they want to be and there is a pretty good chance that they can return there next week with a win over the Eagles. But they need to play to their potential.