While the offseason has another month to go, its safe to say that offseason personnel and coaching moves are pretty much over. There might be a minor trade or a waiver wire pickup here or there but the cake is mostly baked.So before training camp starts, lets take a look back at the five biggest moves of the offseason. Well count them down in order of how important they were. Earlier, we looked at the hiring of Raheem Morris and the roster decisions made at the start of free agency. Here we look at the signings of wide receivers Pierre Garon and Josh Morgan.NFL free agency started at 4:00 Eastern time on March 13. Well before 5:00, former Colts wide receiver Pierre Garon announced on his Facebook page and Twitter feed that he was a Washington Redskin.That news of one lightning-quick negotiation barely had time to sink in before there were multiple reports that the Redskins had signed receiver Josh Morgan away from the 49ers. Those reports were soon confirmed.The Redskins almost had a third wideout in the fold but negotiations with Eddie Royal, an area product and a draft pick of Mike Shanahans in Denver, fell through. He eventually signed with the Chargers.The timing left no question as to what the Redskins priority was in free agency. Neither did the money the two new receivers got. Garons deal pays him 42.5 million over five years with 20.5 million guaranteed. Morgans deal has some voidable years and it boils down to 12 million over two years with 7.5 million guaranteed.The Redskins had already moved to upgrade the quarterback position by trading away two first-round picks and a second to be able to swap picks with the Rams, putting themselves in position to draft Robert Griffin III second overall (a move that will be dissected later in this series). Clearly, they decided that they needed better weapons for their rookie quarterback.The wide receiver corps, a sore spot that the team has been trying to fix ever since The Posse broke up in the early 1990s, had already been transformed since Shanahan came to town in 2010. Only Santana Moss remains from the group of receivers that played for Jim Zorn in 2009.The rebuilding effort has yet to bear fruit. Joey Galloway, who was 38 at the time, and veteran Roydell Williams played a substantial number of snaps in 2010. Leonard Hankerson was starting to be productive last year before his season was cut short with a hip injury. Jabar Gaffney, acquired in a post-lockout trade, led the team in receiving in 2011 but the coaches were not satisfied with his playmaking ability. It looked like they had a real find when Anthony Armstrong averaged almost 20 yards on 44 receptions in 2010 but he crashed back to earth last year with just seven catches.They drafted Hankerson, Aldrick Robinson, and Niles Paul last year. Robinson has a shot at making it this year after spending most of 2011 on the practice squad and Paul has been moved to tight end.The transformation continues with the additions of Garon and Morgan. So far, the changes have just been akin to rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. Shanahan hopes that Garon and Morgan, along with RG3, can get the ship sailing in the right direction.Rich Tandler blogs about the Redskins at www.RealRedskins.com. You can reach him by email here and follow him on Twitter @Rich_Tandler.
Facing one of the NFL's best running backs in Arizona's David Johnson, the Redskins plan to use rookie linebacker Su'a Cravens as a spy in nickel coverage to slow down the Cardinals' threat, per a source close to the team.
Johnson ranks third in the NFL with 921 rushing yards, but it's the variety of ways the Arizona offense uses their second-year running back that makes him so difficult to handle for opposing defenses. Johnson also has 55 catches for 613 yards, and that's just through 11 games.
Cravens comes into the game with momentum as perhaps the Redskins most dynamic defensive threat. With size to play linebacker and enough speed to play coverage, the 6-foot-1, 220 lbs. rookie out of USC will be put in a tough position covering Johnson. The reality of his assignment is to try and contain Johnson as the Cardinals offense is so reliant on the runner that he will get a number of chances.
In their last two games, Johnson has gone for more than 150 total yards in each contest and scored multiple touchdowns. For his part, Cravens has proved a playmaker in his rookie season. To go with 29 tackles in nine games, his stat sheet has sacks and an interception listed.
Getting to Carson Palmer is the best path for the Redskins defense - especially considering the Cardinals' offensive line woes - but using Cravens to try and limit Johnson is a smart course of action for the 'Skins.
One member of the Washington defense explained that Johnson is "going to make plays" but that the key is to limit the damage. If the running back catches a ball out of the backfield, Joe Barry's defense will be focused on making a stop after a five-yard gain, instead of a 20-yard gain.
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GLENDALE, AZ—As expected, the Redskins will be without star tight end Jordan Reed today against the Cardinals.
He is inactive due to a third-degree AC joint sprain in his left shoulder.
Reed gutted it out and played the second half on Thanksgiving Day in Dallas after being injured in the first but during the week he didn’t practice at all couldn’t regain the range of motion needed to play today.
Coach Jay Gruden said on Friday that the team is planning on having Reed play next week against the Eagles.
For this week, Vernon Davis will step into the starting role.
Also inactive is reserve defensive lineman Anthony Lanier, who was kicked in the lower leg in Dallas. Gruden said that the swelling was still too severe for him to be able to play.
LIVE BLOG: WEEK 13 REDSKINS VS. CARDINALS
The Redskins’ other inactive players today:
- QB Nate Sudfeld
- DL AJ Francis
- RB Matt Jones
- WR Rashad Ross
- DB Dashaun Phillips