Here is what you need to know on this Monday, February 2, 16 days before the Washington Redskins and the rest of the NFL assemble in Indianapolis for the NFL Combine.
Question of the day
We’re changing up the format of Need to Know for the offseason. Every day I’ll give an in-depth answer to a question submitted by a fan on my Twitter feed, via the Real Redskins Facebook page, or in the comments section here. On Twitter address the questions to me at @Rich_TandlerCSN with the #NTK hashtag. There will be a comment thread set up on the Facebook page and if you’re asking your question here, put “for NTK” at the start of the comment.
Today’s question is from the Real Redskins Facebook page:
I assume you’re referring to Jay Gruden here and so the short answer is yes. He will adjust what he does and what plays he calls to take advantage of the strengths and, just as importantly, the weaknesses of his players.
Clearly, the question implies that Tommy did not think that that Gruden did take advantage of what his players did well. And, on the face of it, he did fail to do so in a few cases. There weren’t enough third-down passes to Pierre Garçon. Alfred Morris didn’t carry the ball enough. DeSean Jackson could have caught at least a few more deep passes. And Robert Griffin III was not on the move nearly enough.
Now, if you dig down you can find some mitigating circumstances. The Redskins were trailing by so much so often that the running game had to go out the window. Getting enough time to throw deep was often a dicey proposition. Griffin told ESPN 980 last week that he wasn’t healthy most of last year after suffering a dislocated ankle in Week 2 so his mobility may have been hampered.
But, regardless, there was no reason that an offense with that much talent at the skill positions should rank 26th in the NFL in scoring. Redskins fans should hope that Gruden learned on the job in his first year as a head coach and his first year working with these players. Armed with better knowledge of their strengths and weaknesses, Gruden should be able to devise better schemes to utilize their talents.
A couple of weeks ago I answered a question about Jay Gruden being on the hot seat and I said that Gruden didn’t need a particular number of wins in 2015 to survive and get a third season. But he has to move some things in a positive direction and taking advantage of skill players who are getting big paychecks (Jackson and Garçon) or that the team gave up a lot to obtain (Griffin) is high on the list.
—It’s been 36 days since the Redskins played a game. It will be about 223 days until they play another one.
—Days until: NFL Combine 16; NFL free agency starts 36; 2015 NFL Draft 87
If you have any questions about what's going on at Redskins Park, hit me up in the comments. And I'm always on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.
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