RG3 needs return to big-play form in 2014

With Pierre Garcon, Andre Roberts and now DeSean Jackson, the Washington Redskins have the best trio of wide receivers in the NFC East.

Making that all work will be up to new coach Jay Gruden, but quarterback Robert Griffin III will have to do much better in his deep passing game than he did in 2013.

He needs to go back to the Griffin of 2012. Griffin had 8.14 yards per attempt as a rookie. Last year it was 7.02.

Was that a result of a different game plan to protect Griffin’s knees? Was the offensive line play not good enough for him to have time to make throws down the field? Because he did not move as well, could he not buy time to make the big plays?

On throws of 21 yards or more, Griffin completed 15 of 35 passes for 552 yards and seven touchdowns with no interceptions in 15 games as a rookie. In 13 games in 2013, he completed 11 of 47 such passes for 376 yards with four touchdowns and three interceptions.

Jackson is a big-play receiver. He had seven touchdown catches of at least 21 yards, including five from 31-40 yards. He threatens defenses with his speed, which should open up things for Garcon and tight end Jordan Reed.

The best offenses in the NFL strike quickly. Driving 80 yards for touchdowns is a hard thing to do in the NFL either because of poor offensive execution or good defense. Jackson gives the Redskins the chance to score from anywhere on the field.

A healthy and confident Griffin changes everything for the Redskins.

It’s up to Gruden to rebuild the quarterback’s confidence and adding a piece like Jackson should help in that area.