The Washington Redskins wrapped up their OTAs yesterday and answered a few questions about the team's direction heading into training camp. Head coach Jay Gruden got a good feeling of what his team is going to look like after running the players through various drills. There are also still some concerns about the Redskins and what kind of changes they need to make in order to get ready for the upcoming 2014 season.
DeSean Jackson injured his hamstring in one of the practices and has been limited since. However, Jackson told the media that he is fine and will be ready to go for training camp. Robert Griffin III has been working closely with Gruden as far as changing his mechanics and his delivery on his throwing motion. Griffin has had a better offseason in terms of tweaking his game to compliment Gruden's offensive schemes.
Speaking of Gruden's offense, the Redskins have been working more on red-zone situations in practice. Griffin worked on checking down to his running backs and getting rid of the ball early. If the Redskins can score, it will put a lot less pressure on their defense.
Speaking of defense, the Redskins have been focusing mostly on their linebacker corps. Gruden and defensive coordinator Jim Haslett had players move around in various positions, trying to see what the best role for them is on pass situations. Overall, Gruden is liking what he sees from his defense.
"Everybody down there, from all those defensive tackles (and) linemen are doing a good job,” Gruden said. “They’re still maintaining their run gaps and playing good run defensive also at their pad level, but transitioning from a run-style stance to a pass rush isn’t easy for a lot of people, but our guys are doing a good job." (Credit: Redskins.com)
The biggest question everyone has is the safety position. It was a big concern last year, but Gruden thinks that his safeties are going to perform well this upcoming season and has confidence that the younger players can learn from veterans like Brandon Meriweather and Ryan Clark.
"I’ve been impressed with our safety position,” Gruden said. “We have some safeties out here that can compete, but to have veterans like Meriweather and Clark out there leading the way, it’s good for these young guys to see and then when they are in there, they can progress and learn from them.”
Another question of concern for the Redskins was a matter of punt returns. The Redskins have not had a great punt returner since Brian Mitchell over a decade ago. Richard Crawford was going to be a strong candidate last year, but missed the entire season due to a knee injury. He will look to compete for the job again this season. Andre Roberts does have some kick-returning experience, but that was back in 2010. He could be a viable option still because of his great speed.
Jackson is always a good pick, but will Gruden risk putting him back there and start at wide receiver at the same time? This question and many other questions will probably be best answered during training camp coming up on July 24th.
Tags: Andre Roberts, DeSean Jackson, Football, Jay Gruden, NFL, Richard Crawford, Robert Griffin III, Washington, Washington Redskins