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Need to Know: Rapid fire—Who will the top three Redskins cornerbacks be in 2015?

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Need to Know: Rapid fire—Who will the top three Redskins cornerbacks be in 2015?

Here is what you need to know on this Monday, June 15, one day before the Washington Redskins start minicamp.

Question of the day

A few days a week I’ll give an in-depth answer to a question submitted by a fan on my Twitter feed, via the Real Redskins Facebook page, or in the comments section here. On Twitter address the questions to me at @Rich_TandlerCSN with the #NTK hashtag. There will be a comment thread set up on the Facebook page and if you’re asking your question here, put “for NTK” at the start of the comment.

I’ll also take your Need to Know questions via email. Hit me up rich.tandler+csn@gmail.com with “NTK” in the subject line. Just keep the questions relatively brief, please. 

I didn’t get to the rapid fire this weekend so let’s do it today. During the week I get a lot of good submissions for question of the day that don’t warrant an answer long enough to fill an entire post. So I skim off the best of those and answer them in one post. Here we go:

https://twitter.com/SkinsfanDanny/status/609688567196053504

If Kai Forbath stays healthy, not very good. Of course, Forbath staying healthy has been an issue. He missed three games in 2013 and Way had to handle kickoffs for him for a few games when he was having issues with his leg last year. But when Forbath was healthy, Way went back to just punting. And they want him to continue to focus on punting. Although he has a booming leg and led the league in gross punting average, Way still has a lot of refining to his punting game. I believe that the coaches want him to work on pooch kicking, directional kicking, and other aspects of punting and then look at having him double as the kickoff guy. Barring an emergency (again, certainly a possibility) I’m not looking for him to kickoff until 2016.

The one thing that’s clear is that Chris Culliver will start and may follow the opponent’s best receiver from side to side. So that leaves three players competing for the other two starting spots. David Amerson, DeAngelo Hall, and Bashaud Breeland all have NFL starting experience. During OTAs we’ve seen Breeland paired with Culliver in the regular defense and Amerson coming in for nickel situations and playing on the outside while Breeland moved into the slot. I think Breeland still plays the slot when the season starts and if Hall is physically ready after rehabbing his twice-torn Achilles tendon, he will get the nod on the outside.

I got a lot of questions about Grant so I’ll let this one represent all of them. Grant has been getting additional snaps in the OTA sessions that have been open to the media due to the absence of DeSean Jackson and he has been taking advantage of the situation. His route running is sharp and last week he made a nice catch in the end zone, just getting both feet in along the sideline. I’m not going to predict a breakout season for him but I think he can get some more snaps and improve on his production from last year. Remember that he was a fifth-round pick and he’s not particularly big or fast. It will take him time to master his craft to the point where we can see if he can be a starting caliber receiver. We should start to find out more about his potential in 2016.

Yes, $20 million is a lot at one position but it is manageable. I could see them both staying if the Redskins aren’t paying Robert Griffin III that $16 million option (either via his departure or a new deal with a lower cap number). If the two players account for 2,000 yards of offense combined and keep the defense honest to open up the running game then it’s a worthwhile investment. But if they do see the need to let go of one or the other it will be a tough call. Jackson is more of a threat but Garçon is the better teammate. Right now I’d guess that Jackson would be the one to go because Scot McCloughan prefers bigger receivers but a lot depends on how 2015 plays out.

Timeline

—It’s been 169 days since the Redskins played a game. It will be 90 days until they play the Dolphins at FedEx Field.

Days until: Redskins minicamp starts 1; Redskins training camp starts 45; Preseason opener @ Browns 59

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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Kirk Cousins breaks down the terribleness of FedEx Field grass

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Kirk Cousins breaks down the terribleness of FedEx Field grass

For years, the Redskins struggle with their home field as the fall turns to winter. It's been happening so long it's become an expected passing of the seasons, like the transition from Halloween jack-o-lanterns to Christmas lights dotting people's front yards. 

Well, on Thanksgiving night, the turf at FedEx Field again showed how bad it can be. On a second half interception returned for a New York Giants touchdown, replay showed that Kirk Cousins' foot got stuck on the dirt, and it played a role in his sailing a ball to the sideline. The bad turf was not the only reason for the interception, but it was definitely a reason. 

Beyond the pick, the field was just ugly. Twitter blew up making fun of the Redskins home grass, and the national broadcast showed just how unsightly the long brown patch between the hash marks looked. 

On Friday, the normally diplomatic Cousins opened up about the grass.

"It probably doesn't look like a professional NFL field should," the quarterback said on 106.7 the Fan (full audio here). "If you think the field is rough now on Thanksgiving, we've got two more home games in mid-to-late December. That's probably going to be a bigger challenge."

Asked about the field's impact on the interception on Thursday night, Cousins ignored it. But plenty of other players have suggested the field is a known problem in the second half, and something they just must deal with. 

"I don't know why it is that way or what causes it," Cousins said. "I've kind of learned to accept it and understand it's part of the deal. Playing here on the field has never been that great in the second half of the season for whatever the reason."

[h/t @BenStandig for the Cousins quotes]

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When Samaje Perine got going, so did the Redskins' offense

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Bob Youngentob for NBC Sports Washington

When Samaje Perine got going, so did the Redskins' offense

At halftime of the Redskins’ Thanksgiving night game against the Giants, Samaje Perine had three yards rushing and his team had three points. Washington had racked up all of 113 yards.

Coincidence? Not entirely. Although the Redskins are primarily a passing team they need to run the ball to pass effectively.

“We had to get the running game going,” said Jay Gruden after the game.

In the second half, Perine and the offense did get it going. Perine ran for 97 yards and Redskins put up 210 yards and 17 points. It’s safe to say that it wasn’t a coincidence.

The Redskins didn’t make any halftime adjustments to get the ground game in gear.

“We just had to stay the course,” said Perine. “We knew they were going to come out fired up, they just came off a big win. We just had to stay the course and then things started going our way.”

MORE REDSKINS: MUST-SEE PHOTOS OF THE WIN

Perine was more steady than spectacular. His longest run was 16 yards. He came out of the locker room and ran for six and 10 yards on his first two carries. Later in the third quarter the Redskins were backed up at their own 10. Perine ran four straight plays for 39 yards and the Redskins were near midfield.

Although they didn’t score on that drive they did change field position. That was part of the Redskins’ strategy playing with an injury-depleted offense.

“If you had to punt in a game like this and play field position, it’s not the end of the world because our defense was playing so good,” said Gruden.

Not only did the running game flip the field, it flipped the time of possession. In the first half, the Giants had the ball for 17:40 compared to 12:20 for the Redskins.

“We had to get on the field and control some of the clock,” said tackle Morgan Moses. “We had to give our defense a rest. Samaje put his foot in the ground and got extra yards when needed and we were able to move the chains.”

Moses wasn’t the only one enjoying seeing Perine pile up some yards.

“As a defensive player, you want to see that,” said safety D.J. Swearinger. “We say, keep running it. Keep running him. Let him keep getting those carries, put a dent in the defense. It was a good sight to see.”

RELATED: FIVE KEY MOMENTS IN RESKINS VS GIANTS

Swearinger got to watch a lot of Perine. The Redskins piled up 22:17 in possession in the second half, while Swearinger and his defensive mates had to defend for just 7:43.

Last night was the second time in four days that Perine has rushed for 100 yards or more; he had 117 in New Orleans on Sunday. No Redskin has rushed for 100 yards in consecutive games since Alfred Morris did it in November of 2013.

He will have a chance to extend that streak to three on Thursday against the Cowboys, who are ranked 17th in rushing defense. That would put him in some elite company in Redskins history, including Larry Brown (twice) and Stephen Davis.  A steak of three straight 100-yard games was last done by Morris in 2012.

It may be a little early to look forward, but the Redskins record is five straight 100-yard games, held by Clinton Portis (twice) and Ladell Betts.  

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