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Need to Know: 'This is who Cousins is'

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Need to Know: 'This is who Cousins is'

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, September 26, eight days before the Redskins host the Eagles.

This is who Kirk Cousins is

After Kirk Cousins’ rocky game against the Giants, Marshall Faulk of NFL Network said the following:
“Who we saw tonight, that’s who Kirk Cousins is. For throwing the ball 49 times, this is a good game for Kirk Cousins. I don’t believe that there is a, ‘Oh he can play better, there is more he can do.’ If his team doesn’t play better, he cannot carry this team. He can be a part of a team.”
This strikes me as being the best concise analysis of who Kirk Cousins is and what he is capable of doing that I have read. He isn’t going to carry your team. If he has to throw 49 times he will get picked off and the Redskins probably won’t win.

But he is not that different from most other quarterbacks in the league in that regard. Since the start of the 2014 season, up to an including Cousins last night, a quarterback has attempted 49 or more passes in a game 34 times. In 16 of those games, just under half, the quarterback was intercepted two or three times. Eleven times the quarterback was picked off once and just seven threw no picks.

The teams’ records in these games is 8-26.

So if most quarterbacks have to put the ball up a lot the will get picked off and they will lose. I’m not sure why we expect that Kirk Cousins will be any different.

This is, of course, a macro view of these games. There is cause and effect in play. The teams aren’t necessarily losing because the quarterbacks are throwing so often; often the quarterbacks are passing a lot because their teams are trailing. And sometimes the quarterbacks bear greater responsibility for the existence of the deficit than others.

Against the Giants, Cousins helped dig the hole that he later had to pass the team’s way out of. His first-quarter interception led to a very short field for Eli Manning and the Redskins were down two scores early.

In case you are wondering (and I know that many of you out there looking for “balance” in the way that quarterbacks are treated in the media), Robert Griffin III has thrown 49 or more passes in a game twice in his career. He was picked off twice in one of those games and once in the other. The Redskins lost both of those games, to the Eagles and Lions in 2013.

This is pretty simple, folks. Although Kirk Cousins might improve with more experience, for right now and for the immediate future he is who he is. Like many other quarterbacks around the league he will have problems if the Redskins don’t force turnovers to get the offense a short field, play poorly on special teams, and have trouble running the ball.

The Redskins are playing Cousins because they believe that he is their best option among the three they have right now. Many have said that Griffin or Colt McCoy would be better options. Perhaps. But if they can’t run the ball better than they did against the Giants and get set up with a short field by either the defense or special teams from time to time it is unlikely that any of them will win consistently.

Timeline

Today’s schedule: Off day

Days until: Eagles @ Redskins 8; Redskins @ Falcons 15; Redskins @ Jets 22

In case you missed it

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New #RedskinsTalk Podcast: JP & Tandler break down Redskins draft targets, and players to avoid

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New #RedskinsTalk Podcast: JP & Tandler break down Redskins draft targets, and players to avoid

How plausible is a draft day trade? Could the Redskins move up? And what to do about all those 'diluted samples'? JP Finlay and Rich Tandler break it all down.

<<<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!

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Redskins roster by the numbers: Defense

Redskins roster by the numbers: Defense

The Redskins currently have 75 players on their roster. They are about to add some more in the draft and as undrafted free agents. They can have up to 90 players on their offseason roster. Year after year the distribution of those players to positions are consistent. We can look at what they have and see what they need to sign to get through OTAs, minicamp, and training camp.

Let’s break down the numbers by position and see where they will need to add players to get to where they want to be going into training camp. Last week we looked at the offense; today we’ll look at the numbers on defense.

End

Have: 6
Need: 8

Just like in a game, you want plenty of players to rotate through the line in the heat of training camp. They could carry one or two additional players here since they are legitimately in search of players who can have an impact beyond starters Terrelle McClain and Stacy McGee and pass rushing project Anthony Lanier.  

Nose Tackle

Have: 2
Need: 4

Like with the ends, you want to have a few big guys to rotate in when it gets hot in Richmond. It would be surprising if the Redskins didn’t add a nose tackle to the mix in the draft, probably on Saturday.

Inside linebacker

Have: 9
Need: 8

If the Redskins take an inside linebacker in the draft, as many expect that will, this position would get very crowded. They could keep as many as six on the final 53-man roster if there are a couple of key special teams players in the group.

RELATED: NFL Mock Draft Version 10.0

Outside linebacker

Have: 7
Need: 7

They could keep an extra one or two if they find some in the draft. You can’t have too many pass rushers, although they have kept just four on the final roster recently.  

Cornerback

Have: 7
Need: 8

It has always seemed to be a little odd to me that they’ll bring in a dozen wide receivers and only seven or eight corners.

MORE REDSKINS: Redskins mock 2.0 goes offense early, defense often

Safety

Have: 7
Need: 7

The depth chart here is unusual in that all seven players have significant NFL playing time; there is no “training camp fodder” here. If the draft one, an experienced player might be let go.  

Total defensive players under contract: 38
Total needed for camp: 41

There are 34 offensive players and three specialists on the roster, making the total 75. If they don’t make deals and use all 10 of their draft picks that will leave just five spots to sign undrafted free agents. They likely will want to sign more than that meaning that some of the players currently on the roster will end up getting cut, particularly those on the defensive side.

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