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

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

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. 7 worst play of 2016

Giants at Redskins, Week 17

4:02 left in Q4, Giants ball 1st and 10 at their own 31, game tied 10-10

Eli Manning pass deep left to Tavarres King pushed ob at WAS 25 for 44 yards (Will Blackmon).

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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. 

10 best plays countdown

10 worst plays countdown

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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!

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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. 

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!