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Need to Know: Redskins’ free agents bring playmaking ability

Mar 14, 2015, 7:05 AM EDT

Chris Culliver interception

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, March 14, 47 days before the Washington Redskins go on the clock at the NFL draft.

Redskins free agent acquisitions are playmakers

The 2014 Redskins had some difficulty making big plays on defense. They had just 19 takeaways, tied for 28th in the NFL. They forced just 14 fumbles and only two teams had fewer than their seven interceptions. They ranked 22nd in sacks with 36.

We all know the story here. The Washington offense rarely got favorable field position because the defense couldn’t get takeaways and they struggled to score points.

It appears that Scot McCloughan is attempting to address that problem with his free agent acquisitions. All of the players acquired should add playmaking ability to the Redskins defense.

(2014 performances)

DL Stephen Paea—6 sacks, 3 passes defensed, 2 forced fumbles; Paea would have been second on the team and would have led the defensive line in sacks. Jason Hatcher had the most on the D-line with 5.5.

DL Ricky Jean Francois—3 sacks, 6 passes defensed, 1 fumble recovery; A pass batted down at the line isn’t a huge play but it does make a statement and can shake a quarterback up. IN 2014 Hatcher and Stephen Bowen each defensed one pass so Jean Francois can help out in that department.

DL Terrance Knighton—2 sacks, 3 passes defensed; A nose tackle isn’t expected to make a lot of big plays since he occupies two blockers much of the time. This is a decent contribution for a man in the middle.

CB Chris Culliver—4 interceptions, 15 passes defensed, 1 fumble recovery returned 35 yards for a touchdown; The Redskins had only seven interceptions all year and no player had more than two. And they did not have a single return touchdown.

There is no guarantee that these players will duplicate their 2014 numbers but they are bringing the ability to make plays and that’s all the team can ask for right now.


—It’s been 76 days since the Redskins played a game. It will be about 183 days until they play another one.

Days until: Redskins offseason workouts start 37; 2015 NFL Draft 47; Redskins training camp starts 138

If you have any questions about what’s going on at Redskins Park, hit me up in the comments. And I’m always on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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  1. colmac69 - Mar 14, 2015 at 7:28 AM

    Like signings so far…..went about the business nice and quietly…..

    Knighton gives them what you need from good nose tackle in 3-4…take on double teams and can stop run……if hatcher stays healthy him and paea give you two guys inside who can get pressure up middle……..francois could b solid reserve player and culliver had big yr so hopefully his best yrs are ahead

    Defence just nds a premier pass rusher and the front seven could look real good on paper……with culliver deal you got to think he a starter….if breeland is other corner what do you do with hall and amerson? As for safety if front seven can do their job as advertised you only need safeties who are solid in their assignments as everything else should fall into place

    Of course anything could go wrong in nxt six months but so far top marks to the gm

    • bk70 - Mar 14, 2015 at 7:33 AM

      I agree…nice and quiet. My gut tells me some deal is in play for April 30th as day one of the 2015 draft.
      I’ll rest easier when a starting FS is on the roster.

    • mr.moneylover - Mar 14, 2015 at 8:37 AM

      Hall will likey be the other CB they are not getting rid of hall..assuming hall comes back healthy the CB starting corp will look like this ….culliver, breeland plays nickel and Dhall….thats atleast 8 INTs with a couple of fumbles from breeland

      • mr.moneylover - Mar 14, 2015 at 5:01 PM

        David amerson will be the 4th CB coming off the bench…I think porter will end up getting release…but hey we got two #1 CBs since when redskins can say they have two top CBs plus a physical present in breeland…redskins plan to sign two safties or two CBs

    • nomaan78 - Mar 14, 2015 at 12:11 PM

      I think Amerson will be number 3 CB replacing Porter. D-Hall will slide over to FS, and we will likely sign Jeron Johnson at SS from Seattle. I really want to draft Hau’oli Kikaha OLB from Washington early in the third. He had 19 sacks last year. We already solidified our D-line in FA now lets do the same for our O-line. I would reach for Scherrf if it would solidify our O-line. and take another O-lineman like versatile Cameron Erving who can play any position accross the O-line early in the 2nd. In one offseason we solidify our trenches and and better the secondary. RG3 will have some time to look downfield, and the Defense will keep us in games. HTTR!!!

      • abanig - Mar 14, 2015 at 2:41 PM

        I’d be in favor of that, but I’d still want to sign a true FS also like Kendrick Lewis.

    • bangkokben - Mar 14, 2015 at 2:34 PM

      I think Breeland being a 4th round pick, a 2nd year guy, playing in a new defense, with a completely new defensive staff – expecting him to start is not realistic. Sure he was our best corner last year – in man coverage. But how is this defense going to attack? If he wins the job, fantastic! But with what I stated earlier, I’d be surprised if he was just handed the job.

      • abanig - Mar 14, 2015 at 2:44 PM

        I tend to agree. Breeland may end up being our #3, especially if we sign Cox and if Hall is healthy.

    • blazerguy234 - Mar 16, 2015 at 9:22 AM

      I`m glad they built in some insurance with the Culliver contract. I think having the #5 pick will finally make Skins fans enjoy the 2015 draft. I can`t believe people actually pay to get these mock drafts. The main reason why players move up or down is to charge more money. Do they ever publish how accurate their mocks were post draft? Do the payees ever look?

  2. Stephfan - Mar 14, 2015 at 7:48 AM

    I’m happy myself, now if we can get a saftey in here I’ll be fine with free agency… Maybe sign a person on the line

    • bk70 - Mar 14, 2015 at 8:18 AM

      Lot of OL choices for the GM in the draft.

    • abanig - Mar 14, 2015 at 10:45 AM

      Yeah. We need a safety like Ron Parker to play FS. I’m not as concerned about the OL as most. We have some young talent there that just needs to play more and I think Scot probably saw what I saw when he watched the tape, almost every sack they gave up was not in them! Many sacks were on Griffin, and many were on the running backs missing blocks or tight ends missing blocks.

      Our OL is not as bad as many fans make them out to be, fans look at the stats for the sacks and say “our OL SUCKS!!” Well, when you watch the game and you see the Qb hold the ball or not throw the ball on a 3 stop drop, a running back or TE miss a block or the qb duck his head and run right into the rusher the right tackle is blocking past the pocket, you’d see why sacks are given up.

      • timwillhidetimwillhide - Mar 14, 2015 at 1:16 PM

        Most people look at our Oline getting pushed back into the backfield and the 2 seconds the QB has from snap to sack non of wich is on the QB

        • abanig - Mar 14, 2015 at 2:48 PM

          Is that when our QB takes a one or two step drop when he’s supposed to take a three step drop and he holds onto the ball instead of letting it go?

        • bangkokben - Mar 14, 2015 at 2:48 PM

          That is just not factual. Griffin got sacked many times after 2.8 seconds. Look at Cooley’s film breakdown or Keim’s analysis from last year’s games as well. This whole Mariota to the ‘skins crap is because of this and not the o-line.

        • abanig - Mar 14, 2015 at 2:50 PM

          Agreed. I still want nothing to do with Mariota and think that’s smokescreen

        • timwillhidetimwillhide - Mar 14, 2015 at 8:49 PM

          I read an artical on here that most of the time he only had 2.8 seconds. Yes a couple times it took longer to sack him and that was when he was trying to gett away from all the Defenders around him. A guy doesnt go from having time one year and making all kinds of plays to not making any plays with time Ive seen when he had time he goes through his progressions and makes plays. Ive never seen or heard of him only taking one step drop ive herd the Coach saying he took a 5 step instead of a 3 step drop and a 7 step instead of a 5 step drop. That in my opinion he did out of necessity to get away from the Oline that was being pushed back on him. But then again I guess he could have just thrown it up for grabs like Cousins dod

        • colmac69 - Mar 15, 2015 at 5:59 AM

          Over season cousins was sacked 8 times in what 6 and half games…….griffin..mccoy were sacked roughly 46, 47 combined in 9 and half

          Watch first half season and o-line played decently enough…wasnt the best but it wasnt the worst either…..

          Second half of season protection appeared to fall apart… up like average 5 sacks a game…

          What was difference in two halves? O-line didnt really change much apart from compton replacing polumbus….backs..tight ends were same……

          For me difference was a qb getting rid of ball the way it is meant to b in gruden offense…cousins wasnt perfect by any means with ints and stuff but the o-line perforned better with him as qb

          Go and watch the games again and u will see difference in two halves of season

        • abanig - Mar 15, 2015 at 12:55 PM


  3. mr.moneylover - Mar 14, 2015 at 8:30 AM

    Scot M. Not done yet…he didnt target a O-line because there are O-linemen that is in the draft that is capable of starting week 1…and we have louis Nixon that started 8 games for the colts before he got bench for waking up late but when he did play he was pretty good

    • ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Mar 14, 2015 at 8:40 AM

      Funny thing, the Colts got Xavier Nixon off our practice squad.

      • kenlinkins - Mar 14, 2015 at 9:02 AM

        It will be interesting to see if 2 years around the NFL has Nixon ready grab a roster spot yet. He didn’t fit into Coach Shanahan’s zone blocking system well, but IMO he could be a RG/ LG / RT back up in a power blocking system, I just do not know where his head is at. Many rumors about him being lazy and more concerned with “PAR-TAY’s” then working late to get better.

    • captblood3000 - Mar 14, 2015 at 10:13 AM

      Only two starts for the Colts, one of which was at left guard. He’s a project. I wish him well, but I’m skeptical.

    • abanig - Mar 14, 2015 at 10:39 AM

      1. It’s Xaiver Nixon
      2. In two years he’s “played in 8 games” and spent the rest inactive or on the Colts practice squad
      3. He’s started 2 games in two seasons

      I’m an optimist so I hope he gives us something but I’m more inclined to think he ends up on our practice squad and Compton, Moses or a rookie is starting a RT next season.

  4. skinsgame - Mar 14, 2015 at 8:31 AM

    Last season, mid season even, there were calls from the media and some fans for Bruce Allen to address the media and discuss the state of the team and it’s losing ways. Thankfully, Bruce did no such thing until after the season, which was completely appropriate.
    Given that, how frustrated is the media today now that the club has signed 3 free agents and not held a single press conference? I like the steady and tepid approach that Scot has brought into the free agency period and the lack of press conferences to this point is refreshing. No doubt one will come but for now, I like this.

    • bowlregard - Mar 14, 2015 at 9:04 AM

      By contrast, Eagle fans and media types were calling for Chip Kelly to address the media and explain why he was getting rid of all their playmakers. He finally did, but there are many who don’t buy he’s not also after Mariota still.

    • abanig - Mar 14, 2015 at 10:34 AM

      I like it also. Screw the media, they don’t run the franchise although often times they act like they do.

  5. kenlinkins - Mar 14, 2015 at 8:55 AM

    IMO, the 90 man roster is being filled in very nicely. The Redskins could only have 3 or 4 players 30 or older players on the roster for training Camp. It seems that the new GM as a “type” when signing players to start the rebuild. Age 25-28, with up side or just starting to show he might be ready to be a starter (i.e. his best football should be ahead of him) and has something to prove. So far so good: On a side note, Anyone else watch Mariota’s Pro Day? IMO he could slip down out of the top 10. I keep hearing about his arm, but didn’t see him “drive” the ball at all and his foot work was all over the place. It seemed everything was a touch pass and you can not get away with in the NFL. To date I give the new GM a Solid B+ for finding good up grades at the right price and taking only limited risk. This training camp could become a very wide open affair. But I still would love to know how he rates some of the current Redskins, guess time will tell!

    • bowlregard - Mar 14, 2015 at 9:13 AM

      I’d like to know what McClue thinks of Mariota. If he falls to ten then the Rams might take him, unless they feel committed to Foles. But how weird would it be from the Eagles standpoint if the Rams end up with Foles and Mariota. If he falls further I have to believe the Browns take him. It’s believed that the Browns are the team that offered Chip the number one for Bradford. But then the Eagles could not trade Bradford for Mariota – how bad would that look to trade Bradford after they lured Murray there partly with the prospect of playing with his old college roommate. I love the offseason.

  6. sidepull - Mar 14, 2015 at 9:10 AM

    This free agency has been fun to watch. Scot operates methodically. You can see a plan and that he gets it. Nothing over the top, and everything has an upside without a gamble that will set us back years. I just want to see if RJF can provide depth. That was my only ? Why RJF? I mean I heard the explanations I just want to see him produce in the aspect of, is this what Scot saw that made him get RJF right off the bat day 1.

    • bowlregard - Mar 14, 2015 at 9:15 AM

      Right. If he knew he was going to be able to sign Paea and Knighton, would he still sign Francois. I’m not unhappy, though. The Skins have the makings of a wonderful rotation.

  7. jscx3 - Mar 14, 2015 at 9:32 AM

    Finally doing things the right way. If they can add Cox, the secondary would be very tough. At least at cb. Need that safety! I like all of the moves. I think there is more coming.

  8. goback2rfk - Mar 14, 2015 at 10:12 AM

    Very rarely do players come from other teams and play well for the skins

    • ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Mar 14, 2015 at 10:27 AM

      Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson are doing nicely for us.

      • bangkokben - Mar 14, 2015 at 3:34 PM

        Santana Moss, Laverneus Coles, London Fletcher, Barry Cofield was despite playing out of position one of our best defenders until last year. I’m sure if spent more time I could debunk this myth. Ken Harvey, Wilbur Marshal, Sonny Jurgenson.

        • skinsgame - Mar 14, 2015 at 4:51 PM

          Dave Butz. John Riggins. Chris Dishman. Jim Lachey. Ernest Byner.

    • skinsgame - Mar 14, 2015 at 4:52 PM

      That isn’t a very well thought out claim.

  9. deepball1 - Mar 14, 2015 at 10:24 AM

    Its amazing how Scott M has duped everybody. Holds a press conference and infers that the Draft will be the starting point for a rebuild and free agency will simply supplement the roster…..and then he out and immediately solidifies the Defense with FOUR free agents. Tremendous Moves with the only worry being Culliver and his possible jail time or suspension.??? at least any suspension would negate his salary/void the deal maybe.

    There is a 90 percent chance that the number 5 pick is going for a speed rusher like Ray or Gregory but after that I expect to see a safety, an offensive lineman, a running back and a QB, wide receiver, and a tight end… no particular order.

    • abanig - Mar 14, 2015 at 10:32 AM

      He’s don’t think everywhere be went, people just ignored his past. I’ve said several times he signed be name FAs like Nate Clemens, Justin Smith etc. Matt Flynn, Bennett & Avril in Seattle. Trade for Marshawn Lynch.

  10. abanig - Mar 14, 2015 at 10:28 AM

    The Redskins defense should be much improved next year, especially after we get a pass rusher @ 5. I can’t wait to watch their defense finally be good again. It’s so much fun to watch a good defense. It’s my favorite thing to watch.

    • ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Mar 14, 2015 at 10:41 AM

      If Leonard Williams and Dante Fowler, Jr. are off the board, do you still take one at #5?

      The next two pass rushing prospects are Shane Ray and Randy Gregory.

      • abanig - Mar 14, 2015 at 10:50 AM

        If take Vic Beasley before Gregory & Ray. Beasley’s production is the best of any of the pass rushers. I’ve always liked him and the only reason he wasn’t rated as high as the others before the combine was concerns abut his weight, well he squashed that when he weighed in at 246.

        I also would not rule out Shelton still. Keep in mind that Knighton is only on a one year deal and will be 29 in July, I view him as a stop gap unless he totally dominates this year and we then sign him to a 3 year deal. In other words, We still need a long term option @ NT.

        • Stephfan - Mar 14, 2015 at 11:09 AM

          I agree I’m all for Shelton at #5 because it would shore up the defensive line for at least the next 4 years. Also there are bound to be pass rushers in the second round because they are deep position..

        • ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Mar 14, 2015 at 12:36 PM

          I’m not sold on either Ray or Gregory at #5, either. Gregory may be too light to play the position the way we need it played. And Ray has great speed, can he cover people and stuff the run?

          Beasely is an interesting prospect who has been shooting up since the Combine. Is he a top 5 pick? I guess we’ll see!

          Anyways, I’m still a fan of Kevin White. If you can pick the next Julio Jones, you have to do it even if you don’t need a WR right now*.

          * Not that I’m sure he’ll be the next Julio Jones, but maybe!

        • abanig - Mar 14, 2015 at 2:54 PM

          Yeah, I went to Wvu and Id love to get White. Just taking a WR so high just isn’t what I want but I’d much rather take White than Mariota.

        • bangkokben - Mar 14, 2015 at 3:40 PM

          Agreed on White over Mariota. Seems crazy to take WR but if he’s BPA, then take him. Not like Garcon or Jackson are definitely on the roster next year due to salary cap hit. All depends on how they play and you have to think White is a definite upgrade over Roberts.

      • mac7163 - Mar 14, 2015 at 11:16 AM

        From what I saw when I watched both play . Ray has the size and speed with a nasty attitude . ( thrown out of Bama game ) . I like it , cant be bullied. Gregory a little light in the loafers but has a great upside. Great speed but big tackles with good feet and quick hands can ride him out of the play . Needs to put some weight on . You can’t go wrong but Ray has the size you want/ need now . Clemson’s Beasley is great as well .

  11. abanig - Mar 14, 2015 at 10:46 AM

    Anyone else think they may be moving Amerson to FS?

    • Stephfan - Mar 14, 2015 at 11:06 AM

      I think they might move breeland to safety.. If hall isn’t healthy than amerson will start over him. Dispute the so called mental issues those can fixed… Breeland causes way to many flags. He is average in coverage at best and a lot of people are still talking about his game against the cowboys as prove that he is better than amerson.. My only thing is breeland is good but if he was so great as everyone says he would’ve played that way all season. But there will be a completion battle for the number 2 cb spot and I think amerson wins and breeland plays the slot

      • abanig - Mar 14, 2015 at 3:00 PM

        I don’t know. From what ive heard, Breeland prepares a lot more and studies harder than Amerson. I believe Breeland’s grabbing and holding penalties can be improved upon more than Amerson’s lapses in concentration and what his responsibilities are on any given play.

        I have to say that both players are young and have tremendous upside. I can’t really say who will start opposite Culliver right now. It could be Hall, Amerson, Breeland or even Cox if we sign Cox.

        I can’t wait, the competition will be fun to analyze.

    • skins4lyfe - Mar 14, 2015 at 11:15 AM

      Oh yes amerson should have played fs coming into the league. He is better playing with players in front of him this the reason he does a lot better in off coverage. He just like mccourty from the pats will be easier to switch. If u watch the games u see that he is a good tackler the only concern I have is his preparation for the position. Being the last line of defense is a position where u have to know the entire secondary jobs. A speed rusher should be the pick if we stay at five.

      • skins4lyfe - Mar 14, 2015 at 11:19 AM

        Freeland will start not because he is the best corner but because he competes to become the best. How many times last year was amerson torched and after couldn’t get it together? Freeland was torched too but the difference is how he approaches the next play. It is said that as a corner u have to have a short memory and I think he holds on to plays mentally too long to recover for the rest of the game

        • skins4lyfe - Mar 14, 2015 at 11:20 AM

          Breeland auto correct is funny

      • abanig - Mar 14, 2015 at 3:04 PM


  12. unkyd59 - Mar 14, 2015 at 12:21 PM

    I’m hoping he can trade #5 for a 2 and a middle rounder, or a 1 in ’16 and a middle rounder, plus maybe a late pick in either case. I like that he knows talent and character all up and down the board… Like Beatherd, he seems to get that early in the first, you have to hit a HR, at a position of real need, to make it worth the risk, and ANYBODY is a risk, that high, compared to having two or three chances to get a talented player who, for whatever reason has flown under the radar. Even at QB, big, talented, toolsy guys are available later on, without the pressure of having to start right away to justify being chosen so high. Yep… trade down and wind up with 10, 12, mebbe 15 guys who all have a chance to contribute, and after a few years, you wind up strong, deep, and not having to extend a lot of guys at big$$, because there’s always competition to start…

    Works for the Pats. And the Pack…

    • abanig - Mar 14, 2015 at 2:37 PM

      It works for the Pats because they have Brady. The Pats stockpile picks and then trade up for a player they really want all the time. Many of their draft picks in the last 5-10 years haven’t worked out but everyone forgets that because Belicheck is such a great coach and Brady is such a great Qb.

      This also isn’t the 79s or 80s. There is a salary cap now when Allen & Bethard were running the player personnel, then there was no salary cap.

      Ever since free agency and the salary cap came around in the mid 90s, that’s put a premium on the draft and getting the best player you can get with your selection.

      The Redskins need to stay put and go BPA, that could be anyone from One of the pass rushers, to wrs to Shelton or Scherff or even Mariota (but I hope not) none of us know McCloughan’s board, but I really, really think for the first two rounds that the Redskins shod stay put and take the BPA with their selection.

      If they want to trade down for more picks, I’d advise starting that in round 3.

    • captblood3000 - Mar 14, 2015 at 3:14 PM

      #5 is worth much more than a second round pick and a middle round pick. Google NFL draft value chart. Front offices know these values. And next year’s first rounder equals this year’s second rounder.

  13. mitch2538 - Mar 14, 2015 at 12:24 PM

    Awesome quality and cap friendly signings… good job SM! I’m hearing Taylor Mays name as being linked to the Skins. The other FS’s that are still out there are Dashon Goldson and Steve Brown.

    We’re bringing in SS Jeron Johnson tomorrow. He was Kam Chancellor backup at Seattle. He also played for the same high school team as Richard Sherman (Dominquez Compton).

    • abanig - Mar 14, 2015 at 2:10 PM

      Kendrick Lewis is the FS I want. Last year he played on a vet min contract for the Texans and started. We could get him on the same or at most play him $1 million. We should have signed Lewis last year instead of Ryan Clark.

  14. murphsman - Mar 14, 2015 at 1:29 PM

    I hope Scot did his research and those numbers you put up are close to their normal production. I’m a little concerned they’re all gonna be like Hatch and they’re all gonna underwhelm next year. I know Hatch helped our pass rush, but I know there’s concern we paid him too much because 2013 was an exception and last year’s production was a lot closer to his average and we paid him too much.

    • ET - Mar 14, 2015 at 1:59 PM

      Hatcher did get too much money, but when he’s healthy he’s quite good.

      With the new DL scheme and players, I expect to see a lot more rotation to keep everyone fresh. That should benefit Hatcher as well.

      • ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Mar 14, 2015 at 3:55 PM

        That Philly game messed us up good. Hatcher got injured, we lost Hall, and somebody else, too.

        P.S. Googled it…even worse than I remembered:
        The Associated Press, September 22, 2014

        The Washington Redskins lost their three-time Pro Bowl cornerback for the rest of the 2014 when an MRI confirmed what was suspected after Hall was hurt in the third quarter of Sunday’s loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.

        Backup safety Duke Ihenacho is also done for the season with a broken bone in his left foot. Both Hall and Ihenacho were placed on injured reserve Monday, and while defensive end Jason Hatcher, linebacker Brian Orakpo and guard Shawn Lauvao were among several players nursing injuries that could keep them out of Thursday’s game against the New York Giants.

      • mr.moneylover - Mar 14, 2015 at 5:12 PM

        Hatcher was getting double team most of last year and still had more sacks then everybody on the D-line this year with the signing of pot roast and ricky jean franciso and Stephen paea they cant double team nobody because they can dominate one on one …think about it…did jarvis jenkins or chris baker have a reputation on getting after the QB no but Jason Hatcher do got a reputation so it will be easy for the o-line coach to say double team hatcher hes they only threat and thats why QBs had time to pick on our secondary

  15. mr.moneylover - Mar 14, 2015 at 5:02 PM

    David amerson will be the 4th CB coming off the bench…I think porter will end up getting release…but hey we got two #1 CBs since when redskins can say they have two top CBs plus a physical present in breeland…redskins plan to sign two safties or two CBs

    • Stephfan - Mar 14, 2015 at 5:21 PM

      When you stay two #1 corners who are you referring to? The guy we signed I agree with the guy we signed but breeland nor amerson are clear cut number ones… Breeland still has a lot to prove one good game shouldn’t have everyone on his bandwagon

  16. redskinsinrichmondva - Mar 14, 2015 at 6:05 PM

    “That is just not factual. Griffin got sacked many times after 2.8 seconds. Look at Cooley’s film breakdown or Keim’s analysis from last year’s games as well.”

    You and other posters are correct to claim that Griffin holding on to the football was a major contributor to the sacks. In fact, according to research from Football Outsiders, pass protection tends to be more dependent on the QB than people realize.

    However, with that being said, pass protection wasn’t *just* a Griffin issue in 2014:

    Griffin’s sack rate (247 dropbacks): 13.4%
    Colt McCoy’s sack rate (145 dropbacks): 11.7%

    Here’s the other issue: per FO, if pass protection is more dependent on the QB than people realize, than rushing is more dependent on the offensive line than people realize. And Morris was not an effective RB in 2014 (below-average in success rate, bottom-10 in FO’s RB DVOA).

    Is the Redskins’ offensive line the worst in the league? Perhaps not. Is it a good or average offensive line? That claim isn’t too credible, either.

    • Rich Tandler - Mar 14, 2015 at 6:48 PM

      You’re rather casually skipping over the fact that Kirk Cousins’ sack rate was just 5.97%, aren’t you? Had Redskins QB’s been sacked at the same rate that Cousins was all year, they would have been top 5 in fewest sacks allowed.

      > > >

      • redskinsinrichmondva - Mar 14, 2015 at 7:42 PM

        If McCoy QB’ed the Redskins for the entire 2014 season (given the total dropbacks that an average team had in 2014) and was sacked at the same rate that I posted above, the Redskins would compete with the Jaguars for being the worst team in the league in sacks allowed.

        You want to split the difference? Then you still have to account for these facts:

        1. *Two* QBs on the roster had sack issues, compared to one QB who did not.

        2. Even if the sacks were on the QBs, which is a point that I conceded in my previous post, you still have not addressed the lousy running game — especially when I posted about its connection to the offensive line.

        • Rich Tandler - Mar 14, 2015 at 8:01 PM

          Just tells me they had 2 QB’s who couldn’t get rid of the ball, not just one.

          And 4.2 rushes per attempt right at the league average. A bit below league average in total rush yards but considering how often they trailed and by how much, certainly not surprising.

          > > >

      • redskinsinrichmondva - Mar 14, 2015 at 9:16 PM

        Rushing yards per carry isn’t a great metric to use for RB value. By the advanced metrics, Morris was a bit less effective than his average rushing YPC suggests; his Football Outsiders’s RB DVOA was -1.3%, which is a little bit below-average offensive production. It also ranks 23rd out of 43 RBs who qualified for this stat. Again, even if you want to discount the offensive line where QB sacks are concerned, it can’t be discounted with regards to rushing effectiveness.

        The Redskins don’t have a crappy offensive line, but the subpar running game doesn’t suggest an adequate line, either. Or even an average line.

        • Stephfan - Mar 14, 2015 at 9:23 PM

          That’s a joke, the Oline is/was a joke and has been so for the past 5 years. Please don’t tell me you believe that our o line was good? You stats can be misleading right… I’m not saying that the offensive line was at fault for everything but none of the qb’s had tons of time.

        • Stephfan - Mar 14, 2015 at 9:24 PM

          You know*

      • timwillhidetimwillhide - Mar 14, 2015 at 9:58 PM

        What was Cousins interception rate? Also how many of his passes he threw early because of the rush? The Oline also didnt pass the biggest most reliable stat out there The eyeball test. It was Obvious they weren’t stopping anyone from getting to the QB.

        • abanig - Mar 15, 2015 at 12:50 PM

          They also played different defenses. Griffin faced the toughest defenses of any of the QBs except for when Cousins faced Seattle & Az

  17. bangkokben - Mar 15, 2015 at 9:38 AM


    The argument between whether it’s the quarterback or the o-line is equivalent to “less filling” and “tastes great”. The obvious answer is that it’s both. The better question is what does this coaching staff/front office want to do about these issues? My tea leaf reading says that they, like you, are more concerned with the o-line’s performance in the run game and have therefore made the changes that they are going to make – shift in philosophy and new o-line coach. I don’t expect much resources (contracts and draft picks) spent on personnel. The wringing of hands over the lack of new personnel by those that believe all pass pro issues are o-line issues will therefore be and is being met with bitterness due to not having realistic expectations.

    • redskinsinrichmondva - Mar 15, 2015 at 11:01 AM

      We’ll see. Callahan could
      help the offensive line with his coaching, but talent could also be an issue.

      The point of the above posts was to show that, yes, the Redskins’ offensive line hasn’t been great. If you want to counterclaim that they’re getting a bad rap because of Griffin, I can point to another QB who struggled in pass protection. If you want to counterclaim that both of those QBs are giving the offensive line a bad rap, I can point to the Redskins’ subpar run game and a credible website that shows the relevancy of the offensive line in the run game. In any case, it’s not absurd to say that the Redskins’ offensive line hasn’t played well; there is evidence to support that claim.

      • bangkokben - Mar 15, 2015 at 3:21 PM

        Agreed that the o-line hasn’t been great. My claim is not that it is nor that it has played great. My claim is that coaching staff and possibly the front office don’t have upgrading it this year as one of their priorities. In other words, they don’t feel the same about it as the fans that think it is wretched and greatest need to the team’s success.

        • abanig - Mar 15, 2015 at 4:54 PM

          Everyone is overacting anyways. I’m sure we’ll draft an offensive lineman or two in this draft and probably one in round 1 or 2. People need to stop overacting just because we didn’t go out an overpay for free agent offensive linemen in free agency doesn’t mean that we aren’t going to address the position.

        • redskinsinrichmondva - Mar 15, 2015 at 10:02 PM

          Perhaps that’s their philosophy, and I would agree with it if McCloughan is looking to improve the Redskins’ secondary first. That unit has more holes to fill than the offensive line.

          Then again, this is the same team that is rumored to be interested in drafting and keeping Mariota instead of trading the pick. And the Redskins don’t have as much of a need at QB as the other positions; not when the QBs are both 26 or younger and not even in their primes. Developing Griffin and Cousins is low-risk. The Redskins aren’t currently contenders, so you can build the rest of the team and have the QBs develop. If they’re replacement-level QBs in their primes, then you can draft a QB and/or add a QB in free agency. But at least the Redskins can build the roster instead of waste possible draft resources on another QB project.

        • abanig - Mar 15, 2015 at 10:14 PM

          I totally agree they can continue to develop their young Qbs as they build the rest of the team. That’s what I’d do as well but most fans forget that there are actually 11 players on the field and not everything is always one mans fault.

  18. dmurf - Mar 15, 2015 at 9:56 AM

    We can hope. There is always hope.

  19. boysheadcoach - Mar 16, 2015 at 10:11 AM

    The O- Line was not as bad as people think?
    Go back and look at the faces of our opponents on third down…..
    you will notice a distinct salvation around the lips, eyes wide open toward the direction they were going to bull rush through and an almost eerie smile as the Pavlovian ecstasy overtakes them as they wait for the snap of the ball……………….
    Fix the O-line with serious players…………….

    • abanig - Mar 16, 2015 at 10:14 AM

      In that same photograph you’d also see our qb holding onto the ball as WR’s broke open downfield Archives

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