RICHMOND—Friday saw a return of some rain, mostly light, and a visit from the governor of Virginia. Here is my practice report, which is slightly abbreviated since I was unable to watch all of practice. I’m augmenting it with some tweets from my colleague Tarik El-Bashir
—Yesterday they started up practice with the full kickoff team going through its paces. Today is was the punt team. They’re getting ready for the preseason opener six days from now.
—The offense was missing a big, key player due to injury but it’s nothing serious.
No helmet for Trent Williams today. Looks like he'll be a spectator today. Got kicked in shin yesterday. #RedskinsTalk
— Tarik El-Bashir (@TarikCSN) August 1, 2014
—But they did get one starter back as a substitute switched sides.
With Tyler Polumbus back after missing a couple of days on a personal matter, Tom Comopton flips to 1st team LT with Trent sitting out. — Rich Tandler (@Rich_TandlerCSN) August 1, 2014
—Some good action here as linebackers are in one on one coverage against running backs coming out of the backfield. Lache Seastrunk showed that he’s picking up some pass receiving skills when he outfought Will Compton, who had tight coverage, and caught the short pass. Here’s a Vine of some other action in that drill.
—One holdover from last year who really has to fight for a job is receiver Aldrick Robinson. He made some progress today.
Aldrick Robinson has hauled in a pair of TD passes. One in 7s and another in 11s. Speed never in doubt. But can he be consistent?
— Tarik El-Bashir (@TarikCSN) August 1, 2014
—One skill that Redskins defensive back have seemed to lack is how to play the ball in the air. Too often there has been a defender near the receiver as the ball comes down but the defender misplays the ball and the receiver makes the catch. David Amerson had no such issues covering Jordan Reed. The pass was up for grabs down the left sideline and Amerson did a nice job of tracking the ball and knocking down the pass.
—Kirk Cousins has a head-scratcher at least once a day. Today he tried to go to Aldrick Robinson over the middle and Bacarri Rambo got an easy interception. I have no idea what Cousins was looking at.
—A fun ending to practice as the team ran the two-minute offense. Griffin would have had the play of the day when he scrambled to his right and before going out ob bound he launched a deep pass to DeSean Jackson. The receiver had a step or two on DeAngelo Hall and he hauled in the pass. But a holding flag negated the play, although it will still look nice on film.
Of course, Kirk Cousins is disappointed the Redskins didn’t make the playoffs, but among the various things he’s done in the offseason, one of them is a little curious.
Sunday, Cousins wasn’t just watching the Falcons dominate the Packers, 44-21, in the NFC Championship Game. He sent out a picture on Instagram from the stands of the Georgia Dome.
“Watching two of the best in the world do what they do & taking notes to make it to this game next year -score a lot of points!” Cousins wrote.
But — especially with rumors that Atlanta offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan will be offered the head coaching position with the 49ers — is there more to this post than the Redskins’ quarterback simply watching the game?
Shanahan was the Redskins’ offensive coordinator from 2010-2013 and was reportedly “integral” in the team selecting Cousins in the 2012 NFL Draft.
So if Shanahan makes the move out to San Francisco and if the Redskins don’t put a franchise tag on Cousins, could the pair be reunited?
It’s possible, according to NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport, who said, “don’t be surprised if the 49ers make a run at Kirk Cousins if the Redskins do not make him their exclusive franchise player.”
There’s a lot of if’s involved for that to happen, but it’s possible. It’s also possible Cousins was just enjoying the NFC Championship Game and decided to Instagram about it.
MORE REDSKINS: Why Matt Cavanaugh makes sense for Washington
Championship Sunday produced a flurry of Redskins news. A pair of internal promotions erased the team's vacant coordinator positions, as Greg Manusky landed the defensive coordinator spot and Matt Cavanaugh will take over as offensive coordinator. When Sean McVay left to coach the Rams, many expected Cavanaugh to take over his spot. Here are three reasons why:
- If it ain't broke, don't fix it - There was plenty to criticize from the Redskins the last two seasons, but not much of it came on offense. Cavanaugh joined the organization in 2015 as quarterback coach, and the offense has consistently improved in those two seasons. Though the team struggled to score TDs in the Red Zone, the 2016 version of the Redskins moved the ball at a team-record clip and ranked among the top offensive teams in NFL yardage. When something is working as well as the 'Skins offense, it's not wise to change it dramatically.
- Impressive work - Cavanaugh began coaching QBs for the Redskins in 2015. Kirk Cousins took over as Redskins starting quarterback in 2015. In two years working together, Cousins twice broke the Redskins franchise passing record and is now poised to get a mega-contract in free agency. Talking after the 'Skins loss to the Giants earlier this month, Jay Gruden said, "I think [Cousins'] really improved his game a lot in the last couple years. And a lot of it has to do with Matt Cavanaugh and Sean McVay."
- Make the call - The biggest question remaining for the Redskins - outside of the HUGE unknown surrounding Cousins - will be about play calling. All indications are that Jay Gruden will return to calling the plays from the Washington sideline, and obviously, that's a situation Cavanaugh understands. For two seasons now, Cavanaugh along with McVay, Gruden and offensive line coach Bill Callahan have had input on play calling. With McVay gone, Cavanaugh and Callahan will likely contribute even more in support of Gruden.
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