The statistical-minded folks over at the football website ProFootballFocus are always coming up with new formulas to help quantify what's taking place on the gridiron and in the fantasy football world. The latest newfangled equation from PFF writer Bryan Fontaine is named for a former Redskins wide receiver - and indicates a potential breakout season for one of the current options (here's a hint - the tall one)The "Lloyd Factor" named after Brandon Lloyd, came to be after the receiver in 2010 went from NFL afterthought to dominant force. After totaling59 receptions between 2006 (his first season in Washington) and 2009, Lloyd exploded for 77-148-11 with the Broncos. What accounted for the dramatic turnaround? Redskins nation surely ponderedthat question after watching his two uber-frustrating seasons in Washington.Obviously, on a basic level, Lloyd simply had tons more targets. That helps.What Fontaine sought to uncover was whether Lloyd's breakout campaign couldhave been predicted. The answer, yes, along with those authored by the likes of Stevie Johnson and Lance Moore. The essence of the discovery: forgettotal stats, but rather focus on per play production."What is more important is how efficient a wide receiver is on a per play basis and if they can make the most of a limited number of targets. With the benefit of our exclusive data, we can go beyond the box score to see detailed snap data and identify players who were targeted frequently when on the field and produced fantasy points when given the opportunity."Which brings us to one Leonard Hankerson, the Redskins third round pick in 2011. During his rookie campaign the 6-foot-2 targetstruggled, sat and eventually wound up injured, missing the bulk ofthe final two months. In between there were two rather glorious weeks as Hankerson appeared proficient and at times dominant, including his eight receptions for 106 yards outing against the Dolphins. It's those two weeks that caught the attention of Fontainte's "Lloyd Factor"."After seeing just 12 snaps in Weeks 7 and 8 combined, Hankerson played in 91 of the total snaps in Weeks 9 and 10 before a hip injury ended his rookie season. Hankerson was impressive in his two starts, totaling 12 receptions on 15 targets for 140 yards. He now faces a crowded depth chart with the additions of Josh Morgan and Pierre Garcon and a resurgent Santana Moss. Garcon is projected as one starter (93 at RWR the last three years with Colts), with an open competition for the other spot. There is a good chance Hankerson could win the other spot at split end as a featured player. He has the size, speed and hands to be a No. 1 wide receiver in time."If a breakout season for Hankerson is truly in the cards, Lloyd's tangential contribution would be his most significant involving the Redskins. Better late than never.
Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the Redskins offseason thus far comes from the lack of change. Bruce Allen, Jay Gruden, Greg Manusky are all coming back.
One name that is less certain, and is widely loved, is defensive line coach Jim Tomsula.
For Tomsula, there is no pressure on him to perform better. His work in developing Jonathan Allen, Daron Payne, Matt Ioannidis and Tim Settle probably ranks as the most impressive on the team.
"Jim [Tomsula] is definitely my favorite coach I've ever had," Redskins defensive tackle Jonathan Allen said this week. "I don’t really count [University of Alabama] Coach [Nick] Saban because he wasn’t my position coach, but as a position coach, love Jim Tom."
The Alabama product's comments came during a charity even at National Children's Hospital, and they came during an interesting time for the Redskins defense. The organization spoke with a number of highly sought after defensive coordinator candidates in the last few weeks, but stuck with Manusky at the position. The team claimed, through an unnamed source in a Washington Post article, that the meetings were just to gain different perspectives. Interesting.
Now that Manuksy is back, however, the future for Tomsula becomes one of the biggest questions for the club.
It sounds like Allen is prepared for any outcome.
"I don’t know if he will be back. I would love to have him back but he has a family, definitely he’s a big family guy and his family is in Florida," Allen said. "I can completely understand his reasons for not coming back."
Any conversation with Tomsula always centers around family. He's one of the few coaches that remembers reporters' kids' ages and often asks about them. It's a genuine thing for Tomsula, and it's impressive.
He is also close friends with Manuksy, and the coordinator's return could help in keeping the fiery D-line coach. If Tomsula does leave Ashburn, he's already made a significant impact for players like Allen.
"Regardless what happens I wish him nothing but the best and I’m just glad I got to spend two years with him."
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The Redskins need a stud wide receiver. Badly.
Antonio Brown is a stud wide receiver. Undoubtedly.
So, Washington should pick up the phone, call Pittsburgh and figure out a way to work out a trade for Brown, right?
It's not that easy.
There are plenty of obstacles between Brown becoming a member of the Redskins, as Washington would have to clear out quite a bit of salary to make room for him and also weigh whether he'll fit into their locker room.
Another thing worth considering, too: What's the point of acquiring Antonio Brown without a QB to maximize his talents?
There are serious questions about whether Alex Smith will play next season, or ever again. That means, barring a drastic move, the Redskins will go into 2019 with someone like Colt McCoy or an unproven youngster starting under center.
Sure, you could argue that Brown would make that passer's life a lot easier. He would, to an extent. But ask someone like Odell Beckham or Larry Fitzgerald what life is like on the outside, even as an elite talent, when the guy getting you the ball isn't properly equipped to do so.
Brown is one of the best pass catchers of his generation and will likely end up as one of the best of any era. Whatever offense he's lining up for next season will be better thanks to his presence.
However, this is a guy who's grown frustrated in a franchise that's made the postseason four of the past five years and is unhappy in a place where he's paired with a top-tier signal-caller.
The Redskins, on the other hand, have neither the track record of success or a settled situation at QB, so it's fair to be very skeptical of how he'd handle a move to D.C.
Now, for this organization to break out of football's middle class, an area they're stuck in, going after a star and taking a risk is absolutely worth trying.
Unfortunately, the quarterback depth chart will affect every potential move. And when that potential move involves heavily investing in a premier wideout, the quarterback depth chart should probably dissuade anyone from ultimately making that move.
MORE REDSKINS NEWS:
- What's Next for Crowder?: Looking at the receiver's future
- 2019 NFL Draft: Latest Mock Draft update
- Coaching Updates: Manusky's back, but what about the others?
- Cap Casualties: Which Redskins may not return in 2019?
- Offseason Champions: The fix is clear