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Redskins practice report, Day 5: RG3 sharp in 2-minute work

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Redskins practice report, Day 5: RG3 sharp in 2-minute work

RICHMOND—It was hot again today as the Redskins end a stretch of five straight practice days. Here are my observations from the afternoon practice:

—The Redskins practiced in true full pads for the first time today, including pants with the mandated pads in them. They picked probably the hottest afternoon so far to so that.

Bill Callahan got into Arie Kouandjio during position drills, not happy with the rookie’s technique. He’s a rookie, it happens.

Matt Jones, who has a sore knee, was observing practice today, standing on the field. Although you never know, that indicates to me that his injury isn’t too serious.

Alfred Morris caught a short pass from Robert Griffin III just past the line and quickly turned it upfield for a nice gain. If he can develop into at least an average back in terms of catching passes he could earn himself a nice free agent contract next spring. But he often looks like a good receiver in the summer and we don’t see it in the fall.

—Working with the second team offense, Silas Redd found nothing on a run to the left side as Preston Smith led a group of defenders in knocking him down for a loss. On the next snap, he found the going easier on the right side as he quickly popped through the hole on the next play.

—A few plays later in the same full team session, Kirk Cousins stepped up in the pocket and fired to Pierre Garçon. The receiver got it between the “8” and the “8” on his jersey for about 20 yards

—Smith had a good day after some tough ones in the one-on-one pass blocking drill. On one play he pushed back Takoby Cofield, who looked like he was on roller skates, back to the quarterback. A few plays later the same two matched up and Smith dismissed the tackle with a quick inside move. Smith displaying both power and quickness.

Stephen Paea also has tremendous power and good moves. He easily shook off Tom Compton in the pass block drill with a quick move and burst to the quarterback.

—Overall, the blockers held their own and then some. That drill strongly favors the defense since there is no deception on the play and no double teams are allowed.

Chris Thompson made a nice red zone run. He took a handoff and went up the middle, zigzagging his way through defenders for about 10 yards.

—Thompson does have some work to do in pass protection. Keenan Robinson blew past him and chased Griffin to the right. The quarterback was able to get rid of the ball, throwing an incompletion downfield.

—Griffin and DeSean Jackson had one chance to connect deep but David Amerson was with the receiver step for step. The pass traveled about 55 yards downfield but it was a bit too long. Amerson, though, tumbled to the ground and appeared to injure his shoulder. He left practice and did not return.

—In a two-minute drill in the last session of practice, Griffin went eight for eight, although it should be noted that it looked like he was past the line of scrimmage on a shovel pass and Ryan Kerrigan could easily have sacked him on another. But he was sharp, hitting Niles Paul for a long gain inside the 10. Griffin finished off the drive with a five-yard touchdown pass to Ryan Grant.

—Cousins was not sharp initially when the second-team offense went into the two-minute drill. He went to throw a deep out but his eyes gave the pass away and he wound up for it too much. That enabled Chris Baker to get a hand up and bat it away.

—But a few plays later he fired a pass to Jamison Crowder on the sideline. It was just beyond the reach of a defender and Crowder snatched it out of the air for a long gain.

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Report: One team Redskins need to watch out for when it comes to Kirk Cousins this offseason

Report: One team Redskins need to watch out for when it comes to Kirk Cousins this offseason

Mike Shanahan likes Kirk Cousins, both as a person and as a quarterback. The former Redskins coach has made no secret about that. Luckilly for the 'Skins, especially with Cousins staring at free agency, Mike Shanahan is no longer coaching in the NFL.

His son Kyle, however, seems highly likely to take over as San Francisco 49ers head coach. And soon.

Kyle Shanahan currently serves as the offensive coordinator for the Atlanta Falcons, and once their playoff run ends, most expect Shanahan to be named Niners head coach. 

Why should Washington fans care? Allow ESPN's Adam Schefter to explain:

Kyle Shanahan is set to become the San Francisco 49ers' head coach after Atlanta's season ends. San Francisco needs a quarterback as much as any other team in the league. If Cousins is available, the 49ers would pursue him as hard as they've pursued Shanahan.

Even if Washington tags Cousins, San Francisco could attempt to pry him loose in a trade with a package that could include this year's No. 2 overall draft pick. And if Washington doesn't want to deal now, it could have issues later.

This news should not be a shock to Skins fans, but it should be taken seriously. Remember, Kyle Shanahan was part of the Washington organization when Cousins was drafted and the duo worked together in 2012 and 2013. Most quarterbacks would love to run Shanahan's No. 1 ranked offense from Atlanta, and the guess here says Cousins would probably jump at the opportunity. 

Still, much must be worked out.

While some in the Washington front office might have questions about what the long-term value should be in a Cousins contract, the team still has some control. They can place the franchise tag on Cousins this season, like they did last season, and work until mid-summer on a multi-year deal. Or Cousins can again play on a franchise tag in 2017, like he did in 2016 and passed for nearly 5,000 yards.

MORE REDSKINS: Kevin O'Connell to be hired as QB coach

What makes Schefter's report the most interesting is the mention of the No. 2 overall pick. Observing the Redskins in 2016, it became obvious the team needs more impact players on defense, and with the second overall pick combined with their own 17th pick and eight more after that, that could deliver an immediate boost. 

Whatever boost a package of draft picks might bring in will be hard pressed to match the production of Cousins. Finding a starting quarterback in the NFL is exceptionally hard, and while Cousins has shown flashes of a special player, he has certainly confirmed he is a capable player in two seasons at the helm of Jay Gruden's offense.

Scot McCloughan and the Redskins brain trust have a few more weeks before free agency, and with it, the deadline to again place the franchise tag on Cousins. It's nearly impossible to see a scenario where Cousins hits the open market this season, but if the No. 2 overall pick comes into play, other scenarios start to seem more possible. 

RELATED: 2017 NFL MOCK DRAFT 1.0

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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The Final Countdown: Josh Norman INT makes for Redskins 7th best play of 2016

The Final Countdown: Josh Norman INT makes for Redskins 7th best play of 2016

As should be expected when a team goes 8-7-1, there were plenty of good moments and a lot of frustrating times during the Redskins’ 2016 season. Over the next couple of weeks, Redskins Insiders Rich Tandler and JP Finlay will take detailed looks at the 10 best plays of 2016 and at the 10 worst.

No. 7 best play of 2016

Redskins vs. Browns Week 4

6:37 left in Q4, Browns ball at their own 30, 2nd and 2, Redskins leading 24-20

Cody Kessler pass short middle intended for Terrelle Pryor INTERCEPTED by Josh Norman at CLV 25. Josh Norman to CLV 24 for 1 yard (Andre Hawkins).
PENALTY on WAS-J.Norman, Unsportsmanlike Conduct, 15 yards, enforced at CLV 24.

Related: The Redskins week that was

Tandler: Sometimes you have a great win, sometimes you dodge disaster. This one went in the latter category. The Redskins couldn’t quite shake the feisty Browns and Kessler for three and a half quarters. Then Norman stayed in Pryor’s hip pocket as the receiver ran a slat. Norman lunged in front of Pryor as the ball arrived and made the interception. He did draw a penalty for doing a bow and arrow celebration but the Redskins overcame that and drove in for the clinching touchdown in their 31-20 win.

More Redskins: Offensive coordinator situation set?

Finlay: Josh Norman was the story of the Redskins offseason, and this game came one week after playing, and beating, Odell Beckham in New York. The spotlight was burning bright on Norman, and he made a crucial play when the Skins really needed it. Washington got out to a big lead early in this game only to let the Browns climb back in, mainly on the strength of Isaiah Crowell and th Cleveland run game. Losing at home to an awful Browns team would have completely derailed the modicum of momentum Kirk Cousins and the 'Skins established with the Week 3 win over the Giants, and Norman's INT made sure that didn't happen. 

10 best plays countdown

10 worst plays countdown

RELATED: 2017 NFL MOCK DRAFT 1.0

Want more Redskins? Check out @JPFinlayCSN and @Rich_TandlerCSN 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!