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Need to Know: Redskins expect the best out of Morgan, Davis

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Need to Know: Redskins expect the best out of Morgan, Davis

Here is what you need to know on this Friday, November 22, three days before the Washington Redskins host the San Francisco 49ers.

Nickel coverage

Five items of interest from Redskins Park:

1. Many fans and some in the media tend to assume that if a player is benched or otherwise has his playing time cut he will simply pout and be unhappy and useless for the rest of the season. That is usually not the case. Often a player who gets a second chance goes out and tries to make the most of it. Josh Morgan and Fred Davis both could get a chance to show the Redskins what they have missed by reducing their roles this year and perhaps could put some good film down for teams shopping for free agents in 2014. "I think those guys are man enough to deal with it,” said Kyle Shanahan when asked about the possibility of the two of them being active this Monday. “We need those guys to help us this week."

2. Each day that goes by the more it looks like the Redskins will need to rely on Davis with Jordan Reed having missed both practices so far this week with a concussion. “You don’t know about a concussion,” Shanahan said. “If you’ve ever had a concussion, you really don’t know until the next day. You wake up and see how you feel and the doctors will go through their tests.” As usual with such an injury, it’s day by day, minute by minute.

3. Lance Lewis made a few nice plays running after the catch during the preseason and that earned him a spot on the practice squad. His work there—Shanahan said he liked his consistency—plus Leonard Hankerson’s knee injury landed him a spot on the 53. That’s good for his bank account; he’ll go from making the practice squad salary of $6,000 per week to making the NFL rookie minimum salary, which will be about $28,235 per week. He will be the No. 6 wide receiver on a team that usually dresses five on game day so he might not get much playing time but making it to the 53 is a start.

4. Jim Haslett said there was a “blown assignment” on the play where LeSean McCoy caught a 49-yard pass from Nick Foles to set up an Eagles touchdown last Sunday. With Ryan Kerrigan in futile pursuit of Philly’s star back, it was widely assumed that Kerrigan was in single coverage on McCoy. But, apparently, he should have had some help.

5. Nick Williams did not exactly dazzle in his NFL debut as a punt returner. He almost mishandled on kick and let another one bounce late in the game, giving the Redskins terrible field position to start their final, desperate drive to try to tie the game. Shanahan was unclear on whether or not Williams would get another chance this week. “No, I’m not going to tell you if Nick Williams is returning punts on Monday night, but good try,” Shanahan said when asked.

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Timeline

—Days until: Monday night 49ers @ Redskins 3; Giants @ Redskins 9; Chiefs @ Redskins 16

—Today’s schedule: Practice 11:50; Player availability and Mike Shanahan news conference after practice (approx. 1:15)

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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.

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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!