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Need to Know: What would a good 2015 for Redskins' RG3 look like?

Need to Know: What would a good 2015 for Redskins' RG3 look like?

Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, March 19, 42 days before the Washington Redskins go on the clock at the NFL draft.

Question of the day

A few days a week I’ll give an in-depth answer to a question submitted by a fan on my Twitter feed, via the Real Redskins Facebook page, or in the comments section here. On Twitter address the questions to me at @Rich_TandlerCSN with the #NTK hashtag. There will be a comment thread set up on the Facebook page and if you’re asking your question here, put “for NTK” at the start of the comment.

Today’s question is from Twitter:

Normally it’s one question to a tweet here but we can answer the first one pretty quickly. For 2015 to be successful they have to show real progress. That may not mean a lot more wins than they had in 2014 but they will need to show fight and have their free agents and at least a few of their draft picks playing well. If they can win 6 games or so and end the season with the arrow pointing up that will be a success.

If they are going to appear to have some momentum after the 2015 season it sure would help to have a quarterback who is playing well and improving. Robert Griffin III will be given first crack at being that QB.

He’s had an up-and-down ride since the last few weeks of the 2012 season and it hasn’t stopped this offseason. Things were looking up in late February when Gruden said that he will be the starter going into the season. Then here were reports that the Redskins would seriously consider drafting Marcus Mariota with the fifth pick in the draft. When that talk died down the team re-signed Colt McCoy, who started three games ahead of a healthy Griffin in 2014.

But adversity is part of the job and Griffin will have to deal with it. But back to the question of what Griffin will have to do to remove any doubt that he is the No. 1 quarterback.

Let’s look at this in terms of the middle ground. To some Griffin doubters nothing short of a combination of and RG3 2012 and a vintage Tom Brady type of performance would remove their misgivings. All he has to do is line up properly behind center and complete a pass every once in a while and he’ll be fine in the eyes of the more loyal Griffin fans.

But to most reasonable people, a group that includes Jay Gruden and Scot McCloughan, Griffin has to show substantial progress as a pocket passer. That doesn’t mean he can’t run and roll out and do the occasional read option. But he does need to be able to drop back and throw a pass before the receiver is out of his break and trust that he will be there to catch the pass. At no point can Griffin run out of bounds six yards behind the line of scrimmage before throwing the ball away. If he is looking at his first read that receiver is open he needs to pull the trigger on the pass or, if not, be successful in finding an alternative.

And Griffin doesn’t have time to waste in getting better. This can’t wait until November. He has to hit receivers coming out of their breaks in OTAs. If we’re at training camp and we see him hold onto the ball and pump and hesitate and scramble around, he’s in trouble. If we’re seeing that, Griffin might not make it to the regular season as the starter.

Don’t get me wrong; he doesn’t have to master pocket passing right away. But he does have to show some solid signs of progress

In short, Griffin needs to be competent. Last year he was not, at least not often enough to remove doubts.

It’s up to him. If he doesn’t get it done he has nobody to blame but himself.

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Timeline

—It’s been 81 days since the Redskins played a game. It will be about 178 days until they play another one.

Days until: Redskins offseason workouts start 32; 2015 NFL Draft 42; Redskins training camp starts 133

If you have any questions about what's going on at Redskins Park, hit me up in the comments. And I'm always on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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A Redskin fan's guide to the NFL Draft Combine

A Redskin fan's guide to the NFL Draft Combine

This week in Indianapolis the NFL world will converge at the Scouting Combine to watch college football players work out, sprint and lift weights in anticipation of the upcoming draft. For the Redskins front office, this draft needs to be a win.

The 2016 Draft could still yield strong results for Washington, but overall the class did not play particularly well as rookies. This year, Scot McCloughan has nine picks at his disposal, with the extra picks late in the draft in the fourth, fifth and sixth rounds.

It's no secret that the 'Skins need help along the defensive line, a lot of help. That should be a major area of focus for the Redskins scouts and coaches, and that will make next Sunday arguably the most important of the week in Indianapolis. 

The combine divides players into 11 position groups, but Groups 7, 8 and 9 will matter most. Groups 7 and 8 represent defensive linemen and 9 are the linebackers. That group officially arrives on Thursday but won't work out on the field until Sunday. The days in between include interviews, psychological testing and the bench press.

Obviously the Redskins won't spend all nine picks on only defensive linemen. The team will likely invest in the offensive line as well, and that group will arrive earlier in the week and work out on Friday. Cornerbacks and safeties are the last to work out on Monday, March 6. 

With the likely departure of at least one of DeSean Jackson or Pierre Garçon, and the possible departure of both, it would make sense for the 'Skins to bring in another receiver via the draft. They work out on Saturday, and should the Redskins decide to take a quarterback in the draft, the passers will work out that day too. 

Running back could be another spot the 'Skins invest. Jay Gruden said that Robert Kelley is locked into the RB1 role, but still the team might want increased competition at the position. The backs will work out Friday.

<<<LOOKING AT REDSKINS DRAFT PROSPECTS>>>

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Why won’t Redskins brass talk to the media at the NFL Combine?

Why won’t Redskins brass talk to the media at the NFL Combine?

The NFL has released the official schedule of when NFL coaches and executives will take the podium and address the media at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis. You can find it right here but I’ll save you a click—nobody from the Redskins is scheduled to talk.

NFL teams are not required to have a representative speak at the combine but most do. This year only the Saints and Patriots are joining the Redskins in avoiding the media.

Bill Belichick never talks at the combine and I believe that the Saints have bypassed the opportunity to do so in the past. However, the Redskins head coach traditionally has gone to the podium in the past. Joe Gibbs spoke when he was in his second stint as the head coach. Mike Shanahan, as tight lipped as anyone, met with the press in Indy each of his four years as head coach. Jay Gruden has spoken during each of the three years that he has been head coach.

RELATED: NFL Mock Draft Version 3.0

And last year Scot McCloughan held a small media gaggle with local reporters in his hotel in Indianapolis.

This year the Redskins are going somewhat dark. McCloughan did not speak to reporters at the Senior Bowl (Gruden held a brief availability in Mobile), a departure from his first two years with the team. And now no Redskins representatives at the combine.

One of the problems with changing what has been a longstanding practice and going into radio silence is that it leaves people speculating. If the team doesn’t want to put any information out there that is the organization’s option. But if you choose not to fill in the blanks, the fans and media will.

So why aren’t they talking? The best bet is that they are in a delicate stage when it comes to dealing with the future of quarterback Kirk Cousins. He is a pending free agent who is likely to be hit with the franchise tag on Wednesday, the day before the combine starts. At that point, the clock will be ticking on Cousins either signing a long-term contract or getting traded to a team that is willing to meet his asking price. It’s my guess that Jay Gruden does not want to face questions about Cousins’ future.

More Redskins: #RedskinsTalk podcast: Is Kirk too nice for his own good?

Gruden is not a very good liar; his poker face needs a lot of work. Perhaps that is a good quality for a human being but not a very good attribute for someone who would need to go out and talk about Cousins as the long-term quarterback for the team, or at least the QB for the coming season, when his status may be very much in doubt.

This is not to say that there is definitely going to be a trade of Cousins worked out at the combine. But it is very possible that a deal will be discussed with Kyle Shanahan and the 49ers and any number of other quarterback-needy teams. And perhaps there is concern that Gruden will let something slip or, more likely, say a lot on the subject of Cousins by not saying anything.

Again, this is just reading the tea leaves on my part. But by going silent the Redskins are sending an invitation for people to fill in the blanks. I am just taking them up on it.

Stay up to date on the Redskins! Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerCSN and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.