With things being slow during the offseason, Kevin Ewoldt of SB Nation's Washington Redskins web site, Hogs Haven, reached out to me to answer five questions about the New York Giants. Since turnabout is fair play I have done the same. The result of our offseason chat is below.
Ed: We have to start with an RGIII question. There has been so much speculation about it -- where is Robert Griffin III in his recovery and is the expectation that he will start Week 1?
Kevin: Robert was running fast and throwing balls last week at OTAs, so the rumors of being ahead of schedule were validated. He's cleared to start cutting in 2-3 weeks, which is quite incredible given he is only four and half months from surgery. I wrote about this after the RGKNee surgery, but Dr. Andrews has been using stem cell to help with the knee repair. Adrian Peterson's "miraculous" recovery now has more light. RGIII is hoping to be ready for training camp, but really, no one knows. Shanahan said he will not start RGIII week one if he does not practice at least once during camp, so it depends on the doctors. Barring any setbacks, I think RGIII will be ready week 1. The NFL did the Redskins a favor and put their BYE week at week five, which means if RGIII starts on PUP, that's one extra game he'd get to play.
Ed: What do you make of the relationship right now between RGIII and Mike Shanahan?
Kevin: I think it's fine, honestly. It's equally sad and frustrating that major media takes transcripts of Mike Shanahan and RGIII and applies their own context to it. Should RGIII have taken himself out of the game? Sure, in retrospect, but how often do we see players playing through pain? John Elway played his entire career without an ACL and he seemed to limp on every play. So, I think the relationship is fine. All of RGIII's injuries came on scrambles, not read option plays, so people need to understand things better. If he protects himself better the problem will take care of itself.
Ed: Biggest offseason loss and the biggest offseason addition, personnel-wise?
Kevin: With the second and final year of the $36 million cap penalty, the Redskins were still able to re-sign all of their free agents except Lorenzo Alexander. Lorenzo made the Pro Bowl last season and his locker room presence and Special Teams dominance will be sorely missed. The Redskins didn't really sign any free agents since they're returning all of their starters (minus Madieu Williams...who the Skins gladly let go). The fact DeAngelo Hall and Fred Davis took paycuts to return to D.C. says a lot about the job Mike and Bruce have done.
Ed: Assess the roster at this point. What position or positions worry you the most?
Kevin: As I mentioned, the Redskins are returning all of their starters except for Madieu Williams who was brought in to be a backup. The safety position is in rough shape. Brandon Meriweather is healthy at SS but he is coming off an ACL and has been injury prone. The Redskins drafted Phillip Thomas and Bacarri Rambo...so hopefully one of the two provide to be a worthy FS starter. David Amerson was an INT machine at NC State so Skins fans have been starved for someone that pick passes consistently since Sean Taylor.
The Redskins didn't have a single OLine injury last year until really late, and it was minor at that. So, who will backup Trent Williams if he goes down?I honestly don't know. The Skins also still have a weak link at Right Tackle with the starter spot being an open competition among, and this hurts me to type: Tyler Polumbus, Tony Pashos, and Jeremy Trueblood.
Ed: What do you make of whole controversy over the 'Redskins' nickname? Is anything likely to happen there?
Kevin: Nothing is going to happen there. Dan Snyder and Bruce Allen were imperative it's not changing. A group representing Native Americans are trying to get the Redskins trademark removed, which means anyone could then sell Redskins gear forcing Snyder to change the mascot, but I don't see that happening. Of the many charities the Redskins donate to, surprisingly none of them are for Native Americans, whose groups are seeing poverty and suicide rates higher than anywhere in the U.S. There's a good opportunity for the Redskins to do something there.
Thanks to Kevin for getting this started and for helping to provide us with some insight, and some extra offseason content.