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Need to Know: A week into free agency, five Redskins questions

Mar 18, 2014, 4:56 AM EDT


Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, March 18, 20 days before the Redskins start their offseason workouts.

Nickel coverage We’re just a week into the league year and we have some answers about the 2014 season. But there are still many questions, here are five of them:

What will be done at safety? I’m not one of those media types who thought it was right to blast the team for not landing Mike Mitchell to play safety. But we’re almost a week in and there still are no starting-caliber safeties on the roster. I’m sure there’s a plan but it remains a question mark until players are signed.

How is Robert Griffin III doing? In great contrast to the last two off seasons, we haven’t heard much from or about Griffin this year. He has been working out since returning from vacation a few weeks after the season was over.  Is he “ahead of schedule” for getting ready for the season? Are there any lingering aftereffects of the knee injury?

Will Orakpo sign his tender? This will not become a big subject until offseason workouts approach. Those get underway in less than three weeks and unless Orakpo signs his tender he will not be under contract and can’t attend. So far he hasn’t given any indication one way or the other.

What’s the offense like? When those workouts start on April 7, the players will line up and walk through the new playbook for the first time. They won’t be going up against the defense, since that is against the rules at that point. But they will get an idea of what the new offense, which if we believe what we’ve heard from Jay Gruden is an “all of the above” approach, will look like.

More changes on the O-line? It was thought that the offensive line would see one, maybe two new starters. Now the possibility that someone new will be at every spot to the right of Trent Williams is very much in play.

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—It’s been 79 days since the Redskins played a game; it will be about 173 days until they play another one.

Days until: Offseason workouts start 20; NFL Draft 51; Training camp starts 127

In case you missed it

  1. manilarizzo - Mar 18, 2014 at 7:01 AM

    Looks like Merriweather is back in one spot at least as insurance. With the lack of activity, there has to be some plan as you say, and I’m assuming some of that hinges on hopes the Thomas is ready to step in like he looked to be last year. But that’s some serious hope there and not a “plan”. Any news that they’ve been taking a look at Clemons or do you think Clark remains the priority and possible Thomas tutor at this point?

  2. colmac69 - Mar 18, 2014 at 8:48 AM

    Dont mind merrieweather signing…once he stopped high hits he played reasonably well I thot In last few games…he.s serviceable esp if we get better pass rush…as for o-line would like to think couple younger guys b able to step up rather than sign more free agents but I could live with the one change as things stand right now…people mention chester as a weak link but they forget he played well in 2012..was his past yr down to him playing poorly or a sympton of combined bad play with interior line As whole? B interesting to c how they draft in relation to signings made so far. ..but im relatively happy so far…time will tell I suppose

  3. RussianBreadMaker - Mar 18, 2014 at 8:55 AM

    Please do not resign Doughty. Please do not Bruce. I beg of thee. Thank you.

  4. kenlinkins - Mar 18, 2014 at 9:14 AM

    I like the fact that GM Allen and Coach Gruden have taken the stance that “It is not all about RG3! Until it is all about RG3”. We all understand that for the Redskins to have a 500 season or better that RG3 must look more like 2012 than 2013, but before any of that can happen the Redskins GM must rebuild a roster that fits coach Grudens system. With so many Free Agents, guys rehabbing, guys who have not yet shown they can develop to match their draft status and guys who failed in 2013 after being re-signed to longer term contracts that our GM had to add RG3’s bad 2013 to the “Just another thing to fix in 2014” pile (which is the right thing to do at this point). Anyone who tryied to use a draft simulator to fix all the Redskins problems in 2014 found out fast that it can not be done, Anyone trying to Buy Free Agents found out that some prices have jumped and Cap Space could run out fast, Anyone counting on all the injured players from 2013 to come back 100% and be ready on opening day will hear the words “Set Back” a few times soon. OTA’s open soon, and the Redskins get an extra on this year, then the draft and we fill out the 90 man roster for training camp. Until then, “It is not ALL about RG3! Until it is” which IMO is sometime in late Aug. when we start to see what GM Allen has build and what Coach Gruden can do with them.

  5. captblood3000 - Mar 18, 2014 at 9:35 AM

    Rich, could you post separately “nickel coverage” on the remaining free agent safeties, perhaps using Meriweather and Doughty as baselines? And is there any news on those two? I suspect that the Skins would select Pryor or Clinton-Dix if available at #34. What safeties might they select at #66 or #98? I realize I just assigned you another post.

    • captblood3000 - Mar 18, 2014 at 9:50 AM

      Just saw that Meriweather resigned, one year $1M. So SS is the bigger priority now.

  6. alextwrs - Mar 18, 2014 at 10:11 AM

    I think Haz is gonna let the dogs loose after the QB’s giving Phillip Thomas and Merr better position to make plays. We need some ball hawking safeties to respond to a fresh new non shanahan pass rush. Let em loose Haz…… thats why we resigned RAK. I think the Hatcher signing helps our secondary considerably.

  7. internetcareer - Mar 18, 2014 at 10:36 AM

    Rich..should have titled this article “PICK 7” because you left of 2.

    1) Haslett’s Defensive Scheme – this business of playing soft zone, corners playing 10 yards off receivers on 3rd and 6, and the general “passive” nature of his read and react defense must change during his one year trial period. Shanahan is not here to blame. We have heard all about this new attacking defense. Talks’ Cheap…Let’s Play. This issue in my mind is the largest question on the Redskins outside of RG3’s health, and will determine success or failure this year.

    2) Special Teams – Not only the worst unit on the Redskins last season but clearly the worst in the league. Without a vast improvement in this area, there can be no success. I have lots of questions surrounding the new Special Teams coach, his field goal and punt protection schemes, as well as who will return punts this year. I am tired of blocked punts, blocked extra points and blocked field goals, and especially tired of Redskins 20 yard kickoff returns to the 16 yard line while other teams return kickoffs to the 35 yard line, not to mention being sick of punt returns for TD’s against the Redskins. No..this is a HUGE question mark that has not been answered.

  8. internetcareer - Mar 18, 2014 at 11:57 AM

    Kenny Britt is on the way to Washington. If he is healthy, and if he has his head together, and if he agrees to terms…..the Skins offense is going to compete with Denver’s. Garcon, Reed, and Britt would devastate any defense. ya can’t double cover everybody.

    • alextwrs - Mar 18, 2014 at 1:35 PM

      I wouldnt go that far, he didnt make Locker any better thats for sure. Very talented reciever, but they all are if they make it to the NFL.

    • rcjur - Mar 18, 2014 at 2:36 PM

      Forget Britt, resign UFA Briscoe. Get a Safety!!

  9. rcjur - Mar 18, 2014 at 2:40 PM

    Skins need to sign a Safety – Clemons and get Penn signed too! Finish this FA signing. Then release Bowen, Polumbus and Golston. Draft DT Tuitt at #34 and have Cofield a backup. DLine will be set. Don’t pass on Tuitt for another player at #34 if he’s available! We need solidify players that can rush the QB. Get S, CB, LB and OLine help with remaining picks in draft.

    • Pitt - Mar 18, 2014 at 6:21 PM

      I agree, but what if David Yankey or Zack Martin is there at #34? Archives

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