Washington Redskins

Quick Links

Redskins training camp report, Day 2: Speed back battle heats up

Redskins training camp report, Day 2: Speed back battle heats up

RICHMOND—The Redskins went out for their second day of training camp to much friendlier weather than the rain they encountered on Thursday. Skies were sunny and temperatures were moderate for Richmond in late July.

Here are my observations from this morning.

—Like yesterday, some players were in shells, others wore no pads at all. The CBA says that the first three days are in no pads so we won’t see the full battle gear until Sunday.

—They worked on special teams first, just like they did yesterday. This appears to be a “thing”.

Robert Malone was booming punts during that first period. Blake Clingan, his competitor for the punting job, wasn’t bad but Malone clearly was better on this particular day.

Andre Roberts showed some nice moves on kickoff return. Is he the guy for the job?

—They get to running some plays (vs. no defense) and a short completion from Robert Griffin III to DeSean Jackson drew a loud cheer from the crowd. It’s what they came to see, evidently.

— The running backs worked a drill that I haven’t seen before. With a ball under on arm they lunged forward off balance with their trunks parallel to the ground for a few steps and then got upright and ran. Perhaps this is for situations where they take a hit but aren't knocked down and need to regain their footing.

—It looks as though Lache Seastrunk is picking up some of the tricks of the pass catching trade. In some one on one coverage drills Will Compton grabbed on to the rookie running back as he tried to go over the middle. Seastrunk fought his way free and caught the pass.

—Just when some of us in the media were ready to give seventh-round pick Ted Bolser the milk-carton treatment because we had not seen him do anything at all, he caught a couple of short passes. It’s an uphill battle for him to make the roster but a few catches is a good start.

Darrel Young is known for his blocking but he knows what to do with the ball in his hands. He made a nice cut up the sideline after making a catch.

—First-year cornerback Peyton Thompson made a couple of nice plays. First he showed good closing speed and knocked down a sideline pass. Later, wide receiver Rashad Ross caught a long pass against Thompson. But the corner did not give up. He punched the ball out of the receiver’s arm and then chased it down in the end zone and scooped it up.

—Griffin finished off a short run to the right with a perfectly-executed slide. That drew some cheers from the crowd.

Chris Thompson with a couple of nice cuts after catching a short pass. If he is healthy he can be explosive. Can he beat out Seastrunk?

—In general, Griffin’s accuracy was better today. He did have to deal with a wet football yesterday but he will have to throw a wet ball during the season.

Quick Links

Cousins believes "a lot rides" on the coming Redskins season

Cousins believes "a lot rides" on the coming Redskins season

RICHMOND—While Kirk Cousins has had a lot of success in his first two seasons as the Redskins’ starting quarterback, he and the team didn’t finish last season the way they wanted to. They lost four of their last six games to finish out of a playoff spot. With the game on the line in the season finale against the Giants, Cousins threw an interception as the team was driving for a late score to win or tie the game. The loss was the final blow to their playoff hopes.

As with any disappointing situation, Cousins and the team must walk a line between learning from the mistakes that were made—and there were many beyond the Cousins interception—and dwelling on the past. Cousins said today that the failure to make the playoffs will help drive the team this year.

RELATED: Reed one of four to start camp on PUP

“I think what it does is it gives us an edge, because we stay humble and hungry because we left the season realizing we do have a long ways to go,” Cousins said of the late-season woes. “We do need to improve if we want to go in the direction that we all believe we can. In that sense we’ll take the silver lining that nobody is content, nobody is entitled, nobody feels like we can rest on what we’ve done in the past.”

While they can focus on the silver lining for now, Cousins says that they realize that coming close to the playoffs but missing out year after year won’t cut it. That’s what gets coaches fired and leads to players losing their jobs.

MORE REDSKINS: Ranking the Redskins roster, the final update

“We do feel like a lot rides on this season up ahead,” he said. “Hopefully, that gives us a sense of urgency all through training camp to be really focused, and as a result gets the best out of every one of us so that our team can play as well as we possibly can.”

Cousins is playing on the one-year franchise tag. He has been quick to point out that many of his teammates are either on one-year deals or in the final season of a multi-year deal. Cousins is one of over a dozen starters or key contributors who will become free agents in 2018. If they are going to stay around they can’t go 2-4 down the stretch like they did last year.

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.

Quick Links

Redskins' Cousins says he bets on the system, not on himself

Redskins' Cousins says he bets on the system, not on himself

RICHMOND—As Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins goes into playing under the franchise tag for the second straight season, the phrase commonly used about him is that he is betting on himself, eschewing the long-term security of a multiyear deal in favor hoping to improve his leverage by playing on the tags.

However, Cousins said that is a misconception.

“I don’t know that I ever bet on myself, I bet on the system, he said. “It has nothing to do with myself. I’m just going out and playing and there’s never been anything but positive feelings. I’m excited to get to work here. As I’ve said, my wife and I love it here and we’re in a good place.”

RELATED: Reed one of four to start camp on PUP

Ever since the deadline for him to sign a long-term contract this year came and went without a new deal, Cousins has been trying to debunk the notion that he has a desire to leave the Redskins as soon as he can. Appearing on 106.7 The Fan last week, Cousins said that the Redskins are his “first choice” to be his team going forward. He talked positively about his future in Washington again today after the Redskins first training camp walkthrough.

Although there was talk that the contract negotiations took a sour turn at the end after team president Bruce Allen revealed some of the details of the team’s final offer to Cousins, Cousins indicated today that everything is fine.

“W e’ve done a good job communicating between me and the team,” he said. “We’re on the same page and we’ve done everything we can possibly do to get that settled and move forward. I think we’re all in a good place right now and we’ve got enough to worry about getting our offense playing at the level we need to have a great season so I can be back in future years.”

MORE REDSKINS: Ranking the Redskins roster, the final update

What it really comes down to, what Cousins believes will make things good in the future for him and the Redskins, is success on the field.

“If you win football games, everything else takes care of itself,” he said.

“In the offseason, the ball’s in the team’s court. But from Week 1 to Week 17, the ball’s in my court and I’ve got to go play football well. That’s where my focus is.”

There likely will be more talk of Cousins future beyond the 2017 seas in the coming weeks and months. It appears that for right now that is the furthest thing from Cousins’ mind.

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.