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.