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Need to Know: It's lying season again

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Need to Know: It's lying season again

Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, January 9, Day 11 of the Redskins’ search for a new head coach.

Beware of smokescreens

Every year as the NFL draft approaches, I make it part of my civic duty to warn fans that the closer the draft gets the more likely it is that anything you hear is a lie. Smokescreens are as common in April as tulips.

It’s time for another public service announcement. When the coaching carousel is turning, it’s also lying season.

I hit on this a bit yesterday when discussing Mark Maske’s report that Jay Gruden might prefer to work for the Titans rather than the Redskins. Many fans took this tidbit to be the gospel truth and started complaining about getting into a bidding war and wondering why the Redskins would want a coach who would rather be somewhere else.

But tap brakes here a bit. Where did this “information” come from? It had to come from Gruden’s camp, right? I mean, is he going to tell the Redskins that he’s rather be in Tennessee and, even if he does say that, why would the Redskins push that out to the media?

It’s the oldest trick in the book and it’s been around for so long because it works. It looks like Gruden has two teams that want him. The Titans know they are up against Daniel Snyder, who has some of the deepest pockets in the league and a willingness to empty them out to get what he wants. And the Redskins have now heard that Gruden might prefer Tennessee. Each team had better come forward with its best offer.

Now, the Redskins know every trick in the book themselves. They know that this is “information” coming from the Gruden camp. But Gruden might actually rather be in Nashville than in Ashburn so they can ignore the leak at their own peril.

The lesson for fans is to not hang to and react (or overreact) to every report that comes out. There is a good chance that your blood pressure is going up over something that is not true in the first place.

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Timeline

—It’s been 11 days since the Redskins played a game; it will be about 241 days until they play another one.

—Days until: NFL free agency 61; Offseason workouts start 88; 2014 NFL Draft 119

In case you missed it

Tandler on Redskins Nation

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Josh Norman backs Kirk Cousins, points to Redskins' defense in argument with Jason Whitlock

Josh Norman backs Kirk Cousins, points to Redskins' defense in argument with Jason Whitlock

As the discussion rages around what the Redskins should do with free agent quarterback Kirk Cousins, $75 million cornerback Josh Norman made clear he wants the passer back. Norman explained that the 'Skins struggles should not be pinned to Cousins, but rather, a Washington defense that finished the year near the bottom of the NFL.

"We got to help him out of defense, and stop somebody on the field," Norman said on FS1 (click here for full video). "We did not help him out at all. I'll be honest with you. We got to do our job."

Norman's comments came during a spirited argument with Colin Cowherd, Jason Whitlock and Cris Carter in what amounted to a festival of hot takery. Whitlock's argument was that Cousins is not a franchise quarterback, and shoult not be paid as such, largely for losing the final two home games of the year against Carolina and the New York Giants.

Cousins passed for nearly 5,000 yards this year, a statitstic Norman pointed to in his defense of the QB. He also explained that Cousins still has room to grow.

"He only had two seasons," Norman said. "Cam Newton had five seasons."

Drafted in 2012, Cousins was just named the 'Skins starter in 2015. He's started every game the last two seasons and gone 17-16 while passing for more than 9,000 yards. Norman played with Newton in Carolina before signing with Washington last year, and got to watch the quarterback develop into the league MVP in 2015.

Norman described Cousins as a 'great guy' and leader in the locker room, but he allowed that, "I know a great guy don’t translate into wins. I'm not saying that."

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!

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The Final Countdown: Redskins 9th worst play of the year goes back to Week 1

The Final Countdown: Redskins 9th worst play of the year goes back to Week 1

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. 9 worst play of 2016

Steelers at Redskins Week 1

10:18 left in Q2, Steelers ball 4th and 1 at the Redskins 29, Redskins leading 6-0

Ben Roethlisberger pass deep left to Antonio Brown for 29 yards, TOUCHDOWN.

Related: Projecting the Redskins' roster--defense

Tandler: Things were looking up for the Redskins prior to this, even though they were unable to punch the ball into the end zone in two forays deep into Steelers territory and had to settle for field goals (a taste of things to come all year). The Steelers drove down the field and went for it on fourth and one. Because Joe Barry opted not to have Josh Norman travel from side to side with Brown, it was Bashaud Breeland with one-on-one coverage on the right side. Brown beat Breeland and DeAngelo Hall was late giving safety help and Big Ben put the ball on the money. The score put the Steelers ahead to stay.

More Redskins: An early look at first-round draft possibilities

Finlay: It's easy to forget now that the Redskins had an early lead in the opener against Pittsburgh. In fact, their defense started well, until this point. In something that would be repeated throughout the year, the Steelers did not hesitate to go for it on 4th down against the Washington defense. Breeland was in pretty good position on the ball, though Roethlisberger's throw was right on the money. It would be only one more week until Josh Norman would then start traveling to cover other team's best receivers. Beyond the immediate impact of this play, it also seemed to stay with Breeland as he struggled somewhat in the first half of the 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!