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REDSKINS OTAS TO-DO LIST: Receiver group has talent but questions

REDSKINS OTAS TO-DO LIST: Receiver group has talent but questions

Free agency is done. The draft is history. Rookie minicamp is in the rearview and the 90-man offseason roster has been filled out. Now comes the difficult part for Jay Gruden and his staff: putting it all together. With OTAs set to begin next Tuesday, Redskins Insiders JP Finlay and Rich Tandler will examine top priorities on Gruden’s to-do list as he prepares the team for training camp in Richmond later this summer.

Up today … 

Wide Receivers to-do list

Finlay: The Redskins were loaded at the receiver position in 2016. Pierre Garçon and DeSean Jackson each recorded more than 1,000 receiving yards before bolting in free agency this offseason. To offset some of that loss, Washington signed Terrelle Pryor from the Browns. The team still has Jamison Crowder, a player that could emerge as a 1,000 yard wideout this season, primarily from the slot position.

After those two, the Redskins have lots of questions. It starts with Josh Doctson, the 2016 first-round pick that barely played as a rookie. Doctson has looked quick and healthy this offseason, and if the Achilles injury is behind him, 2017 could be a breakout season. It will basically be his rookie season, however, so expectations should be around 750 receiving yards for the former TCU star this season. 

After Pryor, Crowder and Doctson, the Redskins also signed Brian Quick from the Rams and drafted Robert Davis in the sixth round out of Georgia State. Ryan Grant and Maurice Harris will be back with the team for training camp as well. 

Top of the to-do list for the Redskins at receiver: Ensure Doctson is ready to go Week 1. If he can go, Kirk Cousins can make it work with his new weapons.

Tandler: I agree about Doctson. The Redskins struggled mightily in the red zone last year and each time they left points on the field down close to the goal line it was hard not to wonder what the 6-2 Doctson could have done for them. His specialty is going up and high-pointing the ball. Those futile fade patterns could have been fruitful if Doctson and Kirk Cousins had been able to develop some chemistry before and during the season.

Cousins and Pryor started getting in sync with some work with Jon Gruden down in Florida last month (Doctson and other receivers also participated). Developing chemistry will be critical during the offseason. Remember that Pierre Garçon and Cousins both came to Washington in 2012 so by the time Cousins became the starter in 2015 the quarterback had thrown hundreds of passes to his No. 1 target. Cousins and Pryor won’t have that much time.

They also need to sort out the bottom of the depth chart. Is Maurice Harris worthy of being the first option off the bench? Is free agent pickup Brian Quick worthy of a roster spot? Does sixth-round pick Robert Davis need a year of seasoning on the practice squad? Will Ryan Grant’s top-notch work habits overcome his lack of productivity last year?

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Redskins Week 3 injury report: Five are listed as questionable

Redskins Week 3 injury report: Five are listed as questionable

The Redskins had a tough, physical game against the Rams last Sunday and it shows on the team’s injury report. Five players are listed as questionable for the coming game against the Raiders at FedEx Field.

TE Jordan Reed (chest), RB Rob Kelley (ribs), ILB Mason Foster (shoulder), S Montae Nicholson (shoulder), and CB Josh Norman (shoulder) are the players who are questionable.

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Of those players, Reed was the only one to miss a practice this week. He was out on Wednesday and was back on a limited basis on Thursday and Friday. The Pro Bowl tight end told reporters in the locker room that he will be in the lineup on Sunday.

There is particular concern about Kelley’s injury. He is likely to start as he usually does. But CSN is reporting that the team will have four running backs on the game day active list instead of the three they went with in Weeks 1 and 2. Mack Brown will dress for the Redskins after being inactive in both previous games.

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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.

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Pierre Garcon was fantastic vs. the Rams, but don't lament his departure just yet

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USA TODAY Sports

Pierre Garcon was fantastic vs. the Rams, but don't lament his departure just yet

Thursday night's Rams-49ers game was surprisingly fun. It was also unofficially the Check Out All These Ex-Redskins Now Playing or Working in California Bowl.

Sean McVay and Kyle Shanahan, two former Washington offensive coordinators, are now in charge of the two teams. Old 'Skins like Aldrick Robinson, Derek Carrier and John Sullivan, meanwhile, were a part of the on-field action.

It was Pierre Garçon, though, who pushed Burgundy and Gold fans to take their phones out of their pocket and pen sad tweets. That's because the 31-year-old wideout caught seven Brian Hoyer passes (that's impressive on its own, by the way) for 142 yards vs. Los Angeles on Thursday Night Football.

And while his team lost 41-39, Garçon didn't deserve to with plays like this:

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Even with that standout performance, however, Redskins fans shouldn't be cursing the franchise for letting Garçon go. Not yet, anyway.

This past march, the veteran left D.C. after five seasons to sign with San Fran. His deal was a rich one: five years for $47.5 million ($17 million guaranteed at signing). The Niners can get out of it after two years, but it still is a sizable contract even with that potential exit.

That kind of money is the first thing those who miss Garçon should think about. Now, the Redskins didn't exactly handle their negotiations with him that smoothly, but in the end, unless he gave Washington a nice discount, he just would've cost a lot to keep.

Secondly, it's easy to slam the 'Skins for losing Garçon while Kirk Cousins and Co. have stalled through two games in 2017. But the reason that's happening thus far has more to do with Cousins' inaccuracy in Weeks 1 and 2 and an offensive line that's not at the level it should be than with that familiar No. 88 not lining up outside anymore.

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Would Garçon have made a difference for the Redskins against the Eagles and Rams if he were still here? Yeah, probably. But when Jay Gruden's unit starts operating at its normal speed and precision — and it will — the upset voices lamenting Garçon's departure will get quieter.

This is nothing against the guy who was the NFL's 2013 receptions leader and who's well on his way to another productive campaign. It's just that it feels premature to make the connection that allowing him to move on is what's ailing the Washington offense, or that it was a disastrous decision. 

Give Garçon's far cheaper replacements (Terrelle Pryor and Josh Doctson) more time. Wait for the quarterback and his linemen to sync up again. In a league with just 16 games, that's very hard to do, but let's see if those in the area long for Garçon in December as much as they are currently longing for him in September.