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Redskins mailbag: Part 2

For Part 2 of the mailbag, a lot of quarterback talk, including a look at a competition from... 1998? Yes, indeed. Plus a few other nuggets. Enjoy.

John Keim: No. Not sure why it would. A lot of that stuff I already knew to some degree, but it was the detail he provided that was new. The end of his tenure here was very bad, and a lot of that fell on him. Players talked about Robert Griffin's relationship with the owner at the end of last season; I know it concerned some of them. It's a bad look if you're not playing well and teammates wonder if you've been handed the job. But I would also say: Shanahan was in charge and the Redskins lost double-digit games in three of his four seasons. That's not all because of the quarterback and the owner and that can't be forgotten.

Keim: Tough to say a whole lot about that right now because we need to see it in action first. But I know the Redskins used more two-gap in the past, with some one-gap sprinkled in for the linemen. A lot of times, though, that occurred in nickel situations. I was told shortly after Joe Barry was hired that San Diego, where he was part of a staff that ran a 3-4, used a lot of one-gap - but they used a lot of four-man fronts.

Keim: My gut feeling now would be for an edge rusher (assuming they stay with the fifth pick). The Redskins need more help in that area, assuming they let Brian Orakpo leave via free agency, and the draft will provide a few options when they pick (whether it's Randy Gregory or Dante Fowler or Shane Ray). They need help in other areas, of course, but at No. 5 the value is with edge rushers.

Keim: Not necessarily. Whatever you might think of him, the coaches do like him and the staff isn't sold on Griffin so if Kirk Cousins returned, it wouldn't stun me (but it depends on who's making that call). My quick take on Griffin is he is a victim of his own poor play and, yes, injuries. I'm not into providing all sorts of excuses for a guy. Sure, he needs more help, but what quarterback doesn't? He's a hard worker, smart and still has loads of talent, and if he starts making better decisions on the run, then his play will improve and it would buy time to keep developing in other areas.

Keim: Well, the guy who isn't working with Jay Gruden's brother was just named the starter. So I'm not sure what could be read into the situation. I'm quite sure if Griffin had wanted to go to Florida to work with Jon Gruden, it would have happened. Griffin is comfortable working with Terry Shea, so that's where he'll stick. I think it's smart for Cousins to have worked with Jon Gruden - he clearly would teach a lot of the same stuff that his brother would. But Griffin will be working on his fundamentals and he knows what the Redskins want him to focus on in the offseason.

From DCSween on Twitter: Should Skins even bother trying to re-sign Brian Orakpo? Is best hope he succeeds elsewhere (compensatory pick)?

Keim: My guess is they'll move on, but right now that's just a strong guess. He'll be 29 before the season begins so it's hard to imagine him changing much as a player; his lack of game-changing plays, I'm guessing, will be a factor. As for the comp picks, they have nothing to do with how he plays elsewhere. They're awarded based on a formula of how many free agents you sign vs. how many you lost. If Orakpo signs a big deal elsewhere, that would help. But if he signs a small deal elsewhere (a prove-it deal), then it won't do a whole lot.

From Daniel on Twitter: What parallels can be drawn between Gus Frerotte vs. Trent Green in 1998 and Robert Griffin III and Kirk Cousins in 2015?

Keim: Not a whole lot. Gus Frerotte never had a year like Griffin, nor was he close to being hyped. And Trent Green was still more of an unknown commodity at that time - he had thrown one pass before that season -- mostly showing his talents in the preseason. I do remember how high Sonny Jurgensen was on Green for a year or so before he finally got a chance. Also, the added element here is the investment in Griffin and what he's accomplished in the past. Frerotte made a Pro Bowl after the 1996 season, but that stemmed mostly from how bad the quarterbacks were in the NFC - he threw 12 touchdowns and 11 interceptions that season. Frerotte actually was in the role of Cousins when he won the job over Heath Shuler.