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What Redskins Fans Should be Thankful For

What Redskins Fans Should be Thankful For

Redskins fans have plenty to be thankful for on this day:

  • The Cowboys, Giants, and Eagles—This seems a bit odd, but stay with me. The Redskins get to play six games a year against three of the most storied teams in the entire NFL, teams with long traditions (well, except the Cowboys) of championship-caliber play (well, except the Eagles). How could you get pumped up for games against Detroit or Cincinnati twice a year? An NFC East game is never, ever just another game.
  • Ryan Boschetti—This guy is an all-time, all-effort football player, and that's not even the best thing about him. He is the consummate team player. I'll never forget talking to him in training camp when Kedric Golston and Anthony Montgomery were rookies. He told me that he was spending a lot of time with them both in practice and in meetings, teaching them about the pro game and about the Redskins' defense. The two rookies made the roster, Boschetti was cut. It's great to have him back.
  • London Fletcher—Calling him a student of the game is faint praise. He's the professor of the Redskins defense, sometimes even giving coaches tips on how it needs to be run. His anticipation for the play at times makes you think that he lined up in the other team's huddle and that this radio headset is also tuned into the frequency of the offense. As soon as the ink was dry on his contact he became the team leader on defense.
  • Chris Horton—The rookie burst onto the scene with a three-takeaway performance in a game that he didn't even know he was starting until that morning. While the takeaways have not come as easily lately, Horton is learning on the job, he's not getting beaten in coverage often, and he displays a great nose for the football. Not bad for a seventh-round pick.
  • Clinton Portis—Clearly, he brings on a lot of the criticism he takes himself with comments like the one he made about the offensive line. But his productivity speaks for itself. Did you know that his average of 113.5 yards per game from scrimmage is the fourth-best of all time? Only Jim Brown, LaDainian Tomlinson, and Barry Sanders have better averages. Sometime next year Portis will surpass 10,000 career rushing yards. And in the what have you done for me lately category, he leads the NFL in rushing and is the engine that makes the offense of the 7-4 Redskins run.
  • Jim Zorn—The stay-medium but play suddenly, judiciously dice-rolling, hip-hip-hooraying head coach of the Redskins appears to have been quite a find for the Redskins. Few are describing him as the worst hire in the history of the NFL as they were last February when he got a quick promotion from offensive coordinator to head coach. He has scaled back his brutal honesty with the press to some degree, not wanting to alienate himself from his players, but he still makes conversations interesting. His offense still is learning on the job and needs a few new pieces but Zorn has a vision and he is working towards it.

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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!