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Need to Know: Redskins need more than a different game plan to establish an identity

Jun 11, 2015, 4:48 AM EDT


Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, June 11, 5 days before the Washington Redskins start minicamp.

Some thoughts on the 2015 Redskins establishing an identity as a running team:

—After a few OTAs it is hard to get a handle on what the identity of this team will be in 2015. The talk is that they want to be a team that runs the ball well and gets takeaways on defense. But before the season started last year I asked Jay Gruden what the identity of the team was and he sort of hemmed and hawed before saying they were a running team. But they were 19th in the league is rushing and passed on about 60 percent of their snaps. They really didn’t have an identity. We’ll continue to monitor and discuss the shaping of an identity for the Redskins but it probably won’t take shape in any meaningful way until at least halfway through the season.

—After establishing an identity, they then need to maintain it season after season. I was talking with a co-worker at CSN, a guy who is a fan who doesn’t directly cover the team. He said that it looks like Scot McCloughan has a plan that he’s putting in place but they need to stick to it. My response was that there are many different plans out there and usually the key is to pick one and stick with it. In the last seven years the team has gone from a power running team to one that relied on zone blocking and now they are going back to power. They haven’t bee able to decide if they want defensive backs who are ballhawks or solid tacklers. Other philosophy changes, some major, some minor, have left the team with a group of misfit parts and, not surprisingly, a bunch of last-place finishes.

—Perhaps the Redskins did intend to run more last year but their defense, turnovers on offense, and special teams frequently put them in too much of a hole to do it. It’s easy for fans to yell “pound the rock” but when Gruden looks up at the scoreboard and he’s down by 10 in the third quarter he almost has to throw. To be sure, there could be some confusion of cause and effect here. Perhaps the Redskins would not have been trailing if they had run the ball more often earlier in the game. Even given that, however, there is no question that they will be able to run the ball more frequently if the defense plays better than it did last year, if the offense doesn’t turn the ball over, and special teams deliver favorable field position.

—The development of the running game is critical in the development of Robert Griffin III. He dropped back to pass about 31 times per game last year (adding together the Jacksonville game where he left early and the game against the Giants when he came in after the first series as one game). That dropback number needs to be more like 25 for Griffin to be successful. But, again, it’s not just a matter of Gruden adjusting his game plan and including more running plays. The defense needs to do its job and the special teams units have to occasionally give them short field to work with.

—The magic number is 500. If the Redskins have that many rushing attempts (31.25 per game) that means that they will have an established offensive identity, a defense that is keeping the team in almost every game, and special team that are, at the very least, doing no harm. The further away they are from that total, the greater the chance that 2015 will be another disappointing and lost season.


—It’s been 164 days since the Redskins played a game. It will be 96 days until they play the Dolphins at FedEx Field.

Days until: Redskins minicamp starts 5; Redskins training camp starts 50; Preseason opener @ Browns 63

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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In case you missed it

  1. colorofmyskinz - Jun 11, 2015 at 6:46 AM

    Rich I completely agree about ball position due to defense and special teams. But there is one thing about special teams we need to drill down to further here, because I believe it is critical and it has not been addressed. You spoke to giving them shorter field position due to how well we return the ball.

    They area we did absolutely poor with is field position we give the other team on kickoffs. Our touchback percentage due to Kia Forbath is horrible. And we he does not get a touchback, he is kicking the ball to the 5-10 yard line. Our kick off team allowed the other team to start their field position most of the time between the 30-40 yard line vs 20 or less. That is a huge problem and starts with the kicker.

    Yes I know, everyone loves Kia. I love him too if his field goals are from 44 yards or less. But his leg is weak. Giving the other team the ball on kickoffs past the 30 yard line is unacceptable. It is not all kias fualt, but a good portion is.

    Maybe they fixed return coverage through other players. But If our touchback percentage is low, and we are kicking to the 5-10 yard line, we will continue to place our defense into poor ball position.

    We need a stronger kicking leg. Kia needs 10-15 more yards. Or we continue to give the ball up with poor position.

    • abanig - Jun 11, 2015 at 9:23 AM

      Kia kicks field goals from 50 yards and in every year.

      If out Kick off coverage is better, we can down return men inside the 20, if Kai kicks it to the goal line, or just past the goal line which he usually does.

      It’s very, very rare that Kai has a kickoff that doesn’t go past the 5 yard line. This gets overblown so much.

      I’ll also add that Tress Way has a very strong leg. When Kai had his quad injury last year the first month of the year, Tress kicked off 18 times last year and had a 65.2 yd average with 9 touchbacks – that’s just .6 yds less per kick off than Graham Gano.

      Perhaps if the Redskins were wise, they’d let Tress Way handle the kick off duties and punt duties and save Kai’s leg just for the field goals – which he’s nearly perfect at, as he’s the most accurate kicker in Redskins history.

      • jpa - Jun 11, 2015 at 10:21 AM

        I don’t think it gets overblown at all. Given, our coverage left a lot to be desired last year but when you give a team the opportunity to return a kick, that is a chance at 7 points. If we pin a team inside the 20, that gets us 0 points. It’s like playing with fire IMO.

        • berniebernard666 - Jun 11, 2015 at 11:22 AM

          I am with you on that point. I don’t understand why Homers see every Redskins player and every Redskins decision as like the spoken word of God. HOMERS tend to ignore the facts and the fact is that Forbath does not have a real strong leg. Its why he has difficulty putting the ball into the endzone much of the time and its why he has trouble on kicks past 45 yards.

          Yes he is money when they get inside the 30 yard line but from the 30 it becomes a 47 yard kick. This is also why the Redskins have to go for it when they are at the 35 yard line. Tress way should most certainly Kick Off because he can put the ball into the endzone more often.

        • abanig - Jun 11, 2015 at 12:38 PM

          Your account of Kai’s accuracy from 45 and beyonda is nothing but a myth dreamed up by Redskins nation because Kai doesn’t have one of the strongest legs in the nfl.

          Here are Kai’s #s from 40 to 49: 22/25 or 88%

          50+: 2 of 4, in 2012 & 13 Kai hit 50 yard field goals. In 2014, Kai hit a 49 yarder and missed his 50 yard attempt.

      • ET - Jun 11, 2015 at 11:59 AM

        Count me in the camp that thinks Tress Way should be handling the kickoffs. Not sure what the issue is there.

        As far as Forbath goes, yeah, he doesn’t have the strongest leg ever, but he’s accurate and calm under pressure. Unless another Gano-type falls into the Skins’ lap, Forbath is a good option.

    • Rich Tandler - Jun 11, 2015 at 9:42 AM

      I am not a fan of Forbath. I would take slightly less FG accuracy in exchange for longer KOs and an ability to hit FGs from 50+.

      • bangkokben - Jun 11, 2015 at 9:55 AM

        Rich, I’m 100% with you on this but might be swayed differently with the new PAT rules. Although, my understanding is that the percentage of misses from inside the hashes from 33 yards out is virtually the same as the PAT. Gano was adept in what you and I prefer in a kicker yet Shanahan blamed Graham for the blocks. Forbath has had his share of blocked kicks.

        With the rules as they are favoring going for touchdowns over field goals and field position being so important, shouldn’t the other aspects of kicking (kick offs for touchbacks and onside kicks) have more weight in selecting a kicker now than it has in the past? Surely accuracy is the most important but it shouldn’t be the only factor.
        Another thing about Forbath, is that he doesn’t seem to have the endurance to last a whole season.

      • abanig - Jun 11, 2015 at 1:23 PM

        So, you’re in favor of scoring less points?

        Forbath has hit 49 or 50 yard FGs in each of his seasons as the Redskins kicker.

        • abanig - Jun 11, 2015 at 1:30 PM

          Again, Kai is an 88% FG kicker from 40 to 49 yds and a 50% kicker from 50 yards.

          It’s going to be hard to replace that efficiency.

        • bangkokben - Jun 11, 2015 at 2:15 PM

          I’m in favor of scoring more points but less short field goal. We didn’t even try field goals the last three years because of our kicker. You make the point of his accuracy but what about the fourth and tens from the 33, 34, 35 where we elected to punt? This does not show up in Kai’s average but the decision to forgo points because of field position is telling. Basically the coaches knew that the result was more likely to be our opponents first down on their 40 then us getting the points. There were at least four times last season where we chose the 20 yards of field position rather than the points and these were close games.

      • abanig - Jun 11, 2015 at 2:05 PM

        Everyone always claims how the skins shouldn’t have cut Gano well has anyone evaluated his year last year?

        He was a 75% kicker from 40 to 49 and only 33% from 50+. He was just 10/15 on kicks of over 40 yards.

        Yet, Forbath was 7/9 on kicks of over 40 yards.

        Yeah, give me the guy who’s 78% over 40 yards rather than the guy who was 67% from over 40 yards in 2014.

        I’ll also add that Graham Gano plays more games indoors than Kai Forbath. He gets to play at least twice a year indoors when he plays the Falcons & Saints, all of Kai’s division games are outdoors and the weather is worse in DC in Oct through Jan than it is in NC in Oct through Jan.

        • bangkokben - Jun 11, 2015 at 2:29 PM

          We played indy where last year? Gano’s average is less because they send him out there. How many 60 yarders is Kai taking chances on? The point is that if Kai was sent out to take the same kicks that Gano takes his average would be less than where it is right now. There should be little debate to that. Forbath’s average is what it is because he is only sent out the make the kicks that he can make. My biggest problem with Forbath is his durability. A kicker that misses a game or two every year due to kicking too much is not a kicker that can be counted on. Sure, if he’s healthy, we have our best chance at making three points if we can get it to the 28 yard line than we have since Chip Lohmiller but so what? We need to score touchdowns if we’re that close and need FGs for when we get inside the 40 to the 25 yard line.

        • abanig - Jun 11, 2015 at 3:25 PM

          Wow! Whoopdey do! One game in a dome all year! That clearly wasn’t my point, my point wa Gano kicks in more domes and in better weather in virtually every game of the year.

          Also, attempting a kick of 55 yards or over is pretty stupid in my mind unless it’s at the end of the half or you are down by 1, 2 or 3 at the end of a game.

          The percentages of any kicker making that kick are very low. So, in the flow of a normal game situation, you don’t even attempt it.

          You’d be smarter to play the field position game and punt the ball with your pro bowl caliber punter – Tress Way – the to attempt a 55 yard or above field goal and give the opponent an incredibly short field against your defense.

          And when the coaches decided to punt the ball from the 35 to 40 yard line instead of attempting a 50 yard field goal was this when Kai had strained his quad and was bothered by that early in the season, or was it late in the season when the field conditions at fed ex field were horrible?

          You have to factor that in as well. The truth is that Kai is almost automatic as a kicker from 50 yards and in. That’s what you want in a kicker.

          If Kai struggles again on getting touch backs and kicking off less that 65 yards in the air, then you turn to Tress Way who was kicking off at 65 yards in the air on his kickoffs. Tress has to work on his hang time some though because he was the only one of the two to give up a kick off return for a TD when Chris Polk returned a kick off for a TD against us in the Eagles game last year.

        • bangkokben - Jun 11, 2015 at 4:31 PM

          Gano is mentioned because he was here and did what a kicker needed to do. You want weather. Stephen Gostowki and Dan Carpenter routinely play in horrible weather and yet attempt and make kicks over 40 yards. Carpenter was a 90% kicker in Buffalo and made 13 of 16 over 40. That’s a kicker. Kai doesn’t even try that many in two seasons. He doesn’t even kick many PATs yet is injured every year. By game three of this year we’ll be looking for a temporary kicker because he’ll inevitably be fatigued from training camp, kick offs, and longer PATs.

          We don’t even try to kick in the scenarios you mentioned. Why? Because we can’t make it. Hail Mary or take a knee.

          In FGs made, Forbath has never made more than 24 for in a season (last year) and that put him in 20th place. You can blame the offense for this but even in 2012 he only made 18 and there are plenty of offensively challenged teams that have equal or better results.
          Tress Way doesn’t need his leg wasted on pooch punts or kicking off. There’s a job with a simple job description. It’s called kicker. And if Forbath is no good at kick offs including the on side variety get someone else. Half of the league’s kickers are better in long rang FGs, kick offs, and on side kicks and are his equal in under 50 yards.

        • abanig - Jun 11, 2015 at 5:34 PM

          Let me make myself clear, I’d be for upgrading Kai if it’s a true upgrade in every phase of being a kicker, but I’m not in favor of just getting someone else to get someone else.

          Most Redskins fans that don’t like Kai because he doesn’t have an elite leg come off as saying any other kicker would be better…

          Really? Look at the long list of Redskins kickers in between Lohmiller & Forbath!

          You don’t get rid of him unless you find another kicker who can be near a 90% kicker on FGs & kick it 65 to 66 yards on kickoffs and get near 60 touchbacks.

          This would not have been Hocker. Possibly last year the skins should have signed the alcoholic Prater to see if he could out kick Kai, but in order to replace Kai, it has to be that kind of kicker.

          Like, you brought up Carpenter, I wanted him also when he was cut.

        • bangkokben - Jun 12, 2015 at 9:25 AM

          Fair. I also don’t want to simply replace Forbath but if someone like Prater comes available, I want the ‘skins to jump on that – especially if that coincides with Kai’s injuries. This ‘most accurate’ kicker in Redskin history rationale for not considering upgrades is hogwash. Forbath has been solid when healthy and his upgrade is not priority but there are 15-20 kickers better than he and if any of them become available the ‘skins have to consider them.

    • Skinsdiehard - Jun 11, 2015 at 9:48 AM

      Amen. They should have kept the young kicker from last year because touch backs might be more important than field goals for a young kicker. He can work on his FG accuracy.

    • Skulb - Jun 11, 2015 at 2:46 PM

      Maybe you need good soccer players to come in and do the kicking. At least they have a lot of previous training in kicking things.

  2. mr.moneylover - Jun 11, 2015 at 7:18 AM

    Jay gruden and sean mcvay called 60% of pass plays witch is 30+ pass attempts and they raned the ball 40% of the time….I read a article that Chris Russell wrote he was spot on what needs to happen for this team to win more games…they have to stop treating rg3 like hes superman and run the ball use what you have and not force things.theres no way rg3 should be throwing 30+ times a game hes not Aaron Rodgers use what you have witch is a upgraded O-line and you possibly gonna have three great RBs run the ball down the other team throat take a script out of Dallas playbook….im not a fan of two ppl calling plays and this show jay gruden still showing signs of bein a rookie head coach….if it didnt work with mike s. and kyle s. and they was father and son and it didnt work with gibbs and saunders…two ppl calling plays have a bad track record but I got a feeling if the team start falling or not getting the play in quick enough jay gruden might take over the play calling duties witch I think he should be doing now…jay gruden listen up its your playbook you been a offense coordinator for year you have a good track record there’s no way in hell somebody else should be calling plays for you sean mcvay only got a year under his belt and fail terribly…seen multiple times last year rg3 asking for the next play with just 10 seconds left on the clock and rg3 didnt have time to check his reads

    • abanig - Jun 11, 2015 at 9:09 AM

      Totally agree. Great points. Heck, I didn’t even want Kirk Cousins throwing it 30 times a game. The Redskins lost their identity that got them the division championship in 2012 – Alfred Morris and the ground game – in 2013 & 2014, and that’s the main reason the team went 7-25 over those two seasons.

      Not only does the ground game control the clock and lessen the chances of having mistakes in the passing game, but if you focus on the ground game and run the ball 30 times a game instead of throwing the ball 30 times a game, you keep the defense off the field and your pass rushers more fresh for their next series.

      This worked very well for the Redksins in 07, 08 and in 2012. The Redskins didn’t have great defenses in those years, but they had a ball control offense that ate up clock, kept the ball on the ground with their great running backs, and limited the turnovers because they didn’t ask the QB to throw the ball too much.

      The Redskins can win that way still, and I hope this season I see the Redskins run the ball twice as much as they did last year and throw the ball 1/2 as much.

      I’d like to see these totals:

      Morris – 300 carries, 1350 yds, 10 tds
      Griffin – 75 carries, 425 yds, 5 tds
      Jones – 50 carries, 225 yds, 3 tds

      Griffin should only throw the ball around 400 times, like he did as a rookie.

    • Skinsdiehard - Jun 11, 2015 at 9:53 AM

      It’s not 1950’s or 1980’s football anymore. Passing the ball is key and if these QB’s can’t do it then find one who can. Most teams don’t run 30+ per game. Are you trying to win games 10 – 3? Defense has to be stout to go to a low scoring offensive plan like that.

      • bangkokben - Jun 11, 2015 at 10:05 AM

        The talent in the passing game is Jackson’s deep ball ability, Griffin’s deep ball arm, and Garcon’s ability to catch underneath and take it the distance. All of these aspects are better when the running game is effective. More importantly, how is the team being built? Overhaul on both sides of the line of scrimmage, suggesting that the team is being built in the image of the Mark Rypien Redskins. Now lets see if Gruden can do what Gibbs did and change his personal offensive philosophy to suit what he has on the field and whether this team can execute.

      • abanig - Jun 11, 2015 at 1:10 PM

        Have you watched the Seahawks, 49ers and, Ravens play?

  3. abanig - Jun 11, 2015 at 7:20 AM

    I’m not convinced a QB at heart like Jay Gruden can be the HC of a run first team.

    Maybe it will happen, and yes, it needs to happen but I’m skeptical.

    I think it’s an excuse to say that game situations, turnovers and scores given up by the defense were the reasons the Redskins didn’t run the ball more.

    The Redskins were pass happy in both 2013 & 2014 in the first halves of games if they only got down by one score. The play callers need more discipline and they need to relaize that even if it’s 2nd and 8, Morris has gained more than 8 yards several times in his career on that disitance. It should be about running the ball to set up 3rd and shorts. When they throw on first down and have an incompletion, then they’re into 2nd or 3rd and long and that’s not this team’s strength.

    • Skinsdiehard - Jun 11, 2015 at 9:59 AM

      Pass happy? You guys are funny. The NFL is not little league where kids run 80% of the time. Most teams throw it 60% of the time. Alfred Morris has no speed or explosiveness. If you have Adrian Petersen then you can think about running more than passing. It’s about scoring and big plays.

      • bangkokben - Jun 11, 2015 at 10:09 AM

        It is about scoring and big plays. In order for this team as it is constructed today to make big plays is the establish an identity of running the ball and then taking advantage in play action. No one is suggesting that the only way to have a big play is give the ball to Morris, although he has shown every season the ability to break one for over 30 yards to the end zone. But you’re a die hard, so you know that.

        • abanig - Jun 11, 2015 at 1:01 PM

          Exactly, if you run the ball 25 to 35 times a game that gives you the ability to hit more big plays downfield because the play action works.

          No one is saying don’t throw the ball, but we’re saying the stats from the past two years should be flipped.

          Rather than seeing Griffin or Cousins throw it 35 or 40 times a game and Morris only getting 15 to 20 carries a game, we need to flip that.

          If we flip that we have a better chance of winning. If Morris, Jones and Griffin combine for 30 to 40 carries a game and Griffin only throws the ball 20 to 30 times a game, the redskins have a better shot of winning and a better shot of hitting DJax and Garçon for big plays downfield because the defense will be sucked up to stop the running game.

      • abanig - Jun 11, 2015 at 12:56 PM

        Give Morris the ball 300 times a year and I’ll show you his 1,400 to 1,500 yards and 10 tds.

        Teams that have elite qbs are pass happy, but if you don’t have an elite QB and you have a good running game, you should be relying on that to win you games.

        The main reason the redskins have only won 7 games the past two seasons is because they’ve abandoned the run even when they’re only down by a score or two in the first half.

  4. ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Jun 11, 2015 at 9:20 AM

    “Malcolm Butler Reportedly Benched For Three Weeks By The Patriots For Missing A Flight”

    That’s the guy who won them the Super Bowl. Indeed, things are different in Bill Belichickland.

    • hk2000 - Jun 11, 2015 at 11:39 AM

      Indeed!! If you’re talking about team identity, it’s more than % of running vs. throwing- We’re talking IDENTITY- When I think Redskins I’m overwhelmed by thoughts of dysfunction, drama and chaos– that IS an identity- a very bad one for sure, but still, it is an identity we should strive to erase. When I think Patriots- cheating not withstanding- I’m thinking winning, strong franchise, a coach who can turn run of the mill talent into an elite one and a confident arrogance that leaves me envious- that is the identity we should be striving for.

  5. Skinsdiehard - Jun 11, 2015 at 9:36 AM

    I disagree that you must keep the same identity year after year. Then you would be arguing that they are drafting players only for their schemes instead of best player available. I’ll keep saying it: the last place finishes are primarily due to poor QB play. Find a good QB and the team would be better. They lost games last year even when the defense played scent. The defense was not good but still ranked 20th. I’m sure some teams with lower ranked defenses finished with better team records than the Skins. Why? QB.

    • Skinsdiehard - Jun 11, 2015 at 9:40 AM

      *even when the defense played decent…

    • Skinsdiehard - Jun 11, 2015 at 9:42 AM

      The Colts struggle on defense most of th time but have plenty of division titles. QB.

    • Rich Tandler - Jun 11, 2015 at 9:51 AM

      Part of the definition of best available is scheme fit. Sorry, saying you should change identities based on the draft pool makes zero sense.

      Teams that gave up more yards per play than the Redskins and still made the playoffs? One, the Steelers. They were the only one that even had a winning record. Can do nothing until D gets better.

    • abanig - Jun 11, 2015 at 10:36 AM

      It was more than just the QB issues. The Redskins didn’t stick with the running game enough in both 2013 & 2014.

      Just look at Morris’ carries and look at the games we won in 2012, 2013 & 2014 there’s a direct correlation between Morris getting near or over 20 carries and near or over 100 yards and the redskins winning their games in 2012, 13 & 14.

    • redskinsnameisheretostay - Jun 12, 2015 at 4:58 AM

      The last place finishes are just from one position on the field? I could see this as plausible if the Redskins performed well overall and lost close games to elite teams. However, if you want to look at a poor position then look to the sidelines instead and it is more likely to be poor coaching and/or front office decisions. Either way I think you are oversimplifying the issues for the Redskins. The failures expand further than any one position on the roster.

  6. hcicron - Jun 11, 2015 at 9:58 AM

    Two things here.
    A) If I’m a D coordinator facing the 2013&14 Redskins I’m going to make them beat me with the pass as anyone with eyes can see that Morris is the offense and even with 2 really good receivers the QB play is inconsistent at best.
    2) Remember how we all hated Zorn’s run,run,pass,punt offense? Whenever a team is losing the first thing outsiders say is do the opposite. Sometimes it’s not just that easy.

    • Skinsdiehard - Jun 11, 2015 at 10:21 AM

      Amen again.

    • bangkokben - Jun 11, 2015 at 10:41 AM

      Zorn’s offense was fine until the wheels came off the o-line. After Jansen’s MCL, the running game was nothing and it spiraled into what it was.

      • abanig - Jun 11, 2015 at 10:56 AM


    • abanig - Jun 11, 2015 at 10:56 AM

      Yet, the redskins were more successful running the ball than throwing the ball – even in 2013 & 14 – so I fail to see why our HC/OC would abandon th run.

      It’s clear as day when Morris got the rock more – even if his ypc wasn’t great – that the team had a better chance of winning.

      Running the ball means less turnovers. It means less interceptions and mistakes by Cousins & Griffin. It means you rest the defense and gives them a chance to be more fresh so they may actually get some pass rush and make some plays. Running the ball means you control the tempo of the game and the clock. It means you can play the field position game with your young über talented punter.

      I’d much rather see the Redskins run the ball 2 times in 3 downs and have to punt than to see mistakes and turnovers from the young qbs and then we start losing the field position battle. More times than not, if Morris gets 2 carries every 3 plays, Morris is going to keep getting first downs for the offense and keep moving the ball down the field. If he gets stopped after a few first downs, that’s fine. Again, I’d rather see Way punt the ball from the Redskins 40 yard line or from Around midfield and have him down the opposing team inside their 20 than to see Cousins or Griffin fail to get a first down on a series through the air and then his punt givens the opposing team the ball at around the 30 or better if the other team has a good return.

      I’m tired of seeing the Redskins defense being put in short field situations from our offense because our playcalling was bad and we threw the ball to much instead of relying on Alfred Morris – the team’s most consistent offensive player. People like to talk about how bad the defense was, but they fail to see all the short fields they had to defend after the offense made a mistake, had a turnover or didn’t gain any yards so the opposing offense got the ball back with good field position.

      The running game opens up more options and more single coverage for the passing game and allows the redskins to actually have a defense bite on the play action.

      The identity of the Redskins – because of the youth they have at QB – should be ground and pound with Morris and Jones. Then, sprinkle in some read option with Griffin and be a run first/pass second team. That’s the way the Redskins had winning seasons in 2005, 2007 & 2012.

      Heck, it’s the way the Cowboys had a winning season last year.

      • ET - Jun 11, 2015 at 12:22 PM

        I’m tired of seeing the Redskins defense being put in short field situations from our offense because our playcalling was bad …

        Yes! The defense was regularly placed in difficult situations. Let’s face it, it wasn’t the greatest D ever, but the other two phases of the game certainly didn’t help.

  7. sidepull - Jun 11, 2015 at 10:04 AM

    Identity: Pretty Basic stuff
    Work Hard. Play smart.
    Defense: Be stingy. Get off the field on 3rd down.
    Offense: Run it down their throat. Make them pay in the red zone.
    Special Teams: Provide decent field position.
    Nobody wanted to come to RFK with those stands rocking and the loud atmosphere. If they can establish winning at home, being reliable at winning at home, that will help establish identity.

    • mr.moneylover - Jun 11, 2015 at 10:37 AM

      Agree they really havent had home a home field advantage since 2012 they have to bring that back….this whole city will go CRAZY

  8. mr.moneylover - Jun 11, 2015 at 10:32 AM


  9. mr.moneylover - Jun 11, 2015 at 10:51 AM

    Ppl just dont know football..when you run the ball it takes a whole lot of pressure off the QB if you pass on first down and pass on second down your drive is basically over you killed yourself but if you run on first down and you pick up 5 yards why not run the ball again ? Give yourself a better chance to get a first down and move down field…its time for better play calling and better decisions if we get pass happy again this year we will get the same results trust me …tony romo was throwing 35 times a game until he got a good running back in demarco murray and his passing attempts cut down to 20 to 25 pass attempts if we do the same rg3 confidents will slowly come back but it wont come back if we pass 35x a his arm will be shot buy the time the fourth quarter come

    • mr.moneylover - Jun 11, 2015 at 10:58 AM

      One other thing …ppl happy that spencer long is gonna be the starter for chris chester but jay gruden said hes ok in pass protection hes improving but hes great when they run the ball so take it how you want it on whats gonna happen this year…weather ppl like it or not I think they plan on running the ball to manage the game and the clock

      • abanig - Jun 11, 2015 at 12:25 PM

        I agree with both comments about needing to run the ball more and that will take pressure of the qbs and they van be more efficient and the defense is off the field more and can be more fresh.

        • sidepull - Jun 11, 2015 at 5:07 PM

          Amen. Pound that rock until they cant take it anymore.

    • Skulb - Jun 12, 2015 at 10:32 PM

      People keep repeating this but it just wasn`t true last year. Running did not give the Redskins a better chance of anything in 2014. The average yards ber run was 4,2 yards and the average yards per pass was 8,2 yards. Which is higher; 4,2 or 8,2? If you answer wrong all I can say is I`m glad you`re not the Redskins coach…
      The Redskins ran just slightly less than the NFL average anyway, The problem was that the running game was awful. The passing game was pretty damn awful as well. But not quite as awful.

      If there`s one thing they desperately need to fix it`s the TO ratio and the sacks. You just can not avoid last place in the division with a -12 TO ratio and a -22 sack statistic.. It is impossible. These are the stats of a really really awful team. No amount of fiddling with the run balance can salvage something as awful as the 2014 Redskins.

      • abanig - Jun 12, 2015 at 10:39 PM

        4.2 3 times = a first down in my book

        • Skulb - Jun 13, 2015 at 7:58 AM

          And 8,2 1,2 times is also a first down. You still lose the argument. There`s no benefit for howling for more runs when the runs are all bad.

        • abanig - Jun 13, 2015 at 8:30 AM

          Well yeah, if they were all bad but they weren’t all bad.

          4.2 is an average, right?

          You do understand that both Morris and Helu ran for better average when they got more carries right? Alfred gets stronger in the second half and the defense gets tired of trying to tackle him but in the second halves Gruden would quit feeding him the rock thinking that it actually made more sense to throw the ball with any one of our 3 inconsistent QB…

          Sorry, makes no sense. I don’t care if Morris was only averaging 4.1 yds a carry, that’s better than throwing 3 or 4 ints and better than throwing two passes which go incomplete and with one run they don’t get the first then, the defense has to go right back on the field because of the really quick 3 and out.

          That hurts the defense!

          I mean, you do realize that when Clinton Portis was rushing the ball 325 to 350 times a year from 04 to 08 for the redskins that his avg per carry ranged from 3.8 to 4.3 right? And we got to the playoffs twice in those 5 years!

          So I think the well we only averaged 4.2 yds per carry is pretty baseless.

        • Skulb - Jun 13, 2015 at 8:34 AM

          As usual with “experts” like you the stats are just something for other people to worry about I suppose. just cherry pick any old nonsense until it fits your weird preconceptions.
          The stats are from the NFL`s website and they were absolute shite for 2014. And the Redskins ran as much as most of the other teams while people like you pretend they almost never did. They did and then it stunk. That`s why they were slightly below average because the useless running game forced a passing game.
          It just couldn`t be any simpler.

        • abanig - Jun 13, 2015 at 9:44 AM

          In some games yes. In other games Morris was having a good first half and the redskins were down by 10 or less or even winning like Minnesota and other games and Gruden abandoned the run in the second half and the Redskins lost the game.

        • Skulb - Jun 14, 2015 at 4:04 AM

          Well yes, they did have a few games where things came together or almost came together. But never the entire team at the same time.
          But it`s just not the case that the run was abandoned. It was sussed out and they couldn`t open lanes for Morris or he couldn`t find them, forcing them to rely on the passing. At least that would be my take. It was amazingly depressing the number of three and outs with the running game last year. It just never felt as if it was dangerous to me.
          My opinion is that you need both at the same time; decent passing so you empty out the box and create lanes for runs and strong runs so you deplete their coverage and isolate the secondary defenders.
          I know it`s hard. But it`s easier than having such an awesome running/passing game that you can rely solely on one of them. I`m not saying that would be impossible but it sure is a tall order.

  10. renhoekk2 - Jun 11, 2015 at 12:16 PM

    With the rules that have been put into place to protect QB’s and WR’s it has made it really difficult for defenses to defend the pass. The league has been deliberately designed to increase scoring via the pass. You can’t fault coaches for going along with it. It is the easiest way to score points in the NFL. With that said the Shanahan’s saw early on that Griffin was not ready for the NFL game. To their credit they designed an offense that he could run and gave the team their best shot of winning. Griffin rarely threw for 250yds in a game during 2012. The Redskins are in a tough spot with Griffin. It is difficult to win games with him passing 30-35 times a game even though the league is designed for teams to succeed with that strategy. Because of the limitations at QB they are forced to try and win games using the more difficult method of running the football. For that to be successful you need an outstanding defense to keep the scoring low. McCloughin to his credit saw the hand he was dealt, and how the Redskins would need to play football in 2015 to have a chance at winning, and made a great effort to fix the defense and improve the running game. It does bring up the question of why they didn’t hire a successful and proven DC to really give the plan the best chance of succeeding. That is the one thing that doesn’t make sense with the strategy they are following. Why not go the extra yard and hire a DC you know can do the job?

  11. Skulb - Jun 11, 2015 at 2:11 PM

    It makes no difference what identity you try to have when the players fail at the execution. The average yards on running plays last year was just terrible. And the passing was rather close to random Both were absolutely hopeless for most of the season.
    Maybe that`s the Redskins` new identity though; the only team that`s unable to do what it`s told, even on the simplest of plays and the only team that`s secretly blindfolded their QBs so none of the passes hit home. Maybe burgundy and gold clown suits could have been the thing.

    Just run the plays and this all becomes a tedious philosophical debate. Any mix of passing and running can work if you make plays and do as you`re told.

    • 214hof - Jun 11, 2015 at 3:05 PM

      Correct sir… I can’t remember how many times last year all three of the QBs botched a hand-off, be it turning to wrong side or tripping (Griffin mostly) or a bad exchange between C&QB/QB&RB… Offensively the Skins’ need to get their S*** together. From play call, to snap, to execution. It all needs to get better… Which is pretty sad to say the least.

      • renhoekk2 - Jun 11, 2015 at 4:06 PM

        I’m sure with a new staff and new offense Griffin got 99.9% of the reps during OTA’s and throughout training camp. You can’t blame McCoy and Cousins for execution problems as much as Griffin. If most of your reps are running the other teams plays during scout work then you are going to have mis-steps when thrown into the game. I’m sure there were plays called for McCoy and Cousins that they new from study but never actually ran in practice. That’s the way it is for a backup QB. That’s why they can’t do the 3QB clown show again. Stick with one guy and let it play out. Otherwise it’s going to look a lot like last season.

        • 214hof - Jun 11, 2015 at 5:01 PM

          I understand your point… But what I’m trying to get at is, this is the NFL… Pro Football… And at the very least they should be able to execute a snap and handoff 1000 times without error. I seem to remember Griffin having the toughest time with this (maybe because I’m looking at him the hardest when he plays). Almost once a game he would complete a handoff mid-air while falling. This offense doesn’t need to just hand the ball off more, they need to be fundamentally sound.

  12. greed - Jun 11, 2015 at 2:14 PM

    we did have an identity u stated the facts the skins were a pass first happy offense gruden called the game the same for all 3 qbs even when the run game was effective he didnt commit to it . Got frustrated everytime skins lined up in shotgun on 2nd and 3rd down even after positive plays meaning 4 or more yards on 1st down !

  13. kenlinkins - Jun 11, 2015 at 2:43 PM

    Rich: IYO, What is the status of the “small group of players who just do not get it”? Bigger, smaller, getting it?

  14. hawkmice - Jun 12, 2015 at 4:32 PM

    We all can most likely agree that last year stunk all the way around this year will be different because the culture will be different I see 9 or 10 wins Archives

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