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OPEN THREAD: Blame Gruden for Griffin's injury?


OPEN THREAD: Blame Gruden for Griffin's injury?

Robert Griffin III sustained a number of brutal hits in a little more than a quarter of action Thursday night. To make matters worse, the beating came in a meaningless August preseason game, and resulted in an apparent injury. 

Because all things with RG3 become a referendum, some fans and pundits took to social media to blame Redskins coach Jay Gruden for letting Griffin take too many hits. That mindset, however, seems misguided. 

Griffin came into the second preseason game needing to show a command of Gruden's offense, and the only way to get that is game action. While the absence of Trent Williams on the offensive line looms very large, the remaining four players lined up in front of RG3 on Thursday were all presumed starters. Further, Detroit did not line up a roster of world beaters on their defensive line.


Griffin needed reps, and was playing behind 80 percent of the Redskins starting offensive line. The coach needs to see his starting quarterback work, and show the progress that has been talked about all summer against live competition. In three drives, Griffin and the offense showed little, so Gruden brought him out for a fourth chance. The coach explained his thought process:

“We weren’t doing that well on offense. I wanted to get something going," the coach said. "A lot of quarterbacks play into the second quarter in a pre-season game. Football is a tough sport. We wanted to get something going offensively. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out.”

RG3 produced a terrible stat line, throwing for just 8 yards on 2/5 passing. And the line play in front of him, particularly the right side combination of Morgan Moses and Brandon Scherff and left tackle Willie Smith, was poor. But Gruden was certainly within reason to want another drive from Griffin.

Sacks, and taking big hits, have become a problem for RG3 in recent years. It looked the same Thursday night. It's hard to decipher when the line also plays poorly, which it did, but neither Kirk Cousins or Colt McCoy took a sack once they entered the game. It also seemed that familiar problems of missing open receivers and holding the ball too long creeped up from Griffin. 

"I’m not going to lay any blame on the QB or the offensive line," Gruden said following the game. "It was not a very good performance for our first-team offense, to say the least. I think we had one first down in four drives and a turnover. We have a lot of work to do.”

Did Griffin take too many hits? Certainly. Was that Gruden's fault? Hardly.

Disagree? Should Gruden have pulled RG3? Let us know what you think in the comments. 

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Martavis Bryant could make sense for the Redskins, at the right price


Martavis Bryant could make sense for the Redskins, at the right price

A 2017 midseason trade for Martavis Bryant made no sense for the Redskins. A 2018 offseason trade for Martavis Bryant, however, might make sense for the Redskins. 

Bryant is on the trade block, per NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, and will be an intriguing prospect for receiver-needy teams across the NFL. In parts of three seasons with the Steelers, Bryant has 17 touchdowns and a 15.2 yards-per-reception average. 

A big play threat from any place on the field, Bryant would immediately make the Redskins receiving unit more athletic and explosive. 

It's not all good news with Bryant, though.

He was suspended for the entire 2016 season after repeated drug violations and caused some distraction for Pittsburgh during the 2017 season when he asked for a trade via social media. 


Is the talent enough to overcome the off-field distractions? Many would say it is. 

Last year, in just eight starts, Bryant grabbed 50 catches for more than 600 yards and three TDs. In their lone playoff loss to the Jaguars, Bryant caught two passes for 78 yards and a TD. 

Remember, too, the Steelers have an explosive offense, and Bryant is coupled with Antonio Brown on the receiver front along with Ben Roethlisberger at quarterback and Le'Veon Bell at running back. The Pittsburgh offense is loaded. 

Washington's offense is not nearly the prolific unit that the Steelers send out, but Jay Gruden does design a good offense. 

The real question surrounding any talk of trading for Bryant is the cost.

The Redskins are not in a position to send away any more draft picks this offseason after giving up a third-round pick, in addition to Kendall Fuller, to acquire Alex Smith. Bruce Allen and the Redskins front office need to improve their team in plenty of spots, and the team's draft picks are quite valuable. 

Bryant only has one year remaining on his rookie deal, and it's hard to balance that sort of short-term investment with the value of adding a rookie committed to the team for at least four years. Perhaps a late-round pick would make sense, but it would need to be a sixth-rounder. 

This could be one of those rare situations in the NFL where a player for player swap could work, though pulling that type of maneuver requires a lot of moving parts. 

Want more Redskins? Click here to follow JP on Facebook and check out @JPFinlayNBCS for live updates via Twitter! Click here for the #RedskinsTalk on Apple Podcastshere for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!

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Need to Know: The most overrated Redskins events of 2017

Usa Today Sports Images

Need to Know: The most overrated Redskins events of 2017

Here is what you need to know on this Friday, February 23, 19 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.

The overrated Redskin moments of 2017

Originally published 12/30/17

Sometimes in the NFL, something happens that grabs headlines and appears to be a momentous event that has ripple effects that will last all season and perhaps beyond. Other times something that is greeted with a yawn by fans and the media turns out to be something with lasting impact. Yesterday we looked at three events that were underrated at the time they happened. Here, in no particular order, are three overrated events from 2017.

Beating the Raiders—At the time, the Raiders were 2-0 and they still had the status of being one of the favorites to get to the Super Bowl. The Redskins whipped them 27-10 and the prevailing view was that the Redskins were on their way to a special year. But that loss started a four-game losing streak for the Raiders. They are currently riding a three-game skid and at 6-9 they are contenders for a top-10 draft pick, not for the Super Bowl. The win became less impressive for the Redskins as the year went on.

Signing Terrelle Pryor—There was plenty of excitement when the Redskins signed the Browns wide receiver, who had 1,000 receiving yards catching passes from a sub-mediocre group of quarterbacks in Cleveland. Imagine what he could do with a quality QB and a good offense around him. The hype grew when a fan captured him making this catch in training camp:

But the production was not there. In nine games before going on injured reserve with an ankle injury, Pryor caught 20 passes for 240 yards and a touchdown.

Su’a Cravens departure—There was a lot of concern about issues both on and off the field when Cravens abruptly let it be known to teammates that he intended to retire just after the Redskins finalized their 53-man roster on September 2. All offseason Cravens’ name had been written at the top of the depth chart at strong safety in Sharpie. When he walked away and was put on the Exempt/Left Squad list (and eventually on the Reserve/Left Squad list, ending his season), there was plenty of speculation about whether the organization botched the situation and, of more immediate importance, what would happen at safety without Cravens. We’re still not sure about what happened but Montae Nicholson and Deshazor Everett did a respectable job at safety.

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.


Days until:

—NFL Combine (3/1) 6
—NFL Draft (4/26) 62
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 198