Robert Griffin III was the most accurate deep thrower in major college football last year. He completed 50.9 percent of his passes that traveled 25-plus yards. And rarely did he throw it up for grabs; his touchdown to interception ration on those deep throws was 20-1.The deep accuracy was one of the reasons why the Redskins gave up a lot to move up in the draft to secure his services. Their longest pass play last year covered just 51 yards, the shortest longest pass play of any NFL team. They had to try to put together sustained drives to score and that got them ranked 26th in the NFL in scoring with 288 points (18 pointsgame).Its great if Griffin can throw the ball a long way with accuracy but who is going to be on the other end of those RG3 spirals? Here is a look at some of the wide receivers who should be working on their go routes during OTAs.--Pierre Garon did have an 87-yard touchdown reception against the Bucs last year but that was on a Curtis Painter throw that was about 17 yards downfield. From the 13, he made the catch at about the 30, got past a defender who had a bad angle on him, and was gone. We probably wont see a lot of Garon going deep downfield. Garon and Griffin will hook up on some big plays this year but most of them are likely to be the result of the receiver picking up yards after the catch, not a deep pass.--Santana Moss may have lost a step or maybe even two but getting open deep is not all about pure speed. He has the smarts to break free downfield a couple of times a game, especially if Garon and Leonard Hankerson can draw the attention of the defense on a consistent basis.--Griffin could save Anthony Armstrongs career. As a 27-year-old rookie in 2010, he had a good rapport with Donovan McNabb and he averaged 19.8 yards on his 44 receptions. Last year, he and Grossman did not click on the field and the receivers production plummeted to just seven catches. If Armstrong can develop some deep ball chemistry with RG3 he could have an important role on the team. If he cant, he will be very much on the bubble when it comes to making the roster.--The Redskins dont quite know what they have in 2011 sixth-round pick Aldrick Robinson but they sure want to find out. They know hes fast and that hes willing to work and they hope they can turn those traits into productivity on the field. It could end up being Robinson vs. Armstrong for the final receiver roster spot. If Robinson makes it, look for him to be one of the surprise stories of 2012.Rich Tandler blogs about the Redskins at www.RealRedskins.com. You can reach him by email at RTandlerCSN@comcast.net and follow him on Twitter @Rich_Tandler.
With Redskins Training Camp set to begin July 26th, JP Finlay takes a look at 10 of the most pressing questions for the Burgundy and Gold before the team heads to Richmond.
No. 4: After Josh Norman, what's the plan at cornerback?
In a way, the Redskins are quite lucky. Not every team in the NFL has an unequivocal No. 1 corner. Washington has that in Josh Norman.
His interception numbers in 2017 did not get the job done, but he still played quite well. Norman got targeted significantly less than the league average, which means NFL quarterbacks actively chose not to mess with former All Pro.
Still, Norman needs more interceptions than last year. He grabbed none, and he will admit that he must create more turnovers.
Regardless, Norman is not the Redskins question mark at cornerback. What happens after Norman is the question.
Washington moved quick this offseason to lock up Quinton Dunbar off restricted free agency. Dunbar has size and range, and has looked quite capable, in spots. He doesn't have a ton of experience, however, and will be asked to start this fall. The team also signed veteran Orlando Scandrick - from the Cowboys - as a likely nickel/slot corner.
Second-year man Fabian Moreau will be expected to take a significant step forward this fall. The Redskins would like very much to be able to primarily rely on Norman, Moreau and Dunbar while asking less of Scandrick.
Don't forget Washington lost Kendall Fuller and Bashaud Breeland this offseason. Fuller got moved to Kansas City as part of the Alex Smith trade, and Breeland remains a free agent.
Redskins coaches won't tell the exact truth, but the the team would love for Moreau to emerge opposite Norman and let Dunbar play in the slot. Or maybe let Moreau emerge in the slot, like Fuller did in 2017, and Dunbar opposite Norman. Scandrick hasn't played a full season since 2013, and the 'Skins brass can't expect that in 2018 for the 31-year-old corner.
Josh Holsey, Adonis Alexander and Greg Stroman will provide depth at the bottom of the roster. That's two seventh-round picks and a supplemental sixth round pick. While each player provides reasons for optimism, it's hard to think any of the three young players will provide immediate help. They're better focused fighting for a roster spot than a starting spot.
In 2017, cornerback ranked as a strength for the Redskins.
In 2018, it's a big question. Elite play from Norman could change much of that equation.
MORE REDSKINS NEWS:
— Contract years: Redskins face 5 tough decisions
— Dead Money: Trades, misses and mistakes hurt Redskins salary cap
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Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, July 22, four days before the Washington Redskins start training camp.
Training camp preview: Offense
Here are some of the big topics surrounding the offense at Redskins training camp along with some of the things I’ll be observing closely when training camp gets underway on Thursday.
The subheadline here doesn’t need any elaboration. The Redskins gave up a top-100 draft pick, a promising player, and $71 million in guaranteed money to get him. When asked about the timetable for Smith picking up the offense, Jay Gruden said, “He has got to get it down by the first game.”
That first game is seven weeks from today. Of course, the process has already started as Smith appeared to have a solid grasp of things in the offseason practices. There is every reason to think that he will look good in Richmond.
The question is, how much will the coaches push him? Will they focus on him having success on shorter, easier throws to build his confidence? Or will they call plays that test his ability to throw deep? Last year in Kansas City his ability to hit on long passes helped transform him from being an above-average quarterback to an MVP candidate. The Redskins need him to be effective deep starting Week 1 and training camp needs to be the starting point.
The running back rotation
This is primarily about Derrius Guice, who is the most anticipated rookie running back in team history. The Redskins were 28th in rushing yards last year and they bring back the same offensive line (although hoping for better health) and three of the same running backs. They are counting on Guice to be the difference maker.
But Guice can’t do it by himself. Gruden will be wary of overworking his rookie, who has an aggressive running style and who was banged up for a lot of his last year at LSU. He also may give Guice a light load if he struggles in pass protection early on. Chris Thompson’s role is set. Where do Rob Kelley and Samaje Perine line up? Does one or the other take most of the first-team reps when Guice is getting a rest?
The difference between being the third back and the fourth is big. The fourth back on the depth chart is unlikely to be active most game days. The active back could get five to 10 carries per game.
Who’s at left guard?
Is Shawn Lauvao going to be the left guard? It doesn’t seem logical that they would put all their eggs in Lauvao’s injury-prone and frequently ineffective basket. Will Ty Nsekhe line up there? Do they think that Tyler Catalina or Kyle Kalis can push for the starting job? Is a trade in the offing?
Jordan Reed’s health
This does not need much explanation if you’ve been paying attention the last several years. It would be both a good sign and a major surprise if he starts camp healthy and doesn’t miss any time due to injuries. If he’s out there, there is no question that he and Smith will quickly develop chemistry.
Wide receiver depth chart
The stakes at wide receiver are similar to those at running back. The top backup behind the three starters, who could be any of Maurice Harris, Robert Davis, Brian Quick or Try Quinn, will have a regular role in the offense line Ryan Grant had last year. The fifth guy will rarely play, the player who has the sixth spot will rarely play, and the seventh won’t have a job.
Tandler on Twitter
Apparently, some teams are worried that their players are playing too much of the video game Fortnite. No, seriously.
Miss a block? Fortnite. Blow a coverage? Fortnite. Fumble? Fortnite. My job this season just got a lot easier.— Rich Tandler (@TandlerNBCS) July 21, 2018
Happy birthday to Redskins running back Quinton Dunbar, who was born on this date in 1992.
—Training camp starts (7/26) 4
—Preseason opener @ Patriots (8/9) 18
—Roster cut to 53 (9/1) 41
The Redskins last played a game 203 days ago. They will open the 2018 NFL season at the Cardinals in 49 days.
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