With the Redskins returning a majority of their weapons from the 2014 season, head coach Jay Gruden wants to see the ball spread around more in 2015.
As the Washington Redskins look to build off some of the offense's successes from last season, head coach Jay Gruden wants to make sure the unit doesn't become too predictable.
That starts with getting enough weapons involved to keep opposing defenses on their toes.
Yes, both DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garçon will still get plenty of touches, but some of the team's role players may see an increase in looks as well during the 2015 season.
"The most important thing with an offense is being able to spread the ball around and get everybody involved," Gruden said at the NFL Annual Meetings in Phoenix. "I think with Pierre, Andre and Ryan Grant coming back in a second year, Jordan Reed, Niles Paul coming back, good sound running game with Alfred [Morris], Silas [Redd Jr.] and Chris Thompson, I think it'll benefit everybody."
Jackson's game translated perfectly from Philadelphia to Washington, D.C., as the seven-year veteran continued to be the deep threat that strikes fear in secondaries, recording 1,169 yards and six touchdowns in 15 games.
He also led all receivers with at least 30 catches in average yards per catch (20.9) and 40-plus-yard receptions (13), five more than the second best total from Green Bay Packer Jordy Nelson.
Gruden said he was pleased with Jackson's play last season, but believes more can come from the California product.
"I think we just scratched the surface," he said. "I think the quarterbacks getting to know him was the big thing. This guy really is fast, and maybe I should give this guy more opportunities."
Jackson, meanwhile, admittedly craves any opportunity to showcase his speed.
"I take pride in big plays and being that guy, say one of the biggest deep people of the year, biggest player of the year, things like that, regardless of my stretch or my height," Jackson said in December. "When that ball is in the air, I'm going to track it down."
Across from Jackson on most plays last season was Garçon.
Garçon carried the majority of the aerial attack during the 2013 season, recording 68 more receptions than anyone else on the team en route to a single-season franchise record 113 receptions.
While Garçon's reception total dipped to 68 last year, Gruden thinks there's ways the Redskins can, "get his numbers back up a little bit."
"I think moving forward we get some stability at the quarterback position, you'll see all the numbers go up for all the receivers hopefully," he said. "A lot of people would rather just hand it off, but I think we need to spread it out and be diverse in what we do and get these guys these touches. These guys work extremely hard. For us not to give them opportunities to make plays down the field is silly. So, Pierre, DeSean, Jordan Reed, Andre, those guys are going to get their opportunities."
If the Redskins are to face a similar situation presented during the 2014 season in which three different quarterbacks split time under center, the wide receivers need to make sure they do whatever possible to make it easy on the signal caller.
"We have a lot of players that can throw the ball, that can run, and make plays, but we just have to make the tough plays for them," Garçon said in December. "We have to help the quarterback out. The quarterback has to help us out. It's team. We have to feed off each other and make plays for each other."
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