In general, there are four possible outcomes to Sundays game in regards to the teams success against the Saints and how well Robert Griffin III plays. Lets examine them in ascending order of how desirable they might be to Redskins fans.RG3 plays poorly and the Redskins lose:Here, were looking at Griffin going 12 for 25 for 125 yards and two interceptions and the defense not being able to slow down Drew Brees and company enough for the Redskins to stay competitive. For RG3 to look bad against a Saints defense that is only so-so might indicate that he will not progress as quickly as many have hoped. And Mike Shanahans first opening-day loss on top of that would not give fans much positive to focus on.RG3 plays well and the Redskins lose:Lets say that Griffin goes 22 of 30 for 275 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions and the Redskins put up 28 points, the most since last years season opener. But the defense cant do anything against the potent Saints offense and New Orleans scores 38. Although you never want to start a season 0-1 there certainly would be some encouragement for the rest of the season if Griffin put up some good numbers and looks to be in control of things.RG3 plays poorly and the Redskins win:It would take a bizarre set of circumstances for this to happen, with Brees throwing three picks in his own territory and Alfred Morris coming out of the gate with a monster performance. If those and a few more things go the Redskins way they could pull off a win even of Griffin goes 15 for 33 for 175 yards. Wait, is this scenario out of order? Would most Redskins fans rather see Griffin put up some gaudy numbers, thinking that that would bode better for the future than a win that could have a decidedly fluky feel to it?RG3 plays well and the Redskins win:Not much explanation needed here. If this happens, Redskins fans would be dancing in the streets and looking to make reservations for New Orleans for the Super Bowl in February.
Free agency is done. The draft is history. Rookie minicamp is in the rearview and the 90-man offseason roster has been filled out. Now comes the difficult part for Jay Gruden and his staff: putting it all together. With OTAs set to begin on Tuesday, Redskins Insiders JP Finlay and Rich Tandler will examine top priorities on Gruden’s to-do list as he prepares the team for training camp in Richmond later this summer.
Up today …
Finlay: There's a lot to do on the Redskins defensive line, and it starts in the middle. Expect free agent addition Stacy McGee to have a big opportunity to take over the nose tackle job. McGee ranked as a +5.5 run defender last season as rated by Pro Football Focus, and at 6-foot-3 and 308 lbs., he has the size to man the middle. McGee has plenty of talent, health has been his hiccup. He has only played all 16 games in one of his four seasons, and in 2016, he played only nine games.
Beyond McGee, the Redskins have some lottery tickets. Practice squad players A.J. Francis and Joey Mbu both have the size to play nose, but neither have the experience. Could Francis or Mbu emerge for significant snaps with the Washington defense? Sure, but it would be unexpected.
A bigger lottery ticket remains. Phil Taylor, a former first-round pick in 2012, has shown serious talent at the nose tackle position. At 6-foot-3 and 337 lbs., Taylor certainly has the size for the spot. At the same time, Taylor hasn't played an NFL game since 2014, losing both 2015 and 2016 to injury. Counting on Taylor would be short-sighted, but if he can remain healthy, there could be big value.
According to Jay Gruden, the most important piece of the nose tackle puzzle will come from new defensive line coach Jim Tomsula. Gruden said he expects Tomsula to "make" a nose tackle and improve the Redskins D-line. It's a tall order, but Tomsula has an impressive track record working in the trenches.
Tandler: The organization’s refusal to get a legitimate nose tackle either in free agency or in the draft will lead to them again spend the spring and summer trying to fit a square peg into a round hole.
That’s what they did last year with Ziggy Hood. He took a lot of snaps at nose tackle and he simply wasn’t a fit for the job. It wasn’t his fault that the Redskins allowed a league-worst 5.0 yards per rushing attempt on first down; he’s an end and he was much more effective there.
Matt Ioannidis, a 2016 fifth-round pick, also took some snaps at nose, with similar results. At 6-3, 308, he just doesn’t have the size to be effective.
The worst part of it here is that they really can’t get too far in identifying the 2017 nose tackle. In the spring with no pads and no contact allowed they really can’t do much besides work on technique and learn assignments. Tomsula’s effort to “make” a nose tackle won’t really get going until they get to Richmond in late August.
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The Redskins will be adding as many as three new positions to their front office, team president Bruce Allen said on Monday.
Speaking with the media at the Redskins Charitable Golf Foundation, Allen explained that he has spoken with 12 people from outside the organization about possible jobs.
Many wondered if the Redskins would make a hire after the early March firing of former general manager Scot McCloughan.
Reports showed that Allen wanted to promote a new GM from within, and that could still be the case. Doug Williams, Scott Campbell and Eric Schaefer are considered the internal leaders for the vacant position.
MORE REDSKINS: Who will stand out this season and who will disappoint?
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