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Need to Know: A brawl, position changes and departures highlight the Redskins' week

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Need to Know: A brawl, position changes and departures highlight the Redskins' week

Here is what you need to know on this Monday, August 10, three days before Washington Redskins open their preseason against the Browns in Cleveland.

The week that was

RICHMOND—The Redskins are back here today for a couple of days of practice before they travel to Cleveland on Wednesday. Here is a look back at what happened in the past week and my reaction to it.

'It escalated very quickly'—It appears that the Texans were looking to start something to retaliate for Matt Jones mowing over one of their defensive backs on Friday. There is always a fine line on how much contact there should be in these joint practices and perhaps Jones crossed it. I’m not sure if a brawl involving over 150 players spread over two fields is exactly revenge but if the Texans are happy, that’s OK. It’s a good thing nobody got injured.

Scherff, Moses moves shuffle O-line depth chartIt looks like Brandon Scherff will start his NFL career as a guard. Although you never know what will happen it is likely that he will stay there. I’m not sure if the Redskins should be criticized more for using the fifth overall pick in the draft on a guard, a position of relatively low value, or if they should get credit for not waiting to make the move of Scherff to right guard and Morgan Moses into the right tackle spot. A little of both, probably.

Redskins waive Phillip Thomas—The Redskins aren’t exactly set at safety but they decided to move on without Thomas, their fourth-round pick in the 2013 draft. The organization thought he would develop into a starter but he missed his rookie year with a foot injury and when injuries created an opportunity for him to start last year he looked lost.

Colts claim Tevin Mitchel off waivers—The sixth-round pick suffered a shoulder injury that was going to put him out for the season. In order to get him onto injured reserve, the Redskins had to pass him through waivers, normally a routine procedure. But the Colts decided to claim him. Mitchel will now spend the season on the Indianapolis IR list and try to make the Colts team next year. It wasn’t much of a gamble since injured players are rarely claimed but Washington ended up losing a sixth-round pick.

Redskins add two to secondary, including former Virginia CBThomas was waived to help make room for cornerbacks Bryan McCann, a veteran with stints on five different NFL teams, and rookie free agent DreQuan Hoskey. The Redskins’ top four cornerbacks were nicked up and unable to practice and Mitchel was gone so they brought in some warm bodies to get through practice. But they will get a chance to make it.

DeSean Jackson leaves practice early with apparent shoulder injuryJackson didn’t last long in the joint practices. Early in Wednesday’s first session he went to the ground while trying to catch a pass and ended up with a sprained AC joint. The injury is not major and should only keep him out a couple of weeks. He did not, as some said, injure himself on a blocking sled that was near by. When Jackson fell he slid and wound up bumping the sled. By the time he made contact with the sled, the damage to his shoulder had already been done.

Timeline

Today’s schedule: Walkthrough 10:35; Jay Gruden news conference 2:45; practice 3:05

—It’s been 225 days since the Redskins played a game. It will be 34 days until they play the Dolphins at FedEx Field.

Days until: Preseason opener @ Browns 3; final cuts 26; Redskins @ Giants Thursday night 45

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In case you missed it

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Scot McCloughan simply said what plenty of others think about Kirk Cousins

Scot McCloughan simply said what plenty of others think about Kirk Cousins

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.

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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. 

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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.

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Redskins Fan of the Year bracket: Which Washington supporter deserves the title?

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Redskins Fan of the Year bracket: Which Washington supporter deserves the title?

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: