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Ranking the Redskins #9 - #16

Ranking the Redskins #9 - #16

Who are the Redskins’ best players and who are the ones who are starting just because there isn’t enough talent to push them out? If another team had a shot at anyone on the Redskins’ roster to use for the 2005 season, who would they gobble up and who would they say thanks, but no thanks to?

To help answer this, the Redskins starters were ranked from the most expendable to the most valuable. Today, the middle of the pack, #9-#16.

You can reach Rich Tandler by email at WarpathInsiders@comcast.net

In inverse order, here are my rankings of the Redskins 24 starters, including punter and kicker, based on what they might do in 2006. Their 2005 rankings here (Part 1, Part 2), where applicable, are in parenthesis:

16. DE Phillip Daniels (18)—At age 33, which is the real Daniels? The one who spend most of the 2004 on the injured list or the one who started 16 games last year and racked up eight sacks, four in the key won over Dallas?

15. WR Antwaan Randle El (NR)—We’re going with a 3-WR, one TE and one running back set here. This is looking at Randle El strictly as a receiver, not taking into account his return skills, which will be his major value to the team.

14. CB Shawn Springs (4)—He was great in ’04, good last year. With his 31st birthday in the rear view mirror, will the decline continue?

13. WR Brandon Lloyd (NR)—In San Francisco, Lloyd displayed a knack for both the spectacular catch and the drop of the easy one. He needs to get rid of the latter tendency so that it doesn’t undo the good of the former.

12. LB Lemar Marshall (24)—He was the lowest-ranked Redskin here last year primarily because he had never taken an NFL snap at middle linebacker at the time. Marshall proved to be a quick study and became a playmaker, leading the team in interceptions.

11. T Jon Jansen (6)—His comeback season was a little bit off from his pre-2004 standards, as he had to deal with a broken thumb on each hand. While his holding calls were down, so was his overall effectiveness.

10. TE Chris Cooley (8)—With the weapons the Redskins added on offense, Cooley could play better this year than last, but catch fewer passes.

9. S Adam Archuleta (NR)—This may be a bit higher ranking than his coverage skills warrant, but his potential to be a force blitzing and run stopping in Gregg Williams’ defense moves him up the list.

Rich Tandler is the author of The Redskins From A to Z, Volume 1: The Games. This unique book has an account of every game the Redskins played from when they moved to Washington in 1937 through the 2001 season. For details and ordering information, go to http://www.RedskinsGames.com

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Cousins believes "a lot rides" on the coming Redskins season

Cousins believes "a lot rides" on the coming Redskins season

RICHMOND—While Kirk Cousins has had a lot of success in his first two seasons as the Redskins’ starting quarterback, he and the team didn’t finish last season the way they wanted to. They lost four of their last six games to finish out of a playoff spot. With the game on the line in the season finale against the Giants, Cousins threw an interception as the team was driving for a late score to win or tie the game. The loss was the final blow to their playoff hopes.

As with any disappointing situation, Cousins and the team must walk a line between learning from the mistakes that were made—and there were many beyond the Cousins interception—and dwelling on the past. Cousins said today that the failure to make the playoffs will help drive the team this year.

RELATED: Reed one of four to start camp on PUP

“I think what it does is it gives us an edge, because we stay humble and hungry because we left the season realizing we do have a long ways to go,” Cousins said of the late-season woes. “We do need to improve if we want to go in the direction that we all believe we can. In that sense we’ll take the silver lining that nobody is content, nobody is entitled, nobody feels like we can rest on what we’ve done in the past.”

While they can focus on the silver lining for now, Cousins says that they realize that coming close to the playoffs but missing out year after year won’t cut it. That’s what gets coaches fired and leads to players losing their jobs.

MORE REDSKINS: Ranking the Redskins roster, the final update

“We do feel like a lot rides on this season up ahead,” he said. “Hopefully, that gives us a sense of urgency all through training camp to be really focused, and as a result gets the best out of every one of us so that our team can play as well as we possibly can.”

Cousins is playing on the one-year franchise tag. He has been quick to point out that many of his teammates are either on one-year deals or in the final season of a multi-year deal. Cousins is one of over a dozen starters or key contributors who will become free agents in 2018. If they are going to stay around they can’t go 2-4 down the stretch like they did last year.

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.

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Redskins' Cousins says he bets on the system, not on himself

Redskins' Cousins says he bets on the system, not on himself

RICHMOND—As Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins goes into playing under the franchise tag for the second straight season, the phrase commonly used about him is that he is betting on himself, eschewing the long-term security of a multiyear deal in favor hoping to improve his leverage by playing on the tags.

However, Cousins said that is a misconception.

“I don’t know that I ever bet on myself, I bet on the system, he said. “It has nothing to do with myself. I’m just going out and playing and there’s never been anything but positive feelings. I’m excited to get to work here. As I’ve said, my wife and I love it here and we’re in a good place.”

RELATED: Reed one of four to start camp on PUP

Ever since the deadline for him to sign a long-term contract this year came and went without a new deal, Cousins has been trying to debunk the notion that he has a desire to leave the Redskins as soon as he can. Appearing on 106.7 The Fan last week, Cousins said that the Redskins are his “first choice” to be his team going forward. He talked positively about his future in Washington again today after the Redskins first training camp walkthrough.

Although there was talk that the contract negotiations took a sour turn at the end after team president Bruce Allen revealed some of the details of the team’s final offer to Cousins, Cousins indicated today that everything is fine.

“W e’ve done a good job communicating between me and the team,” he said. “We’re on the same page and we’ve done everything we can possibly do to get that settled and move forward. I think we’re all in a good place right now and we’ve got enough to worry about getting our offense playing at the level we need to have a great season so I can be back in future years.”

MORE REDSKINS: Ranking the Redskins roster, the final update

What it really comes down to, what Cousins believes will make things good in the future for him and the Redskins, is success on the field.

“If you win football games, everything else takes care of itself,” he said.

“In the offseason, the ball’s in the team’s court. But from Week 1 to Week 17, the ball’s in my court and I’ve got to go play football well. That’s where my focus is.”

There likely will be more talk of Cousins future beyond the 2017 seas in the coming weeks and months. It appears that for right now that is the furthest thing from Cousins’ mind.

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.