The Redskins shortened their mandatory mini-camp to two on field practice days. Players had to report on Monday for physicals and pictures. Before breaking officially until late July, players had to attend meetings this morning and attend a family event at Redskins Park in Ashburn.
That's it until July 25th at least. Redskins Park will be mostly vacant of activities until after the Pittsburgh Steelers preseason game on August 19th. Players go on vacation, as do the coaches. Most of the staff takes a break, and the building continues to get a construction facelift.
Now for what you may have missed. I was not able to attend Tuesday's practice, because of our ESPN 980 "True Heroes" charity golf tournament to benefit the Military Order of the Purple Heart Service Foundation, a terrific cause that greatly benefits and funds programs to improve the lives of the men and woman that put their lives on the line to defend our freedom.
Wednesday's final practice was anything but epic, but certainly individuals stood out for positive and negative reasons. The Redskins made moves on and off the field as well, adding three new players in veteran receivers Donte' Stallworth and Devery Henderson, along with kickoff and presumably long range field goal specialist, John Potter.
In corresponding moves, the team waived DE Doug Worthington and TE Deangelo Peterson with injured designations. ESPN 980 has learned that Worthington is having surgery today to repair the biceps injury and will be put on injured reserved once he clears waivers.
The loss is a concerning blow to the defensive line group, which we will expand on a bit more later, along with exclusive comments from Adam Carriker.
As for the final practice, before the show gets started for real in Richmond.
**The defensive backs flashed in some spots and were tested/exposed in others. First the good according my notes that I took (clearly it is impossible to see everything). Rookie David Amerson who has played mostly on the right side, had a ranging interception in the deep middle of the field on a throw from Rex Grossman. Defensive Backs coach Raheem Morris was yelling "Score, score, score" to Amerson who weaved his way in between tacklers on a return. EJ Biggers also had a leaping breakup of a pass.
It was anything but a banner day for the group the rest of the day. Morris had to pull 2nd year CB Richard Crawford aside one time, yelling "Come on 20" before privately instructing him on his mistake. Kirk Cousins dialed up a long strike to Leonard Hankerson who beat coverage from a combination of Crawford and Amerson. Crawford was beat on an acrobatic catch by young wide receiver Lance Lewis at the goal line. Another play saw Kirk Cousins out of the pistol formation, freeze a defensive back (did not get a number) with a pump fake and hook up with a streaking Niles Paul for a practice touchdown. Even Pat White got in on the toast party, as he connected with Lance Lewis out of the pistol with a modified zone read keeper which beat Crawford. DeAngelo Hall was beat on a red zone quick slant for Santana Moss, who dropped an easy touchdown.
A couple of times we saw the young defensive backs out of position and lacking enough recognition skills to properly recover. Safe to say that Bacarri Rambo, Phillip Thomas, David Amerson and Richard Crawford all have a lot of work to do. The Redskins best hope is that Hall, Biggers and Josh Wilson can play in Week 1 and play better than they did last year with an improved pass rush.
***The Redskins defensive line had a couple of deflections in the practice session. Barry Cofield had a big year in 2011 with this skill and Jarvis Jenkins each had batted balls. Jenkins' deflection popped up in the air for an interception to Darryl Tapp. A couple of weeks ago Jenkins had a batted ball that he caught for an interception. Safe to say if the defensive line can create a few turnovers for a team that was already good in that area it will go a very long way.
***Rex Grossman continues to throw interceptions in every practice session that we've been able to see but he also makes plenty of big plays, like dialing up Josh Morgan on a deep throw down the near sidelines (from where I was) which perfectly landed over Morgan's shoulders beating a chasing Amerson and Crawford. Pat White had some ups but a bunch of downs. He's high way too often as he overthrew Donte' Stallworth on one pass for an incompletion. Raheem Morris even joked that a younger Stallworth would have been able to leap for it. White also threw a very high completion to Jawan Jamison on a middle screen. White also threw a rainbow, high arcing incompletion. It's been a constant theme. For as many picks as Rex throws, I will take him any day of the week.
***The Redskins worked on some hurry-up down and distance situations on Wednesday. After converting a fourth down completion in the middle of the field to young receiver Nick Williams, Trent Williams raced on the field only to realize that he was not supposed to be there for the next set of downs. Needless to say the defensive group on the far sidelines enjoyed themselves at No. 71's expense.
A few other offensive line notes after a conversation with OL Coach Chris Foerster. It is a completely open battle to who would be a replacement in the regular season for Williams if he were to get hurt. He has in each of his first three years, missing two games in each of his first two seasons and most of the Bengals loss in Week 3 of 2012. In my conversation with him, he clearly believes that Tom Compton has the most potential but had the longest road to grow out of the three offensive lineman the Skins took in the '12 draft.
Foerster is much more confident that Adam Gettis and Compton will be able to contribute this year, because they just were not ready to handle the NFL last season. Foerster mentioned that because Tyler Polumbus has played some games at left tackle, he would be an option. If Polumbus is the starting right tackle, that would create a domino effect at both tackle positions. Clearly that plan would benefit Tony Pashos or Jeremy Trueblood (maybe both?) in their mission to make the 53-man roster.
As we touched on above, with Worthington done for the year and Adam Carriker's health clearly in question, the Redskins suddenly have question about defensive line depth. Carriker appeared on ESPN 980 last night with me http://www.stationcaster.com/player_skinned.php?s=65&c=542&f=1521501 (Hour # 2, 6-12-13) and discussed the road back from multiple surgeries since blowing out his quad tendon in Week 2 last year.
Jarvis Jenkins and Stephen Bowen are the clear starters entering training camp but who will back them up? We know one answer is Kedric Golston, who was re-signed to a three year deal. The other backup would come from a group of Chris Baker, Ron Brace, Dominique Hamilton, Chigbo Anunoby or veteran Phillip Merling. It's likely only six lineman will be on the initial 53-man roster and with Bowen, Jenkins, Golston and Cofield appearing to be locks, that would leave only two spots that are open.
The Redskins never stop trying to improve. I don't know if every organization works this way, but the only time that you can truly let your guard down a little bit is when you know that Mike Shanahan is on vacation.
Even then, players can always do something and rumors can always send you on a wild goose chase.
Wednesday was a day where the Redskins were on the front burner. For many reasons. Some that are now complete, and some that are very much still in progress.
The Redskins appear to have been able to retain not only a overwhelming part of their core, but also have been able to add to it. Washington will very likely not bring back starting free safety Madieu Williams. ESPN 980 had first reported that news a few weeks ago. If that situation remains, the Redskins will have been able to retain 21 of 22 starters.
They lost their special teams captain, Lorenzo Alexander and risked losing DeAngelo Hall. However to think that they could bring back Kory Lichtensteiger, Tyler Polumbus, Darrel Young, Logan Paulsen, Nick Sundberg, Sav Rocca, Bryan Kehl, Chris Baker, Rex Grossman and Hall after releasing him would have required you to have 3-D rose colored glasses on while pounding burgundy and gold kool-aid down your throat and yet the Redskins accomplished just that.
Think about it. The Redskins, with an 18 million dollar salary cap hit were able to retain all but one starter and their special teams captain while at least for now, not mortgaging any of the future. They lost more assistant coaches (Danny Smith and Ike Hilliard) than they did starters from the 2012 NFC Eastern Division Championship team.
On Wednesday, the Redskins retained more of their core by agreeing to terms with Rex Grossman. While not a popular move, it was a necessary addition. Here's the bottom line reality that most Redskins fans do not want to face. The (strong?) possibility exists that Robert Griffin III is not ready for Week 1. Kirk Cousins would be the starter, but it is very likely that if Griffin is not ready to start that he would not even be active on the 46 man game day roster. You need a competent, quality and experienced backup and you can do A LOT worse than Grossman.
Grossman took his time before coming back, a move that was made official on Thursday morning. He told ESPN 980 via phone "the real opportunity wasn't out there, so I wanted to be here."
Grossman was a key figure behind the scenes for the development of Griffin III and Kirk Cousins in their rookie years. It's a good move.
The Redskins also officially signed Pat White to a one year contract, a source close to the situation confirmed to ESPN 980. The former West Virginia product was a second round pick in 2009 and was quickly out of the league, partially due to health reasons and partially due to a bad skill set fit.
Plenty of questions remain on White, and if he can actually play the position. As ESPN 980 first reported on Tuesday, White has worked with noted quarterback guru, George Whitfield Jr. to prepare for this opportunity.
He was also busy taking care of legal matters, as Nathan Fenno of the Washington Times first reported here http://wtim.es/10z6YdM.
Then there's the Kirk Cousins dynamic to this four-headed quarterback monster...He was on ESPN 980 on Wednesday after it became known that White would be signing, but before Rex Grossman's agreement became public.
Per Steinberg's transcript, Cousins told the "Sports Fix" - “I felt like with Robert’s health where it is right now, to be able to have a guy who can do some of the thing Robert does athletically would be important, especially in this offseason time when you’re trying to stay sharp and develop your base playbook and improve your base playbook. While I believe can to some degree run those kind of things, the zone-read stuff is gonna be much better with a Pat White-type athlete in there who’s closer to Robert’s skill set."
“I think that’s a no-brainer to have a guy like that in at least for OTAs, if not longer,” Cousins said to Kevin Sheehan and Thom Loverro.
That's all fine and good, and makes perfect sense. The Redskins will have at least four, if not five quarterbacks during training camp and pre-season on the roster because Griffin will be extremely limited, if he is even able to do anything in August.
Anybody that thinks Kirk Cousins would be traded to the first team that has an opening in camp (due to injury) is just a flat out space cadet. Sorry. It's just NEVER going to happen, and I strongly believe it would not have happened even if Robert Griffin III had made it through his rookie season completely healthy.
DeAngelo Hall is officially back in the fold, signing a one year deal. Now the interesting part is can the Redskins somehow still reel in Antoine Winfield?
Hall is an interesting case. He's another guy who clearly doesn't have a lot of popularity in the fan base, which is the nature of the position. I have always thought he was a above average pure cover corner and that's as far as I can go. This goes back to his days in Atlanta, and it was laughable that an organization as dumb as the Oakland Raiders gave Hall the kind of money they did and cut him halfway through his first year.
The Redskins are anything but dumb under Mike Shanahan, Bruce Allen and Eric Shaffer. As a result of their 2010 creativity which landed them in hot water with the National Football League, the Redskins saved three million dollars in cap space in 2012 - as Hall's cap hit went from 9.5 to 6.5 million. The move also allowed the Redskins to have no dead money if they chose to whack Hall in 2013 or 2014. His base salary and workout bonuses was a simple 8.0 million in 2013 and 9.5 million in 2014, all non-guaranteed.
So when the Redskins released Hall last month, they technically saved a total of 17.5 million additional dollars over the 2013 and 2014 seasons. Washington made it official on Thursday morning, signing Hall back to a reported one year, 2.5 million dollar deal with a likely incentives based package for him to make more.
If you combine the on books savings of 2012 - 2014, it adds up too a whopping 20.5 million dollars, and for salary cap accounting purposes if you add the 3.0 million (high side w/ roster bonus projection) - the Redskins actually saved a total of 17.5 million as a net.
They were stripped of 15 million, but gained back the flexibility to have 17.5 million in credits spread over three years. Even if Hall is brought back for 2014 at a similar structure to this year, the Redskins would still have saved about 15 million dollars in cap space over the 2012, 2013 and 2014 seasons.
As far as dealing with Hall, and still retaining his services for at least 2013 - you could not ask for any better than that.
Especially if somehow, the move to bring back Hall still allows you to secure the services of Antoine Winfield. As we have reported several times, strong mutual interest still exists between both sides with Minnesota and possibly another suitor still in the mix (Denver?).
Winfield visited Redskins Park last week, and the Redskins tried to initiate contract discussions about 15 times to Winfield's representatives. The two sides briefly spoke that night and have remained in contact, with Winfield reportedly out of the country.
How do the Redskins accomplish such a move? That's the multi-million dollar question. As I write this, we are all still trying to figure out exactly how the Redskins with less than 700,000 in cap space as of Wednesday night, made the signing of Hall, Grossman and White all official https://www.nflplayers.com/reports/RunPublicReport.aspx?report=top51.
Clearly, they have some work to do and it very much seems that Winfield and his camp are more than willing to be patient in the process. Sure, returning to Minnesota is an option but he has to see what everybody sees and that is Christian Ponder is going to be hard pressed to take a team to a Super Bowl, something that has eluded Winfield during his career.
Based on multiple conversations with multiple sources, I have been able to rule out as of Wednesday a re-structure for Pierre Garcon. His base salary for 2013 is guaranteed anyway, and a provision does exist that would allow the Redskins to convert that base to "bonus" to allow them to re-distribute the cap charge. That move had not been executed as of Wednesday per sources.
Trent Williams is another likely candidate. He's coming off his first Pro Bowl year, and done with year three of his rookie contract that spanned five years. An extension is much safer and more likely in my eyes, and could be in the works. I would stay tuned on this front.
Other than that, the Redskins will very likely have to release a player or two to have the flexibility needed to create enough room to not only have a chance to sign Winfield, but also to ink their 2013 draft class.
Another option would be to trade a current contract to an interested party for future draft picks & flexibility. Two names that would come to mind in my eyes, are Josh Wilson and Brian Orakpo.
**Finally, a note on Fred Davis who re-signed earlier this week officially. The Redskins gave him a deal that will count initially at 2.5 million against the cap, but could count as much as 3.0 million under the 2013 limit. Davis got a 1.5 million signing bonus, a 1 million dollar base salary and a 500 thousand dollar incentive clause that he receives (and the Redskins are charged for) if he is on the gameday 46-man roster for a minimum of 12 games. Davis also can earn another 750,000 in incentives that are tied to snap count and a possible Pro Bowl selection.
The Redskins essentially got a franchise tag free agent that cost them over 5.5 million last year, for a significant discount with no long term liability. Of course, they really had the leverage because of Davis' blown achilles.
QB--Robert Griffin III, Rex Grossman, Kirk Cousins
RB--Evan Royster, Tim Hightower, Alfred Morris-- Helu Jr to IR? Just a guess but I'm still not 100% sure on Hightower's health either. I think it's overly optimistic to think Morris would make it through waivers and be available for practice squad.
TE--Fred Davis, Chris Cooley, Niles Paul, Logan Paulson-- Cooley or Briscoe? My gut says Cooley for now.
WR--Pierre Garcon, Josh Morgan, Santana Moss, Leonard Hankerson, Brandon Banks, Aldrick Robinson-- still convinced there's no chance Banks gets cut. Still not ruling out Briscoe as a 7th receiver over a 4th tight end.
OL--Trent Williams, Kory Lichtensteiger, Wil Montgomery, Chris Chester, Tyler Polumbus, Maurice Hurt, Willie Smith, Adam Gettis, Josh LeRibeus--I think Black has a chance but I've got him out for now. Compton to the practice squad.
NT--Barry Cofield, Chris Baker
DE--Adam Carriker, Stephen Bowen, Jarvis Jenkins, Darrion Scott-- a hunch on Scott over Golsten.
OLB--Brian Orakpo, Ryan Kerrigan, Rob Jackson, Chris Wilson-- Wilson or White?? White's injury couldn't have come at a worse time...edge to Wilson for now.
ILB--London Fletcher, Perry Riley, Lorenzo Alexander, Keenan Robinson-- Robinson over Kehl but it's close.
CB--DeAngelo Hall, Josh Wilson, Cedric Griffin, Richard Crawford, Kevin Barnes-- I know Griffin has looked shaky but he's a vet and there's not enough pushing him.
S--Brandon Merriweather, Madieu Williams, DeJon Gomes, Tanard Jackson, Reed Doughty-- Doughty survives again. Bernstein to the practice squad.
K-Graham Gano-- gut says they stick with Gano although a couple of missed kicks in the final 2 preseason games would be lethal.
Nothing says the first preseason game more than 13 total points, 23 penalties, and 17 punts. It was a hard watch after RG3 left the game but here's my good, bad, and more anyway.
1. RG3: Forget the #'s which were good, the biggest takeaway for me was how comfortable and confident he looked. His best play was his 20-yd throw to Garcon after he looked off his first two progressions. Fourteen total snaps and none of em required him to run or extend the play much. Credit to the o-line and his ability to get the ball out quickly for that.
2. Pass Rush: Kerrigan and Orakpo early, Rob Jackson later.
3. Starting O-Line: Griffin went untouched on all six pass attempts and the running game got going on the one touchdown drive.
4. Garcon: Yards after catch has been a problem for years, Garcon will provide it. The excessive celebration penalty was unnecessary.
5. Cousins: His numbers weren't great but probably due to the revolving cast of teammates around him. Like RG3, he played with a high level of confidence. When he wasn't rushed, he threw the ball pretty well.
1. Rex. He was off throwing the ball even though he was pressured much more than Griffin.
2. Dropped INT's. At least three by my count, Merriweather had a chance for an early one.
1. Replacement refs struggled. NFL needs to fix this and soon.
2. C. Baker, R. Jackson, A. Morris, C. Wilson, J. Wilson, and M. White were a few of the others that made plays.
3. Banks was targeted a bunch but only caught two balls for 7 yards. Not sure if the lack of productivity was due to his route running or the throws from Rex and Cousins. I think more of the latter.
4. Hope Trent Williams' foot is okay.
5. Rackers vs Gano has to wait at least another week.
That was the somewhat obvious, but completely unexpected statement from Redskins Head Coach/EVP Mike Shanahan on Sunday in front of over 50 members of the media, assembled on a humid late morning/afternoon in Ashburn.
Of course, "he" is Robert Griffin III, and while practically nobody expected him to be the 2nd string in New Orleans as the Redskins open up the 2012 campaign, I figured that Mike Shanahan would do everything he could to push, poke and prod "RG III" with motivation and a good old fashioned 'controversy,' by keeping the competition open publicly or by listing Rex Grossman as No. 1 in the first unofficial depth chart.
That's not happening according to the man that matters most.
"We're going to put him with the first team when we come back … We'll have our first team on one field, working against our second defense, and we'll have our second team on the other field, working against our first defense," Shanahan said on Sunday.
I have to admit I was stunned. Not at the fact that Robert Griffin III was anointed as the starter, but just the timing. It was very unusual for Mike Shanahan to be that bold, that upfront, THIS early.
"I thought it was very important to start with Robert with our first unit. He's able to do it and pick up the system as quick as he has, which is always good, to go out there and be able to call plays and feel good with what you're doing, and I've seen that over the last five practices."
It tells you the obvious desperation of the franchise and management, but also it is a credit to Griffin III that he has caught on so quick.
Shanahan explained "Any time you pick a player with the second pick of the draft and you give up another two No. 1's and No. 2 and you move up four spots, you've got a game plan in mind. We're going to adjust our system to what he feels comfortable with, and we'll watch him grow, and we'll do what we feel like he does the best."
That's all fine and good, that's what every staff does. It is what Mike and Kyle Shanahan did with Donovan McNabb as well.
Despite Donovan's claims, as my colleague Kevin Sheehan points out, and as we talked about routinely on the air in 2010, the Shanahan's dialed up a lot of screens and the deep ball, accentuating McNabb's skill set.
Just color me surprised. I have attended just about every Mike Shanahan press conference since he became the head man in charge. He is a coach who has been honest with the media about not always being honest with the media. In other words, he has admitted to fibbing, to protect certain things.
I would be astonished if this is nothing but 100% truth, I just didn't expect it. It speaks volumes for the 'intangibles' side of RG III.
His new teammate, offensive lineman Josh LeRibeus told reporters, "it feels like he came in, and already new the damn playbook."
His head coach gushed some more, "He's great. You can see what an incredible athlete he is," Shanahan said of Griffin. "I was impressed with the first day. He didn't have one bust on a formation or a play call, and I've never had that in all the mini camps I've been involved with."
On Monday, I asked General Manager and Executive Vice President, Bruce Allen why the Redskins were so up-front about their plans, which again is extremely unusual.
"We're excited. We feel good about Robert. If we can surround him with proper talent, we'll be OK. We think he's a unique talent. What coach envisions for him, what we think we can do with our offense, we think we can achieve our objectives. The sooner we get too it, the better."
Allen was speaking to a group of reporters at the annual Leukemia and Lymphoma Society charity golf outing, hosted by Redskins linebacker Brian Orakpo.
The bottom line is this. If Robert Griffin III was not the starter for Week 1 in New Orleans, it would have been somewhat concerning. If Robert was not listed as the number one starter on the 'public' depth chart in training camp, it would have been a controversy. If Kirk Cousins would have looked better at mini-camps and training camp, it would have been well, unexpected.
Now, the Redskins can just move on without the daily questions about depth charts. For now.
The Redskins re-signed Rex Grossman to a 1 yr deal that most probably makes him the one to pass the baton to RG III... when he's ready.
Grossman threw for 3,151 yds and 16 TDs last season in 13 starts last year as the Redskins finished at the bottom of the NFC East at 5-11 for the year.
Many Redskins fans will be scratching their heads or even screaming from the hilltops on why the Redskins would bring back a quarterback who is known to be a turnover machine. Last season was no different as he contributed to 25 turnovers including 20 interceptions and 5 lost fumbles.
As painful as it may be to accept for many fans however, the logic does exist as to why Grossman might fit the situation.
The Redskins are clearly moving into the RG III business. Therefore, the franchise strategy is undoubtedly focused on the best way to facilitate Robert Griffin's transition from Heisman Trophy winner to successful NFL quarterback. A big part of that hopeful success will be based on Griffin's ability to learn the offense.
Rex Grossman knows Kyle Shanahan offense. Grossman will not be mentoring RG III on how not to commit turnovers or what to do when a play breaks down. He does, however, know where the receivers are suppose to be, the timing of the throws, and the subtle cues to look for on the defensive side to determine the probable opening routes.
Bring a 'veteran' quarterback?
The problem with that is whomever you bring in as that veteran QB, his value as an RG III support tool will be significantly diminished if he is trying to learn Kyle Shanahan's offense at the same time.
Meanwhile, John Beck, the other signed Redskins QB, showed little last season to prove he is a capable starter or backup, so an RG III and John Beck combo would be more ridiculous.
The Big Question
When will/should RG III start? No doubt, this will be the biggest question of the off-season, preseason, and August and September.
Whether it's the season opener or the 3rd game, it's a decision that the coaching staff will have to wrestle with amidst a maelstrom of opinions from fans, pundits, and the media.
WASHINGTON (AP) Rex Grossman is returning to the Washington Redskins for a one-year deal, fully expecting to spend the season helping groom Robert Griffin III.
Grossman told ESPN 980 on Saturday that he's fully aware the Redskins are going to draft a quarterback - probably Heisman Trophy winner Griffin - with the No. 2 overall pick next month. But Grossman said he wants to remain a part of the team and play a part in its turnaround after another last-place season.
Grossman won the starting job out of training camp last year, was benched for John Beck after five games, then later regained the No. 1 spot. He threw 16 touchdown passes and 20 interceptions and had a 72.4 rating as the Redskins finished 5-11.
Rex Daniel Grossman III (RG III), meet the kid that has been anointed as the future savior of the Redskins, Robert Lee Griffin III (RG III).
The Redskins re-signed the veteran quarterback, ESPN 980 confirmed, to a one-year deal on Saturday, assuring Washington that they will have at least a veteran proven starter to open the regular season, if they so choose. John Beck remains under contract as well.
"I'm fully aware they're going to draft a quarterback. Whatever my role will be, I want to be a part of this team, and turn this thing around; Grossman told ESPN 980 via phone on Saturday night.
"My main focus is being a part of the Redskins and making the Redskins a championship team."
Grossman was signed as a veteran free agent after one year with Kyle Shanahan in Houston, to back-up Donovan McNabb. We all know how that went, as he started the last three games and then won the starting job out of training camp from John Beck last year.
Grossman struggled in the Redskins Week 6 loss at home to Philadelphia, and was benched in favor of Beck. As it turns out, he would have missed the next two games anyway with a vicious battle with pneumonia.
He re-gained his starting job in Miami and led a mini-Redskins resurgence before the entire team struggled in the final two games of the year.
"Beyond the business side of it, I love all my teammates, I love the system. I really want to see this thing through and see the Redskins turn this thing around," Rex told ESPN 980.
When Grossman left for the off-season in early January, he didn't know if he would be back but he hasn't been shocked along the way.
"I felt like this scenario would have happened. I was assuming they were going to do what they did. This thing played out like I thought it would. No real surprises. I had a good exit meeting (in January). I came up to DC yesterday (Friday) and talked about it, today we got a deal done."
Grossman turned down a multi-year offer last summer, banking that he could turn last season into a better day at the bank. It obviously did not happen that way. Now he could find himself on the headsets during games, or he could be under center during Week 1, possibly paving the way for a rookie gunslinger.
"I know they're going to draft a franchise QB. If I'm on the team, I'm gonna help out that guy get up too speed, but I'll also be ready to play. I'm gonna be a good soldier, and I'll be busting my ass to help him out."
Still, Grossman is not ready to just wave the white flag to either Andrew Luck or the most realistic scenario, Robert Griffin III.
He does have a huge advantage over any rookie. "I think as somebody who is going to be going into the fourth year of the offense, I understand the nuances and the details."
Grossman, will be trying to balance his own career, within the confines of the team, and the short and long term future of everybody involved, and can teach in a number of ways.
"A player can be a different sounding board, than the coaches. It's not my main job. [However] I'm very comfortable with helping out."
Still, Rex knows the bottom-line, it is indeed a new era at Redskins Park "We all know it is probably going to be RG III."
This list is for me but I'll share it with you. It's a list of things about the Skins' 2011 season that I want to remember when we get to free agency, draft, and beyond.
1. Rex Grossman Makes Throws But Can't Make Plays. After 13 games of Rex in 2011, my mind is made up. I like the way Rex throws the football and I love his competitiveness but I can't live with his inability to make a play when the play as-designed breaks down. His lack of mobility, lack of feel in the pocket, and overall lack of extend-the-play ability is just too limiting. Good teams in the NFL have quarterbacks who can extend plays. Teams that score touchdowns in the red zone usually have quarterbacks who can extend plays. It's Grossman's biggest limitation and it's why they shouldn't bring him back.
2. Evan Royster and Roy Helu. While neither is Chris Johnson speed-wise, they're both perfect for the Shanahan running-game scheme. As impressive as Helu was with three straight 100-yard performances in weeks 12-14, I thought Royster was the more-impressive pure runner.
3. No WR YAC. The Skins lack playmakers on offense for sure and much of that is simply that their wide outs can't turn 15-yard pass catches into 30+ yard catches. How many times did Moss, Gaffney, Stallworth, et al make a catch and either fall down or immediately get tackled. Other than QB, this team's biggest need is a playmaking offensive player. They need a WR who can score touchdowns from a distance.
4. Front 7 Impressed. The defensive front 7 was impressive all season long. The free agent additions of Cofield and Bowen were a huge net gain. Adam Carriker played well at times and the linebackers led by Fletcher and Kerrigan were solid. Orakpo can struggle at times against the run and he needs more consistency as a pass rusher but I'm still hopeful his edge speed can wreak havoc. Kerrigan's motor is non-stop and he's a natural playmaker. The emergence of Riley as the other inside LB was a nice surprise.
5. The Davis/Williams Disappointments. Here's the bottom line with this from my perspective. Both were dummies for doing what they did but the overall feeling about both of them from within is that they're not bad people. Given their talent and in particular, the investment in Williams, the Redskins have no choice but to give them a second chance. Williams is under contract which makes the decision on him easy. Davis is a UFA. I would do my best to sign him to a deal that minimizes the risk to the team but incents him to behave and peform.
6. Kory Lichtensteiger. With him, 3-1. Without him, 2-10. Lichtensteiger became late in 2010 and early in 2011 their most reliable offensive lineman.
7. 5 Blocked Field Goals. The Skins were lucky it wasn't more than five. They could've easily had 2-3 PAT's blocked. The problem was interior blocking. Each of the five blocks came from up-the-middle pressure.
8. Clock Managment. This was a problem all season long but reared it's ugliest head in the season-finallee at Philadelphia. With no timeouts and 17 seconds left, the Skins threw a pass short of the goal line, in bounds, and then tried to get the FG team on before the clock ran out. Other examples of horrible clock management included not knowing that they needed to spike the ball after a huge completion at the end of the Minnesota game and using timeouts on offense at the end of the Jet game. Additionally, they never seemed to have a true hurry-up offense. In the Jet game, it took them close to 25 seconds to get snaps off in their supposed "hurry-up".
9. 3rd and 21. If not for an all-out blitz on 3rd and 21, the Redskins would've likely started the season 4-0.
10. Rex's Return Equaled Offensive Competence. The three John Beck games (at Carolina, at Buffalo, SF) were offensive disasters. He seemed terrified and was clearly in over-his-head. When Rex came back against Miami, the Redskins were far more competitive over the final 8 games of the season.
11. Could've, Would've, Should've. A) Both Dallas games were winnable....3rd and 21 at Dallas and Gano's overtime miss at home. B) New England at home looked good until an offensive pass interference penatly was called on Santana Moss on the potential game-tying or game-winning touchdown. Remember, Shanahan indicated he would've gone for two and the win. C) Minnesota at home if not for a horrible holding call against Darrell Young on a Brandon Banks game-tying touchdown run. On the flip side, if not for a 4th and 5 TD pass from Rex to Moss the Skins wouldn't have beaten Arizona.
12. Biggest Offseason Needs. QB, WR, OL, CB, S, and a coach that knows how to manage the clock at the end of halves and games.