The Redskins need to see exactly what from Robert Griffin III this season. I answer that question in Part 1 of the Redskins mailbag. There's also talk about Terrance Knighton, the return game, the 2014 draft and more. Enjoy.
John Keim: Let me preface by saying they've surrounded a more balanced team around him (the defense, I think, will be improved; the run game should be helped by the line changes, etc.). But, yes, it's now up to him to prove he's a good quarterback. He needs to show better pocket presence; that doesn't mean just stats from the pocket but how he moves under duress and how he feels pressure, etc. They want to see him improve at anticipating throws and throwing guys open. They want to see better decisions and more plays outside the pocket. That doesn't mean running, it means making plays with his arm as other quarterbacks (Tony Romo, Russell Wilson, Aaron Rodgers, and so on) do. Not saying he can't do these things, but it's what they need from him.
@john_keim what do the skins need from RG3 so the team can succeed? #jkmailbag- Evan Newton (@Evan23Newton) June 25, 2015
#jkmailbag W/ Joe Barry running a hybrid 34 1Gap DEF, I was reading that the NT is key. Do you expect TK to be fine as a 34NT than a 43DT? - Jay (@RedskinsCult) June 25, 2015Keim: Nose tackle is a key in any 3-4 look, whether one gap or two gap; it was in the previous one as well. I'm surprised that Terrance Knighton hadn't played in a 3-4 front before, but a lot of times in Denver he was over the nose so this won't be too new for him. So, yes, I expect him to be highly effective. His ability to hold double teams is crucial for the inside linebackers in particular. And, in theory, it could leave one of the ends with more one-on-one blocking - and both ends, Stephen Paea and Jason Hatcher, are more than capable of winning those battles. And while it's true that they'll use a lot of sub packages, I would expect Knighton's role to be primarily in the base front, where he gives them the ability to, at times, be a two-gap front if they want. The sub stuff is for obvious pass situations when they have others who perform that role much better. For example, would you rather have Paea and Hatcher rushing inside or Knighton (with the outside linebackers at end)?
Keim: I expect Jamison Crowder to be the punt returner and, at least entering camp, Andre Roberts to return kickoffs. Bashaud Breeland is one of seven or eight guys who have worked at both spots in addition to the two I already named. They will try Crowder at kick return - he returned 38 kickoffs his freshman year for a 21.4 average (he returned only six kickoffs the rest of his college career as his playing time increased). Crowder could handle both duties eventually, but if he starts playing more I'd want someone else to handle kickoffs. He's not a big guy; no need to wear him down.
@john_keim #jkmailbag who do you see being our kick returner/punt returner? Seems like Breelands been doing a lot of those duties so far- nilo (@bigdhttr) June 25, 2015
@john_keim #jkmailbag true or false, JJ will never be more than a backup? @jman0821 - Chris Baptista (@_fixe_) June 25, 2015Keim: Sort of tough to be declarative about this when A) We haven't seen him in pads and B) I have no clue what Duke Ihenacho can do after being cut from one team then injured for almost all of the season with another. I think, here, that Jeron Johnson will end up starting. What level of a starter he becomes that's a different question and one I have to wait before answering. I'm not a fan of huge declarative statements without actually seeing the guy play in person. I do think Johnson is a guy the other defensive backs trust (smart guy), and that matters.
Keim: Any draft in which you find two good starters would be the beginning of a good draft. You still need more than that and what level are we talking? Just good starters or Pro Bowlers? If you find two good starters and then nothing else, it's just an OK draft. But if they become good starters and Breeland continues developing and Ryan Grant becomes a productive receiver then yes it's a good draft. However, I'm not confident that Trent Murphy will become that sort of player (and I'm not sold they believe so, either; my guess is that Preston Smith starts sooner rather than later). I always believed this class truly was a wait-a-few-years-before-judging group. Morgan Moses always was going to take a few years and I thought so with others as well.
@john_keim if Murphy and Long emerge this year as good starters, do you agree that the 2014 draft was a successful one? #jkmailbag- Mike (@skinsfl) June 25, 2015