East Notes: Redskins, Cowboys, Jets

Earlier today, we looked at how the Redskins plan to deploy their supplemental draft choice, Adonis Alexander. Now let’s take a look at notes from several other east division clubs, starting with more out of Washington:

  • The Redskins‘ lack of a consistent running game in the Jay Gruden era is the byproduct of a number of factors, as John Keim of ESPN.com observes. While the offensive line is generally a good one (when healthy), the team has struggled mightily in short-yardage situations over the last few years, and some question whether Washington is committed enough to the run, as it ranks 27th in the league in total carries since 2014. But, as Keim points out, the Redskins rank 10th in first-down carries over that same span; the problem is that they rank 30th in yards per carry on first down. So, as one scout suggests, the issue is not running more, it’s running more effectively. The addition of Derrius Guice should help, as would a healthy season from the starters on the O-line and more effective blocking from receivers and tight ends. If Washington is going to push for a playoff spot, it will need an effective ground game to help out Alex Smith and the passing attack.
  • The Cowboys have a new O-line coach in Paul Alexander, who spent the last 24 seasons with the Bengals. He inherits one of the best offensive lines in the league, so he is under a good deal of pressure to keep the train rolling. To that end, he does not plan on making a drastic overhaul, but as Jon Machota of the Dallas Morning News writes, Alexander and OC Scott Linehan are implementing concepts that are noticeably different from the ones that previous O-line coaches Bill Callahan and Frank Pollack employed. Star running back Ezekiel Elliott is impressed with the modifications, and Alexander suggests that the linemen themselves have also bought in.
  • Darryl Slater of NJ.com touched on the Jets‘ tight end battle in a mailbag item yesterday, a situation that he delves into more deeply today. Per Slater, Jordan Leggett — whom the team selected in the fifth round of the 2017 draft, but who missed his entire rookie campaign with a knee injury — is a roster lock, as is 2018 fourth-rounder Chris Herndon. Both players are essentially rookies, and while they both have upside, rookie tight ends rarely produce a great deal in the passing attack. Slater suggests that Leggett and Herndon could see a fairly even split in snap distribution, though they will both need to improve as blockers. He adds that New York is expected to keep three tight ends, and Eric Tomlinson — who is a capable blocker — is currently the favorite for the No. 3 TE job.
  • Per Adam H. Beasley of the Miami Herald, the Dolphins could build a training facility that will allow them to practice where they play. Miami is considering building a $75MM complex on team-owned land adjacent to Hard Rock Stadium, which would be a considerable upgrade from the facility at Nova Southeastern University that the team has trained in since 1993. Although that facility has been improved over the years, it is still a far cry from the first-class complexes that are becoming more commonplace around the league. Other locations remain in consideration, but an upgrade is coming, and it could come as soon as 2020.
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