We’re changing who we send into the media horde this season. (Evan Vucci/Associated Press)

With the start of a new season for Washington’s pro football team comes plenty of change, and this year we’re changing along with them. Liz Clarke joins Mike Jones on the beat in place of Mark Maske, who shifts to a league-wide analysis role. We’ve been preparing for the moves for a while, and made them public yesterday.

Liz is a talented writer (if you’re unfamiliar with her work, take a look at her profile of tennis prodigy Francis Tiafoe from May) who has covered a wide range of sports for The Post, including this very team several head coaches ago. Some background:

The 2014 NFL season marks Liz Clarke’s second stint on the Redskins beat for The Washington Post.
She previously covered the team alongside Mark Maske from 1998-2001—a period that spanned two owners, three head coaches, five starting quarterbacks and one playoff season.
During her 16 years at The Post, she also has covered seven Olympic Games, two World Cups and written extensively about college sports, tennis and auto racing. In recent years she has been a regular contributor to The Tony Kornheiser Show on WTEM.
Before joining the Post in 1998, she worked as a sportswriter at USA Today, The Dallas Morning News and The Charlotte Observer.
Twice honored as Motorsports Writer of the Year, she is the author of the 2008 book, “One Helluva Ride: How NASCAR Swept the Nation.”

Liz’s first NFL story of the season ran in this morning’s print editions.

Along with Liz and Mike, columnist Jason Reid will spend more time around the team this fall and frequently analyze the goings on in Richmond, Ashburn, Landover and elsewhere.

The Post’s sports department has been growing rapidly, which is encouraging as so many news organizations are shrinking, and we spent so many of the past several years ourselves making choices about what we could or could not afford to do. For NFL fans who read The Post, it’s an exciting time because we’re ramping up our national coverage while maintaining what we do with the home team.

That means we lose Mark off the beat, but don’t lose him entirely. In fact, between Mark, Jason, Rick Maese, Barry Svrluga, Kent Babb and others, we’ve got in our department a handful of reporters who have spent significant time around the team and the league, which can only help. The role that Mark shifts to for national coverage won’t be “what happened” sort of role so much as “why things are happening,” which is the kind of context often needed to round out our reporting.

Over the past few months, we’ve added bloggers to The Early Lead and the D.C. Sports Bog, and created a new sports analysis blog, Fancy Stats, which has touched on the Redskins several times since its launch. And there are plans to significantly increase our fantasy football coverage, and create some new ways for Mark Bullock, the Insider’s resident game video reviewer, to share his insight.

All in all, it’s an exciting time for us, because we feel we have everything we need to serve readers a smart, diverse, complete package of NFL coverage this fall. Training camps are here and we’re ready for the challenge. We appreciate your readership; now all you have to do is sit back and enjoy.

Have a Redskins question? Send an e-mail to mike.jones@washpost.com with the subject line “Mailbag question,” and it might be answered on Tuesday in The Mailbag.

What’s ahead:

Washington’s first training camp practice of the 2014 season is at 8:35 a.m. in Richmond. Here’s our camp guide. Mike and Liz will be blogging from camp all day.

More from The Post:

Gruden eager to put his stamp on the team

Reid: Gruden’s top job is to fix Griffin

Cornerbacks Crawford, Porter cleared to practice

Hatcher, three others open camp on PUP list

More NFL coverage: Home page | D.C. Sports Bog | The Early Lead | Fancy Stats

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