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Early Redskins Camp Questions

John Manuel

Here are my 5 early camp questions to consider:


1- Are we looking at the beginning of the end of the Shanahan/ Griffin relationship?     What's your feelings on Shanahan's decision to keep RG3 in the game?

I hope not, but we should be worried where this is going.  I know in the age of social media everything is going to be analyzed especially when it involves a Super Bowl winning coach and his superstar quarterback.  I completely agree with the path Mike Shanahan is taking with Robert Griffin so far since he had postseason surgery.  I love that Griffin wants to play even if it is in preseason games and training camp 11 on 11’s.  But there just seems to be a problem that these guys are completely not on the same page at times.

My main concern goes to Griffin again.  I am not sure why he can’t just accept the path the Redskins have for his return?  Especially since he inferred they made a mistake in the Seattle game and then his dad gave his views this off-season.  He shouldn’t be nervous that Kirk Cousins is going to steal his job also.  It is good to be honest but I think he should take a less is more stance on his comments on when he will take real snaps finally.  Shanahan has to be cautious in dealing with his star quarterback now because if it doesn’t work you have to think he is the one that will be leaving.


2- Did the team need to spend a 3rd round pick on Jordan Reed?

Right now I am not so sure.  That’s mainly because we have not seen much of Reed at all.  Hopefully Reed will make his debut Monday versus the Steelers so coaches and fans also can see why the Skins used their second selection on him.  It looks as if the tight end position should be a strong group this season.  Fred Davis is back from injury and looks to be close to 100% as he scored versus the Titans.  I can overlook the penalty afterwards for now since our main hope is his health.

Logan Paulsen seems to improve with every chance he gets and has cemented his spot among the team.  And Niles Paul is still a work in progress but adding fullback duties and the obvious need on special teams should make him a lock for the opening week roster.

So where does Reed fit?  Barring injuries to those three you have to think he is heading for many game day inactives.  I can’t see the Redskins holding four tight ends each week.  So could this be a redshirt year?  Or just a safety blanket in case Fred Davis is not back in 2014.  Hopefully Reed’s abilities prove me wrong and he can add another explosive dimension to Kyle’s offense.


3-  Is this best situation the Redskins have been in since Gibbs 1.0 when deciding their final 53?

I think so and here is why.  In the past we have made final cuts and those final cuts are usually players no one wants.  I think this year could be different in a couple positions.  Hopefully the team can actually pick up a late round draft pick or two for cut guys who other teams want.  Teams should have interest in potential cuts like Evan Royster, Chase Minniefield, Richard Crawford and Jordan Pugh.  Some of these guys will make the roster but it’s going to be tight at running back and secondary and some of these guys could help on other teams 53 man rosters right away.

For once mainly due to the Shanahan and Allen past drafts the team has been able to increase talent and depth on the roster.  Being able to add a pick also could make it easier for them to go out and do the same to improve deficiencies at defensive line, linebacker and offensive line.


4- Should we be nervous with the special teams’ coverage units?

Under Danny Smith the Redskins always seemed to have solid coverage squads.  But Smith is gone and Keith Burns is in.  Also leaving was special teams’ leader Lorenzo Alexander to Arizona.  The loss of the OMG has to hurt the Skins in kick coverage.  They have been very good even though they have lacked a kicker who can regularly get touch backs.  Kai Forbath was exceptional on field goals but struggled with his kickoffs, so in comes John Potter to compete for a roster spot.  Forbath has to be lock as the kicker but is it worth keeping Potter if he can get the ball in the end zone?  Although I would hate to keep 2 kickers, I think it would in this case.  I know guys like Niles Paul and Reed Doughty will be ready to chase down returners but I would rather play it safe.

Ideally it would be of benefit for Forbath to be able to accomplish touchbacks but I am not sure that will ever happen.  So I feels it Potter’s chance to do the job and keep teams starting at the 20 and not the 35.  Washington does not have the 85 Bears defense to be OK by giving the opponents a great starting point.  If it comes down to a third QB like Grossman or getting deep kickoffs I am going deep kickoffs until Burn’s coverage units can prove themselves.


5- Surprised the Redskins haven’t look at defensive line help after their rough camp start?

Yes.  I love that they have the confidence in the defensive lineman already in camp but this has to be a concern to already lose Adam Carriker and Jarvis Jenkins so early.  The cap penalties still hurt this team for 2013 but I am shocked that a veteran d-lineman has not been brought in.  Somebody like Richard Seymour or Steve’s choices of Justin Bannan or Casey Hampton.  I feel even as older players they can help.

Or maybe Washington feels they have something in former high pick Phillip Merling?  I hope so since they are relying now on moving Chris Baker outside and Chris Neild coming off an ACL.  These guys much like Kedric Golston have worked hard for their chance but depth makes me nervous in case someone else goes out early on during the Jenkins suspension.  Weak play up front will trickle down to putting more responsibility on London Fletcher and Perry Riley stopping the run.  And with that unit weakened by injury it could get ugly fast.  Shanahan seems to be a veteran players type coach so it will interesting to see if they still make a move before week one.



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