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The Weekly BEast Report: A Preseason Look At The Washington Redskins

Washington proved themselves capable of surging down the stretch to win the division in 2015. What are their chances to repeat as NFC East Champions this season?

Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

Washington Redskins

2015 Record 9-7
NFC East Champions

Kirk Cousins has now won as many NFC East titles as RGIII did, but he was not nearly as costly for the Redskins to acquire. The team is slowly starting to come out of the quagmire that securing the former quarterback caused, but the impact will still be felt for some time to come. Regardless, the team must go on, and after winning the weak division in 2015, Jay Gruden is tasked with the challenge of doing so again.

The team is now focused on building a team the right way. A defense that was thin on talent in recent seasons has become an area of focus for the front office. Another opportunity to improve has come through securing some young talent on the offensive line. A new day is dawning for Redskins football, and while we Cowboys fans might not greet the news with enthusiasm, it could mean that a renewed focus on the rivalry between the two teams and some memorable battles yet to come.

From the media we have these recent happenings:

In Scot We Trust T-Shirts!     HogHunter, Hogs Haven

The biggest move that the Redskins made during the offseason was bringing in a real GM who has a real plan to build his team. Scot McCloughan has had a hand in the building process for both the San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks in recent seasons. Although he prefers to build through the draft, the Washington GM also knows that the NFL is a what have you done for me lately world where your long-term plans only matter if you are showing success today.

The kind of teams that he helped put together on the west coast give a good indication of what to expect in Washington over the next few years. Flash will be secondary to getting the tough job done with gritty and determined players upfront.

Bottom line: Scot McCloughan doesn't mess around when it comes to identifying the problem and fixing it the way he wants it fixed.  #InScotWeTrust

Five observations from the Redskins' preseason win over the Jets     Mike Jones, Washington Post

The defense has been a cause for concern in Washington for some time. The big splash was signing free agent Josh Norman to bolster a secondary that was terrible over recent seasons, but the biggest improvement might be in the quality and depth of the corps of linebackers available for the Redskins coaches to work with. Last season it seemed that if you walked past the Skins facility at exactly the right moment you could find yourself on the field as a linebacker during the next game. Not true anymore.

The youth movement at inside linebacker has helped the defense tremendously. Not only does the team have Will Compton to run the show, but his backup, Martrell Spaight, has shown that he can come in and run the show without missing a beat. Rookie Su'a Cravens is also showing a nose for the football that has turned a few heads during the preseason.

Redskins running back depth will be tested should Matt Jones miss significant amount of time     Anthony Gulizia, Washington Times

Matt Jones made Alfred Morris an expendable commodity in the nation's capitol with his performance last season. That is the way it works in professional football, but the gods of the game sometimes have the last laugh. Redskins fans now have to be wondering if that is what is taking place for their team.

The Washington workhorse back separated the AC joint in his left shoulder late in the first quarter against the New York Jets. Head coach Jay Gruden had decided to rest the bulk of his ones for the game but in an effort to establish a run game he turned to Jones in similar fashion to what the Cowboys did two seasons ago with DeMarco Murray. For Gruden the gamble did not pay off. His number one back is now officially being referred to as out for the rest of the preseason by the club. Should he not be able to answer the bell come opening weekend and beyond the Redskins are going to loathe the fact that their former Pro Bowl ball carrier has revitalized his career with the Dallas Cowboys.

Kirk Cousins isn't playing much in the preseason, but he feels well prepared     Mike Jones, Washington Post

It seems that every season we talk about a QB controversy with the Redskins, but this season Kirk Cousins is solidly entrenched as the starter and his nemesis, Robert Griffin III, has been exiled to the land where quarterbacks go to fade away. As a result, the passer who once had to battle for every opportunity to play a few snaps is now getting the luxury of not having to battle for his job. He is able to set back and watch others compete for the job as his backup.

This preseason the Washington coaches have greatly limited his exposure. Kirk is five for five passing and has yet to throw for a touchdown. He expects to finally see at least a half of work in the dress rehearsal game this week against the Buffalo Bills, but he feels that the time off has not hindered his development.

"As the starting quarterback, I'm getting a lot of reps, so it's more than I would've as a backup quarterback. I feel very ready, and more importantly, probably is the fact that we've had the entire week to get ready, like a normal rhythm to a game week. Those two things will get you as about as prepared as you can." - Kirk Cousins

Although he is a fifth-year pro, Cousins is only a second-year starter so Gruden is taking some risks with making the assumption that his starter is in a game day groove after the limited outing. If he gets off to a slow start, it would not be out of the question for someone to start up the controversy once more.