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Gruden wants to keep Cousins in his comfort zone


Gruden wants to keep Cousins in his comfort zone

The New England Patriots score an average of over 35 points per game. The Redskin scored 31 points against the Bucs the last time they played, their highest-scoring game of the season. They are averaging about 22 points per game. Obviously they will need to get some additional production out of the offense if the Patriots have even an average game offensively.  

So should they try to add in some new wrinkles to the offense to get things rolling? Maybe, said Jay Gruden, but they have to be careful of throwing too much at quarterback Kirk Cousins.  

“I think every game plan is a little different but we have to try to keep doing what Kirk's comfortable with,” said Gruden. “There's always going to be some new things that you apply to the game plan every week. But you don't want to overwhelm your quarterback and change totally who you are because of who you're playing. You're playing based on the front and covers the most part . . . There is some merit to adjusting to a team as high scoring as New England.”

You hate to hear talk of needing to keep a player “comfortable”; the culture of the game says that pushing a player out of his comfort zone is the way you get the best out of him. But the exception is inexperienced quarterbacks.

Cousins has now started 16 games, one season’s worth. Forcing him to do too much in an effort to beat the team quarterbacked by Tom Brady, who will be starting his 244th game, including the 29 he has started in the playoffs, likely would be self-defeating.

If you think having Cousins play within himself seems to be the path to at best a respectable loss, you’re probably right. But rolling the dice and having Cousins push the envelope could lead to disaster.

Maybe one day the Redskins will have a quarterback who has more than a few years in a system and can bring some different wrinkles while staying in his comfort zone. Until then, they’ll just have to do what they do and hope it turns out OK. 

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Redskins safety Montae Nicholson arrested on assault charges

Loudoun County Sheriff's Office

Redskins safety Montae Nicholson arrested on assault charges

Redskins safety Montae Nicholson was arrested on assault charges early Tuesday morning in Loudoun County, Va.

The 23-year-old Nicholson was charged with assault and battery and public intoxication following an incident on the morning of Dec. 18 at the One Loudon development.

A female suspect, 24-year-old Sydney A. Maggiore of Vienna, Va. was reportedly with Nicholson at the scene. 

According to police, via NBC 4,  the incident began after Nicholson and a women "pulled up in a vehicle and honked the horn" at a man and women.

"We are aware of the arrest of Montae Nicholson," Redskins spokesman Tony Wylie said in a statement Tuesday afternoon. "We are gathering more information and will not comment until we have further details.”

Nicholson started the first seven games of the 2018 season and has appeared in all 14, amassing 21 solo tackles. The Redskins selected Nicholson out of Michigan State in the fourth round of the 2017 NFL Draft.




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Despite broken leg, belief growing that Colt McCoy will return for Week 17

Despite broken leg, belief growing that Colt McCoy will return for Week 17

A few weeks back when Jay Gruden explained that his Redskins decided not to place quarterback Colt McCoy on the injured reserve list despite a broken leg, most greeted the news with a scoff. 

Surely, McCoy would not actually return to play again in 2018 after suffering the broken fibula in early December. It's a broken leg, and only four games remained on the schedule. 

Well, think again. Asked the odds of McCoy's return for Week 17 on a scale of 1-10, Gruden didn't hesitate.

"I’d say 10 for Colt," the coach said. "That’s just my opinion. I just think Colt’s a crazy dude."

While Josh Johnson played reasonably well in a Week 14 win in Jacksonville, McCoy knows the Redskins offensive system inside and out. If he can get back on the field, it could be a big boost for Washington. 

That doesn't mean Gruden will push it though.

"It wouldn’t surprise me either way. It’s a tough injury to come back from and if he can’t make it back we won’t force him back," Gruden said via the Redskins Talk podcast. "It’s all up to the doctors. It’s not up to me. It’s up to the doctors. Even if Colt says, ‘hey, i can go, I can go,’ it’ will be up to the doctors."

In limited action over three games, McCoy is completing 63 percent of his passes for 373 yards with three TDs and three interceptions. 

Might the playoffs be a part of McCoy's quest to return? Sure, but Gruden made clear that won't skew his decision to bring him back. 

"If it’s safe for him to play, then of course he will play," Gruden said. "If there’s any kind of risk whatsoever there’s not a chance I will let him play."

The Redskins face the Titans on Saturday night in Nashville. Sitting at 7-7, Gruden's team is competing for the final NFC Wild Card spot, as well as holding an outside chance to get back in the NFC East contest. 

To make the playoffs, the overwhelming odds suggest the 'Skins need to win their remaining two games, in Tennessee and home for a Week 17 matchup against the Eagles. 

If Johnson pulls off another win this weekend, on the road, it's possible Gruden might want to ride the hot hand. For now, however, the coach isn't worried about that possible scenario. The team is just focused on the Titans.