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Washington Redskins mailbag: Part 2

ASHBURN, Va. -- Jay Gruden's coaching fate and Kirk Cousins' future -- both are part of Round 2 of Redskins mailbag, along with some defensive stats and offensive linemen. Enjoy.

John Keim: Only if they earn the playing time. Injuries could force their way into the lineup, but I can tell you they're not going to put them in just to "see what they can do." I wrote about this the other day, but they see what these players can do in practice and if they're making mistakes then, why would they think those mistakes would lessen in a game? If I'm Robert Griffin III and fighting for my future at quarterback, I want the absolute best offensive line possible. If you just put a bunch of young players in "just to see" then you could perhaps have many more problems offensively. No matter when a guy starts playing for the first time he'll face a steep learning curve but you want them to prove their readiness in practice. This is not about some guys being "gamers" because the way it works here is you prove it in practice first.

Keim: Not a whole lot. The Redskins have an average time of possession of 30 minutes, 53 seconds -- same as it was a year ago. In 2012, they controlled the ball for 31 minutes, 11 seconds. Washington's defense has faced 609 total plays. The Redskins face an average of 60.9 plays per game compared to 62.1 per game a year ago and 64.4 in 2012. Guessing this answer surprises you.

Keim: Because I don't think it is. I know the coaches like Cousins and feel he can develop into a quality quarterback. There were throws he made when he started that they really liked. But those interceptions and the inability to overcome adversity in games certainly troubled the coaches. But the sense is that if he can mature in that area, then he could still help them. So I don't think his story in Washington is over.

Keim: They need a legitimate solution at safety and there's no way I'd be comfortable with that solution. Hall has been a good player, but he just turned 31 and is coming off a torn Achilles and has never played the position. There's a ton to learn so even if he wants to make the switch, it would be a difficult one. I'm not saying he can't do it, but that it would be very tough. And Duke Ihenacho was a backup in Denver who was cut. Not sure why this tandem would make anyone feel like the problem is solved.

Keim: Yeah, that was a phrase we heard a lot leading into the season. But, as was explained at the time (by some), that didn't just mean blitzing. It meant allowing the linebackers to rush without worrying about contain as much as they perhaps did in the past. But that certainly didn't help them. Sometimes it was ineffectiveness, sometimes game situations. Part of the problem is they don't have any elite players in their front seven. If you're wondering about blitzing: The Redskins have sent an extra rusher on 153 dropbacks this season, eighth most in the NFL. They blitzed 60 percent of the time against Dallas, but typically have done so on an average of 41.6 percent of the dropbacks. A botched blitz led to a touchdown last week. But, in general, some players just have not produced.

Keim: I haven't heard anything like that -- when Marty Schottenheimer was fired after one season, rumors had long circulated by this point because of internal power struggles. Heck, I remember one reporter privately telling him after Week 2 that he was in trouble and Schottenheimer dismissed it. Gruden is not someone seeking, or desiring, more power. Not yet anyway. There would have to some bigger development that occurs before he was in trouble.