Redskins mailbag, Part 2

In Part 2 of the Redskins mailbag, the topics include Robert Griffin III's pocket passing; Fred Davis' trade value and the return game.

@StephanHart asks: What's your analysis of Garcon stating that the Redskins are running the same plays as 2012?

John Keim: I’ve seen a lot of the same plays that they ran a year ago, but I also see teams blitzing them more and applying more pressure. They’re not afraid of this passing game at all right now (or Robert Griffin III’s legs). I have not seen a lot of rollouts and bootlegs, but those are always a part of a Mike Shanahan offense and will be there once the games are close or it fits the game plan. And it’s common sense that if you fall behind by quite a bit that you can’t feature a lot of play-action passes. What we haven’t seen is the quarterback run on designed plays or off the zone-read option. I think some of that will change Sunday.

@mesfinabera asks: which one of the Redskins injured players if healthy could return to play this year: carriker,Robinson or Thomas

Keim: Carriker is on the physically unable to perform list while the other two both are on injured reserve. So Carriker is the only one who has a shot at returning. It's probably a long shot this season for him, but the door is open just in case his quad makes considerable improvement.

@emor09 asks: I know there's a lot of missed tackles, but how's DL look against the run? Will Jenkins improve the D?

Keim: Jenkins will help, but to what extent it’s hard to say. His athleticism helps in the nickel package, though he did not show great signs this summer of becoming a better pass-rusher. We’ll see. It’s tough to fully measure the line against the run because they’ve been in their nickel defense so much the first two games so you’re often using just two defensive linemen. It does not help that Barry Cofield had to play with a club. And I haven’t seen a whole lot yet from Stephen Bowen; he started much stronger a year ago. The result is that they’re holding fewer double-teams and linemen are getting to linebacker London Fletcher more and he’s struggling to get off blocks.

@JoshAskarinam asks: can rgiii become a true elite level pocket passer in his career?

Keim: Elite level pocket passer? I consider guys like Peyton Manning and Tom Brady those types of quarterbacks and I’m not sure Griffin will get to their level in the pocket. But I don’t think he’ll need to because he can operate a different way. Griffin will never just be a stand-in-the-pocket all game passer. The offense is built with smaller linemen who work well on the run, not sitting in protection. But I do think Griffin can become a very good pocket passer. It will take time to reach that level; I’m not sure everyone grasps how elementary his passing system was in college and how much he had to learn. He’s smart and has picked things up fast, but in two or three years he’ll look back and realize how far he’s come.

@DC9AdamW asks: What is Fred Davis' trade value and what can he fetch? Maybe a CB or S?

Keim: I have not really poked around to find that answer at all. I don’t think the Redskins would want to do anything like that because they like having depth at this spot. But who knows. Also, if you’re another team how much would you be willing to give up for a player who was suspended two years ago, hurt last year and lost his starting job (if that’s what eventually happens) this year? Oh, and who is a free agent after the season? I wouldn’t give up a lot for someone in that spot. You’re certainly not going to get a quality defensive back in return; think draft pick.

@LGPens asks: players seem to be 2nd guessing Shanahan. Think it's the xtra scrutiny of nfce champs or something brewing?

Keim: I’m not sure that I’ve heard a ton of second-guessing just yet so perhaps I’ve missed something. If you’re talking about Alfred Morris’ preseason comments, he made it clear that he understood why they took that approach in the preseason, limiting his carries. The one person who clearly had some issues is Robert Griffin III, but that’s been well-documented for months. I think it’s only now that people realize what was being talked about in the spring was accurate. But overall I think there’s some frustration no doubt, but mostly about results.

@mikeyvanilli asks: are the Skins considering other options at KR & PR? Thompson is starting to look dangerously like Brandon Banks

Keim: He needs to pick it up, no doubt. He needs more than two games to get it going; remember, he never returned punts in college and had a lot to learn. Right now he’s worried as much about catching the ball as running -- and learning how to read the ball off the punter’s foot. And how to judge where he’s at (as we saw in the Philly game). I like Thompson’s running style so I’d give him a few more games before jumping to that sort of comparison.