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Need to Know: Redskins read and react, the week that was in Richmond

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Need to Know: Redskins read and react, the week that was in Richmond

Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, August 5, eight days before Washington Redskins open their preseason against the Browns in Cleveland.

If you need to catch up on what's happening in Richmond, scroll to the bottom for a list of our posts from the last 24 hours. 

Read and react

Here’s a look at some of the headlines from the past week and my quick take on them.

Amerson suffers shoulder injury—He did a good job of covering DeSean Jackson on a deep pass but he tumbled to the ground and immediately went to see the trainers. It turns out it was an AC joint sprain, not a serious injury. That’s good because the Redskins are getting thin at cornerback

Shoulder injury likely to cost Tevin Mitchel full seasonThe coaches were high on the sixth-round pick as a future slot corner. Now he will have to start over again, although he will be at Redskins Park all season for meetings, etc.

Trent Williams contract talks are ongoing—There is no deadline on when a new deal can get done for Williams, perhaps the team’s most important player. The Redskins can negotiate with the knowledge that they could use the franchise tag on Williams next spring. Such a move would cost in the neighborhood of $13 million for the season.

Gruden confirms Breeland will miss 4 to 6 weeks—Breeland’s injury was bad but not nearly as bad as it could have been. His knee bent at an unnatural angle and nobody would have been surprised if his season had ended right there. As it is, it looks like he will miss only one game and that one not due to injury but because of an incident that happened a year ago in Richmond.

Redskins' Breeland will serve a one-game suspension—The wheels of “justice”, if you want to call it that, turn slowly in the NFL. Almost a year after getting arrested for simple possession of marijuana on the VCU campus, Breeland finally found out what his fate would be. As it turns out, he’ll miss a game that he possible would have missed anyway due to his injury.

Redskins and LB Junior Galette agree to deal—The Redskins will test the proposition that you can’t have too many good pass rushers. Galette joins Ryan Kerrigan, Jason Hatcher, Trent Murphy and Preston Smith as players who have a demonstrated ability to get after the quarterback. Kerrigan, Hatcher, and Galette have all had NFL seasons with double-digit sacks, Murphy led the nation in sacks as a senior at Stanford in 2013 and Smith had nine playing in the SEC last year. Sure, there is some character risk with Galette. But his $745k vet minimum salary minimizes that risk.

Kerrigan agrees to long-term extension with Redskins—We arrived to training camp to this news. Good guy, very good player, good move by the Redskins.The average of $11.4 million per year may seem a bit high but like most deals it will shrink in comparison to the rising salary cap over the next few years.

Timeline

Today’s schedule: Redskins walkthrough, 10:35 a.m.; Jay Gruden news conference approx. 2:45; Redskins practice, 3 p.m.

—It’s been 220 days since the Redskins played a game. It will be 39 days until they play the Dolphins at FedEx Field.

Days until: Preseason opener @ Browns 8; final cuts 31; Redskins @ Giants Thursday night 50

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In case you missed it

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Redskins offseason questions: Can Kirk Cousins take the next step in 2017?

Redskins offseason questions: Can Kirk Cousins take the next step in 2017?

The good news for the 2016 Redskins was that they didn’t collapse after winning the division the previous season as has been their pattern in the past. The bad news was that they didn’t take the next step and improve from a franchise that can compete to make the playoffs into one that is playing multiple postseason games year in and year out.

That work begins right now for Jay Gruden, Scot McCloughan and the players. In the coming weeks, Redskins reporters Rich Tandler and JP Finlay will examine the biggest questions facing the Redskins as another offseason gets rolling.

RELATED: #RedskinsTalk podcast: Is Kirk too nice?

Will Kirk Cousins take the next step in 2017?

Finlay: The better question might be what constitutes the next step for Cousins? And going one step further, will it be with the Redskins? Answering the second part first, Cousins will be the 'Skins quarterback in 2017. Taking the next step is trickier, since the passer has thrown for more than 9,000 yards in the last two seasons.

For me, Cousins can still get much better, particularly in the red zone. If the Redskins scored at the same pace they pile up yards, this team would have won 11 games in 2016. 

In 2016, Cousins ranked 3rd in the NFL in passing yards, yet outside of the Top 10 in TDs with 25. To really enter the next phase of his career, Cousins needs to lead an offense that scores more, and that means 30+ touchdowns. He can do it. 

Tandler: I don’t look at the next step for Cousins being about numbers. Sure, maybe he can throw for 5,000 yards and 30-plus touchdowns on year. But being a top quarterback is more than that.

I want to see him go into Seattle next year and rally the Redskins from a 10-point deficit in the fourth quarter. I want to see him go into a playoff game and, unlike what happened against the Packers after the 2015 season, will the team to a win when the Redskins aren’t playing their best and when a QB like Aaron Rodgers is on the other side. I want to see him glare at a lineman who missed an assignment and correct a receiver who went the wrong way on a route.

To be sure, he has led the team to some comeback wins and he has played very well in some key games, like the division-clinching win in Philadelphia in 2015. But a top-flight quarterback can’t essentially negate one of those with a play like the season-ending pick against the Giants. Sure, any quarterback is going to have an off day. But you have to have more pluses than minuses on the ledger.

Cousins has been a starter for just two years so maybe he can develop into a top-shelf quarterback. Putting up good stats is part of the picture but he won’t be there until he elevates and motivates those around him. Maybe he can take that next step but until he does there is no way of knowing if he will. 

More offseason questions: 

What are reasonable expectations for Josh Doctson?

— Will there be a surprise salary cap cut?

— Should the Redskins defense switch to the 4-3?

— Is Spencer Long the answer at center?

— How many D-linemen do the Redskins need?

— Should the Redskins draft another QB? 

— With Sean McVay gone, will the Redskins run the ball more?

— Can Cravens handle the transition to safety? 

— Will the Redskins re-sign Pierre Garçon? 

— Will Rob Kelley be the lead running back in 2017?

— Defense in the first round?

— Will they make a change at left guard?

<<<LOOKING AT REDSKINS DRAFT PROSPECTS>>>

Want more Redskins? Check out @JPFinlayCSN and @Rich_TandlerCSN for live updates or click here for the #RedskinsTalk Podcast on iTuneshere for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!

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Some good news from Redskins Park: Josh Doctson running, catching football (VIDEO)

Some good news from Redskins Park: Josh Doctson running, catching football (VIDEO)

There hasn't been much good news out of Redskins Park lately, as the team deals with pending free agency for QB Kirk Cousins and others combined with rumors of infighting among the front office. So video of 2016 first round pick Josh Doctson running and cutting comes at a great time for beleaguered 'Skins fans. 

Doctson posted the video to his Snapchat account. When he last spoke after the Washington season ended, Doctson made clear he was feeling much better and that '100 percent health' is his main goal this offseason.

His rookie year, however, was a different matter.

The receiver out of TCU missed all but the first two games of the year. Even in those games, he played a very reduced role. Drafted 22nd overall, he had just two catches all year as an obscure Achilles' injuries landed him on the injured reserve. His plight could not be figured out by a slew of doctors and specialists, and the team finally decided to sit down their prized rookie.

A breakout year in 2017 would serve Jay Gruden's squad well, as the team stands to lose DeSean Jackson and/or Pierre Garçon to free agency. It looks likely the 'Skins will lose at least one of their starting WRs, and losing both is a distinct possibility. That could result in more than 2,000 receiving yards leaving the Redskins offense, and the team will need Doctson to pick up a good chunk of that production.

<<<LOOKING AT REDSKINS DRAFT PROSPECTS>>>

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!