For the first time since 1999, the Washington Redskins will open training camp as defending NFC East champions. Robert Griffin III keyed the revival in Washington, leading the Redskins to the playoffs for the first time since 2007. A knee injury and the Seattle Seahawks prevented Washington from making any noise in the postseason, but optimism abounds for 2013.
Griffin's recovery from offseason knee surgery was the focus of the offseason, but heading into 2013 there are more questions surrounding the Redskins than just the status of Griffin's knee. Hamstrung by limited salary cap flexibility, Washington will head to training camp with largely the same roster as last season. Can it repeat last season's success? Can RGIII be Superman again? Let's take a look at where the Redskins stand heading into camp.
Washington opened the offseason $5 million over the salary cap. It was limited in free agency with defensive end Darryl Tapp, cornerback E.J. Biggers, wide receiver Devery Henderson and offensive tackle Jeremy Trueblood the notable additions.
Washington didn't have a first-round pick due to the Griffin trade. The Redskins added cornerback David Amerson in the second round and tight end Jordan Reed in the third round. Both could play significant roles this season. Washington is unlikely to uncover another late-round gem like Alfred Morris, but safety Bacarri Rambo, a sixth-round pick, could challenge for early playing time.
The Redskins' biggest additions this offseason could instead come from players already on the roster. Washington was able to win the NFC East last year despite losing a few key players to injury during the season. Outside linebacker Brian Orakpo, tight end Fred Davis and safety Brandon Meriweather will return after missing significant time last year. Griffin and wide receiver Pierre Garcon are also healthy now after injury riddled seasons.
They may not have made many offseason changes, but the Redskins did get healthy this offseason.
Training camp location and schedule
Redskins training camp will have a bit of a different feel this season when camp is held at the new Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Center in Richmond, Va. The Redskins held training camp at team headquarters since 2000, but opened their new facility in Richmond this year.
Practices are open to the to the public and admission is free. According to the Washington Informer, 100,000 fans are expected to attend practices during the three-week camp. Here is a closer look at Washington's practice schedule, via the team's website.
|Thursday, July 25||10 a.m. Walkthrough||3:20 p.m. Practice|
|Friday, July 26||10 a.m. Walkthrough||3:20 p.m. Practice|
|Saturday, July 27||10 a.m. Walkthrough||3:20 p.m. Practice|
|Sunday, July 28||No practice, players' day off|
|Monday, July 29||10 a.m. Walkthrough||3:20 p.m. Practice|
|Tuesday, July 30||10 a.m. Walkthrough||3:20 p.m. Practice|
|Wednesday, July 31||10 a.m. Walkthrough||3:20 p.m. Practice|
|Thursday, Aug. 1||10 a.m. Walkthrough||3:20 p.m. Practice|
|Friday, Aug. 2||10 a.m. Walkthrough||3:20 p.m. Practice|
Saturday, Aug. 3
|Fan Appreciation Day--Noon|
|Sunday, Aug. 4||No practice, players' day off|
|Monday, Aug. 5||10 a.m. Walkthrough||3:20 p.m. Practice|
|Tuesday, Aug. 6||10 a.m. Walkthrough||3:20 p.m. Practice|
|Wednesday, Aug. 7||No practice, team travel|
|Thursday, Aug. 8||No practice, game day|
|Friday, Aug. 9||No practice, player travel|
|Saturday, Aug. 10||1 p.m. Practice|
|Sunday, Aug. 11||No practice, players' day off|
|Monday, Aug. 12||10 a.m. Walkthrough||3:20 p.m. Practice|
|Tuesday, Aug. 13||12:40 p.m. Practice|
|Wednesday, Aug. 14||12:40 p.m. Practice|
|Thursday, Aug. 15||12:40 p.m. Practice|
|Friday, Aug. 16||9:45 a.m. Practice|
Safety - No position has more uncertainty in Washington than at safety. Both starting spots are yet to be decided although Meriweather is penciled into one of them if he's healthy. Madieu Williams started last season, but he left via free agency. Reed Doughty could start, although he's likely better suited for a backup and special teams role. Rambo and fellow rookie Phillip Thomas could challenge for playing time. Tanard Jackson could be a wild card as he will be eligible to apply for reinstatement on Aug. 31, one year after he was suspended indefinitely. He's been out of football for more than a year, but has more starting experience than the other candidates.
Right tackle - Tyler Polumbus started 15 games at right tackle for Washington last season, but he will face some competition for the starting job during training camp. Trueblood and Tony Pashos signed during free agency and both will likely get an opportunity to unseat Polumbus. As Sean Patterson of Hogs Haven wrote, the Redskins value continuity along the offensive line and the competition may be decided quickly.
Tight end - Davis was a rising star heading into last season, but struggled during the first seven games before missing the second half of the season due to an Achilles tendon injury. He's probably the best tight end on the roster when healthy. Still, even if he's healthy, he'll have to earn his starting job back. Logan Paulsen replaced Davis down the stretch last season and is an excellent blocker, a valuable tool in Washington's run-first offense. Reed, a third-round pick from Florida, is an excellent receiver who could provide another weapon for RGIII.
Wide receiver - When healthy, Garcon is Washington's No. 1 receiver. The No. 2 job is less defined with a few players in competition for playing time. Josh Morgan is back for another season and Leonard Hankerson enters his third year in the NFL. Those two will likely compete for the starting spot opposite of Garcon. Santana Moss and Aldrick Robinson are likely to make the roster as well, according to Dan Ciarrocchi. That leaves Donte Stallworth, Devery Henderson, Dezmon Briscoe and others competing for a spot on the roster.
Washington's complete roster heading into training camp can be found here.