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Jay Gruden believes Redskins pass game, Alex Smith are close to breakthrough

Jay Gruden believes Redskins pass game, Alex Smith are close to breakthrough

Football coaches love to talk about all three phases of the game: offense, defense and special teams.

Well, for the Redskins, two of those three phases are performing at an elite level. Watch the last few games, and it's easy to tell which facet isn't performing like the others. 

The Redskins defense hasn't given up more than 17 points in the last three weeks, and has been incredible against the run. On special teams, Tress Way and Washington's punt coverage unit has been among the league's best at establishing advantages in field position. 

Offensively, however, it's been a slog. 

Adrian Peterson continues to impress, piling up nearly 150 rush yards in New York and 345 yards in the last three games. But that's it as far as the offense goes. Alex Smith has passed for fewer than 190 yards in each of the least three games, and is completing less than 60 percent of his passes in that time. 

Still, Redskins head coach Jay Gruden remains confident Smith will get the passing attack going.

"We are close, we missed some opportunities of course but we're going to get there," Gruden said Monday. "I think it’s just a matter of it being a missed throw here or there, might be a poor route maybe, might be a protection issue just a little, we're just not quite in full sync right now at this time."

This would be a good week for the Redskins to get in sync. 

Atlanta comes to town this weekend with a high-powered offense. The Falcons throw the ball well with a Top 3 passing offense and elite playmakers like Matt Ryan and Julio Jones. 

For a few weeks now, the Burgundy and Gold defense has suffocated run-first offenses, but the challenge will be different against Atlanta. 

It would certainly help if the Redskins offense could post some points. 

"We understand that Atlanta has got a powerful offense and great weapons," Gruden said. "We don’t ever anticipate a team coming in here and scoring a lot of points or, ‘Hey, it's going to be a shootout this week.’ We anticipate our defense playing extremely well and offensively sticking with our plan."

Offensively, the plan will look much better with more effective play in the pass game. 

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Dwayne Haskins wants the Redskins to draft another Buckeye wide receiver

Dwayne Haskins wants the Redskins to draft another Buckeye wide receiver

The Redskins recruiting coordinator and quarterback Dwayne Haskins wants to reunite with another one of his former Buckeye teammates in the NFL.

On Thursday, Haskins quote tweeted a video of WR K.J. Hill's highlights at the Senior Bowl with the caption "Need em."

After a back-and-forth, the Redskins' first-round draft pick sealed his approval on the draft prospect by tagging the Redskins' team account. 

K.J. Hill overlapped with Haskins for two years with the Ohio State Buckeyes. During Haskins' final year in Columbus, Hill was the No. 2 receiver with 70 receptions for 885 yards and six touchdowns. 

There was a small dip in production for Hill after Haskins left for the NFL, however, he became a bigger red zone target with 10 touchdowns. 

If the Redskins decided to adhere to their QB's requests, he would not be the only former pass-catching Buckeye to wear the Burgandy and Gold. Third-round draft pick Terry McLaurin was also on the 2018 Ohio State squad before making the move to the NFL.

Hill is just the latest player to be endorsed by Haskins since he became the Redskins starter.  Haskins has tweeted support for the Redskins to bring on Chad Johnson as a wide receiving coach, to draft Chase Young with the No. 2 overall pick, and to sign free agent WR Antonio Brown

Additionally, he understandably asked Trent Williams to come back to protect him on the offensive line after Bruce Allen was removed. 

Could the Redskins go and get another Buckeye in the draft?

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Redskins' Tress Way on his Pro Bowl experience: 'I did not realize it was this fun'

Redskins' Tress Way on his Pro Bowl experience: 'I did not realize it was this fun'

The Redskins may just have one Pro Bowler, but punter Tress Way is having an incredible time in Miami thus far.

The second-team All-Pro recipient has been in Orlando for less than 48 hours, but has quickly realized just how fun the week of the NFL's all-star game truly is.

"This sounds funny, but I did not realize it was this fun," Way told Redskins.com's Gabe Henderson on Wednesday on how his week has been thus far.

One of the punter's favorite parts of the week thus far was the basketball shoot-off Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll organized.

"Coach [Pete] Carroll had a shoot-off, had a basketball goal set up and a free throw line," Way said. "He kept calling offensive and defensive guys to come shoot for 30 seconds, and whoever made the most won. The place was going nuts. We had a quick meeting, came out here and did a glorified walkthrough, blasting music, dancing, throwing the ball around. It's seriously so fun, and it's just getting started."

Way, a first-time Pro Bowler, is not enjoying the experience by himself. Several family members made the trek down to Orlando to support the 29-year-old.

"I'm so thankful. This is so awesome," he said. "My whole family is here. I got more family coming. It is definitely surreal."

But perhaps the part Way is looking forward to the most is how he's planning on spending his Thursday evening. 

Way and his family are planning on spending the night at Harry Potter World. The punter never got into the series, much to his mother and little brother's dismay, but plans on going all-in when he arrives.

"I plan on learning all the spells, picking up a custom wand, and having a couple butter beers," Way said. "Really just embarrassing my wife, that's the main goal here. I will be the Master of Death; I will have all three deathly hollows by the time I leave, and pretty much just nerding out the entire night."

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