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Need to Know: Five Redskins who need to step up

Nov 11, 2013, 5:27 AM EDT


Here is what you need to know on this Monday, November 11, six days before the Washington Redskins play the Philadelphia Eagles.

Nickel coverage

Yesterday, we looked at five Redskins who have exceeded expectations in the 2013 season. Today, it’s five who need to step up if the Redskins are going to make something of themselves in the second half of the season.

1. Shortly after the 2013 season ended, Josh Morgan visited the doctor and had a bunch of hardware removed from the foot he broke while he was with the 49ers in 2011. He feels better than he did last year but his production doesn’t show it. His snaps have declined and he has just 11 receptions for 124 yards on the year.

2. All offseason long we heard how Brandon Meriweather would become a force in the defense once he was healthy. But he’s played every snap since Week 3 with the exception of the Broncos game and his impact has been minimal. On top of that there is no real indication that he has learned to refrain from the headhunting that cost on that one-game suspension. You get the feeling that the next hit could make him a spectator for multiple games.

3. Defensive ends in a 3-4 are supposed to do a lot of the dirty work and don’t necessarily have to make a lot of plays to be effective. But still it would be good to see more out of Stephen Bowen that shows up in the stats. He hasn’t had a full sack since December 18, 2011 against the Giants (he had two half sacks last year, none this year). There are 11 tackles to his credit. Bowen has one of the 10 highest cap numbers on the team and the Redskins should be getting a little more for their money.

4. Speaking of top-10 cap numbers, Chris Chester is a member of that club and the Redskins are not getting their money’s worth out of him. According to Pro Football Focus Chester is the lowest-rated player on the Redskins’ offense. He has allowed 27 QB hurries, more than any two other members of the offensive line combined. He also leads the team with four offensive holding penalties.

5. Robert Griffin III has been up and down this year and, looking from the beginning of the season, he’s been more down than up. The knee injury undoubtedly has been a factor but if he’s taking the snaps, he needs to get that job done.

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Stat of the day

—The Redskins have been hit with 17 offensive holding penalties in their nine games. Last year they had just 21 in 16 games.


Days until: Redskins @ Eagles 6; Monday night 49ers @ Redskins 14; Giants @ Redskins 20

Today’s schedule: Player availability 11:15; Practice 1:00 (open to the media for first 30 minutes); After practice (approx. 3:00) Mike Shanahan news conference, telecast on Comcast SportsNet

In case you missed it

Chances of a 2012 repeat seem slim

  1. clp5150 - Nov 11, 2013 at 10:31 AM


    I think the past two games have showed a lot of improvement with RGIII (for the season that is). In the loss against the Vikings, he hit the hands of the receivers on his last 3 attempts to tie the game. They didn’t convert! I worry that his “stepping up” involves more running with the ball. I just don’t see how he can continue to take that many hits each game. Do you have any stats on how many times he’s been “clobbered” during the last 3 or 4 games?

    On the first and last drive of the Vikings game…he moved the ball down the field with minimum effort. I think the play calling during that game hurt. Why we didn’t run the ball from the 1 yard line is amazing to me. I don’t usualy criticize the coaching staff…but, it was obvious on that one.

    I would count the defense as “one overall person” to step up. When is the last time Kerrigan had a sack? Orakpo hasn’t lived up to his potential either. I thought this defensive scheme centered around the NT? Where is Neild or someone that can help at NT?

    • Melissa - Nov 11, 2013 at 11:56 AM

      So true an RG3 is stepping up it offense line that doesn’t protect him enough especially in the second half of the games

  2. RL - Nov 11, 2013 at 12:46 PM

    What about the offensive line coaches. Time management!
    Running the Two minute drills should be a given with a set # of plays and not for the 2nd or 4th qtrs. Stop wasting time and give RG III – the leadership to call plays. To much time is wasted from point A to QB.

  3. manchild157 - Nov 11, 2013 at 1:00 PM

    Should have listed 8 Redskins that need to step it up. Jim Haslett, Kyle Shanahan and Keith Burns.

    • rahwayhomey - Nov 11, 2013 at 7:43 PM

      Hail Manchild, I recognize you from the old Skins site. Too bad they changed it up & many of good posters are gone. would agree Haslet & Burns have been awful. To me, Kyle has made good calls w/ mix or run & pass, hoping to see RGIII w/ more roll outs and getting him to space where he dominates. Our offense actually has been very effective, RGIII in top 11 in passing yds w/ 84 rating, Alf Morris top in yds among RB’s in NFL, & Garcon & J Reed playin nothin short of spectacular, w/ truly a makeshift OL. I mean we scored on the first 5 possessions against the Vikes & still lost. This means 1 thing, Our D is horrible & SP Teams just as bad….There is no reason on earth why B Orakpo & R Kerrigan are 30 yds back on D. This is a delusional coach trying to outthink the offense, & it aint workin. Just get pressure on QB w/ sacks, INT’s will happen & we can get our offense back on field. Haslet & Burns do not deserve a job coaching the NFL, strictly based on performance

      • aprilwalker2013 - Nov 12, 2013 at 10:17 AM

        Hey!! You do make good points but I must disagree!! Show me a defense that can hold the lead when the offense can’t get first downs in second half much less points and ill show you the best D in league!! Come on man.. Haha!! Our D only reason we in most games this year!! But no, they didn’t hold the lead and could be better but they stay on field the entire second half!!

        • clp5150 - Nov 12, 2013 at 11:49 AM

          OR, it could be that the offense can’t get on the field because our defense can’t stop anyone!

        • aprilwalker2013 - Nov 12, 2013 at 11:56 AM

          Ha!! You do realize if our D lets them score the Offense gets a turn to go score right?? Say with all due respect! The O can’t stay on field is the issue!! Can’t get first down in second half! They do fine in first but quit playing in second half!! D stays on field entire second half!! No D could hold score!! Except best in NFL and by no means or we that!’

        • clp5150 - Nov 13, 2013 at 11:20 AM


          I do realize that if our D lets them score, the Offense gets a turn to score…per your below statement. Sounds goofy to me…I think the objective is our D to NOT let them score. There is a great article on Hogs Haven today that you should check out…it’s called ‘Defensive Woes against 3rd Down…’ and gives pictures and write ups on almost every 3rd down that Minnesota had. If you don’t have time to read it, I’ll sum it up: our defense couldn’t stop them. Period.

          Again, it’s not a personal attack on you…I just think (and stats show) that the Defense is the weakest spot right now. Far worse than the offense.

        • aprilwalker2013 - Nov 13, 2013 at 11:36 AM

          I’m just gonna let you win this, I was just stating my opinion as others do on here! I still stand by mine! You right, the D didn’t stop them but again I say they were on field too long! I do say this with all due respect to you and your opinion! I already read the article! As I read them all every am! There is also an article on same site I believe that talks about how bad the offense was! Nice talking to you! HTTR

        • clp5150 - Nov 13, 2013 at 11:38 AM

          No problem aw2013…I agree with you in many aspects. Out of curiosity, what do you think is the biggest problem of the offense? The line? QB? Playcalling?

        • kenlinkins - Nov 13, 2013 at 11:42 AM

          Wow, Great open ended question, would love to see an “Round Table” talk with many Redskins fans on this subject.

        • aprilwalker2013 - Nov 13, 2013 at 3:11 PM

          I think all 3 since you mentioned those!! Think RG3 is getting it together though, but do think he won’t be all way back until next season! He’s not getting much help though from his line, hope they don’t get him killed!! Ha!! Been defending MS all year it seems, I don’t wanta go through another coach search! Think it’s crazy to fire him 1 yr after we won div!! But I can’t defend the other Coachs, as much as I would like to, just can’t! Even the Defense coach may need to go!! Bet you didn’t see that coming huh? Ha!! Don’t think Robert getting much help from his WR either! With exception of Garçon and Reed!!

    • manchild157 - Nov 12, 2013 at 3:29 PM

      Hail Rayway- I miss the old gang too even though some came back to the new format this losing has them tired of the bs that Haslett and Burns are creating.
      As for April- you seem to be in denial that the defense is awful. The offense had a 20 point lead and the defense couldn’t help them and it’s Hasletts fault. Against the Vikes we had more 1st downs so where do you get that we can’t get 1st downs? The defense is the only reason we are in games? WHAT????? You think that the offense is the problem because they should keep scoring to infinity so the defense doesn’t have to do their job. YOU MAY BE THE ONLY PERSON IN THE COUNTRY THAT THINKS LIKE YOU DO.

  4. skinfan66 - Nov 11, 2013 at 4:47 PM

    Totally agree with you, Rich. I’m still not quite sure what Griffin thinks he still has to prove.
    It’s almost like he doesn’t want anyone else to get their “names in the paper” but him. When you have one of the best running backs in your backfield, that NOBODY has stopped this year (but your offensive coordinator), for goodness sakes, RUN THE BALL! The last 3 games, the skins have been up double digits going into the 4th quarter, and RG3 comes out and starts throwing the ball 40-50 yards down the field to virtually no one. Then you want to run the ball on 3rd and long, and 45 seconds later you put your very sub-par defense back on the field.

    I’m actually very glad the Eagles and the Giants both won yesterday. Maybe, now, somebody will wake up and put together an actual 60 minute game plan. And, for the love of….., please make adjustments at half time. Because you can bet your bottom dollar, the other team is.

    IMO, the players that need to step up are: 10, 63, 66, 78, 74, 15, 11, 82, 84, and that’s just offensively.
    Defense: Everyone except the rookie, 39 (because he’s a rookie and still learning) and the vet 23.
    NEEDS TO GO: 31, 26, 59 (I love LF too, but he’s costing them this year) and especially 56, can’t cover a casserole, single handedly caused the blocked punt in the 1st game by not holding his block long enough, and too many penalties.
    Special teams…find a new punter; one that won’t continuously out kick his coverage, although he has gotten better with that in the last few games by always kicking out of bounds because our coverage sucks, get Sundberg healthy, new long snapper’s snaps are a lot slower than Sundberg’s, (remember the blocked field goal’s).
    And last, but certainly not least, GET LORENZO ALEXANDER BACK!!!!

    • aprilwalker2013 - Nov 12, 2013 at 10:12 AM

      Well said!! Glad you not one that blames D for all our issues!! No they can’t hold lead when O can’t even get first downs much less points in second half, but show me a defense on any team that could!! Very few!! Again, well said!!

      • manchild157 - Nov 12, 2013 at 3:34 PM

        We heard you say that already and it’s still delusional thinking. The defense couldn’t stop a 1 win team with a revolving door of qbs and you’re blaming the offense and 1st downs. incredible…are you the wife of one of the defensive players?

        • aprilwalker2013 - Nov 12, 2013 at 5:56 PM

          Look I said what I said with all due respect!! And think I said that too!! No need to get ugly just cause I don’t agree with you!! Tell me then since I’m so “delusional”.. How many points did the offense score in the second half? Better yet did they even get one first down in the second half??!! I say again.. Show me a defense that would’ve held that lead ill show you the best one in the league!! Delusional?? I think NOT!!

        • manchild157 - Nov 13, 2013 at 9:23 AM

          April, I didn’t call you a name only implied the way you think about the game is delusional. Scroll down and I answered this question below yesterday.

  5. hailyeah1 - Nov 12, 2013 at 6:46 AM

    how about the 11 guys on defense they step it up we would have a winning record and lead the nfc east

    • aprilwalker2013 - Nov 12, 2013 at 10:09 AM

      How bout we not even in most games without the d?? How bout the offense keeps the D on field the entire game? This record falls mostly on offense and ST!!

  6. aprilwalker2013 - Nov 12, 2013 at 9:59 AM

    You right on as usual Rich!! Love how you didn’t just pile on D players as everyone else seems to do!! WR and RG3 also share blame!! IMO, the offense shares most blame along with ST!! The O can’t stay on field long enough! Most time can’t even get more than 1 first down, sometimes not even 1!! So that keeps D on field most game and we not even in some of games without our D!! Not many Defenses can hold lead if you keep them on field the entire game!! HTTR

    • clp5150 - Nov 12, 2013 at 12:42 PM

      I’m not saying the offense is perfect, but I think it’s crystal clear that the defense has, statistically, done worse than the offense in terms of progressing backwards. I mean, wasn’t it the defense that set a franchise record on the most yardage ever allowed by a Redskins team through the first couple of games? I don’t remember the offense doing that. We are 10th in the league in passing, 3rd in rushing, 5th in the league in total yards. Defensive rank each year: 2010 -13th; 2011 – 16th; 2012 – 28th. For 2013, thus far, we are ranked 27th. I don’t call that improvement. If anything, the defense was supposed to be our crutch (strength) each year under Haslett. It should be noted that the Cowboys are ranked last in the NFL in overall defense. That’s a positive.

      Again, I’m not saying the team’s offense is great by no means, but the defense is completely lost. Their best performance was the goal line stance against the Chargers to send it into overtime. If the Chargers would have gotten the ball first in overtime, the Skins would have lost. I think it’s easier to blame the offense because of RGIII. Any game we lose, it’s always his fault (life of a quarterback). At the Chargers game, when he had two passes batted down in a row…the crowd booed him. A few plays later he scrambles and gets the crap knocked out of him and the crowd was chanting RGIII, RGIII. Whatever.

      • manchild157 - Nov 12, 2013 at 3:44 PM

        5150- you are right on. The defense has gotten worse and possibly if it weren’t for the run defense we would be dead last. I suspect she’s a girlfriend or wife of one of the players because she protects them unconditionally in capable of seeing any fault. Not worth confronting someone looking at the defense with rose colored glasses. But we don’t get many ladies who comment on football so she should be encouraged….but is she listening or just talking?

    • manchild157 - Nov 12, 2013 at 3:57 PM

      April- is that all you got? back it up with facts please, show us something more than your opinion . Listen the Redskins got 27- 1st downs to Vikings 22. The Redskin offense had possession for 36:01 minutes to the Viking’s 23:59…..what part of these stats make you believe that the offense can’t stay on the field long enough? The Vikings defensive coordinator made some good adjustments in the 2nd half while Jim Haslett made none…except to coach the defense badly.

  7. kenlinkins - Nov 12, 2013 at 10:29 AM

    Rich, I would add a few others, Kory L, Fletcher and Wilson come to mind. Can you answer why Fred Davis is still not dressing for games? and why LeRibeus has not been given a chance to show what he can do in games? It seems to me that Coach Shanahan will not release these two guys from the dog house. Maybe LeRibeus is a “gamer”. It is clear we need help on the O-line and have dropped way to many balls but I do not see any movement in these areas. Also, we have not moved any guys from the Practice Squad up for Special Teams help. Are they not getting better, and if not why not? Also, why have the DC area Reporters not answered the questions about Davis and LeRibeus. It seems all we get is that one was dogging it (or sleeping in meetings) and the other was over weight in camp. How long is the sentence for these crimes in the coach Shanahan law book? Are we not at the point that the re-building phase is over (i.e. getting better player makers) and now it is all about winning, which we are not doing. Will Coach Shanahan be held accountable for this years record (now 3-6) if we end up 5-11 again? I see a lot written about the players mistakes / failures, but very little about the coach staff mistakes / failures and very little details on those mistakes. Are the DC area Reporters holding back on the coaching staff and if so, what are they waiting for (Or I am totally off base about the lack of in depth reporting on the Redskins coaching staff?) Your comments are always welcome.

    • clp5150 - Nov 12, 2013 at 12:54 PM

      Good question…what is the deal with Fred Davis?

    • kenlinkins - Nov 12, 2013 at 4:05 PM

      I guess we can not get the “Reporters” to answer or even ask the question of coach Shanahan! Why is Fred Davis still in the dog house?

      • Rich Tandler - Nov 12, 2013 at 6:00 PM

        We have asked on multiple occasions. If “fans” want to complain about the job we are doing, read what we write.

        • kenlinkins - Nov 13, 2013 at 10:19 AM

          Rich, I really hoped to get a better answer than “I did, read what I wrote” and get the word fan in ” ” marks like I am not really a Redskins fan. That was a very cheap way to tuck the question. To date the only thing that you have written is that Fred (Sleeply) Davis naps in meetings and that LeRibeus came to camp over weight. You have written nothing about weather the decision’s results fit the crimes, are good for the team, and are helping the Redskins to win games. No one has pressed the coach on these decisions. We the readers want more than the sallow answer of “you guys know the deal on that” given by the coach. If you guy know the deal, why not write about it in depth a bit. If it is off limits to you guys, just say so then give your position on the actions taken. And by the way, you did not answer the question. Why is Fred Davis and LeRibeus still in coach Shanahan’s dog house P.S. as you can see others seem to want answers also, so maybe you didn’t write as much as you have given yourself credit for. Waiting your answer and looking forward to talking Redskins football.

        • Rich Tandler - Nov 13, 2013 at 10:34 AM

          Brother, you put the word “reporter” in quotes and set the whole tone. Perhaps a politely put question that’s not asked in a “you’re not doing your job” tone might get an answer that is not dismissive.

          You learn about a guy when you meet with him several times a week for six months out of the year for 3.5 years. One thing I’ve learned is that if circumstances don’t change you get nowhere asking Mike Shanahan about the same thing over and over again. We asked, we got the answer on Davis. It’s still operative. His practice habits are not what they’re looking for and, by his own admission on multiple occasions, he can’t stay awake during meetings. You can like them or not but that’s what they are.

          I wrote this two weeks ago and nothing has changed.

          LeRibeus showed up to OTAs out of shape, got hurt, and never caught up. Only one interior OL is active on game days and, in the determination of the coaches, Gettis is more deserving of that active spot because he worked his butt off all offseason and he is getting rewarded.

          I think if you ask anyone here, or on Twitter or on Facebook, you’ll I am more than happy to answer questions as long as they are posed with some respect. If not, you’ll get the amount of respect that you give.

        • kenlinkins - Nov 13, 2013 at 11:21 AM

          Rich: NOW THAT”S REPORTING, Thank you, thank you, thank you. You gave me everything I wanted. Very nice job . I will also give you the point about my wording “Reporters”, as you guessed, I was questioning if some had a fear of the coach (you know that little smile he gives daring someone to follow up on his answer). You make a good point about knowing your source and getting the most out of them. I have known many Ex Redskins, NFL players, MLB players and to a person they are nothing like what you see on TV in their home life. Watching them day in and day out should give great insight as to what is happening in the locker room. I just wish more reporters would use that info (like you did today about Gettis being dress over LeRibeus, but I would ask why Gettis is not playing a bit to light a fire under Kory L). I was not trying to dis-respect your reporting and maybe my writing skill is way below avg, but I do know football and had great hopes for the Redskins in 2013, but something has gone very wrong with this team and it is not just injuries or bad breaks. Right now, this team looks like the 2011 team with locker room problems and we all know that means players who are questioning the coach, and players have a hard time getting this information out of the locker and keeping their jobs, unless reporters do it for them. My point is the handling of Davis / LeRibeus thing hurting this team?

        • clp5150 - Nov 13, 2013 at 10:24 AM


          I haven’t kept up with it…I’m assuming he missed his $500K pay date because of being inactive too many games?

  8. Rich Tandler - Nov 13, 2013 at 10:43 AM

    That’s correct, 5150. He had to be active for 12 games to collect; he max he can be active in now is 11. Archives

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