Redskins Coach Mike Shanahan said Friday he did not have an update on ailing right tackle Jammal Brown, who is on the physically unable to perform list after aggravating a hip injury on Wednesday.Shanahan said Brown has decided to see his personal doctor in New York, and the doctor is not available until Tuesday, which has holding up a diagnosis.Ill be able to speak with you after that, Shanahan said.For the second consecutive day, Tyler Polumbus lined up with the first team and appears to be the leading candidate to replace Brown if the injury turns out to be serious.The prognosis for safety Tanard Jackson, meantime, was much clearer. Jackson, who is also on the PUP list, is expected to return to the field on Monday, Shanahan said. Jackson is sidelined with a calf strain he suffered during OTAs.With that calf -- it looked pretty good -- but the trainers just thought maybe 24 hours would help it a little more, Shanahan said. Hopefully Monday hell be able to go full speed.Some other items of interest from Shanahans news conference:The coach reiterated that hes hoping to ease running back Tim Hightower back into the lineup. Hightower, who tore his ACL last October and missed the remainder of the season, is expected to battle second year players Roy Helu Jr. and Evan Royster for carries.Hes not even close to 100-percent, Shanahan said of Hightower. But I see improvement every day.Speaking about the running backs, Shanahan insisted again that he does not who will emerge from the trio, or if hell adopt a by-committee approach.I really dont know whats going to happen to the tailback position, Shanahan said. I do know Ive got three guys that I got a lot of confidence in that played last year.But, he added, well find out.Asked about rookie quarterback Robert Griffin IIIs progress, Shanahan said its going to take time. Griffin, however, was much more accurate with his passes on the second day of camp.You get better with every repetition you take, Shanahan said. The reason why its so hard the first year and not many quarterbacks have been very successful unless theyve had a great supporting cast is because it does take time. It doesnt happen overnight. You have to have the game slow down.It began with Pierre Garon tossing balls into the spectator area after nice catches. Then Anthony Armstrong and Aldrick Robinson joined the act.After that, it was Shanahans turn to have some fun: he told the wide receivers he was going to fine them 2,000 per ball. As it turned out, though, the coach was only kidding.I said its going to cost each guy who did it Pierre Garcon, he did it three times it would cost him 2,000 a ball, Shanahan said. But more importantly, I said, We only have six balls left.I like these guys being enthusiastic, he added, and theyre excited to see the fans out there and want to give them a souvenir, so it was great.
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.
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:
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!
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 looks ready pic.twitter.com/opUrNtdInQ— ceroy (@ceroy16) February 23, 2017
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.
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!