Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, July 19, nine days before the Washington Redskins start training camp in Richmond.
—The Redskins last played a game 191 days ago. It will be 55 days until they host the Steelers in their 2016 season opener.
—Days until: Preseason opener @ Falcons 23; Final roster cut 46; Cowboys @ Redskins 61
—Former All-Pro Redskins tight end, the late Jerry Smith, who played for the team for 13 seasons, was born on this date in 1943.
—Redskins Pro Bowl offensive tackle Trent Williams was born on this date in 1988.
How effective will the Redskins’ rushing game be in 2016?
We’re down to single digits in the countdown to training camp. Before they start stretching for the first practice let’s take out the imaginary casino chips and use them to predict how various facets of the Redskins offense are going to perform this season.
We’ll start with the rushing offense. The numbers for the quartiles are from the 2015 season, rounded to the nearest 100.
Bottom quarter (1300-1500 yards), $20—Teams that rank this low generally don’t even try to run the ball, either because they’re frequently trailing (Chargers, Ravens) or they have a passing game so effective that it makes no sense to run (Patriots). The Redskins should be competitive and while they will favor the pass, perhaps heavily, the run will still be an important part of the game plan.
Lower middle quarter (1500-1700 yards), $45—This is where they were last year, 20th with 1,566 yards. They could easily have fewer carries (429 in 2015) and accumulate more yards by improving on their 31st ranked average of 3.7 yards per rushing attempt. If they can bump that up to the league average of 4.1 yards they could rush 400 times and post around 1,659 yards.
Upper middle quarter (1700-1900 yards), $30—This is up to Matt Jones. If he puts it together and makes handing the ball off to him such an attractive options that Jay Gruden and Sean McVay will have to ignore the team’s attractive passing options. Jones has the size and speed needed to become a top-notch back but he needs to put it together. I’ll give him a shot at doing so but it would take quite a turnaround from last year.
Top quarter (1900+ yards), $5—I just don’t think that the Redskins are going to run often enough to get here. They would have to have 475-500 rushing attempts and with Cousins having Reed, Jackson, Garçon, Crowder, and others to throw to, well, you add up the targets needed to take advantage of the team’s investment in pass catchers. There aren’t enough football to go around.
Tandler on Twitter
Maybe one day I’ll be able to persuade people that workouts and negotiating tactics are meaningless in the big picture. But probably not.— Rich Tandler (@TandlerNBCS) July 18, 2016
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