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Redskins camp Saturday practice report: Garçon returns

Redskins camp Saturday practice report: Garçon returns

RICHMOND—The Redskins got back to work following an off day after their preseason game against the Patriots. Here are my observations from a fairly light session at the Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Center.

—Temperatures were in the 70’s and the skies partly cloudy, continuing a remarkable string of good weather in Richmond this year.

—The linemen are wearing shells, the rest are wearing no pads.

—There will still be a lot of zone blocking in Jay Gruden’s offense. Here’s a look at the O-line going through some of the fundamentals.

—The punters didn’t advance much in their competition against the Patriots as Robert Malone had the only punt of the night. Blake Clingan should get his shot next week against the Browns. He got this one off today that wasn’t exactly a boomer but was fairly effective.

—Nick Williams had a chance to make a nice play when Kirk Cousins hit him with a pass over the middle. But Williams dropped it. He can’t do that if he expects to make the team.

—I can’t tell you much about the running game. With the players wearing either shells or nothing, there isn’t anything that remotely resembles tackling going on. Without that you don’t really know how the run game is working.

—Aldrick Robinson was mostly invisible during the first week and a half of camp. Then he started to make some plays and he continued to do it in the New England game. Today he got a step on DeAngelo Hall doing down the right sideline. Robert Griffin III hit him with a perfect strike for the play of the day.

—With Jordan Reed out with a stomach bug Niles Paul got a lot of looks. Griffin hit him with a strike on a deep sideline pattern during seven on seven drills.

—Jason Hatcher is off of PUP but his participation is extremely limited.
Hatcher being eased back in. No team drills. #RedskinsTalk

— Tarik El-Bashir (@TarikCSN) August 9, 2014
—Newly signed safety Da-Mon Cromartie-Smith lined up some at free safety, just getting his feet wet. He’ll be very busy over the next few days learning the defense.

—The kickoff return job is no less wide open than it was during OTAs. Lining up in the end zone during special teams drills to return were Paul, Andre Roberts, Richard Crawford, and Rashad Ross.

—Pierre Garçon is back on the field after missing most of last week and the preseason game. He and Griffin hooked up a few times.

—The play of the day for the defense came when Griffin overthrew Logan Paulsen, who was able to get a hand on it. The tip gave Hall a chance to snag the ball out of the air for an interception.

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Need to Know: If Kirk Cousins leaves, with the Redskins rebuild or retool?

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Need to Know: If Kirk Cousins leaves, with the Redskins rebuild or retool?

Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, January 16, 57 days before NFL free agency starts.

Timeline  

Days until:

—NFL franchise tag deadline (3/6) 49
—NFL Draft (4/26) 100
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 236

Nickel coverage—Five Redskins questions

Taking a look at some of the key questions surrounding the Redskins, sometimes coming up with more questions in the process. Yes, it's going to be that kind of offseason. 

What will the Redskins do at left guard? It would be better for the Redskins to find their left guard in the draft, but assuming that the successor is picked after the second round, they will want someone to start until the rookie is ready. That could be Arie Kouandjio or maybe a veteran free agent.

Can the Redskins make do with what they have at running back? The short answer is no. The running back situation needs attention. It’s hard to picture Samaje Perine and Rob Kelley forming a formidable tandem, or even a very good one. I’m wary of spending a high draft pick on an RB, but the success of the likes of Todd Gurley and Leonard Fournette have to be factored into the thinking.

Are the Redskins OK with Zach Brown and Mason Foster at inside linebacker? For the time being they are, assuming that they are able to sign both of the unrestricted free agents, however the Redskins need to continue to build that position. That means continuing to develop Josh Harvey-Clemons to use in nickel situations and spending draft resources there. Even if Brown and Foster are back, the Redskins might be smart to grab Roquan Smith out of Georgia if he’s there in the first round.

If they are without Kirk Cousins, will the Redskins rebuild or retool? This is a key question for the organization. If Cousins leaves, do they just try to plug in the best available/affordable quarterback they can find and roll on with the same basic personnel with which they have hovered around .500 the last three years? Or will the make other changes, perhaps moving on from Josh Norman and Jordan Reed to save cap money for future seasons and give their younger players a chance to establish themselves? The latter might be the better way to go but this organization rarely considers short-term pain for long-term gain.

If Junior Galette leaves, who replaces him? While Galette did not light it up in the sack department, he put plenty of pressure on opposing quarterbacks. He is likely to leave since he would remain behind Preston Smith and Ryan Kerrigan on the depth chart if he re-signed in Washington. Can they rely on 2017 second-round pick Ryan Anderson to take a giant leap in his sophomore season? Will they try to lock up free agent Trent Murphy and hope that he can bounce back from an ACL injury he suffered last August and regain his nine-sack form of 2016? I don’t see how they can rely on Anderson to suddenly provide pressure after recording zero sacks this past year. Whether it’s Murphy or another free agent, someone with a better track record has to be in the picture. If Anderson improves enough to move ahead of that player on the depth chart, so much the better.

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.

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Where does Stefon Diggs' remarkable catch rank among some of the best NFL playoff walk-offs?

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Where does Stefon Diggs' remarkable catch rank among some of the best NFL playoff walk-offs?

There is nothing quite like January playoff football and Sunday night's Vikings vs. Saints game further proved this point.

In case you have been off the grid the past 12 hours, the Minnesota Vikings literally got a last second win against the New Orleans Saints.

With 10 seconds left in the fourth and facing a 3rd and 10, quarterback Case Keenum heaved the football near the sideline to wide receiver Stefon Diggs, who dodged two defenders while managing to stay inbounds for a 61-yard touchdown as the clock expired. 

It was one of the most remarkable playoff walk-off wins, if not the most remarkable one, in football.

So, where does it stand among the others?

RELATED: FORMER TERP PLAYS HERO IN VIKINGS' MIRACLE PLAYOFF WIN

Broncos vs. Steelers 2011 AFC Wild Card game: Remember Tim Tebow's 80-yard overtime touchdown to Demaryius Thomas during the 2011 Broncos vs. Steelers AFC Wild Card game? It was the first and last snap of overtime and it was wild.

Mile High Miracle: On third and three with 43 seconds left in the game, Ravens' Joe Flacco launched one towards wide receiver Jacoby Jones, who got in front of the Broncos receiver and ran the ball in for a 70-yard game-tying touchdown. The Ravens would eventually go on to win the game in double overtime. Some could argue it was the defining moment in the Ravens' Super Bowl run. 

Cardinals vs. Steelers Super Bowl XLIII: Under the brightest lights of all, Ben Roethlisberger found Santonio Holmes with 43 seconds in the fourth in the back of the end zone for a toe-dragging, Super Bowl-winning catch. 

RELATED: WHAT REDSKINS CAN LEARN FROM THIS WEEKEND'S PLAYOFF GAMES

Saints vs. 49ers 2012 NFC Divisional game: Sunday's loss wasn't the first time the Saints have experienced a fourth quarter letdown. Back in 2012, Alex Smith threw one to the endzone on 3rd-and-three with 14 seconds left that sealed a win.

While these are only a few, we can't wait to add more to the list in years to come.