Its expected that Robert Griffin III will make plays with his arm and his legs. But its also possible his mere presence in the pocket will benefit the Redskins, the teams running backs in particular, according to an article in Pro Football Weekly.After averaging 100.9 yards per game (25th in the league) and 4.9 yards per carry (22nd) in 2011, writer Eric Edholm predicts those numbers will be improved this season, in part, due to the presence of Griffin and the threat of him opening things up for the backs.Edholm writes:A former Broncos assistant who spent time on Redskins head coachMike Shanahans staff in Denver (and who requested anonymity because his current team plays the Redskins this season) told PFW this week that Griffin and his unique set of skills will change the dynamic of the Redskins run game.I am still trying to figure out if the kid (Griffin) is a special quarterback, but you watch, theyll bootleg and play action off that (outside) zone series and it will mess up some (defensive assignments), the assistant said. You have to respect the run, but you also have to honor (Griffins) athleticism.Edholm adds that Griffins ability to connect on deep passes will prevent safeties from edging up closer to the line of scrimmage.It will kill teams," the coach said. "Pretty soon you start thinking only about the quarterback; you tell your guys to stay home more, and thats when the backs will dice you up.The article concludes that Griffins arrival is good news forTim Hightower, Roy Helu and Evan Royster who might have just gotten a little better with a different quarterback on the field.
Of course, Kirk Cousins is disappointed the Redskins didn’t make the playoffs, but among the various things he’s done in the offseason, one of them is a little curious.
Sunday, Cousins wasn’t just watching the Falcons dominate the Packers, 44-21, in the NFC Championship Game. He sent out a picture on Instagram from the stands of the Georgia Dome.
“Watching two of the best in the world do what they do & taking notes to make it to this game next year -score a lot of points!” Cousins wrote.
But — especially with rumors that Atlanta offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan will be offered the head coaching position with the 49ers — is there more to this post than the Redskins’ quarterback simply watching the game?
Shanahan was the Redskins’ offensive coordinator from 2010-2013 and was reportedly “integral” in the team selecting Cousins in the 2012 NFL Draft.
So if Shanahan makes the move out to San Francisco and if the Redskins don’t put a franchise tag on Cousins, could the pair be reunited?
It’s possible, according to NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport, who said, “don’t be surprised if the 49ers make a run at Kirk Cousins if the Redskins do not make him their exclusive franchise player.”
There’s a lot of if’s involved for that to happen, but it’s possible. It’s also possible Cousins was just enjoying the NFC Championship Game and decided to Instagram about it.
MORE REDSKINS: Why Matt Cavanaugh makes sense for Washington
Championship Sunday produced a flurry of Redskins news. A pair of internal promotions erased the team's vacant coordinator positions, as Greg Manusky landed the defensive coordinator spot and Matt Cavanaugh will take over as offensive coordinator. When Sean McVay left to coach the Rams, many expected Cavanaugh to take over his spot. Here are three reasons why:
- If it ain't broke, don't fix it - There was plenty to criticize from the Redskins the last two seasons, but not much of it came on offense. Cavanaugh joined the organization in 2015 as quarterback coach, and the offense has consistently improved in those two seasons. Though the team struggled to score TDs in the Red Zone, the 2016 version of the Redskins moved the ball at a team-record clip and ranked among the top offensive teams in NFL yardage. When something is working as well as the 'Skins offense, it's not wise to change it dramatically.
- Impressive work - Cavanaugh began coaching QBs for the Redskins in 2015. Kirk Cousins took over as Redskins starting quarterback in 2015. In two years working together, Cousins twice broke the Redskins franchise passing record and is now poised to get a mega-contract in free agency. Talking after the 'Skins loss to the Giants earlier this month, Jay Gruden said, "I think [Cousins'] really improved his game a lot in the last couple years. And a lot of it has to do with Matt Cavanaugh and Sean McVay."
- Make the call - The biggest question remaining for the Redskins - outside of the HUGE unknown surrounding Cousins - will be about play calling. All indications are that Jay Gruden will return to calling the plays from the Washington sideline, and obviously, that's a situation Cavanaugh understands. For two seasons now, Cavanaugh along with McVay, Gruden and offensive line coach Bill Callahan have had input on play calling. With McVay gone, Cavanaugh and Callahan will likely contribute even more in support of Gruden.
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