Washington wide receiver DeSean Jackson (11) during Thursday’s opening day of training camp. (John McDonnell/The Washington Post)
After struggling to connect on a rainy first day of training camp, wide receiver DeSean Jackson and quarterback Robert Griffin III displayed better timing during Friday’s first session. The offense was sharper overall while working in great weather. But for the Redskins, the Griffin-Jackson connection was most encouraging.
Griffin was sharp, completing several passes to Jackson on crossing patterns and sideline routes. Offensive coordinator Sean McVay didn’t call many deep routes for Jackson, though that will come.
The Redskins have lacked a consistent deep-threat wideout since Santana Moss, entering his 14th season, was young. They appeared to address that need by signing Jackson, who also figures to often be a great decoy.
With Jackson on the roster, Coach Jay Gruden and McVay have many options in the passing game. It starts with the Griffin-Jackson relationship. They’re building a good one.
“That’s what practice is for,” Jackson said. “Going out here every day, just working, and taking rep after rep after rep after rep. We’re really trying to get on the same page … get on the same accord as the offense.
“Being a new offense, Jay Gruden in his first year, my first year, RGIII, being in his third year … it really is just kind of new for everybody. We’ve had a couple of months [during the offseason program] to learn, so I think everyone has a grasp of the system now.”
Signing Jackson was among many moves President and General Manager Bruce Allen made to support Griffin: hiring Gruden, promoting Sean McVay from tight ends coach to offensive coordinator, signing wideout Andre Roberts. Most teams would like to have three receivers as good as Pierre Garcon, Jackson and Roberts.
The Redskins are expecting big things from second-year tight end Jordan Reed. And let’s not forget about running back Alfred Morris, who rushed for nearly 2,900 yards (with a 4.7-yard average) and 20 touchdowns in his first two seasons combined. To achieve success on offense in the NFL, teams need playmakers. The Redskins have more than they’ve had in a long time.
But will Gruden and McVay be able to keep everyone happy? Only so many plays can be called in each game. Asked whether having so much talent on offense could result in problems, Jackson smiled and paused before answering.
“I’m sure that’s the question everybody” wants to know, he said. “Me and Andre were just talking about it earlier. It’s very dangerous [for the defense]. It’s very scary. I would rather be on a team that has all these weapons.
“It just makes it easier for Robert. Every play, somebody has to be open. Me, Tana, Pierre, J. Reed, Alfred. And regardless of how we play, somebody’s going to have to keep an eye on RGIII.”
Good answer. But here’s a tip for Gruden and McVay: Make sure Jackson is heavily involved in the game plan Sept. 21 against the Philadelphia Eagles.
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