5 Training Camp Questions: Offense
July 23, 2013 in Redskins Personnel
1. Did the Redskins Make the Right Call With RG3's Rehab?
-The Redskins will apparently bring Robert Griffin III along slowly to start camp, but they decided to go against the option of putting him on the active PUP list to start. While Griffin couldn't throw to teammates while on the Active/PUP, he could have spent that time further strengthening his knees. It was a strategy the Vikings employed last season with Adrian Peterson, that obviously didn't hurt the star running back. The Redskins last year gave RB Tim Hightower the option to go on Active/PUP to start camp (though didn't force it), he declined and he quickly proved that he wasn't ready. Hopefully this decision won't end up like the Hightower case, but the Redskins are taking a calculated risk here and it will be a story to watch all throughout camp.
2. Will a Right Tackle Please Stand-up?
-The Redskins biggest weakness last season on offense was the play of their right tackle position. If Robert Griffin was being sacked or under pressure last year, typically RT Tyler Polumbus was to blame. That can't happen again this season as Griffin might not be as quick to escape sacks as he was a year ago. Polumbus is back and currently penciled into the role, but the Redskins brought in former RT starters Tony Pashos and Jeremy Trueblood to compete with him. Versatile guard/tackle Maurice Hurt could also be in the mix and 2nd year 6th round pick Tom Compton could be a dark horse if none of the other guys prove up to the task (they've been using Compton exclusively at LT thus far this offseason). This will be an extremely interesting camp battle to watch and hopefully with all the competition someone can be at least adequate.
3. Can Alfred Do it Again?
-One of the biggest surprises around the league last year was Redskins rookie 6th rounder Alfred Morris rushing for over 1,600 yards. He was a guy who midway through the preseason the Redskins were trying him out as a back-up FB to see if he could have the versatility to stick on the roster as a back-up. He then proceeds to set the Redskins single season rushing record, besting a number of storied backs. The question is what can Morris do for an encore? Topping 1,600 yards again is probably unlikely as just 5 backs have done it since 2009. The real mark will be if he can be in the 1,300-1,400 area, which is what you typically see most quality backs in year-in-year-out. Another thing to watch will be can Morris improve his numbers in the passing game an area that he really didn't contribute to last year.
4. Who Will Step Up as the Number Two Weapon in the Passing Game?
-Last year do to injury and spreading the ball around the Redskins didn't really have a traditional number two option in the passing attack. Slot receiver Santana Moss was the most effective receiver behind Pierre Garcon last year, but will he get enough targets in the slot to be the 2nd option is a big question. Fred Davis is coming back from injury and faces a crowded tight end field, but could he be the 2nd leading receiver? At the Z receiver spot Leonard Hankerson figures to battle a hopefully healthier Josh Morgan for the starting role. With all those questions in camp another reasonable question is does it matter if the Redskins have a defined number two option, or is a by committee approach enough?
5. How Will Fred Davis Bounce Back?
-Speaking of Fred Davis, his recovery this year figures to be something to watch in camp. Achilles injuries are notorious for taking a long time to recover and sapping a player of speed and explosion. Currently it looks like Davis is on the early track to recover, but he likely will be impacted by a loss of speed/explosion. How will that affect him this season and will it limit his effectiveness? Davis is a tight end who isn't known for his route running or physicality. He has succeeded (when he has) due to his speed and athletic ability. If those are even slightly compromised it could have a fairly negative impact on his production. Though the team prepared a back-up plan with the drafting of Jordan Reed, he's been dealing with nagging injuries and has yet to suit up for the Redskins in OTA's and minicamp. If Davis goes down or struggles, Reed may not be in a position to replace him.