In his first offseason, new GM Scot McCloughan did just about everything right. He upgraded where the Redskins needed it most in the secondary, and he restocked the trenches on both sides of the ball. None of that matters if Robert Griffin III plays anything like he did in 2014. RGIII's footwork and mechanics were suspect, and they created inaccurate throws on far too many occasions. However, there is en easy solution to these issues. RGIII needs to become a master of Jay Gruden's offensive system. Last season, he was too slow in his reads and it led to dead plays. Gruden praised RGIII during spring practices for his understand of the offense. Coach-speak should be taken with a grain of salt. If the Redskins want to get back to the postseason, RGIII s going to have to prove that he can fit the offense.
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY SportsGeoff Burke
Who will win the Redskins' slot WR job?
The battle at slot wide receiver is set to be the most heated camp competition. The Redskins have three players who are not only very talented, but also perfect fits for the slot role. Incumbent starter Andre Roberts should be feeling the pressure. Although he put together an impressive resume in the slot before signing a four-year deal with the Redskins last offseason, he was one of the NFL's worst slot receivers in 2014. Ryan Grant and rookie Jamison Crowder are right on his heels. Both players stood out during spring practices and earned the praise of HC Jay Gruden. I don't expect the slot starter to be named until after the third preseason game, but my money is on Crowder winning the job.
APPablo Martinez Monsivais
What kind of role will rookie RB Matt Jones have?
An early hype train started for rookie RB Matt Jones when GM Scot McCloughan compared him to Marshawn Lynch. Let's not jump the gun here, he just drated the guy, did you think he was going to call him a bum? Either way, Jones is certainly not short of confidence. He believes that he's going to put pressure on Alfred Morris for the starting job. In reality, Jones is competing for the passing down role left vacant by Roy Helu's departure. At 6-foot-2 and 231 pounds, Jones claims that he loves to pass block. He's going to have to prove it in camp if he wants to beat out Silas Redd and Chris Thompson. In 2014, Morris only saw 616 of 1,095 total offensive snaps. There is a key void here that someone needs to fill. Jones has the highest upside.
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY SportsGeoff Burke
Who will win the Redskins' ROLB job?
The offensive battles will be fun to watch, and likely get all of the glory, but we've also got a great one on the defensive end. At right outside linebacker, in Joe Barry's 3-4 scheme, Trent Murphy will do battle with rookie Preston Smith. Murphy's rookie season was pretty impressive. After being thrown into the fire following the inevitable Brian Orakpo injury, Murphy was a stout run defender. He set the edge efficiently. However, he struggled to generate much pressure in the passing game. Smith is a highly-touted rookie who many believe deserved to go in the middle of the first round. At 6-foot-5 and 271 pounds, he can set the edge, but he can also get after the QB. He had 16 sacks over his collegiate career.
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY SportsMark J. Rebilas
What's the plan at safety?
In 2014, the Redskins had arguably the worst pair of safeties in the NFL. Ryan Clark retired and Brandon Meriweather was predictably not resigned. McCloughan continued his overhaul at the safety position by signing free agents Duke Ihenacho and Jeron Johnson. He also traded for former pro-bowler Dashon Goldson. Goldson is excited about playing in DC Joe Barry's aggresive scheme after feeling miscast in Tamp Bay's Cover-2. He will be gunning for the starting FS spot, but keep an eye on Deangelo Hall. With Chris Culliver added to the roster at CB, there has been speculation that Hall could move to safety. Johnson and Ihenaco should battle it out for the other safety spot. Although Phillip Thomas remains on the roster, for now, he is not a real threat to win either spot.