The Richardson Effect
Welcome back to the Burgundy and Gold Report. Training Camp has been a whirlwind, predominately dominated by the Redskins defense. Over the weekend the Redskins finally put on the pads and emotions ran high!
Reports out of training camp mentioned that Redskins safety DJ Swearenger was the voice being heard all day. The barking back and forth between the defense and offense in 11 on 11’s was a common sight. New Redskins quarterback Alex Smith often took shots down field to see what developed. It is training Camp after all and the best time to take some risks. During the first few days of camp, Smith tested his receivers by airing it out but the Skins DB’s had a field day. Things quickly changed over this past weekend though.
Reportedly, Richardson was the standout of the weekend. Shortly after signing Richardson, The B&G Report featured a bio on the former Seahawk, which discussed his time playing with Russell Wilson and his potential impact in Washington.
According to twitter posted videos and media reports, the former Seahawk receiver was having his way with anybody who dared to cover him. Although Jamison Crowder and Josh Doctson have been the most targeted receivers in camp, it seems that was by design. With the news of Doctson tweaking his shoulder/arm, opportunities for others will arise. Although early reports are Doc will only miss a few days, those are valuable snaps that will be given to a second teamer.
Many bring up the success Smith had during his time in Kansas City with speedster WR Tyreek Hill, but teammates and coaches believe Richardson could have a similar impact on the Redskins offense. Although there hasn’t been many gadget plays in camp practices (open to the public, that is), word is Gruden has been adding wrinkles to the offense specifically for Richardson. Most of theses formations are being utilized when no media/cameras were allowed. Is it a best kept secret? Maybe not, but it’s sure exciting to imagine the possibilities.
Richardson mentioned he’s been used in the backfield, slot and pretty much all over the field in Redskins practices. This is a far cry from how he was used in Seattle’s unimaginative offensive scheme. Although he might not be as fast as Hill, he still posseses the ability to absolutely take it to the house at anytime the ball is in his hands.
Per John Keim’s recent interview with The Teams 980’s Chris Cooley, when asked about Paul Richardson, Keim had the following to say:
“I think he’s gonna be a guy who does a lot more in the season than he is does during Training Camp. If you can get him 46-50 catches, the threat of him and his speed will open things up for everybody. He’s also not afraid to catch balls in contested situations.”
New Redskins receiver Paul Richardson Jr. was viewed as a speedster coming into Washington, but those perceptions are quickly changing. As it stands, Josh Doctson will play across the field from Richardson with Jamison Crowder playing in the slot. Those three are the current locks at receiver for Washington with the 2-3 more slots potentially up for grabs.
Doctson seems to be a wild card who might have an issue dealing with pain. After missing most of his rookie season with a non-break or ligament tear, it certainly brings up the discussion of his Doc’s toughness. Some of the same concerns have surfaced for Richardson when Washington signed him as well. As Skins fans we will be able to count on Richardson this year. It might be nothing more than a hunch, but I do believe that Richardson will have a Desean Jackson-like effect on this revamped offense. In no way is he on Jackson’s level yet, but he’s more versatile and has the ability to do more than just run go routes.
Richardson will have his work cut out for him going up against the physical NFC East. Gruden’s ability to scheme his players open will help Richardson’s transition to the Redskins offense immensely. As previously mentioned, having the ability to line him up all over the field will keep opposing defenses honest and open up the field for other Redskins pass catchers.
Having a quarterback like Smith execute Jay’s offense should be a site to behold this season. The added dimension of Guice teaming up with Thompson in the Skins backfield will change everything. Most notably it will open up things for the play action passing game.
Gruden has not been shy about his preference to have his quarterbacks get out of the pocket and make plays on the run. More times than not former Redskins QB Kirk Cousins would hesitate when the running lanes opened up. It’s important to note that Smith isn’t looking to run for yards, he’s looking to draw the defense and throw his receivers open. Smith did run for 355 yards in 2017, but only had 1 rushing TD. In comparison Cousins had 4 rushing TD’s.
Once again on Wednesday Richardson was the standout out player of the day, according to John Keim.
“The free agent signee has shown snippets during the first week of camp, but Wednesday he made his biggest impact. He made a diving grab of an Alex Smith pass down the right sideline. He caught a deep post and then in a deep out, the ball arrived as soon as Richardson turned around. Richardson’s speed is obvious, but what will help the Redskins just as much is how they’re using him on a variety of routes.”
In the end, we should expect big things from Richardson as well as the entire Redskins offense. Per media reports, Jay Gruden’s offense seems to be evolving. As mentioned in a previous B&G Report focused on Alex Smith, this offense should look dramatically different in 2018. Smith, Richardson, Thompson and now Guice give this team the best personal to run RPO’s, jet sweeps, misdirection counters etc. Just take a look at some of the plays Smith ran under his former Coach Andy Reid in KC and you might get a glimpse into the future. both coaches run their own versions of the West Coast offense and both adapted their styles for Smith.
This will be an exciting year to be a Redskins fan for sure. Watching Richardson bloom and create chemistry with Alex Smith as well as the rest of the offense could be the first step in this team returning to greatness.
Thanks for checking out another Burgundy and Gold Report! As training camp continues stay tuned for more Redskins news and player updates/analysis.
Written By Adam Aniba
3 Camp Stories to Watch https://burgundyandgoldreport.wordpress.com/2018/07/29/camp-edition-3-camp-stories-to-watch/
Quick Hits Edition: 3 Reasons to Believe Anthony Lanier Will Have https://burgundyandgoldreport.wordpress.com/2018/07/22/quick-hits-edition-3-reasons-to-believe-anthony-lanier-will-have-breakout-season/
Supplemental Draft Edition: Is Adonis https://burgundyandgoldreport.wordpress.com/2018/07/11/supplemental-draft-editon-is-adonis-alex
5 Undrafted Free Agents to Watch https://burgundyandgoldreport.wordpress.com/2018/05/14/5-undrafted-redskins-rookie-free-agents-to-wa
photo credit to usatoday.com and redskins.com