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Need to Know: Redskins camp news and notes, Day 8: Practicing in the elements

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Need to Know: Redskins camp news and notes, Day 8: Practicing in the elements

RICHMOND—Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, August 2, five days before the Redskins open the preseason against the Patriots.

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News, notes, and quotes from Day 8 of Redskins training camp.

—Sometimes some of us in the media make too big a deal out of a little bit of rain. As Darrel Young said, they have to play in it so they can't give a second through to practicing in it. “Practice was good, just another day of training camp,” he said. “I actually forgot it was raining until the end when I took my helmet off. You don’t worry about the elements, you just go out there and play. You’ve got to play football in any environment.”

—Robert Griffin III won’t directly compare this year to last but you don’t have to do too much reading between the lines to see that he’s delighted with the change. “I can’t compare it to last year but this year it’s been great,” he said. “We have a new regime, we have new excitement, we have a new direction and that directions starts and ends with Jay. He’s done a great job with that and we’re following him in that regard. You guys can see practice is a little bit different, everyone’s demeanor is a little different. Everyone is excited but we’re all preparing every night.” Honestly, I think that they were preparing every night last year, too. But if it works for Robert, that’s fine with me.

—Before camp started, Gruden indicated that how physical a given camp session might be would be determined on a daily basis. He had plans but he reserved the right to call an audible. On Friday he did just that, switching plans to go with full pads to shells. “We’re going to go full gear tomorrow [Saturday],” he said. “Like I said yesterday, my whole goal is to get everybody 100 percent for Monday so we can all be competing against New England. We had a couple bruises here and there, a couple little hamstring strains, kicked in the shin, all that stuff. So I wanted to just taper off a little bit today and then come tomorrow we’ll be in full gear for the fan day, give them a day off and then they’ll be ready to go for Monday.”

—Keenan Robinson is taking over for London Fletcher at Mike linebacker. Let that sink in. But he believes he’s ready and he doesn’t think that his predecessor will be in his head. “I don’t know if you’re ever truly ready but it’s something that I’ll embrace as the season and as preseason camp progresses,” he said. “It’s something that I am definitely embracing because it’s my duty. When everybody says ‘middle linebacker,’ I think of leading the team, vocal leader, physical leader and on-the-field leader. It’s something that I have to do and make sure that I’m fulfilling those roles as a middle linebacker.”

—Robinson hasn’t played since Thanksgiving Day, 2012. He tore one pectoral muscle that day and then tore the other very early in camp a year ago. He’s not worried about reinjury but he is realistic enough to know that injuries can happen at any time. “I mean, once you rehab and heal them up to how he healed them up – I did a very good job on the first side and I tore the other side,” he said. “It would be different if I tore this side twice. He said it shouldn’t happen again, but injuries happen and football is a very physical game and hopefully I don’t have an issue with either one of them ever again." Prediction: If Robinson plays reasonably well he will quickly become a fan favorite. Good guy, very sharp and he has the potential to be a playmaker.

If you have any questions about what's going on at training camp, hit me up in the comments. I promise I'll answer all questions as soon as I can get to them! And I'm always on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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Timeline

Today’s schedule: Fan appreciation day; Practice 10:35; Jay Gruden and players media availability after practice.

—It’s been 216 days since the Redskins played a game; in 36 days they play the Texans in their 2014 season opener.

Days until: Preseason opener vs. Patriots 5; Final cuts 28; Redskins @ Eagles 50

Griffin on having refs at practice

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The Final Countdown: Eli Manning goes deep for the Redskins 7th worst play of the year

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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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. 

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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!