The Redskins have their franchise quarterback signed, sealed, and delivered. Robert Griffin III is under their control for the next five years (the four-year deal plus a team option in the fifth year).So now what?Well, once they get RG3 enrolled in the 401k and health care plans, get his direct deposit information (unless hes going to drop off his 14 million signing bonus check at the drive-through at the bank like Chris Cooley did with his bonus check), and show him where he can park his Chrysler Pacifica, they need to get to work on finding out how to make himand the Redskins offensesuccessful.But how will the go about doing that? Doug Farrar on Yahoo.com says that the Redskins would do well to follow the lead of Rob Chudzinski. He is the Panthers offensive coordinator, the man most responsible for Cam Newton enjoying one of the best seasons a rookie NFL quarterback has ever had. What did Chudzinski do?Not only did Chudzinski set things up in ways that would allow Newton to make more traditional NFL plays from the pocket, but his willingness to weld the playbook Newton had at Auburn in 2010 showed impressive flexibility and open-mindedness that paid big dividends every Sunday in 2011."If you go back and look at the things we did offensively and the different types of passplays off of play-action, drop-back passes, it was then incorporating some of the spread offense that he was used to seeing," Panthers head coach Ron Rivera said at the 2012 scouting combine. "Our coaches went back and studied some of the Auburn things and looked at that and adapted that to our playbook."Mike and Kyle Shanahan may not go back and pull plays out of Baylors playbook, although we shouldnt completely discount the possibility. But there already are some things in the Redskins offense that Griffin should be able to run effectively.I think we can do some things that he feels very comfortable with, with our play action game, our boots, quarterback keeps that fit him perfectly and different things weve done through the years that would be very easy, that he could right now and not even think twice, Mike Shanahan said in May.The first part of the process of taking him through the paces wearing shorts and a helmet going up against teammates in shorts and helmets already took place in OTAs and minicamp. The next phase will start the third day of training camp when he and the rest of his teammates put on pads (no pads or contact are allowed in the first two days of training camp per the CBA). Griffin wont be taking any hits but the intensity does pick up when the hitting starts.After that, about three weeks from today, the RG3 edition of the playbook will put to the test against players in different-colored uniforms. The Buffalo Bills will be going all out to try to stop Griffin and will be planting their facemasks in his rib cage if the opportunity arises. If he runs, it wont be two-hand touch to get him down.There will be review of the film and some plays will be taken off of the active play list and others will be added on. The process will continue the next week in Chicago and then against the Colts and Bucs at FedEx Field. The intensity ticks up several more notches when the regular season starts in New Orleans on Sept. 9. Plays are in RG3s comfort zone may not be when hes not facing a defense resting several starters at the beginning of the game and has substituted out the rest of the first team after the first few series.And it wont end there. The process of adjusting and readjusting will continue through the season. RG3 and the Shanahans may find a sweet spot for a few weeks but then the defenses will adjust and plays that were working earlier in the year will have to be scrapped or modified.The plan is to get the offense moving well enough to improve on last years dismal scoring average of 18 points per game (26th in the NFL) and to get Griffins career off on the right foot. How successful they are in achieving the latter could go a long way towards determining the quarterbacks career track.Rich Tandler blogs about the Redskins at www.RealRedskins.com. You can reach him by email here and follow him on Twitter @Rich_Tandler.
Those who doubted the wisdom of the Redskins drafting a guard with the fifth overall pick in 2015 (yes, I was one of them) should be preparing to eat their words.
On draft day and during the two and a half years since then, there has been plenty of talk that the Redskins would regret taking Brandon Scherff, who played tackle in college but seemed destined to play guard in the NFL, so early. Not that anyone thought that Scherff would be a bad NFL player but given that they left DL Leonard Williams and edge rusher Vic Beasley on the board, he needed to develop into an All-Pro caliber guard to justify such a high pick.
Well, don’t look now but Scherff is making his way towards becoming one of the best guards in the game. Not just Pro Bowl good; he checked that box last year. Scherff could become the first Redskins position player to be named a first-team All-Pro since Darrell Green and Jim Lachey earned the honors in 1991.
MORE REDSKINS: MUST-SEE PHOTOS FROM REDSKINS 26, 49ERS 24
Asked about Scherff’s play this year, Jay Gruden was effusive in his praise.
He’s reacting. He’s anticipating. He’s pulling. He’s pass-blocking. He’s run-blocking. He’s double teaming. He’s doing everything you want him to do out in screens, out in space. He’s the best guard out in space by far in this league. It’s fun to watch him.
You can listen to Gruden’s full comments on Scherff in the video above.
Gruden is not exactly an unbiased observer. But other, more neutral analysts also have been heaping praise on Scherff.
An article on Pro Football Focus said that Scherff had an “elite” game against the 49ers, not allowing any pass rush pressures and dominating as a run blocker.
Two other analysts clipped some plays from the 49ers game to illustrate just how well he was playing.
This one from Brian Baldinger of the NFL Network shows one play, the 49-yard screen pass to Chris Thompson on which Scherff threw a key block.
I’m not sure what the scouting credentials Brandon Thorn has but he did put together a nice collection of clips of Scherff making quality blocks both in space and in the interior vs. the 49ers.
Will Scherff earn All-Pro honors? That could depend on how well the team does. While the All-Pro teams are supposed to be individual honors, it’s tough for an offensive lineman to get many votes if he’s not on a winning team, especially one like Scherff who would be trying to break into the club for the first time.
But the Redskins are not really worried about All-Pro votes. If he keeps playing the way he’s playing and he gets no such consideration it will be fine with them.
Here is what you need to know on this Friday, October 20, three days before the Washington Redskins visit the Philadelphia Eagles for Monday night football.
Today’s schedule: Practice 1 p.m.; Jay Gruden and Greg Manusky news conferences, open locker room, after practice approx. 3 p.m.
—Cowboys @ Redskins (10/29) 9
—Redskins @ Seahawks (11/5) 16
—Giants @ Redskins Thanksgiving (11/23) 34
Injuries of note:
Not practicing: OT Trent Williams (knee), OT Ty Nsekhe (core muscle)
Limited: CB Josh Norman (rib), CB Bashaud Breeland (knee), S Deshazor Everett (hamstring), RB Rob Kelley (ankle), OLB Ryan Anderson (back), S Stefan McClure (knee). OL Tyler Catalina (concussion protocol).
It was encouraging that Breeland and Norman practiced although Jay Gruden noted that they both took place only in individual drills. See the full injury report here.
First look at Redskins vs Eagles
Number that pops out—LeGarrette Blount, who had a career average of 4.4 yards per carry coming into the year, is averaging 5.6 yards per carry, fourth in the NFL. Not bad for a guy who is supposed to be a lumbering power back. The key to stopping him is the same as it always has been, getting the north-south runner to go east-west. The Redskins did a solid job against him in Week 1, limiting him to a 3.3-yard average on his 14 carries.
The clutch gene?—Carson Wentz is the MVP favorite right now and the thing is that his stats are very good but not very impressive. He ranks 10th in net yards per attempt, 25th in completion percentage, eighth in yards per game, and seventh in passer rating. But he gets it done when it counts. Seven of his 16 touchdown passes have come on third down. His passer rating of 130 on third down is 10 points better than the second-best in that category, a guy named Tom Brady. As a result, the Eagles get first downs on 53 percent of their third-down passes, also best in the league.
Third down passing the key—The Redskins allow conversions on 35.7 percent of third-down passes, 16th in the NFL. If this game ends up with third downs near the Redskins’ season performance they will be in good shape. If the Eagles convert half of their third downs or more, the visitors will be in trouble.
Protecting Kirk Cousins—The Eagles have 14 sacks on the year. They got four against the Redskins in the season opener so they have 10 in their five games since. Their leading sacker is Brandon Graham, who has four on the season. Two of those came in the opener so he has two in the other five games. He will again be lined up against Morgan Moses, who had one of his worst games since becoming a starter against Philly. If Moses plays as well as he has since Week 1 Cousins could have time to have one of his usual big games against the Eagles.
Yes, Ertz is a pain— This is kind of hard to believe but Zach Ertz, who has been in the league since 2013, is third all-time in tight end receptions against the Redskins with 54. He’s behind only Jason Witten and Jackie Smith and ahead of Jeremy Shockey, Mark Bavaro, and Jay Novaeck. Ertz has played nine games against Washington; Witten has played 28 and Smith played 27. So if it seems like Ertz is always a thorn in the Redskins’ side, it’s because he is.
Potpourri: Wentz is the Eagles’ second-leading rusher with 133 yards on 32 carries . . . The Eagles have the third-best special teams DVOA in the league. On punt returns, they are averaging 16 yards per and giving up an average of 5.6 yards. That’s a lot of hidden field position.
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From the locker room
Josh Norman talking about how it felt when he put some stress on his broken rib during practice on Thursday.Posted by Rich Tandler on Thursday, October 19, 2017
In case you missed it
- Maybe the D isn't as banged up as we thought
- What will the Redskins do after Allen's injury?
- Redskins practice from the sideline
- Francis added to roster ahead of MNF vs. Eagles
- Four things we learned about Kirk Cousins