A few quick hits to get your Thursday morning going:--Ryan Kerrigan, who was the Redskins defensive iron man last year as he played all 1,056 defensive snaps, talked to the local paper in his college town of West Lafayette, Indiana. He downplayed not missing a play, saying Its my job . . . Thats how I want it to be. Kerrigans goal in 2012? I have to be more consistent.--The more I look at the Redskins numbers in 2011 the more I think that they were undone by their minus-14 turnover differential. They were only outgained by 50 yards over the course of the season (gained 5,387, allowed 5,437) but they were outscored by 79 points (288 scored, 367 allowed). A team that is about even in net yardage will usually be about even in net points if the turnovers are about even. But the 24 interceptions thrown by Rex Grossman and John Beck and the 11 fumbles lost did them in.--Although the Redskins have kicked the tires on former Baylor wide receiver Josh Gordon it would be surprising if they pulled the trigger and gave up what probably would be a mid-round pick in 2013 to take him in todays supplemental draft. There was a report out there that Robert Griffin III was pushing the organization to take Gordon. Whether thats true or not, Griffin is the rookie QB, not the GM. I think Mike Shanahan will go into the season with the receivers he has.--I predicted that the secondary will undergo some major upheaval in my article yesterday. I have them releasing three players who were on the roster for most of last year including two who saw a substantial amount of playing time, and a draft pick.Days until: Rookies report 4; training camp 14; preseason opener @ Bills; RG3 vs. Luck at FedEx Field 44; final cuts 51; Redskins @ Saints 59; home opener vs Bengals 73
Redskins fans were frenzied when Scot McCloughan said that Kirk Cousins is a good quarterback, but not a special one. The #KirkHive shuddered and the Kirk Haters celebrated.
McCloughan, the former Redskins GM who's wildly popular with fans, explained what few people will say publicly: Cousins is a skilled player but probably not deserving of the money he might make in free agency.
Let's start with the obvious: Cousins is good.
He's a durable passer in a league that doesn't have enough of them. He's started the last 49 games for the Redskins and thrown for more than 4,000 yards each of the past three seasons.
Now more obvious: He isn't great.
Bleacher Report's Chris Simms, speaking on the #RedskinsTalk podcast, said Cousins ranks about 12th among NFL passers. It's top half of the league, but it's not Top 5 or even Top 10.
Cousins has had tremendous games with the Redskins, like a near perfect performance against Oakland in 2017 or a dominant performance against Green Bay in 2016.
Cousins has also been awful, as recently as Week 17 in New York a few weeks ago, or an equally stinky Week 17 game against the Giants two seasons ago.
While some might view McCloughan's statement as controversial — "He’s a good player. Is he special? I don’t see special," he told Denver radio station 104.3 the Fan — it's not.
Plenty of people agree with McCloughan, including some in Redskins Park. Last year, a source told NBC Sports Washington that the team believed they could get nearly as much production from Colt McCoy as Cousins provided.
Even this year, Washington head coach Jay Gruden offered lukewarm praise of his quarterback.
When the season ended, asked to evaluate Cousins' play, the coach said, "When you’re 7-9, it’s hard to say, ‘Wow, this guy really was outstanding.’ There’s a few guys obviously that jump out, Pro Bowlers like Ryan Kerrigan had a solid year. Obviously Trent [Williams] when he played was a Pro Bowl-type and Brandon [Scherff] when he was healthy was a Pro Bowl-type guy. Kirk had his flashes where he was really good. From a consistent standpoint, over the course of 16 games, you know, we’re 7-9."
That quote made headlines when Gruden said it, much like McCloughan's comments now are circulating faster than Beltway traffic.
Truth is, it's not new. And it's not news.
There are coaches that think Cousins is only scratching the surface of his capabilities. Kyle Shanahan and Sean McVay come to mind, but both of those coaches have other QBs likely for the long-term future.
Cousins might end up being paid like a Top 3 quarterback in the NFL, and that might be the right move given the demand at the position. Will that make him a special passer?
Not if special is defined as Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers or Drew Brees. Even Cousins wouldn't argue with that.
Every week during the 2017 Redskins season, NBC Sports Washington found two Redskins fans in the crowd and paired them in a head-to-head matchup on Twitter to determine the fan of the game.
And now that the season is over, it's time to take each of those winners, throw them into a NCAA Tournament-style bracket and let Twitter pick the Redskins Fan of the Year.
Starting on January 8 over on the @NBCSRedskins Twitter account, one matchup a day will be posted at 11 a.m., and fans will have 24 hours to vote for their favorite supporter by retweeting or liking depending on their preference. Week 1's winner will face off with Week 17's, Week 2's will play Week 16's, etc.
The winners will advance, and eventually, one member of the Burgundy and Gold faithful will stand above all the rest, earning the coveted title of Redskins Fan of the Year.
Check out the results below, which'll be updated every day. To see the tweet that corresponded with each matchup, click the link after the date, but remember, retweets and likes submitted after the 24-hour period won't be counted.
ELITE 8 RESULTS
January 18: Round two, matchup one
The first Elite 8 matchup was... not close:
January 19: Round two, matchup two
The Elite 8's second tilt is underway. Vote now:
FIRST ROUND RESULTS
January 8: Round one, matchup one
This was a close one that came down to the last-minute, but at the 24-hour mark, Week 17's winner garnered justtttttttt enough retweets to move on.
January 9: Round one, matchup two
In this tournament, a giant Redskins chain is apparently worth more than a giant football hat.
January 10: Round one, matchup three
In the tournament's third showdown, we have our first winner from the Likes side:
January 11: Round one, matchup four
Was there anyway she wasn't gonna win, especially with the little Hogettes nose?
January 12: Round one, matchup five
Our fifth matchup's winner earned the most retweets of anyone up to this point:
January 15: Round one, matchup six
These three 'Skins fans had to witness Washington's Thursday night flop in Dallas, so it's only fair that they get to advance to the second round:
January 16: Round one, matchup seven
You'd think a turkey hat would be enough to capture a W, but not in this one:
January 17: Round one, matchup eight
The Elite 8 is now set with this showdown going to the retweets side: