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Need to Know: Potter gets tepid endorsement

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Need to Know: Potter gets tepid endorsement

Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, September 18, four days before the Redskins play the Lions at FedEx Field.

Nickel coverage

1. Penalties and tackling will be other issues covered in the locker room. What we heard on Monday from DeAngelo Hall and London Fletcher and from Mike Shanahan on those subjects was interesting but not particularly enlightening. What we got was interesting but not particularly enlightening. I expect more of the same today.

2. Robert Griffin III addresses the media today and he certainly will be asked about this comment from teammate Pierre Garçon (on ESPN 980 via Dan Steinberg):

“Well, when you’re walking around with a knee brace or playing with a knee brace, obviously it’s slowing you down a little bit,” Garcon said. “It’s just natural. It’s common….I don’t know how much it weighs, exactly, but you always think about it when you have it on there, and it’s a constant reminder. It’s not gonna let you be the guy you are without the knee brace.

3. Don’t be stunned if the Redskins sign a new replacement kicker to replace replacement kicker John Potter if it looks like Kai Forbath won’t be able to go. Mike Shanahan gave a downright frigid endorsement of Potter when asked if he would stick around until they knew what Forbath’s status was. ““It all depends. I’m not really sure at this time,” he said. “I can’t tell you one way or the other exactly what we’re going to do.” Potter missed badly on his only field goal attempt, which was from 50 yards.

4. The last team to make the playoffs after starting 0-2 was the 2008 San Diego Chargers. They won the AFC West at 8-8. The Chargers had to win their last four games to get in and they got the help they needed as Shanahan’s Broncos lost the last three when a win in any one game would have clinched the division. Shanahan was fired after the season. Had Denver won the division, Shanahan would have held onto his job there for a bit longer and who knows who would be coaching the Redskins now.

5. Brandon Meriweather could face a pretty steep fine for his helmet-to-helmet hits on Sunday. With the Patriots in 2010, the last time he started full season, he was hit with a $50,000 fine for a helmet-to-helmet on Ravens tight end Todd Heap. There is no formally designated period of time after which a player gets a clean slate so it’s possible his fine could be escalated. It is not yet known if he will play on Sunday; we should hear more on the status of his concussion from Shanahan this afternoon.

Stat of the day

—Santana Moss’ touchdown on Sunday was his 47th as a Redskin. He has caught 46 TD passes and has one more via a punt return. One more touchdown will tie him with Stephen Davis for the 10th-most career touchdowns in team history.

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Timeline

—Days until: Lions @ Redskins 4; Redskins @ Raiders 11; Redskins @ Cowboys 25

—Today’s schedule: Player availability in locker room 11:15; Practice 1:00 (closed to media after first 30 minutes); Robert Griffin III and Mike Shanahan news conferences after practice (approx. 3:00; streamed on CSNwashington.com)

In case you missed it

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Cousins believes "a lot rides" on the coming Redskins season

Cousins believes "a lot rides" on the coming Redskins season

RICHMOND—While Kirk Cousins has had a lot of success in his first two seasons as the Redskins’ starting quarterback, he and the team didn’t finish last season the way they wanted to. They lost four of their last six games to finish out of a playoff spot. With the game on the line in the season finale against the Giants, Cousins threw an interception as the team was driving for a late score to win or tie the game. The loss was the final blow to their playoff hopes.

As with any disappointing situation, Cousins and the team must walk a line between learning from the mistakes that were made—and there were many beyond the Cousins interception—and dwelling on the past. Cousins said today that the failure to make the playoffs will help drive the team this year.

RELATED: Reed one of four to start camp on PUP

“I think what it does is it gives us an edge, because we stay humble and hungry because we left the season realizing we do have a long ways to go,” Cousins said of the late-season woes. “We do need to improve if we want to go in the direction that we all believe we can. In that sense we’ll take the silver lining that nobody is content, nobody is entitled, nobody feels like we can rest on what we’ve done in the past.”

While they can focus on the silver lining for now, Cousins says that they realize that coming close to the playoffs but missing out year after year won’t cut it. That’s what gets coaches fired and leads to players losing their jobs.

MORE REDSKINS: Ranking the Redskins roster, the final update

“We do feel like a lot rides on this season up ahead,” he said. “Hopefully, that gives us a sense of urgency all through training camp to be really focused, and as a result gets the best out of every one of us so that our team can play as well as we possibly can.”

Cousins is playing on the one-year franchise tag. He has been quick to point out that many of his teammates are either on one-year deals or in the final season of a multi-year deal. Cousins is one of over a dozen starters or key contributors who will become free agents in 2018. If they are going to stay around they can’t go 2-4 down the stretch like they did last year.

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerCSN and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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Redskins' Cousins says he bets on the system, not on himself

Redskins' Cousins says he bets on the system, not on himself

RICHMOND—As Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins goes into playing under the franchise tag for the second straight season, the phrase commonly used about him is that he is betting on himself, eschewing the long-term security of a multiyear deal in favor hoping to improve his leverage by playing on the tags.

However, Cousins said that is a misconception.

“I don’t know that I ever bet on myself, I bet on the system, he said. “It has nothing to do with myself. I’m just going out and playing and there’s never been anything but positive feelings. I’m excited to get to work here. As I’ve said, my wife and I love it here and we’re in a good place.”

RELATED: Reed one of four to start camp on PUP

Ever since the deadline for him to sign a long-term contract this year came and went without a new deal, Cousins has been trying to debunk the notion that he has a desire to leave the Redskins as soon as he can. Appearing on 106.7 The Fan last week, Cousins said that the Redskins are his “first choice” to be his team going forward. He talked positively about his future in Washington again today after the Redskins first training camp walkthrough.

Although there was talk that the contract negotiations took a sour turn at the end after team president Bruce Allen revealed some of the details of the team’s final offer to Cousins, Cousins indicated today that everything is fine.

“W e’ve done a good job communicating between me and the team,” he said. “We’re on the same page and we’ve done everything we can possibly do to get that settled and move forward. I think we’re all in a good place right now and we’ve got enough to worry about getting our offense playing at the level we need to have a great season so I can be back in future years.”

MORE REDSKINS: Ranking the Redskins roster, the final update

What it really comes down to, what Cousins believes will make things good in the future for him and the Redskins, is success on the field.

“If you win football games, everything else takes care of itself,” he said.

“In the offseason, the ball’s in the team’s court. But from Week 1 to Week 17, the ball’s in my court and I’ve got to go play football well. That’s where my focus is.”

There likely will be more talk of Cousins future beyond the 2017 seas in the coming weeks and months. It appears that for right now that is the furthest thing from Cousins’ mind.

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerCSN and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.