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Need to Know: Last look at Redskins vs. Colts

Need to Know: Last look at Redskins vs. Colts

Here is what you need to know on Tuesday, September 18, five days before the Washington Redskins host the Green Bay Packers.

Talking points

One final look back at the Redskins’ loss to the Colts. 

—Looking back at it, this one was over about midway through the first quarter. The Colts had their way with the Redskins on the opening drive. Jay Gruden said that took some of the energy out of the team. After getting the ensuing kickoff, the Redskins did an end around to Jamison Crowder that was good for 75 yards. But after three plays the Redskins were punting. The Redskins were far from out of it on the scoreboard, but they didn’t seem to have much life the rest of the way. 

—The more I look, the more I find it hard to cast a substantial amount of the blame for this loss on the defense. Not counting a kneel down possession at the end of each half, the Colts had 10 drives. They went three and out on five of them and punted after four plays on another. They got two takeaways. Andrew Luck had a 77.2 passer rating, a performance on the low side of mediocre. 

—Alex Smith didn’t have a terrible game and a couple of key passes were dropped, but he still had a hand in the defeat. He missed a few passes, in particular a fade to Josh Doctson in the end zone that would have made it a four-point game in the third quarter. It wasn’t an easy throw, but it was one that a veteran with his experience should be able to make. 

—Late in the first quarter, the Redskins had driven into Colts territory and Chris Thompson lost three yards on a third and one. Gruden said that “we didn’t have a puller” on the play. I asked him to clarify and he said, “we blocked it wrong,” essentially saying that someone blew an assignment. That is not encouraging news. 

Injuries of note

Rob Kelley left the game with a toe injury and it appears to be somewhat serious. Gruden said that “he hit it pretty good” and he could require surgery. “Could be a month, month and a half type of deal.”

The agenda

Today: No media availability

Upcoming: Packers @ Redskins (Sept. 23) 5; Redskins @ Saints (October 8) 20; Cowboys @ Redskins 33

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Two examples of why Dan Orlovsky believes Dwayne Haskins will excite Redskins fans

Two examples of why Dan Orlovsky believes Dwayne Haskins will excite Redskins fans

Scott Turner was asked about quarterback Dwayne Haskins' growth this offseason during a Zoom call with local media earlier this week, and the new Redskins offensive coordinator explained he was pleased with both Haskins' physical and mental progress.

Besides raving about the second-year quarterbacks imposing size and natural arm strength, Turner also dove into specific detail about one other thing that really stood out to him about Haskins: his ability to stand tall in the pocket and deliver a throw without much space.

Former NFL quarterback and ESPN analyst Dan Orlovsky took to Twitter on Friday, tweeting out two video examples from Haskins' rookie season where the quarterback demonstrated the qualities Turner raved about.

The first example was a clip from the Redskins Week 11 contest against the Jets. The play went down in the scorebook as a 24-yard completion to Kelvin Harmon, but what the quarterback had to do in order to make this play successful was quite impressive.

For this play, Orlovsky explained how Haskins identified where the pressure was coming from pre-snap, causing him to shift the entire protection to the left. After the running back missed his block, Haskins didn't panic. The then-rookie QB stepped up in the pocket and fired a dart to Harmon on the in-route as the receiver broke open in the middle of the field.

"This is one of my favorite plays by him last year," Orlovsky explained. "It really is an example of the intellectual aspect of quarterback play with the feel aspect of quarterback play."

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The second clip was from Washington's clash in Green Bay last season. On this particular snap, Haskins showed his mastery of the Packers' defense.

Haskins' initial read was to the right side, where Harmon was running an inside post route. But once the quarterback saw his first read was covered, he continued to look right, forcing Packers' safety Darnell Savage to slide in that direction. The passer then immediately turned to his backside, which created an open throwing lane to find Terry McLaurin in the middle of the field.

"It really shows a complete understanding of what the defense is, what the coverage is, and then a complete understanding of who on the defense he needs to move with his eyes to open up a window," Orlovsky said.

It's fair to mention that the Redskins would not win either of these games and that the rookie passer had his struggles in each of these contests. It's no secret that Haskins had his growing pains as a rookie, and there were examples of such in each of these matchups, too.

But Haskins did finish the season playing the best football of his young career, giving some hope for the future. Count Orlovsky in on those who are optimistic about the quarterback as he enters his second season with the team and his first as the team's true starter.

"There are so many examples on his tape that show how smart he actually is," Orlovsky said. 

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Kirk Cousins ranked ninth on Forbes' top 100 highest-paid athletes in 2020

Kirk Cousins ranked ninth on Forbes' top 100 highest-paid athletes in 2020

Former Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins is among the top 10 highest-paid athletes in the world in 2020, according to Forbes.

Cousins, who came in as the ninth highest-paid athlete overall, is the top-ranked NFL athlete on the list, coming in one spot above Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz.

Forbes estimated the Vikings QB's earnings at $60.5 million, with $58 million coming from his salary and $2.5 million from his endorsements.

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In March, Cousins signed a two-year, $66 million extension with the Vikings, one that included a $30 million signing bonus. The signal-caller originally signed with the Vikings in 2018 on a three-year, fully-guaranteed $84 million deal that at the time made him the highest-paid player in NFL history.

The Vikings signal-caller has earned over $130 million in his career thus far, according to OverTheCap.

Cousins spent the first six seasons of his career with the Redskins, with three of those years as the team's starter. The quarterback set the franchise's single-season passing yards record in 2016 when he threw for 4,917 yards for Washington. His 29 touchdown passes in 2017 were the second-most by any Redskins quarterback in a single-season.

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