Redskins

Quick Links

Practice report: Redskins in full pads

garcon-crawford.png

Practice report: Redskins in full pads

RICHMOND—It was Fan Appreciation Day, it was crowded, and it was hot. And they had a lively two-hour practice to wrap up the week in Richmond.

—The Redskins practiced in full pads for the first time on Saturday. Under Mike Shanahan the team has usually practices in shorts but with new rules requiring players to wear knee and thigh pads, Shanahan wanted to get the players acclimated to the change. Some were already wearing them, others didn’t mind the change. A few others, well, one unidentified player spoke for them when he yelled “(Expletive) these knee pads!”

—Aldrick Robinson has been one of the stars of camp. If he truly “gets it” he could be a great weapon.

—Robert Griffin III was putting on quite a show for the fans during one on one drills. His first deep pass was on the money to Skye Dawson but the rookie’s knee hit the ball while he was trying to catch it and it popped out. Then Dez Briscoe dropped another deep ball. After that his receivers held on. His final pass was a perfectly thrown long bomb to Robinson, who made the catch. Griffin kept his follow through extended as the ball traveled in the air and gave a quick little “basket good” sign when Robinson hauled it in

—There were some real NFL officials on the sideline for today’s practice. On one deep pass during 11 on 11 a receiver made a catch on a deep pass near the sideline. The line judge, who was stationed near the line of scrimmage, signaled that the pass was complete. Jim Haslett yelled, with a smile, “How can you see that from where you are?” The zebra yelled back to Haslett, “How can you see it?” The official had a point; Haslett was stationed about 12 yards behind the line of scrimmage, further away from the play.

—Pat White took off running to the left and had some room to operate. About 20 yards downfield near the sideline, however, safety Jose Gumbs knocked the ball out of White’s hand. Gumbs recovered the fumble. White’s running ability is what is giving him a shot here and he just can’t make mistakes like that fumble, especially when it was the result of him holding the ball carelessly.

—I’m not sure who should have blocked Ryan Kerrigan on a running play but nobody did on a handoff to Roy Helu Jr. Had Helu been a player on another team, he would have been blown up.

—Fred Davis got his hands on a pass and almost immediately had it knocked out by Richard Crawford. Taking advantage of the striped shirts being there, we asked for a ruling. Catch and fumble, the line judge said. Davis had control and took two steps before he was stripped. The ball bounced back up into Davis’ arms anyaway.

—Santana Moss fielded a few punts during special teams drills but he is not going to do that during the season unless there is a dire emergency. He said the other day that he just wanted to stay in practice.

—Griffin was 13 for 17 in seven on seven work. His incompletions were a misfire on a short pass to Pierre Garçon, one near the sideline that was too high, a pass that was a bit too wide for Davis to lunge for and an apparent miscommunication on a pattern by Moss. He had a number of good throws including a dart to Leonard Hankerson over the middle (the receiver bobbled the ball before securing it) and a soft toss to Moss after a scramble. That pass had perfect arc and touch to it.

—In red zone 11 on 11, Kirk Cousins threaded the needle on a pass to Moss for a touchdown.

Quick Links

No tension between Jay Gruden and Kirk Cousins, but the coach wants improvement 

No tension between Jay Gruden and Kirk Cousins, but the coach wants improvement 

MOBILE -- Jay Gruden is making jokes about Kirk Cousins again, and that's good news for Redskins fans that worried about a fracture between coach and quarterback. 

It all started in the weeks following the Redskins dreadful Week 17 loss to the Giants as Gruden and Cousins seemed to be throwing slight jabs at one another.

Gruden, in his end of year press conference, explained that while Cousins "showed flashes" in 2017, when the team goes 7-9, the coach can't say any player was outstanding: 

You know when you’re 7-9, you know it’s hard to say, ‘Wow, this guy really was outstanding.’ You know there’s a few guys obviously that jump out, Pro Bowlers like Ryan Kerrigan had a solid year. Obviously Trent when he played was Pro Bowl type, Brandon when he was healthy was 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. He did some great things, threw for over 4,000 yards and 29 touchdowns I believe. So, I think he’s a very, very good quarterback without a doubt, but as far as getting us over the hump from 7-9 to winning a division with all the injuries that we had, I think he competed and did some good things.

Cousins, in his year-end radio appearance with 106.7 the Fan, explained that he wants the team to do better but doesn't think the 7-9 record should fall on his shoulders alone. (Quote via Washington Post)

What I gathered from the comment was 7-9 and the quarterback play are causally related and that quarterback play is 7-9, 7-9 is the quarterback play. I saw that and I thought, ‘I think it’s slightly more complicated than that.’ I think there’s a few more dynamics in play as to what your final record is. … At the same time, his job is to evaluate. That’s a big part of his role and his position. In that comment, he’s just doing his job, he’s evaluating the position and he has the right to say what he wants to say.

Both comments were fairly innocuous, but also clearly at odds. Combine that dialogue with the undercurrent of another offseason contract negotiation, and it seemed things between coach and quarterback weren't quite right. 

On Tuesday, speaking at the Senior Bowl, Gruden cleared the air. Asked directly about tension between he and Cousins, the coach was blunt. 

"No." 

Gruden went on to explain his answer about Cousins 2017 play, the now infamous 7-9 line.

"When I say 7-9, if I say one player played great that means I'm saying everybody else was not very good," the coach explained (full video above). "I think we all have to stick together, we all have to improve from a 7-9 season, coaches, players, everybody."

Cousins was good in 2017, throwing for more than 4,000 passing yards for the third straight season. He also showed that he can produce offensively without a great supporting cast, as injuries robbed the Redskins of many of their best passing game threats and seriously damaged the offensive line. 

The quarterback did play two terrible games in the last month of the season, however, including a three interception stinker in the Week 17 finale.

It's possible that Gruden had that fresh in his mind when he spoke in early January, and with the benefit of a little time, his assessment mellowed by late January. 

Either way, Gruden joked about Cousins deserving a vacation, and even said the QB needs a tan. Gruden often uses humor to defuse touchy situations with Redskins players, and maybe he just did it again. 

Want more Redskins? Click here to follow JP on Facebook and check out @JPFinlayNBCS for live updates via Twitter! Click here for the #RedskinsTalk on Apple Podcastshere for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!

Quick Links

Redskins have begun contract talks with Zach Brown, but free agency looms

Redskins have begun contract talks with Zach Brown, but free agency looms

Redskins fans want Zach Brown back. Bad. And for weeks there had been no news about contract talks between Washington and Brown. 

Now that's changed.

"We've been talking to his agent," Redskins head coach Jay Gruden said on Tuesday. 

Gruden, speaking from the Senior Bowl, explained that the team would like Brown back in 2018 but Washington also understands that the linebacker might want to explore the free agent market. 

"It’s a process," Gruden said (full video above). "These guys have a chance to be a free agent, they had a good year and they want to check what the market is sometimes. If we can get them before they get to free agency, great, but if not, the bidding wars will begin."

For Brown, free agency will look different in 2018 than it did last season when he signed a one-year. bargain deal with the Redskins. 

Prior to injuries forcing him to miss the final three games of the season, Brown led the NFL in tackles. For two straight years, 2016 in Buffalo and 2017 in Washington, Brown has proved to be a tackling machine and arguably the fastest linebacker in the NFL. Brown also signed new representation last offseason, Jason and Michael Katz of CSE Football, and should Brown hit the free agent market the Katz brothers will aggresively market their client. 

Washington Senior Vice President of Football Operations Eric Schaeffer will handle the contract discussions for Washington, and is known as a shrewd negotiator. 

Like many business deals, this will come down to money. Brown established himself as a fit in Washington, both on the field and in the locker room. Interior linebackers do not command top dollar like pass rushers do, but Brown will still expect to be compensated appropriately. 

Further complicating matters for Washington, the Redskins only have Josh Harvery-Clemmons, Zach Vigil and Martrell Speight under contract for 2018. 

It's too early to predict what "it's a process" means from Jay Gruden, but Redskins fans should draw some encouragement that talks have begun with Brown. 

Want more Redskins? Click here to follow JP on Facebook and check out @JPFinlayNBCS for live updates via Twitter! Click here for the #RedskinsTalk on Apple Podcastshere for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!