Saban is referring to the concerns about Allen’s surgically repaired shoulders, which are both moderately arthritic. That wasn’t the only concern evaluators had about Allen, though, as one executive predicted a couple weeks before the draft that Allen would be a surprise slider, citing a lack of explosiveness.
Now, before anyone completely dismisses Saban’s comment as just another college coach singing the praises of his former player, keep in mind that the Alabama coach doesn’t think all of his players are steals.
At this point, Jones has no reason to attend workouts before a trade or release, but Gruden said Wednesday he expected the 6-foot-2, 232-pound runner to show up to workouts.
“I hope so. I expect him to be,” Gruden said, via the team’s official website. “He’s on our roster, he’s eating up a spot. We all know that this is voluntary, so there’s really nothing that we can do. We’d like everybody to be here without a doubt, but at the end of the day, Jordan Reed is in Miami working out, Trent [Williams] is working out in Oklahoma, Matt Jones chose not to be here, so we obviously want people to work together and learn together, but it is voluntary at the end of the day.”
The free-agent linebacker, formerly of the Bills, will visit the Redskins on Monday, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported, per a source informed of Brown’s plans.
Brown was thought to be choosing between the Dolphins, the Raiders and cheap jerseys and the Bills, all with whom he’s visited over the past three weeks. Seeking a big payday, Brown has played the waiting game and now has a quartet of suitors from which to choose.
The pay cut comes as little surprise. Hall is angling to continue his career after last season was cut short in September due to a torn ACL. With safeties D.J. Swearinger, Su’a Cravens and Will Blackmon on the roster, it’s no guarantee that Hall sees starting snaps.
Missing 31 of his last 48 games due to injury, Hall switched to safety two seasons ago after serving for more than a decade as a reliable NFL starting cornerback. Near the end of his career, the wily veteran at least gives the Redskins depth at the backstop position.
Cousins feels like he’s continually talking about the importance of his run game for one simple reason: It has been the most obvious factor in this team rebounding from an 0-2 start. The Redskins have averaged 131.3 rushing yards over the last four weeks (as opposed to 68.5 in those first two losses), which has led to the team becoming more consistent in all phases. They’re controlling the clock more effectively (32 minutes of possession in that win streak) and their defense also has become more dominant in the process (Washington has allowed 19.3 points per game during this four-week span, compared to 32.5 in the first two defeats).
That type of success also means Cousins can return to the form that made him so successful in the second half of last season. He started this year looking very much like a man who knew he was playing for the long-term contract he couldn’t procure during the offseason. Too many of his passes were off target, the offense couldn’t move consistently and he operated as if he was trying too hard to produce significant results. Now he’s back to playing within himself, shrugging off costly mistakes (like the interception Eagles cornerback Malcolm Jenkins returned 64 yards for a touchdown) and giving his team opportunities to win.
What makes Cousins so interesting is that he led the Redskins to the NFC East title in 2015, yet he still has to show this team that he’s worthy of being the long-term answer at quarterback. Washington has guaranteed him a one-year salary of $19.953 million — after designating him as a non-exclusive franchise free agent in February — but neither side could agree on a new contract during the offseason. So Cousins has to impress his employer all over again, just as he did when he supplanted Robert Griffin III last year. That, by the way, is just fine with him.
There are many players who would be miffed that they weren’t adequately rewarded after a breakout season, especially those who make their living at a position where it’s so hard to find talent. Cousins has the refreshing mindset that if it takes two seasons to win over the Redskins, he’ll give them two seasons worth remembering.