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Redskins' RG3 speaks—about football

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Redskins' RG3 speaks—about football

This may be breaking news to some of you but Robert Griffin III spent the vast majority of his meeting with reporters on Tuesday talking about football, not about his self-assessment of his quarterbacking abilities. They are playing a preseason game against Detroit on Thursday and Griffin was asked about what he wanted to accomplish during the game.

“We want to get points on the board,” he said. “This is a tough defense we’ll be going against so this will be a good test. We’re trying to get plays, trying to get the rhythm and timing down on the game days, see how guys are moving, continue to increase our tempo as an offense and just get positive plays.”

The Lions do indeed have a tough defense. Football Outsiders had them third in the NFL in defensive DVOA last year and even though they lost some very good players such as tackle Ndamukong Suh they will still provide a stern test.

Griffin didn’t know how long the first team would play, although Jay Gruden said later that the starters will play about a quarter, depending on how things go. But he’s not worried about how many snaps he plays.

“Whatever time coach gives us, that will be sufficient for that,” said Griffin. “We just want to get in and out healthy, obviously last game we had a couple of injuries . . . You can say what you want about the preseason but we want to get in and get out, make sure we put together a good drive, two drives, however many drives coach wants us to get in and then get on the sideline and watch the other guys go at it.”

In Cleveland last Thursday the Redskins lost starting tight end Niles Paul was lost for the season with a dislocated ankle and reserve running back Silas Redd with a knee injury.

No matter how much he plays, Griffin needs to play better than he did last year in the second preseason game. His top-level numbers against the Browns at FedEx Field didn’t look bad. He completed six of eight passes for 112 yards. But Griffin lost a fumble to end the Redskins’ first offensive possession and he threw an interception to end the second.

The third drive ended when the Redskins couldn’t get into the end zone on four running plays in a series that started with first and goal at the three. That certainly wasn’t Griffin’s fault but it was a rather shaky drive. Griffin was sacked for a loss of nine yards and committed a false start penalty. The Redskins benefitted from three Cleveland penalties that resulted in first downs. Griffin completed only one pass during the 13-play, 82-yard drive but it was a big one, a 49-yard toss to Andre Roberts.

The bottom line was that the starting offense didn’t get the ball into the end zone. That was the second straight game they had failed to score a touchdown with Griffin in the game. After Griffin and company were kept out of the end zone last week the skid has stretched to four games.

Griffin attempted a total of 20 passes during the preseason last year. He didn’t seem to be ready once the season started. But he said that the decision on how many preseason passes he throws is not his.

“I don’t look at it that much,” he said. “That’s for coach and them to assess and break down. You just want to get in a flow and a rhythm. We’re not game planning very heavily right now so even the throws I do get, it’s not like the throws we’re going to be doing during the season. You don’t want to show your cards.”

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Need to Know: Did the Redskins underachieve in 2016?

Need to Know: Did the Redskins underachieve in 2016?

Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, January 18, 99 days before the NFL draft.

Timeline

Days until:
NFL franchise tag deadline 43
NFL free agency starts 51
First Sunday of 2017 season 236

The coordinator search and more

Did the Redskins underachieve this year? I know that a metric like Football Outsiders' DVOA is not the final word in the quality of a team but looking at it year after year it usually does work out that the teams with the better numbers in DVOA usually win more games than those with worse numbers. The Redskins finished 2016 eighth in DVOA. Considering that 12 teams make the playoffs, that could be considered a playoff quality team. Yet 15 teams finished with a better record than they did. I’m sure there are some holes in the formula for the stat but just looking at that it sure appears that the Redskins did leave some wins out on the field.

John Keim is reporting that the Redskins are prepared to switch to a 4-3 defense if that is what their new defensive coordinator prefers. They have been in the 3-4 since Mike Shanahan arrived in 2010. Whether it is because of the scheme or lack of draft and free agent resources spent on the line and at safety, the defense hasn’t been very good. As Keim notes, they will need to make some personnel changes if they do change but with a full load of draft picks and $62 million in cap space this may be the time to do it.

I expected the angst that was all over Twitter when word of the Rob Ryan interview got out. But it’s pretty dumb to get all worked up over an interview (with all due respect to readers here who may have been upset). It’s not a hiring. Look, somehow or another Ryan managed to stay employed as an NFL defensive coordinator for 12 straight seasons. I don’t know how to research it without going through some very time consuming and tedious steps but I’d be willing to bet that only about a few dozen men in the history of the league have been able to remain a defensive coordinator for that many season in a row. The organization can learn something from sitting down and talking to him for a few hours.

I understand that we want things to talk about in a relatively slow time. But I just don’t see why there is fear out there over the possibility that Kyle Shanahan will get hired as the coach of the 49ers and somehow steal Kirk Cousins away to be his quarterback. The Redskins can maintain his rights via the franchise tag. They could tag Cousins and trade him to the 49ers but there would be a heavy price in terms of draft picks. But while it’s possible, it’s unlikely. The chances are very, very good that Cousins will be in a Redskins uniform this year via either the tag or a long-term deal. 

Tandler on Twitter

In case you missed it

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

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#RedskinsTalk Podcast Episode 40 - Seriously, when will the Redskins pick a coordinator?

#RedskinsTalk Podcast Episode 40 - Seriously, when will the Redskins pick a coordinator?

As the Redskins settle into the offseason without both an offensive and defensive coordinator, JP Finlay and Rich Tandler debate who will get the jobs, and when they will be announced. 

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