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Why reports of a new 49ers QB could impact Redskins, Kirk Cousins

Why reports of a new 49ers QB could impact Redskins, Kirk Cousins

With no quarterbacks on the roster, the 49ers certainly need to add a passer in free agency. Reports show that new head coach Kyle Shanahan and new general manager John Lynch have done just that.

A journeyman QB since he entered the league in 2009, Hoyer experienced some success while with Cleveland in 2014. That year, Hoyer started 13 games, winning seven, and throwing for more than 3,300 yards to go with 12 TDs vs 13 INTs. He completed just 55 percent of his passes but averaged nearly 14 yards-per-completion.

Why does Hoyer's 2014 season with the Browns matter? Because Shanahan was calling plays that season in Cleveland.

Clearly, the Niners new coach has a familiarity with Hoyer, enough that his team has made the former Michigan State passer the first QB of his new regime.

What does any of this mean for Redskins fans? San Francisco has long been reported to be the premiere, and perhaps only, possible trade partner if Washington looked to deal QB Kirk Cousins. 

Signing Hoyer in no way shuts the door on a Cousins trade for the Niners, but it does push the door a little bit closer. The team Lynch and Shanahan have inherited is a mess, in need of a full rebuild coming off a 2-14 season. 

To acquire Cousins will require giving up assets, likely the No. 2 overall pick in the upcoming draft and more. It's possible that if the Niners new brain trust waits it out, they could make a run at Cousins in free agency a year from now without having to give up assets.

San Francisco is not in position to win anything of consequence this year, with or without Cousins. Armed with six-year contracts, maybe Lynch and Shanahan feel comfortable building their team for the long haul, and that includes a bridge QB like Hoyer. Bringing in Hoyer does not mean a trade is impossible, but it doesn't make it more likely either. 

Around the NFL, reaction to the Hoyer signing varied.

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Landon Collins: 'You never know what kind of Kirk Cousins you're getting'

Landon Collins: 'You never know what kind of Kirk Cousins you're getting'

Kirk Cousins started 57 games during six seasons with the Redskins and, well, um, it's hard to come up with one word to describe his time in Washington. 

There were certainly highs, none higher than the hot streak Cousins went on late in 2015 to capture an NFC East title. The Redskins closed that season on a four-game win streak where Cousins threw 12 touchdowns against just one interception. 

There were also lows. In Week 17 of 2016, the Redskins needed a win in the season finale to get in the playoffs while the Giants had already clinched the NFC East title. The Redskins had everything to play for, the Giants ended up resting a number of their starters. Still, the Redskins lost, and Cousins threw a dagger interception late in the game to seal their fate. For the game, Cousins finished with 287 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions, but the pick to Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie was the season killer. 

The point here is not to drag Cousins. He was the most durable and most stable quarterback the Redskins have had in decades. He never got hurt, and while he turned the ball over, he could deliver downfield strikes and run the team's offense at all times. 

The point here is to say Cousins is not always the most consistent QB, and that's backed up by Redskins safety Landon Collins.

"Like I was with the Giants, you never know what kind of Kirk Cousins you're getting. Right now they're getting Pro Bowl Kirk Cousins over there," Collins said on Monday.

Collins faced Cousins plenty of times when the safety played for the Giants, and New York found plenty of success against the quarterback. In nine career games against the Giants, all as QB of the Redskins, Cousins threw 12 interceptions. 

So when Collins talks about slowing Cousins down, it's not from a hypothetical place. 

"Pressure. Pressure. When I was with the Giants, I know we put a lot of pressure on him, put a lot of guys in his face, a lot of blitzes, lot of different systematic fronts and stuff like that, disguises," the Redskins safety said. 

Cousins will come into Thursday's game against the Redskins on fire. He's thrown 10 TDs against just one INT in the Vikings last three games, all wins. In Detroit on Sunday, Cousins went for more than 300 yards passing with four touchdowns and wasn't sacked once. 

"Right now he's playing like a Pro Bowl Kirk Cousins," Collins said. "We would say at the Giants, 'You don't know what kind of Kirk Cousins you're going to get.' Right now they're getting Pro Bowl Kirk Cousins, and he's playing at a high level right now."

At 1-6 the Redskins defense doesn't scare anybody. The team has had some success upfront, however, causing pressures and getting to passers. Washington has 16 sacks on the season and the front five has gotten things going after a very slow start.  

Cousins isn't unique. Pressure causes turnovers for defenses. Players on both side of the football know that, and that's what Collins want to see in Minnesota against Cousins.

"That's the biggest game plan: try to force him into mistakes. Right now he's playing at a high level, so it's going to be hard. He's playing against a lot of good teams and he's been going against a good defense. That's probably made his skill level and his play much better."

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Chris Thompson says confidence is a major factor in decision on whether or not to start Dwayne Haskins

Chris Thompson says confidence is a major factor in decision on whether or not to start Dwayne Haskins

After yet another Redskins' loss, the questions of when is Dwayne Haskins getting the starting spot? grow louder and louder.

Many question the rookie's readiness. Surely, putting Haskins in a game with a volatile offensive line would be detrimental to his confidence. For deciding when to put Haskins out there, should the possibility of shattering a young quarterback's confidence play a major role? Running back Chris Thompson says yes.

“Confidence is definitely everything. It’s everything," Thompson said on The Sports Junkies Monday. "For quarterbacks and young quarterbacks at that, young players period.”

Thompson said critics on social media and analysis on sports networks such as ESPN are inescapable and can have a larger influence on younger players.

“We can’t seem to stay away from it [social media] and on top of playing bad, which already messes you up,” Thompson said.

In the meantime, Thompson said the coaches are working with Haskins on preparing him for the future.

‘I think the coaches are really just trying to groom him and get him ready for the future and not really try to push him too much now," Thompson said.

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