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RG3: 'Not up to my standards'

RG3: 'Not up to my standards'

Fans watching in the stands and on TV knew it. The media covering the Redskins knew it. TV analysts and other national media types knew it.

Finally, Robert Griffin III admitted it.

The Redskins’ quarterback needed some time to get ready to play eight months after having reconstructive surgery on his right knee on January 9. He has been reluctant to use that as any sort of excuse for his play, which has not been up to the standards he set as the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2012.

Griffin did not come out and say that he needed time to knock off the rust but it doesn’t take much reading between the lines of some of his comments yesterday to see that while he may have been all in for Week 1, he wasn’t necessarily all ready for Week 1.

Here are some quotes from his Wednesday news conference:

—(asked if the bye week helped his knee) “The more time you have after it (the surgery), the better it’ll be.”

—“The only way to come back from an injury like that is to play and that’s what we had to do. I feel good about what we were able to do from a groundwork standpoint, building up each game, but now it’s time for us to make that breakthrough, and we have to do it.”

—(asked if he expected to hit the ground running or struggle early on) “A little bit of both. You come out and the way we played – the way I played that first game – that was not up to my standards or up to our standards as a team in general. That was disappointing. When it comes to timing here, timing there, sometimes you might be a little bit off coming back from an injury like I had, and you have to work through those growing pains, but we didn’t think it was going to be what it ended up being those first couple of games, so that’s no excuse at all.

Let’s be clear here, these are not things that are new to Griffin and the Redskins. But what’s new here is Griffin publicly  talking about the quality of play and the reason for it.

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NFL Draft Countdown: 5 questions for Redskins Director of College Scouting Scott Campbell

NFL Draft Countdown: 5 questions for Redskins Director of College Scouting Scott Campbell

Redskins Director of College Scouting Scott Campbell will speak to the media on Monday, and there are plenty of questions as Washington prepares for the draft on Thursday.

Some of the most important topics will not be about what college players the 'Skins will target, but rather the state of the front office since the ouster of former general manager Scot McCloughan. That said, Campbell plays a huge role in draft decisions, and it will be quite interesting to inquire on strategy. 

Below are five questions for Campbell:

  1. What now - With McCloughan gone, what, if any, changes have happened in the front office? Does Campbell have more control or input on player selection? 
  2. Final say - Again, with McCloughan gone, who makes the final call on players? Bruce Allen and Jay Gruden made very clear during NFL League Meetings a few weeks back that a composite of Redskins officials work to establish a grade for each draft prospect. The team then drafts based on those grades. But eventually, the team will be forced to deviate from the draft board or make a decision on two players with similar grades. Who makes the final call?
  3. Need or talent - Redskins fans tend to grow frustrated at the suggestion of taking the best player available in the NFL Draft, but that is also the methodology the franchise has employed. That system delivered first-round picks of a guard in 2015 and a receiver in 2016; neither position had great need. Washington most needs help on its defensive line, and the defensive side of the ball overall.
  4. Sweet 17 - The entire draft is an opportunity for the 'Skins to add talent, but no pick carries as much potential as the 17th overall. The speculation is wild about what player might land with the Burgundy and Gold, and the rumors will only build this week. Is a running back in play? Haason Reddick? Could off-field concerns drop Reuben Foster to 17? 
  5. Another arm - Washington has Kirk Cousins, Colt McCoy and Nate Sudfeld under contract in 2017. After that, however, Cousins could be gone. Will the 'Skins look to add another passer, perhaps on Friday or Saturday in the later rounds? If they do, it's unlikely the team will carry four QBs this fall, so a decision could accompany that pick.
  6. Trading places - Might a trade be in the works? Last year the Skins made a number of trades over the course of the three-day draft, and it's likely more deals get worked out this week in Philadelphia. Does that mean a mega-trade that includes Cousins? Probably not. But it would not be a surprise if the franchise traded down in the first round, like they did in 2016. 

<<<LOOKING AT REDSKINS DRAFT PROSPECTS>>>

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Need to Know: Third-down passing stats reveal why the Redskins need to draft edge rushers

Need to Know: Third-down passing stats reveal why the Redskins need to draft edge rushers

Are the Redskins moving towards the edge in the draft on Thursday.

Here is what you need to know on this Monday, April 23, three days before the April 27 NFL draft.

Timeline

Days until:

—Redskins rookie camp (5/12) 18
—Redskins OTAs start (5/24) 30
—Training camp starts (7/27) 94
—Redskins opener vs. Eagles (9/10) 139

The best edge rushers who should be available at pick 17

In the big picture, the Redskins weren’t too bad when it came to bringing down the quarterback. They compiled they compiled 38 sacks, good enough to tie for ninth in the NFL.

But when you put the numbers under closer scrutiny you can see that they didn’t get it done when they really needed to. On third down, when most teams are expected to pass the ball, the Redskins got just 12 sacks on 166 pass attempts. That was tied for seventh-fewest in the league.

It’s easy to see the linkage from this to the Redskins league-worst third down defense that gave up first downs on 46.6 percent of opponents’ attempts. The time opposing quarterbacks had to pass was a factor in the passer rating of 110.3 that they posted on third down. The composite passer rating for all third-down pass attempts throughout the league last year was 86.1.

Looking at this, it would be difficult for any Redskins fan to object to the selection of an edge rusher with the team’s top draft pick on Thursday. Here are some possibilities who may be available when the Redskins draft with the 17th pick.

Derek Barnett, Tennessee—A highly productive player who racked up double-digit sacks in the last three seasons playing in the SEC.

Charles Harris, Missouri—A high-motor player who has a jaw-dropping spin move to get to the quarterback.

Takkarist McKinney, UCLA—The Bruins moved him around at times, sneaking him inside to rush through the A gap. He may not always win but it won’t be because he doesn’t try.

Taco Charlton, Michigan—He’s 6-6, 277 and very athletic. Vidaunte (his given name) recorded 10 sacks and 13.5 tackles for a loss for the Wolverines.

T.J. Watt, Wisconsin—The buzz is that the Redskins are very high on Watt’s potential. In just his second year as an outside linebacker he had 11.5 sacks and 15.5 tackles for a loss.  

Haason Reddick, Temple—This one has an asterisk as he likely would be an inside linebacker in the Redskins’ 3-4 base defense. But they could slide him onto the edge, where he starred for the Owls, on passing downs and get help at two problem areas with one draft pick.

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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