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Rating the Redskins: Quarterbacks


Rating the Redskins: Quarterbacks

New Redskins GM Scot McCloughan aimed to improve nearly every position through the draft or via free agency. How has he done? Over the next couple of weeks, Rich Tandler and Tarik El-Bashir will examine and rate each group on the team. The ratings will be based on the quality of the players as compared to the rest of the league and, in particular, the division.

We’ll use a scale of 1 to 10. To receive a 10, a position group would need Pro-Bowl caliber starters and solid backups. A rating of 1 means the starters are aging and ineffective and there are no promising reserves in the pipeline.

We’ve already looked at the defensive lineoffensive linelinebackerswide receiverscornerbackssafetiesrunning backs, and tight ends. Up this morning, we’ve got the quarterbacks.

Starter: Robert Griffin III

Reserves: Kirk Cousins, Colt McCoy

Tandler: Two years ago it looked like the Redskins had a quarterback situation that would be the envy of the league. Griffin was coming off of one of the best rookie seasons ever for a quarterback, Cousins looked like he could start for half of the teams in the NFL and Rex Grossman, the third QB, had started a Super Bowl. Now, no team has more question marks at the most important position on the field. Griffin struggled mightily to adjust as a pocket passer in Jay Gruden’s offense. He also spent time on the bench due to a dislocated ankle and, after a few games back in the lineup, for performance reasons. Gruden said during minicamp that Griffin had taken “baby steps” towards getting better. That’s great but he needs some giant strides between now and September to get to where he needs to be. Both Cousins and McCoy played well at times last year but didn’t finish up their seasons well. Cousins was benched after a barrage of turnovers and a less-than-inspiring reaction to them. McCoy led the team to its best win of the year in Dallas but seemed to be overmatched at times after that. Perhaps Griffin will bounce back to at least competence and either McCoy or Cousins will gel into a solid, consistent backup. But for right now it’s hard to view it as anything but one of the worst quarterback situations in the league. Rating: 2

El-Bashir: It’s hard to argue with Tandler’s assessment. It really is. But there may be a glimmer of hope for optimistic fans to cling to until training camp begins. On Tuesday, Griffin produced his sharpest practice session of the offseason and afterward was praised by Gruden for it. The coach pointed to Griffin’s growing confidence in the pocket, his improving fundamentals and his “great” work ethic in OTAs. Gruden’s nurturing comments were notable mostly because they represented a departure from how he’s previously handled the fourth-year quarterback. So, in my opinion, Gruden either really liked what he's seen in recent weeks or, at the very least, he's attempting to adjust his approach to dealing with the fourth-year quarterback. (I actually suspect it was a little of both.) Last season, Gruden was often hard on Griffin—in private and public critiques—and it didn’t work. So I'm choosing to view what happened last Tuesday as a positive development for Griffin and his delicate relationship with Gruden. All that said, however, I also must caution even the most optimistic fans to not get too excited. It was just one no-contact practice and just one press conference. In mid-June, nonetheless. We probably won’t get a true feel for Griffin’s progress until Houston comes to Richmond later this summer and Griffin has J.J. Watt coming at him while he’s reading an unfamiliar defense. So let’s do this exercise again after the second joint practice with the Texans, okay? Rating: 3.

Consensus: 2.5.

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Need to Know: Adrian Peterson visit part of Redskins contingency planning at running back

Need to Know: Adrian Peterson visit part of Redskins contingency planning at running back

Here is what you need to know on Monday, August 20, four days before the Washington Redskins host the Broncos in their third preseason game. 

Talking points

Jay Gruden added some clarity to the Redskins’ running back situation, although questions remain. 

First, and perhaps most important, he said that there are no immediate plans to sign Jamaal Charles or Orleans Darkwa, both of whom visited Redskins Park on Sunday, or Adrian Peterson, who is scheduled to come to Ashburn today. 

"Well we want to bring them in to get physicals on them just in case,” said Gruden. Like I said, we have had very [unlucky] situations with our running backs with obviously Guice and Marshall and Samaje, if something else happens, we are going to be really, really, really thin, so we just want to make sure we are covering all our bases right now and we will address it when we feel like we have to." 

Derrius Guice is out for the season with a torn ACL. Byron Marshall and Samaje Perine suffered injuries last Thursday against the Jets. According to media reports, Perine should be out a week and Marshall for two to four weeks. 

The key to what Gruden said was the part about “covering all of our bases right now”. Things are tight at running back now. But they are a Rob Kelley injury or a Perine setback away from being in big trouble. They would need to go to Plan B and that might be Peterson or Charles or Darkwa. 

But the Redskins have a short-term problem. Assuming Perine won’t play on Friday in the third preseason game against the Broncos, the Redskins would only be left with Kelley and Kapri Bibbs to handle most of the load in that game. Chris Thompson is scheduled to play some, but only for about a quarter. The Redskins will want to acquire at least one other running back to play on Friday. 

It sounds like that back won’t be someone like Charles or Darkwa, but it could well be someone you’ve never heard of. It was somewhat surprising that they didn’t have a new running back at practice today, but it’s very likely that they will have someone in place in time for practice on Tuesday. 

Bureau of statistics

2017 stat slash lines for RBs visiting the Redskins

Darkwa (NYG) 171 att./751 yds./4.4 yds per att./5 TD
Charles (DEN) 69/296/4.3/1
Peterson (AZ/NO) 156/529/3.4/2

The agenda

Today: Off day

Upcoming: Preseason Broncos @ Redskins (Aug. 24) 4 days; Final cut (Sept. 1) 12 days; Season opener @ Cardinals (Sept. 9) 20 days

In case you missed it

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page, and follow him on Twitter  @TandlerNBCS and on Instagram @RichTandler

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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.