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Gruden on TE injuries: Redskins haven't looked at Chris Cooley, yet


Gruden on TE injuries: Redskins haven't looked at Chris Cooley, yet

Earlier this summer former Pro Bowl tight end Chris Cooley suggested he wants back in the NFL, and as injuries start to mount at Redskins training camp, it seems the possibility of Cooley's return to Washington could be gaining steam. Going into the season, three tight ends were expected to dominate playing time for the Redskins in Jordan Reed, Niles Paul and Logan Paulsen.

Reed has an extended track record of injury in his two NFL seasons and coach Jay Gruden said he will miss Thursday night's preseason opener against the Browns (7 p.m. on CSN). Now, primary blocking tight end Paulsen may need surgery on his big toe, and suddenly Washington has depth problems at tight end. Could that mean the team reaches out to Cooley, a fan favorite?

"We have not talked about that, yet," Gruden said when asked about Cooley on Wednesday. 


"We're waiting to find out the exact status of Logan first. He's our No. 1 priority," Gruden said. "Once that decision becomes final on how long we know he's going to be out we'll start looking possibly for others."

Gruden also mentioned young players in camp with the Redskins that have a chance to stand out, like Devin Mahina, Je'Ron Hamm and Chase Dixon.

None of Mahina, Hamm or Dixon will excite the fanbase like talk of Cooley's return. In nine seasons with Washington, Cooley amassed nearly 5,000 receiving yards and 33 TDs along with two Pro Bowl invites and was named All Pro in 2005. When Cooley said on his radio show earlier this summer of his interest to get back into football, which he hasn't played since 2012, the response was strong. In late July, the Arizona Cardinals reportedly expressed interest in bringing in Cooley, though the team made other moves to address the tight end position. It's also unclear if the 'Skins could sign Cooley, as he is a paid employee of the team on the radio broadcasts. 

Like Gruden said, the Redskins aren't looking at other options - including Cooley. Yet. 

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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.