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Need to Know: Jay Gruden's epic Hard Knocks rant

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Need to Know: Jay Gruden's epic Hard Knocks rant

Here is what you need to know on this Monday, January 6, 122 days before the NFL draft.

Offense or defense? How about neither?

Jay Gruden appears to be a strong candidate for the Redskins’ head coaching job, perhaps the favorite to land the position.

When Bruce Allen talked about his ideal candidate for the job, he twice mentioned that he wanted a coach with “fire in his belly”. Does Jay Gruden fill the bill? Read this rant that was captured during last summer’s Hard Knocks series on HBO (h/t NFL.com for the transcript).

 "Some of the s--- that happened yesterday you wouldn't expect on the first day of rookie OTAs. We had three dropped snaps and a couple things that were my fault. That is Mickey Mouse horse---- football right there, and we all had our hand in it. Everybody had their hand in it, and it can't happen for us to be as good as we want to be. Ever.

"I can handle a drop every now and then. I can handle a guy beating you with a good pass-rush move. I can handle certain things, but I can't handle mental f---ups time and time again. Andy (Dalton)'s been a quarterback here for three f------ years and hasn't had one dropped snap. Not one. We had three in one day!

"Concentration, poise. You gotta have it on every snap in this game. Otherwise, you're going to get your ass beat time and time again. You're going to be 18th-ranked in offense. You're going to be 9-7 or 8-8, and you're going to be f-----' watching the playoffs at home every year. Yesterday, we took a major step backwards, and now today, we gotta take two steps forward.

"You gotta have great attention to detail, not just on Sundays. On Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesday, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. If you want to mull around at .500, f-----' then come out here and f--- around and f--- up. But if you want to be great, then you have to set your standards high and come out and go after it every f-----' day."

Sounds like a lot of fire in that belly to me.

Note: Here is a video of Gruden's talk to the offense. In case you can't tell from the transcript, it's NSFW. (h/t @jodybhaile)

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Timeline

—On this date in 1971, George Allen was hired at the Redskins’ head coach.

—Days until: NFL free agency 64; 2014 NFL Draft 122; 2014 Opening Sunday 244

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DY talks about the coaching search

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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.

More Redskins: Offensive coordinator situation set?

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!