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Need to Know: Redskins still searching for that complete game

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Need to Know: Redskins still searching for that complete game

Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, October 29, five days before the Washington Redskins host the San Diego Chargers.

Nickel coverage

Five items from Mike Shanahan’s Monday news conference:

1. Did the lack of offseason reps hurt Robert Griffin III’s game this year? It seems pretty obvious that an offseason spent rehabbing rather than honing his game is pretty high up on the list of reasons why he has been so inconsistent this year. You would expect a coach who preaches the importance of the offseason program to at least partially acknowledge this as Shanahan did.  “Everything is a growing experience,” he said when asked if missing the offseason was a factor. “The more reps you get the better off you do get and we all understand that.”

2. NFL teams like to take it one game at a time but the advent of the weekly Thursday night game has changed that. Shanahan said today that although no preparation for the game in Minnesota four days after the Chargers game on the part of the players, the coaching staff would start to formulate a Vikings game plan before Sunday. “From a coaching standpoint; you’re going to work a little bit harder on Friday and Saturday in preparation for that game,” he said. “A lot of times you don’t work on another team in advance but on a Thursday game, a number of times you do. Usually it’s the day before when your game plan is already done for your upcoming opponent.”

3. Although he said that he was going to get more hands on with special teams, Shanahan did not personally address Sav Rocca’s shanked punt that game the Broncos a short field in the fourth quarter of a tie game. “He didn’t have to tell me anything. I didn’t ask him anything,” he said. “I haven’t seen him do that since he’s been here and that’s quite unusual. I’m sure he was trying to directional kick a little bit out of bounds and it just came off the side of his foot. Those things do happen.”

4. Are the Redskins close to playing a full 60-minute game?

“That’s what we’re working for, to get that game. We’ve done it in spots. We haven’t done a complete game, which is frustrating. That’s what we’re working for, but we’ve got guys that will work. We’ve got guys that are showing up, giving us everything they’ve got and when you look at film and you do see that. So we’ve got to eliminate some of those mistakes and hopefully we put that together this weekend.”

5. Shanahan was asked about players who were injured at various times during the Denver game who were not named Robert Griffin III. Here’s what he said: “We’ve got a few guys beat up but I don’t want to talk about any injuries until Wednesday because they’ll go through treatment and a little rehab and see on Wednesday if anybody’s out,” Translation: “I don’t have to put out an injury report until Wednesday afternoon and I’m not giving out any information before I have to.”

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Stat of the day

—The Chargers are last in the NFL with four takeaways on the season. DeAngelo Hall of the Redskins has four takeaways himself with three interceptions and a fumble recovery.

Timeline

—Days until: Chargers @ Redskins 5; Redskins @ Vikings 9; Redskins @ Eagles 19

—Today’s schedule: Off day, no availability         

In case you missed it

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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.

More Redskins: An early look at first-round draft possibilities

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!