Quick Links

RG3 flattered by MVP talk

rg3_headshot.png

RG3 flattered by MVP talk

In recent days, Robert Griffin III’s name has been thrown into the MVP conversation by Jimmy Johnson, ESPN.com and other media outlets.

Griffin acknowledged after Wednesday's practice that he’s flattered by the chatter. But the rookie quickly added that he won’t get caught up in the hype – even after passing for four touchdowns in back-to-back victories and propelling the Redskins back into the playoff picture. 

“To be mentioned with the words MVP next to you is definitely an honor,” Griffin said at Redskins Park. “But it’s not something that you strive for.” 

Griffin insisted that he's focused on beating the Giants on Monday night and extending the Redskins’ post bye week run. How much longer the run lasts figures to have a direct impact on how much longer Griffin remains in the MVP conversation.

Either way, though, last year’s Heisman Trophy winner doesn’t sound concerned about individual accolades. 

“You don’t play for awards, or at least I know I don’t play for awards,” Griffin said. “I play for the guys in that locker room.” 

Some other highlights from Griffin’s weekly media availability, which, as usual, left the quarterback – and the reporters interviewing him – thoroughly entertained: 

--On the first meeting with the Giants: “It’s a game we felt we should have won, and we didn’t win it. But I won’t say it’s a revenge game or anything.” 

--On Pierre Garçon’s impact since returning: “As you all saw on Thanksgiving, when he spun that ball [after a catch]. He was staring at it. No one knew what world he was in. He was in his own world. That’s how he is. He was in a zone.”

--On Trent Williams’ deep thigh bruise: “If he needs me in the training room with him, I’ll rub on his leg, whatever he needs me to do. He completes that offensive line.” 

--On the increased sense of urgency: “Call it what you want: a playoff game, an elimination game. Doesn’t matter to us. We just know we have to go out and win.” 

--On back-to-back four touchdown performances: “It will be mindboggling after the season. I can’t sit back and rest on those things right now.”

--On fellow rookie Alfred Morris: “It’s good to see that he’s not slowing down after all the carries throughout the year, especially when they talk about the rookie wall. He hasn’t hit that.”

--On the game-clinching drive at Cowboys Stadium: “It was gut-check time, and we definitely checked their gut. ... [Laughter] I’m good for one every time."

--On being politically correct in DC: “I definitely pay attention to politics, but I don’t get involved in politics. Because there are a few things you don’t talk about: race, religion and politics. And I stick to that. ...My political correct answer is, ‘No comment’ a lot of the time.”

When the session ended, Griffin turned to the assembled reporters and cameras and cracked, "Good job. That was fun."

Indeed, it was.

 

Quick Links

Redskins interviewed Greg Manusky for defensive coordinator

Redskins interviewed Greg Manusky for defensive coordinator

The Redskins interviewed current outside linebackers coach Greg Manusky for their defensive coordinator opening, the team announced yesterday.  

Manusky has a long history with the Redskins organization. He served as outside linebackers coach this past season, and was also linebackers coach back in the 2001 season. In his playing days, Manusky was a Redskins linebacker from 1988 to 1990. 

He has held three separate defensive coordinator positions in his coaching career, including with the San Francisco 49ers (2007-2010), San Diego Chargers (2011) and Indianapolis Colts (2012-2015).

For more on his defensive philosophy and background, check out Rich Tandler's profile of Manusky

The Redskins have confirmed four interviews for the defensive coordinator position: Manusky, Rob Ryan, Gus Bradley and Mike Pettine

MORE REDSKINS: Projecting the Redskins' 2017 roster—Defense

Quick Links

Projecting the Redskins' 2017 roster—Defense

Projecting the Redskins' 2017 roster—Defense

The Redskins are looking at potential free agents and continuing with the draft process as they try to move team from residing in the middle of the pack in the NFL to becoming annual contenders to go deep into the playoffs. The process is all about trying to build a solid 53-man depth chart. Let’s get out the crystal ball and see what that depth chart might look like.

Earlier this week we looked at the offense; today the defense is up. Although there could be a change to a 4-3 base defense in the making depending on who the coordinator is, we’ll line them up in a 3-4 until there is word to the contrary.

*Pending unrestricted free agent

Defensive line

Starters: Chris Baker*, draft pick/free agent X 2
Backups: Matt Ioannidis, Ricky Jean Francois, Anthony Lanier

It seems that Baker wants to stay and give that the Redskins would be starting their D-line virtually from scratch without him the chances of coming up with a deal seem strong. I will spend the entire 99 days between now and the draft saying that it’s not a given that they will take a defensive lineman, or any defensive player, with their top draft pick. But someone like Malik McDowell of Michigan State sure would fit in well here along with a free agent like Bennie Logan of the Eagles. The organization will be looking for leaps forward from Ioannidis and Lanier.

Related: Redskins defensive coordinator resume: Jason Tarver

Outside linebacker

Starters: Ryan Kerrigan, Preston Smith
Backups: Junior Galette, Trent Murphy, Lynden Trail

Although nothing is certain until pen is put to paper, the chances of Galette giving it another go after two torn Achilles in two years are strong. Trail and Houston Bates will battle for a fifth spot, if there is one. Given Smith’s inconsistency and the uncertainty of Galette’s health it wouldn’t be surprising to see them draft an edge rusher.

Inside linebacker

Starters: Will Compton, free agent
Backups: Martrell Spaight, Mason Foster, draft pick

I’m putting Compton there in dry erase marker, not in Sharpie. They love his leadership and work ethic but he must make more plays. I have a free agent starting beside him because it’s a tough position for a rookie to learn. But if they spend a high draft pick that player could jump into a starting job quickly.  Foster moves into the nickel role that he performed well after Su’a Cravens went out with an injury. Steven Daniels, a 2016 seventh-round pick who spent the year on injured reserve, could push Spaight for a job.

Cornerback

Starters: Josh Norman, Quinton Dunbar
Backups: Kendall Fuller (nickel), Tharold Simon, free agent/draft pick

This could go in a lot of different directions. The only spot set in stone is Norman’s. I have Bashaud Breeland moving to safety, which is something of a speculative hot take. If they make that move, they could spend a high draft pick or substantial free agent money on a corner or they could stay in-house with Dunbar or Fuller. Simon could make the team and contribute or he could be cut.

More Redskins: An early look at first-round draft possibilities

Safety

Starters: Su’a Cravens, Bashaud Breeland
Backups: Will Blackmon, Deshazor Everett, draft pick

Safeties are hard to find. In college, potentially good safeties gravitate towards cornerback, where the NFL money is better. If a good one hits the free agent market, the laws of supply and demand push the price up beyond the value of the position. For those reasons, the Redskins might try Breeland at safety. Some in the organization have believed for a couple of years that safety is his best position. Cravens announced that he would be moving to safety so that change is firm. Duke Ihenacho, who is a free agent, could be back but I think he moves along. Blackmon is a good veteran reserve who can play nickel also. Even though he made a key interception when forced into duty against the Eagles, it still seems that they don’t trust Everett at safety and perhaps a mid-round pick will replace him.

Specialists: LS Nick Sundberg*, P Tress Way, PK Dustin Hopkins

I predict that Sundberg will be the first of the team’s pending free agents to agree to a contract. Hopkins may get some camp competition but it is unlikely to be of more than the token variety.

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