DeSean Jackson is now our X receiver in a 3 pronged WR attack and that's not counting Reed at TE. What does that mean for AlMo and the run game? It would be very easy for Jay Gruden to come out chucking to ball around with all the weapons now at his disposal but the truth is the running game will be just as important now. So how might defenses approach our now-potentially dangerous offense?
For some reason, early in the season I can see defenses not expecting Gruden to run the ball as much so they will be protecting the deep ball by keeping 2 safeties back deep (cover 2) while playing man coverage. That means 7 in the box. We must take advantage of that. That doesn't mean running the ball a lot early (15 carries in the 1st half) and abandoning the run in the 2nd half (just10 carries in the 2nd for a total of 25 att/game). With his reputation as being somewhat pass-happy I think defenses will not stack the box against us and test Gruden's willingness to commit the ground game. It's a somewhat sound strategy considering the damage Jackson can do deep. I still believe the run game will be the key to make this offense go because when we establish the run it will open up playaction, which is Griffin's specialty when you consider his absolute KILLER playaction fake. If that safety hesitates for a second it's a big play happening. Either with Griffin throwing or him running for the 1st down marker out of bounds. That will force teams to play zone and when that happens the run game opens back up. But Gruden must recognize the adjustments quickly and call plays accordingly to take advantage.
Whether we keep Helu or bring in a more elusive, versatile backup we need to address the RB2 position. Personally, I would like a Giovanni Bernard type for that role. Helu has good hands but he is not the most elusive RB in the open field and it would allow us to better utilize RB screen passes and disguise our intentions should we sub out Morris in that scenario.
If Gruden commits to running the ball and especially in the red zone, it will open up Jackson to take the top of the defense. I think that will be the first thing teams try to take away. So, to counter that, we punch them in the gut (running game) then when they cover that up we punch them on the chin (passing game). It all starts with committing to running the ball.