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Redskins training camp practice report, Day 2

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Redskins training camp practice report, Day 2

RICHMOND—The Redskins took the field for Day 2 of training camp with sunny skies and a light breeze. Temperatures hung around 90 but the humidity wasn’t as bad as it had been for the past few days so conditions were not bad.

—WR Tony Jones, who is one of the longest of long shots to make the team, made a nice move to get away from high-dollar free agent CB Chris Culliver. Lined up wide left, Jones went down about five yards, made a shoulder fake to the outside, and cut to the inside. Robert Griffin III fired a nice pass to him on the move.

—Back practicing fielding kickoffs were Niles Paul, Trey Williams, Jamison Crowder, Reggie Bell, Andre Roberts, Chris Thompson, and Rashad Ross. I think that Roberts is the favorite to hold on the to job he had last year but he will be pushed.

— DeSean Jackson fielded some punts. I have to wonder if the Redskins are playing it too safe with him. He could be a major asset returning punts. I get the injury risk but is it really significantly worse than it is on plays from scrimmage?

—Jackson also runs pass routes well. Twice he blew pass the defense and caught a long pass from Griffin. Maybe they should keep him in bubble wrap when he’s not running pass patterns.

— Junior Galette did his first on-field work since signing his contract. He did some running and cutting on a side field with one of the assistant coaches.

Silas Redd had a nice run going until SS Duke Ihenacho came up behind him and punched the ball out, just like the coaches have been teaching the defense to do. But Redd, who had some problems holding on to the ball in very limited action last year, needs to work on ball security.

Bashaud Breeland’s day went from bad to worse. He appeared to sustain a knee injury while breaking up a pass. He was down on the turf for several minutes. (Update: The injury may not be as bad as it appeared, see our story here.)

Alfred Morris is looking comfortable running the Redskins power scheme. He glides to the hole. As with everything here, no-pads reality reminder is in effect.

—Yesterday is was Brandon Scherff, today it was Takoby Cofield running a lap around the field after committing a false start.

Chris Thompson had a nice run and later picked up some yardage on a short pass reception. He’s quick and fluid, a natural runner. If he can stay on the field he has a shot to be a very effective third down back.

—Griffin had his play of the day on a short pass to Jamison Crowder. He dropped back and had to slide right to avoid pressure from Terrance Knighton. He stopped and fired to Crowder over the middle. The pass hit the receiver on the move between the 8 and the 0.

Kirk Cousins made up for a rough Thursday with a very good Friday. His best play came late in practice, a deep pass that his Crowder in stride.

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Redskins offseason questions: Can Kirk Cousins take the next step in 2017?

Redskins offseason questions: Can Kirk Cousins take the next step in 2017?

The good news for the 2016 Redskins was that they didn’t collapse after winning the division the previous season as has been their pattern in the past. The bad news was that they didn’t take the next step and improve from a franchise that can compete to make the playoffs into one that is playing multiple postseason games year in and year out.

That work begins right now for Jay Gruden, Scot McCloughan and the players. In the coming weeks, Redskins reporters Rich Tandler and JP Finlay will examine the biggest questions facing the Redskins as another offseason gets rolling.

RELATED: #RedskinsTalk podcast: Is Kirk too nice?

Will Kirk Cousins take the next step in 2017?

Finlay: The better question might be what constitutes the next step for Cousins? And going one step further, will it be with the Redskins? Answering the second part first, Cousins will be the 'Skins quarterback in 2017. Taking the next step is trickier, since the passer has thrown for more than 9,000 yards in the last two seasons.

For me, Cousins can still get much better, particularly in the red zone. If the Redskins scored at the same pace they pile up yards, this team would have won 11 games in 2016. 

In 2016, Cousins ranked 3rd in the NFL in passing yards, yet outside of the Top 10 in TDs with 25. To really enter the next phase of his career, Cousins needs to lead an offense that scores more, and that means 30+ touchdowns. He can do it. 

Tandler: I don’t look at the next step for Cousins being about numbers. Sure, maybe he can throw for 5,000 yards and 30-plus touchdowns on year. But being a top quarterback is more than that.

I want to see him go into Seattle next year and rally the Redskins from a 10-point deficit in the fourth quarter. I want to see him go into a playoff game and, unlike what happened against the Packers after the 2015 season, will the team to a win when the Redskins aren’t playing their best and when a QB like Aaron Rodgers is on the other side. I want to see him glare at a lineman who missed an assignment and correct a receiver who went the wrong way on a route.

To be sure, he has led the team to some comeback wins and he has played very well in some key games, like the division-clinching win in Philadelphia in 2015. But a top-flight quarterback can’t essentially negate one of those with a play like the season-ending pick against the Giants. Sure, any quarterback is going to have an off day. But you have to have more pluses than minuses on the ledger.

Cousins has been a starter for just two years so maybe he can develop into a top-shelf quarterback. Putting up good stats is part of the picture but he won’t be there until he elevates and motivates those around him. Maybe he can take that next step but until he does there is no way of knowing if he will. 

More offseason questions: 

What are reasonable expectations for Josh Doctson?

— Will there be a surprise salary cap cut?

— Should the Redskins defense switch to the 4-3?

— Is Spencer Long the answer at center?

— How many D-linemen do the Redskins need?

— Should the Redskins draft another QB? 

— With Sean McVay gone, will the Redskins run the ball more?

— Can Cravens handle the transition to safety? 

— Will the Redskins re-sign Pierre Garçon? 

— Will Rob Kelley be the lead running back in 2017?

— Defense in the first round?

— Will they make a change at left guard?

<<<LOOKING AT REDSKINS DRAFT PROSPECTS>>>

Want more Redskins? Check out @JPFinlayCSN and @Rich_TandlerCSN for live updates or click here for the #RedskinsTalk Podcast on iTuneshere for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!

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Some good news from Redskins Park: Josh Doctson running, catching football (VIDEO)

Some good news from Redskins Park: Josh Doctson running, catching football (VIDEO)

There hasn't been much good news out of Redskins Park lately, as the team deals with pending free agency for QB Kirk Cousins and others combined with rumors of infighting among the front office. So video of 2016 first round pick Josh Doctson running and cutting comes at a great time for beleaguered 'Skins fans. 

Doctson posted the video to his Snapchat account. When he last spoke after the Washington season ended, Doctson made clear he was feeling much better and that '100 percent health' is his main goal this offseason.

His rookie year, however, was a different matter.

The receiver out of TCU missed all but the first two games of the year. Even in those games, he played a very reduced role. Drafted 22nd overall, he had just two catches all year as an obscure Achilles' injuries landed him on the injured reserve. His plight could not be figured out by a slew of doctors and specialists, and the team finally decided to sit down their prized rookie.

A breakout year in 2017 would serve Jay Gruden's squad well, as the team stands to lose DeSean Jackson and/or Pierre Garçon to free agency. It looks likely the 'Skins will lose at least one of their starting WRs, and losing both is a distinct possibility. That could result in more than 2,000 receiving yards leaving the Redskins offense, and the team will need Doctson to pick up a good chunk of that production.

<<<LOOKING AT REDSKINS DRAFT PROSPECTS>>>

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!