The Redskins signed two new wide receivers this week in Michael Floyd and Breshad Perriman, and while that might generate attention, those two players will not solve Washington's offensive funk.
For the Redskins pass game to improve, Alex Smith needs to increase his connections with Josh Doctson, Jamison Crowder and Paul Richardson. Despite poor statistics through two games, Smith sees the chemistry with his wideouts growing.
"I think it's hard looking at the numbers with these first two weeks just the defenses we played, the style that they've played necessarily hasn’t dictated a lot of balls going outside to those guys," Smith said Wednesday.
Smith is right that it's hard looking at the numbers.
Through two games, the Redskins top three receivers have combined for 18 catches and 173 yards. There are 11 players around the league with more than 200 yards receiving. Not teams, individual players.
It's definitely too early to discount the Redskins wideout crew, and Smith believes in his receivers.
"I feel really good about it. Those guys all work extremely hard. They're all crazy talented."
Talented or not, injuries could play a big role, too.
Redskins head coach Jay Gruden revealed Wednesday that Richardson underwent an MRI but that everything came back clear. The speedy wideout injured his AC joint on a diving catch attempt in Week 1, and Gruden suggested he might have tweaked his knee in the Week 2 loss to the Colts. Even with modest numbers of eight catches for 85 yards, Richardson is the team's leading receiver, and losing him for any game action would be a big blow to the offense.
Richardson did not practice on Wednesday but said in the locker room that his knee is fine, though the shoulder injury has continued to bother him.
Assuming Richardson can play Sunday, the top three wideouts need more production, and more opportunities.
"In hindsight, you're always kicking yourself," Smith said. "We could’ve done this, could’ve done that, I could’ve done this, things like that. What's tough in that game, it felt like you also wanted to tell yourself to stay patient."
The Redskins offense lacked big plays against Indianapolis, though had Doctson or Richardson been able to haul in two different passes it might have made a difference.
Going forward, the good news is Smith believes he can get things working well with the starting wideouts. The Redskins need that to happen.
"It's a process that never ends. You're constantly working at that. You don't know when that opportunity is going to present itself. I think all those things, it comes in bunches. You keep working. You never stop, no matter what," Smith said.
In Week 2, the 'Skins offense struggled to move the ball and did not score a single touchdown. That needs to be better.
"You just keep firing and you keep taking your shots when they're there and you don't think or dwell on the rest. I think you just kind of keep staying in the moment and focusing on what you have to do."
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