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Need to Know: Shanahan praises Redskins' defense

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Need to Know: Shanahan praises Redskins' defense

Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, October 15, five days before the Washington Redskins play the Chicago Bears at FedEx Field.

Nickel coverage

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

Shanahan was asked about the punt that bounced off of the legs of a Cowboys player and was awarded back to Dallas despite the fact that the Redskins pounced on the ball. The officials ruled that the player had been blocked into the ball so it’s al though he had not touched it. By the way, former NFL official Mike Pereira told Grant Paulsen of WFAN that he also thought it should have been the Redskins’ ball.

I saw it. It was a missed call. I saw it during the game, but if somebody makes a call incorrectly and that’s what they see, you can’t challenge it. So it’s just a missed call. We should have had the ball there.

Shanahan on the Redskins’ defense, which allowed a season-low 213 yards to the Cowboys.

I think I shared with you that I was very pleased with our defense. I thought it was their best game of the year by far. Any time you have that type of run defense and you go against a quarterback that’s had a lot of success and you play at that level, you feel very good. The defense gave us many opportunities to win that football game, but we didn’t take advantage of it offensively or [on] special teams. In order to win those games, you’ve got to play good in all phases, especially on the road.

David Amerson suffered a concussion on a special teams play, a kickoff that ended up being a 90-yard return for Dwayne Harris. Shanahan thinks that Amerson could have avoided the big hit and made a tackle on the play:

Well, it was definitely helmet-to-helmet. David, of course in that position, he’s going to learn in time that he’s got to hit that hole a little bit harder. He can’t wait. He’s got an excellent opportunity to go in there and make the play and that’s just a guy with a little inexperience. Next time he’s in that position, he’ll make the tackle.

On Robert Griffin III running more:

I think everybody saw that Robert did look more comfortable running the ball, making plays out of sequence. Really it’s a credit to him making some of those plays, but collectively we’ve got to get better as a team. Obviously the more he can do the better off we’ll be.

On losing long snapper Nick Sundberg for the season:

Anytime you lose a guy that you count on, it takes some work, takes some timing. If it’s on extra points and field goals, if it’s on punts, it does take some time. There’s a learning process that goes with it.


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Stat of the day

—Alfred Morris is on pace to have 230 rushing attempts this season. He had 335 attempts in 2012.

Timeline

—Days until: Bears @ Redskins 5; Redskins @ Broncos 12; Chargers @ Redskins 19

—Today’s schedule: Off day, no availability                                                                     

In case you missed it

Griffin sharper running, passing needs work

@Rich_TandlerCSN on Twitter
Been covering Shanahan since he got to DC, never remember him talking about a departed #Redskins player like this: http://t.co/JLlDgarToT

— Rich Tandler (@Rich_TandlerCSN) October 15, 2013

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When asked to vote for top 20 players, Pierre Garcon just wrote 'Kirk Cousins' 20 times

When asked to vote for top 20 players, Pierre Garcon just wrote 'Kirk Cousins' 20 times

Redskins receiver Pierre Garcon just filled out his ballot for the annual NFL Top 100 Players list.

Let's just say it's pretty one-dimensional. 

Straight like that

A photo posted by Pierre Garcon (@pierregarcon) on

As you can see, the form asks guys to rank who they consider the top 20 players in the league. But instead of naming 20 different players, Garcon voted for the same player 20 times. Talk about stuffing the ballot box. 

No surprise, but he's hyping his quarterback Kirk Cousins. 

Cousins is having a career year with the Redskins. His stock has soared over the last three weeks especially. Take a look at his numbers in that span: 84 completions on 116 attempts for 1,086 yards (72 percent), eight touchdowns and zero interceptions. 

Those efforts earned the Michigan State product NFC Offensive Player of the Month honors. And more importantly, Cousins has the Redskins in favorable position to make the playoffs for the second year in a row.

So far this season, Garcon has caught 52 passes from Cousins for 636 yards and two scores. 

MORE REDSKINS: Reed out, 7 other Redskins questionable

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Redskins promote CB Phillips from practice squad, waive Bruton Jr. and Clausell

Redskins promote CB Phillips from practice squad, waive Bruton Jr. and Clausell

The Redskins made a couple of roster moves just before departing for Arizona to play the Cardinals.

They signed cornerback Dashaun Phillips from the practice squad and cut offensive tackle Blaine Clausell. The Redskins also waived safety David Bruton Jr. off of injured reserve.

Phillips was the Redskins’ nickel corner for the first three games of the season, and he made four tackles and recovered a fumble. But they moved rookie Kendall Fuller up into the slot corner role in Week 4 and Phillips spent several weeks on the inactive list before being waived on November 12 and added to the practice squad three days later.

The moves became known after Redskins coach Jay Gruden had spoken to the media for the day so we can only speculate as to the reasoning behind them. Actually, the release of Clausell isn’t hard to figure out. He was signed after Trent Williams started his four-game suspension and with Williams set to return on Monday and the other options at backup tackle healthy there was no point in keeping him around.

Phillips is likely going to Arizona as an insurance policy. The Cardinals like to spread the field with a lot of wide receivers. They will want to have five cornerbacks active. They do have Josh Norman, Bashaud Breeland, Fuller, Quinton Dunbar, and Greg Toler. But Breeland is listed as questionable with an ankle injury and they Redskins don’t want to take any chance of being caught short-handed at cornerback if he suffers a setback. That’s especially true when they don’t need to bring an extra tackle along.

Depending on how things shake out injury-wise against the Cardinals there is a good chance that we could see Phillips on the waiver wire once again as a roster spot will be needed for Williams.

Bruton started the first four games of the season at safety before going on injured reserve with a concussion. This past offseason he signed a three-year, $9 million free agent contract with $3.4 million full guaranteed. There will be a deal cap hit of approximately $1.7 million in 2017 to account for the prorated bonus.