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Need to Know: Moses now in comfort zone at right tackle for the Redskins

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Need to Know: Moses now in comfort zone at right tackle for the Redskins

Here is what you need to know on this Friday, October 16, two days before the Washington Redskins play the New York Jets.

Read and react

Comments from Jay Gruden and Joe Barry along with my reaction to them.

Joe Barry on the Falcons’ last drive against his defense:
Our mentality was they needed a touchdown. You have a different mentality when the two-minute starts on what they need—do they need a field goal or do they need a touchdown? I’m a firm believer in our rush and coverage . . . We got them to fourth and two with 30 seconds left. We’ve got to find a way to win a down. Whether it’s a sack-fumble, whether it’s a tipped pass, we’re going to make them earn everything they get. We didn’t make the play. They made the play.
React: For all of the discussion about soft coverages and not being aggressive enough, doing anything on a football field does ultimately come down to players making plays. With the Redskins’ depleted secondary, the odds were against them no matter what the scheme. That said, I would have liked to see a little more pass pressure with Atlanta's main receiving threat, Julio Jones, obviously hampered by his hamstring injury.

Jay Gruden on Morgan Moses’ performance this year:
“I think reps, number one, since training camp and OTAs – really since training camp – and then the comfort level playing right tackle. Like I said before, he played left tackle his last two years at Virginia and then we tried to flip him last year and he wasn’t quite ready. Everything was backwards to him. His sets were different, but having another year under his belt playing just right tackle, I think it’s helped him out the most. And [Offensive Line] Coach [Bill] Callahan has done an excellent job with him. The comfort level with his pass sets, his combination blocks on the right side is the big difference.”
React: Moses has been the Redskins’ biggest surprise contributor this year. Not much was expected of him since he missed the entire offseason program rehabbing his injured foot. Plus they drafted Brandon Scherff fifth overall to play tackle. But they made the shuffle on the line in training camp, Scherff moved over a slot, Moses moved in a right tackle. He has been far from flawless but he has played well enough to think that he will be a solid part of the line going forward.

Barry on his defensive philosophy:
"You know, there's three things that we've really preached since the very first meeting we had back in May. That's to compete, to be physical and to finish. We're never going to be satisfied and we're definitely not satisfied yet. As long as we show up every day and we compete and we play physical and we finish, I think those are the things that we are always going to be striving for and make the fans of the Redskins proud.
React: Of course we have a long way to go this season but it’s so far, so good for Barry’s defense. They are not dominant by any means but they have improved on a lot of meaningful categories including net yards per pass attempt, total yards per game, and, on the bottom line, points per game by almost a full touchdown. And they have done this with a secondary that was not very good to begin with and has had to deal with multiple injuries on top of that. Again, it’s too early to come to a conclusion that Gruden’s controversial decision to hire Barry was the right call. But things are looking up almost a third of the way into the season.

Gruden on the need to get bigger chunks of yardage:
“It’s a matter of when we do take the shots making something out of them. We do need to get more plays in chunks. You know, it’s difficult against a defense like this to think that you’re going to go — we’ve had a lot of good 15/13/14-play drives, I think more than anybody in the league. But we do need to work on our long gains, chunk plays somehow, whether it’s in the running game, screens, or shot plays down the field.”
React: The Redskins’ ability to grind out long drives of 10 plays or more (14 this year with 12 of them resulting in scores) is very useful. But they also could use an occasional quick advance down the field. The Redskins have just two quick strikes this year, drives that started in their own territory that took six plays or fewer and resulted in a touchdown. You’re not going to get those every game but it’s hard to grind out those 10-play drives because each snap increases the odds of a penalty, turnover, missed assignment, or other miscue scuttling the possession.

Timeline

Today’s schedule: Practice 11:55; Jay Gruden and Sean McVay news conferences and player availability after practice, approx. 1:00.

Days until: Redskins @ Jets 2; Bucs @ Redskins 9; Redskins @ Patriots 23

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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.

MORE REDSKINS: Kevin O'Connell to be hired as QB coach

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!

 

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The Final Countdown: Josh Norman INT makes for Redskins 7th best play of 2016

The Final Countdown: Josh Norman INT makes for Redskins 7th best play of 2016

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 at the 10 worst.

No. 7 best play of 2016

Redskins vs. Browns Week 4

6:37 left in Q4, Browns ball at their own 30, 2nd and 2, Redskins leading 24-20

Cody Kessler pass short middle intended for Terrelle Pryor INTERCEPTED by Josh Norman at CLV 25. Josh Norman to CLV 24 for 1 yard (Andre Hawkins).
PENALTY on WAS-J.Norman, Unsportsmanlike Conduct, 15 yards, enforced at CLV 24.

Related: The Redskins week that was

Tandler: Sometimes you have a great win, sometimes you dodge disaster. This one went in the latter category. The Redskins couldn’t quite shake the feisty Browns and Kessler for three and a half quarters. Then Norman stayed in Pryor’s hip pocket as the receiver ran a slat. Norman lunged in front of Pryor as the ball arrived and made the interception. He did draw a penalty for doing a bow and arrow celebration but the Redskins overcame that and drove in for the clinching touchdown in their 31-20 win.

More Redskins: Offensive coordinator situation set?

Finlay: Josh Norman was the story of the Redskins offseason, and this game came one week after playing, and beating, Odell Beckham in New York. The spotlight was burning bright on Norman, and he made a crucial play when the Skins really needed it. Washington got out to a big lead early in this game only to let the Browns climb back in, mainly on the strength of Isaiah Crowell and th Cleveland run game. Losing at home to an awful Browns team would have completely derailed the modicum of momentum Kirk Cousins and the 'Skins established with the Week 3 win over the Giants, and Norman's INT made sure that didn't happen. 

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!