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Can Kirk Cousins put pressure on Robert Griffin III?

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Can Kirk Cousins put pressure on Robert Griffin III?

Has Kirk Cousins done enough in two preseason games to put some pressure on Robert Griffin III?

Cousins sidestepped that question like a blitzing linebacker after he helped lead the Redskins to a 21-17 victory over the Lions on Thursday night. But he also didn’t sound like a quarterback who is conceding anything.

“I don’t know, I guess the coaches make those decisions,” Cousins said on Redskins Postgame Live. “I just play and do what I can. That’s what [coaches] are paid to do.  Watch the tape and do what they do.”

Cousins added: “I feel good about what I’ve done the last few weeks. Felt good about all training camp. I just got to keep doing it and growing. It’s a process.”

In 58 snaps spread over two games, Cousins has completed 20 of 26 pass attempts (76.9) for 245 yards and a touchdown. He’s been sacked once.

Entering Friday’s games, Cousins’ yardage total ranked second in the NFL.

Griffin, meantime, has been less effective, completing just 6 of 13 pass attempts for 44 yards. He was also sacked three times by the Lions, who took advantage of a porous Redskins’ offensive line that was minus three-time Pro Bowler Trent Williams.

Of course, it’s not an apples-to-apples comparison. Cousins has been playing against reserves; Griffin has lined up against starters. It’s an important distinction in a league where the drop off between first and second string can be a significant one.

That cannot be ignored. But it’s also something that’s out of Cousins’ control.    

“You have to evaluate [yourself based on] what you have the chance to do,” he said, adding that he doesn’t know how much he’ll play against the Ravens. “If that’s the opportunity you’re given, then you have to make the most of it. The last couple of weeks, I’ve been able to do that.”

The past two weeks, in Cousins’ mind, are a continuation of a strong offseason for himself.

“I look back at OTAs [and minicamp], I had a 70-percent completion percentage,” Cousins said. “I only had two interceptions the whole [offseason program]. I felt good about what I did then. I feel good about what I’m doing now. I worked really hard this offseason and I continue to look at what I can get better at. I feel like I’m showing steps. It’s a process, like I said. It’s not perfect. But every day, every week, I’m trying to build on what I’m learning and continue to go where I want to go.” 

MORE REDSKINS: Bubble watch version 5.0: Predicting the Redskins’ 53-man roster

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Here's a small example of Dwayne Haskins' leadership, as told by Matthew Berry

Here's a small example of Dwayne Haskins' leadership, as told by Matthew Berry

ESPN Fantasy Football expert Matthew Berry was at the NFLPA Rookie Premiere last weekend in Los Angeles, where he got the chance to interview the three Redskins rookies in attendance: Dwayne Haskins, Terry McLaurin, and Bryce Love. 

Berry, who was a guest of JP Finlay's on the Redskins Talk podcast on Thursday, has been a fan of the Burgundy and Gold since he was a kid, so he was eager to talk to three of the team's newest players and learn more about them.

It was during those interviews where Berry got a quick glimpse of a side of Haskins that now has Berry really excited.

"I thought what was really cool was... When I was interviewing McLaurin, Dwayne Haskins came in and interrupted the interview to give him some crap," he told Finlay. "It was really a wonderful moment to see. Obviously, they know each other very well from Ohio State, but just the fact that they felt comfortable enough and he wanted to come over and mess with him a little bit and have some fun, I was impressed with that."

Once Haskins left, Berry explained how he asked McLaurin about the interaction. Redskins fans will like McLaurin's answer.

"That's Dwayne, Dwayne is being a leader," McLaurin said, per Berry. 

Haskins did something similar to Love during Love's interview as well. Berry even caught up with Colts receiver Parris Campbell, who also played with the QB at Ohio State, to inquire about the 15th overall pick. 

"I asked him, 'Listen, I'm a diehard Redskins fan, what am I getting?'" Berry said. "He couldn't have been more effusive. 'You're not only getting a guy who puts the ball where you want it, but you're getting a leader. You're getting a guy who makes sure everyone in the huddle is included.'"

You can be skeptical of how much these little moments mean, and that's fair. Ultimately, how quickly Haskins picks up Jay Gruden's playbook and how accurate his arm turns out to be will factor more into his success in the NFL than being able to joke around a bit with some of his guys.

But you can also hope that these little moments are hints of a bigger personality and approach, a look into an athlete who can get a football team to buy into him. That's the side Berry is on.

"I thought that was really cool, and just showed somebody who's very comfortable in the leadership position and who's trying to be inclusive of everyone," he said. "It's early in the process, but I have yet to hear somebody on or off the record say something bad about Dwayne Haskins."

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After viral 2018 scuffle, Taylor Lewan offers to make peace with Josh Norman

After viral 2018 scuffle, Taylor Lewan offers to make peace with Josh Norman

Redskins cornerback Josh Norman and Titans tackle Taylor Lewan got into a widely-discussed altercation after Washington's Week 16 loss to Tennesse last season.

But on Thursday, Lewan said he's finally ready to let bygones be bygones. 

Lewan tweeted he wants Norman to come on the "Bussin' With The Boys" podcast he co-hosts with former Redskins linebacker Will Compton to "settle our differences."

Judging by what happened last December, there are plenty of differences: Norman threw his helmet at Lewan after the latter approached him, Lewan later accusing Norman of trying to hurt Titans running back Derrick Henry.

"I'm not worried about Josh Norman, man," Lewan told reporters after the incident. "I'm an offensive lineman, he's a [defensive back]. I don't know who that is."

"I was pissed. He was trying to hurt Derrick [Henry]. That's BS. That’s not the way football’s supposed to be played, man. It’s not our fault you’re not relevant anymore."

"Why would you come to another man's sideline?" Norman said of the dust-up. "And then after you won a game, you pick fun at the player that is relevant. You go out of your way to come to his bench, his sideline, to go at him in that kind of way."

"We're not having it. We will not tolerate disrespect. That's zero tolerance for that. That was the ultimate disrespect. You just don't do that."

The incident happened months ago, so it's about time the pair made peace. And as an ex-Redskin and ex-Titan, perhaps Compton can help mend the fences. But if Norman does accept Lewan's invitation to come on the podcast, we might be in for even more verbal fireworks. 

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