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Tony Grossi's Four Downs: Capital secret revealed, Weeden's time, the Pensacola Pipeline, and a double home finale

Dec 15, 2012 -- 11:42pm


By Tony Grossi

Browns v. Redskins … in Four Downs

1. First Down: Super secret stuff revealed in our Nation's Capital.

Redskins QB Robert Griffin III’s game status – dubbed Operation RG3 by Dept. of Offense operatives – was kept a guarded secret until Saturday night when the team announced Kirk Cousins would start. Griffin’s sprained right knee limited him in practice all week. Cousins has made only two brief appearances in his rookies season, completing 7 of 11 passes for 137 yards, two TDs and two interceptions. Griffin's injury will make RB Alfred Morris even more of a focal point in the Redskins offense. Morris' physical running would set up a play-action passing game by Cousins. The bread-and-butter staple of the Washington offense -- the zone read option -- would not appear to be something Cousins could execute. He did not do it in preseason or in his relief appearances against Atlanta and Baltimore. 

2. Second Down: Weeden’s time to shine?

Here is what some opposing quarterbacks have done against the Redskins’ non-existent defense – Drew Brees: three TDs; Sam Bradford: three TDs; Andy Dalton: three TDs; Ben Roethlisberger: three TDs; Tony Romo: three TDs; Joe Flacco: three TDs. None is a rookie, of course. Brandon Weeden has thrown for 2 TDs five times in his rookie season, but not for three.

3. Third Down: The Pensacola Pipeline

Opposing running backs Trent Richardson and Alfred Morris have been friends and have competed against each other since they were 6-year-olds growing up in Pensacola, FL. Richardson was the third player taken in the 2012 draft; Morris was 173rd. Richardson has 247 carries for 869 yards (3.5 average) and nine TDs; Morris has 253 carries for 1,228 (4.9) and seven TDs. Richardson has two runs of 20 or more yards; Morris has seven. Richardson has 100-yard rushing games against Cincinnati, San Diego and Baltimore; Morris has 100-yard games against Tampa Bay, Atlanta, the Giants (twice), Dallas and Baltimore.

4. Fourth Down: For auld lang syne.

Enjoy and appreciate what is likely the last game at home in a Browns uniform for two of the most popular players in the expansion era – Phil Dawson and Josh Cribbs. Dawson, 37, holds seven franchise records and has been the team’s only full-time kicker since 1999. Statistically, he is the greatest kicker in Browns history – expansion era and beyond. Cribbs, 29, holds 14 franchise records and is the greatest return specialist and overall special teams player in Browns history. Both players will be free agents after the season and the Browns, under the Jimmy Haslam-Joe Banner management duo, have shown no effort in re-signing either of them.

Tony Grossi covers the Browns for ESPN 850 WKNR, ESPN 1540 KNR2 and www.espncleveland.com.

He has covered the Browns with distinction since 1984 and is one of 44 voters for the National Football League Hall of Fame. Email your “Hey Tony” questions to tgrossi@espncleveland.com

Follow Tony on Twitter @tonygrossi

 

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