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RG3, Redskins had Vikings defenders confused

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RG3, Redskins had Vikings defenders confused

If you’re not watching Turning Point on NBC Sports Network on Wednesday evenings, you’re missing out. Earlier this year they had an outstanding look at the Redskins’ loss to the Bengals and this week a segment of the show was devoted to the Redskins-Vikings contest.

The featured turning point moment was, of course, Robert Griffin III’s 76-yard touchdown run that clinched the game late in the fourth quarter. It seems that FOX had only one camera view of the play and this production gives some different looks from NFL Films.

The view from the end zone showed the two blitzing linebackers, Chad Greenway and Jasper Brinkley, both going to the left of Will Montgomery. The hole opened up for Griffin almost immediately and it became wider as Montgomery drove Greenway to the right and Evan Royster took out Brinkley.

Griffin didn’t even look to his hot receiver, Santana Moss, over to the left.

On the sideline, Griffin walked his teammates through the play.

“I saw the double A-gap blitz and I said [should I throw to the] hot? Or, wait, I see a hole. They hit it wrong. If they would have hit it right they probably would have gotten me unless I went hot. But they hit it wrong, I saw a hole I was like,” and he motioned his arm to show cutting through the defense.

The segment also captures some more sideline conversation that was quite interesting. One unidentified defender is talking to a coach on the bench. “I don’t know. I mean, I’m lost right now,” he says. “Especially on the pass.”

 In the first half, the Redskins were throwing a lot of play action passes. The Redskins were lining up with as many as three backs plus the quarterback and the threat of Alfred Morris or Griffin running opened up the middle of the field, which is where seven of RG3’s first 10 completions went.

On the sideline, the Vikings’ Jared Allen discussed making an adjustment. “If we get that [three-back] look in the backfield again, I’m going straight pass. Every time they’re doing play action . . . I’m going straight up the field.”

But the Redskins anticipated the Vikings’ adjustment. They ran on 10 of their next 12 plays. When they ran out of the three-back alignment Allen did go straight up the field a couple of times and the Redskins ran past him or away from him.

The Redskins’ opening drive ended with Griffin scoring on a quarterback draw from seven yards out, giving the Redskins a 24-9 lead. They lined up in a one-back set and as Griffin dropped back, Trent Williams stayed between him and Allen, who was going hard after the quarterback. Morris got enough of a chip on a linebacker at about the five yard line to give RG3 enough room to dive into the end zone.

That play would have stood on its own as a highlight if not for what happened a little while later.

Update: You can see the segment here.

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

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USA TODAY Sports

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. 

MORE: CAN YOU GUESS THESE REDSKINS BASED ON THEIR COMBINE NUMBERS?

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. 

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Need to Know: The most overrated Redskins events of 2017

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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 Facebook.com/TandlerNBCS and follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.

Timeline  

Days until:

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