May 6, 2016

Washington Redskins: Scot McCloughan talks culture, Kirk Cousins, the draft, and more

(Photo by: Redskins)

(Photo by: Redskins)

Yes the end of the year may have been disappointing from the standpoint that the Washington Redskins succumbed to the Green Bay Packers out home, but the fact remains that with Scot McCloughan in charge they are a franchise much on the rise. Between North and South practices of the Senior Bowl on Wednesday afternoon, the Skins general manager took the time to conduct his mandatory end of year press conference.

McCloughan made it very clear from the very beginning that “the culture is going in the right direction.” Not only are the Redskins starting to get the right player personnel pieces together, but the coaching staff is much improved from previous regimes. The superb talent evaluator does not think the club is necessarily ahead of schedule after winning the NFC East division after just one year in charge but knows “we are going in the right direction.”

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Washington Redskins fall apart after good first quarter once Aaron Rodgers and Packers return to form

REDSKINS TAKE SECOND-HALF LEAD, BUT PACKERS PROVE TOO MUCH TO HANDLE

(Photo by: @NFL)

(Photo by: @NFL)

The Washington Redskins were looking for their first playoff victory in a decade when Sean Taylor helped Joe Gibbs and company knock of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Unfortunately, their demise was foreshadowed by points left on the field in the first quarter as the Redskins were up only 11-0 instead of 16-0.

From that point on, Aaron Rodgers returned to his reigning MVP form and shredded the Redskins defense with an assist from his run game. Green Bay finished the game outscoring the Redskins 35-7. Washington dropped their fourth straight playoff game, 35-18, and will head into the offseason. Though disappointing now, the franchise is in good hands with General Manager Scot McCloughan.

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Washington Redskins: Jay Gruden, Joe Barry, and DaShon Goldson talk about Cary Williams’ contribution

(Photo by: Evan Habeeb/ Getty Images)

(Photo by: Evan Habeeb/ Getty Images)

The Washington Redskins are hoping that Scot McCloughan‘s magical talent of picking up players off the street that can contribute immediately continues with veteran cornerback Cary Williams. Jay Gruden previously discussed how the Redskins first year general manager has done a nice job of signing players that can come in on Monday to play the following Sunday, which looks to be the case with the former Legion of Boom member.

Jay Gruden believes Williams has “done well” and does not think “there will be an issue as far as the mental part” of the game.” With Baltimore and Seattle running “very similar coverages” it is just a matter of “calling them [coverages] what we call them” since he’s played all of the pro type of coverages before.

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Washington Redskins: What do Jay Gruden, Kirk Cousins, and Trent Williams think of Kory Lichtensteiger’s return?

(Photo by: Brad Mills/ USA TODAY Sports)

(Photo by: Brad Mills/ USA TODAY Sports)

Despite the highly anticipated rushing attack of offensive line coach Bill Callahan, the Washington Redskins have gotten away from their legacy of a run first franchise. Much of that has to do with losing left guard Shaun Lauvao in the third week of the season as well as center Kory Lichtensteiger after just five games. While Spencer Long has done a decent job when getting rushed into action, after losing his starting right guard spot in the off-season, converted guard Josh LeRibeus has struggled. Now as the Skins get ready to go roaring into the playoffs, they will get the anchor of the offense back as the Bowling Green product is expected to retake his starting role.

Although Jay Gruden did not make it explicitly clear that Lichtensteiger will return to the starting lineup, he feels “good” about his return when asked about his confidence level. Gruden assures that Lichtensteiger has still been fully involved “from a mental standpoint.” Kirk Cousins reiterated the same idea by mentioning that “he’s never left. He stayed in meetings. He’s always at practice.”

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Washington Redskins: Injury Report prior to Wild Card match up against Green Bay Packers

It still might not have soaked in yet that half of the NFC East teams are looking for new head coaches and that does not include the Washington Redskins. The NFC East champions actually have more important things on their mind: Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers. Defensive backs coach Perry Fewell has been working with an undermanned unit all year and that will likely continue on Sunday. The banged up secondary is just one aspect of the Redskins injury report heading into the playoffs.

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Washington Redskins: Jay Gruden talks injuries, importance of early leads, and Packers

The Washington Redskins found out they will be hosting the Green Bay Packers on Sunday at 4:40 pm, which will be broadcasted on FOX. That news came out several hours following the Redskins beating the Dallas Cowboys to end the regular season with a 9-7 record. In just his second year at the helm, Jay Gruden reflected on the recent success leading up to an NFC East championship and began to preview the Wild Card matchup.

On the injury front reserve defensive back Dashaun Phillips, who was taken out of the Cowboys game on a stretcher in a scary situation, “looks like he’s going to be OK.” Phillips, an ace on special teams as a gunner, is dealing with a painful cervical stinger but Gruden is not ruling out the possibility of him practicing on Wednesday. The news is actually worse for Kyshoen Jarrett who is already ruled out of the Packers game because of concern about the “nerve that affects his right arm.” Jarrett will undergo further tests while Joe Barry and Perry Fewell come up with a “plan on who’s going to play where and how” without their versatile rookie.

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Washington Redskins: Will Jay Gruden rest his starters against the Dallas Cowboys?

“Right now, we have the intent of playing our guys that are going to be healthy” said Jay Gruden on if he plans to play starters against the Dallas Cowboys or let them rest.

(Photo by: Getty Images)

(Photo by: Getty Images)

On the one side you want to keep the momentum Kirk Cousins has built up over the last three weeks and keep it going. On the other hand the Washington Redskins are a little bit banged up right now. If the Skins rest players who would otherwise play in a real game doesn’t that take away from the momentum? It is one of the ultimate dilemmas in sports, but I guess one of the problems in having to deal with success.

“It’s important for us to be healthy come playoff time but it is also to have some kind of momentum also going in.” – Gruden elaborating

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Washington Redskins: Week 17 Injury Report

The Washington Redskins have clinched the NFC East division and are locked into the fourth seed of the playoffs, but must finish out the regular season against the Dallas Cowboys before getting set to host an unknown foe. Although it is expected for Jay Gruden to rest the banged up Redskins, he still has the “intent of playing guys that are going to be healthy.” As a result, the likes of Kirk Cousins and Jordan Reed will start for at least a set amount of snaps.

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Washington Redskins: Gruden talks Cousins, leadership, and more following Bills win

Coming off of the Washington Redskins first back-to-back victories in over a year on top of their first win against an AFC East opponent since 2007, head coach Jay Gruden was very complimentary of his team. After discussing the possibly worrisome injury situation, the second year head man discussed what he thought of Kirk Cousins‘ performance and how players like Trent Williams provide valuable leadership.

Jay Gruden had a conversation with Kirk Cousins after the Skins fell to 2-4 on the year because of a frustrating loss to the New York Jets. In the eight games since then, Cousins has thrown for 16 touchdowns, just three interceptions, and 2,205 yards. If extrapolated out over a 16-game season, anybody in the league could argue that a quarterback that throws for over four thousands yards and thirty touchdowns to just six turnovers through the air is of upper-echelon talent.

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Washington Redskins: Drought against AFC East and back-to-back wins is over as Skins top Bills

COUSINS THROWS 4 TD PASSES, RUNS FOR ONE TO LEAD REDSKINS TO .500

skinsIn the last regular season game at FedEx Field, where the Washington Redskins boast a 5-2 record going in, the Buffalo Bills stood in their way to keep pace in the woeful NFC East. With the easiest remaining schedule in the division, the Skins were still looking for back-to-back victories for the first time since Week 8 of last season. A clinic by quarterback Kirk Cousins, with a career high five total touchdowns, allowed the Redskins to continue their success against the Ryan brothers. Despite a couple of big plays by Buffalo in the second half, Washington dominated the Bills for their first victory over an AFC East team since 2007, 35-17.

It has been customary for Alfred Morris to start the game on offense, which continued today. Two yards on his first three rushes looked to stall Washington’s opening drive, but Cousins delivered a beautiful ball in between the corner and safety to DeSean Jackson on a double move for a 28-yard game. Sean McVay started to exploit the Bills run defense with play-action and bootlegs that netted 35 yards on three plays with a great second effort by Alfred Morris sprinkled in. Faced with a goal-to-go situation, Cousins fired to Jordan Reed who ripped the ball away from former Redskin Bacarri Rambo for a touchdown.

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