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Need to Know: Redskins look for Cousins to continue success in two-minute drives

Aug 10, 2016, 5:59 AM EDT

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RICHMOND—Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, August 10, one day before the Washington Redskins open their preseason in Atlanta against the Falcons.

Timeline

Today’s schedule: AM walkthrough before travel to Atlanta, no media availability

—The Redskins last played a game 213 days ago. It will be 33 days until they host the Steelers in their 2016 season opener.

Days until: Preseason vs. Jets @FedEx Field 9; Final roster cut 24; Cowboys @ Redskins 39

Cousins hopes to continue success in two-minute situations

In practice last week Kirk Cousins led an impressive two-minute drill that ended in a touchdown.

“He did good in that drive,” said Jay Gruden. “He does a good job of taking what the defense gives him. We just harp on that. He hit some check-downs, some underneath routes, and guys got up the field and got lined up and we can run off a lot of plays in that situation. As long as we don’t have any negative plays, we can move the ball and be quick and efficient and he was efficient today.”

Leading scoring drives as the clock is running down last in the first half or late in the game is not an area where Cousins needs a great deal of improvement. He was pretty good at the two-minute drill last year.

Cousins led the Redskins to a score on 13 drives that ended with two minutes or less remaining in the second and fourth quarters. Six of those drives either tied the game or put the Redskins in the lead. That includes the game-winning drives against the Eagles and Bucs and the 24-second, 46-yard drive that led to a Dustin Hopkins field goal to send the Atlanta game into overtime.

In all of his passes in the last two minutes of a half, Cousins completed 42 of 68 passes. That completion percentage of 61.8 is lower than his number on all passes for the season (69.8%). But he threw five touchdown passes and no interceptions and his passer rating was a solid 106.8.

All of the success he had doesn’t mean that he shouldn’t continue to work on it. In fact, practice is likely to be the only chance he has to take his two-minute efficiency to a new level. He won’t play long enough in the first two preseason games to reach the 2:00 mark of the first half and he won’t play at all in the fourth. He may get his hands on the ball late in the first half in preseason Week 3 against the Bills if he is still in the game and if the situation is right. But that one possible opportunity will be all until the start of the regular season.

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  1. garg8050 - Aug 10, 2016 at 6:35 AM

    I wouldn’t mind seeing some hurry up offense during the regular season, assuming the defense isn’t getting gashed or worn out. Cousins seems to have a very good grasp of the 2-minute offense and gets rid of the ball quickly. Certainly would be a nice change of pace, especially if the offense is otherwise sputtering.

  2. colorofmyskinz - Aug 10, 2016 at 6:35 AM

    Cousins is going to be a beast this year and it is going to be very expensive to keep him. I am sure our GM knows that. Sure wish we would have moved to him in this years negotiations vs. hoping he moved toward us. We will be paying him at least $5M more per year as a result. Maybe that $5 M extra per year is insignificant vs the risk of flop or injury.

    Who knows. All indicators show if he plays 16 games he will be in the top 5-10 in the NFL. The Broncos showed us that average QB performance can win Super Bowls.

    • garg8050 - Aug 10, 2016 at 6:58 AM

      Unless you believe the theory that he’ll price himself out of the Redskins budget, and they’ll be looking for a cheaper alternative. The last few times McCloughan has talked about it, he keeps bringing up the “it’s about 53, not about 1” phrase. If Cousins plays well and the team does well against this schedule, it would be a huge mistake, IMO, to let him walk/trade him.

    • goback2rfk - Aug 10, 2016 at 4:42 PM

      The offense makes Cousins better and not the other way around. That is what the GM is thinking.

      • bangkokben - Aug 10, 2016 at 6:18 PM

        That’s what Robert said.

  3. kenlinkins - Aug 10, 2016 at 10:13 AM

    This Thursday night I will be looking at three basic things. Running, Blocking and Tackling. I am not yet looking for play makers, guys who flash or Sport Center highlights.
    Running: Who can play at NFL game speed, who is making mistakes at full speed and who is still thinking about his assignments.
    Blocking: Who fires with enthusiasm and who will be fired with enthusiasm at cut time. who can win one on one battles at the line, who can pick up a blitz and who can make a down field block.
    Tackling: Who can be in position and drive a runner to the ground, who hits full force and wraps up, who is willing to chase a play down and who is willing to run to the other side of the field and get in front of a play just in case!
    If I see these things Thursday night I will be a happy Redskins fan as IMO the above are things that builds solid back up players and Special team aces. Note: With P Smith hurting, it will be interesting who the Redskins try at OLB / Pass Rusher. Someone might have been handed a big chance to break out of the pack and show what they can do OR, it will send the Redskins GM back to the office checking to see what could have been over looked by 31 other GM’s.

    • ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Aug 10, 2016 at 11:16 AM

      I guess we’ll see the starters for a very short time, only.

      Here’s to no injuries, and some rookies and UDFAs seizing their moment in the sun.
      ~

    • redskins12thman - Aug 10, 2016 at 11:44 AM

      Agreed; those are the top three. i would add injury avoidance, limited penalties and closer look at bubble players / ST play (the latter noted by you at the end).

      • kenlinkins - Aug 10, 2016 at 12:53 PM

        I agree 100% with both of you on the injury avoidance.

  4. kenlinkins - Aug 10, 2016 at 1:05 PM

    Rich: Have you seen the rookie RB Marshall assigned to any Special Team units? I have been reading that he might have taken over as the back up RB to Jones I camp and if true wouldn’t he have to produce on Special Teams in order to make the team?

    • redskins12thman - Aug 10, 2016 at 4:29 PM

      Keith is third string for kick-off returns.

      • kenlinkins - Aug 10, 2016 at 9:08 PM

        Any coverage unit (kick off or Punts)?

    • Rich Tandler - Aug 11, 2016 at 7:59 AM

      @kenllinkins, I’ve seen him lined up as a kickoff returner but not in coverage as of yet. Will try to keep an eye out tonight.

  5. ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Aug 10, 2016 at 2:16 PM

    ~

    • goback2rfk - Aug 10, 2016 at 5:22 PM

      Breeland is clearly playing at 3/4 speed. Either way it was a good catch by Jackson.
      Its playoffs or bust this year for sure. 10 – 6 or bust

  6. redskins12thman - Aug 10, 2016 at 6:56 PM

    Hopefully Cousins can work in practice on throwing under pressure.

    • goback2rfk - Aug 10, 2016 at 10:37 PM

      I thought Cousins was pretty good under pressure or at least he gets rid of the ball before taking a lot of sacks.
      He also had a couple good plays where he moved in the pocket slightly and then fired down field. One particular throw in mind was that one where he hit Garcon deep for the TD, i think it was the Dallas game. Playoff or bust.

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