Top Five Players to Watch
With training camp literally just right around the corner, it’s time to start taking a look at how the Redskins will shape up this season. Today we’ll be taking a look at the top five players to watch in training camp this year.
- Robert Griffin III – Without a doubt, the 2015 Washington Redskins success will have a lot to do with just how good Griffin plays. While the team is shifting to a power-rushing scheme, they still have multiple weapons at the receiver position who can be game changers. The offense has the talent to do big things if Griffin and the offensive line can step up their overall games. Everyone should keep an eye on Griffin’s footwork, and decision making in 11 on 11’s at camp. Those two things will show how much he has progressed this offseason. Last year the Redskins didn’t have a QB’s Coach to constantly work with Griffin, and it showed as the athletically talented QB struggled. This offseason the team hired Matt Cavanaugh to fill the position and word is, the two get along great. The early talk around Redskins Park is that Griffin is more confident this year than many have seen him since before his rookie season.
- Trent Murphy – The 2013 NCAA leader in sacks had a tough year transitioning to the speed of the NFL game. Murphy was just starting to get the hang of things before an injury shortened his season. After hearing from the coaching staff that he needed more strength to play LB in a 3-4 set, Murphy decided to add some muscle this offseason. That added muscle along with the experience he gained a year ago have Murphy ready to claim the outside linebacker position left vacant when Brian Orakpo left in free agency. The early indication is that Murphy and recently drafted Preston Smith will split time this season. Expect more about that position battle in the near future.
- Spencer Long – When the Redskins decided to cut 32-year-old right guard Chris Chester, two things became clear. 1) The Redskins have decided to go young and rebuild their offensive line…and 2) Spencer Long is the heir-apparent. Long (6-4, 313 lbs) was the Redskins third-round pick in 2014 out of Nebraska. He fits the power-rushing scheme Bill Callahan is trying to incorporate in Washington. Look for Long to get a little pressure from third-year guard Josh LeRibeus in camp.
- Jeron Johnson – So many question marks surround Johnson. The former Seattle Seahawk could be everything from a special teams player to an under-the-radar starter at strong safety. The Redskins don’t know what to fully expect from Johnson, but they do know he will be competing with Duke Ihenacho for a starting spot in camp this year. Johnson could end up being the steal of free-agency this year after being stuck in Seattle behind the Pro-Bowl safety tandem of Kam Chancellor and Earl Thomas for the last three seasons.
- Ryan Grant – In all honesty, Grant was the biggest surprise of last years training camp, the problem was the team is rich in talent at his position. Flash forward one year, and Grant could push Andre Roberts for starting time at the slot position. Redskins coaches have loved Grant since the team drafted him last year and feel he could be the teams best route-runner as of right now.
It wouldn’t be fair to not mention tight end Niles Paul, who added nearly 15 pounds of muscle this offseason in an attempt to improve his blocking.
Players with injuries:
- Ryan Kerrigan – Knee (Minor)
- Trent Williams – Ankle (Minor)
- DeAngelo Hall – Achilles Injury
- Jordan Reed – Knee (Minor)
Start the NFL season early by attending the Bon Secours Training Center to see the Washington Redskins partake in training camp. Hipmunk.com has affordable flights to Richmond, in addition to Richmond hotels that can be reserved starting from $72.