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It may not be a perfect match, but Kirk Cousins and the read option do look good together

It may not be a perfect match, but Kirk Cousins and the read option do look good together

The Redskins called a read option on Sunday for a quarterback that they drafted in 2012, and the play worked perfectly. 

The catch? It was Kirk Cousins running it, not Robert Griffin III.

With less than four minutes remaining and the Redskins clinging to a three-point lead vs. the 49ers, Jay Gruden chose to go with the unconventional run on San Francisco’s 7-yard line. It unfolded flawlessly, as No. 8 was able to scamper into the end zone untouched.

RELATED: If Redskins want to be great, they shouldn't be satisfied with barely beating 49ers

After Washington's 26-24 victory, Cousins mentioned how Griffin, as well as Niners coach Kyle Shanahan, were key in teaching him about the useful play back when all three were in D.C. together in 2012 and 2013. 

“I would credit going back to my rookie year with Robert here, we did it a lot,” Cousins said in his press conference. “Kyle told me when he left, he said, ‘I’ve learned after working with Robert that this is a really valuable play no matter who the quarterback is and I’ll always carry it with me.’ So, when Jay arrived we kept it and valued it.”

Gruden may not value it as much as his beloved fade, but he and his signal caller are clearly very comfortable with it. They’ve tried it multiple times from inside the 10 this year, and will also sprinkle it in when they need to convert a third down in the middle of the field, like they did in Week 4 in Kansas City.

The head coach likes how the read option gives the offense an advantage over the defense. He also likes Cousins’ ability to execute it.

“[It] allows you to block one less guy,” he said. “You read him. Obviously Kirk is not exactly the read option quarterback that you would be looking for if you were looking for a read option quarterback, but he’s very effective at it.”

Cousins isn’t going to win many footraces and when the defense doesn’t bite on the fake, he has major trouble making defenders miss. Therefore, the Redskins have to carefully pick their spots with the read option, which is something Cousins said himself.

But Sunday was just the latest example of how well it can go when it’s used in the right situation. While the read option with Cousins may not be the most beautiful read option, often times time for the Redskins, the results are. 

MORE: Must See Photos: NFL Week 6, Redskins 26 San Francisco 24

 

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In addition to being an NFL player, Bryce Love can now call himself a Stanford graduate

In addition to being an NFL player, Bryce Love can now call himself a Stanford graduate

Bryce Love hopes he'll have the opportunity to carry many footballs in his NFL career. But this past weekend, the running back picked up something that'll be just as, if not more, valuable than the attempts he'll be getting on Sundays.

How's a college diploma from Stanford sound? Pretty solid, right?

Oh, how about a college diploma from Stanford in human biology? Yeah, probably something worth hanging up on the ol' fridge, huh?

Well, that very hard-earned and impressive degree is what Love is now in possession of:

Drafted by the Redskins in late-April and walking across the stage at Stanford in mid-June, Love is doing well for himself recently. He passed up the chance to enter the draft early to ensure he graduated, and now he has.

His college GPA isn't known, but once you find out his high school GPA was 4.5 (that's apparently possible) and add that to the fact that he was able to finish up school out west while also churning up yards for the Cardinal, you can imagine it was very, very good. And if his yards-per-carry average as a pro matches or exceeds it, then the Redskins will be thrilled.

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There's a competition brewing among the Redskins defensive linemen, per Daron Payne

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There's a competition brewing among the Redskins defensive linemen, per Daron Payne

If you find yourself looking for Daron Payne, Jonathan Allen, and Matt Ioannidis, you really just need to find one of them. Odds are, if you locate one, the other two will be close by.

The second-year pro, third-year pro, and fourth-year pro have forged quite a bond on the Redskins' defensive line, which is easily the team's most promising unit going into 2019. The three guys share an appreciation for lifting really heavy weights and dropping opposing quarterbacks. 

As it turns out, that latter love is actually part of the inspiration behind a bet Payne, Allen and Ioannidis have queued up for the 2019 campaign. Payne revealed that while with Larry Michael on a recent episode of Redskins Nation.

"Me and Jon and Matt got a little competition right now on sacks and tackles," he said with a smile, but he ultimately didn't shed any light on what the competition's compensation will be.

Whatever the trio is playing for, it should be a close race.

Ryan Kerrigan led the 'Skins in sacks in 2018, but Allen (8), Ioannidis (7.5) and Payne (5) were second, third and fourth respectively. In terms of tackles, meanwhile, it went Allen (61), Payne (56) and then Ioannidis (31). 

Allen and Payne saw a ton of snaps last year while Ioannidis was used more in a rotational role, which limited his tackles. He's an insanely productive pass rusher, though, so he can make up some ground in the sacks/tackles bet by keeping that trend going. Any of them are a solid pick if you're trying to project who'll capture their title.

Payne, for one, expects to generate better numbers in his second go-round in the league.

"Of course," he responded when Michael asked if he left some sacks out there as a rookie. "Definitely did. I want to get a couple more."

In the team's offseason practices, he's already noticed that things are "coming easier," so perhaps he'll be able to record those extra takedowns he's looking for.

As mentioned earlier, you can make an easy case for Payne, Allen or Ioannidis to win their competition, but you won't know who that winner is until late December.

One thing you can already say, however? That the QBs and running backs they'll be chasing down are the losers in this thing. That much is already known.

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