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Did the Redskins rush RG3 back?

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Did the Redskins rush RG3 back?

Did the Redskins bring back Robert Griffin III too soon?

Mike Shanahan has noted on a few occasions, most recently during the Redskins’ OTAs in June, that the usual recovery time for an injury such as the one his quarterback suffered is seven to nine months. When Griffin said that he thought that being ready for training camp was “without a doubt” a realistic goal, Shanahan was quick to apply the brakes.

“From the beginning they have talked about the recovery time being anywhere from seven months to nine months,” said Shanahan. “I think August 9 is seven months, and so we will just have to wait and see.”

The Redskins will start training camp this Thursday, July 25. That’s two weeks before August 9.

When asked in June about getting Griffin back on the field, Shanahan said, ““I am going to sit back and talk to the doctors and see what they say, how they feel and kind of go from there.”

According to media reports, Dr. James Andrews conducted a couple of examinations of Griffin’s knee last week after the quarterback returned from his honeymoon, Andrews gave the green light for the Redskins to clear him. After doing some quarterback-specific drills on Monday, the decision was made to let him practice, at least on a limited basis.

The Redskins were under fire as many believed that Griffin was brought back from his Week 14 knee injury took soon and, especially, that Shanahan should have taken Griffin out of the Seattle playoff game before his knee went from bad to much, much worse. The organization has every incentive to be cautious.

So is it fair to say that they are rushing him back this time? We simply don’t know yet. There are plenty of pros and cons.

It is possible that Griffin could benefit from some additional time off. Then again, you don’t want him to get rusty being unable to even play catch with teammates, which would have been the case if he had started on PUP. If he started training camp on PUP, which many advocated as the best course,

They have seven weeks from today to get ready for the opener against the Eagles and shaving a few weeks off of that wouldn’t necessarily lead to a woefully unprepared RG3 taking the field on national TV. And Adrian Peterson spent two weeks on PUP last year and they season worked out for him just fine.

Accurate on both points, but Griffin needs all the work he can get. Training camp time is much more valuable to a second-year quarterback than it is to a running back going into his sixth season as Peterson was last year.

In the end, it comes down to a risk-reward analysis. There will be risk in putting Griffin on the field for practice on Thursday. There also would be risk if they waited two or three weeks or two or three months before having him step on the field. Football is a dangerous game. It’s even more dangerous to after you have had the same knee reconstructed twice.

All they can do now that he has been medically cleared is put him out there and, as Shanahan said, “wait and see”.

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No tension between Jay Gruden and Kirk Cousins, but the coach wants improvement 

No tension between Jay Gruden and Kirk Cousins, but the coach wants improvement 

MOBILE -- Jay Gruden is making jokes about Kirk Cousins again, and that's good news for Redskins fans that worried about a fracture between coach and quarterback. 

It all started in the weeks following the Redskins dreadful Week 17 loss to the Giants as Gruden and Cousins seemed to be throwing slight jabs at one another.

Gruden, in his end of year press conference, explained that while Cousins "showed flashes" in 2017, when the team goes 7-9, the coach can't say any player was outstanding: 

You know when you’re 7-9, you know it’s hard to say, ‘Wow, this guy really was outstanding.’ You know there’s a few guys obviously that jump out, Pro Bowlers like Ryan Kerrigan had a solid year. Obviously Trent when he played was Pro Bowl type, Brandon when he was healthy was 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. He did some great things, threw for over 4,000 yards and 29 touchdowns I believe. So, I think he’s a very, very good quarterback without a doubt, but as far as getting us over the hump from 7-9 to winning a division with all the injuries that we had, I think he competed and did some good things.

Cousins, in his year-end radio appearance with 106.7 the Fan, explained that he wants the team to do better but doesn't think the 7-9 record should fall on his shoulders alone. (Quote via Washington Post)

What I gathered from the comment was 7-9 and the quarterback play are causally related and that quarterback play is 7-9, 7-9 is the quarterback play. I saw that and I thought, ‘I think it’s slightly more complicated than that.’ I think there’s a few more dynamics in play as to what your final record is. … At the same time, his job is to evaluate. That’s a big part of his role and his position. In that comment, he’s just doing his job, he’s evaluating the position and he has the right to say what he wants to say.

Both comments were fairly innocuous, but also clearly at odds. Combine that dialogue with the undercurrent of another offseason contract negotiation, and it seemed things between coach and quarterback weren't quite right. 

On Tuesday, speaking at the Senior Bowl, Gruden cleared the air. Asked directly about tension between he and Cousins, the coach was blunt. 

"No." 

Gruden went on to explain his answer about Cousins 2017 play, the now infamous 7-9 line.

"When I say 7-9, if I say one player played great that means I'm saying everybody else was not very good," the coach explained (full video above). "I think we all have to stick together, we all have to improve from a 7-9 season, coaches, players, everybody."

Cousins was good in 2017, throwing for more than 4,000 passing yards for the third straight season. He also showed that he can produce offensively without a great supporting cast, as injuries robbed the Redskins of many of their best passing game threats and seriously damaged the offensive line. 

The quarterback did play two terrible games in the last month of the season, however, including a three interception stinker in the Week 17 finale.

It's possible that Gruden had that fresh in his mind when he spoke in early January, and with the benefit of a little time, his assessment mellowed by late January. 

Either way, Gruden joked about Cousins deserving a vacation, and even said the QB needs a tan. Gruden often uses humor to defuse touchy situations with Redskins players, and maybe he just did it again. 

Want more Redskins? Click here to follow JP on Facebook and check out @JPFinlayNBCS for live updates via Twitter! Click here for the #RedskinsTalk on Apple Podcastshere for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!

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Redskins have begun contract talks with Zach Brown, but free agency looms

Redskins have begun contract talks with Zach Brown, but free agency looms

Redskins fans want Zach Brown back. Bad. And for weeks there had been no news about contract talks between Washington and Brown. 

Now that's changed.

"We've been talking to his agent," Redskins head coach Jay Gruden said on Tuesday. 

Gruden, speaking from the Senior Bowl, explained that the team would like Brown back in 2018 but Washington also understands that the linebacker might want to explore the free agent market. 

"It’s a process," Gruden said (full video above). "These guys have a chance to be a free agent, they had a good year and they want to check what the market is sometimes. If we can get them before they get to free agency, great, but if not, the bidding wars will begin."

For Brown, free agency will look different in 2018 than it did last season when he signed a one-year. bargain deal with the Redskins. 

Prior to injuries forcing him to miss the final three games of the season, Brown led the NFL in tackles. For two straight years, 2016 in Buffalo and 2017 in Washington, Brown has proved to be a tackling machine and arguably the fastest linebacker in the NFL. Brown also signed new representation last offseason, Jason and Michael Katz of CSE Football, and should Brown hit the free agent market the Katz brothers will aggresively market their client. 

Washington Senior Vice President of Football Operations Eric Schaeffer will handle the contract discussions for Washington, and is known as a shrewd negotiator. 

Like many business deals, this will come down to money. Brown established himself as a fit in Washington, both on the field and in the locker room. Interior linebackers do not command top dollar like pass rushers do, but Brown will still expect to be compensated appropriately. 

Further complicating matters for Washington, the Redskins only have Josh Harvery-Clemmons, Zach Vigil and Martrell Speight under contract for 2018. 

It's too early to predict what "it's a process" means from Jay Gruden, but Redskins fans should draw some encouragement that talks have begun with Brown. 

Want more Redskins? Click here to follow JP on Facebook and check out @JPFinlayNBCS for live updates via Twitter! Click here for the #RedskinsTalk on Apple Podcastshere for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!