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Gruden says 'intent' is to stick with Cousins

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Gruden says 'intent' is to stick with Cousins

Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins did not have a good game against the Jets, but it will not cost him his job, at least for right now.

When asked if Cousins, who threw two interceptions and averaged just 4.6 yards per attempt on 43 passes, would remain the team’s quarterback, Jay Gruden gave what seemed to be a lukewarm endorsement.

“Yeah, that’s the intent,” he said when asked.

Cousins’ biggest mistake on Sunday came at a very bad time. The game was tied at 13 early in the third quarter. It was second and eight at the Washington 23. The Redskins had three receivers lined up to the right. Cousins looked over there but couldn’t find anyone. He looked back to the left.

“I thought to run it, but I didn’t feel I had a window to run it,” said Cousins. “I needed to throw it away, I needed to put it in the bleachers, and throw it over Ryan Grant’s head. That’s something that was disappointing.”

The “disappointing” part happened because he threw an indecisive pass towards Grant. Darrelle Revis was lurking nearby and he was able to swoop in and pick off Cousins’ throw. That set the Jets up at the Washington 18 and Ryan Fitzpatrick scrambled in for a touchdown on the next play. The Jets took the lead and never looked back.

Gruden said that a throw like that “can’t happen.” But he still defended his quarterback saying, “I’d like to see what happens when we get our full cast of characters back.”

He is referring to the four offensive starters who were out on Sunday including two who have been to the Pro Bowl in OT Trent Williams and WR DeSean Jackson, plus TE Jordan Reed, who was leading the team in receiving when he went out with a concussion in Week 4 against the Eagles, and C Kory Lichtensteiger, who calls the signals for blocking and protection on the offensive line.

But later in his postgame news conference Gruden refused to use the injuries as an excuse for the loss. “I just know that we had an opportunity to play the New York Jets today with 46 able players and they were better than us,” he said.

Cousins shouldn’t be given a pass for this game due to injuries although they certainly didn’t help. He threw a number of passes that were off the mark as evidenced by him needing 43 passes to gain just 196 yards, a miserable average of 4.6 yards per pass. Gruden pointed out that there was some wind swirling in the stadium. But the same breeze did not affect Ryan Fitzpatrick’s passes. The Jets QB averaged 9.7 yards on his 26 pass attempts.

It could also be pointed out that any quarterback is going to have a difficult time winning a game for the Redskins if the team rushes for just 34 yards. We heard all offseason long that the running game was going to be the foundation of the team but they have failed to muster over 88 yards rushing in a game just once in their last four games. They got just 34 on Sunday.

But these reasons/excuses aside, one would have to think that Gruden still believes that Cousins is his best option at quarterback on this team at this time. Colt McCoy could be good for a spark for a game or two but he showed last year and earlier in his career when he was with the Browns that any success he has is short-lived. The last time we saw Robert Griffin III on the field he couldn’t protect himself in the pocket and fact that his contract carries that $16 million option that could become guaranteed if he gets seriously injured makes playing him perhaps an unacceptable risk.

So, the lack of viable options keeps Cousins safe for the time being. But if we continue to see two-pick games from Cousins in losses it could get to a point where regardless of Gruden’s “intent” a change will be made. 

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Redskins sign linebacker Jon Bostic to try and help make up for the loss of Reuben Foster

Redskins sign linebacker Jon Bostic to try and help make up for the loss of Reuben Foster

Two days after losing Reuben Foster for the year, the Redskins made a move to at least provide reinforcements to a weakened linebacker group.

On Wednesday, Washington announced that they have signed Jon Bostic, a six-year veteran. The 'Skins also officially placed Foster on injured reserve.

Bostic was a 2013 second-round pick of the Bears out of Florida. He's since bounced around to New England, Detroit, Indianapolis, and Pittsburgh, where he started 14 times for the Steelers in 2018 and posted 73 tackles. He's been traded twice in his career and missed all of 2016 with a foot injury. 

So, what does the move accomplish for the Redskins?

Well, Bostic — or any other free agent signing at this point — isn't going to have close to the level of talent and potential that Foster had. However, getting another option at linebacker was necessary for the Burgundy and Gold, and the 28-year-old has played in 30 contests over the past two years, so he's relatively established. 

Yes, he's far from a gamechanger, considering he has just one interception and 5.5 sacks as a pro. But he's regarded as a solid run defender and tackler and should at least push Mason Foster and Shaun Dion Hamilton. His presence also could alleviate some of the pressure that would've been on rookie Cole Holcomb. 

Signing a defender who's been with five franchises in six years isn't exactly inspiring, but Bostic has experience as a starter and could give the Redskins useful snaps on first and second down at a minimum. Now it's on him to take advantage of the opportunity he's been given.

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Landon Collins is thrilled to be with the Redskins and can't wait to get revenge on the Giants

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Landon Collins is thrilled to be with the Redskins and can't wait to get revenge on the Giants

You may not know the exact dates of the Redskins' two matchups with the Giants this season, which will take place Sep. 29 and Dec. 22 in 2019. But Landon Collins sure does.

"I'm gonna circle it for the next six years," the 'Skins new safety told ESPN in a recent interview. 

No, Collins isn't circling those dates from now until 2024 because he wants to be very organized and ensure he doesn't have any scheduling conflicts. He's doing it because he's dying to get revenge on his former team, who let him leave as a free agent in part because of their "culture change," according to him.

"All we wanted to do was win, and we spoke up because we had to get them to listen to us," Collins told ESPN, referring to himself and other now ex-Giants like Odell Beckham and Damon Harrison. "I think we were too vocal, and that platform was bigger than the Giants... If it's not good media, they don't want that kind of media."

In addition to the organization wanting to go in a different direction culture-wise, New York didn't want to pay the amount of money the Redskins ended up paying for Collins because he wasn't an ideal fit in their defense. The 25-year-old pushes back against the idea that he's strictly a "box safety," though, as do current and former players.

Interestingly enough, Collins isn't the only member of the Redskins' secondary who's in D.C. thanks to a decision by Dave Gettleman. Gettleman was also the same guy who decided the Panthers needed to move on from Josh Norman in April 2016.

Collins, for one, doesn't sound like he'll miss Gettleman at all. The defender didn't love how the GM consistently failed to make an effort to connect personally with his players. 

"I don't know him, he don't know me, that's kind of how it just kind of was," he explained.

All that, however, doesn't matter anymore. Collins is going to be the foundation of the Redskins' defense for quite some time, and that's a challenge he's ready to accept.

"I'm on a team that loves me and wanted me here," he said.

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