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Redskins fans should root for Ravens

Redskins fans should root for Ravens

If fans of the Washington Redskins are looking for a rooting interest in the NFL playoffs, they should look about 32 miles to the north of FedEx Field to M&T Bank Stadium.

They should think purple.

Yes, Redskins fans should be rooting for the Baltimore Ravens to win the Super Bowl.

I know that the idea is anywhere from repulsive to uncomfortable to most. It's just not natural to want to root for the team from the neighboring city. It certainly doesn't feel right to me, although the feeling is more towards uneasy and less towards physically ill.

But Redskins fans should set aside such feelings out of pure self-interest.

Huh?

Stick with me here. This is about Dan Snyder and the mix of insecurity, jealousy, and competitive fire that drives him.

Should the Ravens win the Super Bowl that will make two titles in the time that Snyder has owned the Redskins. Two titles in a period of time when Snyder's team has won a grand total of two playoff games. Two titles in a period of time during which anyone associated with Snyder's team would have to buy a ticket to attend so much as a conference championship game.

The Redskins owner clearly would be the owner of the inferior team in the region. It wouldn't even be debatable. Actually, it's not debatable that the Ravens are the superior team and organization right now, even if they were to lose to the Titans this weekend, but another championship would convince even those wearing glasses with lenses of the deepest shades of burgundy and gold of that fact.

It might even convince those with a vested interest in the way the Redskins do business to reconsider the way things work in Ashburn.

The Redskins and the Ravens couldn't be more different when it comes to football operations. Baltimore owner Steve Bisciotti offers encouragement and signs checks but otherwise stays out of the way. He lets Ozzie Newsome, his fine, talented general manager, draft the players and make the other player personnel decisions.

Snyder also offers encouragement and signs checks but he does not otherwise stay out of the way. While the extent of his involvement in player personnel decisions is unclear, the fact that he's involved at all is not good. Vinny Cerrato, one of the least talented and respected men in an NFL GM-type role, has some authority and that also is not good.

The Ravens, by and large, build through the draft and they build from the lines out. The Redskins think flashy skill players first and their plan for building consists of whatever seems like a good idea at the time.

The Ravens, in other words, have the traditional NFL setup and build in the traditional NFL way. The methods are traditional because they work.

Should there be a parade in downtown Baltimore in early February, Snyder would look up north with that mix of jealousy and desire to win. Steve Bisciotti holding up the Lombardi Trophy would be a life-altering moment for him. It would force him to take a serious look at the way he does things.

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and Snyder would be loathe to flatter the Ravens by immediately restructuring the Redskins organization and revamping its philosophy. But certainly a Ravens title would be a hard nudge in that direction and that would be a positive development.

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Jordan Reed one of four Redskins to begin training camp on PUP list

Jordan Reed one of four Redskins to begin training camp on PUP list

RICHMOND - Jordan Reed will start Redskins training camp on the Physically Unable to Perform list. 

The team's PR informed the media that Reed is experiencing pain and soreness in one of his big toes. The move to PUP was characterized as precautionary and they want to ensure that issues don't linger into the regular season. 

DeAngelo Hall, Houston Bates, and practice squadder Kendal Thompson will join Reed on the PUP list. 

RELATED: RANKING THE REDSKINS ROSTER

For Reed, an integral part of the Redskins offense, there is a long history of injuries. In 2016, he missed time with a separated shoulder and a concussion.

Before Redskins fans freak out, remember Reed took part in minicamp and looked dominant. The PUP list also allows the Redskins to activate Reed once he's capable of practicing. 

Reed did not take part in voluntary OTAs with the Redskins in May, but was a full participant with the team at June's minicamp. 

Asked about injured players taking part in practice during Wednesday's press conference, head coach Jay Gruden opened up:

I think the injured guys are injured guys. We’re never going to change how we treat them. It’s the trainers’ job to tell us when they can go. I’m not going to keep a guy out of practice just because I think he might be injured. It’s up to the trainers and up to that player to let me know whether they can go or not. But like you said, we do have a luxury of having 88 or 87 healthy bodies where we can practice and function without somebody who is injured. That’s the trainers’ job​.

Expect much more on this development.

UPDATE:

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Expectations won't change for Kirk Cousins, regardless of contract status

Expectations won't change for Kirk Cousins, regardless of contract status

RICHMOND - Jay Gruden expects the same effort and production from Kirk Cousins, regardless of the now two-year long contract saga between the quarterback and the Redskins.

"The thing about Kirk is you’re never worried about his preparation. It’s not going to vary from day in to day out," the coach said. "He’s not going to come in and be a different guy every day. He’s the same guy every day. [He’s] a great competitor, wants to get better."

Talks between Cousins' represenatives and the Redskins seemed more congenial this offseason, though the result remained the same. Cousins will be paid $24 million this year on the franchise tag, after making $20 million in 2016 on the same tag. 

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

Redskins team president Bruce Allen explained in a statment that his organization made an offer to Cousins that included $53 million guaranteed. Considering the funny money nature of NFL deals, the offer really only guaranteed another season at about $28 million for Cousins before a series of advantageous terms for the franchise. The deal had no chance of completion considering Cousins' leverage.

Still, Gruden thinks his quarterback will deliver. 

"He has a lot of room for improvement and he wants to be coached and it’s fun to coach him."

If Gruden sounds confident in Cousins' ability to compartmentalize, he should. The quarterback did just that last season, passing for nearly 5,000 yards with 25 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. 

The Redskins, and Cousins, struggled in the red zone in 2016, and that's something Gruden wants to see improved. 

"The contract status will take care of itself eventually, hopefully, but right now it is what it is and we’re happy to have him for 2017."

Long-term deal, or not, it's time for Gruden to coach and Cousins to quarterback.

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