Comcast SportsNet contributor, Ben Standig, had Washington Examiner beat writer, John Keim, on his weekly FFToolbox Podcast this week, and like always, John Keim dropped some great knowledge on our Redskins team. Topics discussed include: The WR depth chart, Shanahan's genuine love for Tim Hightower, and the ridiculousness of the Kirk Cousins debate and how every GM John Keim talked to liked the pick.
For the WRs...
I think right now you have to look at Garcon and Hankerson as the starters and Morgan and Moss coming in there afterward...if Moss is even around. The key for Moss is to have a really good off-season. They weren't pleased with him last year. He wasn't in the best shape of his career. I'll say that. If he looks like he has his speed back, then there's a place for him on this team in the slot receiver.
A guy like Anthony Armstrong could have a role on this team just because of his deep speed. It kind of fits of what they may do with RG3 because he has that deep ball accuracy. Last year you didn't really have accrurate throwers down field and guess what? Armstrong kind of disappeared.
If you get rid of Moss maybe Terrence Austin moves into that slot role. Morgan can play in the spot too....I'm curious to see Hankerson. All we know about him is he had one good game. We don't know how he's going to react when teams adjust to him. Garcon has never been in the position where he's the primary guy. Does that matter in this offense? I'm not sure because with this scheme, it gets guys open.
The hard part is having a Quarterback and his receivers are all new together. Three of those four guys it's their first year in the offense. So I imagine that it will take some time to get their timing and rhythm down....their trust down. You have to throw with some trust. When I watched Rex Grossman last year, when he was operating with a Moss or Gaffney, he threw with a lot of trust. Sometimes that got him in trouble, but he threw with trust. And you have to have trust that this guy is going to break at this spot and until you work with a guy a long time and in games, it's hard to develop that.
On the RBs...
I think they're going to bring Hightower back. Shanahan really likes him and it's legitimate praise when he delivers it. Helu is a guy that can relieve Tim. My issue with Tim is he has A LOT of runs that are two yards or less. I picture Helu as a 15-touches guy per game. Like that hurdling play. Only Helu can do that. So, he gives you something no one else on the roster can do. He's a threat in the screen game as well too.
My issue with [new draft pick] Morris is he fumbled a lot in college and that follows you in the NFL. I think he'll learn it quick in training camp.
It was a surprise pick no doubt. I don't understand the vitriol that has been thrown their way. Honestly, it's ridiculous. I have not talked to national writers but I have talked to scouts, GMs, former GMs, personnel directors...nobody has blasted the pick like some of the other people have. Nobody. These are people I really respect and talk to a lot. One guy I talked to said, "I get it. It's a surpise but Cousins in the fourth round is a good pick there." There was nobody up in arms about it, so that's why I don't get it.
The Redskins have had more picks the last two years than any team in the NFL. 9 picks this year and 12 last year. That's a lot of draft picks. So, if they're going to take one on a backup Quarterback, I'm not going to jump up and down and scream about it.
And some may so, "Oh, but you could have gotten a Tackle there to help you this year." No, you're not. You know why? Because they're not looking for a starting Tackle. Tackle was not considered a good spot to pick in that fourth round. If they had taken a slot receiver, I'd applaud it, or a guy that can help this year. Helu was a 4th round pick. I understand there was another way they could have gone, but I was talking to a guy that was in a draft room, and I asked him about the philosophy, and he said "You get all these picks for a reason, so you can take a shot on a guy like that." You're trying to build a team, not just fill every need that every national writer says you have.
I don't think Kirk poses a threat to RG3. If RG3 struggles, it'll have nothing to do with Kirk Cousins and that'll be a big, separate story.
What about Bobby Massie?
A lot of teams didn't like him because they considered him lazy. I don't know what the Redskins board said on certain guys, so I don't know.