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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.

Nickel coverage

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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Is Kirk Cousins the most overrated player in the NFL? One analyst says so

Is Kirk Cousins the most overrated player in the NFL? One analyst says so

Pete Prisco of CBS Sports declared Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins the most overrated player in the NFL. Prisco repeatedly points out that while Cousins is a good quarterback, the notion that he should be paid like one of the best passers in the league is what makes him overrated.

From Prisco:

After having six 300-yard-plus passing games in his first 11 games, including two over 400, Cousins had one in the final five games last season as the Redskins pushed for a playoff spot. He had five touchdown passes and five interceptions in those games, going 2-3 as Washington folded. It wasn't all on him, but that's the point. I don't think he's a quarterback who rises above situations when the team isn't going right. I am not going to sit here and pan him as a starter. He has proven to be that, and a pretty good one. It's just that the perception is he's much better than that, which is why he's my most overrated player in the NFL in 2017.

Here's the problem with Prisco's login: Simple market economics. 

ROSTER BATTLES: Left guard | Tight end Nickel cornerback  | Inside linebacker | Running back

An argument can be made Cousins is a Top 10 passer. He's certainly in the top half of the league at the position. Few, if any, would argue Cousins is a Top 5 quarterback, but his contract situation forces him to be paid like he is. Those are the exact terms of the franchise tag, even before the 20 percent increase Washington paid this season to use a second-straight tag.  

Since the Redskins lost their window to sign their single-season passing yards record holder to a team-friendly deal last year, Cousins has leverage and the advantage of inflated QB salaries on his side.

That doesn't mean Cousins is overrated. 

If the threshold for being overrated is money, then Brock Osweiler wins this thing in a landslide. After the 2016 season in Houston, Osweiler seems unlikely to ever again be considered a starting QB in the NFL. He's due to be paid $18 million this fall and his offseason trade to the Browns will go down as the first-ever salary dump in NFL history. 

Is Cousins overpaid? Probably. That's the way contracts work in pro football. 

Is Cousins overrated? Probably not. He's thrown for more than 9,000 yards and completed about 68 percent of his passes over the last two seasons. 

There just aren't enough quarterbacks to go around in the NFL, and guys who can play the position get paid handsomely. That doesn't make Cousins overrated. 

<<<NFL POWER RANKINGS: WHO GOT BETTER AFTER THE DRAFT>>>

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Lucky Whitehead a victim of mistaken identity according to police

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Lucky Whitehead a victim of mistaken identity according to police

It's been a confusing stretch for Cowboys receiver Lucky Whitehead. 

The charges against the Bealeton, Virginia native have now been dropped, after it was determined by Prince William County Police that Whitehead is not the man accused of shoplifting at a convenience store in Woodbridge, Virginia on June 22.

Here's the full statement released Tuesday:

Upon reviewing the June 22, 2017 arrest of an individual named “Rodney Darnell Whitehead, Jr.”, the police department is confident that the man charged with petit larceny, and who is subsequently being sought on an active warrant for failure to appear in court, is not Lucky Whitehead of the Dallas Cowboys. The man charged on the morning of June 22 was not in possession of identification at the time of the encounter; however, did verbally provide identifying information to officers, which included a name, date of birth, and social security number matching that of Rodney Darnell Whitehead, Jr.

Officers then checked this information through the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) database.The DMV photo on file was then used to compare to the man who was in custody. Officers acted in good faith that, at the time, the man in custody was the same man matching the information provided. At this point, the police department is also confident in confirming that Mr. Whitehead’s identify was falsely provided to police during the investigation.The police department is currently seeking the identity of the man involved in the incident. Since the identifying information provided by the arrestee during the investigation was apparently false, the police department is working with the Prince William County Commonwealth Attorney’s Office to clear Mr. Whitehead from this investigation.

The police department regrets the impact these events had on Mr. Whitehead and his family.

 

According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, the Cowboys hadn't officially released Whitehead on Monday, despite reports to the contrary. 

 

Although it's looking like he still may be looking for a new home.

 

RELATED: COWBOYS WR LUCKY WHITEHEAD'S DOG REPORTEDLY HELD FOR RANSOM