Redskins

Quick Links

Need to Know: Redskins rookie camp roundup

cravens-rookie-camp-ap.png

Need to Know: Redskins rookie camp roundup

Here is what you need to know on this Monday, May 16, eight days before the Washington Redskins start OTAs.

Timeline

—The Redskins last played a game 127 days ago. It will be 119 days until they host the Steelers in their 2016 season opener.

Days until: OTAs start 8; Redskins training camp starts 73; Preseason opener @ Falcons 87

Hot topics

—Center Austin Reiter, a seventh-round draft pick last year, has put on some pounds. Last year he spent most of the year on the practice squad, making him eligible to attend this rookie camp, while being listed at 6-3, 296. His new weight has not been revealed but he is clearly bigger. But he still has some work to do to get a spot on the depth chart—bigger maybe not better. Last year it was telling that when Kory Lichtensteiger went on injured reserve, the team signed veteran Brian de la Puente to be the backup center rather than bringing Reiter off of the practice squad. It’s hard to see him challenging Lichtensteiger for the starting job at center but he could battle Josh LeRibeus for the backup spot.

—There was a lot of fan buzz about Oregon quarterback Vernon Adams, who was a lot of fun to watch in college. But the facts are that he’s 5-11 and from a spread-style offense. “He’s another shotgun-type guy and not used to being under center,” said Jay Gruden. “But I thought he handled it very well. Did a nice job and threw some good balls.” He also threw some pretty bad balls. He was one of the QB’s in this passing drill that frustrated Gruden (the video ends just before the coach's NSFW outburst quoted at the bottom of the Instagram post).

Gruden after this drill: I'm going to throw these f-ing balls if you can't do better.

A post shared by Rich (@richtandler) on


—A year ago, the Redskins paid offensive tackle Takoby Cofield the maximum allowable signing bonus to get the Duke product on board as an undrafted free agent. He spent last year on the practice squad and he is back to try to make the roster again. On the field on Saturday you could tell that he has spent a year practicing with an NFL team, moving fluidly and showing good fundamental techniques. He could have a legitimate shot at beating out Ty Nsekhe for the backup tackle spot. That won’t be easy to do since Nsekhe, who essentially was a 30-year-old rookie, held his own when he was called upon. But Cofield will have a shot.

—Su’s Cravens lined up at inside linebacker during camp and that confused many who thought he was going to be a safety or outside linebacker. But ILB is just a temporary stop for the second-round draft pick. “Initially we have to teach him a position, and right now it’s going to be the inside linebacker,” said Jay Gruden. That’s a good starting spot to learn the entire defense and that is a first step for a hybrid defensive player. It may be a while before we see Cravens’ full versatility on display. It’s a tall task for a rookie to learn one position in the four months between the draft and the start of the regular season. There could be a substantial learning curve when it comes to being able to handle multiple positions. How fast he can move around and become the chess piece that he is envisioned to be will be up to him and how soon he can learn multiple positions.

In case you missed it 

 

Quick Links

Need to Know: The Redskins week that was-Cousins' value, the Redskins' top pick

Need to Know: The Redskins week that was-Cousins' value, the Redskins' top pick

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, January 20, 53 days before NFL free agency starts.

Timeline  

Days until:

—NFL franchise tag deadline (3/6) 45
—NFL Draft (4/26) 96
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 232

The Redskins week that was

Jags big win could spell bad news for Kirk Cousins—If the Jaguars’ accomplishment of getting to the AFC championship game does indeed make Blake Bortles’ job safe, the laws of economics say that the amount of money that Cousins can command in a free agent contract should go down. It’s the demand part of supply and demand and if demand goes down, prices should, too. But the NFL quarterback market doesn’t follow the laws. If the Lions see fit to pay Matthew Stafford, a quarterback under whom they have had very limited success, a contract with an average annual value of $27 million without any team bidding against them, that sets the price.

Setting the odds on what happens with Kirk Cousins—Despite his happy talk at the 106.7 The Fan event earlier this month, the possibility that Cousins will play in a Redskins uniform in 2018 does not warrant a large bet of imaginary casino chips. If you missed the post, take a look and let me know what you think of my assessment.

Don't freak out about latest Zach Brown tweet—It’s that time of year. A player sends out a tweet with no context and fans assign the worst possible meaning to it. In Brown’s case, a tweet about not getting respect was interpreted as a sign that contract negotiations with the Redskins were not going well. But JP Finlay found out that the tweet was about Brown being upset that another alternate getting selected to the Pro Bowl and not him. It still is unclear if Brown will return to the Redskins but at least there are no indications of rocky negotiations at this point.

Bang for the free agent bucks for the Redskins? Brown was a solid free agent acquisition for the Redskins last year. Terrelle Pryor, not so much. Take a look at the post for the other hits and misses in free agency.

Tweet of the week

Even though the draft is over three months away there are plenty of opinions out there as this tweet drew a ton of reaction. On the offensive side of the ball, the suggestions ran towards quarterbacks Lamar Jackson and Baker Mayfield although some want a running back. It will be interesting to see how those two non-conventional quarterbacks look after they spend the next few months under the microscope of the NFL draft process. The defensive name that kept coming up was Washington defensive lineman Vita Vea, a large specimen who could play the nose in base defense and move to three-technique in nickel.

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.

In case you missed it

 

Quick Links

Scot McCloughan simply said what plenty of others think about Kirk Cousins

Scot McCloughan simply said what plenty of others think about Kirk Cousins

Redskins fans were frenzied when Scot McCloughan said that Kirk Cousins is a good quarterback, but not a special one. The #KirkHive shuddered and the Kirk Haters celebrated.

McCloughan, the former Redskins GM who's wildly popular with fans, explained what few people will say publicly: Cousins is a skilled player but probably not deserving of the money he might make in free agency. 

Let's start with the obvious: Cousins is good.

He's a durable passer in a league that doesn't have enough of them. He's started the last 49 games for the Redskins and thrown for more than 4,000 yards each of the past three seasons. 

Now more obvious: He isn't great.

MORE: CHEAP, EXPENSIVE AND WILD CARD RECEIVER OPTIONS

Bleacher Report's Chris Simms, speaking on the #RedskinsTalk podcast, said Cousins ranks about 12th among NFL passers. It's top half of the league, but it's not Top 5 or even Top 10. 

Cousins has had tremendous games with the Redskins, like a near perfect performance against Oakland in 2017 or a dominant performance against Green Bay in 2016. 

Cousins has also been awful, as recently as Week 17 in New York a few weeks ago, or an equally stinky Week 17 game against the Giants two seasons ago. 

While some might view McCloughan's statement as controversial — "He’s a good player. Is he special? I don’t see special," he told Denver radio station 104.3 the Fan — it's not. 

Plenty of people agree with McCloughan, including some in Redskins Park. Last year, a source told NBC Sports Washington that the team believed they could get nearly as much production from Colt McCoy as Cousins provided. 

Even this year, Washington head coach Jay Gruden offered lukewarm praise of his quarterback.

When the season ended, asked to evaluate Cousins' play, the coach said, "When you’re 7-9, it’s hard to say, ‘Wow, this guy really was outstanding.’ There’s a few guys obviously that jump out, Pro Bowlers like Ryan Kerrigan had a solid year. Obviously Trent [Williams] when he played was a Pro Bowl-type and Brandon [Scherff] when he was healthy was a Pro Bowl-type guy. Kirk had his flashes where he was really good. From a consistent standpoint, over the course of 16 games, you know, we’re 7-9."

That quote made headlines when Gruden said it, much like McCloughan's comments now are circulating faster than Beltway traffic. 

RELATED: MOCK DRAFTS KEEP LINKIN 'SKINS WITH BAKER MAYFIELD

Truth is, it's not new. And it's not news.

There are coaches that think Cousins is only scratching the surface of his capabilities. Kyle Shanahan and Sean McVay come to mind, but both of those coaches have other QBs likely for the long-term future. 

Cousins might end up being paid like a Top 3 quarterback in the NFL, and that might be the right move given the demand at the position. Will that make him a special passer?

Not if special is defined as Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers or Drew Brees. Even Cousins wouldn't argue with that.