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Why are the Redskins moving camp to Richmond?

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Why are the Redskins moving camp to Richmond?

After holding training camp at their facility in Ashburn, Virginia for 10 of the past 12 years, the Redskins are taking their act on the road.Governor Bob McDonnell of Virginia announced today that the team will be holding training camp in Richmond starting in 2013. According to one report, the agreement to hold camp in Virginia capital city is for eight years.About half of the NFL teams hold training camp at their regular facilities or very near them. Why are the Redskins joining the other half?Certainly money has something to do with it. The agreement between the Redskins and Virginia contains a provision that the team will keep its facility in Ashburn. At the bottom of the governors announcement it says that the Redskins have been granted 4 million towards expansion and renovation of Redskins Park. Per WTOP radio, the total investment in the 21-year-old facility will be 30 million. The city of Richmond will subsidize the training camp move to the tune of 1.5 million and Loudoun County will kick in 500,000 towards the Redskins Park upgrades.But 6 million would not make Mike Shanahan sign off on moving training camp if he thought it was best for it to stay in Ashburn. On the day he was introduced as the teams head coach Shanahan expressed a preference for holding camp somewhere other than Redskins Park. He likes for the team to be able to get away from the distractions at home and focus on football for a few weeks.One could argue that the bonding aspect of training camp is something of an outdated idea. Earlier in Shanahans tenure as an NFL coach, the offseason program was a fraction of what it is now. Players get plenty of time to get to know each other during the conditioning, OTAs and minicamp, which start in mid-April and end in mid-June. The merit of going away so that the players can get to know each other is questionable.And they arent going away to some sleepy college town like Carlisle, Pennsylvania or Frostburg, Maryland, two places the Redskins trained before they decided to stay at home. Richmond is a medium-large city and there are plenty of ways to get into trouble there.In any case, it is hard to see it being about the money. Moving camp could well cost the Redskins more than the 4 million that the state is granting them. Moving camp also means moving a lot of complex video gear and other equipment about 115 miles down I-95 from Ashburn to Richmond.Exactly where they will practice in Richmond is to be determined. The most logical location is City Stadium, which was the off-campus home of the University of Richmond Spiders until 2010.But there would be some obstacles to overcome before an NFL team could hold camp on that site. There is only one field at City Stadium and while there might be room to build another one it would be a tight fit. Parking in the immediate vicinity is very limited and the complex, such as it is, is virtually surrounded by residential communities. The stadium opened in 1929.The University of Richmond has some nice on-campus facilities but they will be in use by the Spiders for preseason practice while the Redskins are conducting their camp.The location will be determined by a task force working with the Redskins, according to Richmond Mayor Dwight Jones.

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Five takeaways from the Redskins' necessary win over the Giants

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USA TODAY Sports

Five takeaways from the Redskins' necessary win over the Giants

Here are my five takeaways from the Redskins’ ugly 20-10 win vs. the Giants.

A Win is a Win:
If you are worried about style points you are doing it wrong. This was a banged up team on a short week playing for its life. Perhaps a better start would have made for a more comfortable win but they got done what they needed to do.

Jamison Crowder is on a Roll
:
He gained a career-high 141 yards on seven receptions. The yardage broke his career high of 123 that he set in Week 8. The third-year receiver got off to very slow start, not posting over 52 yards in any game.

But he has broken out of his slump in a big way and Kirk Cousins is very glad to see it.

Perine is Ready:
The rookie was elevated into the starting role after Rob Kelley went onto injured reserve two weeks ago. His importance elevated when Chris Thompson went out for the year with a broken leg.

Fortunately for the Redskins, his play has elevated since becoming the starter. He rushed for 117 yards against the Saints on Sunday. Thursday, four days later, he couldn’t get anything going in the first half, gaining only three yards on seven carries. But he got rolling in the second half and finished with 100 yards on 24 carries.

The Redskins may well have lost this game if Perine, the only back who was on the roster as of three weeks ago, had not gotten himself on track.

MUST-SEE: BEST IMAGES FROM REDSKINS' THANKSGIVING VICTORY

Defense Got Help: 
Eli Manning passed for 113 yards. Only six times in his career, which spans 211 games, has he thrown for fewer yards. There are three entities mainly responsible for Eli’s woes. The Redskins defense did a good job of putting pressure on him and for the most part the back seven played well in coverage. But Eli himself contributed to his own production problems.

On many occasions he had time to throw and a receiver open but he either sailed the ball well over the receiver’s head or threw it in the ground. Finally, when Manning did have time and delivered the ball on the money, his receivers frequently were unable to find the handle; there were several costly drops.

RELATED: BIGGEST UP'S AND DOWN'S FROM REDSKINS-GIANTS

There is Hope:
It’s too early in the weekend to go into much detail about the Redskins chances of making the playoffs but the losses earlier in the day by the Lions and Cowboys certainly helped.

It’s still a tough path to navigate.

But they did what they needed to do today in winning one of six games that looked winnable earlier this week. All they can do is try to get a winning streak together and they did all they could do in that regard on Thanksgiving.

Now it’s on to Dallas to see if they can take the next step.

MORE: THIS ONE THROW SHOWS HOW COUSINS IS EVOLVING

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerCSN and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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Want to see how Kirk Cousins is evolving as a quarterback? Then watch this throw

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USA TODAY Sports

Want to see how Kirk Cousins is evolving as a quarterback? Then watch this throw

LANDOVER — At times during the Redskins' 20-10 Thanksgiving night victory over the Giants, Kirk Cousins and Washington's offense performed at a level somewhere between sloppy nausea-inducing.

There was that awful sequence where the offense botched a fourth-and-1 more than they normally do.

There was also No. 8's slightly off-target throw to a running back he barely knows that ended up as six points for New York. And there were plenty less notable, but still gross, plays before and after those.

But Cousins' first touchdown pass to Jamison Crowder was far from gross. It was beautiful. It was creative.

And it showed how the 29-year-old is still developing as a quarterback:

MUST-SEE: BEST IMAGES FROM REDSKINS' THANKSGIVING VICTORY

"The touchdown he had to Crowder was one of his best touchdown passes that I've seen since I've been here," Jay Gruden said about it afterward.

He's right.

By now, you know the boxes that Cousins checks off as a passer. He has the requisite arm strength. He's usually able to move an offense, even one like the Redskins' 2017 version that includes a ton of spare parts, up and down the field. He has the work ethic and leadership skills. 

But a common knock against him is that he can't extend a play and find a receiver when things aren't there during his initial dropback. And that weakness becomes a glaring one in the red zone.

Yet on Thanksgiving night, there Cousins was, avoiding an edge rusher, stepping up, rolling right and then nailing Crowder right on the numbers for a crucial TD. Like his head coach, Cousins was proud of how that score unfolded.

"I felt some pressure so I just tried to escape up and to the right and kept my eyes down field," he said. "I think just the longer I play, I'll get a better feel for how to move and escape."

MORE: ALL OF THE UPS AND DOWNS OF THE THANKSGIVING WIN

Cousins' final stats don't stack up to some of his past performances, such as his Week 11 effort in New Orleans where he shined or his pretty perfect evening vs. the Raiders in Week 3. Regardless, this one was encouraging in its own way, because it provided another grlimpse at how the signal caller is becoming more comfortable when things around him become uncomfortable.

Like most of his fellow starters in the league, Cousins has flaws. But the more he plays, the more those flaws diminish. Gruden sees it, he sees it, and you should see it, too.