Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, July 5, 19 days before the Redskins start training camp.
Three and out
—Robert Griffin III told FoxSports.com recently that “What I think is going to help us most this year is that everybody in that building is going to be for us being successful and for us winning. There are no ulterior motives. That will be great.” As does nearly anything that Griffin says, this statement invited some intense parsing by media and fans. As usual, the scrutiny was generally overblown.
—This statement stands out because we went most of the six months since Mike Shanahan was fired and replaced with Jay Gruden without any sorts of veiled shots being taken at the former coach by his main adversary. Griffin has not offered at a few softball opportunities to do so that have been tossed in his direction. He has remained on the high road.
—The bottom line here is that he said what he said in July. If he is still saying such things in September or October, there could be cause for concern that he isn’t focused on the present. Even then, if you know anything about Griffin and even occasionally look at his Twitter timeline, he is someone who is motivated by the “haters” and who seems to thrive on adversity. If he keeps last year in the back of his mind and thinks about it to use as motivation when he’s preparing that’s probably more positive than negative.
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—It’s been 188 days since the Redskins played a game; in 64 days they play the Texans in their 2014 season opener.
—Days until: Training camp 19; Preseason opener vs. Patriots 33; Home opener Jaguars @ Redskins 71
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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