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OPEN THREAD: What does RG3-catered offense mean?

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OPEN THREAD: What does RG3-catered offense mean?

In 2012 Robert Griffin III and the Redskins revolutionized NFL offenses, hitting defenses with more read option than previously seen in the professional ranks, and in turn, Griffin turned in an all-time great statistical performance. In 15 games, RG3 accounted for 3,200 passing yards, 20 touchdowns and just five interceptions to go along with more than 800 yards rushing and another seven TDs. The numbers seemed like video games, and RG3 produced so many highlights it propelled him into the celebrity stratosphere. 

In the two seasons since, Griffin has not looked the same, whether a result of a host of injuries or defenses adapting. His numbers have declined across the board, most drastically in rushing yards, while turnovers have increased. A coaching change after his second season also didn't help.

Now, with the Redskins showing their commitment to Griffin by picking up his fifth year option last month, and Griffin in his second year running coach Jay Gruden's offense, the QB seems optimistic about getting back to a high level of play. In particular, RG3 seems excited about an offense tailored to his skills.

MORE 'SKINS: GRUDEN FEELS A DIFFERENT VIBE 

"I look forward to playing football to the best of my ability, and the best of our team’s ability. Coach is going to put us in situations to help us succeed. That’s what it’s about. What we do well is what we’re going to do," Griffin said Monday.

The question, however, is what do the Redskins and RG3 do well?

When Griffin was at his best, the Redskins were a run first team that relied often on the read option. The threat of RG3 taking off with the football forced defenses to stack the box and gave the quarterback open receivers on simple routes out of play action.  As the injuries piled up, and perhaps Griffin grew more weary of running with the ball, the offense stagnated. Some problems emerged as Griffin tried to become more of a classic pocket passer, whether that show in poor decision making, a hesitancy to release the ball or problems reading of the defense. 

Can Griffin improve in those areas? Absolutely. Will Brandon Scherff help along the offensive line to provide Griffin more time in the pocket? That's the plan. 

But even if both those things happen, what does an offense designed for Griffin to succeed look like? Does the read option still have a role? Will Gruden implement the play action and bootleg calls that Griffin had so much success with as a rookie? 

Let us know what you think in the comments. 

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Need to Know: Five pivotal games on the Redskins' schedule

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Need to Know: Five pivotal games on the Redskins' schedule

Here is what you need to know on this Friday, April 20, six days before the 2018 NFL draft.  

Five pivotal games on the Redskins’ schedule

All NFL games are important but some seem to be a little more important than others. At first glance at the Redskins’ schedule, these seem to be the five most pivotal games. 

Week 1 @Cardinals—Wait, Week 1 is pivotal? It is if you’re Jay Gruden and you are 0-4 in season openers. Starting off in an 0-1 hole again after losing a winnable game would not get things off to a positive start. 

Week 7 Cowboys—The only Redskins-Cowboys game that Kirk Cousins started in the last three years that Washington won was the 2015 season finale in Dallas, a game that was meaningless to both teams. Alex Smith needs to take advantage of his shot at the Cowboys. Beating Dallas is important for being competitive in the division and for job security in general. This is their shot at them at home.

Week 9 Falcons—Atlanta has been among the league’s big boys the last couple of years. The Redskins get them at home, on grass, when the weather could be turning a little bit chilly. It’s a good opportunity to upset a dome team. The game also ends the first part of the season and the Redskins face a second half of the schedule that has just three home games. 

Week 14 Giants—This is one of the aforementioned scarce home games in the latter part of the season. It’s preceded by road games in Dallas (9-7 last year) and Philadelphia (Super Bowl champs) and followed by roadies in Jacksonville (lost AFC title game) and Tennessee (won a playoff game). Nobody is quite sure to what extent the Giants will rebound from their dismal 2017 season but this game has the feel of a possible oasis surrounded by hostile deserts. 

Week 16 @Titans—If the Redskins are in playoff contention, this game will determine a lot even though its non-conference. As noted, the Titans are looking to improve on their playoff season last year and they will not be a pushover by any stretch. But if the Redskins want to be able to say that they are a better team than they have been the last couple of years, this is the kind of game they should win. 

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.

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Timeline  

Days until:

—OTAs start (5/22) 32
—Training camp starts (7/26) 97
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 142

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The 2018 NFL schedule is here, but we still don't really know anything

The 2018 NFL schedule is here, but we still don't really know anything

The NFL dropped the Redskins' 2018 regular-season schedule on Thursday and you will not have to wait long for pundits and fans alike to begin predicting team’s season-long win-loss record. 

It’s a fun exercise, and something the football world enjoys doing. Myself included. 

But don’t read much -- if anything -- into the schedule right now. 

Every year, some teams look mighty in the offseason only to fall apart in the regular season. 

Need an example? Many predicted the Giants to be the beasts of the NFC East in 2017, and the Eagles to finish last in the NFC East. What actually happened? The Giants finished 3-13 and the Eagles won the Super Bowl. 

The NFL cannot be predicted year to year. It can hardly be predicted week to week. 

Last season, two December home games against the Broncos and Cardinals looked very daunting when the schedule came out. Instead, that was a two-game win streak. 

Enjoy the schedule release. It’s a fun time to guess what will happen in 2018.

But remember, once the games start, anything can happen. 

(For the record: My prediction is 9-7.)

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