Andre Roberts recently told John Keim of ESPN that he thinks that Jay Gruden will have the Redskins air it out this year. “I think we’ll be passing more than running,” said the Redskins free agent receiver.
That caused a bit of a stir since the Redskins have been—or at least have tried to be—a run-first team under Mike Shanahan the last several years. That’s where the strength of an offense lies and, perhaps most important, a good running game is a young quarterback’s best friend. A solid running game will be critical to helping Robert Griffin III regain the form he showed in 2012.
But there’s no reason to think that that Gruden will abandon the run. In two of his three seasons at the offensive coordinator of the Bengals his offense was in the top 10 in the NFL in rushing attempts. And the other year, 2012, they were in the middle of the pack with just five fewer rushing attempts over the course of the season than the league average.
And, as one might expect from looking at those rushing numbers, Gruden’s Bengals didn’t pass the ball a lot. Last year the Bengals were 12th in pass attempts and that was their high under Gruden. They were 20th in 2011 and 19th in 2012.
Back to what Roberts said, all but a handful of teams in the NFL pass more than they run. It’s a matter of how much more they put it in the air. It doesn’t appear that Gruden will have Griffin dropping back 50 times a game and have Alfred Morris primarily blocking and serving as a decoy. Look for what is, by NFL standards, a relatively balanced approach.
RICHMOND - Everything seemed cool at the Bon Secours training facility when Jay Gruden left the podium on Wednesday, but that quickly changed when the Redskins released their Physically Unable to Perform list a few hours later. Jordan Reed landing on the PUP list was an unexpected bomber, a big deal even if the star tight end returns to the field quickly.
On Thursday, the Redskins will take to the field for their first day of training camp. There will be plenty of questions:
- When and why? Reed on the PUP list for the first day of camp does not mean Redskins fans should panic, but it also doesn't mean there isn't reason for alarm. Reed has a distinct injury history and it seems the team is being smart trying to handle an injury rather than let it linger. The Washington offense is at its best with Reed on the field. Jay Gruden will be asked about Reed a lot in his Thursday press conference; perhaps their will be some clarity.
- D-Line questions - Rookie Jonathan Allen should immediately help the 'Skins up front defensively, but beyond that, there are no sure things in the trenches. The Redskins added Stacy McGee from the Raiders and Terrell McClain from the Cowboys in free agency, and both are expected to have a significant role right away. Those guys have had productive flashes in their past, but injuries have been an issue. The Redskins need them to be good, and healthy, right away.
- Time to shine - Josh Doctson hardly had a rookie season as he dealt with Achilles injuries. He played just two games in 2016. With DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garçon gone, the Redskins need last year's first-round draft pick to produce in 2017. A strong training camp, develping chemistry with Kirk Cousins, could help calm fears about the revamped 'Skins offense.
Stay with CSN all day for updates from the Redskins first training camp practice of the 2017 season. Football is finally here.
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RICHMOND—Redskins fans got into a panic when the news that Jordan Reed will start the season on the PUP list with a sprained big toe. But the injury is no cause for great concern. At least not for now.
It’s not that Reed isn’t an important cog in the offense. Of course he is. He was No. 2 in our ranking of the Redskins who will have the most impact in 2017. But there is every indication that the move is precautionary. History indicates that toe injuries tend to linger. Similar to hamstring injuries, the best path often is to rest and rehab until the pain is gone and then rest and rehab a little while longer. That minimizes the chances of the injury coming back.
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The irony here is that Reed did not go to OTAs in order to work on conditioning in Miami. Most areas of his body probably are bullet proof. But there is not a lot you can do to prevent a toe injury; it’s just not one of those areas of the body you can fortify with conditioning.
We don’t yet have a timetable for Reed’s return. They will not be in any hurry. Reed knows the offense and he has good timing and rapport with Kirk Cousins. After missing OTAs he came in a dominated the two-day minicamp. The Redskins could choose to have him work on rehab and conditioning until the third preseason game one month from today. They can let him get a little tune up against the Bengals and then put him back in bubble wrap until they open the season against the Eagles on September 10.
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That sounds like a good plan but there is always the possibility of a relapse. These injuries are tricky. And while it’s too soon to panic, some great concern would be warranted if Reed still is on PUP in a month.
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.