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Fan questions: In addition to RG3, what needs to improve?

Mar 19, 2014, 11:25 AM EST

RG3-running-vs-NYG

It’s been a while since we’ve done fan questions and you submitted some good ones to me on Twitter at @Rich_TandlerCSN and on the Real Redskins Facebook page. Let’s jump right in.

I got lots of draft questions, this is a good one to represent them. Right now, the biggest need is another safety but they won’t wait for the draft to get that lined up. The answer is best available but it is important to note that the determination of what is best available is shaped by need. “Best” doesn’t just mean the player’s talents, it means a fit into the scheme and, yes, what the team needs. A running back, for example, is unlikely to emerge as the best available player when their pick comes up at No. 34 or in the third round at No. 66 because they don’t need to take a running back that high.

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That’s a fair question and the answer is that we are going to have to see. I’m not going to dismiss the “handcuffed” argument out of hand. To me it makes no sense to have two first-round draft picks as your primary pass rushers and then not use them as pass rusher as often as they did. Until I see otherwise, I’ll accept that that was Mike Shanahan’s doing; he talked all the time about how he was involved in the defense. On a dry erase board, the defense can be better. We won’t find out how it will translate on the field until September.

I would not rule out Doughty even though, as far as has been reported, nobody on the Redskins has contacted him about a new contract and that’s with Clark’s status being very much up in the air. But if Clark does come on board it’s going to be difficult to find a spot for Doughty. With both starters at safety on the far side of 30 they would have to allow room for Phillip Thomas, Bacarri Rambo, Jose Gumbs and a potential draft pick to develop. Unless they go out in OTAs and don’t like what they see from the younger players, Doughty is unlikely to return.

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RG3, RG3, and RG3. Next question. OK, seriously, while it’s hard to overemphasize how important a Griffin return to something near 2012 form is, more needs to go right if this team is going to have a big turnaround. Just to pick two more among several issues, I’d say they need to rush the opposing passer better and the special teams need to improve to something near the league average. Note: I’m working on the assumption here that Griffin can’t improve unless his protection improves. And also, in mid March, I would not completely dismiss the Redskins’ chances of competing for the title in what is still, despite all of the free agency activity by the Giants and Eagles, a very weak NFC East.

I would say it’s probably Adam Gettis. He has bulked up to around 315 and if he is given a fair shot he will have a chance to beat out Chris Chester at guard. Tom Compton could have a shot but their pursuit of Donald Penn doesn’t indicate a great deal of confidence in him. Josh LeRibeus was going to get a shot at starting last year but he showed up out of shape and I’m not sure they will trust him again. 

The word on field turf is no. It is not happening, at least not anytime soon. Bruce Allen favors natural grass and Dan Snyder is inclined to follow his recommendation. And I agree–a well-maintained grass field is far, far preferable to playing on field turf. What happened in 2012, when for some inexplicable reason they failed to re-sod the field in midseason, won’t happen again. Frankly, criticism of the condition of the field late last year bordered on ridiculous. It’s as though every divot was some sort of land mine. A grass field is going to get a little torn up, it’s OK, really. And, this just in, if it’s snowing or raining players slip on both field turn and on natural turf. On more note, Snyder is not sticking with grass because he’s cheap. It is considerably more expensive to grown and maintain a grass field than it is to install a carpet and replace it every eight years or so.

  1. internetcareer - Mar 19, 2014 at 12:14 PM

    ARE YOU FRIKKEN KIDDING ME???? Adam Gettis has put on 34 pounds since he was drafted???

    Wow! THAT I didn’t know. I guess he took Gruden seriously about linemen having to bulk up. Gettis has been listed at 6’4 and only 281 pounds when drafted and now about 315. If that is truly the case then it will be interesting to see if that is muscle or if he just sat around watching Oprah Winfrey eating potato chips.

    RICH……Any word if Kory Lic has taken the same advice? because ya can’t have a 280 pound center.

  2. RussianBreadMaker - Mar 19, 2014 at 12:22 PM

    Please dont bring back Doughty. Please dont.

  3. kenlinkins - Mar 19, 2014 at 12:46 PM

    Rich: It seems that we have not heard much from Coach Gruden over the last few weeks. Any news you can share? Any news on how he will run OTA’s, Mini Camp or training camp? It is nice not to see our head coach all over the news every day for a change.

  4. ET - Mar 19, 2014 at 3:15 PM

    Overall, I’m quite pleased with the Skins FA signings so far. They’ve been targeted and value-conscious. The defensive front seven will clearly be stronger, and I think Roberts will turn out to be a great pick-up on the offensive side.

    But I remain puzzled by the lack of urgency regarding safeties. Hopefully Clark gets signed and Thomas steps up—depending on a draft day solution seems iffy to me.

  5. internetcareer - Mar 19, 2014 at 4:17 PM

    why would the Redskins sign right guard Shawn Lauvao and then MOVE him to the left side….and then replace Chris Chester with Adam Gettis when the LOGICAL THING to do would be to allow Lauvao to play his natural position…..and then allow competition among Everybody for the left guard position?? I have never understood why the Redskins have switched offensive linemen around to different positions, and then wondered why their offensive line cannot pass protect?? Check all the WINNING teams. They fill in blank spots…they don’t play musical chairs with their offensive line.

    Hey..we need a center..why not put Trent Williams there???? that’s what I expect next from the REDSKINS. Take a position of strength…and move it to another position thus weakening BOTH positions. It doesn’t make sense.

  6. Bryan - Mar 19, 2014 at 10:07 PM

    Rich I’d like to see them put the guy from browns at rg put leribus in at lg assuming he is in shape. I though he held his own against Seattle In playoffs if my memory serves me correct then either move kory to center or sign saints c n cut kory depending on who is better n cut Chester then have gettis as backup g n roll with polumbus n Tom as rt n swing tackle. Should free up some cap n get younger. As far as safety I say we get kid from northern Illinois instead of another veteran or use that 2nd round n get cb like fuller n roll with Brandon n Thomas/Rambo . I’d also wouldn’t mind Britt as a we on a 1 year prove it deal. But my main concern is oline gotta help rg3 out n if we can give him time I believe he will mature into a better pocket passer . What r ur thoughts on this rich . By the way I love reading your articles u seem to tell it like u see it

  7. aprilwalker2013 - Mar 20, 2014 at 12:12 AM

    Have to say, I think QB has a little to prove this season, maybe before. I don’t have much of issue of his play, he was coming off injury. His attitude took my aback many times in 13. He won’t have Shanny to blame this year.. I’m all in with him, but my hope is he handles losing, bad plays, etc much better this year! I’m pulling for him, as we need him! HTTR

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