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Ereck Flowers made 'serious strides' in his left guard debut, according to Jay Gruden

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Ereck Flowers made 'serious strides' in his left guard debut, according to Jay Gruden

Ereck Flowers' game wasn't stellar, considering the two penalties he picked up and the overall lack of success of the Redskins' running game. Even with those issues, though, Jay Gruden was pleased with how Flowers handled his first-ever NFL start at left guard Sunday against the Eagles.

"I think Flowers made some serious strides to showing the potential that he has at left guard," Jay Gruden told JP Finlay in a Redskins Talk podcast exclusive interview. "He protected, he competed, I was impressed." 

After four seasons and 59 games as a pro on the outside at tackle, the Philadelphia game was the first time Flowers lined up on the interior for an offensive line. He teamed up along with Donald Penn, Chase Roullier, Brandon Scherff and Morgan Moses for an excellent first half, most notably when it came to pass blocking.

While it was thrilling to see Case Keenum and Terry McLaurin click so much for those first 30 minutes, the five guys up front made that effort possible with plays like this:

Now, like everything else in Burgundy and Gold, all momentum was lost in the third and fourth quarters, taking away much of the optimism that was built up in the first and second. Yet Gruden was overall encouraged by what Flowers and Penn did on his new-look left side.

"I thought they played great for their first time together," he said.

The hope is that Trent Williams will return to the Redskins, preferably sometime soon. The reality is that Williams hasn't indicated in any way that he is ready to come back.

So, until that changes, Keenum and the offense will rely on the combination of Flowers and Penn. They demonstrated they can really move the ball at times with those two playing and if Flowers can keep making those strides that Gruden is seeing, perhaps what was once a question can become something more reliable.

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Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins' workouts are taking place at his parents' house

Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins' workouts are taking place at his parents' house

With the coronavirus pandemic putting a wrench in the NFL offseason and keeping team activities on hold, players have had to get creative with their workouts. 

Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins is among that population. Despite being a starter in the NFL and making millions of dollars, the former Redskin is now staying in shape in a very ordinary way: workouts at his parents' house.

In a story by ESPN, Cousins explained that his family relocated to his parents' house in Orlando, Florida with the league still waiting to resume. The move has been beneficial as it allows Cousins' and his wife, Julie, to have an easier time caring for their two young children. However, living in his parents' house has made it challenging to train the way an NFL quarterback needs to.

Cousins told ESPN that he's traded in a standard gym with machines and large amounts of equipment for his parents' driveway and backyard. He still has everything he needs to get sessions done, including WiFi to video chat with his trainer, but the setting is an interesting one.

Out on the driveway, the quarterback never knows who may pass by on a daily basis.

"I like my privacy, so being out in the driveway, on display for the whole neighborhood to see is probably less than ideal," Cousins told ESPN. "But desperate times call for desperate measures."

"[Every car will] see me doing my shuffles across the driveway, or my cariocas, or doing the jump-rope or different plank exercises, core work, medicine ball, lunges -- whatever it may be," he added. "And different people honk or wave, so it's kind of fun."

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Honks and even the occasional "Go Pack, go!" at Cousins in the middle of his workout bring a smile to his face as he navigates the new situation. Cousins may have been a Pro Bowler in 2019, but the current situation of the world has him and many other athletes heading back to their humble beginnings. If he finds success on the field in 2020, his parents' driveway and front yard will be part of the equation. 

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Adrian Peterson has his sights on passing Barry Sanders for 4th in all-time rushing

Adrian Peterson has his sights on passing Barry Sanders for 4th in all-time rushing

Adrian Peterson could go down as one of the NFL's all-time greats without ever having to play another snap in the NFL.

But as the running back gears up for his 14th NFL season and his third with the Redskins, he has one specific goal in mind.

"Passing Barry Sanders would definitely be one of the highlights of my career," Peterson said on NFL Network, via ProFootballTalk. "What he accomplished, and how I’ve looked up to him, I’ve always wanted to say I did something better than Barry Sanders."

What the 35-year-old running back is referring to is passing Sanders on the all-time career rushing yards list. Peterson, who has amassed over 14,000 rushing yards in his career, currently trails the Lions great by 1,054 yards.

As it stands now, Peterson is fifth all-time in career rushing yards, trailing only Sanders, Emmitt Smith, Walter Payton and Frank Gore.

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Moving past Sanders in 2020 might be a tough ask, as Peterson has not topped 1,054 yards in a single-season since 2015, where he rushed for a league-best 1,485 yards with the Vikings. The running back came close to topping that mark in 2018, when he finished with 1,042 yards in his first season in Washington.

Peterson has been the lead back for Washington the past two seasons, starting 31 of a possible 32 games for the team. But with a new regime in place in 2020 and a crowded backfield, it's unlikely that Peterson will turn in a third-straight 200-carry season.

Last season, Peterson went on record to say his goal is still to break Smith's all-time rushing yards record. Peterson currently sits just over 4,000 yards behind the Cowboys legend.

"Yeah, why not?" Peterson said. "I'm still playing the game at a high level, and I feel like I can continue to play for a long period of time. So why not keep my bar at reaching 18 [thousand yards] and surpassing Emmitt Smith?"

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