Redskins mailbag, Part 1

September, 20, 2013
9/20/13
12:00
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In Part 1 of the Redskins mailbag, we talk about Jordan Reed and Fred Davis (as we will in Part 2), a little Robert Griffin III (shocking, I know) and how hot is Jim Haslett's seat:

@TylerCJeffreis asks: there's reason to be optimistic about J.Reed ... does his success signal soon getting out of F.Davis business?

John Keim: I’d say from a Redskins' perspective it’s a bit early to go that far because they like to have depth at any position, and if you have a rotation of Davis, Reed, and Logan Paulsen you’re in good shape. I’m not sure what the future holds here for Niles Paul, so I’m leaving him off the list for now. However: It will depend on how much Davis wants in free agency. Also, if I’m Davis, why would I want to return to a situation where I’d be the No. 2 pass-catching target at best next season? I’ll be curious to see how this one unfolds. Did Davis not play as much because they were in obvious pass situations? I don’t know. They used Paulsen more than Davis in the second half; also, Davis’ strength is catching the ball. He needs to shore up the details of his game if he wants to build a case for a nice contract.




@LimaContreras asks: is it possible in this shanny offense to use two tight end sets or a wishbone formation with helu and morris?

Keim: They already use a number of two-tight-end sets, though not in some wide-open fashion like New England used to do. I thought we’d see some of that with Fred Davis and Jordan Reed and, eventually, I would imagine we will. As for the Helu/Morris combination? I think we will see that at some point. They used that look one time in the preseason (with Keiland Williams and Chris Thompson). I think if the offense gets some momentum going, we’ll see more of the new looks they’ve installed. But that look doesn’t do anything if you’re down by three scores in the first half and can’t convert third downs. It adds speed to the attack and forces defenses to honor another run threat. I know there's a chance of this.




@enkay85 asks: think Haz is around next year even if we make the playoffs?

Keim: Impossible to answer. Yet I’ll try. If the Redskins make the playoffs, that means the defense must have turned its fortunes around. And you’d have to give Haslett some credit. Really, it all depends on how the season unfolds and how the defense progresses. They’ve endured some rookie mistakes in the secondary, though that doesn’t necessarily mean that, say, Bacarri Rambo will become some terrific player after all these lessons. I haven’t seen evidence of that, in training camp or during the games. It will be interesting next season minus London Fletcher, who has been the most trusted voice in the room (players or coaches) based on players I’ve talked to.




@TheRajaKrish asks: Will Kyle implement more hurry up offense concepts as well as audibles at the line of scrimmage to protect RG3?

Keim: I’m not sure necessarily how the hurry-up would somehow protect Griffin more. They’re not opposed to some hurry-up, but not as a main part of the offense. They feel it prevents them from running certain plays. Their problem hasn’t been pace, it’s been execution. As far as audibles, that’s not an issue either. They have hot reads for these situations and, in talking to other offensive players, it’s why they always feel confident against blitzes. Also, keep in mind that in some cases the problem is Griffin -- as we saw against the Eagles when he failed to notice a corner that would be unblocked in their protection. It prevented him from hitting Darrel Young in the flat for what would have been at least a 20-yard gain. The issues, right now, are a combination of factors: Griffin’s rust, the timing with the receivers, protection by the backs, interior penetration by defenses.




@jeffsyourhero asks: Does Skins' reluctance to use zone read mean they're over cautious or is confidence in RG3's knee just show?

Keim: I think they’re easing him back into things after he missed so much time in the offseason and, obviously, because of his knee. Call it overcautious or whatever, that’s what’s going on. Some of it is dictated by the score, but they’re not starting off games 24-0 so they could run certain plays earlier. In some cases you have to set plays up, but I’m quite sure they ran those plays in the first quarter of games last season. I have a hunch we’ll see some of it this weekend.




@DinoHTTR asks: Is there a way you can see how many yards the opposing offense has AFTER a missed tackle by the D???

Keim: Yes there is ... Oh, you want to know how many yards, right? Thanks to ESPN Stats & Information, I have that answer: 208 yards. That leads the NFL. I could try to add up the missed tackles, but yards after contact is what matters. Last year they ranked sixth in this category, so there has been a major drop-off. Part of the problem in the opener was the ability to get the Redskins’ secondary one-on-one with better players and no help around them. Last week it was just horrendous.

John Keim

ESPN Washington Redskins reporter

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