20 questions in 20 days: 1 Is RG3 the answer?

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20 questions in 20 days: 1 Is RG3 the answer?

By Tarik El-Bashir and Rich Tandler
CSNwashington.com20 questions in 20 daysAs we count down to the first game of the Redskins season, Tarik El-Bashir and Rich Tandler are going to be looking at some of the big questions facing the team and attempting to look into their crystal balls and answer them.Question 1: Is RG3 the answer?The background:The NFL is a quarterback league and for the last 20 years or so the Redskins have been bringing a knife to a gunfight. They havent even enjoyed an extended period of competence at the most important position in sports. They have settled for a good season here, a nice stretch of games there. They gave up a record haul of high draft picks to try to solve that problem and they drafted Robert Griffin III. Can he be The Guy?Tandler:The chances of Griffin playing the role of Ryan Leaf or Heath Shuler, two highly drafted QBs who were huge busts, are extremely small. Like those two and other failed high picks Griffin has the physical tools to succeed. But what separates Griffin is what he has from the neck up. His football IQ is off the charts, his mental approach to the game is perfect, and he has been and will continue to be the first player to arrive at Redskins Park every morning and among the last to leave at night. There are no guarantees but it would be a major upset if Griffin is not a major improvement for the Redskins at quarterback immediately and one of the elite QBs in the league within a few years.El-Bashir:Given what was surrendered to get him, failure is not an option when it comes to Griffin. He has to become the franchise quarterback the Redskins have sought since Joe Theismann retired almost 20 years ago. As Rich pointed out, Griffins work ethic is unsurpassed, while his aptitude athletic ability are second to none. Time will tell if he can thrive in the NFL, but the early indication is that he possesses the all the tools necessary to become a top-10 quarterback. That said, two questions come to mind when pondering Griffins future. First, can his relatively slight frame (6 foot 2, 217 pounds) withstand the weekly pounding a dual-threat quarterback can expect to receive? And second, will the Redskins surround him with the talent elite quarterbacks such as Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady and Drew Brees always seem to have? If the answer to both is yes, the sky is indeed the limit for Griffin.20 questions in 20 days20 Aug.20Will Jammal Brown play this year?
19 Aug.21Will Chris Cooley make the team?
18 Aug. 22Can Brandon Meriweather get he job done at safety?
17 Aug. 23Is Garon a No. 1 receiver?
16 Aug. 24Can Trent Williams go from good to great?
15 Aug. 25Can DeAngelo Hall be a defensive playmaker?
14 Aug. 26Can Santana Moss regain his old form?
13 Aug. 27Can Orakpo post 15 sacks?
12 Aug. 28Will Leonard Hankerson break out?
11 Aug. 29Can the Redskins flip their turnover ratio?
10 Aug. 30How much can Hightower contribute this year?
9 Aug. 31Was making Billy Cundiff the kicker a good move?
8 Sept. 1Will Josh Morgan be worth the investment?
7 Sept. 2What can Jarvis Jenkins contribute?
6 Sept. 3Is the offensive line depth good enough?
5 Sept. 4Will a running back by committee work?
4 Sept. 5Is the defense ready to carry the load?
3 YesterdayHow many wins is enough?
2 TodayHow much should RG3 run?
1 TomorrowIs RG3 the answer?

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Morning tip: Bradley Beal excited for test in Warriors' Klay Thompson, Steph Curry

Morning tip: Bradley Beal excited for test in Warriors' Klay Thompson, Steph Curry

Before Sunday's game between the Wizards and the Jazz, Utah head coach Quin Snyder said John Wall and Bradley Beal are the NBA's best backcourt. When asked a follow-up to that statement about whether that means the Wizards' guards are better than Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson of the Golden State Warriors, Snyder clammed up. 

Well, on Tuesday night at the Verizon Center we will get to see some real evidence in the debate, as the Wizards host the Warriors [6:30 p.m. on CSN] in a matchup of one of the best teams in the East against the best team in the West. It's a showdown between arguably the two best guard combos in basketball and Beal, for one, is looking forward to it.

"A game like this is always circled for me. It's a big game, it's a game that is really going to test who you are. You have to show up. I think that's the way John and I both view it," Beal explained. 

"Every time we have the challenge of another backcourt, we always want to win it. Our approach is that we are going to dominate as best as we can. That's our mindset. At the same time, we don't try to get too caught up in backcourt vs. backcourt, but at the end of the day it's a competitive thing and it's always fun when you're playing against some of the best players in the world and the best team in the world."

Curry and Wall are firmly established among the best point guards in the NBA, but both play very different styles. Both can score, but Wall is more of a distributor and is better on defense. Curry is known for his lights-out shooting from three-point range. Both can handle the ball, but Wall is faster and Curry is quicker in tight spaces.

Beal and Thompson are much closer to each other in style of play. Both are two-way shooting guards who can catch-and-shoot from distance with the best of them. Earlier this season, Wizards coach Scott Brooks broke down Thompson's film with Beal and Beal himself can see the similarities between them.

"I think our game is a little bit different in a variety of ways, but similar as well. I can definitely take how he moves without the ball out of his book. His catch-and-shoot ability is ridiculous. There are some things I can take from him, but not too much. I try to develop into my own player. He does a lot of things that I definitely steal from him, too," Beal said.

Given Curry and Thompson have already won a title and have been to two NBA Finals, many fans would give them the edge. But with Wall and Beal both having career seasons, the comparison isn't crazy at all if you look at the numbers:

Stephen Curry - 24.9 ppg, 6.3 apg, 4.4 rpg, 1.7 spg, 47 FG%, 41.5 3P%
Klay Thompson - 22.1 ppg, 2.1 apg, 3.8 rpg, 47.5 FG%, 42.2 3P%

John Wall - 22.9 ppg, 10.7 apg, 4.5 rpg, 2.1 spg, 45.2 FG%, 31.2 3P%
Bradley Beal - 22.6 ppg, 3.6 apg, 2.9 rpg, 1.0 spg, 47.8 FG%, 39.9 3P%

[RELATED: Beal on Durant: 'I didn't think he was going to come here']

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Need to Know: Examining five Redskins first-round mock draft picks

Need to Know: Examining five Redskins first-round mock draft picks

Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, February 28, 1 day before the March 1 NFL franchise tag deadline.  

Timeline

Days until:

—NFL Combine (3/2) 2
—Start of NFL free agency (3/9) 9
—Redskins offseason workouts start (4/17) 48
—NFL Draft (4/27) 58
—First Sunday of 2017 season (9/10) 194

Comments on five first-round Redskins mock draft picks

Derek Barnett, OLB, Tennessee, Chris Burke, SI.com

Burke says: There is more of a need in Washington for help between the tackles than another edge presence. Barnett, though, is strong enough and active enough to play hand in the dirt up front at times, which would max out how many athletes the Redskins can get on the field in their front seven.

Tandler says: I get that you can’t have too much pass rush but the Redskins have four legit edge rushers with Kerrigan, Smith, Murphy, and Galette. Even given that Galette’s injury status makes him a question mark and Smith’s inconsistency, you need to have something up front to make the edge rushers effective.

RELATED: NFL Mock Draft Version 4.0

Forrest Lamp, G Western Kentucky, Daniel Jeremiah, NFL.com

Jeremiah says: Lamp could play either guard or center for the Redskins.

Tandler says: That’s great but the Redskins are set at center and at one guard spot. They could stand to upgrade at left guard but I think that if the Redskins go guard in the first round for the second time in three years Jay Gruden’s head just might explode.

Solomon Thomas, DE, Stanford, Charley Casserly, NFL.com

Casserly says: Thomas is a solid run defender who can give you an inside pass rush as well.

Tandler says: Thomas has a heck of a motor and he plays the game as it should be played. His pre-combine weight is listed at 273. That would make him another edge player, see the issue with Barnett above. But if he weighs in around 290 in Indianapolis and the Redskins think he could put on a few more pounds he could be in play.

DL Malik McDowell, Michigan State, Josh Norris, Rotoworld.com

Norris says: Scot McCloughan had a target in last year’s draft. Many believe it was Ryan Kelly. I doubt the NFL views a center in this class worthy of the No. 17 overall pick. McDowell would really help Washington’s defensive front.

Tandler says: Not sure why Norris takes a walk down memory lane to last year’s draft but McDowell could be the guy the Redskins need to shore up the interior D-line. There are questions about his consistency but if those are straightened out he’s a real possibility.

More Redskins: #RedskinsTalk podcast: Is Kirk too nice for his own good?

Budda Baker, S, Washington, Pete Prisco, CBSSports.com

Prisco says: They had real shaky play from their safeties last season. This is a kid who can step in and give them range and the ability to tackle in the run game.

Apparently Prisco isn’t familiar with the history of the safety position in Washington or he would have talked of issues during “the past decade” rather than “last season”. At 180 lb. Baker is on the small side but he hustles, hits, and has coverage skills good enough to cover slot receivers. He would be a great first-round pick but perhaps they could trade down lower, somewhere into the mid-20’s, and still get him there.

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Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerCSN and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.