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Will the Redskins throw it deep in 2014?

Jul 16, 2014, 1:27 PM EST

RG3-vs.-Packers

It is doubtful that Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton will ever earn a nickname like “The Mad Bomber” or anything similar. But Jay Gruden’s quarterback went deep more than any other quarterback in the NFL last year.

According to ESPN, Gruden’s Bengals led the league in passes that traveled 20 yards or more past the line of scrimmage. They went deep 83 times last year. The Redskins, by comparison, threw 60 such passes.

Cincinnati was not as efficient on the long passes as other teams. ESPN tells us that the Bengals were 16th in completion percentage at 37.3 percent) and 13th in yards per attempt (12.83). When you get to the bottom line, the Bengals were eighth in the NFL in pass plays that gained more than 20 yards (regardless of how far the ball traveled in the air) with 56.

The Redskins tied for 30th with 39 pass plays that gained 20+ yards. The team that led the league in such plays was the Eagles, who had 80. The Philly team leader was DeSean Jackson, who had 25.

Jackson, of course, is now playing for Gruden and the Redskins. When Jackson became a free agent after the Eagles cut him, Washington scooped him up in what many called a “typical Redskins move”. But actually it wasn’t so much a Redskins move as it was a Gruden move. There wasn’t enough speed in the receiving corps for Gruden to utilize the deep passing game as often as he would like. With the Redskins signing Jackson they got the needed boost of speed with on stroke of the pen.

Earlier, we looked at whether or not Gruden would have a tendency to get pass happy. We found that in the three years he was in Cincinnati that the Bengals were 19th in pass attempts (tied, coincidentally, with the Redskins). So the Redskins may not throw the ball significantly more than the average team but with Jackson they may throw it deeper than the average team.

  1. hailyeah1 - Jul 16, 2014 at 1:51 PM

    i bet they they are going to throw long, short and mid range djax burned us so bad over the years doing it all that with him garcon and reed its going to be better than the greatest show on turf.

  2. kenlinkins - Jul 16, 2014 at 5:03 PM

    If the Redskins can not fix the O-Line they may not be able to throw pass’s at all. Dalton is a pocket passer who likes to step up into the pocket, the Redskins QB has not yet proved he can do this, in fact many fans are still looking for the pocket he can step into. Either way, a few things must be repaired before we fans see the “Points sore” from pass’s flying deep down the field. IMO, we will see more roll out, broken plays and RG3’s running away from pressure and then throwing the ball deep than him sitting in the pocket like “Cool Hand Luke” and delivering a nicely timed deep ball to Jackson / Roberts / Reed or Garcon.

    • jrh0 - Jul 17, 2014 at 10:58 AM

      Disagree.
      1. RG3 did show that he can pass from the pocket already. Did well in 2012 at it, when he did it. Didn’t do it as much, because playaction passing and rollouts were staples of the Shanahan game plan. When needed though, he could pass from the pocket fine.

      2. Granted the Oline will still have trouble preserving that pocket, BUT Gruden is all about quick release. Look up the stats. Under Jay Gruden, Andy Dalton had the shortest time to throw of any starter in the whole NFL. Gruden’s whole mantra is on getting the ball out of the QBs hands asap, and accurately. If he can do it with Dalton, he can surely do it with RG3, and the WR corps we’ve got now. That quick release, plus the hesitation RG3 should be able to cause with the threat of his legs will take a lot of pressure off the Oline.

  3. Big papa redskins - Jul 16, 2014 at 9:12 PM

    My skins should bomb this year we have upgraded in almost every position so we will see what happen come on skins lets do this

  4. skinsdawg - Jul 16, 2014 at 11:12 PM

    I agree with Kenlinkins 100%. And I’ve been saying this forever now. The O-Line sucked so bad last year, no one could have thrown deep. Thrown successfully, or anything else. That unit was just absolutely awful. And how in the WORLD do we feel like it’s going to be a lot better. We replaced (1) player. Sure- we have a new Center, since the old one was bad- and was too small. Well- the new guy is even smaller. He might end up being better than Monty was last year. Who knows. But really- we chenged out (1) guy on the line. Shawn Lavaou, who is supposedly just an OK Guard. Supposedly, a pretty descent pass blocker (thank goodness….. that is where we need the help so badly). But a poor run-blocker with zero push in the run game. Well- I guess I can live with that, if he’s really a legit NFL pass-protector.

    But wow. A bad line then. Still probably a bad line. Moses and Long better be ab;e to start by mid-season or so. Or nothing will really change. On a positive note- I do think we could have one of the most prolific offenses in the NFL- if the O-Line did come together. Garcon, D-Jax, Roberts and Reed. Wow. That is All-Universe talent right there. Same with RG3. But can he stay upright?

  5. bowlregard - Jul 17, 2014 at 11:01 AM

    The OL last year did not have significant injuries, at least judging by lost playing time, or lack thereof. But having RG3 playing on one leg was a big deal. And losing Hankerson and Reed were big deals the second half. This year, having a healthy RG3, major additions to the receiving corp, the returned threat of the read option, I’d expect improved play from the OL even if we stayed with the same personnel. I am trying to temper my normal tendency to be overly optimistic, but on paper this looks like a top five offense.

  6. RO DOGG - Jul 20, 2014 at 2:25 PM

    I think redskins will run ball more than people think…need to have a decent running game to win in nfl… Redskins will run and set up play action pass to jackson….if pass not there. Rg3 can check down hit garçon across middle or jordan Reed in the flat..I think redskins Will have top 5 rank offense in nfl this season.

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