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USC QB Cody Kessler looks like a good backup plan for the Redskins

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USC QB Cody Kessler looks like a good backup plan for the Redskins

Redskins draft countdown

The NFL draft is 23 days away and there is plenty of speculation as to what players Scot McCloughan will select to wear the burgundy and gold. Between now and the draft we’ll look at some of the players who might be of interest to the Redskins and discuss how he might fit in Washington.

Cody Kessler
Quarterback
USC

Height: 6-1
Weight: 220
40-yard dash: 4.89

Projected draft round: 6-7

What they’re saying
Can orchestrate an offense with confidence and accuracy when operating from a clean pocket, but doesn't appear to have the mentality of a player willing to take the risks necessary to strike with big plays often enough on the pro level. Kessler has moments where it is easy to like him on tape, but the traits and tape look more like those of a good, career backup than playoff starter.
Lance Zierlein, NFL.com

How he fits the Redskins: The Redskins are very tight with secrets during the lead up to the draft but Jay Gruden has expressed a desire to land a developmental quarterback, either in the draft or as an undrafted free agent. It will be surprising if the Redskins go through seven rounds without taking a quarterback to serve as the third-string QB behind Kirk Cousins and Colt McCoy, particularly if Scot McCloughan is able to cut some deals and pick up extra late-round draft picks.

Kessler has the traits you are looking for should you have to press your third stringer into action. He is accurate from the pocket, completing 71 percent of his passes from there. Kessler isn’t prone to making too many mistakes; he threw just 12 interceptions his junior and senior years combined. And he won’t try to do too much; he knows his limits.

Potential issues: As is normally the case with any quarterback who is available late on Saturday afternoon in the draft, Kessler has plenty of flaws. He’s 6-1, not as tall as you’d like a pocket passer to be. If he gets chased out of the pocket his accuracy drops precipitously.

Bottom line: The tough choice the Redskins have to make when it comes to choosing their developmental quarterback. Do they want someone who can be a career backup and provide a younger a cheaper alternative to McCoy or another veteran in a year or two? Or do they want someone who might serve as an alternative to Cousins should they be unable to sign him to a long-term contract?

If they want the latter, they probably should look for a quarterback earlier, perhaps in the third or fourth round. But it they want a QB who can become a reliable backup the someone like Kessler is their guy.

In his own words

On how his game translates the NFL:
The mental side for me is obviously big. Recognizing defenses. Obviously everyone can throw, everyone can play at the next level and has the arm to make it. But for me I always wanted to be a step ahead of everyone on the mental side of it. Along with my accuracy and my decision making. That’s something we were graded on at USC, and I love watching guys like Drew Brees who is so efficient with the football. His completion percentage is always in the upper 60s. I always wanted to model my game after guys that make the right plays and made good decisions. That’s somehting I want to bring with me in the NFL.
Previously in Redskins draft countdown:

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Cowboys WR Terrance Williams gets 3-game substance abuse ban

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USA TODAY Sports

Cowboys WR Terrance Williams gets 3-game substance abuse ban

Dallas Cowboys receiver Terrance Williams has been suspended three games for violating the NFL’s substance-abuse policy, a ban he will serve while on injured reserve because of lingering issues from offseason surgery for a broken right foot.

The league said Thursday the suspension will be in effect Sunday when the Cowboys visit Washington. After Dallas’ open week and a home game against Tennessee, the final game of the ban will be Nov. 11 at Philadelphia.

But Williams will miss at least three more games after that while on injured reserve. His first possible game is Dec. 9 at home against the Eagles.

Williams was arrested in May on a charge of public intoxication in the Dallas suburb of Frisco, where team headquarters is located. The case was dismissed after Williams completed a state-mandated alcohol awareness education course.

Williams was ineffective before being placed on IR, as he mustered just two catches for 18 total yards over the Cowboys first two games. Dallas will also be without wide receiver Tavon Austin on Sunday when they face the Washington Redskins. Austin is suffering from a groin injury, and expected to be out multiple weeks.

NBC Sports Washington's Ethan Cadeaux contributed to this story.

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Adrian Peterson's kids and the Internet are why he designed that shoe-in-facemask shirt

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@AdrianPeterson

Adrian Peterson's kids and the Internet are why he designed that shoe-in-facemask shirt

Luke Kuechly was just trying to make a tackle.

During the Redskins-Panthers Week 6 matchup, the Carolina star dove to wrap up Adrian Peterson and, like many, many, many before him, failed to bring the RB down.

Unfortunately for Kuechly, something else happened on the play that is going to help it live on much longer than your routine defensive mistake.

That something, of course, is that Peterson's cleat came off in the collision and lodged itself in Kuechly's facemask. And the uniqueness of that is why Peterson is now selling T-shirts commemorating it:

"I thought it was pretty cool," Peterson said Thursday in the 'Skins' locker room when asked why he felt moved to create the shirts, of which there are three to choose from on his site. "My kids got a big kick out of it. Obviously, the Internet did as well."

No. 26 has carried the ball 2,651 times in his career but said he's never had an attempt go like that one that involved his footwear and Kuechly's headgear.

However, because he's a legend, Peterson was able to deal with the lost shoe and still go on to pick up a nice chunk of yards as well as a first down.

"As I'm breaking free and I feel my shoe coming off, the only thing on my mind is, 'OK, let me make sure I plant my foot in a way where I don't slip,'" he explained. "That was the only thing I was focusing on on that play."

Will Kuechly get a shirt, though? After all, without him, they wouldn't exist in the first place.

"I might send him one," Peterson said.

What's lower: the odds of Kuechly wearing that shirt should Peterson ever send it along or the odds of another shoe finding its way into the linebacker's facemask? 

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