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Joe Theismann agrees with decision to name RG3 the starter


Joe Theismann agrees with decision to name RG3 the starter

When Robert Griffin III was named the starter by Jay Gruden two months ago, fans and some members of the media questioned the timing of the announcement. The regular season, after all, was still seven months away.

Joe Theismann, however, was not among them. In fact, the former Redskins quarterback and current broadcaster says he backed Gruden’s decision.

“I’m glad that Jay named him starter,” Theismann told Redskins Nation host Larry Michael in a recent interview. “Robert knows where he is right now. Sure, Kirk [Cousins] will compete. Colt [McCoy] will compete. Because they want to become better. Both of them are very competitive individuals. But it’s Robert’s job.”

Theismann, who went 77-47 as the Redskins’ starting quarterback from 1976-1985, also offered some advice to Griffin, who is attempting to rebound from a second straight subpar season.

“The most important thing for Robert is, No. 1) don’t worry about what anybody says and, No. 2) understand what your role is in this offense,” Theismann told Michael. “It is not to be the running back and rush for 900 yards. It’s to make sure that Alfred Morris can rush for 1,500, to keep the chains moving so that other people can [get] more downs. Give yourself a chance to make more plays and [No. 3] protect yourself. One of my credos to any young quarterback is real simple: your No. 1 responsibility is to keep yourself healthy enough to be able to practice and play every game and every day. If you do that, you’re going to work every day and you’re going to get better just because of the fact that you’re out there.”

Theismann also said he’d like to see Griffin hone his skills in the pocket and trust his teammates to make plays for him.

[MORE REDSKINS: Who were McCloughan's best late-round picks?]

“The most important thing for Robert is just focus on what you do,” Theismann said. “Focus on becoming a better pocket passer. Quicker decisions. Get ball out of your hands. And allow your teammates to be able to help you win football games.”

“He’s so competitive that he sometimes takes a tremendous burden on his own shoulders,” he added. “That’s one thing I had to learn—it wasn’t all about what I did. It was how can help the other guys do their job better?”

As for Griffin’s handling of the spotlight, Theismann says he saw significant progress in that area late in the 2014 season.

“We never had to play under this type of scrutiny, where everything we did off the field was an issue,” Theismann said, referring to Redskins’ quarterbacks from an earlier era. “Every voice inflection being analyzed. Every facial [expression] being analyzed. How you wear your hat. What you wear to an interview. How you sit in an interview. What’s implied in what you have to say. You can’t be honest. You have to be a politician.”

“Robert’s learned a lot of that over the last year,” Theismann continued. “At first, I think he came in a naïve, effervescent, healthy. Then he’s gone through the trials and tribulations, the struggles, injuries, new systems. Having to learn things that he never knew at the college level, at the professional level it's so much more difficult.”

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The Redskins are reportedly hosting Adrian Peterson for a free agent visit

The Redskins are reportedly hosting Adrian Peterson for a free agent visit

After sustaining a number of injuries to their running back group, the Redskins need help at the position. 

In that quest, the team will bring in veteran Adrian Peterson for a free agent visit, per Ian Rapoport of NFL Media.

Arguably one of the best all-time running backs in the NFL, Peterson not being on a roster at this point in the season might be a surprise. Last year, Peterson split time between New Orleans and Arizona and rushed for more than 500 yards. 

Peterson built his fame and name with a long run of success in Minnesota, including a 2,000-yard season in 2012. In 123 games with the Vikings spanning 10 years, he rushed for nearly 12,000 yards and 97 touchdowns. 

Washington is in serious need for depth and talent at RB. 

Rookie Derrius Guice went down for the season in the preseason opener, and last week Samaje Perine and Byron Marshall sustained injuries. 

At Sunday's practice, head coach Jay Gruden joked that his son, Jack, should take some practice reps at the position. 

Currently, the Redskins only have Rob Kelley, Chris Thompson and Kapri Bibbs as running backs on the roster, and Thompson hasn't played yet this preseason as he's working back from a broken leg last November.

The Redskins also worked out veteran runners Jamaal Charles and Orleans Darkwa. Peterson has the biggest name of all of them.

This offseason, Peterson also worked out with Redskins tackle Trent Williams.


For more analysis on Peterson's visit, check out this RB-oriented episode of Redskins Talk.

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Jamaal Charles headlines a group of Redskins running back tryouts

USA Today Sports

Jamaal Charles headlines a group of Redskins running back tryouts

Jamaal Charles used to be among the best running backs in the NFL, and maybe the Redskins hope to turn back the clock. 

Washington is dealing with a number of injuries at the running back spot, and to get through two more preseason games, the team is bringing in a number of veteran runners for tryouts. Charles is the biggest name coming in for a test drive with the Redskins, as ESPN reported. Former Giants RB Orleans Darkwa is also getting a tryout, per multiple reports. 

How did Washington get to the point where the team needs to add more backfield options in mid-August?

First, Derrius Guice injured his knee in the preseason opener. He will miss the season. 

In the second preseason game, Samaje Perine, Byron Marshall and rookie Martez Carter got hurt. Perine should be back in a week or as he suffered only a sprained ankle. Marshall could miss a month, making a roster spot flimsy, and Carter was waived due to his injury. 

That means the Burgundy and Gold only have Rob Kelley, Kapri Bibbs and Chris Thompson active for practice, and remember, Thompson is working back from a broken leg he suffered last November. He hasn't played yet in the preseason, and might not go at all until Week 1 in Arizona.

Add all of that together and the team was forced to bring in veteran options, if for nothing else than to get through the remaining two preseason games.

Back to Charles.

From 2009 to 2014, Charles put up absurd numbers. He approached 2,000 total yards from scrimmage in both 2013 and 2010, and put up more than 1,700 total yards in 2012. It's worth adding that Charles found great success with Alex Smith when both were playing in Kansas City. Just saying. He was undeniably great, and probably won thousands of people thousands of dollars as a fantasy football MVP.

That time appears to be over though.

In the last three seasons, injuries have robbed Charles of his burst and elusiveness. Last year, he couldn't break through in the Denver backfield despite being healthy for 14 games. He rushed for just under 300 yards. 

Redskins fans will have unfortunate memories of Darkwa.

In an ugly Week 17 loss last season in New York, he busted a 75-yard touchdown run on the first play from scrimmage and finished the game with 154 yards. Last season was the best of his career for Darkwa, he ran for more than 750 yards and averaged 4.4 yards-per-carry. He's only 26 years old and, coincidentally, played college football at Tulane with Rob Kelley

By adding Guice in the second round of the NFL Draft this spring, the Redskins thought they addressed their need for a talent boost at the RB position. With Guice out for the year, the position looks about the same as it did in 2017. 

Adding Charles and Darkwa seem unlikely to change that, at least significantly. And that's if either of the veteran runners even make the 53-man roster. 



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