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Need to Know: Fletcher's streak will be his legacy

Need to Know: Fletcher's streak will be his legacy

Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, December 19, three days before the Washington Redskins host the Dallas Cowboys.

Nickel Coverage

Three news conferences and two conference calls at Redskins Park on Wednesday makes for a perfect Nickel Coverage package. Here’s one quote from each of them.

1. Mike Shanahan said that he was amazed at how London Fletcher came back after suffering an injury in a game earlier this season. ““Well, it’s really hard to say because normally you’re not up close to see an ankle like that. But it was so awkward, how he got hit that I said, ‘There’s no way.’ I said, ‘I just saw something happen that hasn’t happened in a lot of years. This is going to knock him out of the game.’ Then he comes Wednesday and he’s walking through.”

2. The consecutive games played streak, which will end at 256 assuming he plays the remaining two games will be what Fletcher is most remembered for. “Obviously, that’s a part of my legacy. That’s the thing that’s talked about most because when you look at it, it’s hard for me to really grasp it because I’m still in the midst of it. Really the way I’ve approached it is to go about my business, being accountable and not wanting to let my teammates down and the coaching staff.”

3. Kirk Cousins said that while he did his best to be prepared to play every game when he was the backup quarterback, those first-team reps sure do help. “Well, it’s very helpful to get reps. I find that I walk off the practice field today and last week and have a much greater confidence as to my preparedness for that coming game because of the reps I’m able to get during practice.”

4. We asked Dallas coach Jason Garrett about his team trying to put that ugly loss to the Packers behind them. He said that putting the good and the bad that comes in the game is an ongoing process. “We have that a lot in our game — you’ve got to get rid of the last play, get rid of the last series, forget what happened in the first quarter, let’s get on to the second quarter — and you certainly have to do that from game to game over the course of the season. It’s about forgetting about the last play that was successful or the last game that was successful and similarly if it didn’t get well for you, and we have to do that each and every week as does everybody around the league and we certainly have to do it this week and get on to the focus, which is the Washington Redskins.”

5. DeMarcus Ware, one of the best pass rushers of his generation, said that you don’t need a bunch of moves to be effective. “Let’s say you have two moves; every move has got to have a counter move. So let’s say you have four moves, and I think that’s all you need to be effective in this league, and then now, OK, you make it simple for yourself and figuring out how the tackles are going to attack you every single week and how your moves are going to work, because you don’t want to change up every single week because then you get inconsistent. So you’ve got to make it simple on yourself, be able to play aggressive each and every play and be able to read your keys.”

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Stat of the day

—The Redskins have five games where a players has caught passes for 100 yards or more. Four of those games are by Pierre Garçon and one is by Jordan Reed.

Timeline

—Days until: Cowboys @ Redskins 3; Redskins @ Giants 10; NFL free agency starts 82

—Today’s schedule: Practice 11:50; Mike Shanahan, Kyle Shanahan, and Jim Haslett news conferences and player availability after practice (approx. 1:30)

In case you missed it

Can Shanahan keep players focused amidst turmoil? 

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Redskins coaching staff believes backups on O-line will be 'ready to roll'

Redskins coaching staff believes backups on O-line will be 'ready to roll'

All signs point to the Redskins starting Arie Kouandjio at left guard this weekend against the Eagles, and the coaching staff knows it's a big chance for the second-year man.

Incumbent starter Shawn Lauvao injured his groin last week against the Cardinals, and has not practiced all week. Assuming he doesn't play, this would mark Kouandjio's second start this season. He also got the start against the Browns in Week 4.

Washington coach Jay Gruden did not speak glowingly of Kouandjio's play against Cleveland, but it wasn't a negative review, either.

"He’s played one game, he played OK," the coach said. "He has another great opportunity for him. He’s waited his turn, done what’s asked of him. Practiced hard, played hard, and it’s a great opportunity.”

With center Spencer Long currently in concussion protocol and backup John Sullivan started to go in the middle of the Redskins offensive line, the group will have a number of new faces against the Eagles. The right side of the line, with guard Brandon Scherff and tackle Morgan Moses, will be the same as its been all year, though both of those players are nursing ankle injuries. 

"We have confidence in the guys that if some of those guys that are backups need to step up and be ready to roll," offensive coordinator Sean McVay said. 

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!

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One stat that should make DeSean Jackson very dangerous against Eagles

One stat that should make DeSean Jackson very dangerous against Eagles

The Eagles defense is on a big-play streak, but not one that defensive coordinators will like very much, and it could be very good news for the Redskins and DeSean Jackson. 

At this stage of his career, Jackson is a well-known deep threat. While much of the 2016 season has been disappointing for Jackson, in back-to-back weeks, the vertical passing attack has worked. In Arizona last Sunday, Jackson only caught one pass, but it went for 59 yards. On Thanksgiving in Dallas, Jackson hauled in a 67-yard touchdown pass from Kirk Cousins as part of his season-high 118 receiving yards.

"What he brings to this football team, he brings something that not a lot of people can bring, and that’s obviously the speed and the big play ability," 'Skins head coach Jay Gruden said of Jackson.

The last two games moved Jackson's yards-per-catch average back in normal range with the rest of his career at 16.5. Halfway through this season, Jackson was averaging below 14 YPC, which would have been by far the worst of his career.

"A lot of people think that we haven’t utilized his speed quite like we should, but I think he has had a major impact on this football team," Gruden said. "His deep threat has an impact on the defense. It opens up areas for Jordan Reed and Jamison Crowder and the backs sometimes. He’s been a major influence for this football team in a good way."

Beyond just the big plays, the Eagles defense has given up 645 passing yards in their last two games. Cousins has historically played well in Philadelphia, and should be in good position to do the same this weekend.

And based on the Eagles' past six games, expect Jackson to have another big game at Lincoln Financial Field. 

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!