The Redskins are set to hire Jay Gruden as their new HC. Gruden has name value, but his results as Cincinnati's OC over the past 3 seasons have been mixed. The Bengals finished in the bottom half of the league in total offense in both 2011 and 2012. They vaulted to 10th this past season, and also finished among the top 10 in points scored and pass offense. Of course, Cincy has flamed out in the 1st round of the playoffs in all 3 of those years. A lot of the blame for that falls on QB Andy Dalton, but it's also a well-known fact that it was Gruden's idea to draft Dalton in the 2nd round of the 2011 draft. We'll see how Gruden alters his offense to fit his new personnel in Washington. He hovered between 54-55% pass with the Bengals, but the Redskins don't have the same quality of pass-catching weapons. And, of course, they also have 1 of the most dangerous running QBs in the league.
Washington watched 4 players leave with injuries during Monday night's clash with Pittsburgh. DT Barry Cofield broke his right hand, according to Redskins radio reporter Rick "Doc" Walker. QB Kirk Cousins left with a sprained right foot. WRs Leonard Hankerson and Aldrick Robinson departed with right knee and left thigh injuries, respectively. No return timelines were immediately available for any of the 4 players.
The Redskins selected RBs Chris Thompson and Jawan Jamison in the 5th and 7th rounds, respectively. Thompson hails from Florida State. He returned from a back injury in 2011 to tally 687 yards and 5 scores as part of a committee attack this past year. He goes just 5'7, 192 pounds with 4.5 speed. Jamison totaled 1,972 rushing yards at Rutgers over the past 2 seasons, but he averaged just 4.1 yards per carry. He's 5'7, 203 pounds and ran a 4.68 40-yard dash at the Combine. Neither guy seems likely to make a significant NFL impact. But any RB drafted by 'Skins HC Mike Shanahan is worth monitoring. Alfred Morris didn't look like anything special around this time last year.
Redskins OC Kyle Shanahan says the team will "go with the hot hand" at RB this season. That at least makes it sound like they'll try to feature just one guy per game. Of course, guessing who that's going to be will be the issue. RBs Roy Helu, Evan Royster, and Alfred Morris are all in the picture. Helu would seem to be the "hot hand" heading into Week 1. He led the trio with a 5.6 yards-per-carry average this preseason and went for 124 total yards in the finale. It's Royster listed as the Week 1 starter though. And Morris actually led the way with 195 rushing yards across the 4 exhibition games. It's a total crapshoot heading into Sunday's season-opener against the Saints.
Redskins HC Mike Shanahan was unsurprisingly noncommittal about his RB situation after the team's first day of training camp. Tim Hightower, Roy Helu, and Evan Royster all mixed in with the 1st-team. Royster reportedly saw the most reps, while Hightower was limited as he returns from last year's torn ACL. “Tim was starting out with the first team before he got hurt,” Shanahan said. “Last year he was a first teamer, but obviously Roy did a good job. Royster did a good job. We’ve got a lot of guys that I believe have the ability to play and play well, so we’ll just let it play out.” This is shaping up as a dangerous situation for fantasy owners. We still think Helu's talent will eventually win out, but it could be a headache to own any of these guys.
Struggling to lure free agent Peyton Manning, the Redskins pulled off a blockbuster trade on Friday night, acquiring the Rams’ 2nd overall pick in April’s draft. The Skins will send the 6th overall pick and their 2nd rounder in next month’s draft, as well as a 1st rounder in 2013 and 2014, to move up two spots to #2 overall and (likely) select Robert Griffin III. It’s a massive haul for the Rams – and a massive risk for Washington – but there’s no doubt RGIII has the potential to make owner Dan Snyder look like a genius. The next step will be finding him another playmaker outside of TE Fred Davis. On the Manning front, ESPN’s Adam Schefter surprisingly reports the Skins remain in pursuit of the 35-year-old. But after tonight's trade, his odds of signing there will essentially evaporate.
To no one's surprise, it sounds like the Redskins are heading towards a committee attack at RB in 2012. “You can see we have some depth,” HC Mike Shanahan said. “I think Roy [Helu] has done a fantastic job as well as [Evan] Royster coming in and taking advantage of an opportunity." Added OC Kyle Shanahan: "You feel like you have two guys who can help you in the future.” Helu is the more talented of the pair, but Royster brings a physical style that will earn him a role -- potentially in the red zone. It'll be a situation to track this offseason.
Washington sat FS O.J. Atogwe against the Patriots on Sunday in favor of DeJon Gomes. With SS LaRon Landry injured, Reed Doughty got the nod at FS and Gomes at SS. HC Mike Shanahan said afterward that he sat Atogwe because the veteran has clearly been playing hurt. He said Atogwe has not been able to get back up to speed while playing through multiple dings. His absence isn't big fantasy news, but it could keep Doughty on the field even if Landry returns. Doughty has been a solid tackle producer when in the lineup this year and plays on a defense that stays on the field a lot.
When asked why he went back to QB Rex Grossman for today's game against the Dolphins, Redskins HC Mike Shanahan pointed to the offense's multitude of injuries. "It was my intention to stick with John [Beck]," Shanny said. "Then I took a look at the situation relative to some guys we had going down that might not be able to play, and I thought Rex gave us the best chance to win." Shanahan went on to say that his QB situation is a "week-to-week" deal. More like weak-to-weak, right? It's obviously a mess to steer clear of in fantasy leagues. And the constant turnover isn't good for Washington's pass-catchers.
Redskins HC Mike Shanahan refused to name a starting QB following Sunday's loss to the Eagles. Standard operation procedure. But the fact that Shanny didn't give Rex Grossman a vote of confidence doesn't bode well for his chances of hanging on to the starting job. In all honesty, he doesn't deserve to. In his last 2 games, Grossman has completed just 47% of his passes with 1 TD and 6 INTs. Meanwhile, QB John Beck sparked the offense on Sunday, completing 8 of 15 passes for 117 yards and a 2-yard TD run -- all in the 4th quarter. Expect the 'Skins to anoint Beck their new starter on Tuesday or Wednesday.
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