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Need to Know: Shanahan says Redskins' offense did not change for Cousins

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Need to Know: Shanahan says Redskins' offense did not change for Cousins

Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, December 17, five days before the Washington Redskins host the Dallas Cowboys.

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Five notes and quotes from Mike Shanahan’s press conference on Monday

1. Shanahan was asked how the Redskins managed to get through the game with only one sack. Note how he mentions nothing about the offensive line doing anything different. “Like I said, what you’re doing is you’re looking at that film and you’re studying it and you’re making sure you do go through the proper footwork, the proper reads, and the better off you are, the more success you have.”

2. Shanahan said that the offense did not change from Robert Griffin III to Kirk Cousins. I don’t know but I saw a lot more bootlegs from Cousins than from Griffin. “You have the same dropback, you have the same ability to run quarterback keeps or half-rolls or bootlegs, waggles, different types of screens depending what the defense is giving you, so that’s part of our offensive scheme.”

3. Darrel Young was active against the Falcons after missing three games with a hamstring injury. He played only seven snaps before aggravating the injury and leaving. With two games left, it might be time to put Young on injured reserve and bring in someone who can block for Alfred Morris. “He set himself back a little bit. I’m hoping it’s not as serious as it was before. We’ll test him out here over the next couple of days and get a better feel for him.”

4. When asked to talk about how Cousins’ success should be weighed since it came against one of the league’s worst pass defenses, Shanahan turned the subject to sample size. “We’ve had one game. Let’s not get carried away with numbers, OK? We’ve had one game where we lost the game.”

5. I’m not sure why you would ask Mike Shanahan how the Redskins will decide whether to trade Kirk Cousins this offseason or keep him since he probably won’t be here to make that decision. But someone did. “I think that’s what you do is you sit down as an organization, as a staff, as an ownership, and you decide what’s best for the organization, but that’s part of your plan in building a football team.”

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Stat of the day

—Going into the Atlanta game the Redskins were in the middle of the pack in the NFL in turnover ration with a minus-two. After going minus-4 against the Falcons Washington is now 27th in the league at minus-8. With the exception of last year they have been negative in turnover ratio every year that Shanahan has been the coaching them.

Timeline

—Days until: Cowboys @ Redskins 5; Redskins @ Giants 12; Opening Sunday 2014 season 265

—Today’s schedule: Off day, no availability

In case you missed it

Shanahan assesses Cousins’ play 

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Need to Know: The early odds on what happens with Redskins and Cousins

Need to Know: The early odds on what happens with Redskins and Cousins

Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, January 19, 98 days before the NFL draft.

Timeline

Days until:
NFL franchise tag deadline 42
NFL free agency starts 50
First Sunday of 2017 season 235

The coordinator search and more

As noted above, we have 42 days until the deadline for the Redskins to put the franchise tag on quarterback Kirk Cousins. The immediate future of the franchise is contingent this situation being handled correctly by the organization. It’s time to turn the attention and the $100 in imaginary casino chips towards what might happen with Cousins as the process unfold. We will revisit this from time to time as the various deadlines approach so consider this the early odds.

Sign before the tag deadline, $5—This seems unlikely after his rather cold response to my question immediately following the season-ending loss to the Giants when he said, “The ball’s not in my court.” He indicated that it’s up to the Redskins to tag him. It doesn’t look like he and his agent will have much of an inclination to sit down to any serious negotiations before that happens.

Let him go into free agency, $5—Yes, I know that this is out there but it makes no sense to take the chance of the possibility that he could walk with zero compensation. While there might be some logic in finding out what Cousins would be worth in a true free market in order to establish the basis for a fair contract the risk of behind left empty-handed is just too great.

Tag and trade, $20—This also has been discussed by various media types as a possibility. It would involve giving Cousins the non-exclusive franchise tag, which would let him go out and negotiate a deal with another team. The Redskins could then match that offer or choose to get compensation. The CBA calls for compensation of two first-round picks although the two teams may negotiate something less. The most frequently suggested trade partner is the 49ers and their soon-to-be head coach Kyle Shanahan but there are probably around half a dozen teams, maybe more, who could be interested. If the Redskins don’t think they will ever sign Cousins long term this could be the way to go.

Tag and sign by July 15 deadline, $30—This may be a little low for this possibility. Perhaps if the other options are off the table he will consider that he is a perfect match for Jay Gruden’s offense and that he might not be such a good fit elsewhere. There also is the possibility of injury or, for whatever reason, Cousins having a subpar season. Those thoughts could spur him to instruct his agent to get the best deal he can get in Washington.

Tag and play the season on the tag, $40—Right now, this appears to be the mostly likely scenario. They can afford the $24 million cap hit and it would get them one more year of his services. However, the prospects for him remaining in a Redskins uniform for 2018 and beyond would be very cloudy.

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In case you missed it

Stay up to date on the Redskins! Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page www.Facebook.com/RealRedskins and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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3 of 4 Redskins named to Pro Bowl won't attend

3 of 4 Redskins named to Pro Bowl won't attend

Ryan Kerrigan, Jordan Reed and Brandon Scherff will skip next week's Pro Bowl in Orlando a team spokesman confirmed to CSN. All three players dealt with injuries late in the season, most notably Reed, and playing in the exhibition game is not in the cards. Trent Williams, however, is still slated to play in the game. 

Reed suffered a separated shoulder on Thanksgiving playing against the Dallas Cowboys. For the rest of the season, Reed played through significant pain and his production dipped.

Kerrigan played much of the season with an injured elbow and hurt his finger in the final game against the Giants. Scherff played with ankle pain and was listed on the injury report much of the season's final four games.

For Reed and Scherff, this year marked their first Pro Bowl. The recognition was deserved for both players, and shows that the guard and tight end are gaining national spotlight for their play.

Kerrigan played in the Pro Bowl following the 2012 season. He finished this year with 11 sacks, 2.5 short os his career high 13.5 in 2014. 

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