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Five things that aren't being talked about enough from the Redskins-Rams game

CSN/Bob Youngentob

Five things that aren't being talked about enough from the Redskins-Rams game

In Sunday's Best Buddies Bowl, Jay Gruden and Kirk Cousins came out on top versus Sean McVay and his band of former Redskins coaches.

But while you've read and listened to plenty about Ryan Grant's crunchtime catch and Mason Foster's sketchy but effective medical practices, there are some other storylines that are being overlooked.

Here are five things not being talked about enough from Washington's Week 2's win:

1) The Burgundy and Gold again avoided yellow flags

Have you noticed that the table in your TV room isn't dented as much, or your remote control isn't dinged up like it normally is at this stage of the NFL calendar?

That may be because of the Redskins' improved discipline in 2017, which means you aren't slamming things in frustration as often. Washington was penalized just four times in the Coliseum Sunday, moving their season total up to six through two weeks. Only the Dolphins and Bucs have been flagged fewer times, and they've of course played one less contest than the 'Skins.


2) Preston Smith answers the call for more production for second straight game

Preston Smith's second sack in 2016 didn't come until Week 10. Thanks to his takedown of Jared Goff on Sunday, Smith has reached that number already in 2017.

The third-year pass rusher is one of the handful of players that, if he shines, can really change the Redskins' fortunes this season. So far, he's wreaking havoc like he should be, and the fact that he's done it two Sundays in a row is particularly exciting because consistency is something he's lacked as a pro thus far.

3) Josh Norman's forced fumble

Probably because it preceded everyone's favorite red zone call — the always reliable fade — Josh Norman's forced fumble is being forgotten about. It shouldn't be.

On LA's first offensive play following Washington's opening TD, Norman jarred the ball loose from Todd Gurley, and Terrell McClain covered it up. And while the subsequent drive ended in a field goal, No. 24's forced turnover gave his offense an extra possession that led to three more points on the board. That's enormous.

4) Montae Nicholson's involvement

Montae Nicholson has flown up the depth chart after being selected in the fourth round this past April, and against the Rams, he appeared on 26 out of 50 snaps on defense. That's after seeing the field only three times on D in Week 1.

Nicholson is aggressive and very gifted physically, but most felt the Redskins grabbed him far too early in the draft. He's making their investment in him look smart, however, and with Su'a Cravens now done for 2017, he'll only be asked to do more.


5) Some poor examples of tackling by two corners

Not everything was positive in the victory, so not everything in this post can be positive. So let's look at two important misses by Kendall Fuller and Bashaud Breeland.

The two corners, who've both been much better in coverage than they were last season, each whiffed on Gurley in run support, as the running back hurdled them on two separate plays after each went in low and with their heads down. Washington will be facing plenty more talented backs in the coming 14 games, and those backs will continue to expose poor tackling technique.

Breeland, Fuller and others must get better here, instead of half-heartedly trying to take out the opponent's legs.

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Wanting increased playing time, Junior Galette intends to pursue free agency, per source

Wanting increased playing time, Junior Galette intends to pursue free agency, per source

Redskins outside linebacker Junior Galette intends to pursue free agency to find a team that will give him plenty of snaps, per a source with knowledge of the situation.

Galette's contract will expire once the 2017 regular season ends, and while the 29-year-old pass rush specialist appreciates the Redskins organization and fans, he wants to play. 

After suffering season-ending Achilles injuries in 2015 and 2016, Galette has stayed healthy throughout the 2017 season. 

Still, he hasn't been on the field much.

Ryan Kerrigan leads the Redskins with 358 snaps in pass rush situations, and Preston Smith ranks second with 297, according to Pro Football Focus. 

Galette has played only 197 snaps this season in pass rush situations. 

For comparison, rookie Jonathan Allen logged 112 snaps in pass rush situations. Allen played in just five games before heading to the injured reserve with a Lisfranc injury. Galette has played in all 13 Redskins games this year, and hasn't appeared on the injury report once. 

Compounding the issue, Galette has been effective when on the field. 

Pro Football Focus rated him the third best defender on the Redskins this season, behind only Kerrigan and cornerback Kendall Fuller. 

As Rich Tandler noted, there will be a market for Galette. All NFL teams need pass rushers, and it appears Galette still has plenty left after his two-year layoff. Remember, in 2013 and 2014 Galette had 22 sacks for the New Orleans Saints.  This season, he has two sacks. 

The Redskins deserve credit for sticking with Galette after two lost seasons, though Galette deserves credit too for working back from not one but two Achilles injuries. 

Washington's coaches and front office speak highly of Galette, and there haven't been off field issues. For whatever reason, the playing time just hasn't been there. 

Looks like that will change next year. 

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Robert Griffin III listed the best places for Kirk Cousins to end up, and he left off the Redskins


Robert Griffin III listed the best places for Kirk Cousins to end up, and he left off the Redskins

Of course this was going to happen. 

The moment it became known that Robert Griffin III was going to be on ESPN's shows for a few appearances this week, you knew he was going to be asked about Kirk Cousins at some point.

And, surely enough, come Wednesday afternoon, the stars aligned and the question was asked on NFL Live: Where, in Griffin's opinion, was the best place for Cousins to land this offseason?

"I think it depends on what he's trying to do," Griffin began.

"If he's trying to make the most money, he goes to Cleveland," he said. "If he's trying to be in the best situation, he goes to one of these teams that have a great defense that isn't gonna put it all on his shoulders."


Don't worry, he doesn't stop there. In fact, he saved the good stuff for the latter half of his answer.

"He's had it all on his shoulders in Washington, and we've seen the result," Cousins' draft classmate continued. "But if he's got a great defense like, say, Denver, say, Jacksonville, it makes it easier for him as a quarterback. Whereas in Cleveland, he's gonna have to go in and he's gonna have to do more of the workload."

So, the Browns, Broncos and Jaguars are among the teams Griffin considers options for Cousins. But, uh, what about the one he's on right now?

"I don't think it's Washington, just because of, you've seen what's been going on," he said. "Do they want him there? Does he want to be there?"

This isn't to say that the former rookie of the year doesn't bring up valid points; Cousins has had to play with below-average defenses for much of his career in D.C. and the franchise hasn't exactly shown a ton of admiration for him.

But nevertheless, it was interesting to see Griffin declare wish such confidence that his old backup needs to bolt from the Redskins and head elsewhere.

And thus concludes another chapter of the Griffin-Cousins-Redskins saga. You can leave your comments about how you don't care about it below, even though you made the choice to click on the story in the first place.