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Need to Know: Redskins-Ravens notes--Defense delivers some good (mostly legal) hits

Need to Know: Redskins-Ravens notes--Defense delivers some good (mostly legal) hits

Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, August 24, four days before the Redskins wrap up the preseason against the Bucs.

Nickel coverage

Some notes, quotes, and numbers from Saturday’s preseason game in Baltimore.

—There really is no way to put lipstick on the pig that was performance of the first-team offense. The worst number generated was five. That was their net passing yardage in the first half. Robert Griffin III passed for 20 yards on five of seven passing but they lost 15 yards on three sacks. Just plain ugly.

—The Redskins’ front line defense, on the other hand, was not bad. They sacked Joe Flacco twice and held the Ravens to just 17 yards rushing. After going almost three quarters without allowing a touchdown in the preseason, they finally gave on up a touchdown on a nice catch by Steve Smith in the last minute of the first half.

—Jason Hatcher got one of those sacks in his firs game in a Redskins uniform. “It was good to see himout there in a first game experience with us and it looks like he got a sack,” said Jay Gruden. “As for a negative he has to get in playing shape. I could see that he was a little winded out there.” They might have to work Hatcher in gradually over the first few games.

—The Redskins defense got in some jarring hits. All were legal except for one delivered by Brandon Meriweather on Ravens receiver Torrey Smith. That drew a flurry of flags, a 15-yard penalty, and a likely fine for Meriweather. "I’m trying to do what the NFL has me [doing],” said Meriweather, who has been fined and suspended for such hits in the past. “The first chance I get, it seems like I failed."

—If you can base anything on preseason play it’s very possible that Keenan Robinson will represent an upgrade over London Fletcher, the 2013 version of him anyway. Robinson had four tackles, two of them for losses, knocked away a pass, and forced a fumble. He has a long way to go but so far, so good.

If you have any questions about what's going on at Redskins Park, hit me up in the comments. 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: Off day, no availability

—It’s been 238 days since the Redskins played a game; in 14 days they play the Texans in their 2014 season opener.

Days until: Final cuts 6; Home opener vs. Jaguars 21; Redskins @ Eagles 28

In case you missed it

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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

lucky-whitehead.jpg

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