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How many preseason passes will Redskins' RG3 attempt?


How many preseason passes will Redskins' RG3 attempt?

RICHMOND—A year ago, Robert Griffin III barely broke a sweat in the Redskins’ preseason opener against the Patriots at FedEx Field. He was in for one drive, took 10 snaps and threw four passes, completing two for nine yards. Alfred Morris carried five times for 27 yards to key an 11-play, 35-yard drive to a field goal.

Perhaps Jay Gruden doesn’t think that was enough work or that he needs more work in the first practice game at this stage of his development. That game comes on Thursday night in Cleveland.

“We'll see,” said Gruden when asked how much Griffin and the starters will play against the Browns. “I would think at least a quarter right now, just off the top of my head, but we'll see. Could be longer. Just depends on how many plays you get. We'll probably have a pitch count on him and go from there."

So even though Gruden hasn’t made a firm decision on how long Griffin and the starters will go, it sure sounds like it will be much longer than one possession and four pass attempts.

It seems apparent that the Redskins didn’t like a number of the things they did last year to prepare Griffin for the season, his first playing in Gruden’s offense. The biggest admission that they needed to do things differently was the addition of a quarterbacks coach in Matt Cavanaugh. He replaces, well, nobody. Gruden decided to leave the job vacant and work with the quarterbacks directly along with offensive coordinator Sean McVay. Towards the end of the year, the Redskins had used all three quarterbacks on the roster and none of them played well consistently. Towards the end of the year Gruden saw that the arrangement was not going to work and he hinted that a QB coach would be hired. Cavanaugh came on board in January.

And now we have a shift in the thinking on snap counts during the preseason. Yes, it may be just a difference of dozen or so snaps on Thursday. But it’s a pretty good bet that when the preseason is over, Griffin will have thrown more than the 20 passes he attempted last year.

Perhaps Griffin will play more in the preseason at the behest of Cavanaugh. Last year he was the QB coach of the Bears and Jay Cutler, an established quarterback, threw 42 passes in the preseason. The previous year Cutler threw 34 preseason passes. Cavanaugh was the quarterbacks coach of the Jets from 2009-2012. Mark Sanchez threw an average of 41 passes during the preseason. It appears that Cavanaugh is a believer in getting his quarterbacks at least a game’s worth of pass attempts in during the preseason.  

Playing Griffin more snaps does increase the chances that he may get injured during a meaningless game. Simple math tells you that and Griffin’s propensity to get injured is greater than that of the average QB. But perhaps the feeling is that if Griffin doesn’t get enough reps to start the season he doesn’t have a chance of being effective. The injury risk is one that they believe they have to take. 

MORE REDSKINS: Gruden on TE injuries: Redskins haven't looked at Chris Cooley, yet

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Redskins rookie Dwayne Haskins reacts to winning Ohio State Male Athlete of the Year

Redskins rookie Dwayne Haskins reacts to winning Ohio State Male Athlete of the Year

Ohio State named former quarterback Dwayne Haskins the 2019 Male Athlete of the Year on Wednesday, a few months after the Washington Redskins drafted Haskins in the first round. 

Washington drafted Haskins 15th overall in the 2019 NFL Draft, after Haskins threw 4,831 yards and 50 touchdowns with Ohio State in the 2018 season, the first season he started for the Buckeyes.

Haskins also set 28 Ohio State and seven Big Ten records in his junior year with the Buckeyes, after which he was awarded the Big Ten Graham-George Offensive Player of the Year, the Griese-Brees Quarterback of the Year and the Chicago Tribune Silver Football award. 

Now Haskins vies for a spot as the Redskins' starting quarterback, after attending both Washington's voluntary organized team activities and mandatory minicamp. The rookie is one of three players––including Case Keenum and Colt McCoy, who is working back from injury––fighting for that spot in the starting lineup, as Washington prepares for the preseason.  


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There's reason for excitement about Trey Quinn, and the numbers back it up

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There's reason for excitement about Trey Quinn, and the numbers back it up

No Redskins receiver caught more than 45 passes last season, and the team lost their steadiest wideout of the last two years when Jamison Crowder signed with the Jets in free agency. 

Even with that, the Redskins coaching staff remains bullish on the team's pass catchers for this season, and second-year pro Trey Quinn is a big reason why.

Last season as a seventh-round rookie, Quinn made the team after showing great hands and a consistent ability to get separation from defenders. Listed at 6-foot and 200 pounds, Quinn is a natural slot receiver in the NFL, but last year, that role very clearly belonged to Crowder. 

With Crowder gone, that role has changed.

"Trey Quinn has taken over the inside slot role," Redskins head coach Jay Gruden said during minicamp. 
"He’s confident, he’s quick, he’s got strong hands, he’s physical, [and] he’s tough," 

The toughness will be key, as Quinn twice landed on the injured reserve list in his rookie season. He played in just three games last year but made an impact when he was on the field, grabbing nine catches and scoring a touchdown in Dallas. 

Looking at Crowder's production over the last four seasons, Quinn will get lots of opportunities.

In four seasons with the Redskins, Crowder played in 56 games and averaged 5.8 targets per game. He averaged about 12 yards-per-catch in Washington, and was good for 60+ catches per season in his first three years with the 'Skins before injuries limited Crowder to just nine games in 2018. That's a lot of action for the slot role in Gruden's offense. 

Looking at the Redskins potential quarterbacks, Quinn would be an asset for any of them. Case Keenum's game definitely works well with skilled slot WRs - like Stefon Diggs in Minnesota two seasons ago. If rookie Dwayne Haskins gets the starting job, he could certainly use a consistent target in the middle of the field, and Quinn should serve that role. Should Colt McCoy take over as Redskins starter, he and Quinn actually found success on the field last season, particularly against the Cowboys. 

In fact, Keenum is already speaking highly of the former Mr. Irrelevant. 

"Trey Quinn is going to be really special," Keenum said during minicamp. 

Health is never a guarantee. Quinn struggled to stay on the field as a rookie, but when he was on the field, he did not struggle. Redskins receivers coach Ike Hilliard is typically a man of few words, but even he praised Quinn this offseason and considers him a breakout candidate for the 2019 season.

Summer is the time for optimism in the NFL. Nobody has fumbled, players are mostly healthy, and nothing has gone wrong. 

With Quinn, there is plenty of optimism. More importantly, based on Crowder's targets, there are reasons to buy the excitement around Quinn.