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Fan questions: Will the 2014 Redskins be pass happy?

Jun 25, 2014, 11:55 AM EDT

I got a ton of good questions on both Twitter and on the Real Redskins Facebook page so we’re going to do a two-part post here. If you don’t see your question answered here, check back tomorrow. Let’s get rolling.

Actually, 35 pass attempts per game would not really make them “pass first”. The NFL average last year was 35.4 attempts per game so in those terms a 35 pass per game pace would make them relatively balanced. Last year the Redskins averaged 38.2 passes per game, while Jay Gruden’s Bengals averaged 36.6. Mike and Kyle Shanahan did not want to pass that much but game situations forced them to do so. But the Shanahans didn’t have DeSean Jackson and Andre Roberts. If the Redskins play to their strengths, they should pass more often than the average team. I’ll put the over/under at 37.5 pass attempts per game.

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For a long time it looked like Moss might be gone. It was a surprise to many when he re-signed with the team at the start of free agency. But it appears that Gruden wants him around. During OTAs, Gruden had some high praise for Moss, who turned 35 earlier this month. “I like having guys like that, veteran guys who are great examples for rookies and also can help you win in big games,” said Gruden. “You know the game’s not too big for them because they’ve been there and done that. He’s another one that’s going to help this team out.” To be sure, good words in June do not guarantee a roster spot to a player in September. But it sure sounds to me that Moss will be around and will compete with Leonard Hankerson (if healthy) and Aldrick Robinson (if he’s polished his game) for that first receiver off the bench spot.

We’ll have to see about the offense. The potential is there but I need to see it come together out on the field before I’m ready to proclaim that they have a top-10 offense. As far as the weakest position, it’s (still) safety. They have two starters that nobody else seemed to want in Ryan Clark and Brandon Meriweather, two untested players in Bacarri Rambo and Phillip Thomas, and one player who has not played in two years in Tanard Jackson. They will need a heck of a pass rush to survive that group.

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I’d say probably but not certainly. He seems to be confident that he will be sufficiently recovered from last year’s microfracture surgery to get on the field by the start of training camp. But players are often more confident than their actual physical condition should warrant. If he really is out there on July 24 in Richmond he should be able to contribute enough to earn a roster spot. If Bowen starts camp on the PUP list, all bets are off.

To be eligible for the practice squad a player must have no prior Accrued Seasons in the NFL (An accrued season is six or more games on the active roster) or have one prior Accrued Season in which the player was on the 46-man active roster for fewer than 9 games. A player can be on the practice squad for up to three seasons and it should be noted that a player must pass through waivers before signing on the PS. Of course, all of the rookies are eligible so you might see TE Ted Bolser there. It might be a good spot for safety Akeem Davis, who has some potential but faces a full depth chart at his position. Chase Minnifield and Brandon Jenkins are among other players who have PS eligibility.

I think you’re assuming that if Roberts is not the returner that they will take up a roster spot with a return specialist. I don’t see that being the case. Roy Helu could return kickoffs and he’s going to be on the roster as a running back anyway. If Richard Crawford is healthy enough to be the punt returner he will be one of five cornerbacks on the 53. We will see, but I don’t think that Roberts being the returner–and I think that’s likely to be the case–frees up any other roster spots.

  1. shermanp79 - Jun 25, 2014 at 8:33 PM

    I think Gruden will go into every game with a plan that best exposes a teams weakness. I think in the league you now have to pass more just to keep up and put enough points on the board. This is more true during the regular season. Teams just put points up at such a great pace running first creates the problems we had under Shanahan. Now the Defense had blame too but you have to have a great D to play run first. Otherwise you have a stalled drive or two and your down 21 pts. There really aren’t more than a handful of good Defenses. So you do have pass first and work the run in. This Defense probably isn’t going to be great and it as most will give up chunks of yards. They need to limit the scores and force some FGs. I think going in to games 30 pts is the goal. Now obviously that wont happen every game. I think Shanahan wasa thinking like the old days. He wanted to run first and even had WRs focus on blocking. That was more important than big plays or quick scores. Teams won’t figure out the Offense so easy as they did last year.. We need to be able to put teams away, that was something we couldn’t do throughout Shanahan’s tenure. There were so many games when over we were frustrated because it was a game we could have won. Gruden will have more packages and plays off each personnel package. I feel like Shanahan was very limited in his. He left talent and personnel on the sidelines. This change alone will help this offense be more explosive.

    • greed - Jun 25, 2014 at 9:47 PM

      Your post was right on point about the shannys left talent on the sidelines undeveloped and with no confidence

    • redskinsnameisheretostay - Jun 28, 2014 at 6:35 PM

      I wouldn’t jump so soon to profess Gruden being an improvement at coach over Shanahan. It’s ironic most of what Shanahan put in place still exists now. Gruden was a welcome departure for many at Cincinnati. We’ll see how well Gruden does as a coach. I will agree with most reporting that there is more emphasis on special teams then last season and that should help us. That was Shanahan’s biggest area of failure here.

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