Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, July 8, 16 days before the Redskins start training camp.
Three and out
—During minicamp, just before the five-week break before training camp, Jay Gruden was asked what he expected Robert Griffin III to do during the break. “Quarterbacks need to throw,” he said. “He needs to continue throwing and working on his footwork and fundamentals, different arm angles throwing the ball. You see some, he’s got to throw three-quarters, over the top, high release, low release, footwork, stepping up into the pocket, two hands on the ball. There is drill work you can do as a quarterback that you have got to take care of yourself when nobody is watching you in order to be great.”
—It sounds like Griffin is following those instructions, with the exception of the part about nobody watching you. Terry Shea, who worked with Griffin during the offseason in 2012 and earlier this year, will be working with Griffin for about a week before the start of training camp. It makes sense to bring in a QB guru. You can’t really judge how good your footwork on your own.
—It was clear that Griffin’s fundamentals suffered last year since he was spending all of his time in rehab and not on the field. Better footwork and holding the ball up higher won’t automatically lead to a higher passer rating. But it will be hard for Griffin to get better if those elements are sloppy.
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—It’s been 191 days since the Redskins played a game; in 61 days they play the Texans in their 2014 season opener.
—Days until: Preseason opener vs. Patriots 31; Final cuts 53; Home opener Jaguars @ Redskins 69
Hall: Redskins still looking for identity
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In case you missed it
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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