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.”