The statistical-minded folks over at the football website ProFootballFocus are always coming up with new formulas to help quantify what's taking place on the gridiron and in the fantasy football world. The latest newfangled equation from PFF writer Bryan Fontaine is named for a former Redskins wide receiver - and indicates a potential breakout season for one of the current options (here's a hint - the tall one)The "Lloyd Factor" named after Brandon Lloyd, came to be after the receiver in 2010 went from NFL afterthought to dominant force. After totaling59 receptions between 2006 (his first season in Washington) and 2009, Lloyd exploded for 77-148-11 with the Broncos. What accounted for the dramatic turnaround? Redskins nation surely ponderedthat question after watching his two uber-frustrating seasons in Washington.Obviously, on a basic level, Lloyd simply had tons more targets. That helps.What Fontaine sought to uncover was whether Lloyd's breakout campaign couldhave been predicted. The answer, yes, along with those authored by the likes of Stevie Johnson and Lance Moore. The essence of the discovery: forgettotal stats, but rather focus on per play production."What is more important is how efficient a wide receiver is on a per play basis and if they can make the most of a limited number of targets. With the benefit of our exclusive data, we can go beyond the box score to see detailed snap data and identify players who were targeted frequently when on the field and produced fantasy points when given the opportunity."Which brings us to one Leonard Hankerson, the Redskins third round pick in 2011. During his rookie campaign the 6-foot-2 targetstruggled, sat and eventually wound up injured, missing the bulk ofthe final two months. In between there were two rather glorious weeks as Hankerson appeared proficient and at times dominant, including his eight receptions for 106 yards outing against the Dolphins. It's those two weeks that caught the attention of Fontainte's "Lloyd Factor"."After seeing just 12 snaps in Weeks 7 and 8 combined, Hankerson played in 91 of the total snaps in Weeks 9 and 10 before a hip injury ended his rookie season. Hankerson was impressive in his two starts, totaling 12 receptions on 15 targets for 140 yards. He now faces a crowded depth chart with the additions of Josh Morgan and Pierre Garcon and a resurgent Santana Moss. Garcon is projected as one starter (93 at RWR the last three years with Colts), with an open competition for the other spot. There is a good chance Hankerson could win the other spot at split end as a featured player. He has the size, speed and hands to be a No. 1 wide receiver in time."If a breakout season for Hankerson is truly in the cards, Lloyd's tangential contribution would be his most significant involving the Redskins. Better late than never.
While it hasn’t been the best offseason for the Redskins organization in many respects it has been a good one for coach Jay Gruden. In the midst of turmoil over the status of general manager Scot McCloughan, Gruden got a two-year contract extension.
Although the final agreement on the deal came on March 4 in a steakhouse in Indianapolis during the NFL Combine, team president Bruce Allen said that talk of extending Gruden started much earlier.
“It was after the season, Dan [Snyder], Jay and I got together and we talked about the game plan because we’d made some changes on the coaching staff as well following the season,” Allen told CSN’s JP Finlay at the owners’ meetings in Arizona.
Gruden became the team’s head coach in 2014. His original five-year contract was set to expire after the 2018 season but now he is in the fold through 2020.
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Gruden’s record in Washington is 21-26-1, not the kind of record that normally has an organization rushing to extend a head coach. But after a 4-12 inaugural season, Gruden has led the Redskins to records of 9-7 and 8-7-1 the last two years. While by many standards that is a modest achievement, it marked the first back-to-back winning seasons in Washington since 1996-1997. The hope is that Gruden will keep them moving in the right direction.
The extension is likely to be popular in the locker room as players have come to like Gruden’s style.
“His directness, his sarcasm and at the same time he gets his coaching point in but the guys do like his sense of humor as well,” said Allen.
It’s not known if Gruden’s extension gives him more authority over personnel. His original deal gave him very little, with first Allen and then McCloughan having the final say in personnel selection and control over who makes the 53-man roster. Some NFL head coaches have final say in free agency acquisition and in the draft while many have control over who makes the 53.
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Gruden does have some informal influence when it comes to the draft.
“He’s got a big role,” said Allen. “First of all, he coordinates all the coaches’ reports and when we set the draft board, Jay will be up there. He watches every player who will be on the draft board and he will have an opinion.”
There is a power vacuum at Redskins Park with McCloughan gone. A new general manager won’t get hired until after the draft and the authority of that GM will have will be a matter of negotiation. It would not be surprising to see Gruden ending up with roster control.
Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, March 28, 30 days before the April 27 NFL draft.
—Offseason workouts begin (4/17) 20
—Redskins rookie camp (5/12) 45
—Redskins OTAs start (5/24) 57
—Franchise tag contract deadline (7/15) 109
—First Sunday of 2017 season (9/10) 157
Tuesday three and out
1. Maybe Bruce Allen and the Redskins have a master plan for saving the whole Kirk Cousins situation but right now it just looks like they’re stuck without a solution to paying $24 million to a quarterback who likely will be gone in a year. That’s money that could either be rolled over into future seasons if Cousins gets traded or used as a down payment on a long-term Cousins deal. Maybe there’s a master plan there somewhere but right now it looks an awful lot like the organization is just stumbling around in the dark, stubbing its toe while trying to find the light switch.
2. WR Brian Quick will cost the Redskins less against the salary cap than they are paying him. That’s because his contract takes advantage of the minimum salary benefit. He gets the sixth-year minimum salary of $775,000 plus an $85,000 signing bonus, a total of $860,000. Because of the minimum salary and low signing bonus the CBA rules allow the team to essentially discount the cap hit for the contract down to $695,000. The rule is designed so that younger players are necessarily cheaper, at least when it comes to the salary cap.
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3. Allen hinted that the Redskins won’t necessarily hire a general manager after the draft. While talking to colleague JP Finlay he said, “We’ll talk about what we need after the draft from a staffing standpoint.” Not “we’ll search high and low for the best GM in the business” but that needs will be examined. It’s going to be interesting to see how it all shakes out.
And out—Allen didn’t have much to say when JP asked about the stadium project that was a hot topic a year or so ago, only confirming that talks are ongoing. The fact that he had so little to say, not even some platitudes about the desire to build a great environment for the fans. Reading between the lines, this makes me think that a deal is getting close and the less that is said about it at this point the better. Virginia governor Terry McAuliffe will be term limited out of office next January and the feeling is that he will want to leave a Redskins stadium deal as his legacy.
Tandler on Twitter
The NFL wasn’t making any money off of Romo’s fantasy convention in Vegas. With Raiders in Vegas they get a ~$350 million relocation fee. https://t.co/7YeAQidRyO— Rich Tandler (@Rich_TandlerCSN) March 27, 2017
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