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Need to Know: Shanahan expects quick resolution

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Need to Know: Shanahan expects quick resolution

Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, December 24, five days before the Washington Redskins visit the New York Giants.

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Five notes and quotes from Mike Shanahan’s Monday news conference:

1. As noted here yesterday, Shanahan said after the game that he thought there was a block in the back during Michael Spurlock’s 62-yard punt return. He said a look at the film confirmed it. "There’s no question it was, but hey, we’ve still got to – somebody else has to – make the play. Yeah, they [the officials] missed one there, but they’ll miss some on our side as well.”

2. Shanahan has said many times that he will meet with Daniel Snyder at the end of the season to determine his future. He was asked if he expected the meeting and resolution to happen quickly. “I’m sure it will,” he said. “But you’ll have to ask Dan to make sure. I can’t answer that.”

3. On the Redskins last play from scrimmage, Cousins' fourth-down pass that only Fred Davis, who wasn't in the game, could catch, it appeared that there was some confusion from the line. There was. On a critical play in the 15th game of the fourth season under this coaching staff, a 13-year veteran doesn’t know where he should be lining up. ““Well, he [Moss] should have been on the other side. Santana heard a different formation and he [Cousins] was trying to bring him across and we didn’t get it communicated.”

4. After saying that he prefers natural grass but the future of the FedEx playing surface is up to Snyder, Shanahan basically threw the FedEx grass under the bus. “Two or three years in a row, you see how bad that field is, it’s [field turf] something you would definitely look at.”

5. Even though there is absolutely nothing on the line on Sunday, Shanahan still won’t give some younger players a look during the Giants game. “Still the same – you’ve got to earn the right to play. If it’s really close or somebody has played a little bit better, regardless of who that person is, he’ll get a chance to play.”

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Timeline

—Days until: Redskins @ Giants 5; Free agency starts 77; 2014 NFL Draft 135

—Today’s schedule: Practice 11:50; Mike Shanahan and Kirk Cousins news conferences and player availability after practice (Note that this is the usual Wednesday schedule; they will take the usual Tuesday off day on Christmas Day)

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Shanahan on QB hits

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One stat that should make DeSean Jackson very dangerous against Eagles

One stat that should make DeSean Jackson very dangerous against Eagles

The Eagles defense is on a big-play streak, but not one that defensive coordinators will like very much, and it could be very good news for the Redskins and DeSean Jackson. 

At this stage of his career, Jackson is a well-known deep threat. While much of the 2016 season has been disappointing for Jackson, in back-to-back weeks, the vertical passing attack has worked. In Arizona last Sunday, Jackson only caught one pass, but it went for 59 yards. On Thanksgiving in Dallas, Jackson hauled in a 67-yard touchdown pass from Kirk Cousins as part of his season-high 118 receiving yards.

"What he brings to this football team, he brings something that not a lot of people can bring, and that’s obviously the speed and the big play ability," 'Skins head coach Jay Gruden said of Jackson.

The last two games moved Jackson's yards-per-catch average back in normal range with the rest of his career at 16.5. Halfway through this season, Jackson was averaging below 14 YPC, which would have been by far the worst of his career.

"A lot of people think that we haven’t utilized his speed quite like we should, but I think he has had a major impact on this football team," Gruden said. "His deep threat has an impact on the defense. It opens up areas for Jordan Reed and Jamison Crowder and the backs sometimes. He’s been a major influence for this football team in a good way."

Beyond just the big plays, the Eagles defense has given up 645 passing yards in their last two games. Cousins has historically played well in Philadelphia, and should be in good position to do the same this weekend.

And based on the Eagles' past six games, expect Jackson to have another big game at Lincoln Financial Field. 

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