Redskins mailbag: Kirk Cousins' situation; Preston Smith will eventually start

For Part 1 of the Redskins mailbag, the topics include whether the Redskins have any strengths, the quarterback situation, the name change (first time in a while) and Preston Smith. Enjoy. And have a happy Fourth of July.

John Keim: Every team has strengths, and the Redskins do as well. Their starting defensive line should be a good one - and their depth is solid here as well. That's a good place to start. I think their run game should be able to get back to a certain level, provided they honor their spoken commitment to doing so. Brandon Scherff and Spencer Long might take time to develop as NFL starters, but if they steadily improve then so, too, will the run game. Their receiving corps should be fine, with a dynamite playmaker and a steady veteran. They have good players in other areas, but I don't want to call those positions ones of strength. Lots of work to be done here. Keim: Pet peeves - when people ask me to be honest. Makes it sound as if there's some reason I can't be unless you ask that way. I'm always honest. Wrong in my opinion? Sometimes. Honest? All the time. That said, if Griffin has a good year then yes I could still see them going after another quarterback. But that's because they'll need a backup as Kirk Cousins would hit free agency. So you'd need another quarterback anyway. Now, if you mean as a starter? Not sure why they would if Griffin has that sort of season. It's what they want to see and I can't imagine the owner agreeing to somehow pursue another starter when his guy plays well. Yes, there has been frustration with Griffin, but it has compounded because of his on-field play. If he has a good year, the Redskins likely would have a winning year; the coaches will look good, and the team will be more marketable. Why change that? Keim: No, not unless there are issues with sponsors at which point the NFL would jump in. There has been a ton of public pressure over the last three years and it does not appear as if Snyder has altered his stance one bit. My contention when this controversy renewed is the same as it is now: People are wasting their time trying to convince Snyder to change the name; you do it by hitting pocketbooks and that means sponsors (or if it's tied to a stadium deal he absolutely needs; but if he has choices in places other than the district then this might not make a difference either). Keim: Eventually he'll be the starter. I'm not sold on Trent Murphy as a full-time starter, mostly because of the pass rush. His added strength should help, but he was too often knocked off stride last season and did not threaten the passer nearly enough. They love Smith's length (Murphy is long, too), his hands and his versatility. Murphy will have to show plenty of improvement with the pads on to keep that job. That said, Smith has to show quite a bit as well to warrant starting. But, based on what I've heard, that's the eventual plan. Just a matter of when. Keim: Because the turnovers were absolute killers and he did not respond well to them. If you're trying to knock out the former No. 2 pick in the draft - and you're a backup -- you must throw haymakers and Cousins threw some nice punches but no knockouts. That said, and I'm sure some get tired of hearing this, but Cousins still has fans on the coaching staff and among the players. That's a definite. Some coaches felt Cousins made some throws the others just couldn't make (some vs. Philadelphia; Arizona). And I know there was a feeling by some of them that Cousins got a raw deal last year, which suggests to me that the decision to play others was not solely up to them. He'll get more chances, but he has to clearly outplay the others and while at times he looked good other times he did not.