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20 questions in 20 days: 18 Can Meriweather plug the hole at safety?

20 questions in 20 days: 18 Can Meriweather plug the hole at safety?

As we count down to the firstgame of the Redskins season, Tarik El-Bashir and Rich Tandler are going to belooking at some of the big questions facing the team and attempting to lookinto their crystal balls and answer them. Question 18: Can Brandon Meriweather get the job done at strongsafety?The background: Just over a year ago, it looked like Meriweatherwas a star on the rise. At age 27 he was coming off of back-to-back Pro Bowlappearances with the Patriots. But Bill Belichick decided that he wasnt in theteams plans and he was released at the end of training camp. The Bears pickedhim up, started him for four games and then benched him. They let him go thisspring and the Redskins became his third NFL team in the past calendar year.Can two teams trash become the third teams treasure?Tandler: The Redskins say that Meriweather was not a fit inChicagos Cover 2 defensive scheme and that his skills are better suited totheir defense. Observation of Meriweather during practice indicates that theRedskins may be right. He is much more comfortable lining up close to the lineof scrimmage and moving forward at the snap rather than staying back and movinglaterally or backwards. The key will be keeping Meriweather in his comfortzone. They will best utilize him by having him blitz, play the short zone, or setthe edge in run defense. If they rely on him to be the last line of defenseagainst deep passes very often, they are asking for trouble. Meriweather can bea solid player if he used in the right role in the right situations.El-Bashir: In limited action this preseason, it can be argued thatMeriweathers been the Redskins most active defensive back. Having playedroughly two quarters, hes been in on five tackles and defended a pass. Butthere are legitimate concerns about his health after he suffered a left kneeinjury Saturday in Chicago that neither the team nor the player has beenforthcoming about. Weve been told that surgery is not required and he wontsuit up the remainder of this preseason. But when will he return? UntilMeriweather shows hes 100-percent recovered, it might be wise to reservejudgment on the impact hell have this season, particularly early. But amiduncertainty, we do know this much: given the Redskins struggles last season atsafety, theres only direction it can go in 2012.20 questions in 20 days20 Aug.20WillJammal Brown play this year?
19 YesterdayWillChris Cooley make the team?
18 TodayCan Brandon Meriweather get he job done at safety?
17 TomorrowIs Garon a No. 1 receiver?

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Kirk Cousins is real nice - and 3 other things we learned from the 49ers game


Kirk Cousins is real nice - and 3 other things we learned from the 49ers game

Kirk Cousins got mic'd up during the Redskins win over the 49ers last Sunday, and well, it confirmed a few things Washington fans already knew about their quarterback. 

For starters, Cousins is a nice guy. A real nice guy.

On one play, Cousins completes a pass downfield while facing a bit of pressure. As soon as he throws the ball, he starts shouting to his offensive line, "Good pocket! Great pocket!"

He keeps going, "Hey that was you guys. I took forever, I took forever. Hey nice job."

NFL quarterbacks like to thank their offensive lines, but not always immediately, even while the play is going on. Kirk is a nice guy.

Some other things learned from the mic'd up session:

  • Josh Doctson has a nickname. It's "Papa Doc." No idea if that's an 8 Mile reference. 
  • Trent Williams believes Kirk Cousins' shoulder is worth $200 million. And he might be right. 
  • Kirk Cousins wants to stay aggresive. He laid it out to QB coach Kevin O'Connell. Cousins explained during the Redskins early lead:

"Sometimes I get in a weird place, you get a lead like this. Where you start playing conservative, not to lose. It’s smart to do that but it also kinda hinders your ability to just go play."


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Maybe the Redskins aren't as banged up on defense as we thought they were

Associated Press

Maybe the Redskins aren't as banged up on defense as we thought they were

The Redskins’ defense may not be as banged up as we thought it was.

On Thursday, the first day of serious preparation for their Monday night game in Philadelphia, injured defenders CB Josh Norman (rib), CB Bashaud Breeland (knee), and S Deshazor Everett (hamstring) all practiced on a limited basis.

Norman was inactive against the 49ers after suffering a broken rib against the Chiefs on October 2. Breeland injured his knee against San Francisco. They are the starters, and if they both can play against the 5-1 Eagles it would be a huge boost to the defense.


It should be noted that both cornerbacks only took part in individual drills, so it is no sure thing that either will be ready to play in Philadelphia. But having them at practice was a good start.

Everett is a reserve safety and a key special teams contributor. His presence in the latter area could be important as the Eagles’ performance on special teams is among the best in the league.

LB Ryan Anderson (back) and S Stefan McClure (knee) both practiced on a limited basis.

Also practicing was S DeAngelo Hall. He has been on the physically unable to perform list since the start of training camp rehabbing a torn ACL he suffered in 2016. The team now has a 21-day window during which they can activate him. However, he must sit out at least one more game.

On offense, Trent Williams (knee) did not practice. That is not ideal but he was able to play last Sunday after being out of practice all last week.


Jay Gruden announced roster moves that had been reported previously, with K Dustin Hopkins (hip) and DE Jonathan Allen (foot) going on injured reserve. First-year player Nick Rose will handle the place kicking duties and A.J. Francis will take Allen’s roster spot.

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page and follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.