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20 questions in 20 days: 17 Can Garcon become a No. 1 receiver?

20 questions in 20 days: 17 Can Garcon become a No. 1 receiver?

As we count down to the first game of the Redskins season, Tarik El-Bashir and Rich Tandler are going to belooking at some of the big questions facing the team and attempting to lookinto their crystal balls and answer them. Question 20: Can Pierre Garon become a No. 1 receiver?The background: In Indianapolis, Garon was a nice complimentary receiver to Reggie Wayne who made the occasional big play and acrobatic catchsuitable for SportsCenter. But when the Redskins signed him to a five-year,42.5 million contract with 20.5 million guaranteed the expectations grew. TheRedskins want him to be the go-to guy for rookie quarterback Robert GriffinIII, to be able to deal with double coverage and help an offense that has beenstruggling for years get going. Tandler: Lets first define the loose term No. 1 receiver. Garon is not suddenly going to morph into Larry Fitzgerald or Megatron or any of the truly elite receivers. But there are 32 NFL teams and only a handful of those guys.Garon is capable of becoming the Redskins equivalent of, say, Hakeem Nicks.That would mean catching 75-80 passes for about 1,100 yards and 8-10touchdowns. Beyond the numbers, it would mean attracting more than his share of defensive attention and help fellow receivers like Josh Morgan and LeonardHankerson post some strong stats of their own. Garon has the speed, hands, and yards after catch ability to fill that role. El-Bashir: The potential is there. A ripped 6-foot, 212 pounds, hes as strong as any wide receiver in the NFL, if not as tall. He possesses deceptive speed, runs crisp routes and has a flair for the dramatic (all No. 1receivers need that last one, right?) Garcons numbers also indicate a player onthe verge of a breakout season -- 47 receptions in 09, 67 in 10 and 70 in 11. Now the 26-year-old is set to be Robert Griffin IIIs first option in thepassing game, which could be good for 80-plus receptions, around 1,200 yardsand 10 or more touchdowns. Its time for Garcon to put potential together withopportunity and see where it takes him -- and the Redskins.20 questions in 20 days20 Aug.20WillJammal Brown play this year?
19 Aug.21WillChris Cooley make the team?
18 YesterdayCanBrandon Meriweather get he job done at safety?
17 TodayIs Garon a No. 1 receiver?
16 TomorrowCan Trent Williams go from good to great?

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Redskins activate Perry Riley from PUP list, LB set for practice

Redskins activate Perry Riley from PUP list, LB set for practice

After opening training camp on the Physically Unable to Perform list, Redskins coach Jay Gruden announced that LB Perry Riley has been activated and will practice on Friday.

Riley went out last December with a foot injury and missed the Redskins run to the NFC East title. A six-year veteran, Riley was drafted by the 'Skins in 2010 and emerged as a starter in 2011. Riley struggled somewhat early in the 2015 season, but his play was improving into the second half of the year.

"I expect him to come on and continue his strides," Gruden said of Riley's improved play. 

Coindence or not, Riley's play improved once Will Compton took over at starting linebacker for Keenan Robinson.

"I think it did," Gruden said of Riley playing better paired with Compton. "Maybe it's just the whole entire defense got better as the season went on."

Gruden said that the defense as a whole was becoming more comfortable with new coordinator Joe Barry, and that should only increase this season. 

Some think with a $5 million cap number - and a potential savings of $4 million if he was released - Riley could be subject to a roster squeeze. But after Compton and Mason Foster, Riley is the only inside linebacker with significant NFL experience on the roster compared to Martrell Spaight, Steven Daniels and Terence Garvin. 

It will be interesting to watch Riley's return from injury, both to see how he looks, and to watch where he fits with the defense. In nine games last season, Riley grabbed two interceptions and 24 tackles.

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Josh Norman using his physicality to help cure Matt Jones of 'fumble-itis'

Josh Norman using his physicality to help cure Matt Jones of 'fumble-itis'

RICHMOND—Josh Norman was brought to the Redskins to help the defense. But he’s trying to solve one of the potentially biggest problems facing the other side of the ball.

In a part-time role last year, running back Matt Jones fumbled the ball five times, losing four of them. This year Jones is projected to be the full-time running back and if he continues to fumble at the same rate Norman and company will be coming onto the field a lot sooner than they planned on many occasions.

Norman has taken it upon himself to try to fix this. When Jones is carrying the ball Norman makes an effort to knock it out of the back’s arms. It’s become a running competition between the two.

“We crack up all the time because [Jones] knows when he comes to that hole I’m looking for that ball,” said Norman. “I’m punching; I’m looking to get it out of there.”

So far, Jones is doing a good job with ball security, something he’s been working on all offseason.

“He’s holding that thing high and tight and I don’t know if I've got him once yet,” said Norman.

Norman said that his goal is to knock the ball out of Jones’ grasp five times during training camp.

“I’m going to be lurking, trust me, I’m going to try and get it,” he said. “And that makes him better because he knows he’s going to have to hold that thing tight.”

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Scot McCloughan injured his hand punching a wall after hearing of Josh Doctson's injury

Scot McCloughan injured his hand punching a wall after hearing of Josh Doctson's injury

Aside from perhaps Josh Doctson himself, no one inside the Redskins organization took the news of the rookie wide receivers' injury as bad a general manager Scot McCloughan did.

On Friday morning, ESPN 980 host and former Redskins tight end Chris Cooley detailed how McCloughan punched a wall and injured his hand sometime in May or June upon being told that the No. 22 overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft could miss most of the offseason with an Achilles injury.

RELATED: RANKING THE REDSKINS ROSTER

"He was sitting next to me, his hand was swollen and it was bandaged up and taped together," Cooley said on the broadcast

"I said, 'What happened to your hand?' He said, when I found out about Doctson — which they thought was going to be much worse, the Doctson injury, apparently it isn't going to be as bad - I punched the wall."

Sure enough, McCloughan was spotted at training camp on Friday sported a wrapped bandage on his left hand.

Doctson is expected to join the team on the field soon, although he began training camp on the PUP list.