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Redskins Tuesday minicamp report, defense: Some easy INT's

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Redskins Tuesday minicamp report, defense: Some easy INT's

The Redskins held the first day of their three-day mandatory minicamp with temperatures hovering near 90 and under skies that looked threatening but stayed dry.

Here are my observations on defense and special teams.

—They started off with special teams like they have been doing since last year. Among those running out when the coaches called for the first team kickoff coverage unit were DaMon Cromartie-Smith, Jeron Johnson, Evan Spencer, Trey Wolfe, Duke Ihenacho, Trevardo Williams, Akeem Davis, Trenton Robinson, and Will Compton.

—With the second-team kickoff unit were Phillip Thomas, Matt Jones, Darrel Young, Justin Rogers, Tevin Mitchel, Ja’Gared Davis, Kyshoen Jarrett, and Martrell Spaight.

—I wouldn’t read too much into who is lining up where; at this point it seems that a lot of second- and third-team players are interchangeable so it likely is the same with special teams.

—It’s been pretty rainy in Ashburn lately, making the field soft. Some big chunks were torn out early in the proceedings (insert your own “feeling right at home”/FedEx Field joke here).

—Kirk Cousins threw a swing pass to full back Jordan Campbell. Linebacker Adam Hayward came running over late yelling, “Who the f*** was supposed to be covering the flat?” Evidently it wasn’t Hayward.

—Cornerback Tajh Hasson had two of the easier interceptions a DB can get. On one, a Cousins pass hit receiver Colin Lockett right in the hands. It bounced out and into the arms of Hassan. Later, on the last play of team drills, Colt McCoy threw to the sideline. Hassan was the only player with 8 yards of the pass and he got another pick.

—Among those on the first-team punting unit were Silas Redd, Adam Hayward, Trevardo Williams, Young, and Niles Paul.

—The coaches had the returners field punts while holding onto a second football with one arm. It’s not easy to do and it really makes the players focus.

—The only punt that I saw fumbled was a boomer by Tress Way. Rookie Trey Williams, who was not holding on to a ball with one arm, had it go through his hands.

—Tom Compton was matched up blocking Keenan Robinson on an outside run. Robinson apparently was not pleased with Compton’s technique. “You gonna hold me the whole time?” the linebacker yelled at the tackle.

—The final session of practice was field goal kicking. On the first attempt, Kai Forbath was wide left from about 35 yards.

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Kirk Cousins shows off competitive spirit, soft touch - at Jenga (VIDEO)

Kirk Cousins shows off competitive spirit, soft touch - at Jenga (VIDEO)

After NFL minicamps end in mid-June, and before the grind of training camps start in late July, players are free to have a little bit of fun and try to relax. For Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins that evidently means a game of Jenga.

Fun at Kirk's 10 year high school reunion!!!

A post shared by Julie Cousins (@juliehcousins) on

The video comes from Cousins' wife Julie, and the caption explains that the couple were attending the quarterback's 10-year high school reunion. Looks like a fun scene, and the Michigan waterfront looks even better.

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

For anybody that has watched Cousins on the practice field or listened to him mic'd up during a Redskins game, the competitive outburst is no surprise. Cousins likes to win, period. Even at life-size Jenga during his 10-year high school reunion. 

Obviously, contract talks between Cousins' representatives and the Redskins continue, and likely will until the July 17th franchise tag deadline. Last season, Cousins threw for nearly 5,000 passing yards, completing 67 percent of his passes to go with 25 TDs and 12 INTs. He's allowed to have a little fun here and there.

<<<NFL POWER RANKINGS: WHO GOT BETTER AFTER THE DRAFT>>>

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Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—Pressure on Gruden, Galette confident

Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—Pressure on Gruden, Galette confident

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, June 24, 33 days before the Washington Redskins start training camp in Richmond on July 27.

Timeline

The Redskins last played a game 174 days ago; they will open the 2017 season against the Eagles in FedEx Field in 78 days.

Days until:

—Franchise tag contract deadline (7/17) 23
—Preseason opener @ Ravens (8/10) 47
—Roster cut to 53 (9/2) 70

The Redskins week that was

Pressure Points: Focus is on Jay Gruden like never before—So you lost two coordinators and your top two wide receivers? Well, the Redskins gave him a two-year contract extension because they think he can deal with problems like those. Gruden will be cut zero slack.

Post-minicamp 53-man roster projection, offense—Sure, there will be plenty of lip service about everyone having a chance of making the 53-man roster. But this cake is very nearly baked. But the real competition in training camp will be for the 10 practice squad spots. I picked 25 offensive players to make it and I’m confident that 23, maybe 22 of the picks will be right. There seems to be more questions on defense (roster projection here) but even on that side of the ball, few jobs are truly up for grabs.

Redskins in a no-lose situation with confident Galette—We haven’t seen Junior Galette practicing in the spring before. Two years ago, he wasn’t with the team yet and last year he was held out so he could rehab his torn Achilles. That means we don’t have much comparison to make but he did look good. Next step is to do it with the pads on.

Snyder 'THRILLED' with ruling that should protect Redskins name—The legal part of the fight to get the Redskins to change their name is over after the recent Supreme Court ruling. They will not lose their trademark protection, which would effectively force them to change the team. However, it seems likely that the political and social battle will go on.

Is a Redskins-Cousins deal not only possible but probable?—One analyst thinks that the Redskins have too much to lose to not get a deal done by July 17. I think he’s right but I’m not sure if I’ll go along with his odds. 

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.

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