For our only Washington Redskins mailbag this weekend, the topics include what players are allowed to do during this period, whether Robert Griffin III can benefit from improved blocking and a second year in the scheme and Perry Riley's pass rushing. Enjoy.
John Keim: They're not allowed to participate in any football activity with the coaches -- or someone affiliated with the club -- or in any sort of organized workout (of course, unless it's a group of players getting together away from the facility and on their own). They can work out on their own and watch film on their own, but that's about it. Coaches are on vacation, but I'd imagine that some drop by on occasion. And players are allowed to rehab at the facility.
John Keim: Not sure if they'll upgrade by training camp, but I know that two positions they want to add include tight end and outside linebacker. Whether that means before camp or after final cuts, I'm not sure. Not many trades get done now but there is the occasional deal in training camp. Regardless, these are two spots they want more help.
John Keim: That should help no doubt. As of now, we don't know if the blocking will be that much better but let's take a leap of faith and think that it will be. What should happen is the run game improves, better passing situations ensue and Griffin benefits because the play-action game should be better. His knowledge of the offense should help, too. The question is: Will that be enough to offset the concerns the football people have about his game? The fear has been that his problems are not related to these other factors as much as they are to his own fundamentals and inability to develop in the basics as a passer. We'll find out.
Compared to last year, has there been a change in what coaches are willing to discuss/share about performance at the QB position? #jkmailbag— TheSkinsRKillingMe (@hchristo456) July 2, 2015
John Keim: Too early to say completely because there haven't been enough chances for conversation. Not sure the ones I've had thus far are much different but check back later. The one thing that has been different is how coach Jay Gruden discusses the topic. I don't think the organization particularly enjoyed his honesty when it came to the quarterbacks last season, one in particular. Gruden has been more upbeat in his comments, though sometimes showing little gusto while making them. When he's genuinely excited, you can tell -- there's a gleam in his eyes and a rise in his voice. At times the praise has been rather muted. With Gruden, though, what players like is that he is honest during meetings so everything he says publicly he's already said to them privately. What players don't always like is hearing that honesty in public (players who do not like Griffin were put off by Gruden's comments about him after the Tampa Bay loss last season).
John Keim: They have used Perry Riley in the past as an outside rusher in various packages -- but not at the expense of one of the outside linebackers, but in addition. Not sure if that will continue, but yes it was effective (especially two years ago). But here's the thing with Riley: He's not trained as a pass-rusher on the outside. Different way to attack players and different moves and skills are needed. He can be an effective blitzer as an inside linebacker because he can use his speed to beat slower guards, for example. I'd much rather have him rushing inside and have players better and more experienced doing so on the outside. But on occasion? It seems to have helped in the past as a slight change-up.