Redskins non-Kirk Cousins needs include running back, speedy receiver

The Washington Redskins, believe it or not, have pressing offensive questions heading into the offseason that don't include quarterback Kirk Cousins.

Though the focus remains sharply on what happens at quarterback, there are other areas the Redskins want, and need, to explore.

More speed: At receiver. That was the message toward the end of the season and it's one Jay Gruden reinforced on his coaches show last week on NBC. They want a fast guy opposite Josh Doctson. It's not that Doctson is slow -- he's not -- but they want a home-run threat on the other side, someone who can help clear out a side. In other words, a guy like DeSean Jackson. They don't need to spend what it would have required to retain Jackson, but they could use a Tyler Lockett-type if nothing else. Two potential free agents with speed: Marqise Lee and Paul Richardson (his agent is the same as Pierre Garcon's). The latter might be too pricey.

The Redskins still like pending free agent Ryan Grant a lot and will try to retain him. Still, they want to find a guy who can change a game with one play. And someone who might make a defense worry about using eight men in the box to defend the run.

Running back: The hard part is that Washington never really got the chance to see what any of their backs could do this season. Rob Kelley was hurt for most of the time he was available and Samaje Perine was a rookie who needed to develop in certain areas. He started eight games and finished with 175 carries. But he didn't prove he could be a full-time starter. Doesn't mean he won't do so in the future, but it's why the Redskins enter the offseason looking for more help at this position. Seven different running backs carried the ball for Washington.

The Redskins looked for more dynamic backs last year in the draft (think: Christian McCaffrey; Dalvin Cook). They love what Chris Thompson does as a third-down back, but look at how dual running backs have changed the game for teams such as Atlanta and New Orleans.

The Redskins have some interesting parts to check out next summer, including Byron Marshall -- a guy they long liked before signing him. Kapri Bibbs showed a few flashes late. But they will keep looking. The Steelers' Le'Veon Bell is a pending free agent, though he could be franchised again. Other younger free agents include San Francisco's Carlos Hyde and Cleveland's Isaiah Crowell; Redskins players raved about him before and after a 2016 meeting. But whether the Redskins go that route or the draft is too early to know.

"That's something we'll have to look at," Redskins coach Jay Gruden said when asked if the starting back already was on the roster. "There's a skill set that each one of [the current backs] brings to the table that are exciting. My dad, who was a running back coach his whole life, he always said that durability is the most important trait and we've got to have somebody that can play and be available. Easier said than done this day and age as physical as the game is and injuries happen, but it'd be nice to have a guy for 16 weeks pounding it. I hope he’s on the roster. We'll see."

Left guard: The Redskins have two former starters who are unrestricted free agents -- left guard Shawn Lauvao and center/guard Spencer Long. The latter started 12 games at center in 2016 and six in '17 until knee and quad injuries ended his season. That was enough for rookie Chase Roullier to impress the coaches and become the center of the future (which the Redskins said a year ago about Long). Long can play guard, but as of now the Redskins appear OK letting him test the market. They tried to work out a deal with him before the season, but the sides couldn't agree on a price. It's hard to imagine Lauvao returning. They do have young players they can also try to develop -- Tyler Catalina, Kyle Kalis and Arie Kouandjio. But the Redskins want to upgrade.