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Need to Know: Five Redskins who have exceeded expectations in 2015

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Need to Know: Five Redskins who have exceeded expectations in 2015

Here is what you need to know on this Friday, October 30, 9 days before the Redskins visit the New England Patriots.

Five who have exceeded expectations

We all think we have things figured out before the season starts and then they actually start playing and we are surprised. Some players we didn’t expect to contribute much have stepped up to play key roles. Here are five who have exceeded expectations.

S/CB Kysheon Jarrett—He was gong to come in and help out on special teams and maybe play a few snaps a game at safety. But when the team was short on cornerbacks in training camp, the fifth-round pick stepped up and volunteered to help out. Now he is the team’s starting slot corner and playing so well that there are legitimate questions over what do to with him when the veteran corners are healthy.

WR Jamison Crowder—He was going to be the punt returner while learning to be a wide receiver. But he is third on the team in both catches (32) and receiving yards (292). If he catches 18 more passes over the remaining nine games he will be the first Redskins rookie to record 50 receptions in a season since Art Monk in 1980.

DE Chris Baker—The Redskins signed Stephen Paea to a healthy free agent contact and that was supposed to push Baker into a reserve role. But Baker has been getting more action from the start of the season; he has 238 snaps in seven games to 104 for Paea in six. And he has made plays, posting 3.5 sacks to tie for the team lead, forcing two fumbles and recovering one.

RB Chris Thompson—Could he stay healthy enough to make the team? And what would he be able to do if he made it? He stayed on the field throughout the offseason and training camp, made the team and has done a solid job as the third-down and passing situations back.

K Dustin Hopkins—There was an uproar when Kai Forbath was released and Hopkins, who had not yet put his instep to a football in an NFL game that counted, was signed. But, though a small sample size, Hopkins has proven to be just as accurate as the kicker he replaced; his only miss cam from over 50 yards, a distance from which Forbath rarely even tried. His kickoffs boom into the end zone with great frequency, but that’s a standard expectation for an NFL kicker these days. His “magic” onside kicks are just a bonus.

Timeline

Today’s schedule: Bye week

Days until: Redskins @ Patriots 9; Saints @ Redskins 16; Redskins @ Panthers 23

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What's cuter than the way Kirk Cousins found out his baby's gender? Nothing

What's cuter than the way Kirk Cousins found out his baby's gender? Nothing

What's the cutest thing you've ever seen in your whole, entire life? Whatever that thing is, be prepared for it to slide down to the second spot, because what you're about to see is absolutely going to move up to No. 1 (and then stay there forever).

Two weeks ago, Kirk Cousins and his wife, Julie, announced that they were expecting. That announcement, which was posted on Julie's Instagram, was really adorable in its own right — Mrs. Cousins shared a photo of the couple's dog, Bentley, who was wearing a sign that read, "Mom & Dad are getting me a human!"

On Friday, though, Kirk put up a video on his Instagram that revealed their future child's gender. What else did that video do, you ask? Well, it only made every future gender reveal irrelevant, since none will ever top what the Cousinses did.

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A post shared by Kirk Cousins (@kirk.cousins) on

OMG. O. M. G. OMG.

The regular season may be months away, but with that toss, Kirk Cousins is already 1-for-1 (yes, the pass was low, but a completion is a completion) with a perfect quarterback rating.

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Vernon Davis 'just can't fathom' the NFL's very strict celebration rules

Vernon Davis 'just can't fathom' the NFL's very strict celebration rules

As he proudly demonstrated in a 27-20 win against the Eagles last October, Vernon Davis has a silky jumpshot. Unfortunately, in today's NFL, celebrating by shooting a football like Davis did in the end zone that fall Sunday is prohibited.

The tight end, who was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct and eventually fined more than $12,000 for the move, didn't really get the point of the rule then, and he still doesn't understand it now. And as he told Kalyn Kahler of MMQB, he think it's time for the league to back off their strict stance on celebrations.

"I would just tell guys that when it comes to celebrations, anything is allowed, as long as it isn’t inappropriate," Davis said when asked how he'd change the celebration rules. "Anything that we know is wrong, we shouldn’t do. I think that is the key."

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In Davis' case, he was penalized because of an odd technicality. The NFL doesn't want players using the ball as a prop — which No. 85 did on his jumper — but yet, they allow guys to spike and spin the ball without retribution. That gray area doesn't sit well with him.

"It doesn’t make sense to me at all," he said. "It should be really simple, we should know that we can’t use the ball as a prop for anything. So for them to allow spiking and not allow shooting, I just can’t fathom that."

The 33-year-old hopes that change is near, and he may get it, too, as the competition committee will reevaluate what is and isn't allowed at the upcoming league meetings. But if he and everyone else clamoring for less restrictions are rebuffed, Davis does have a workaround so that when he scores next, he won't get in trouble. 

"I shoot the shot, but without the ball," Davis said. "That’s my go-to now. As long as I don’t have the ball, I’m safe."

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