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Need to Know: Redskins Park notes and quotes--Gruden's 'dream scenario' nears

Need to Know: Redskins Park notes and quotes--Gruden's 'dream scenario' nears

Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, October 9, three days before the Washington Redskins go to Arizona to play the Cardinals.

Redskins Park notes and quotes

Kirk Cousins did lot of dink and dunk passing in the early going of the Seattle game before launching a 60-yard bomb to DeSean Jackson. Jay Gruden said that it was a matter of confidence and the Seahawks changing their coverage. “I think he felt a little more confident in the pocket,” said Gruden. “There was a couple of looks where they did have pressure, we had to unload it a little bit quicker than he wanted to, but as the game went on, I think he felt a little bit more confident in the pocket in our protection and was able to let some balls loose.”

—Cousins and the Redskins have had their struggles on third down. Part of the learning process is getting used to the different fronts that defenses pt up on third. ““Every defense is different, the way a defensive coordinator’s philosophy is on third down, what they are going to do and if they are going to pressure or change their coverage or be very basic and stay the way they are going to stay,” he said.

—Cousins has had to pass a lot as the Redskins have been behind. He doesn’t mind. “No, it is just a part of playing the quarterback position,” he said. “You are going to get behind at times, you are going to be ahead at other times and all of that is going to affect play calling and you don’t expect every game to go the perfect way and completely have a 50-50 balance throughout the entire game all season long.”

—The Redskins are in the unusual position of having to prepare for three different quarterbacks. Carson Palmer, Drew Stanton, or Logan Thomas could be behind center depending on he injury situation. Gruden said it was no big deal. “I think you have to go based on what they’ve been doing,” he said. “I think their offense is not going to change a whole lot. They might condense it down a little bit if it’s their third quarterback or second quarterback, but I think with Drew, I think that he can do everything that Carson can do.”

—Things are looking up for Jordan Reed being able to play on Sunday for the first time since the season opener. Gruden seems to be pretty pumped about the prospect of having all of his pass catchers on the field at once. “Jordan is a major part of our offense and what we wanted to do from training camp on, and when we lost him in the first quarter of the Houston game, it put a little hurting on us,” said Gruden. “So to get him back, if we do get him back, it is a great option for us because he can win against linebackers and safeties. Then to pair him with Niles, like you said, in two-tight end sets, if they stay in their base people, safety gets one of them and one of them gets paired up with a linebacker if they want to play them man-to-man. Two good matchups, then you throw DeSean and Pierre out there, it is a dream scenario.”

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 11:05; Open locker room player availability 11:15; Practice 1:00; Jay Gruden news conference after practice (approx. 3:00)

Days until: Redskins @ Cardinals 3; Titans @ Redskins 10; Monday night Redskins @ Cowboys 18

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Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—Costly cornerbacks, offseason blueprint

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USA Today Sports Images

Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—Costly cornerbacks, offseason blueprint

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, February 17, 25 days before NFL free agency starts.

The Redskin week that was

My weekly look at some of the most popular posts and hottest topics on RealRedskins.com and NBCSportsWashington.com.

An offseason blueprint for the Redskins—Should the Redskins focus their free agency money on keeping their own? In addition to unrestricted free agents Zach Brown and Trent Murphy, they need to consider extensions for Brandon Scherff, Preston Smith, and Jamison Crowder. That could chew up a bunch of the approximately $31 million of cap space that they have. They may get some help on the market but most of their improvement should come from the draft and from within.

Redskins offseason will hit warp speed soon—With the exception of the Alex Smith trade, which actually hasn’t happened yet, there hasn’t been much going on with the Redskins. That is going to change soon, check out the post for the calendar and how the events matter for the Redskins.

No mixed messages from Alex Smith—In a radio interview, Alex Smith said that he was “jacked” to be a part of the Redskins. Now, the phrase often repeated here is that you shouldn’t listen to what they say, you should watch what they do. And the moment that he signs the reported four-year extension that he has negotiated with the team, a deal that likely would put him in Washington for the rest of his career, we will see his actions backing up his words. Then we will know.

What we know, and what we think, of the Su'a Cravens situation—This will be a true test of the acumen of the front office. It’s a very tricky situation. The Redskins have to decide if they want to keep Cravens. Should they decide to keep him, there will be a lot of smoothing over of ruffled feelings that would need to be done over and trust in Cravens would have to be restored. If they don’t want him around, they have to make it look like they are willing to go into the season with him in order to be able to trade him. Otherwise, teams may just wait for them to cut him and sign him as a free agent. Again, don’t listen to what they say, watch what they do.

Tweet of the week

Quarterback is not the only NFL position with rising salaries. The players teams hire to try to stop opposing QBs, cornerbacks, are getting expensive, too. Bashaud Breeland is a good cornerback, not a great one. His coverage skills are solid, he’s a good team player (if a bit of a hothead at times) and his work ethic is not questioned. For a fourth-round pick who everybody thought left Clemson a year too early, he has done well for himself But he hasn’t made a Pro Bowl and he hasn’t even come close enough to be considered a snub. Breeland has eight interceptions in four years in the league with a high of three in 2016.

The price tag for good at cornerback is likely to be in the vicinity of $10 million per season. And good for him if he gets it. But with the Redskins employing Josh Norman, who has cap hits in the range of $14.5 million-$16.9 million over the next three years, it would be difficult to fit him in. Truth be told, Breeland has probably been destined to leave as a free agent ever since Norman signed his contract in April of 2016.

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) 12
—NFL Draft (4/26) 68
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 204

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Cousins would reportedly look to file grievance if Redskins use franchise tag on him

Cousins would reportedly look to file grievance if Redskins use franchise tag on him

The Redskins might try to franchise tag quarterback Kirk Cousins to try to get some compensation for him as he leaves. But Cousins’ camp might not let that happen without a fight.

According to Albert Breer of the MMQB, Cousins might file a grievance if he is tagged, saying that the Redskins would be violating the spirit of the rules regarding the use of the franchise tag. He would be seeking to have the tag voided because the team clearly isn ’t interested in reaching a long-term deal with him given the acquisition of Alex Smith. The tag is supposed to be used to buy time to get an agreement done, not to squat on a player’s rights in order to trade him.

There is precedent for the tag being used in order to facilitate a trade. In 2009, the Patriots tagged quarterback Matt Cassel. They clearly had no intention of keeping him as they had Tom Brady on the roster. But New England pulled it off, shipping Cassel and linebacker Mike Vrabel to the Chiefs for a second-round pick.

But it is up to the player to object to being tagged and for whatever reason Cassel and his agent went along with the tag and trade rather than fighting for free agency.

It looks like Cousins ’camp won’t go as quietly.

It’s up to the Redskins to make the first move. The window to be able to tag a player opens on Tuesday with the deadline coming on March 6. We will see how things play out after that.

MORE REDSKINS: THE EXPECTATIONS GAME

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page

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