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Need to Know: Redskins notes and quotes--Roberts better than Redskins thought

Need to Know: Redskins notes and quotes--Roberts better than Redskins thought

Here is what you need to know on this Friday, September 12, two days before the Washington Redskins open their home season against the Jaguars.

Redskins Park news and notes

Here is the buzz from around Redskins Park:

Andre Roberts said that deep chances against the Jaguars will depend on what the defensive gives them. “We need to get the ball downfield more but it’s going to be predicated on what the defense does,” he said. “If they’re going to give up the short stuff we’re going to throw it. If we can complete it and get downfield, do what we do as pass catchers that’s just going to happen with the game.”

—This will be Jay Gruden’s first home game as and NFL head coach and he is looking for a lot of noise from the crowd. He showed that he understands that it’s the responsibility of the team to create the home field advantage. “With the crowd noise, the snap count becomes more difficult,” said Gruden. “We had a fumbled snap, we were late on a snap and it creates chaos for your offense when the home field crowd is against you, so it's very important for our fans to be loud and very important for us as a team to make them have something to cheer about. We have got to do something early in the game to get the people excited so we get rolling."

—New Redskins coaches have won their home debuts in their last four tries. Steve Spurrier, Joe Gibbs (second tenure), Jim Zorn, and Mike Shanahan all won in their first games at FedEx Field, as Gruden will be looking to do.

—Alfred Morris needs 21 yards rushing to get to 3,000 for his career. No Redskins running back has rushed for 3,000 yards in his first three full seasons in the NFL. Morris seems to be a lock to do it in two seasons plus two games.

—The Redskins thought that they were getting a pretty good player in Roberts. But word around Redskins Park is that he is even better than they thought he would be. “I think what surprised us was his ability to play outside as well as inside, and he showed that early on in training camp that he can play outside,” said Gruden. “I really am impressed with Andre.”

Ben Kotwica had some praise for Roberts’ ability to know when the field a punt and when to let it bounce, saying that making the proper decision is “yardage that doesn’t get chalked up all the time.” Roberts talked about how he approaches making the decision. “If the ball’s past the 10 obviously you want to let the ball go, hopefully it will go in the end zone although punters are paid to knock it inside the 20 from time to time,” he said. “For the most part, I know if I have room.”

—On Sunday Keenan Robinson played in his first full game since 2011, his last year at Texas. I asked him what it was like. “It was fun, man,” he said. “I wasn’t nervous like I thought I’d be or you’d assume I’d be, I wasn’t jittery. I think the preseason games really helped because I played preseason game like they were regular season games to me so it was easy transitioning. I don’t take preseason games likely because for me every opportunity I get to put my play out there on film that’s getting sent out to 31 other teams I wanted to make sure I was on point.”

If you have any questions about what's going on at Redskins Park, hit me up in the comments. I'll answer all questions as soon as I can get to them. And I'm always on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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Today’s schedule: Practice 11:00; Player availability open locker room, Jay Gruden news conference, Sean McVay media availability after practice (approx. 1:00)

Days until: Home opener vs. Jaguars 2; Redskins @ Eagles 9; Thursday night Giants @ Redskins 13

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As money skyrockets, don't expect Kirk Cousins to give discounts on open market


As money skyrockets, don't expect Kirk Cousins to give discounts on open market

Kirk Cousins repeatedly said his free agent decision will not be just about money. Be clear, however, that money will be a huge factor in this decision. 

After the Redskins traded with Kansas City to acquire Alex Smith before the Super Bowl, it became obvious Washington will move on from Cousins. Whether that means the quarterback simply walks away in free agency or the organization attempts a highly risky tag-and-trade scenario, regardless, Cousins will throw footballs for another franchise in 2018.

Cousins wants to choose where he will play via free agency, and might even file a grievance if the Redskins do deploy a third franchise tag to control his rights.

Assuming Cousins hits free agency, a new report out of New York suggests the Jets will pay "whatever it takes" to land the passer. That could even include a fully guaranteed contract, and will certainly get close to a $30 million a year price tag. 

A notion exists too that Cousins might take less to go to a winner, and many think that could be the Broncos. Denver won five games in 2017, same as the Jets, though the Broncos have a strong defense and have been getting particularly awful QB play. 

The important thing to remember for curious Redskins fans watching the Cousins saga unfold: Don't expect much, if any, discount. 

The quarterback himself made that clear. 

"There’s other quarterbacks that come after you and it would be almost a selfish move to hurt future quarterbacks who get in a position to have a contract," Cousins said last year on 106.7 the Fan.

The quotes came after the 2016 season but before the Redskins again used a franchise tag with Cousins for the 2017 season. Washington wanted to attempt a long-term deal with Cousins at that point, though the quarterback decided to not negotiate and instead play on the tag.

The point remains that Cousins, and his representatives, believe the quarterback has a duty to other players to maximize his earnings. 

"If you don’t take a deal that’s fair to you, then you’re also taking a deal that’s not fair to them and you’re setting them back as well. So there’s different reasons. You just do the best you can."

If he hits free agency, Cousins will likely sign the richest contract in NFL history. Those opportunities don't come around often, and the quarterback should take full advantage. 

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Need to Know: Could Ty Nsekhe be the Redskins' answer at left guard?

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Need to Know: Could Ty Nsekhe be the Redskins' answer at left guard?

Here is what you need to know on this Monday, February 19, 23 days before NFL free agency starts.

Monday musings

—One possible solution to the left guard spot is perhaps being overlooked. Ty Nsekhe played there some last year, starting the game in Dallas and playing there until Morgan Moses got injured, forcing him to move to right tackle. Nsekhe is slated to be a restricted free agent but his return is likely. In December I asked Jay Gruden if Nsekhe might move to guard in 2018. “I think Ty is a big man and a very good tackle, but in the offseason when we have more time, maybe we can feature him at some guard when we’ve got all our guys back,” he said. “Feature him some” doesn’t mean that they will make him a starter; perhaps they want him to be the top option to fill in at four of the five OL positions. But it’s something to keep an eye on if they don’t land a left guard solution in free agency or the draft.

—When I posted about Albert Breer’s report that Kirk Cousins would file a grievance if the Redskins put the franchise tag on him in an effort to trade him, I pulled up a copy of the CBA to see the language on which Cousins could base his case. I read through the Article 10, which deals with the franchise tag twice and I saw nothing of it. But Mike Florio found it in Article 4, the one that deals with player contracts. “A Club extending a Required Tender must, for so long as that Tender is extended, have a good faith intention to employ the player receiving the Tender at the Tender compensation level during the upcoming season.” Since the Redskins clearly have no intention of employing Cousins after the Alex Smith trade, this seems to be a fairly simple case. In reality, it never is.

—I tweeted this last week:

However, possible cap casualties from other teams are not included in that group. That won’t turn the pool of players who will become available to sign into a bunch of potential franchise changers. Still, there could be a number of players in whom the Redskins could be interested in like RB DeMarco Murray, WRs Emmanuel Sanders and Torrey Smith, edge rusher Elvis Dumervil, and DL Brandon Mebane. A plus to signing players who have been waived is that they don’t count in the formula that determines compensatory draft picks. The Redskins have never really paid attention to that in the past but with potential high comp picks at stake if they lose both Kirk Cousins and Bashaud Breeland, this could be a good year to start.

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


Days until:

—NFL Combine (3/1) 10
—NFL Draft (4/26) 66
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 202

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