Rich Tandler’s five thoughts possibly related to the Washington Redskins and other matters (special rookie minicamp edition).
5. It wasn’t stunning news when Shanahan said yesterday that Robert Griffin III will be working with the first-team offense when the offseason program resumes on May 14. Still, it was important to have the coach say, “He’s the starter, period.” It was also interesting to hear Shanahan talk about tailoring the offense to what Griffin is comfortable with. Of course, Donovan McNabb and other critics don’t think that Shanahan is capable of adjusting because “ego” will get in the way. Words are one thing and how the development of Griffin actually plays out is another. Not much is at stake here, just the team’s success or failure over the next decade or so.
4. Will Josh LeRibeus challenge Will Montgomery at center? The Redskins’ third-round pick spent most of the weekend snapping the ball to Griffin and Mike Shanahan said that he is capable of playing either guard or center. Montgomery got a $2.5 million roster bonus to re-sign before free agency started so he is not going anywhere this year. However, a bonus like that is not a guarantee of a starting job. It seems likely that either the rookie or Montgomery will be the starting center and the other will be a reserve at both center and guard. It’s likely that Monty is the starter when the season begins but he will have to battle to hold off LeRibeus.
3. I’ll have a post on rookie linebacker Keenan Robinson coming up in the next day or two, I talked with him while he was coming off of the field on Sunday. He probably won’t see much action on defense this year or maybe even next year. But he plans on doing what Perry Riley did, which was to glom on to London Fletcher and absorb as much knowledge as he could. It got Riley into the starting lineup a year and a half after the Redskins drafted him in the fourth round in 2010. It might take Robinson a bit longer to crack the first team as Fletcher is likely to be around for two more years but if the athletic ex-Longhorn is a student of the game and an enthusiastic pupil of Fletcher’s he should be ready to go when his turn comes.
2. Look for a post about running back Alfred Morris, too. He grew up a Redskins fan so he was thrilled to be drafted by Washington. Last Saturday, Shanahan said that Morris is a tailback but he did line up at fullback from time to time during drills on Sunday. Since there is no backup to Darrel Young currently on the roster, Morris could enhance his chances of making the team and contributing this year if he can fill both roles. At 5-9, 219 he has the size to play fullback.
1. Circling back to RG3, it’s easy to go overboard at how a quarterback looks when he’s in shorts, not playing against a pass rush, and his receivers are either uncovered or guarded by someone who is unlikely to ever see a regular-season NFL snap. But Griffin did look the part of an NFL quarterback out there. His passes had zip and, for the most part, accuracy. For a quarterback who rarely played under center at Baylor, his footwork during his dropbacks was excellent. It seems apparent that he did a lot of work prior to the draft to get ready. This by no means indicates that he is a sure thing to be an NFL star. But it is a good start.
Days until: OTA’s start 14; minicamp 35; preseason opener 94; Redskins at Saints 125