Notes from the second and, as Mike Shanahan announced, final practice of the Redskins' minicamp. Since tweeting is not allowed from practice the notes are presented in Twitter-sized bites.--Orakpo looks great on his feet, very vocal, still being limited in team drills due to torn pectoral in season finale.--D-line and some of the backers working on some pre snap shifts. They need all of this to be second nature by the time preseason games start.--As one might guess, RG3 and Kyle are pretty well joined at the hip out here on the field. A Constant stream of feedback from teacher to pupil.--Generally speaking the run pursuit by the defense has bee excellent with a lot of hustle to the ball No pads, no contact so no grand conclusions can be drawn but still good to see. --Rob Jackson is one player who can keep up with Griffin when he's rolling out. The QB had to throw the ball away as he was running out of room. Not that Jackson could win a foot race with RG3 but he is quick and has good lateral speed.--Only surprise nonparticipant is Cooley. We will ask Shanahan about him after practice but expect it is precautionary.--Richard Crawford had both hands on a pass near the sideline and could nor hold on. It would have been a nice grab but players like Crawford need to make plays like that.--A bit of excess celebration among a few receivers after Austin caught a long TD pass from Rex. It was a Fun Bunch revival, a group high five that might be worth the 15 yards if it happened in a game.--Nice pass from Cousins to Robinson. Cousins rolled out and launched the pass just before going out of bounds at about the 45. Robinson made the grab just short of the end zone.--Rackers nails a 50-yarder right down the middle with plenty to spare. As Shanny said yesterday the competition will go all the way to the very end.---Cousins displays a good arm and quick release with passes to Paulsen and Darius Hanks.--RG3 not having one of those "can complete every pass and do anything" days. He is just flat missing some receivers. He does not look happy as he takes a break on the sideline.--Not a whole lot of action for Minnifield today. I think they saw what they needed to see yesterday.--Nice long pass from Rex to Paul but the play took so long to develop that the QB would have been sacked twice in the time it took to get rid of it.--It continues to not be Griffin's day Hall with an easy pick of an RG3 pass. QB rolled out and threw it right to the CB.Post practice--Shanahan said that the players will meet in the morning, do a workout, but there will be no practice.--Shanahan said that Cooley was out due to a minor hamstring pull. He probably would have gone if it was the regular season.--Shanahan said that he expects all injured players to be ready for the start of training camp.--Santana Moss said, The defense got the better of the offense today.
It's only Week 7, but Kirk Cousins is putting up numbers that's proving to the Redskins and other teams around the league that he's worth a big contract.
In five games, Cousins has 1,334 yards and nine touchdowns with a QB rating of 106.4.
And he's proving that he's comfortable making plays on his own. During the second half of Sunday's game against the 49ers, Cousins scored a read option touchdown pushing his team ahead 27-17.
Someone who's impressed with what he's seen thus far and even threw out the word 'monstrous' when referring to the contract Cousins will eventually get, is former Redskins QB and NFL analyst, Sage Rosenfels.
Oh, and he also had a really long list of nice things to say about Cousins.
"Well he is an efficient quarterback and that's what he is," Rosenfels told the Sports Junkies Tuesday
"He's a guy that you can count on to do what he's expected to do. He's gonna go to the right reads. He's gonna be an accurate thrower. He generally takes care of the football. He's an executer. He's a guy I describe as an executer. He's not a play maker, per say, though he has slowly added that to his repertoire."
"He is an executer though and I don't know if there's many better in the league who when you drop back and go through the progressions and have to read defenses, he's up there probably in the top five in the league at that. He's extremely accurate and he knows what he is doing."
Having your quarterback described as an executer over and over again isn't the worst thing in the world to hear.
When it comes to the business side of things, Rosenfels may also want to use the word 'smart' to describe Cousins.
"Good for him for signing those one-year deals. He bet on himself and now you know next year, whether it's Washington or somewhere else, he's going to get an absolute monstrous contract."
Contract negotiations are probably the last thing Redskins fans want to hear right now, but one thing to bask in is a successful QB.
The 2017 Redskins appear to be playing at a much higher level than the 2016 Redskins, but the reality remains, through five games, the two teams have the exact same 3-2 record.
Sure, this year's defense seems to be playing much better. The Redskins rank 12th in yards allowed-per-game and 19th in points allowed-per-game. Want to hear something weird though? The 2016 defense ranked 19th in points allowed-per-game too.
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There are plenty more statistical anomalies like that, perhaps enough to give Redskins fans pause. Or maybe trends that will work back closer to the norm as the season progresses. Here are five weird ones:
- End zone problems continue - The New York Giants are off to an awful start at 1-5. Big Blue has a -27 point differential on the year, and the team has scored just 12 touchdowns. The Redskins have been much better than the Giants, own a 3-2 record, and a +4 point differential. Washington, however, has just 13 TDs, or one more than the lowly Giants. In the NFC, along with the Giants, only the Niners, Seahawks and Panthers have less TDs than the 'Skins.
- Unexpected weapon - Through five games, the Redskins are getting excellent production out of the tight end position. It just might not be the player many expected doing the producing. Pro Bowler Jordan Reed is off to a fine start, 18 catches for 142 yards in just four games, but Vernon Davis is the tight end providing big plays. On just 11 catches, Davis has 225 receiving yards, good for a 20.5 yards-per-catch average. Last season, Davis caught 44 balls for 543 yards. He's nearly halfway to that total in just five games this season.
- Easily the most valuable - Chris Thompson's productivity through five games is on a historic pace. With 515 total yards from scrimmage, he currently accounts for nearly 30 percent of the Redskins 1,871 total yards. For Kirk Cousins, Thompson is nearly as important. The quarterback has thrown for 1,334 yards so far this year. Of that yardage, more than 25 percent belongs to Thompson. Think about that: 1 out of every 4 yards Cousins throws for goes to Thompson. And the bulk of that comes on short throws, where Thompson then takes off and piles up yards after the catch. In fact, Thompson leads the NFL in yards-after-catch, per ESPN.
Redskins RB Chris Thompson has 329 receiving yards after the catch this season, 77 more than any other player in the NFL.— Field Yates (@FieldYates) October 16, 2017
- Snap out of it - Preston Smith showed tremendous talent as a rookie in 2015, logging eight sacks and coming on strong late in the Redskins NFC East title run. As a second-year player in 2016, the sacks didn't pile up so easy. He finished the year with 4.5, a disappointing step back for Smith. In 2017, the slump is over. Smith has at least a half sack in every game this season, and has been a force on the outside for the Redskins.
- Don't count the wideouts - Much talk this offseason centered on losing DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garçon and replacing them with Josh Doctson and Terrelle Pryor. The results through five games have been underwhelming. Of the Redskins top five receiving yard leaders, only two are receivers, and Doctson isn't even over 100 yards receiving for the year. Further, Jamison Crowder, a player expected by many to have a breakout season, has 121 yards through five games. Eventually, Cousins can't keep relying on Thompson so much, and the team will need more out of the wideouts.
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