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Need to Know: Redskins Park notes and quotes--Gruden calls Lynch 'an angry runner'

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Need to Know: Redskins Park notes and quotes--Gruden calls Lynch 'an angry runner'

Here is what you need to know on this Friday, October 3, three days before the Washington Redskins host the Seahawks on Monday night football.

Thursday Redskins Park notes and quotes

Ryan Clark was asked if Seattle had any weaknesses. He gave a pretty smart answer. “I believe every team has something they’re not good at,” he said. “You can’t necessarily say it’s a weakness. Offensively if you’re not good at something you choose not to do it. I think that’s why they do an extremely good job of is not worrying about the weaknesses and accentuating their strength.”

—The Redskins have been able to punish a couple of quarterbacks this season but not many teams have been able to do much against Seattle QB Russell Wilson. “You don’t have to hit Russell,” said Clark. “I think getting pressure on him is important. Getting people in his face—I think I’m taller than he is—getting people in his face and in the lanes, making it hard for him to throw, is huge.”

—Coach Jay Gruden recognizes that he has some young players taking snaps on defense and they will make some mistakes. But he thinks that’s a positive in the long run. “Defensively, guys getting a lot of reps for the first time and they’re learning as they go and they’re making some young mistakes,” said Gruden. “The good thing is they’re in the heat of the battle. They’re in the fire and they’re learning from what they’re doing. They’re going to get better because of it.”

—After throwing four interceptions in his last outing, you might think that Kirk Cousins would be a little gun shy. He said that’s exactly what he needs to safeguard against. “That is a natural response to having a game like I had last week, a young quarterback especially,” he said. “Human nature would say you’re going to be a little more careful, but if you do that I think you get in trouble more than you help yourself. So I think it is important in talking with the coaches, watching the film from the game to just go back and trust my reads, trust my instincts and play the game.”

—Gruden had a good way of describing the style of Seattle running back Marshawn “I’m Just ‘Bout That Action, Boss” Lynch. “He is an angry runner and he is a violent runner and he loves contact,” said Gruden. “On the Monday night stage, he’s got a lot of energy – he’s got a week off, so he’s going to be fresh-legged – so it’s going to be important for us to gang tackle, wrap up and get him on the ground. But he is a dynamic running back and he is an angry running back and a forced to be reckoned with.”

—Yesterday I posted on what Gruden had to say about throwing in the direction of Seattle All-Pro cornerback Richard Sherman. Here’s what Cousins had to say: “He [Sherman] is a great corner. We have a lot of respect for him.  There’s a reason he signed a great contract and has a lot of success and a Super Bowl ring.  So, he’s a guy to be aware of on the field, but at the same time you don’t want to be letting it affect you too much. That’s a balance you have got to find.”

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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Timeline

Today’s schedule: Jim Haslett news conference 11:10; Open locker room 11:15; Practice 1:00 (closed to reporters after first 30 minutes); Jay Gruden news conference after practice (approx. 3:00)

Days until: Monday night Seahawks @ Redskins 3; Redskins @ Cardinals 9; Monday night Redskins @ Cowboys 24

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

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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 Facebook.com/TandlerNBCS and follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.

Timeline  

Days until:

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

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