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Need to Know: Quality of Redskins’ receiving corps may hinge on Doctson’s learning curve

May 28, 2016, 3:55 AM EDT


Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, May 28, 69 days before the Washington Redskins start training camp in Richmond.


—The Redskins last played a game 138 days ago. It will be 107 days until they host the Steelers in their 2016 season opener.

Days until: Redskins training camp starts 61; Preseason opener @ Falcons 75; Final roster cut 98

Hot topics: Top posts from the Redskins week that was

Darrell Green talks about Breeland, Richard Sherman—I’m not sure if Green is angling for a gig on radio or TV analysis but he sure was entertaining during this appearance on Grant and Danny on WFAN. Here are some of the highlights.

Who starts at safety for the Redskins in 2016?—The position is the definition of a long-term problem for team. The “solution” this year could be to start DeAngelo Hall, who will turn 33 during the season and is a converted cornerback, and David Bruton, who has never been more than a backup in seven years in the league. Something tells me we will copy and paste the headline again in a year, only adjusting the year.

Which Redskins will surprise in 2016?—I looked a two who might surprise in a positive way and two who might be disappointments. Expectations can be tough to manage for some players and the two who are listed as surprises on the down side may have good seasons, maybe very good, and still be disappointments due to high expectations.

OTAs to-do list: How fast can Doctson get up to speed?—The Redskins’ group of pass catchers is going to be very good. If Josh Doctson can get up to speed and become a viable option quickly, the Redskins’ wide receiver/tight end contingent could be one of the best in the league.

Which Redskins are on the bubble?—Yes, there is even a bubble in May. With the competition for roster spots starting in earnest during OTAs the players who want to claim one of the precious few roster spots that are truly up for grabs. Here’s a look at the bubble dwellers.

In case you missed it 


  1. garg8050 - May 28, 2016 at 6:16 AM

    Doctson’s development will be important to the team’s success this season. I just don’t see DJax playing all 16 games, not with his slight build and history of tweaks and strains.

    I’m really curious to know what everyone sees in Ryan Grant. Keep hearing about what a great route runner he is, but I keep flashing back to the end of the Falcons game and the missed deep shot vs. the Packers. If Doctson isn’t ready, and DJAX invariably goes down, it would be a major blow to the offense. Hopefully Doctson does pick up the offense, DJAX doesn’t get hurt, and if pressed to play, Grant shows some potential.

    • sidepull - May 28, 2016 at 6:36 AM

      I dont get it with Grant either. He just continues to remind me of a WR who could wind up on the list of Redskins W/R’s “Where are they now?” Albert Connell, Darerian McCants, Darrius Thompson, Anthony Armstrong, Aldrick Robinson…..Ryan Grant. I know hes young, give him a chance, but at whose expense?

      • bangkokben - May 28, 2016 at 2:44 PM

        Taylor Jacobs 2.0

    • redskins12thman - May 28, 2016 at 7:06 AM

      I have not studied Grant in detail but it’s important to keep in mind that his role is that of a 5th receiver; to get more playing time and to move further up the list, he would need to improve. So when judging him, think of his contributions as a 5th receiver; i.e., you should not expect the same quality as receivers 1-4. Good technique (which I believe is where Grant excels), decent athleticism and average professional football IQ is I believe what one should expect. Grant definitely needs to work on his footing and try to eliminate penalties.

      Grant also contributed on special teams, logging more snaps than any other receiver on the team so the coaches must like his contributions there too. As a 5th receiver, this is probably important too.

      In training camp, Grant is being challenged by Ross, Diggs, Harris and Showers. I don’t think the expectations for Grant is that he is challenging for spots 1-4; barring injury, those are already locked up. We will see which one or two emerge from these five on the 53 opening day roster; my guess is that it is Grant’s and Ross’ to lose. Hopefully, Diggs, Harris and Showers are skilled and hungry enough to challenge them.

      • redskins12thman - May 28, 2016 at 7:12 AM

        There’s probably an indirect challenge from TEs too. The team could always opt to add more TEs and reduce the number of receivers. The team might add a 4th (or 5th?) to Reeds, Davis and if healthy Paul…. More TEs could mean only 5 WRs. Special team contributions, regardless of position, come into play for the final roster spots.

        • colorofmyskinz - May 28, 2016 at 8:05 AM

          Agreed here. Running multiple TEs is Grudens ideal set. Pass and run threat set. Could go 5/5

        • bangkokben - May 29, 2016 at 12:53 PM

          No way the Redskins go with just 5 WRs. Who the heck needs five tightends? You can run an empty backfield set with five WR but no one has seen an empty backfield set with five TE — unless they were alive in 1899. WRs are more likely to play specials than TEs — so that argument is pointless as well. Lastly, week four against the Eagles, the Redskins were without both Desean Jackson and Andre Roberts — I believe Roberts got injured the day of or the day before. Can you imagine a game where both Jackson and Crowder are injured and the Redskins have just three receivers to dressed? If they had the week to prepare, they would have to cut a player and sign a guy of the street for a game or two. The Redskins WILL HAVE six receivers,

        • redskins12thman - May 30, 2016 at 5:41 AM

          I think the Redskins will go with six receivers too; I just didn’t want to categorically rule out 5 WRs. I believe the last roster spots will go to the players that the team projects to be most valuable on special teams.

        • bangkokben - May 30, 2016 at 12:34 PM

          I too think special teams are important but the team can only dress 45 men. So I think special teams may factor into it before the final spots. Later on in the season the 8-man inactive list is primarily used for injured players that won’t miss much time. Until then guys like Nate Sudfield might take a roster spot.

      • chimps000 - May 28, 2016 at 10:19 AM

        Grant doesn’t have the athleticism required to be a significant contributor. When a WR finds himself falling down with any frequency, you have a fundamental problem.

        That said, this season I cant see him getting any playing time without injuries to our starters, assuming he makes the team.

        If DJax can stay healthy, this offense can carry the team to another NFC East title. We had one of the worst running games in the league last year, a below average defense and the offense carried the team. Obviously it helps to be in the NFC East… hard to see Romo lasting a whole season, the Giants have a talent poor roster with some minor upgrades through extremely expensive free agency, and the eagles have a talent poor roster with a likely QB carousel that they mortgaged the future to acquire. We are primed to run this division for next few years…

        • John - May 28, 2016 at 8:35 PM

          I’m not a Cowboy fan but if they keep Romo uptight and have some balance or amazingly, lean on their running game, then they will be tough to stop. Kind of hard to win without Romo and Bryant and instead having Larry, Curley and Moe as your QB.

      • garg8050 - May 28, 2016 at 10:49 AM

        You make excellent points. The problem is, for about six games last year, he went from the 5th receiver to the 2nd. This was really before Crowder took hold of the slot position. There was a time where Garcon, Roberts, and Grant were the top 3. Not coincidentally, the offense struggled, as did Cousins, with consistency.

        I agree, he’s fine as the 5th WR and special teams player. Hopefully he won’t be needed at any point on offense. I just don’t see that he brings any outstanding quality to the table, ie. blazing speed, size in the red zone, etc.

        • bangkokben - May 29, 2016 at 1:03 PM

          This is EXACTLY RIGHT! Not only did he unexpectedly jump from 5th to 2nd, it was the timing of the injuries — first quarter of the season. This is where fans assumed that Crowder (who missed time in training camp) and Ross would leapfrog Grant. To the coaches credit they went with the guy who had the most experience and presumably the most knowledge of the offense and then as Grant sputtered decreased his snaps.

    • abanig - May 28, 2016 at 2:43 PM

      Grant is a young developing player; he’s only going into his third year.

      Yes, he fell down on a route during the Falcons game but it also wasn’t a good ball by Cousins because Cousins was blitzed.

      This happens, and yes, Grant dropped a few passes he should have caught last year.

      From his rookie year to his second year though we saw improvement in him. He is a good – maybe even great – route runner. He and Cousins also have developed good chemistry because when Cousins was the #2 in preseason the previous two years, Grant was one of the receivers he would play with in those preseason games.

      If people are expecting Grant to be a future starter, they need to temper their expectations. He’s a #4 or 5 WR on every team in the NFL. At best I see Grant being a future #3 receiver for the redskins and a core special teams gunner on kick off and punt coverage.

      • John - May 28, 2016 at 8:30 PM

        Grant, great in practice and preseason. Regular season a magician who does a great disappearing act.

        • abanig - May 28, 2016 at 8:59 PM

          Again, 2nd year wr who’s still developing. He was only a 5th round pick. When we drafted him it was expected he’d be a #4 or 5 WR.

          If he played #2/3 reps all 16 games last year he would have totaled 46 recs, 538 yds & 4 tds which are usual #3 receiver stats in the NFL.

  2. redskins12thman - May 28, 2016 at 10:27 AM

    I think the depth of the veteran WR and TE corps gives Doctson an opportunity to develop this season without the need to produce; anything he can do is gravy. Even with Jackson out for part of last season, Reed, Garcon, Crowder and Thompson were able to produce just fine; to this we are adding Davis and potential Paul, not to mention Doctson. Players like Grant, Jones and, if he returns, Thomas will contribute as well.

    • goback2rfk - May 28, 2016 at 11:35 AM

      Jackson is likely to go out real early. Especially, without putting in the extra work at OTA’s. More than likely, he will feel another ‘twinge’ in the hammy and will sit out all of training camp.
      I look forward to seeing what the offense can do without Jackson on the field. I have a feeling Reed and company will get it done.

      • John - May 28, 2016 at 8:20 PM

        Highly unlikely. Last year was the only season where he missed any significant time in 9 seasons. Not being at OTAs has nothing to do with the big games. Ask the players and to a man they’ll tell you its not an issue.

      • John - May 28, 2016 at 8:23 PM

        The passing game did’nt open up last year until Jackson came back from the hamstring. Doctson will eventually replace Pierre. Doctson lacks Jacksons speed.

    • abanig - May 28, 2016 at 2:58 PM

      I agree with this. There is no pressure on the team or on Doctson to be a huge contributior this eyes. We all hope he develops fast but if it takes awhile, so be it.

      I don’t envision or predict Djax missing 8/9 games again. Last year was the first time in in his career that he missed more then a month of a season.

      I think he will probably miss a game, maybe two, but that’s not going to be a big deal because we have Crowder, Grant &
      Ross who will be a year more developed and Doctson.

      Then, Paul & Reed are TEs who play a lot like wide receivers.

    • John - May 28, 2016 at 8:27 PM

      With the extra bodies at TE and now Doctson at WR, that means Grant or Ross or both could be gone. Ross does not get the mental part and Grant can’t stay upright.

  3. Mr.moneylover - May 29, 2016 at 12:28 PM

    I disagree..I think if Ryan grant don’t STEPUP in training camp they could end up releasing him same goes for rashad Ross…that’s all I been hearing about is the depth the redskins got at WRs and some unknown guys coming in and making plays to make the team Josh Norman said its incredible of how much talent they got on the team this year..I believe its gonna be very differcult to cut down to the 53 man roster… And Ricky jean Francois gave my two guys praise who I say are dark horses to make the 53 jarrell powe and Corey Crawford…Ricky Francois said jarrell powe gotta be the most powerul guy who can play NT and he called Corey Crawford a beast so he think the D-line is very unrated and think this is a better and more powerful group then last year

  4. redskins12thman - May 29, 2016 at 1:32 PM

    It’s great that Powe and Crawford might make the 53 opening day roster. I haven’t heard this from others so far, but the news is encouraging; the more competition for roster spots, the better. What a difference a year makes. Three or four players need to step up on the defensive line besides Baker. Archives

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