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Shanahan won't repeat mistake

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Shanahan won't repeat mistake

RICHMOND—The last time that there were questions about the health of the right knee of Robert Griffin III the quarterback told the coach that he could play on it. The coach believed him and let him play.

That was seven months ago today during the Redskins’ playoff game against the Seahawks. The result, of course, was catastrophic. The injury went from bad to worse and, finally, about as bad as it could be.

Shanahan may have made a mistake last January but at this point you have to believe that he has learned from it. As Griffin is being kept out of team work during training camp, the quarterback is saying he’s fine. Shanahan is saying, not so fast.

“I’m ready to move on,” said Griffin, saying that he has gotten has much as he can out of individual drills and seven on seven passing.

At the end of that sound bite in his Monday morning press conference, Griffin acknowledged that Shanahan has different ideas. “Coach will tell you something else,” he said.

And in the afternoon, Shanahan did say something different.

“We do have a plan for him. He may not always like that plan, but that’s my job sometimes not to be liked,” he said. “My job is to do the best thing for him. That’s what I’ll do.”

One might say that it seems like Shanahan is holding back Griffin just to show him who’s boss. And there may be an element of that here. But there are plenty of other reasons to limit Griffin’s practice activities:

—Medical: The prescribed recovery period for an injury of the type that Griffin sustained is seven to nine months. Griffin won’t hit the seven-month mark since his surgery until Friday. They don’t just make these numbers up; they are based on thousands of cases and many years of experience. While Griffin has constantly been “ahead of schedule”, it seems like keeping him out of drills involving contact at least until he hits that seven-month mark is a prudent course of action.

—Football: There is plenty of time for Griffin to get ready for the season opener. The prime time contest against the Eagles is four weeks from Monday. If Griffin gets in four good weeks of work he’ll be good to go. Even three weeks is probably enough. So a lack of preparation time is not an issue at this point and it won’t be for another two weeks or so.

—PR: Griffin said yesterday that there was a public relations element in his practice schedule. “Obviously with this situation and what we have to deal with here and the DMV and D.C., there is a lot of scrutiny, so Coach also has to account for that,” he said. Griffin’s injury is a topic that transcends the sports universe. It’s headline news. And there is going to be a public relations element in the way that it’s handled. And that’s fine as long as PR is just a factor in decisions and not driving them. Here we have a case where the football and medical considerations align perfectly with what makes for good PR.

All of this makes it easy for Shanahan to hold Griffin back and send the message that any mistakes made in the future will come from being overly cautious and not from taking Griffin’s word that he is good to go.

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Josh Norman backs Kirk Cousins, points to Redskins' defense in argument with Jason Whitlock

Josh Norman backs Kirk Cousins, points to Redskins' defense in argument with Jason Whitlock

As the discussion rages around what the Redskins should do with free agent quarterback Kirk Cousins, $75 million cornerback Josh Norman made clear he wants the passer back. Norman explained that the 'Skins struggles should not be pinned to Cousins, but rather, a Washington defense that finished the year near the bottom of the NFL.

"We got to help him out of defense, and stop somebody on the field," Norman said on FS1 (click here for full video). "We did not help him out at all. I'll be honest with you. We got to do our job."

Norman's comments came during a spirited argument with Colin Cowherd, Jason Whitlock and Cris Carter in what amounted to a festival of hot takery. Whitlock's argument was that Cousins is not a franchise quarterback, and shoult not be paid as such, largely for losing the final two home games of the year against Carolina and the New York Giants.

Cousins passed for nearly 5,000 yards this year, a statitstic Norman pointed to in his defense of the QB. He also explained that Cousins still has room to grow.

"He only had two seasons," Norman said. "Cam Newton had five seasons."

Drafted in 2012, Cousins was just named the 'Skins starter in 2015. He's started every game the last two seasons and gone 17-16 while passing for more than 9,000 yards. Norman played with Newton in Carolina before signing with Washington last year, and got to watch the quarterback develop into the league MVP in 2015.

Norman described Cousins as a 'great guy' and leader in the locker room, but he allowed that, "I know a great guy don’t translate into wins. I'm not saying that."

RELATED: 2017 NFL MOCK DRAFT 1.0

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!

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The Final Countdown: Redskins 9th worst play of the year goes back to Week 1

The Final Countdown: Redskins 9th worst play of the year goes back to Week 1

As should be expected when a team goes 8-7-1, there were plenty of good moments and a lot of frustrating times during the Redskins’ 2016 season. Over the next couple of weeks, Redskins Insiders Rich Tandler and JP Finlay will take detailed looks at the 10 best plays of 2016 and, to present a more complete picture of the season, the 10 worst.

No. 9 worst play of 2016

Steelers at Redskins Week 1

10:18 left in Q2, Steelers ball 4th and 1 at the Redskins 29, Redskins leading 6-0

Ben Roethlisberger pass deep left to Antonio Brown for 29 yards, TOUCHDOWN.

Related: Projecting the Redskins' roster--defense

Tandler: Things were looking up for the Redskins prior to this, even though they were unable to punch the ball into the end zone in two forays deep into Steelers territory and had to settle for field goals (a taste of things to come all year). The Steelers drove down the field and went for it on fourth and one. Because Joe Barry opted not to have Josh Norman travel from side to side with Brown, it was Bashaud Breeland with one-on-one coverage on the right side. Brown beat Breeland and DeAngelo Hall was late giving safety help and Big Ben put the ball on the money. The score put the Steelers ahead to stay.

More Redskins: An early look at first-round draft possibilities

Finlay: It's easy to forget now that the Redskins had an early lead in the opener against Pittsburgh. In fact, their defense started well, until this point. In something that would be repeated throughout the year, the Steelers did not hesitate to go for it on 4th down against the Washington defense. Breeland was in pretty good position on the ball, though Roethlisberger's throw was right on the money. It would be only one more week until Josh Norman would then start traveling to cover other team's best receivers. Beyond the immediate impact of this play, it also seemed to stay with Breeland as he struggled somewhat in the first half of the season.

10 best plays countdown

10 worst plays countdown

RELATED: 2017 NFL MOCK DRAFT 1.0

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!