Jay Gruden has an offense that is beneficial to almost any type of receiver in the NFL. Even if one option struggles as a route runner, creating separation, or is hesitant to run across the middle, Gruden’s scheme allows for even a sub-par receiver to get open. Now, those type of receivers may make it difficult for the play-caller when his hand is limited. Which goes to a more substantial point when analyzing the Washington Redskins offense, there is no more room for role players at the receiver position; a dynamic player is needed.
As an offensive coordinator in Cincinnati, Gruden had wide receiver A.J. Green at his disposal, along with Marvin Jones and Mohamed Sanu who are on their way to becoming some of the better receivers in the league. Green is an elite receiver, who had two of his better seasons as a professional under Jay Gruden in his three years as an offensive coordinator for the Bengals. With Washington, Gruden had the luxury of coaching DeSean Jackson, a good receiver with two elite traits, his speed, and ball-tracking ability. During his tenure with Washington, Jackson led the entire NFL in yards per reception not just once, but twice, and maybe three straight seasons if not for an injury in 2015 sidelining him for six games.
In 2017, Gruden has proved he does not need a dynamic player to get guys open. However, the drop-off in production from the receiver position took a significant hit when the younger receivers could not elevate into a go-to receiver.
Following the conclusion of the regular season, the fans and local media covering the team understands that the Redskins lack speed at the receiver position, therefore, has been overcompensating by clamoring for potential free agents like John Brown and Paul Richardson. Speedsters, players who have the capabilities of getting past a defense deep down the field. That is not the only thing that is needed by this offense, and pursuing players like Brown and Richardson would not be a mistake, but a repeat struggle from just a season ago.
Speed is a hot commodity in the NFL for obvious reasons, but if you are in need of a dynamic player that can be looked at as a number one guy the ceiling has to be higher in the player. The Redskins are in need of a player who strikes the same fear into a defense that Green and Jackson did under Gruden. A player that knows how to separate can make plays after the catch, demand double teams and bracket coverage, and still take over a game. The focus should not be on players who are primarily known for their speed by fans and local media. That is no disrespect to the players Brown and Richardson but aim higher than players that you may only know for an element the offense is lacking.