- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 22, 2014

For as much as Pierre Garcon relished being the focal point of the passing game last season, when he broke Art Monk’s single-season record with 113 receptions, he will find himself with significantly more help this year. No unit has been infused with more talent than the wide receivers, who gained a three-time Pro Bowler in DeSean Jackson and a reliable inside-outside threat in Andre Roberts.

Garcon’s emergence last season was a bright spot for the Redskins. After a toe injury hampered his first season in Washington and restricted him to playing in only 10 games, Garcon demonstrated every bit of ability to be the marquee player the team expected it acquired when it signed him during the 2012 offseason. He surpassed 100 receiving yards in five games — including against the Chargers in Week 9, when he caught seven passes for 172 yards.

Adding complementary pieces, then, was a priority for the Redskins, though obtaining a player of Jackson’s caliber didn’t seem possible entering free agency. The 5-foot-10, 178-pound Jackson was released by the Philadelphia Eagles in late March after six seasons with the team amid concerns about his behavior and his fit in the locker room. He started all 16 games last season for the first time in his career, and appropriately responded with career-best numbers: 82 catches for 1,332 yards with nine touchdowns.

He and Roberts, who initially expected to start opposite Garcon when he left the Arizona Cardinals in March, will help the Redskins stretch the field in the passing game unlike they’ve been able to do in Griffin’s first two years.

They’ll also be pushed by several players with significant experience, including Santana Moss, who was signed to a non-guaranteed one-year contract in March and will essentially attend camp on a tryout. Leonard Hankerson is still recovering from a torn ACL in his left knee and likely won’t be ready for the start of camp, while Aldrick Robinson, Nick Williams, fifth-round draft pick Ryan Grant and a host of undrafted free agents will have to fight for spots.



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