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Vick give Eagles best chance to beat Redskins

Vick give Eagles best chance to beat Redskins

Eagles coach Chip Kelly named Mike Vick to be his team’s starting quarterback for the 2013 season. The Redskins, Philadelphia’s opening-week opponent, should be concerned.

Vick arrived in Philadelphia in 2010, the same season that Mike Shanahan took over as Redskins coach. In that time, Vick has started and finished three games against Washington and the Eagles are 3-0.

The first of those three wins was the best performance of Vick’s career and one of the best games any NFL quarterback has ever had. That came during the Eagles’ 59-28 pounding of the Redskins on Monday night football on November 15, 2010. Vick completed 20 of 28 passes for 333 yards and four touchdowns and he rushed eight times for 80 yards and two touchdowns.

After that game the talk was that Vick would be the Next Big Thing for the second time in his career and Andy Reid was hailed as a genius for reclaiming him off of the scrap heap when nobody else wanted anything to do with him.

Two and a half seasons later Reid has been run out of town and it looked like Vick was going to be pushed onto the same train. He had to take a massive pay cut to stay with the team and compete with Nick Foles for the starting job.

But even as his career declined the Redskins couldn’t beat him. He went 2-0 vs. Washington in 2011, as he completed 42 of 70 passes (60.0%) for 572 yards (8.17 per attempt) with four touchdowns and two interceptions.

The only time that Vick has started a game against the Redskins that his team did not win was in 2010, when he started in Donovan McNabb’s return to Philly but a concussion knocked him out of the game in the second quarter. Kevin Kolb finised up in the Redskins’ 17-12 victory. In 2006 Vick also won the only game he started against the Redskins while he was a member of the Falcons.

Last year Vick was sidelined with a concussion for the first game against the Redskins and by either the concussion or Reid’s decision to go with Foles the second time they played. In any case, the Redskins swept the Eagles with Foles at quarterback for both games.

This does not mean that the Redskins are doomed to lose their opener because Vick is at quarterback. The Redskins did not do much to help themselves offensively in their 2011 losses to Vick’s Eagles. In their first meeting Rex Grossman threw four interceptions and the Redskins mustered just 13 points. In their second meeting the Redskins mustered just 10 points. One might suspect that either Robert Griffin III or, if he’s not ready, Kirk Cousins will be able to put up considerably more points against the Eagles this time around.

But the main reason that Vick gives the Eagles the best chance to win is that despite all of his flaws he’s still a better quarterback that Foles. Whether he’s running Kelly’s new offense or the more conventional Reid offense, Vick is the better choice than a second-year QB on his second new offense.

The Redskins may well have the upper hand in the season opener because it may take some time for Kelly’s system to click. But while they’re waiting for that to happen, Vick gives the Eagles the best chance to win against the Redskins or any other NFL team.

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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!

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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!