We’re counting down to the start of training camp here by looking at some numbers that will be keys to the Redskins’ 2014 season.
You don’t have to be a big-time Redskins analyst to figure out that if the Redskins are going to be successful in 2014, Robert Griffin III is going to need to have a big year. And if he is going to have a good year he is going to have to stay upright in the pocket.
The Redskins really weren’t as bad as many fans thought when it came to protecting Griffin and Kirk Cousins in 2013. They were more in the middle of the pack, giving up 43 sacks compared to the NFL average of 40.5. When you consider how often the Redskins pass, they ranked 13th in the NFL getting sacked on 6.6 percent of their pass plays.
Still, they need to be better at protecting the franchise. A target of 26 sacks allowed may be very ambitious—last year it would have had them tied for third in the NFL—but it’s reachable. Between an increased emphasis on protection and Griffin improving his recognition skills and ability to get rid of the ball when he needs to, trimming off a sack per game should be an achievable goal.
It should be noted that pass protection is not all about sacks. If they allow about 40 percent fewer sacks they should also cut back on the QB hits and hurries (186 total in 2013 per Pro Football Focus). That will help make for a much more effective passing game in 2014.
The Redskins haven't shied away from using draft picks on players with an injury history, and that trend continued all the way to their final pick of the draft with Auburn CB Joshua Holsey.
Holsey missed parts of the 2013 and 2015 seasons at Auburn due to torn ACLs, but rebounded with a strong season in 2016. He had 30 tackles, three interceptions and 10 passes defended in his senior season.
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He was overlooked through most of the draft process due to his injury history and was snubbed at the combine.
The seventh round is a spot to take a flier on a guy who has some traits you like, and this certainly fits the bill with the pick of Joshua Holsey.
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With two picks in the seventh round, the Redskins rolled the dice and selected Josh Harvey-Clemons. A safety from Louisville that started his career at Georgia, Harvey-Clemons was a five star recruit out of high school that eventually left Georgia due to multiple positive drug tests.
His junior year at Louisville, however, was a breakout season for Harvey-Clemons. Here are three things to know:
- Testing - At Georgia, Harvey-Clemons dealt with multiple suspensions for marijuana. That had a major impact on his draft status, and will have the eyes of the NFL watching him on the next level.
- Size - Harvey-Clemons has the size to play safety in the NFL, or maybe even more of a hybrid role like Su'a Cravens as a rookie. He's listed at 6-foot-4 and 217 lbs. NFL.com describes him with an "alpha mentality."
- Keep it together - After sitting out a transfer year, Harvey-Clemons played well at Lousville for two seasons. He logged more than 140 tackles and took ACC conference honors in 2015 and 2016. Whatever problems he had early in his college career (cough pot cough) he controlled at Louisville. If that continues, Harvey Clemons could have a chance at making the Redskins roster.
Simply put? The Redskins rolled the dice on a kid with good size and tackling ability who had problems with marijuana early in his college career. A lot of college students have problems smoking marijuana early in their college career. In the 7th round, this seems like a good gamble.
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