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Joe Theismann agrees with decision to name RG3 the starter


Joe Theismann agrees with decision to name RG3 the starter

When Robert Griffin III was named the starter by Jay Gruden two months ago, fans and some members of the media questioned the timing of the announcement. The regular season, after all, was still seven months away.

Joe Theismann, however, was not among them. In fact, the former Redskins quarterback and current broadcaster says he backed Gruden’s decision.

“I’m glad that Jay named him starter,” Theismann told Redskins Nation host Larry Michael in a recent interview. “Robert knows where he is right now. Sure, Kirk [Cousins] will compete. Colt [McCoy] will compete. Because they want to become better. Both of them are very competitive individuals. But it’s Robert’s job.”

Theismann, who went 77-47 as the Redskins’ starting quarterback from 1976-1985, also offered some advice to Griffin, who is attempting to rebound from a second straight subpar season.

“The most important thing for Robert is, No. 1) don’t worry about what anybody says and, No. 2) understand what your role is in this offense,” Theismann told Michael. “It is not to be the running back and rush for 900 yards. It’s to make sure that Alfred Morris can rush for 1,500, to keep the chains moving so that other people can [get] more downs. Give yourself a chance to make more plays and [No. 3] protect yourself. One of my credos to any young quarterback is real simple: your No. 1 responsibility is to keep yourself healthy enough to be able to practice and play every game and every day. If you do that, you’re going to work every day and you’re going to get better just because of the fact that you’re out there.”

Theismann also said he’d like to see Griffin hone his skills in the pocket and trust his teammates to make plays for him.

[MORE REDSKINS: Who were McCloughan's best late-round picks?]

“The most important thing for Robert is just focus on what you do,” Theismann said. “Focus on becoming a better pocket passer. Quicker decisions. Get ball out of your hands. And allow your teammates to be able to help you win football games.”

“He’s so competitive that he sometimes takes a tremendous burden on his own shoulders,” he added. “That’s one thing I had to learn—it wasn’t all about what I did. It was how can help the other guys do their job better?”

As for Griffin’s handling of the spotlight, Theismann says he saw significant progress in that area late in the 2014 season.

“We never had to play under this type of scrutiny, where everything we did off the field was an issue,” Theismann said, referring to Redskins’ quarterbacks from an earlier era. “Every voice inflection being analyzed. Every facial [expression] being analyzed. How you wear your hat. What you wear to an interview. How you sit in an interview. What’s implied in what you have to say. You can’t be honest. You have to be a politician.”

“Robert’s learned a lot of that over the last year,” Theismann continued. “At first, I think he came in a naïve, effervescent, healthy. Then he’s gone through the trials and tribulations, the struggles, injuries, new systems. Having to learn things that he never knew at the college level, at the professional level it's so much more difficult.”

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Redskins' schedule "rest disparity" is very fair in 2018

Redskins' schedule "rest disparity" is very fair in 2018

The NFL started taking into account a new factor when putting together its schedule this year. The concept is called rest disparity. It stems from a complaint made by the Giants last year. And, of course, when the Giants have a cold, the NFL sneezes and immediately does whatever it takes to cure the cold. 

Here is how Peter King laid it out this morning on the MMQB:

Last year, I heard the Giants were not pleased with their schedule because they felt they were too often playing teams more rested than they were. In consecutive October weeks, they played teams coming off byes, for instance. The NFL calculated a figure for every team based on the number of combined days of rest for their foes or for the team, calculating, for instance, in those two weeks, the Giants were a minus-14 (minus-seven for each of the foes, Seattle and Denver, coming off byes). In all, by my math, the Giants were a league-worst minus-22 in “rest disparity.”

So the schedule makers worked to minimize the rest disparity this year. According to King, the worst rest disparity in the league this year is minus-11. The Giants are minus-eight. 

The question that Redskins fans will have immediately here is if the Giants’ rest disparity was reduced at the expense of the team in burgundy and gold. The answer that will surprise many is no. 

The Redskins rest disparity in 2018 will be either minus-one or zero. The variance is due to the possibility that their Week 16 game in Tennessee will be flexed to a Saturday game (see details here). If the game stays on Sunday, they will be at minus-one in rest disparity. If it gets moved, they will have had exactly as much rest over the course of the season as did their opponents, in aggregate. 

If you're interested in the nitty-gritty, here is how it breaks down. In eight or nine of their games, they will have had the same amount of rest as their opponents. They play one game coming off of their bye, a Monday night game in New Orleans. The Saints play the previous Sunday, giving Washington a plus-seven in days of rest. That is canceled out when they play the Falcons in Week 9 after Atlanta’s bye. 

Due to their Thanksgiving game, they get three extra days off going into their Week 13 Monday night game in Philadelphia. Two weeks later the Jaguars will have those three extra days of rest when they host the Redskins, having played on Thursday in Week 14.

They lose a day relative to their opponents coming off of those Monday night games against the Saints and Eagles. The Redskins get an extra day prior to visiting the Giants in Week 8 as New York has a Monday night game in Week 7. 

So far, that comes to minus-one in rest disparity. That will remain in place if they play the Titans on Sunday, December 23. If the game is flexed to Saturday, they will gain a day of rest on the Eagles in Week 17, zeroing out the rest disparity for the season. 

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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.

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Clarifying the confusion about the Redskins' Week 16 game at the Titans

Clarifying the confusion about the Redskins' Week 16 game at the Titans

There was some confusion about the Redskins’ Week 16 game in Tennessee when the NFL schedule dropped. The schedule pushed out by the Redskins said that the game date and time are to be determined. Other versions that went out, including the one on, says the game will be on Sunday, December 23 at 1 p.m.

So what’s the story? Well, if you’re thinking of making reservations to go to Nashville to watch the game you just might want to hold off for a while. Like, until early November. 

In an under the radar move, the NFL has established flex scheduling for its late-season Saturday games. Here are the details from the schedule press release from Redskins PR:

“Flexibility for Saturday games in Weeks 15 and 16 is also part of the 2018 schedule. In Week 15, there will be two games played on Saturday on NFL Network, with the game times of 4:30 p.m. and 8:20 p.m. to be determined. In Week 16, two of four possible matchups will be scheduled for Saturday. Start times and Saturday games for Week 15 and 16 will be announced no later than following Week 8, with the non-Saturday games to be played on Sunday.”

The way it sets up, if the Redskins and Titans are playing well in midseason there is a good chance the game will be played on Saturday, December 22 at either 4:30 or 8:20. If one or both teams are struggling, the league and networks could choose to flex two of the other four matchups to Saturday. 

This is taking flex scheduling to a different level. It’s one thing shifting a Sunday kickoff seven and a half hours from 1 p.m. to 8:30. It’s another to shift a whole day. The visiting teams can’t make travel arrangements, not knowing if they need to come into town on Friday for a Saturday game or on Saturday for Sunday. Fans who want to travel to the game are in the same boat. 

Of course, if you can afford it, you can just add a day to your Nashville excursion. There are worse things in the world than spending an extra day or two in Music City. 

If you have to wait to make your plans, as the Redskins do, you will find out no later than October 29, which is when Week 8 ends. 

Do you believe in trends? Then you should hope that the game does get flexed to Saturday. The Redskins have won three straight Saturday games, beating the Eagles in both 2014 and 2015 (the latter game clinching the division title for Washington) and the Bears in 2016. 

More Redskins

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.