Part 2 of the Redskins mailbag, this time focusing on Jordan Reed and Fred Davis; a little Chase Minnifield, some Robert Griffin III and a battle at the Z receiver position: @ufchomp asks: do you expect Reed and Davis to split moving forward, or will they want to go with a clear starter?
John Keim: You always want to go with a clear starter, but in this case they have the ability to mix and match and be creative. I really, really like Jordan Reed. I like watching him run his routes -- he gets open with excellent fakes. He's learning to run his routes with the proper patience, too, and developed more in his first summer than Davis did at the same age. Reed will continue to play and get more time. I’ve been very surprised with his blocking; after watching him in college I thought he’d have a long ways to go – and it’s why I didn’t think he’d be a replacement for Davis right away. (Other draft experts I spoke with worried about his blocking, too). I no longer feel that way. I also think Davis needs to keep playing at a higher level, otherwise Reed will eventually cut into his time; the coaches really like him.
@Rscharf24 asks: any talk of Minnifield being promoted to 53 man roster?
Keim: Not that I know of. They liked Jerome Murphy over him because of his special-teams ability. That hasn’t changed in the two weeks since they made that decision. I can’t imagine right now that he’ll get promoted without an injury to their top five corners.
@SLAlbert asks: do you anticipate seeing arobinson playing beyond obvious passing plays or is he to much of a liability
Keim: He backs up Pierre Garcon so any extra time for Robinson takes time away from Garcon. I’d rather have Garcon on the field. Robinson has improved and has learned the other spots, but I still think he’s best used as an occasional weapon right now. The Redskins like that they can bring him in on occasion to provide a different look or threat for the defense.
@kangaroocas asks: do you think Josh Morgan will be overtaken by Hankerson this year
Keim: Good question. If Hankerson continues to score touchdowns and catch the ball consistently, he will cut into Morgan’s play time if nothing else. So, yes, I do think there’s a chance. They really like how Hankerson has matured as a consistent route runner. I buy it, too, because you can see a difference in the way he’s now able to create separation. I’ve been impressed by that. My issue with Hankerson is making those tough grabs over the middle; he has dropped too many in that spot and it’s an area where Morgan thrives. Morgan needs to start making some plays and show that he has regained that explosiveness from before his 2011 ankle injury. He’s a superior blocker.
@eff_ect asks: how is Jarvis Jenkins looking in practice? Is he keeping sharp so that when he comes back from suspension he'll be ready?
Keim: Jenkins is not allowed to be at the facility during his suspension, so he obviously isn’t practicing. Another thing to keep in mind: We’re not allowed to watch practice during the regular season. We get to watch the first half hour or so, which mostly involves stretching and individual drills.
@CardiacCaps asks: Do the Redskins not have a hurry up offense for playing from behind and/or to change the pace?
Keim: Yes, they have a hurry-up offense and I think eventually they will be in position to use it more (as Griffin gets more experience, for example). But here’s what Kyle Shanahan said on this topic Thursday: “When we’ve gone no-huddle, it’s not our offense. It’s a two-minute drill. I do think up-tempo does affect a lot of things defensively. It’s fun to watch. I think there’s an advantage to it, but it’s not something you just do to do. You’ve got to work at it year-round, and you’ve got to execute your offense. Their offense, the plays they run, is a no-huddle package. They do a good job executing those plays. It’s something that if you can fit what your scheme is into it, it’ll always give you a bonus, but it is sometimes hard to fit a scheme into just a hurry-up tempo.”
@JoshAskarinam asks: how long before rgiii returns to Pre Baltimore injury form?
Keim: I don’t think I’m smart enough to answer that question because it’s very tough to say. My guess is it will take him a few games to really get his game back, to where he’s making the fast decisions in the pocket and seeing the game the way he wants, or was before. He did not look as light on his feet as he did before the injury. But that can come from seeing things faster. There were a couple plays Monday that I think he makes (or, in the case of his first interception, doesn’t make) once he’s feeling more comfortable. He needs others around him to help more – reducing the penalties, fumbles, etc. – as he regains that comfort level. Griffin learned fast lessons a year ago, even from one preseason game to the next. I’m curious to see how his second half, built mostly on underneath throws but with better rhythm, will carry over to Sunday.