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Need to Know: Five things the Redskins can learn from the Super Bowl

Feb 3, 2014, 6:13 AM EDT


Here is what you need to know on this Monday, February 3, 94 days before the NFL Draft.

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Here are five things the Redskins can learn from the Seattle Seahawks’ 43-8 rout in last night’s Super Bowl:

1. Draft and develop—The Seahawks did make some free agent acquisitions like Cliff Avril (see below) and Michael Bennett and pulled off the big trade for Percy Harvin. But they were built by drafting and, just as important, developing their own. Richard Sherman and Kam Chancellor were fifth-round picks, Super Bowl MVP Malcolm Smith was a seventh-rounder. It’s not just finding players like that in the draft, it’s getting them into your system and teaching them your way of doing things and giving them an opportunity to succeed. The Redskins have drafted 32 players in the last four years and precious few have contributed to the extent that the Seahawks’ picks have. They need to improve here.

2. Have an identity—The Seahawks are the Legion of Boom disrupting receivers, Marshawn Lynch with power running, and Russell Wilson making a huge play when it’s needed. Who are the Redskins? OK, they’re a zone running team on offense. But what do they do on defense? Do they prefer size, speed, football IQ? Back to the previous item, if you know who you are you can draft and develop players in the mold of your identity.

3. Special teams turn games—The big play was Harvin’s TD return of the second-half kickoff (Harvin was helped by some atrociously sloppy play by the Broncos’ coverage unit) but I’ll take it back to the first play of the game. Tridon Holliday made a dumb decision to take the opening kickoff out from six yards deep in the end zone and the Seahawks made him pay for it by tackling him at the 14. If the ball is at the 20, that first, errant snap might not result in a safety. It’s not just about the huge plays, it’s about field position. It goes without saying that the Redskins have a long way to go here.

4. Pass defense starts with pass pressure—The player who would have had my vote as MVP make just three tackles and didn’t record a sack. But Cliff Avril was in Peyton Manning’s grill all night long with two hits, five hurries, and on pass batted down. His pressure created Chancellor’s interception that the Seahawks converted into a TD for a 15-0 lead and Smith’s pick six that essentially ended things before halftime. Even one of the greatest ever can’t get it done with pressure in his face.

5. Have an attitude—As the Seahawks built their lead they became more and more confident. For that matter, they were confident when they led 2-0. They kept on doing what they were doing and steamrolled to the win. The Redskins have tended to be nervous with a lead, afraid that someone would make a mistake to blow it rather than confident that they could build on it.

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—It’s been 36 days since the Redskins played a game; it will be about 216 days until they play another one.

Days until: NFL Combine 16; NFL Free agency starts 36; Offseason workouts start 63; NFL Draft 94

In case you missed it

  1. v6volume - Feb 3, 2014 at 9:12 AM

    5. Have an attitude
    All the more reason why Meriweather and Hall should come back to the Skins. The only other player that I see that can fit is Bernard Pollard. Yes he’s an older player but he makes punishing hits. I think having these guys will help our young guys, namely Amerson and Rambo, out tremedously.

  2. darrynhyman - Feb 3, 2014 at 10:28 AM

    You said it well Rich…we have to succeed in the draft….we have actually drafted 33 players in 4 years, and you are correct…very few have given us consistent impact and there are no stars so far. Some may say RGIII, but he still has to prove that he is a year in & year out star…not there yet. This draft will be major for us in how our future will look….we’ll see what the new so-called “free” Scott Campbell is able to accomplish

  3. kenlinkins - Feb 3, 2014 at 11:00 AM

    6. Team Speed / Game Speed, have a motor, be able to run! This is one thing the Redskins are missing. Guys like Fletcher made a career with being a “gamer” and having a motor. If you make a mistake do it a full speed, something good can still happen. When the Seahawks made a mistake, Pete Carroll didn’t place them in the Dog House as long as they made the mistake a full speed. The Seahawks even talk trash at full speed. Football was once a Power Game, Now it is about Speed and being Quick! Fast and Quick is what seems to be missing from the Redskins, we play in slow motion, not sure if we are about to make a mistake that will land us in the Dog House. Confident players play faster in games, I call them Gamers, guys who play a full speed and seem to be faster in games than practice. Guys like Ken Houston, Chris Hanburger, Pat Fisher, Monte Coleman who would not WOW anyone at the Combine but on game day can bring it full speed. While it is nice to get the Darrell Green early in the draft, we need “Game Speed” if we are going to turn this team around. Anyone else see that Chris Clemons DE Seahawks (and 3 year member of the Redskins 2003,2004 2005) got HIS ring on Sunday!

    • internetcareer - Feb 3, 2014 at 9:05 PM

      yes I saw FORMER Redskin Chris Clemons got a Superbowl ring Sunday. When I saw it, I said WOW…that ring looks remarkably similar to the rings that for FORMER Redskin Ryan Clark got with the Steelers and FORMER Redskin Antonio Pierce got with the Giants. And so I called FORMER Redskin Carlos Rogers to confirm that but couldn’t get him on the phone because he was busy preparing in order to get back to the NFC championship game for a 3rd year in a row….oh wait…I just had a wild idea: why don’t the Redskins start keeping some of their better defensive players after they draft them instead of grooming them for playoff teams.

      • internetcareer - Feb 3, 2014 at 9:08 PM

        prediction: Orakpo is let go and signed by Denver where he has 14 sacks and goes to the Superbowl next year. lol

        • kenlinkins - Feb 3, 2014 at 9:19 PM

          Denver would be a great place for Orakpo to land but I still think the Redskins will TAG him.

  4. internetcareer - Feb 3, 2014 at 1:16 PM


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