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Need to Know: Is Barnett London's successor?

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Need to Know: Is Barnett London's successor?

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, August 31, nine days before the Redskins open up their season against the Eagles at FedEx Field.

Nickel coverage

Five things from Redskins Park:

1. It’s cutdown day, the day of the Turk and news of who has been released will trickle in all day today. If you’re the type who doesn’t like to rely on news from “sources” preferring instead to wait for the official word you’ll have to wait a while. Since Mike Shanahan has been the head coach the press release announcing who has been cut has come out after the sun has started to set. The time stamp on the email last year was 9:10 p.m.

2. I think that seventh-round pick Jawan Jamison will be one of those players asked to see the coach and bring his iPad today. He just didn’t do enough in camp to earn carries in the preseason games and without those, Shanahan has said many times, he can’t really judge a runner. Jamison looked pretty good in minicamp when nobody’s wearing any pads. That makes me think that maybe he needs to get stronger. If he is cut I think he makes the practice squad and after a year there and, just as important, a year in the weight room he can come back next year and have a solid shot at the 53.

3. The Redskins got 10 sacks in four preseason games so that would be the equivalent of getting 40 in a 16-game season. That would have been good for ninth in the NFL last year. Of course you can’t project their 2013 performance like that because many of those sacks were by guys who won’t be around or won’t play regularly going up against opponents in the same boat. But what you saw was a decent level of pass pressure and if they can duplicate it in the regular season they should be pretty happy. By comparison, the Redskins’ 32 sacks last year were 24th in the league.

4. As the contradictory reports and text messages fly around, just remember one thing—all of this is process. A week from today few will remember that it took an extra three days for Shanahan to name Griffin the starter due to some nebulous, disputed “concerns”.

5. Nick Barnett got into the swing of things yesterday playing 25 snaps with four tackles. I still think he might be inactive for a few weeks while he gets fully into football shape. It’s possible (just my speculation here) that he could be a one- or two-year stopgap at Mike linebacker if London Fletcher retires at the end of the year. It doesn’t look like Keenan Robinson, who the Redskins drafted with the idea of having him replace Fletcher some day, will be ready and if he is you have to wonder if injuries will be a concern. They could stick with Robinson or draft another potential replacement in the middle rounds next year.

Stat of the day

Final preseason stat leaders

—Rushing: Roy Helu Jr., 27 carries 157 yards (5.8 average)
—Receiving : Receptions, 3 tied with 7 (Aldrick Robinson, Leonard Hankerson, Nick Williams); Yards Dezmon Briscoe 113 (4 rec., 28.3 avg.)
—Passing: Rex Grossman 31-58 for 423 yards, 3 TD’s, 1 INT, 87.0 rating
—Sacks: Ryan Kerrigan 2
—Interceptions: Kerrigan and David Amerson tied with 1

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Timeline

—It's been 234 days since the last Redskins game; there are nine days to go until the next on

—Today is the day that the “days until” line starts counting down to nothing but actual football games that count.

—Days until: Eagles @ Redskins 9; Redskins @ Packers 15; Lions @ Redskins 22

—Today’s schedule: Team is scheduled to have a light practice, no media availability. Final cuts due to league office by 6 p.m.

Thompson talks about his punt return

In case you missed it

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The Final Countdown: Eli Manning goes deep for the Redskins 7th worst play of the year

The Final Countdown: Eli Manning goes deep for the Redskins 7th worst play of the year

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. 7 worst play of 2016

Giants at Redskins, Week 17

4:02 left in Q4, Giants ball 1st and 10 at their own 31, game tied 10-10

Eli Manning pass deep left to Tavarres King pushed ob at WAS 25 for 44 yards (Will Blackmon).

Related: The Redskins week that was

Tandler: It looked like the Redskins were on the verge of saving their season. They were down 10-0 in the third quarter but they battled back to tie it up in the late going. But after lulling the Redskins defense to sleep with running plays and short passes, Manning launched one deep down the left sideline. King, who had one reception for six yards on the season coming into the game, had a step on cornerback Greg Toler and he hauled in the pass for 44 yards. Four plays later Robbie Gould kicked a 40-yard field goal to give the Giants the lead.

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Finlay: In a terrible game that led to many more questions than answers for the Redskins, this play was just a huge, huge disappointment. Washington fought back to tie up a game that they had largely been outplayed in, particulrly in the first half. Remember, the Giants had nothing to play for while for the 'Skins, a win would put them in the playoffs. The New York offense was laregly nonexistent in the second half of this game, as it became obvious Eli Manning did not want to get hit. And still, the embattled Redskins defense gave up a long pass play to a dude that had contrbuted basically nothing 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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Report: One team Redskins need to watch out for when it comes to Kirk Cousins this offseason

Report: One team Redskins need to watch out for when it comes to Kirk Cousins this offseason

Mike Shanahan likes Kirk Cousins, both as a person and as a quarterback. The former Redskins coach has made no secret about that. Luckilly for the 'Skins, especially with Cousins staring at free agency, Mike Shanahan is no longer coaching in the NFL.

His son Kyle, however, seems highly likely to take over as San Francisco 49ers head coach. And soon.

Kyle Shanahan currently serves as the offensive coordinator for the Atlanta Falcons, and once their playoff run ends, most expect Shanahan to be named Niners head coach. 

Why should Washington fans care? Allow ESPN's Adam Schefter to explain:

Kyle Shanahan is set to become the San Francisco 49ers' head coach after Atlanta's season ends. San Francisco needs a quarterback as much as any other team in the league. If Cousins is available, the 49ers would pursue him as hard as they've pursued Shanahan.

Even if Washington tags Cousins, San Francisco could attempt to pry him loose in a trade with a package that could include this year's No. 2 overall draft pick. And if Washington doesn't want to deal now, it could have issues later.

This news should not be a shock to Skins fans, but it should be taken seriously. Remember, Kyle Shanahan was part of the Washington organization when Cousins was drafted and the duo worked together in 2012 and 2013. Most quarterbacks would love to run Shanahan's No. 1 ranked offense from Atlanta, and the guess here says Cousins would probably jump at the opportunity. 

Still, much must be worked out.

While some in the Washington front office might have questions about what the long-term value should be in a Cousins contract, the team still has some control. They can place the franchise tag on Cousins this season, like they did last season, and work until mid-summer on a multi-year deal. Or Cousins can again play on a franchise tag in 2017, like he did in 2016 and passed for nearly 5,000 yards.

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What makes Schefter's report the most interesting is the mention of the No. 2 overall pick. Observing the Redskins in 2016, it became obvious the team needs more impact players on defense, and with the second overall pick combined with their own 17th pick and eight more after that, that could deliver an immediate boost. 

Whatever boost a package of draft picks might bring in will be hard pressed to match the production of Cousins. Finding a starting quarterback in the NFL is exceptionally hard, and while Cousins has shown flashes of a special player, he has certainly confirmed he is a capable player in two seasons at the helm of Jay Gruden's offense.

Scot McCloughan and the Redskins brain trust have a few more weeks before free agency, and with it, the deadline to again place the franchise tag on Cousins. It's nearly impossible to see a scenario where Cousins hits the open market this season, but if the No. 2 overall pick comes into play, other scenarios start to seem more possible. 

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!