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Redskins mailbag: Part 2

For round two of the Washington Redskins mailbag, more Robert Griffin III questions -- what excuses are valid? (Hint: quit making them). And a little draft talk and some free agency. Enjoy.

@john_keim: Griffin's problems are way beyond the line, and people need to quit thinking that will solve all his problems. It won't. I have yet to hear anyone in the organization -- from coaches, executives or players -- say Griffin would be fine if only the protection was better. Nobody wants the kid to succeed more than those in the organization whose livelihoods depend on wins and losses. In other words, they are not rooting against him. They just don't feel he can do the job. There were definitely times protection was an issue, but you'll never have great protection all the time (and there is no rule saying you still can't make good decisions). As for the quarterbacks coach, yes he can help Griffin, but if he doesn't improve, it all goes back to the quarterback. Can't keep blaming: coaches, protection, this, that, the other.

Keim: Goodness, that's a lot of excuses for one player in one question. First off, I wouldn't say any player who is 25 with his talent is done. But I would ask: Doesn't it concern you in the least that numerous coaches and teammates have severe doubts about him? They are the ones delivering this message. Sure, the line could be better -- but good quarterbacks overcome such lines. I'm all for sticking by the kid and hoping/believing he can improve. This will be only his second legitimate NFL offseason, so we'll get a chance to see how much difference that makes. But to blame all his previous issues on everyone else ignores reality: he misses plays, relies too much on his legs, and lacks the explosion he had as a rookie. No quarterback has all the time in the world and works with All-Pro receivers, which is what many seem to think Griffin needs. If that's the case, he's not who they thought he was when they drafted him. Griffin has to improve his game if he wants to remain a starter.

Keim: Depends on how far you trade down and what stud are you passing up? If they have a chance for someone who can develop into an elite player, well, they lack such talent. And if it's at a premium position such as pass-rusher then I'd be real hesitant to trade down. But if they traded down a few spots and still got someone such as nose tackle Danny Shelton, who plays a premium spot in a 3-4, that would be fine, too. But, right now, I would not be in favor of moving out of the top 10. Yes, they need a lot. Every team at the top of the draft does. That doesn't mean all can and should trade out of those spots.

Keim: For me it's defense. Tough to argue, too, considering how much change needs to take place on that side of the ball. And when you boil it down more, it's finding a pass-rusher or a nose tackle and secondary help. Offensively, you can always use more help on the line. But, if they drafted right last year, then you should have options already on your roster at guard and right tackle (not sold, though, on Morgan Moses -- especially coming off an Achilles injury). Regardless, they can always use more depth up front if nothing else. The draft is strong early on with defensive line/edge pass rushers, and there is value in the late first, early second at tackle. Safety likely could be filled via free agency (no safety is worthy of the No. 5 pick). And because there are no upper-level cornerbacks in the draft, depending on what they want and feel they need, depth could be found in free agency or later in the draft.

Keim: The cost will be reasonable on pretty much all of their free agents. The biggest name and target for other teams will be linebacker Brian Orakpo. I don't have a great sense on their plans for him just yet, but it's hard to see them investing much in him given his age (he'll be 29) and the fact he's coming off another arm injury and when healthy last season did not make the game-changing plays Jay Gruden said he wanted to see. As of now, I could see them bringing back quarterback Colt McCoy, tight end Niles Paul, and perhaps running back Roy Helu and receiver Leonard Hankerson. They still think the latter can play, but durability is an issue. I'd be surprised if E.J. Biggers, Santana Moss, Ryan Clark, and Tyler Polumbus return. The others, such as Jarvis Jenkins and Brandon Meriweather really depend on what else happens. They have some value, but can be replaced.

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