- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 4, 2014

Five questions as the Redskins open their season Sunday at Houston:

1. How will the offense look? Significant questions remained about the state of the Redskins’ offense after the preseason, when the starters played only 10 full series. The running game hasn’t changed and the passing game has been only tweaked, but how quarterback Robert Griffin III connects with his receivers will be a good indication of where the unit stands.

2. What kind of challenge will Jadeveon Clowney present? The No. 1 overall pick in May, Clowney was a game-changer in college at South Carolina and is making a transition with the Texans. He’s been in both a two- and three-point stance in the preseason and has lined up on both sides. With limited film available, a lot of adjustments will be made on the fly.

3. Will the defense be as aggressive as it has showed? Between outside linebackers Ryan Kerrigan and Brian Orakpo, and the addition of defensive end Jason Hatcher, rushing the passer has become the priority on defense. The starting unit played well during the preseason, and its challenge will be to keep that tempo high.

4. Can Bacarri Rambo handle starting at strong safety? All indications point to Rambo, in his second year, filling in for suspended starter Brandon Meriweather against the Texans. Rambo has gained a better grasp on the defense, teammates say, and his biggest weakness — open-field tackles — will be minimized with him playing more in the box.

5. How does Jay Gruden handle his coaching debut? Gruden, like the rest of the Redskins, has had four preseason games to work out some of the kinks associated with being a first-time head coach. Now aware of the full breadth of his game-day duties, Gruden should be better prepared to balance those with making the play calls on offense.

SEE ALSO: Robert Griffin III, Jay Gruden eager but patient as partnership begins

• Zac Boyer can be reached at zboyer@washingtontimes.com.

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