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The Redskins sign RG3--now what?

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The Redskins sign RG3--now what?

The Redskins have their franchise quarterback signed, sealed, and delivered. Robert Griffin III is under their control for the next five years (the four-year deal plus a team option in the fifth year).So now what?Well, once they get RG3 enrolled in the 401k and health care plans, get his direct deposit information (unless hes going to drop off his 14 million signing bonus check at the drive-through at the bank like Chris Cooley did with his bonus check), and show him where he can park his Chrysler Pacifica, they need to get to work on finding out how to make himand the Redskins offensesuccessful.But how will the go about doing that? Doug Farrar on Yahoo.com says that the Redskins would do well to follow the lead of Rob Chudzinski. He is the Panthers offensive coordinator, the man most responsible for Cam Newton enjoying one of the best seasons a rookie NFL quarterback has ever had. What did Chudzinski do?Not only did Chudzinski set things up in ways that would allow Newton to make more traditional NFL plays from the pocket, but his willingness to weld the playbook Newton had at Auburn in 2010 showed impressive flexibility and open-mindedness that paid big dividends every Sunday in 2011."If you go back and look at the things we did offensively and the different types of passplays off of play-action, drop-back passes, it was then incorporating some of the spread offense that he was used to seeing," Panthers head coach Ron Rivera said at the 2012 scouting combine. "Our coaches went back and studied some of the Auburn things and looked at that and adapted that to our playbook."Mike and Kyle Shanahan may not go back and pull plays out of Baylors playbook, although we shouldnt completely discount the possibility. But there already are some things in the Redskins offense that Griffin should be able to run effectively.I think we can do some things that he feels very comfortable with, with our play action game, our boots, quarterback keeps that fit him perfectly and different things weve done through the years that would be very easy, that he could right now and not even think twice, Mike Shanahan said in May.The first part of the process of taking him through the paces wearing shorts and a helmet going up against teammates in shorts and helmets already took place in OTAs and minicamp. The next phase will start the third day of training camp when he and the rest of his teammates put on pads (no pads or contact are allowed in the first two days of training camp per the CBA). Griffin wont be taking any hits but the intensity does pick up when the hitting starts.After that, about three weeks from today, the RG3 edition of the playbook will put to the test against players in different-colored uniforms. The Buffalo Bills will be going all out to try to stop Griffin and will be planting their facemasks in his rib cage if the opportunity arises. If he runs, it wont be two-hand touch to get him down.There will be review of the film and some plays will be taken off of the active play list and others will be added on. The process will continue the next week in Chicago and then against the Colts and Bucs at FedEx Field. The intensity ticks up several more notches when the regular season starts in New Orleans on Sept. 9. Plays are in RG3s comfort zone may not be when hes not facing a defense resting several starters at the beginning of the game and has substituted out the rest of the first team after the first few series.And it wont end there. The process of adjusting and readjusting will continue through the season. RG3 and the Shanahans may find a sweet spot for a few weeks but then the defenses will adjust and plays that were working earlier in the year will have to be scrapped or modified.The plan is to get the offense moving well enough to improve on last years dismal scoring average of 18 points per game (26th in the NFL) and to get Griffins career off on the right foot. How successful they are in achieving the latter could go a long way towards determining the quarterbacks career track.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 vs Browns Preview: 5 things to know as Washington looks to get even

Redskins vs Browns Preview: 5 things to know as Washington looks to get even

The Redskins take on the Browns Sunday at 1 p.m., but full coverage begins on CSN at noon. Can Washington climb back to an even record after a poor start? Weather at FedEx Field calls for overcast skies and the possibility of rain remains after a wet week in the DMV. Here is everything you need to know for the matchup:

  1. Time is now - For three weeks the Redskins have moved the ball well, until they get in the Red Zone. Looking at the numbers, there is little reason for the hiccups inside the 20. Kirk Cousins is the second leading passer in the NFL, and last season the Redskins offense proved they can be a scoring force. Eventually, the red zone levee will break, and odds are this will be the week. Cleveland's defense gave up 30 points to a middling Miami offense last week, and gave up 25 and 29 points in Weeks 1 and 2. 
  2. Don't get confused - Much will be made of Terrelle Pryor's standout effort in a Week 3 loss to Miami. The Cleveland receiver and occasional QB had an impressive day, totalling 200 yards and a touchdown. But Pryor should not be the focus of the Redskins defense. That needs to be locked in on stopping Browns RB Isaiah Crowell, the NFL's second-leading rusher. Crowell is averaging more than 6 yards-per-carry, and Washington's defense has been gashed on the ground this year. The key to beating Cleveland comes in stopping the run. 
  3. More, more, more - Running, that is. Matt Jones got 17 carries against the Giants and ran the Redskins to the game-winning field goal late in the game. Offensive coordinator Sean McVay on Jones late success in New York: "We got a few more opportunities and when they presented themselves in that crunch-time situation I thought he ran his best. A bigger, physical back – I thought that he got better as the game progressed and that’s what you want to see from him." More carries from Jones, especially late in the game, will mean good news for the 'Skins.
  4. 3-headed monster - Coming into the season, the Redskins plan on defense was to have Junior Galette, Ryan Kerrigan and Preston Smith attack quarterbacks off the edge of their defense. That plan came to a crashing halt when Galette blew out his Achilles. Surprisingly, Trent Murphy is succesfully stepping into Galette's role, leading the team with three sacks in three games. While Joe Barry's unit could use more from Smith, Murphy's results are encouraging, and this could be the week all three outside linebackers get going against a rookie QB in Cody Kessler.
  5. Stay special - In last week's win in New York, the Redskins special teams shined. Punt returner Jamison Crowder busted a long return and Tress Way completed a long pass to Quinton Dunbar on a well-timed but gutsy fake punt call. Oh yeah - Dustin Hopkins made all five of his field goal attempts and was named Special Teams Player of the Week and Month. It wasn't all smiles on specials, as the 'Skins had an early fumble on a return and a blocked punt called back late in the game. But if Washington's special teams can continue to deliver big plays, that could be a big boost for the team. And don't forget Rashad Ross will be back returning kicks this week.

Numbers & Notes

  • The Redskins have forced 27 fumbles since the start of the 2015 season, most in the NFL. The Redskins also lead the league with 18 fumble recoveries in that span.
  • Jamison Crowder already has two receiving TDs this year. His next will be a career high, after just two TDs as a rookie.
  • Jordan Reed needs two catches to get to 200 career receptions.
  • If Trent Murphy can force a fumble against Cleveland, he would become the first member of the Redskins to force a fumble in three consecutive games since LaVar Arrington in 2003.

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More talk of Redskins OC Sean McVay as head coach - but this time on college level

More talk of Redskins OC Sean McVay as head coach - but this time on college level

When LSU fired head coach Les Miles, a lot of big-time names were suggested for the job. But what about Redskins offensive coordinator Sean McVay?

Albert Breer of the MMQB listed McVay as a potential candidate, along with a host of other NFL names to go with obvious college options like Tom Herman or Lane Kiffin. From Breer on McVay:

His star has risen so quickly that the 30-year-old may be an NFL head coach before colleges even get the chance to call, but he’d make a lot of sense for a program looking for energy and buzz.

Watching McVay work it's obvious he has the passion and ability to connect with young players - as he currently runs the Redskins offense that includes some players older than him. But it's worth keeping in mind the Redskins coordinator was raised around the pro game, not the college one, and with his background and offensive acumen the guess here is that McVay will stay in the professional ranks. 

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Even while scoring is down for Washington through three games, the Redskins offense is moving the ball well. QB Kirk Cousins is second in the league in passing yards, and the team finished 2015 with the 10th highest scoring offense.

"I’m sure he’ll be a head coach a lot sooner than people think," Washington head coach Jay Gruden said of McVay in an early August MMQB article.

It's clear McVay will get a chance as a head coach, the only question is where. Apparently that list could now include Baton Rouge. 

NOTE: Former Redskins offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan also landed on Breer's list of LSU possibilities. From Breer, "Would Shanahan go? He’s 37 and he’s been an OC for nine years, so it’s possible he’d want to get his feet wet as a head coach. Remember, [Texans coach Bill] O’Brien went to Penn State after knocking on the door for NFL jobs, so it’s not hard to see another rising young guy doing it. Shanahan played at Texas and coached at UCLA, which means he’s not foreign to big college programs."