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RB report: We're talking practice

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RB report: We're talking practice

Observations or thoughts from any of these way early before training campteam practices are often couched with a reference to no pads being worn, notackles being made. Rightfully so, especially when it comes to the runninggame, so says the man in charge. "With running backs you really dont know until you put them in a gamesituation," Redskins coach Mike Shanahan said. "Youve got a goodfeel. Its a lot like the safety position. Until you see them hit, you reallydont know if theyve got a sense for the ball at the safety position. Itsthe same thing with a running back. Can they run? Can they protect? Untilpeople are shooting at him live bullets, you dont know for sure.Obviously, the Redskins got a long look at Roy Helu Jr. last year. On Thursday,the dual threat back flashed his effective pass receiving skills, hauling in acouple of short scoring passes from Robert Griffin III. Especially with Tim Hightower (knee surgery) on the sideline, Helu is thetop backfield option, though others received snaps with the first team duringwhat was a mix-and-match team drills session. Tristan Davis' ability popped ona couple of touches, but again, no pads, no tackling - and once Hightower isback, potentially no more run for the veteran addition with the starters.As for Hightower, Shanahan said, I havent been able to see Tim practiceyet. Hes biting at the bit, ready to go. I cant tell you if itll be twoweeks or three weeks, but hell be ready for the season."I talked with Hightower as he walked off the practice field and as Iwrote yesterday, the veteran seems encouraged by his progress followingsurgery in November. However, having "never been through thisprocess", he's been hesitant to project a timeline for his return. "You know your body," Hightower said. "Im a full speed kindof guy, practice at full speed, give effort. If Im not able to come out and dothat on a consistent basis, Im not going to practice."That means more reps and opportunity for the other guys to show they areworthy of a spot on the 53-man roster or the practice squad. That's something,but especially with running backs,hardly the largerpart of the evaluationprocess.

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Kirk Cousins shows off competitive spirit, soft touch - at Jenga (VIDEO)

Kirk Cousins shows off competitive spirit, soft touch - at Jenga (VIDEO)

After NFL minicamps end in mid-June, and before the grind of training camps start in late July, players are free to have a little bit of fun and try to relax. For Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins that evidently means a game of Jenga.

Fun at Kirk's 10 year high school reunion!!!

A post shared by Julie Cousins (@juliehcousins) on

The video comes from Cousins' wife Julie, and the caption explains that the couple were attending the quarterback's 10-year high school reunion. Looks like a fun scene, and the Michigan waterfront looks even better.

ROSTER BATTLES: Left guard | Tight end Nickel cornerback  | Inside linebacker | Running back

For anybody that has watched Cousins on the practice field or listened to him mic'd up during a Redskins game, the competitive outburst is no surprise. Cousins likes to win, period. Even at life-size Jenga during his 10-year high school reunion. 

Obviously, contract talks between Cousins' representatives and the Redskins continue, and likely will until the July 17th franchise tag deadline. Last season, Cousins threw for nearly 5,000 passing yards, completing 67 percent of his passes to go with 25 TDs and 12 INTs. He's allowed to have a little fun here and there.

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Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—Pressure on Gruden, Galette confident

Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—Pressure on Gruden, Galette confident

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, June 24, 33 days before the Washington Redskins start training camp in Richmond on July 27.

Timeline

The Redskins last played a game 174 days ago; they will open the 2017 season against the Eagles in FedEx Field in 78 days.

Days until:

—Franchise tag contract deadline (7/17) 23
—Preseason opener @ Ravens (8/10) 47
—Roster cut to 53 (9/2) 70

The Redskins week that was

Pressure Points: Focus is on Jay Gruden like never before—So you lost two coordinators and your top two wide receivers? Well, the Redskins gave him a two-year contract extension because they think he can deal with problems like those. Gruden will be cut zero slack.

Post-minicamp 53-man roster projection, offense—Sure, there will be plenty of lip service about everyone having a chance of making the 53-man roster. But this cake is very nearly baked. But the real competition in training camp will be for the 10 practice squad spots. I picked 25 offensive players to make it and I’m confident that 23, maybe 22 of the picks will be right. There seems to be more questions on defense (roster projection here) but even on that side of the ball, few jobs are truly up for grabs.

Redskins in a no-lose situation with confident Galette—We haven’t seen Junior Galette practicing in the spring before. Two years ago, he wasn’t with the team yet and last year he was held out so he could rehab his torn Achilles. That means we don’t have much comparison to make but he did look good. Next step is to do it with the pads on.

Snyder 'THRILLED' with ruling that should protect Redskins name—The legal part of the fight to get the Redskins to change their name is over after the recent Supreme Court ruling. They will not lose their trademark protection, which would effectively force them to change the team. However, it seems likely that the political and social battle will go on.

Is a Redskins-Cousins deal not only possible but probable?—One analyst thinks that the Redskins have too much to lose to not get a deal done by July 17. I think he’s right but I’m not sure if I’ll go along with his odds. 

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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