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Need to Know: Five things on RG3's offseason to-do list

Need to Know: Five things on RG3's offseason to-do list

Here is what you need to know on this Friday, February 7, 12 days before the NFL Combine.

Nickel coverage

According to Pierre Garçon, Robert Griffin III has set up a number of players-only offseason passing camps already. Here are five more things that are on his to-do list between now and the start of the season.

Take care of the knee—Griffin is now about 13 months removed from the surgical repairs to his right knee. While the healing is nearly complete he needs to be sure that he is 100 percent comfortable running and cutting on it and that it is strong enough minimize the chances of reinjuring it.

Get onto the same page with Jay Gruden—The fates of Griffin and Gruden are inexorably tied to each other. Neither one can succeed without the other.

Think before speaking to the media—Maybe he should speak to the media less but the starting QB is required to have media availability during OTAs, minicamp, and training camp. It only makes sense to set up a press conference so everyone isn’t crowded around his locker or in a scrum as he comes off the practice field. As for the other stuff, well, I don’t see there being much media demand for magazine cover stories or one-hour documentaries.

Learn to slide—Denard Span of the Nationals has offered to teach Griffin how to slide to avoid injury. He’s practically pleaded with Griffin to take him up on it. Whether it’s from Span or elsewhere or if he slides or uses some other method to protect himself when large men seeking to do him harm are in close proximity he needs to do it.

Read and react—It’s telling that after Griffin was benched after taking 25 sacks in five games, Kirk Cousins was sacked just four times in three games playing behind the same offensive line. Griffin needs to get rid of the ball quicker and that means trusting what his eyes tell him and reacting instead of thinking.

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Here’s the thing
Reserve running backs are supposed to be key contributors on special teams. Jawan Jamison was moved up from the practice squad for the last three games of the season and he was on the game day active list all three games. But he didn’t play a single play on special teams. If he can’t do that or is unwilling to do that, why is he on the roster?
Timeline

—It’s been 40 days since the Redskins played a game; it will be about 212 days until they play another one.

—Days until: NFL Combine 12; NFL Free agency starts 32; Offseason workouts start 59; NFL Draft 90

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Final Countdown: Punch to the gut floors Redskins in Arizona on 6th worst play of 2016

Final Countdown: Punch to the gut floors Redskins in Arizona on 6th worst play of 2016

As should be expected when a team goes 8-7-1, there were plenty of good moments and a lot of frustrating times during the Redskins’ 2016 season. Over the next couple of weeks, Redskins Insiders Rich Tandler and JP Finlay will take detailed looks at the 10 best plays of 2016 and, to present a more complete picture of the season, the 10 worst.

No. 6 worst play of 2016

Redskins at Cardinals Week 13

3:47 left in Q4, Cardinals ball at their own 34, 4th and 1, Cardinals leading 24-23

David Johnson up the middle to ARZ 48 for 14 yards (Josh Norman).

Related: A team to watch in the Cousins situation

Tandler: What's worse than a punch in the gut? A gut punch you don't see coming. The Redskins had pulled to within a point with plenty of time left to get a winning score—if the defense could get a stop. When Bruce Arians sent out his offense on fourth and one, the Redskins had to watch for Carson Palmer to try to draw them offside. In fact, Joe Barry told the Redskins not to expect a snap and to be sure not the jump. But they did snap the ball and Johnson ran for the easiest 14 yards up the gut you’ll ever see. The air was out of the Redskins’ comeback balloon and Palmer all but put it away a few plays later with a 42-yard TD pass to J.J. Nelson.

More Redskins: Will the first round fall into place?

Finlay: This is not the first 4th Down conversion on our list of bad plays, but perhaps the most important one. Washington desperately needed this stop, and the defense thought they had it on the 3rd down play prior. Only Arians did not flinch about going for it, much to Barry's surprise, and the 'Skins D had no shot at Johnson. This play illustrated the weakness of Washington's defensive front perhaps better than any other run all season.

10 best plays countdown

10 worst plays countdown

RELATED: 2017 NFL MOCK DRAFT 1.0

Want more Redskins? Check out @JPFinlayCSN and @Rich_TandlerCSN 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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With Matt Ryan in the Super Bowl, Kirk Cousins will make Pro Bowl, per report

With Matt Ryan in the Super Bowl, Kirk Cousins will make Pro Bowl, per report

Kirk Cousins' price tag just moved even higher with the news that he will replace Matt Ryan in the Pro Bowl. ESPN's John Keim reported the roster move first.

Ryan's Atlanta Falcons advanced to the Super Bowl on Sunday with a 44-21 dismantling of the Green Bay Packers. That victory means Ryan will not be available for the Pro Bowl, held this Sunday in Orlando. Cousins got his spot as an alternate.

Cousins gets the spot deservedly. This season he passed for 4,917 yards, completing 67 percent of his passes and throwing 25 TDs to 12 INTs. In two seasons since being named starter for the Redskins, Cousins has thrown for more than 9,000 yards. 

The Pro Bowl nod for Cousins will only make the Redskins pending contract talks that much tougher. The quarterback played in 2016 under the franchise tag, which netted him nearly $20 million. This season Washington could again place Cousins on the franchise tag, with a price tag around $24 million. Both sides can still work for a long-term deal, though the value of that contract would likely soar past $100 million and closer to $120 million.

Some questions exist within the Redskins organization if that is too much money devoted to one player, even if it is a Pro Bowl quarterback.

It's fitting that Cousins is subbing in for Ryan, who has found much success playing under Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan. All signs points to Shanahan taking over as the 49ers head coach after the Super Bowl, and a report emerged that San Francisco would make a strong push to obtain Cousins, either in free agency or via trade. 

RELATED: 2017 NFL MOCK DRAFT 1.0

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!