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OPEN THREAD: Pierre Garçon will catch ____ passes this season


OPEN THREAD: Pierre Garçon will catch ____ passes this season

Pierre Garçon showed just how good he can be in the 2013 season, hauling in 113 catches for 1.346 yards on a bad Redskins team, leading the NFL in catches. Last season, with a new role in a new offense and a new coach, Garçon slipped statistically, bringing in 68 catches and 752 yards.

So which version of Garçon can Washington expect this fall?

Redskins coach Jay Gruden spoke this offseason about how hard Garçon works, and that the team needs to make more of an effort to get 88 the ball. It's foolish to discuss Garçon's stat slide without bringing up Washington's addition of DeSean Jackson, who last year joined the 'Skins and took over as the No. 1 receiver.


As an offensive coach, and with an offense that sputtered much of last season, Gruden needs to make sure both Jackson and Garçon get enough balls their way this season. Jackson is a true burner, a vertical threat, while Garçon works as a better possession receiver with the ability to run crisp downfield routes as well. Both WRs talents can put opposing secondaries in tough positions, and if the Redskins can better utilize both men this season, the results should improve.

Quarterback play also mandates mention in the discussion of Garçon, as last season the wideout caught passes from Robert Griffin III, Kirk Cousins and Colt McCoy. Better quarterback play should bring better stats for receivers; that's fairly obvious. But better quarterback play means more than accuracy, it's RG3 understanding the offense and knowing where his wideouts will be before they get there.

Trying to figure out expectations for Jackson and Garçon is tricky, because few teams have that type of talent at WR with the type of questions at QB as the Redskins do.

The Green Bay Packers - with the best offense in the NFL and likely the best QB in Aaron Rodgers - had two WRs in Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb that accounted for more than 2,800 yards and nearly 300 catches. Jackson and Garçon will not approach those numbers. The Chicago Bears perhaps offer a better example for Washington. Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery are top tier receivers though Jay Cutler ranks outside the top ranks of NFL quarterbacks. With the Bears, Jeffery and Marshall were both able to carve out big roles in the pass game, and each player's success made it easier for the other.

In eight NFL seasons, Garçon has averaged more than 50 catches per game. As a Redskin, those numbers are higher, averaging 75 catches a year in three seasons. Returning to the 75 catch mark, or even getting above 80, should be a benchmark for a successful Redskins offense. Garçon should be a player that converts third downs for Washington, a trouble spot in 2014.

How many catches for Garçon in 2014? How many does he need for the Redskins to succeed? Let us know in the comments.

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Trent Williams will not report to Richmond to open training camp, per report

USA Today Sports

Trent Williams will not report to Richmond to open training camp, per report

Trent Williams will not report to training camp this week when the Redskins head to Richmond to officially begin their 2019 season, according to NFL Network.

The news comes as no surprise, as Williams missed all of the Redskins voluntary offseason workouts and skipped the team's mandatory minicamp in June. Reports streamed out that Williams was upset about his contract and looking for a new deal -- not to mention reports that he was angry with the team's medical staff after a missed diagnosis with a growth on his scalp. 

Williams has made no official statements, and the Redskins organization offered very little in terms of a timeline for his return. Washington team president Bruce Allen said he knows "the truth" about Williams' situation, and head coach Jay Gruden said he hoped things would be resolved before Week 1 in Philadelphia. 

A seven-time Pro Bowler, Williams is arguably the best left tackle in the NFL. He's an immensely talented offensive lineman with two years remaining on his deal. Beyond the medical situation, Williams could be upset that in 2020, the final year of his deal, there is hardly any guaranteed cash. The team could release Williams with less than $2 million in salary cap penalty and save nearly $13 million against the cap. 

Without Williams, the Redskins could be in real trouble. Second-year pro Geron Christian did not seem capable of playing at a starting tackle level last fall, and that was before a knee injury landed him on IR. Morgan Moses should be locked in as the right tackle, but opposite him in Williams' spot will be dicey. 

Multiple sources with the Redskins and around the NFL suggested more cash could change Williams' mind before Week 1, and for now, it looks like the 31-year-old will be waiting for that increased payday. If Williams missed actual games, he would begin to lose money from this year's $14 million salary.


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Does Adrian Peterson want Case Keenum to start at QB? Sure sounds like it

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Does Adrian Peterson want Case Keenum to start at QB? Sure sounds like it

The Redskins coaching staff intend to use their practice time in Richmond to determine the team's starting quarterback for the 2019 season, but for Adrian Peterson, that determination has been made. 

"Offensively, we really look good with Case Keenum back there. He’s a veteran," Peterson said last weekend at SportsCon in Dallas

Peterson's comments came just 10 days before the Redskins open training camp with what's expected to be an open battle at quarterback between Case Keenum and Dwayne Haskins, not to mention Colt McCoy if he's healthy. Of that group, Keenum has had the most success in the NFL, particularly his excellent 2017 campaign in Minnesota where he completed 67 percent of his passes for more than 3,500 yards with 22 touchdowns against just seven interceptions in 14 starts.

It's important to point out that Keenum has only hit that level of play one year out of eight seasons in the NFL. The rest of his career has been marked with more interceptions and a lower completion percentage. 

Still, watching Redskins minicamp in early June when Keenum and Haskins got the majority of the snaps, it was clear the offense ran smoother with the veteran instead of the rookie.

"He’s been in the league for a long time. He’s a gunslinger. He’s a guy that’s going to throw the ball and spread it around," Peterson said of Keenum.

That doesn't mean the future Hall of Fame running back didn't speak well of Haskins, or more accurately, Haskins' potential. 

"I'm looking forward to seeing what he'll do in training camp," Peterson said of the rookie from Ohio State. "Once he gets more under his belt and becomes more comfortable, he'll be able to play faster as well."

In minicamp, the pace of the NFL - calling plays, adjusting at the line of scrimmage, and most of all, the speed of the pass rush - seemed to overwhelm Haskins at times. Those are all things he can learn, and his arm is already the best on the team. Once the mental game catches up, his physical traits are absolutely capable of winning big in the NFL. 

What might make the most sense in listening to Peterson's comments is how he looked at the 2018 season. Last year, Washington lost a lot of talent to injuries, including their top two QBs in Alex Smith and Colt McCoy, and still finished in the playoff hunt. 

"The most important thing for us is guys staying healthy. Last year we had 22 guys on IR, and was still one game away from making the playoffs if we would've won the last two," Peterson said. "That's the thing that impresses me the most. We really went through a grind in losing our first-, second- and third-string QB throughout the year, and still had a chance to make the playoffs. I feel like the mindset is there."

For a team with the mindset of grinding wins and getting into the playoffs, Keenum makes more sense than Haskins. At least it does for Peterson.