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Need to Know: A new mindset at Redskins Park?

Need to Know: A new mindset at Redskins Park?

Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, May 28, 63 days before the Washington Redskins start training camp.

Three and out

Some Robert Griffin III notes and quotes:
“Right now I’m a 25-year-old young man who can do a lot of different things, so I’m not going to limit myself to just being a dropback passer. But if Coach Gruden and Sean McVay asked me to be a dropback passer in any given situation, my job is to make sure that I can be.”
This is the whole RG3 as a drop back passer issue in a nutshell. He has to be able to do it. Maybe not all the time, in some games maybe not even the majority of the time. But he has to be able to do it consistently and reliably if he is going to be a successful NFL quarterback. It’s what you have to do in pro football.
"Sometimes it’s not about what kind of guys you have on your team as far as the talent level, it’s about the mindset you have. So, that culture change first happens upstairs and I was blessed enough to experience that and go through that with my teammates at Baylor and I want to go through that with my teammates here with the Redskins also. So it all starts upstairs. It’s a mindset change with not accepting mediocrity."
Is there a new mindset at Redskins Park? We’ll have to see. I know that some of you hate this being brought up repeatedly but the laughter and cutting up in the locker room after the loss to Seattle and the frequent cases of players and coaches patting themselves on the back after close losses is very much a sign that many of them accept mediocrity. Sure, a change in mindset can happen but, like the mythical attacking defense that forces bushels of turnovers we hear about this time every year, I’ll believe it when I see it.
"It’s fun to be around your guys and be around your teammates because every organization, at the beginning of the year, when they come in in April, is a group of 90 guys, it’s not a team. You have to form into a team. That what we’ve been doing here and having the new guys has been awesome and I enjoy being around them, so for me it’s awesome. I love coming out and playing football. That’s what I’m paid to do and that’s what I love to do.”
I could be wrong about this but I don’t recall Griffin talking about coming together as a team much in the past. The whole “RG-Me” thing is highly overblown by some fans but talking more about the team and less about himself (even though that’s what he usually gets asked about) could do him a lot of good.
“I’ve always been dedicated to the film study, I just hadn’t been asked about it. My man Jeff over there did a great job with his article. But no, I hadn’t really been asked about that. It wasn’t very different from before. You know you have to dedicate yourself in those ways and it’s not about really standing up and talking about it and saying what you do, but he asked me a specific question and I gave him a specific answer in that setting and that’s what it was.
I don’t doubt that Griffin has watched a lot of football film in his time in the NFL. How much, and how the amount that he watches stacks up against what other NFL QB’s watch, I have no idea. As with any job, sometimes is not a matter of how much you do something (working harder) but getting more out the time you spend doing it (working smarter). Griffin may not need to watch more film, but he may need to improve on what he is looking for and how to use that information. Matt Cavanaugh has the potential to be a great help here.

Timeline

—It’s been 151 days since the Redskins played a game. It will be 108 days until they play the Dolphins at FedEx Field.

Days until: Redskins minicamp starts 19; Redskins training camp starts 63; Thursday night Redskins @ Giants 119

If you have any questions about what's going on at Redskins Park, hit me up in the comments. And I'm always on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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Five takeaways from the Redskins' necessary win over the Giants

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USA TODAY Sports

Five takeaways from the Redskins' necessary win over the Giants

Here are my five takeaways from the Redskins’ ugly 20-10 win vs. the Giants.

A Win is a Win:
If you are worried about style points you are doing it wrong. This was a banged up team on a short week playing for its life. Perhaps a better start would have made for a more comfortable win but they got done what they needed to do.

Jamison Crowder is on a Roll
:
He gained a career-high 141 yards on seven receptions. The yardage broke his career high of 123 that he set in Week 8. The third-year receiver got off to very slow start, not posting over 52 yards in any game.

But he has broken out of his slump in a big way and Kirk Cousins is very glad to see it.

Perine is Ready:
The rookie was elevated into the starting role after Rob Kelley went onto injured reserve two weeks ago. His importance elevated when Chris Thompson went out for the year with a broken leg.

Fortunately for the Redskins, his play has elevated since becoming the starter. He rushed for 117 yards against the Saints on Sunday. Thursday, four days later, he couldn’t get anything going in the first half, gaining only three yards on seven carries. But he got rolling in the second half and finished with 100 yards on 24 carries.

The Redskins may well have lost this game if Perine, the only back who was on the roster as of three weeks ago, had not gotten himself on track.

MUST-SEE: BEST IMAGES FROM REDSKINS' THANKSGIVING VICTORY

Defense Got Help: 
Eli Manning passed for 113 yards. Only six times in his career, which spans 211 games, has he thrown for fewer yards. There are three entities mainly responsible for Eli’s woes. The Redskins defense did a good job of putting pressure on him and for the most part the back seven played well in coverage. But Eli himself contributed to his own production problems.

On many occasions he had time to throw and a receiver open but he either sailed the ball well over the receiver’s head or threw it in the ground. Finally, when Manning did have time and delivered the ball on the money, his receivers frequently were unable to find the handle; there were several costly drops.

RELATED: BIGGEST UP'S AND DOWN'S FROM REDSKINS-GIANTS

There is Hope:
It’s too early in the weekend to go into much detail about the Redskins chances of making the playoffs but the losses earlier in the day by the Lions and Cowboys certainly helped.

It’s still a tough path to navigate.

But they did what they needed to do today in winning one of six games that looked winnable earlier this week. All they can do is try to get a winning streak together and they did all they could do in that regard on Thanksgiving.

Now it’s on to Dallas to see if they can take the next step.

MORE: THIS ONE THROW SHOWS HOW COUSINS IS EVOLVING

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerCSN and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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Want to see how Kirk Cousins is evolving as a quarterback? Then watch this throw

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USA TODAY Sports

Want to see how Kirk Cousins is evolving as a quarterback? Then watch this throw

LANDOVER — At times during the Redskins' 20-10 Thanksgiving night victory over the Giants, Kirk Cousins and Washington's offense performed at a level somewhere between sloppy nausea-inducing.

There was that awful sequence where the offense botched a fourth-and-1 more than they normally do.

There was also No. 8's slightly off-target throw to a running back he barely knows that ended up as six points for New York. And there were plenty less notable, but still gross, plays before and after those.

But Cousins' first touchdown pass to Jamison Crowder was far from gross. It was beautiful. It was creative.

And it showed how the 29-year-old is still developing as a quarterback:

MUST-SEE: BEST IMAGES FROM REDSKINS' THANKSGIVING VICTORY

"The touchdown he had to Crowder was one of his best touchdown passes that I've seen since I've been here," Jay Gruden said about it afterward.

He's right.

By now, you know the boxes that Cousins checks off as a passer. He has the requisite arm strength. He's usually able to move an offense, even one like the Redskins' 2017 version that includes a ton of spare parts, up and down the field. He has the work ethic and leadership skills. 

But a common knock against him is that he can't extend a play and find a receiver when things aren't there during his initial dropback. And that weakness becomes a glaring one in the red zone.

Yet on Thanksgiving night, there Cousins was, avoiding an edge rusher, stepping up, rolling right and then nailing Crowder right on the numbers for a crucial TD. Like his head coach, Cousins was proud of how that score unfolded.

"I felt some pressure so I just tried to escape up and to the right and kept my eyes down field," he said. "I think just the longer I play, I'll get a better feel for how to move and escape."

MORE: ALL OF THE UPS AND DOWNS OF THE THANKSGIVING WIN

Cousins' final stats don't stack up to some of his past performances, such as his Week 11 effort in New Orleans where he shined or his pretty perfect evening vs. the Raiders in Week 3. Regardless, this one was encouraging in its own way, because it provided another grlimpse at how the signal caller is becoming more comfortable when things around him become uncomfortable.

Like most of his fellow starters in the league, Cousins has flaws. But the more he plays, the more those flaws diminish. Gruden sees it, he sees it, and you should see it, too.