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Offense continues to roll

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Offense continues to roll

By Tarik El-Bashir
CSNwashington.comOffenseGrade vs. Buccaneers: A-Comment: The 24 points Robert Griffin III and the Redskins offense amassed vs. the Buccaneers represented the fewest theyve scored this season. But it also could be argued that the unit would have put up 30 had kicker Billy Cundiff connected from 41 and 31 yards.Either way, the offense is the primary reason the Redskins own a 2-2 record at the quarter mark of the 2012 campaign. The unit amassed 474 yards of total offense in Sundays 24-22 victory in Tampa, marking the second time in four games they've surpassed 400 yards. (It happened only three times all last season).And theyve got two rookies to thank for it.Griffin had his best game as a professional, Coach Mike Shanahan said Monday, and Alfred Morris eclipsed the century mark for the first time.In fact, the two most important plays of the game were provided by the first-year standouts. (They are the first rookie teammates to each rush for four touchdowns in their teams first four games, according to Elias Sports Bureau. They're also tied for the league-lead in rushing touchdowns.)Morris 39-yard touchdown run in the second quarter showcased the one-cut-and-up-the-field style that has made him so successful in Shanahans zone blocking scheme. After taking a handoff from Griffin, Morris hit the hole left tackle Trent Williams had opened, cut back hard, then burst into the secondary. Williams' block, meantime, highlighted a strong performance by the offensive line.With 113 yards on 21 attempts (5.4 yards per) against the Bucs, Morris joinedLarry Brown (1972), John Riggins (83), George Rogers (86), Earnest Byner (91) and Terry Allen (96) as the only Redskins backs since the 1970 merger to record at least 75 yards in each of the first four weeks of a season, according to the team.As we talk about each week, he can make the first person miss, which a lot of people cant do in the National Football League, Shanahan said Monday. Hes extremely tough. Hes very smart no nonsense type mindset that hes going to go out there and try to prove himself every week. Hes one of those type of guys that you love to cheer for because hes all business.Griffin didnt pass for a touchdown, but he rushed for one and directed the game-winning drive without the assistance of a functioning headset in his helmet. Facing a second and six and the clock winding down, Griffin took a snap in the shotgun, quickly surveyed the field, then sprinted 15 yards up the middle to the Tampa Bay 26 yard line to help set up Cundiffs winning kick.Griffin posted career highs for completions (26), attempts (39) and yards passing (323). Hes also now ranked fourth in the NFL in passer rating (103.2).On Monday, veteran wide receiver Santana Moss said the team must guard against relying so much on Griffins ability to make something out of nothing. But Moss quickly added that its nice to know Griffin can.I thought he played his best game of the year yesterday, Shanahan said. I thought he handled himself extremely well. He made some plays that you always want a quarterback to make. A lot of times, they cant make those plays this early in their career. Im talking about the two-minute drive, some play action passes, quarterback keeps that I thought were exceptional.Exceptional, indeed.

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New free agent Doug Martin unlikely fix to Redskins' woeful run game

New free agent Doug Martin unlikely fix to Redskins' woeful run game

News broke Tuesday that the Tampa Bay Bucaneers released former Pro Bowl running back Doug Martin, and while the name certainly triggers value, his play of the last two seasons should calm the excitement. 

Since a 2015 season where Martin rushed for 1,400 yards and averaged nearly 5 yards-per-carry in 16 games, Martin has been suspended, undergone substance abuse rehab and missed games due to injury.

In the last two seasons, Martin has played in 16 of 32 games, rushed for 827 yards and averaged less than 3 yards-per-carry.

Over his six year NFL career with the Bucs, Martin has only played two full seasons. Those two seasons were great, in 2012 and 2015, but the other four have been largely disappointing. 

RELATED: WHAT SHOULD THE REDSKINS DO AT RUNNING BACK?

The Redskins averaged just 3.6 yards-per-carry last season, and could definitely use a boost in the run game. It's entirely possible Washington might look to upgrade their offensive backfield this offseason, either in free agency or in the 2018 NFL Draft, but Martin does not look like the player to help. 

Early in the 2017 season, it appeared the Redskins run game might be a strength for the offense. After a disappointing effort on the ground to open the year in a loss to the Eagles, the Redskins rushed for at least 111 yards in their next three contests, including nearly 230 yards on the ground in a Week 2 win over the Rams. 

Injuries undid the run game, however, as Rob Kelley got hurt and the offensive line lost players, too. Over the course of the season, rookie Samaje Perine sustained minor injuries and Chris Thompson was lost for the year with a broken leg. 

Going into 2018, Kelley, Perine, Thompson and Kapri Bibbs are all on the roster and expected for now to stay with the team. That's yet another reason why the Redskins are likely to stay away from Doug Martin.

RELATED: 2018 NFL MOCK DRAFT 5.0

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Need to Know: Redskins' Junior Galette will be a valued free agent

Need to Know: Redskins' Junior Galette will be a valued free agent

Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, February 20, 22 days before NFL free agency starts.

I’m out this week so I’ll be re-posting some of the best and most popular articles of the past few months. Some may have slightly dated information but the major points in the posts still stand. Thanks for reading, as always.

Galette to be a valued free agent

Originally published 12/13/17

Like the Redskins, the Broncos are no longer relevant in 2017. Both teams’ fan bases have started to look towards the coming offseason.

To give their readers what they want, the Denver Post published an article by Mike Renner of Pro Football Focus that discussed some of the top pending free agents who have done the most to increase their values in the past year. There were two Redskins named, one you would expect to see on such a list and one that might surprise some people.

Kirk Cousins is at the top of the list. “The Washington signal-caller is grading as a top-10 quarterback (82.8), and soon he’ll have the long-term contract of one,” Renner wrote. “Only this time its value will be exponentially higher than any one he would have signed back when he first became a free agent in 2016.”

But the surprising name is that of Junior Galette. After missing the last two seasons with two torn Achilles tendons, he played this year on a one-year, $800,000 deal. And while he hasn’t been on fire in the sack department with just two on the year, he has been getting pressure on the passer.

“He’s accumulated the 27th-highest pass-rushing grade of any edge defender this season, but in only 264 snaps,” wrote Renner. “At 29 years of age, it’s doubtful he ever gets back to the level of the contract that he once had on the table with New Orleans. With how he’s played this season though, some pass-rush-needy team will pay handsomely for his services.”

One team that could be considered to be pass rush needy is the Redskins. Preston Smith is the starter and supposedly one of the Redskins’ top pass rushers. But in 100 fewer pass rush snaps this year, Galette has only three fewer quarterback hits than Smith and six more hurries.

And after missing those two seasons, Galette has remained healthy. Although he was limited with a hamstring during much of the preseason, he has not missed a practice or appeared on an injury report this year.

But would the Redskins be willing to pay him “handsomely”? Perhaps a good comp would be Connor Barwin, who moved from the Eagles to the Rams this past offseason at the age of 31. He had five sacks in Philly in 2016. That got him a one-year deal worth $3.5 million.

Barwin likely will have more sacks on his ledger going into free agency so let’s say Galette could command around $3 million. Perhaps he could offer Washington a bit of a hometown discount and agree to something in the $2.75 million range. If that is the case, the Redskins would be smart to keep him around for another year.

Plenty of things could alter the equation. If Galette gets hot in the last three games and posts a few more sacks his price could rise. With Smith and Ryan Kerrigan both back next year, perhaps Galette will want to go somewhere that he might get more playing time.

The details need to be sorted out but don’t be surprised if Galette gets a lot of attention in free agency, as much as teams need pass rush, and if the Redskins have to make a very tough decision about how much he is worth.

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

Timeline  

Days until:

—NFL Combine (3/1) 9
—NFL Draft (4/26) 65
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 201