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For Garçon, Redskins must improve in 2015 or "it's all bad"


For Garçon, Redskins must improve in 2015 or "it's all bad"

Wide receiver Pierre Garçon says he expects the Redskins' offense to rebound from its struggles a year ago and, in particular, has high hopes for the passing game in 2015.

“We have a lot of weapons,” Garçon said this week on Redskins Nation. “We don’t have to put a lot of pressure on Robert [Griffin III]. We can put the pressure on ourselves to make plays for him and make plays for the team. But the passing game can be great.”

Garçon added: “We have a lot of great receivers, a great tight end, a great running back that can catch out of the backfield. And we have a receiver in the slot with Andre [Roberts]. We have a lot of weapons all over, so whoever gets the ball can definitely make a play for us.”

In 2014, the Redskins’ offense struggled in Jay Gruden’s first year as head coach. Griffin got hurt in Week 2 and then struggled upon returning in Week 9. In between, Kirk Cousins and Colt McCoy got opportunities to start and produced mixed results.


The revolving door at quarterback, quite predictably, hurt the unit’s cohesiveness. That, and the arrival of DeSean Jackson, also led to fewer opportunities for Garçon.

In fact, Garçon’s receptions total plummeted from a franchise record 113 two years ago to 68 last season. His receiving yardage dropped from 1,346 to 752.

Asked about the perception that the reduced role impacted his attitude, Garçon said any irritability he showed down the stretch had more to do with the team’s struggles, not necessarily the number of balls being thrown in his direction.

“You know, if we don’t win it’s all bad,” Garçon said. “It sucks. But that’s the thing: if we’re not winning it hurts even more. But when you’re winning everything gets thrown under the carpet and gets bypassed. If you’re not winning [and] you’re not helping the team, it hurts.”

Garçon also said he expects Gruden and offensive line coach Bill Callahan to tweak an offense that ranked 26th in points per game last season (18.8). Callahan is expected to oversee the running game. Last season, the veteran coach, along with running back DeMarco Murray, helped the Cowboys rank second in rushing yards. 

“Definitely, we’re going to a little bit [different],” Garçon said. “We’re going to take the good things we did from last year. We’re definitely going to learn from last year. We’re going to run downhill. We’re going to throw the ball. We’re going to run the play action. Definitely run the ball first and then throw it.”



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Need to Know: Five safe draft picks for the Redskins

Need to Know: Five safe draft picks for the Redskins

Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, April 22, four days before the 2018 NFL draft.  

Five safe picks for the Redskins

Sometimes teams try to hit home runs with their draft picks. They may hit a few but they also will strike out a lot. Teams often are better off trying to hit solid singles and doubles. Here are five picks who would are unlikely to make many Pro Bowls but the Redskins would not regret the pick if they turned in the cards with their names on it. 

RB Kerryon Johnson, Auburn—I’m starting off here with a player who would be a safe pick in the third round. Of course, the Redskins don’t have a third right now but if they do swing a trade and get one, Johnson would be a good pick. He doesn’t have breakaway speed, which is one reason why he might be available in the third. He is a grinder who will be an upgrade over Samaje Perine and Rob Kelley. 

DL Vita Vea, Washington—There is plenty of hand wringing over whether Vea is a three-down player or just a base defense nose tackle. But even if he can’t rush the passer very well his floor is a player who can go a long way towards helping the Redskins stop the run, a chronic weakness. This is why a lot of fans and media are urging the Redskins to not overthink this and take a player that will, at a minimum, bolster one of their weakest areas. 

OL Billy Price, Ohio State—He started 55 games for the Buckeyes, the most of any player in the storied history of the program. He did suffer the partial tear of a chest muscle in the combine but that will be fully healed by training camp. When he’s ready, he’s an explosive, smart, and powerful player. Just plug him in at left guard and the Redskins’ O-line is set with all home-grown talent. 

LB Leighton Vander Esch, Boise State—He doesn’t have the ceiling that the more heralded Roquan Smith and Tremaine Edmunds have. However, he may have a higher floor. Smith is undersized, and Edmunds will be highly drafted based more on potential than on production. At 6-4, 256, Vander Esch has plenty of size, and he racked up 141 tackles last year on his way to defensive player of the year honors in the Mountain West. 

 CB Isaiah Oliver, Colorado—The All-Pac-12 selection has the size and athleticism that add up to a safe pick in the second round. He needs some work on technique, but he has enough natural athletic ability—he competed in the decathlon—to be a productive cornerback right out of the gate. One other plus that fans will appreciate is that his strength is press coverage, not off man. 

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page, follow him on Twitter  @TandlerNBCS.

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Days until:

—OTAs start (5/22) 30
—Training camp starts (7/26) 95
—Redskins @ Cardinals (9/9) 140

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Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—All-Redskins mock, fast-fading interest in Dez

Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—All-Redskins mock, fast-fading interest in Dez

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, April 21, five days before the 2018 NFL draft.  

The Redskins week that was

A look at some of the most popular posts and hottest topics of the week on Real Redskins and NBC Sports Washington

Should the Redskins pursue Dez Bryant? This topic was one like a meteor, very hot for a short period of time before it quickly faded out. It started to heat up as soon as the Cowboys cut Dez (about a month too late) and when it was reported that he wanted to play against Dallas twice a year it really picked up steam. But then people started to actually think and figured out that signing Bryant didn’t make much sense for the Redskins. Add to that the reports that the Redskins had no interest and would not look into signing Dez in the future and the Redskins fans quickly lost enthusiasm for the topic.

Seven-round Redskins mock draft—I think that most Redskins fans would be happy with this mock. Well, I’ll say some Redskins fans, most is a pretty strong word in this case. 

Is the draft pool deep enough for the Redskins to trade back? There is plenty of talk about the Redskins trading down in the first round to recoup the third-round pick they gave up in the Alex Smith trade. But they need to be careful. Many consider the draft to be top heavy and they may lose their chance to pick up an impact player if they trade back too far. The question then becomes one of quality vs. quantity. 

Three questions as offseason workouts get underway—There will be plenty more questions that we can ask about this team. But we don’t really know what to ask before the draft, particularly when it comes to the defensive line and running back. One the personnel settle into place we will know what we don’t know. 

Tweet of the week

On Chris Cooley’s thought that the Redskins might try to trade back and get Da’Ron Payne in the draft and the use the assets obtained to move up to get Derrius Guice. 

This is related to the questions about trading back. On paper it looks like a good idea, assuming the Redskins want Payne. We’re pretty sure they would like to have Guice but we haven’t heard as much about the Alabama defensive lineman. 

I had many reply that Guice won’t be there in the second round. It’s possible, perhaps even likely, but you just don’t know. There was zero chance that Jonathan Allen would be there at No. 17 last year, right? 

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page, and follow him on Twitter  @TandlerNBCS.


Days until:

—OTAs start (5/22) 31
—Training camp starts (7/26) 96
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 141

In case you missed it