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Need to Know: Many factors involved with Redskins' choices at QB

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Need to Know: Many factors involved with Redskins' choices at QB

Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, January 10, 63 days before NFL free agency starts.


Days until:

—NFL franchise tag deadline (3/6) 55
—NFL Draft (4/26) 106
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 242

Answering your questions

Simple question but not a simple answer. If the two of them were just standing there and I could take one to QB the Redskins I’d take Cousins. He’s younger, he has more upside and he knows the system.

But the two guys aren’t just standing there. Neither one of them is under contract with the Redskins for 2018. There are plenty of other factors that will go into deciding which player is the better choice. How much do I have to pay Cousins to stay here? Long-term deal or one year? How much draft capital do I have to give up to get Smith? Since his current contract has just one more year to go can I extend him before making a trade? And how much do I have to pay him?

So, there are lots of factors that would go into making a choice. Multiply that times many other potential QB choices and you can see what a monumental task the Redskins have in front of them.

On one hand, no. I think Gruden would rather have Kirk Cousins here on a long-term deal and handle any pressure that would come with having a four-year starter as his quarterback.

But your question is not completely off base. The chances are that he will have Cousins for a maximum of one more season. Quite simply, if he is going to start over at quarterback he is better off professionally if he does it with three years left on his contract. Gruden may want to move on from Cousins sooner rather than later. You could interpret that as a desire to avoid being on the hot seat or at least postponing it for as long as possible.

There are a lot of moving parts here. The one thing that seems clear is that you are right about Kouandjio. He did a passable job filling in for six starts, but I think they would rather have him as a reserve than as a starter. After all, they did feel OK letting him go in the cut to 53.

I’m not sure that Long, who is an unrestricted free agent, will come back. He has to get healthy first and then the Redskins will see how much they will value him in free agency. But whether it’s Long or someone from another team, I think a free agent will be the Week 1 starter. They might take a guard sometime on Saturday during the draft but I don’t see a player taken outside of the top 100 being a Week 1 starter.  

The days of the “bell cow” running back are fading away. Sure, there are some good ones like Todd Gurley and Ezekiel Elliott but for the most part, it’s by committee. Just look at the four teams playing in the NFC divisional round. The Eagles had three backs gain over 300 yards this year, the Vikings had two over 500. The Falcons have rolled with the duo of Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman for a few years now and the Saints just established their two-headed attack with Mark Ingram and rookie Alvin Kamara.

So I don’t think that they are all that worried about getting a 20-carry per game guy. I do think that they will look to upgrade the position in either free agency or in the draft but with a complementary type of player and not a “bell cow”.

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

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Assessing the Redskins' injury situation: Good news, bad news

Assessing the Redskins' injury situation: Good news, bad news

RICHMOND—Since the start of training camp, the Redskins have had some good injury news and some terrible injury news. 

Let’s start by looking at the bad. There is no way to sugar coat the impact of the loss of Derrius Guice to a torn ACL in the first quarter of the first preseason game. He was going to add a dynamic element to the Redskins offense. While there is confidence that the other running backs on the roster can get the job done, there simply will be no replacing him in the lineup. 

WR Robert Davis, who suffered multiple injuries to his leg and is on injured reserve, is not as irreplaceable. Still, you hate to reduce competition and have your potential depth reduced this early before the games start to count. And you have to feel bad for Manasseh Garner, who tore his ACL against the Patriots, but he wasn’t going to make the team anyway. 

So that’s the bad news.

When looking at the brighter side, Jordan Reed is at the top of the list. A year ago he was on the PUP list with a toe injury that never quite went away all year. This year, the player who would have been the key to the success of the team’s offense with or without Guice in the lineup looks as healthy as ever. We know from Reed’s history that good health could be a temporary condition. But he has recovered well from the surgery that removed a bone that was causing problems from each toe, and that’s all you can ask for at this point. 

Also rounding into form after rehabbing from 2017 injuries are Trent Williams and Morgan Moses, the bookend tackles who are keys to providing running room for the healthy running backs. Chris Thompson also appears to be on schedule. Jonathan Allen, who missed the last 11 games of last year with a foot injury, has been a full go since the start of the offseason program. Daron Payne suffered an ankle injury early in camp, but he has been a full participant since Saturday. 

The Redskins also are suffering from the usual minor injuries that hit every team during training camp. WR Josh Doctson has been in and out of practice with heel and shoulder injuries, CB Adonis Alexander and ILB Josh Harvey Clemons have been sidelined with hamstring injuries. DE Matt Ioannidis suffered apparently minor knee and ankle injuries against the Patriots and he should be back soon.

Overall, the Redskins’ injury picture doesn’t look too bad with the exception of Guice, and that’s a big “yeah, but”. The team and its fans are keeping their fingers crossed, hoping that it stays that way. 

Redskins 2018 training camp news

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Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page, and follow him on Twitter  @TandlerNBCS and on Instagram @RichTandler. 

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Redskins starters training camp one-liners, offense

Associated Press

Redskins starters training camp one-liners, offense

During training camp, it’s natural for the media coverage to gravitate towards the long shots and underdogs and the backups fighting to hang on to a roster spot. The starters go out and do their thing and those players doing their thing isn’t news. 

With that in mind, here is a one-liner review of how each anticipated starter fared in training camp. We’ll start with the offense today, look for the defense tomorrow. 

QB Alex Smith—He still needs some work on timing with his receivers but overall, he looks like a quarterback you can win with. 

RB Rob Kelley—After his move up to starter in the wake of the Derrius Guice injury, Kelley continues to work as he has from the start of camp, like a guy fighting for a roster spot.

WR Paul Richardson—The $40 million free agent pickup showed that his game has some versatility as he made some tough catches over the middle along with some deep receptions. 

WR Josh Doctson—His heel injury slowed down what was solid progress early in training camp.

WR Jamison Crowder—His solid, workmanlike camp should make Redskins fans hope that the team is working on a long-term contract extension with Crowder right now. 

TE Jordan Reed—Considering his importance to the offense, his progress after having surgery on both of his big toes is the most positive story from camp

LT Trent Williams—The plan to ramp up his activity as he continues to recover from offseason knee surgery is right on track and there’s every reason to believe he’ll be a full strength in Week 1. 

LG Shaun Lauvao—When he’s healthy, Lauvao is a good enough guard to win with and so far, he has been healthy. 

C Chase Roullier—His strength is often on display during one-on-one blocking drills and he has the appearance of a center the Redskins will be able to plug in and play for at least the next several years. 

RG Brandon Scherff—The fourth-year player is working his way towards his third straight Pro Bowl appearance.

RT Morgan Moses—He is still working through some ankle pain but he should be good to go Week 1. 

Redskins 2018 news

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Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page, and follow him on Twitter  @TandlerNBCS and on Instagram @RichTandler