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Need to Know: Grading Kirk Cousins

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Need to Know: Grading Kirk Cousins

Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, September 15, five days before the Washington Redskins host the St. Louis Rams.

One last look at Redskins vs. Dolphins

—Grading Kirk Cousins seemed to be a popular meme on the web and talk radio. I’ll go with a C+ for him. He moved the ball well and the fact that he only was sacked once was a credit to him as well as the defensive line. The interceptions are the biggest reason for the downgrade; he simply won’t last long as a starting quarterback throwing two picks a game. But beyond those two plays, it was his inability to take advantage of numerous possessions in Miami territory. It wasn’t all his fault but Grade A quarterbacks figure out a way to make it happen.

—I didn’t think Preston Smith played a whole lot on Sunday but I was surprised when I looked at the snap counts and saw that he was in just 12 of the 57 defensive snaps. Considering he created the only takeaway of the game, I think that Joe Barry will have to get him in there more often.

—I also was surprised to see that the Redskins ran just 11 times in the second half and that Matt Jones got only one of those carries. The penalties didn’t help the situation and they did run only 28 plays compared to 41 in the first half (26 rushing attempts). But considering the Redskins were either tied or in the lead until it became a one-score game with less than 10 minutes left. I think they could have called a few more runs.

—Speaking of Smith's takeaway, I have neglected to mention that Jason Hatcher deserves a major assist on that. From the three technique spot in a four-man line, he got the quick pressure on Ryan Tannehill. Hatcher had both hands on the QB but he was able to spin away. Smith, who was line up with his hand the the dirt as a 4-3 defensive end, caught Tannehill while he was spinning and knocked away the ball.

—In all, the Redskins had an up-and-down start to the season. There were some positive developments, like the right side of the offensive line handling Cameron Wake and Ndamukong Suh and the defense holding Miami to 74 yards rushing. But there were too many familiar problems, from turnovers to special teams struggles to not being able to make a play in any phase of the game in clutch situations. Oh, and they lost, a very familiar outcome.

Timeline

Today’s schedule: Player meetings; no media availability

Days until: Rams @ Redskins 5; Redskins @ Giants Thursday night 9; Eagles @ Redskins 19

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In case you missed it

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Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—Who will surprise, who will play NT

Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—Who will surprise, who will play NT

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, May 27, 17 days before the Washington Redskins start minicamp on June 13.

Timeline

It’s been 146 days since the Redskins played a game. Their season opener against the Eagles at FedEx Field is in 106 days.

Days until:

—Redskins minicamp (6/13) 17
—Training camp starts (7/27) 61
—Preseason opener @ Ravens (8/10) 75

The Redskins week that was

Here are some of the most popular post from the last week on www.CSNmidatlantic.com and on www.RealRedskins.com

How well will the Redskins' defense adjust to six new starters? The Redskins unquestionably got an infusion of defensive talent but as we have seen in the past that does not guarantee better results. Throw a new defensive coordinator into the mix and it could take some time for this unit to reach its full potential. I think that there will be struggles early in the season and a better (but not dominant) unit by the time November rolls around.

Which Redskins will surprise in 2017? Every player carries expectations into the season. Some will be better than we believe right now (think of what many thought Vernon Davis would do last year) and some will play worse (Josh Doctson). I take out the crystal ball to figure out who will exceed expectations and who will fall below them.

Don't count out 3rd straight franchise tag for Cousins—Yes, Bruce Allen said that he is willing to franchise tag Kirk Cousins for a third time next year, a move that would cost $34 million for one season. But I think that’s a total bluff; the Redskins’ salary cap situation for 2018 would make such a move very difficult for them to pull off. The best hope for Cousins being a Redskin in 2018 is getting him signed to a long-term contract by July 15 of this year. The tone of the conversation regarding a new deal has been positive lately but the team must come up with a serious offer for a deal to happen.

For Redskins, finding a nose tackle needs to be a priority—Well, it’s up to Jim Tomsula to “make” a nose tackle. Phil Taylor is a true NT and he will get a shot. But he hasn’t played a snap since 2014. Undrafted free agent Ondre Pipkins also has nose tackle size at 6-3, 325. But he is a long shot, as are the Redskins’ chances of being significantly better against the run if they don’t find someone, anyone to be an adequate solution as the nose tackle.

Did Vernon Davis make the NFL change celebration rules? Although I prefer the John Riggins way of celebrating a touchdown—hand the ball to the referee because you’ve been in the end zone before and you expect to be back again soon—elaborate celebrations don’t bother me. After a TD in a game I’m covering I’m focused on writing about the scoring drive. When I’m watching at home, my attention goes to Twitter or to the refrigerator. I do think that it was dumb for the Redskins to lose 15 yards of field position because Vernon Davis put a jump shot over the crossbar so that’s why I’m glad that the NFL changed the celebration rules.

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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85-year-old woman unafraid to coach Kirk Cousins

85-year-old woman unafraid to coach Kirk Cousins

Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins is always open to some coaching no matter who it comes from. On Friday that coaching came from Veronica, an 85-year old woman who works at Congressional Country Club and is a die-hard Redskins fan.

Cousins posted a picture of the pair together on his Instagram account Friday afternoon. 

Veronica made some solid suggestions, especially the one about him getting the ball out of his hands quicker. 

Despite the rocky contract situation with the team, there's no question that Cousins loves the passionate Redskins fan base. 

More Redskins: After four teams in five seasons, DJ Swearinger knows what it takes to make the Redskins home