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Need to Know: Not yet mission accomplished for RG3

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Need to Know: Not yet mission accomplished for RG3

Here is what you need to know on this Friday, August 30, 10 days before the Redskins open up their season against the Eagles at FedEx Field.

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Five things from Redskins Park:

1. The next day and a half will be nerve racking for a few dozen players who are on the bubble. Some of the players who will be cut already know that they are likely to be released. Some have a pretty good idea that they will be but are holding out hope that they somehow will stay around. And some will be floored by being told to go see the coach and bring their iPads even though they were fourth string on the depth chart all during training camp. In any case, it’s a process that any coach will tell you is the worst part of his job.

2. In some cases tomorrow, no news will be good news. I remember Logan Paulsen talking about his experience on cutdown day when he was an undrafted rookie in 2010. He said that nobody came up and told him that he had made the team but when the deadline came and went and he still had not received a visit from The Turk he figured he was safe. He was and now he’s entering his fourth season.

3. Despite Chris Thompson’s scintillating 69-yard punt return against the Bucs last night I’m not 100 percent convinced that he will be the punt returner against the Eagles. I think Mike Shanahan would like to be able to trust Thompson with the job but his fumbles and general awkwardness in fielding some punts have to spook the coach to some extent. Perhaps he will put Santana Moss back there against the Eagles and for the first few weeks of the season while Thompson fields a thousand or so punts off of the JUGS machine and carry’s a football with him everywhere he goes to remind him not to fumble. Then Thompson goes out there in Week 4 or maybe after the bye and starts returning the punts.

4. I don’t want to wade too deeply into the settlement of the NFL concussion lawsuit but I do have a couple of points here. While the $765 million the league will pay out over the next 17 years represents just a small portion of its profits the purpose of the suit and settlement were not to sock it to the owners, it was to provide medical care and financial compensation to players who saw the quality of their post-retirement lives adversely affected by concussions. If it’s enough to do that then it was enough. Also important is the element of time. The plaintiffs could have gone to trial and maybe the could have received a huge settlement. But that could take years in court meaning more years without treatment and a number of the players might no longer be around to see any benefits.

5. Operation Patience has not quite become Mission Accomplished. Not yet anyway. We will have to wait until Monday to find out that Shanahan has named Robert Griffin III the starting quarterback against the Eagles on Sept. 9. There is a little bit more process to go through, some “concerns” that coach and quarterback need to discuss. It’s part Shanahan showing who’s boss and forcing Griffin to extend his patience a little farther and part taking some time to make sure he has one last chance to talk to his quarterback about the problems he will face if he doesn’t better protect himself when danger is near. Remember in training camp when it took an extra day for Shanahan to OK Griffin to do 11 on 11 drills? Didn’t think so. There are no serious game preparations going on until Wednesday anyway so a few more days to nail down the starting quarterback won’t matter.

Stat of the day

The Redskins allowed opponents to convert just 10 of 50 third down situations during the preseason. That’s 20 percent compared to a whopping (and league worst) 44.2 percent last year. It should be noted that of the 16 quarters they played only two were against quarterbacks who are likely to see NFL action this year in Jake Locker of the Titans and the Steelers’ Ben Roethlisberger.

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Timeline

—Days until: Final cuts 1; Eagles @ Redskins 10; Redskins @ Packers 16

—Today’s schedule: No availability

Royster with real talk about being on the bubble

In case you missed it

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I guess Potter being around motivated Kai to work on his kickoffs. He's been booming them. #RedskinsTalk

— Rich Tandler (@Rich_TandlerCSN) August 30, 2013

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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!