Keim: Long is a physical player who can move a little -- he pulled quite a bit at Nebraska. Yes, he absolutely fits in with the emphasis on more power. But as I've tried to remind everyone: They ran power last year, too, and even under Mike Shanahan on occasion. But it does sound as if they want to run it more -- and they want to run it with bigger linemen, which makes sense. When they drafted Long in 2014, they already knew they'd be running more power under coach Jay Gruden. Above-average starter? Let's see him start a game first before determining how good he is. But I know some who like him quite a bit.
Eight of the top 10 teams the past three years have winning records. And for those of you who thought the Redskins' defense was the NFL's worst, this is where you're very close to being right. They ranked 30th during this time, ahead of only Jacksonville and Oakland. The Giants (20th), Dallas (25th) and Philadelphia (28th) weren't exactly powerhouses in this category either. The more I checked out the defensive stats, the more it explains the NFC East's relative mediocrity the last few seasons.
After his rookie season, where Griffin's running ability catapulted the Redskins offense but also caused the QB to take a lot of tough hits, Shanahan said the word came from Griffin as well as owner Dan Snyder to have less quarterback runs. With less running for Griffin, the second year player was forced into more of a drop back passer role. Shanahan said RG3 was not ready for that, and while he has the physical tools, becoming a drop back passer will continue to take time for Griffin because he has no experience doing it.
Before Griffin's defenders get all riled up here and insist that he could never succeed behind the offensive line he has played with the last two year, hold on a minute. According to the writer, this "under pressure" stat is much more a reflection of a quarterback who holds on to the ball longer than others than it is of the quality of the offensive line.
Some fans are saying that the Redskins have a shot at winning the NFC East title in 2015. If they are going to do that, they likely will have to win nine or more games. If they did, they would tie the biggest single-season improvement in team history. Here are the top five season-to-season improvements in wins for the Redskins since 1970: