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Can Alex Smith Improve the Redskins in 2018?

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Alex Smith” by DVIDS

The Washington Redskins have ended the Kirk Cousins era and they have a new one to start in 2018; this one will be under former Kansas City Chief quarterback Alex Smith. Smith may not the best quarterback in the league in anyone’s mind but he is solid enough to build on. Smith was quietly effective for the Chiefs, and there is no reason to think he can’t do the same for the Redskins. The Redskins are hoping what will help Smith is a solid trio of running backs, three players that will not force him to throw any more than he needs to.

Rob Kelley, Chris Thompson and Samaje Perine form an exciting trio and, on their day, they are as good as any other running back committee in the league. They have the ability to gain important yards, make themselves available for catches from the backfield and score touchdowns. While all the talk is about Alex Smith and his ability to lead this team, those three players are going to be huge in any success that he has this season. Samaje Perine showed flashes of brilliance last season, showing why the Redskins drafted him in 2017, and even more is expected from him this coming season.

Samaje Perine” by Keith Allison (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Thompson WAS brilliant until landing on the injured reserve.

Kelley never really got rolling in 2017, but he was the horse in 2016. Washington will be hoping to see that “Fat Rob” return in 2018, and likely battle Perine in Training Camp for the right to get every ball not given to Thompson.

With a fresh start and a new quarterback, it would not be a surprise to see many of the game’s leading experts fancy Washington to do well this season. While some say Smith is a downgrade on Cousins, could Smith be a better fit, and his conservative style actually aid the Redskins? Seeing them tipped up to win more games than they lose this coming season could be a possibility. With Champion Bets you can get all the latest NFL tips from their experts, and see if they side with the Washington Redskins in 2018.

The Redskins obviously can’t just run the ball though. When Smith does throw the ball, he has a few targets that will help him out. Thompson is electric out of the backfield, and Tight end Jordan Reed is one of the game’s very best when he is healthy. Reed only played six games in 2017, and Redskins fans know all too well that that’s a norm, not an exception, but when playing, there’s no doubt that he is a tremendous asset. Smith also has wide receivers Jamison Crowder and Josh Doctson to aim for, who both have ability but were disappointing in 2017. The upcoming draft could still provide a piece of the puzzle too.

The main focus of the Redskins game in 2018 is expected to be running with the ball. That will take the pressure off Alex Smith in his first year with the team, and also play to his strengths a little. There is no doubting that the trifecta of running backs on the team could be enough to carry the offense, and with a little help from Smith, the Redskins could improve upon a disappointing 2017 season.

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Interview with Doc Walker: Part 1

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The University of Maryland hosted a sports injury symposium at Knight Hall Wednesday night titled “Sports Injuries: the Risks of Playing the Game from Kids to the Pros.” Among those in attendance were Dr. Stephen Haas, a retired physician for the Wizards, Capitals and Nationals, Sean Sansiveri, NFL Players Association Staff Council; Scott Hallenbeck, Executive Director of USA Football; Katie O’Donnell, 2009 National Field Hockey player of the Year from the University of Maryland; Mark Hyman, author of “Until it Hurts” and adjunct professor at George Washington University; and former Washington Redskins tight end and current ESPN 980 and Comcast SportsNet media personality, Rick “Doc” Walker.

Following the event, I had the chance to speak with Doc about a wide range of topics. In the first of a three-part interview series, Doc talks about his post-career injuries, the Catch-22 that NFL players face with concussions and job security, expanding NFL rosters, his dislike of the Scouting Combine, and whether the 49ers should trade for Darelle Revis.

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