Last week Rich Tandler posted a series of tweets from NFL writer Evan Silva after the Pro Football Talk and Rotoworldmaven reviewed Leonard Hankerson's game tape fromlast season.Silva kept the analyst hat on and the film projector (OK, probably a DVD or laptop) humming as he looked at two of Pierre Garcon'sgames fromlast season.Silva chose specifically tough matchups against the Chiefs talented young corners - including new Cowboys' addition Brandon Carr - and the Titans. Garcon finished with a season-high 13 targets againstTennessee' solid secondary. The highlights..."Garcon was Indianapolis' Z receiver on every snap, with Reggie Wayne aligned at X. Garcon lined up on the right side of the offensive formation, routinely squaring off with Chiefs LCB Flowers in the Week 5 matchup and Titans LCB Jason McCourty in the Tennessee game.""Garcon is fun to watch on screens because he is very quick in a short area and tough to tackle post-catch. The fact that a coaching staff is calling a screen for a particular receiver also suggests that wideout has an elite evaluation from his own team. The coaches have designed a specific play to get him the football. They want it in that guy's hands, because he can make big plays happen.""Looking ahead, I think it's notable that Garcon will transition from Z receiver in the Colts' offense to X in Washington's. The positions aren't all that different, though. As we learned in the Leonard Hankerson column, the Shanahans' X receiver has a vast array of route assignments and is the featured skill-position player in the offensive scheme." "If Garcon performs like he's capable, I have no doubt that he will lead the Redskins in 2012 receiving. Garcon plays with a sense of urgency whenever he gets the football, flashes vertical tools on the perimeter, and is a very tough tackle."Just how much 2012 production Garcon cobbles together will be strongly tied to Robert Griffin III's readiness as a rookie passer."Interesting points. In addition to RG3's readiness, I would ad Garcon's adjustment to the Shanahansystem and Santana Moss' role will also factor into the new guy's 2012 production.
The NFL is not eliminating kickoffs altogether for the 2018 season. But at the NFL spring meetings in Atlanta, Ga., owners did agree to make significant changes to the third phase of football.
The NFL's new kickoff rules begin with having five players on each side of the ball (previously they could line up six on one side). Also, they cannot line up more than 1-yard from the restraining line, which is the line where the ball is placed on the tee. This prohibits the kickoff team from getting a running start downfield.
At least two players must be lined up outside the yard-line numbers and at least two players lined up between the numbers and the hash mark. In years past, three players had to be lined up outside the inbounds line with one outside the yard-line number. At least eight players need to be in the 15-yard "setup zone," leaving three players outside of the "setup zone." Before, all kickoff return players had to be behind their restraining line. These changes will place players closer to where the ball is kicked in order to reduce speed and the amount of space on the play.
Wedge blocks are no longer allowed. Players who were initially lined up in the "setup zone" are the only ones who can now come together for a double-team block. In the past, only 2-man wedge blocks were allowed and could take place on the field anywhere. The purpose of this change is to limit the possible blocking schemes by the kickoff return team.
No player on the receiving side of the ball can cross the restraining line or block in the 15-yard area from the kicking team's restraining line until the ball is touched or hits the ground. Before, the receiving team could move past their restraining line and block as soon as the ball was kicked. This change gets rid of the "jump-set/attack" block.
Finally, a ball will be considered dead if it's not touched by the receiving team and touches the ground in the end zone. In the past, the ball was dead once it was downed in the end zone by the receiving team. This change means there's no requirement for the kickoff returner to down the ball in the end-zone.
If that was a lot to dissect, check out the video below.
Following today’s vote at the @NFL Spring League Meetings, here’s everything you need to know about the new kickoff rules for the upcoming 2018 season. The rule will be reevaluated next offseason. pic.twitter.com/YubLyMBR4g— NFL Football Operations (@NFLFootballOps) May 22, 2018
In addition to new kickoff rules, ejections are now reviewable. In March, a rule passed that officials can make an ejection after a replay, but not they can also undo an ejection after a replay.
The league also adjusted the official language for Use of a Helmet rule.
MORE REDSKINS NEWS:
Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, May 23, 65 days before the Washington Redskins start training camp.
What to look for at OTAs
Redskins OTAs started yesterday. The no-contact drills are the first time during the offseason program that the offense and defense are permitted to line up against each other. The-no pads aspect of it does take off a lot of the edge but the reality is that this will be the closest thing to football we will see until training camp starts in late July.
Here are some things that I will be looking for during today’s practice.
Who’s in? Jay Gruden told us earlier that we should expect to see some injured key players not participating as they continue to recover from 2017 injuries. Specifically, OT Trent Williams (knee), OT Morgan Moses (ankles), and TE Jordan Reed (hamstring/toe) will only be spectators if they are at Redskins Park at all. Other players who may sit out or participate only in light drills are RB Chris Thompson (leg), and ILB Mason Foster (shoulder). The Redskins have been relatively healthy the past few offseasons so we will see how they deal with the aftermath of the injury scourge that hit the team last year.
Seven-on-seven—Sure, it’s fun to watch the full team drills with 11 on each side but since blocking and tackling is limited by the rules about contact, there isn’t much to be gleaned from watching an off-tackle run. But when they eliminate the guards, tackles, and interior defensive linemen it’s all passing and then we can watch how well Alex Smith and his receivers are connecting. One thing I’ll keep in mind is that Smith decided not to get the receivers together for a “passing camp” before the offseason activities started. He said that he wanted to get to know the playbook first. Because of that they can be forgiven if they are not quite as sharp as they might be. Also, how natural does Derrius Guice look coming out of the backfield to catch passes? His primary job will be to carry the ball, but if he is a legitimate pass-catching threat, the whole offense will be harder to defend.
Rookies vs. pros—In rookie camp two weeks ago we saw Trey Quinn putting defensive backs on the ground with some moves and Troy Apke showing great makeup speed on some long passes. But those tryout defensive backs and quarterbacks are no longer around. How will Quinn look against veteran Orlando Scandrick or second-year corner Josh Holsey? Will Smith’s ball placement negate Apke’s speed? In the one-on-one pass blocking drills, which emphasize technique over power, can Daron Payne get past Brandon Scherff?
The big guys—With Williams and Moses out, who will line up along the offensive line? Does Payne line up at nose tackle or is he used more as an end with Tim Settle in the middle? Is Ziggy Hood in the middle or will he work outside? How is Phil Taylor looking after a quad injury ended his season in training camp? As noted, the rules make it hard to tell much about linemen before Richmond but we try to glean what we can.
Tandler on Twitter
My reaction to this tweet from the NFL illustrating the changes to the kickoff rules:
No running start favors return team. No wedge blocks and the no blocks zone favor the kicking team. Will be interesting to see how it all adds up. https://t.co/mDZ1lXW6sU— Rich Tandler (@TandlerNBCS) May 22, 2018
Today’s schedule:Redskins OTA practice 11:30; Jay Gruden and Alex Smith press conferences, players available coming off the field, after practice, approx. 1:30
—Minicamp (6/12) 20
—Training camp starts (7/26) 65
—Preseason opener @ Patriots (8/9) 79
The Redskins last played a game 143 days ago. They will open the 2018 NFL season at the Cardinals in 109 days.
In case you missed it
- Pre-OTAs Redskins player one-liners, defense
- Redskins' Kouandjio likely out for the season
- Derrius Guice treats a bunch of Redskins fans to a movie