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Extreme makeover at WR continues

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Extreme makeover at WR continues

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.

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Redskins announce Lichtensteiger, Hall to injured reserve, two players signed

Redskins announce Lichtensteiger, Hall to injured reserve, two players signed

The Redskins announced the moves of two veterans to injured reserve and the signing of a veteran center. They also promoted a player from the practice squad.

They sent safety DeAngelo Hall and center Kory Lichtensteiger to injured reserve. Hall suffered a torn ACL on Sunday against the Giants and Lichtensteiger sustained a calf strain.

To take those spots on the roster, the Redskins signed veteran center John Sullivan and offensive lineman Vinston Painter was moved up from the practice squad to the 53-man roster.

Sullivan, was the Vikings’ starting center from 2009 through 2014. The 31-year-old missed all of 2015 with a back injury and the Vikings released him on August 30 of this year.

The Redskins claimed Painter off of waivers in August but released him when they cut down to 53 players. He was then signed to the practice squad.

Hall and Lichtensteiger are no strangers to injured reserve. It’s the second straight season Lichtensteiger has been on injured reserve. He suffered a neck and shoulder injury last year that had him on IR for eight weeks before he returned. Hall tore his Achilles in 2014 and spent the last 11 games on injured reserve.

Due to the new injured reserve rules, either player would be eligible to return to the roster after missing eight weeks. With the ACL injury that will not happen for Hall but if Lichtensteiger could return if the calf heals. The team does not have to designate anyone to return in advance but they can make only one such move during the season.

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Redskins Stat Breakdown - Washington runs its way to victory over Giants

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USA Today Sports

Redskins Stat Breakdown - Washington runs its way to victory over Giants

CSN has teamed up with The Edge Systems to provide the occasional statistical review of Redskins game film. The Edge is analytical football software currently being used by coaches in the NFL, SEC, ACC and the media, providing some of the fastest and best data in football.

Aftet two weeks of lip service from coaches and players about establishing the run, the Redskins finally commited to Matt Jones and the ground game in the team's first victory against the Giants. The 'Skins ran the ball 28 times (excluding victory formation plays late in the game) and Jones got the rock 17 times. With help from The Edge, let's examine what worked well in New York.

Compare the difference in the loss to the Cowboys and the win over the Giants. Against the Cowboys the 'Skins ran two types of runs: Zone (14 attempts) and Gap (1 Attempt). Against the Giants on Sunday, Washington kept the defense guessing with Gap runs (6 attempts), Draws (4 attempts), a Sweep (1 attempt) but still kept their identity as a Zone running team (17 attempts). See graph below.

 

While the other running styles may not have had as much success as Inside Zone and Outside Zone, the variety broke up the Zone running focus of previous games and allowed for much more success in the run game overall.

 

Most importantly for Jay Gruden and Sean McVay, the Redskins stayed committed to the run and that plan succeeded in the fourth quarter.

Let us know what you think of the data and charts from The Edge in the comments.