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Need to Know: Five Redskins who will be in the spotlight vs. the Dolphins

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Need to Know: Five Redskins who will be in the spotlight vs. the Dolphins

Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, September 8, five days before the Washington Redskins open their season against the Miami Dolphins.

Five Redskins who will be in the spotlight vs. the Dolphins

QB Kirk Cousins: When Jay Gruden said, “It’s Kirk’s team” the unspoken thought at the end of it was “as long as he plays well.” Playing well in the opener would buy a lot of capital for him to use if he should struggle down the road. If he stumbles he will be spending some good will that is in short supply.

RB Alfred Morris: If Cousins is going to be successful a strong running game will be his best friend. The vast majority of the rushing yardage will have to come from Morris. He is adjusting to a new scheme and a new line. If he struggles, Cousins’ chances for success against Miami’s tough defense drop dramatically.

RG Brandon Scherff: He will be tasked with controlling Ndamukong Suh, a tall order for any guard and especially tough for a player in his first NFL game. Scherff will get beaten; Suh can win against just about anyone. But if he can maintain his technique and hold his own more often than not he will have gotten past probably his roughest assignment of the year in the very first game.

DE Jason Hatcher: He is as healthy as he has been since he came to Washington. They need a wild card in the pass rush against Ryan Tannehill in case Ryan Kerrigan can’t get going. The Redskins didn’t get the season they were looking for out of Hatcher last year and he needs to get off to a strong start this time around.

FS Dashon Goldson: The veteran acquired by trade from the Bucs was not very impressive in camp. If they Redskins are going to be methodical on offense against Miami the defense has to avoid giving up big plays. A lot of that responsibility falls on Goldson, the last line of defense.

Timeline

Today’s schedule: Player meetings at Redskins Park, no availability

—It’s been 254 days since the Redskins played a game. It will be 5 days until they play the Dolphins at FedEx Field.

Days until: Rams @ Redskins 12; Redskins @ Giants Thursday night 16; Eagles @ Redskins 26

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Need to Know: The top five running backs the Redskins will face in 2017

Need to Know: The top five running backs the Redskins will face in 2017

Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, June 25, 32 days before the Washington Redskins start training camp in Richmond on July 27.

Timeline

The Redskins last played a game 175 days ago; they will open the 2017 season against the Eagles at FedEx Field in 77 days.

Days until:

—Franchise tag contract deadline (7/17) 22
—Preseason opener @ Ravens (8/10) 46
—Roster cut to 53 (9/2) 69

The top five running backs the Redskins will face in 2017

Here are the five running backs on the Redskins’ schedule who gained the most yards in 2017. We looked at the top QBs last week.

Ezekiel Elliott, Cowboys, 1,631 yards in 2016—The NFL’s leading rusher didn’t pop for a big day against the Redskins as a rookie last year. He still did plenty of damage in two games with a combined 180 yards and three touchdowns. We’ll find out in Week 8 just how much the Redskins’ rushing defense has improved.

David Johnson, Cardinals, 1,239 yards—Yeah, him again. He chewed up the Redskins in Arizona last year, picking up 84 yards rushing and another 91 yards receiving. I think I might pick Johnson over Elliott in a draft simply due to Johnson’s versatility.

LeGarrette Blount, Eagles, 1,161 yards—Blount picked up those yards with the Patriots last year and rushed for 18 touchdowns for good measure. He averaged 3.9 yards per carry, 27th among qualifying running backs. It should be noted that the Eagles probably have a better offensive line than the Patriots do. It’s safe to say Blount is one dimensional; none of the top 50 in rushing yards had fewer than his seven receptions.

Mark Ingram, Saints, 1,043 yards—While Ingram had a good year, the Saints apparently weren’t overly impressed. They signed Adrian Peterson as a free agent and they drafted RB Alvin Kamara in the third round. We’ll have to see who is healthy and on the field in Week 11

Melvin Gordon, Chargers, 997 yards—The 2015 first-round pick missed the last three games and most of another one with an injury. When healthy, he was very effective. His stats projected over 16 games come to over 1,300 yards.

Best of the rest: Carlos Hyde of the 49ers just missed the top five with 988 rushing yards last year Besides Kamara, the only running backs drafted in the first three rounds the Redskins will face are Dalvin Cook (Vikings) and Kareem Hunt (Chiefs). It will be interesting to see if new Rams coach Sean McVay can revive Todd Gurley, who followed a 1,100-yard rookie season with a 4.8 per carry average by gaining 885 yards with a paltry 3.2 average in 2016. Marshawn Lynch comes to town with the Raiders after spending a year in retirement; with the Seahawks, he picked up 111, 72, and 132 on the ground against the Redskins. 

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerCSN and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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Kirk Cousins shows off competitive spirit, soft touch - at Jenga (VIDEO)

Kirk Cousins shows off competitive spirit, soft touch - at Jenga (VIDEO)

After NFL minicamps end in mid-June, and before the grind of training camps start in late July, players are free to have a little bit of fun and try to relax. For Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins that evidently means a game of Jenga.

Fun at Kirk's 10 year high school reunion!!!

A post shared by Julie Cousins (@juliehcousins) on

The video comes from Cousins' wife Julie, and the caption explains that the couple were attending the quarterback's 10-year high school reunion. Looks like a fun scene, and the Michigan waterfront looks even better.

ROSTER BATTLES: Left guard | Tight end Nickel cornerback  | Inside linebacker | Running back

For anybody that has watched Cousins on the practice field or listened to him mic'd up during a Redskins game, the competitive outburst is no surprise. Cousins likes to win, period. Even at life-size Jenga during his 10-year high school reunion. 

Obviously, contract talks between Cousins' representatives and the Redskins continue, and likely will until the July 17th franchise tag deadline. Last season, Cousins threw for nearly 5,000 passing yards, completing 67 percent of his passes to go with 25 TDs and 12 INTs. He's allowed to have a little fun here and there.

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