Washington HC Jay Gruden said today that he sees the Redskins relying on the ground game.
“Our identity needs to be found,” he said. “What are we going to be? We’re going to be a running team, I guess.”
Like any coach, Gruden would prefer to have a varied attack.
“Our identity needs to be diversity,” he said. “We have to be able to be good at both. We have to be able to run the ball, we have to be able to do some play actions off the run and there are going to be some times that we have to do some drop back.”
Gruden doesn't seemed thrilled about the label, though. Many assumed the Skins would pass more under Gruden, especially after bringing in WRs DeSean Jackson and Andre Roberts. But Robert Griffin III is struggling and seemingly starting a QB controversy at the same time, while the running game, led by Alfred Morris, excels. This, perhaps, gives Morris a bit of a bump in fantasy value. Eventually the Skins will need the threat of a pass game or team's will stack the box. Morris is a rock-solid, high-end RB2 in just about any format, however.
Monday, August 25, 2014, 2:24pm
New Washington head coach Jay Gruden and his new offense haven't returned Robert Griffin III to his rookie-season form. Despite the struggles -- or the calls for backup Kirk Cousins -- Gruden is sticking with Griffin, the 2012 first-round pick.
“I feel good about the starters we have," he said, via the Washington Post, adding that RG3 "is further along that it appears he is, I think."
The Cousins bandwagon is starting to gain a lot of momentum lately. It's hard to imagine the team benching RGIII unless they struggle out of the gate. Either way, RGIII's stock is falling a bit. The ideal situation is to draft him as a backup or at least part of a committee as long as you have another starter you're comfortable with.
Sunday, August 24, 2014, 11:15am
“Let’s stop beating around the bush,” Theismann said in the fourth quarter, via the Washington Post. “Kirk Cousins has played much better at the quarterback position than Robert Griffin III has. Now, Robert is learning to work out of a pocket. He doesn’t look as smooth or as comfortable throwing the football. I mean, your eyes will tell you everything you need to know.
“It’s going to be a decision that Jay Gruden is going to have to make. Right now, Robert Griffin III is his quarterback. Now, if there was a quarterback competition, it wouldn’t be a competition. Kirk Cousins would be the man I believe he would have to go to, because of the efficiency with which he has run [the offense]. Now Kirk, like I said, is basically a drop-back quarterback. I see Andy Dalton in Cincinnati, I see Kirk Cousins that way. …”
It's a topic no one seems to want to bring up around Washington, after all, RGIII is firmly planted as the team's starting QB. But if Washington struggles to start the season, or Griffin takes a hit and has to miss time, it will be interesting to see how it plays out should Cousins get to play under center. We're probably a long way off from that situation, but from a fantasy perspective, Cousins would have a lot of weapons to make him an interesting grab off the wire and play in your lineup...
One worrisome point was Redskins RB Robert Griffin III's inability to stay healthy during his first two seasons and we got a reminder of why that’s been an issue on Monday night. Griffin took several hard hits at the end of scrambles against the Browns and ended the evening with a bruised thigh. Griffin says that it isn’t a serious injury and admitted that he has to do a better job of avoiding those collisions, calling his attempts to better protect himself a “work in progress.”
Griffin promised that he’d get better at it, something coach Jay Gruden said has to happen.
“It’s something we have to continue to talk to him about — how important he is to this team and this franchise. When he gets out of the pocket, he needs to protect himself,” Gruden said, via the Associated Press. “He’s had a habit in his career of being able to get himself out of those predicaments with his speed and his athleticism. But here it’s a 16-game season, with the great talent across the league in the NFL, [and] he’s got to pick his shots and learn how to get down a little bit better.”
At some point one has to wonder if Griffin can change something so fundamental to the way he plays the game without hurting his productivity, the story continued. It would benefit him and the team if he could, although he certainly wouldn’t be the first player unable to shake such a habit. Michael Vick still hasn't been able to avoid taking hits when scrambling and often ended up missing time even recently during his days with the Eagles. It's something to consider if you're targeting RGIII in drafts - it's a good idea to have a capable backup.
Even with a hitch in his gait, Gronk can be one of the league's most productive tight ends. But is it worth the risk to rush back before his body is ready?
Breer still believes Gronkowski will play in Week 1 but concedes the decision will likely go "down to the wire."
Gronkowski has been hugely productive when healthy, but his health is still a concern heading into the 2014 season. He reportedly had surgery on Jan. 9 to reconstruct a torn ACL. It typically takes a full year to recover, though Adrian Peterson and Robert Griffin III have made quicker returns (with varying success). Given the news that he avoided preseason PUP, Gronkowski is tentatively expected to be ready for the start of the season, but this report of a 'decent' limp is not encouraging.
The Redskins’ passing game has run hot and cold since training camp opened July 23. The defense looks winded one day and roars back the next. But throughout the highs and lows, third-year running back Alfred Morris has motored along like a reliable, low-maintenance truck.
The 5-foot-11, 224-pound Morris isn’t just churning up yardage on the ground at his customary clip; he’s also proving a sure-handed asset in the passing game — shining in one-on-one drills against linebackers.
With the first-team defense upstaging the offense in Thursday’s practice, the Redskins’ first since breaking camp Tuesday in Richmond, quarterback Robert Griffin III availed himself of the sure-handed Morris several times.
“Steady Eddie” is how Coach Jay Gruden referred to Morris after practice.
“He just comes to work every day, he makes his reads, he makes his cuts, does what he’s supposed to do,” Gruden said. “Just about everything about him is an impressive to me — the way he prepares, the way he works, the way he practices.”
Morris’s stock has taken a bit of a hit after the coaching regime change in Washington, but new HC Jay Gruden intends to keep the same running game (one reason they retained O-line coach Chris Foerster), so Morris’s outlook doesn’t change too much. He still isn’t much of a player in the passing game, so his PPR value is on the low side, though he’s a fairly safe start in any format given his steady workload. If he starts to get involved in the passing game, watch out.
Thursday, August 14, 2014, 4:08pm
Passes were off target, not just by Griffin but by all the quarterbacks. The first two offenses couldn’t maneuver down the field in the two-minute drill. And, for Griffin, it was a sporadic day at best.
Just a reminder that it's not all puppy dogs and ice cream in Washington. The team is learning a new offense and there have been growing pains.
Quarterback Robert Griffin III remains a work in progress as he transitions to being a pocket passer. The Redskins would be wise to still incorporate his legs, but he does not have to be defined by them. Griffin needs more experience in this situation and coach Jay Gruden understands it will take some time. Griffin has not had a bad camp; he has not had a phenomenal camp. He’s better than he was last summer.
Griffin owned the #3 PPG in his rookie season, but that fell to #17 last season due to the inefficiency of the team’s offense and his ability to run on his surgically repaired knee. The knee should be close to 100 percent entering the season, but there is a new coaching staff in town, led by HC Jay Gruden. The team added DeSean Jackson and Andre Roberts in free agency, so RG3 has a great receiving corps at his disposal. We like RG3, but feel he is being overdrafted relative to other passers in the same tier.
Gronkowski has been hugely productive when healthy, but his health is still a concern heading into the 2014 season. He reportedly had surgery on Jan. 9 to reconstruct a torn ACL. It typically takes a full year to recover, though Adrian Peterson and Robert Griffin III have made quicker returns (with varying success). He will be eight months into his recovery when Week 1 rolls around. Given the news that he avoided preseason PUP, Gronkowski is tentatively expected to be ready for the start of the season, and his return would be a big boost to Tom Brady and the entire New England offense. Another report pegged Gronk's chances of playing Week 1 at 50/50. When we add in replacement level value from a backup TE, Gronkowski holds 2nd round value in fantasy drafts.
Sunday, August 10, 2014, 7:39pm
The coaches want the ball out quick of course. But Griffin helped the offense in the two-minute situations as a rookie with his ability to make big plays with his legs, whether it was extending one against the Giants or taking off on runs downfield in other times.
During the two-minute drills Sunday, Griffin stayed in the pocket.
Sunday, August 10, 2014, 1:37pm
This weekend, well outside the spotlight’s glare and with nothing at stake, the Washington QB Robert Griffin III and WR Pierre Garcon resumed their collaboration at the Redskins’ training camp in Richmond, where Garcon rejoined practice after sitting out nearly two weeks with a strained hamstring.
They started by casually tossing a football back and forth before practice began in earnest, while their teammates stretched. And their rapport was soon evident, with Griffin and Garcon connecting on a touchdown throw during 11-on-11 drills.
“P’s a weapon,” Griffin said of Garcon afterward. “He’s a physical receiver. It’s good to have him out there. He brings a different mindset to the game and to the practice field, and we need him.”
Garcon is a welcome addition back to camp after leading the league in targets last year. He's one of a big-three with WR DeSean Jackson and TE Jordan Reed who should see a ton of work this year for the Redskins. Garcon is a very solid WR2 candidate this season.
Sunday, August 10, 2014, 1:21pm
After Robert Griffin III struggled in joint practices with New England last week, members of the Patriots organization opined to ESPN.com's Mike Reiss that Kirk Cousins was the best quarterback on the Redskins roster.
Reiss specifically cited Cousins' edge in "running the offense, fine-tuned mechanics and how decisively the ball came out of his hand."
Griffin attempted just four passes in the preseason opener, a 23-6 win over the Pats, but we couldn't help but wonder if the footwork issues that dogged him last season have yet to be ironed out.
As well as Cousins played versus the Patriots, though, there is no hint of controversy in Washington.
It would be hard to believe the team would turn to Cousins as the starting QB over RGIII. If anything, this increases Cousin's trade value...
Monday, August 4, 2014, 2:31pm
The Patriots defense kept Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III from completing many passes. The secondary stuck on Washington’s receivers, including Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson. When there wasn’t a receiver open, Griffin held the ball until the pocket collapsed around him.
A coach would blow the whistle, indicating the play was over and that Griffin had been sacked — defensive players never tackle the quarterback in practice.
“We came out here and competed,” Patriots safety Devin McCourty said. “I thought we challenged them on everything and made it tough. I think we did some things well, definitely.”
Monday, August 4, 2014, 11:18am
“You make up for what you don’t have in size with speed and precision and just guys being in the right spot,” he said. “We do have some dynamic guys but at the end of the day none of our receivers are over 6-4, 6-3. We’ll find ways to work scheme to get guys open. But that’s what the coaches watch film for, that’s what the coaches will find the best way and, if not, we have a battering ram in the backfield.”
The “battering ram” is Alfred Morris, who has scored 16 touchdowns on runs starting from inside the 20 in his two years in the league. But he can’t always get it done so the Redskins just have to deal with throwing to shorter targets.
The Redskins were fourth in red zone efficiency in Griffin’s rookie year, getting into the end zone on 60.4 percent of their chances. They dipped to 20th in 2013, scoring touchdowns 52 percent of the time. They essentially had the same receiver corps both years.
While they added DeSean Jackson, he's not necessarily a red zone threat as much as he is a big-play threat. The story goes on to point out that the big difference was not a big passing target, but the legs of Griffin. In 2012 he scored six rushing touchdowns from the red zone. He scored none last year. It's always risky when your franchise QB takes off to run, but Griffin will likely not put up a 0 in that category this season...
Saturday, August 2, 2014, 10:50am
His football team now resides in the heart of the Silicon Valley, so it's only natural that San Francisco 49ers Coach Jim Harbaugh would describe the maturation of his quarterback in terms a techie could appreciate.
"Colin Kaepernick is at the highest level, where he can auto-correct," Harbaugh said of his fourth-year quarterback at training camp this week. "You know, like auto-correcting in texting or whatever. Even if a coach makes a mistake, it's wrong in the script, the play is called into him wrong, he just auto-corrects it and doesn't ask, 'Hey, is that right or wrong?' "
Kaepernick is ranked 8th on our QB list but has a higher ADP (10th round) than some big names under him who are going earlier in drafts - Matt Ryan, Cam Newton and Robert Griffin III for example. The 49ers went out and signed Stevie Johnson to play in the slot and to go with Anquan Bolden and Michael Crabtree, so the weapons are certainly there. With our ranking and his lower ADP, Kaepernick is looking like a pretty good value.
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