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Need to Know: Is play action a cure for Redskins’ and RG3’s problems?

Jul 3, 2015, 5:29 AM EDT


Here is what you need to know on this Friday, July 3, 27 days before the Washington Redskins start training camp.

Play action the cure for what ails them?

The post I wrote here yesterday on third down struggles came from a fairly substantial article by Mike Tanier, who does work for Football Outsiders. The post looked at several different issues with the Redskins’ offense. Among them was play action passing. Let’s take a closer look at that here.

The 2014 Redskins were among the best teams in the league in play action passing. They averaged 10.2 yards per attempt when throwing with a run fake. That was just slightly behind the league-leading Broncos, who averaged 10.3. You don’t have to be a math major to figure out that one such play will yield a first down.

On passes where play action was not used they averaged 5.7 yards per play. The 4.5 yard per play difference between play action and straight dropbacks was the highest in the league.

In particular, Robert Griffin III was very effective in play action. His completion percentage was 71.9 percent and he averaged 13.7 yards per completion. Again, you don’t need much math to tell you that the Redskins moved the ball pretty well when Griffin was putting the ball into Alfred Morris’ belly, pulling it out, and firing downfield.

The problem was that the Redskins only used play action 22 percent of pass plays. That was about the league average. By comparison, the Eagles used it the most, 33 percent, while the Chargers didn’t like it much, using it just eight percent of its pass plays.

The easy thing to insert here is criticism of Jay Gruden’s play calling. While that certainly deserves some scrutiny it must be noted that the Redskins were outscored by an average of 8.6 points per game. Only three teams were outscored by more points. If you just look at the 15 games they played against teams other than the Jacksonville Jaguars, they were outscored by an average of 11.2 points per game. There were plenty of times when teams had no reason to honor the play fake. There is no point in adding some play action to a pass play if it is only window dressing that will have no effect on the defense.

Things could be different this year. The Redskins spend considerable cash and some draft picks to upgrade the defense. If they can keep games closer Gruden may be inclined to call play action more often. If Griffin remains effective throwing the ball off of play action and he does it more often, well, I think you can write the rest of the story. It would end with Griffin looking like the quarterback of the future.

There are plenty of ifs and maybes there so we will have to see.


—It’s been 187 days since the Redskins played a game. It will be 72 days until they play the Dolphins at FedEx Field.

Days until: Redskins training camp starts 27; Preseason opener @ Browns 41; final cuts 64

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In case you missed it

  1. 226thebeatdontstop - Jul 3, 2015 at 7:43 AM

    RG3 has basic growing pains that young quarterbacks must overcome whether injuries,coaching changes etc .

    One of many things I don’t like or understand about Gruden is his inability to understand his personnel an their strengths, it took him a whole season to realize Garcon was playing out of position??? How couldn’t he have known boot legs an play action were RG3 strength’s??
    I hear all this talk about McVeigh being a great innovator well he didn’t show it last season…Niles Paul could and should have been used more he is a line backers night mare..

    These observations have me questioning Grudens preparation and practices… I really hate being negative but Gruden exudes it.

    • babyteal1 - Jul 3, 2015 at 8:01 AM


    • mr.moneylover - Jul 3, 2015 at 8:50 AM

      I agree with your point about jay gruden making adjustments…play action is not only Robert Griffin strength but it also help alfred morris running game…if jay gruden really gonna have 3 ppl calling plays this team gonna go down fast and its gonna show jay gruden havent learn much from his rookie season…only one person need to call the plays

      • berniebernard666 - Jul 3, 2015 at 10:52 AM

        that business of having a TRIO of play callers is insane. Gruden is so confused about how to run an offense that it appears obvious to everyone on this forum, thus I assume that Scott M also sees it. Which may be why he brought in Callahan who is a perfect candidate as a head coach if Gruden can’t get unconfused.

    • redskinsnameisheretostay - Jul 3, 2015 at 9:36 AM

      Rich just seems to continue to pump out articles providing critical statistics in revealing weaknesses that exist with this football team. To paraphrase Rich: The easy reason for a failed offense is to insert coaching as the blame. At this point, I don’t think this is the easy reason but the obvious one. To justify otherwise due to average points loss in a game seems too vague at this point. For example: Can we get the average points behind at at halftime and average leads at half time vs the amount of attempts running play action? Maybe one can also argue the reason for a high rate of success is because of the small sampling of attempts on play action. Overall, I would love to see a breakdown of where these stats lie at halftime instead of the end of the game.

      Overall, based on the recent data provided by Rich, it continues to prove fans that have supported Gruden/coaching as the biggest issue being on the right path while the ones passing most the blame on RG3 in the other direction. While I will continue to go further contend this demonstrates just how this organization is in being among the worst today and maybe historically in developing QBs. Out of these horrendous stats, the one aspect revealing for me is that three QBs are almost equally as bad playing under the same system. All young players with different styles coming from varying college schemes. Shanahan put a better offense on the field in his final season when coaches all but gave up on this team and their own jobs. And this was still one horrendous offense but still a better one. This speaks volumes on just how bad the offensive scheme was last season.

      So the most effect tool the offense had (i.e. play action) was the least utilized? I have no doubt in my mind coaching abandoned the read option too often and too early. Let’s forget the fact New England has consistently played a non traditional spread offense since Tom Brady arrived. Why because he is the perfect fit for that scheme and he has been really effective. RG3 is the perfect fit for a similar play action scheme but what did the organization decide? Let’s take what he does best and shelve it since the general consensus is you must be a pocket passer in the NFL. This is logically incorrect and IMO the primary reason outside of injury for RG3’s struggles.

      • bangkokben - Jul 3, 2015 at 11:17 AM

        The Redskins were the league average when it came to using play action. RG3 was the most successful of the three QBs. These are facts from the data. What the data doesn’t go into is whether each quarterback threw the same percentage (22%). So perhaps Griffin threw more or less than the other two. Then there’s the game situations that dictate when to use play action. The point of play-action is to sell the run. Calling play action on 3rd and 8 would be silly as no defense is going to be fooled. So it’s simplistic to pin it all on Gruden. Was Gruden a failure as a 1st year head coach, of course he was. In a results based business, he was but to discount his starting point or worse misrepresent his starting point as something grander than it was is delusional.

        Lastly, Shanahan wasn’t fired for having a bad offense. (It didn’t score points but was otherwise effective.) He was fired for the capital ‘S’ storm he created. He built the team that was 3-13 – losing nine in a row. He was in charge of everything and so what if the offense was above average when the rest of the team (defense and special teams) were in the cellar? This was the mess he made. There’s no reason to assume any 1st year coach is going to take his pieces and improve upon them. Regression was the more logical result as the pieces (most specifically the o-line) were made for the Shanahan offense.

        • redskinsnameisheretostay - Jul 3, 2015 at 11:41 AM

          “Calling play action on 3rd and 8 would be silly as no defense is going to be fooled. So it’s simplistic to pin it all on Gruden. ”

          Bang, you can call it simplistic while I continue to call it obvious. Play action doesn’t just work by selling the run. That concept in itself is oversimplifying the effectiveness of the play action. The scheme also works by allowing the QB to quickly release the ball. Are similar offenses in a spread formation used by New England very effective on 3rd downs? I expect the answer to be yes. So whether play action is used to decoy a run or used in a spread formation to quickly hit WRs running short routes on target; these are schemes RG3 has been very successful. So to reduce that scheme to 22% has no excuse that holds any weight IMO. To force RG3 in a 5-7 step dropback as the primary offense is the reason why RG3 has not only been less effective but has also hurt his development. Reverse that percentages on this offensive approach between a more frequest play action and lower percentage base 5-7 dropback just might give RG3 and our offense the best chance for success.

        • bangkokben - Jul 3, 2015 at 12:05 PM

          “The scheme also works by allowing the QB to quickly release the ball.” This is the affect of the fake-run cause. On 3rd and 8 that affect is eliminated because the cause is no longer believable. The spread is effective for different reasons. It is different in how it attacks the defense. In 2013, the Redskins were 30th in the league in their effectiveness of using the play-action. So next year defenses may be expecting the PA more and scheming to defend it like they did in 2013.

        • bangkokben - Jul 3, 2015 at 11:48 AM

          From the Football Outsiders article:

          “Over the last three years, Washington has been the most schizophrenic play-action offense. Since 2012, the Redskins have yo-yoed from first to 30th and back up to fourth in play-action DVOA. Their 55.1% DVOA was 78.2% higher than their -23.0% DVOA on non-play-action passes, the league’s biggest improvement by nearly 14 percent. Despite being so much better on play-action, though, Washington’s usage rate declined for the third straight season, falling all the way to 22 percent after it sat at 42 percent just two seasons ago. Got all that?

          Of Washington’s three quarterbacks, these play-action splits pointed fairly clearly at one player. Robert Griffin III compiled a bevy of unsuccessful plays in 2014, but play-action was a safe haven for the beleaguered quarterback. RG3 compiled a 56 percent adjusted success rate on 68 play-action passes, well above the combined 38 percent rate from Kirk Cousins and Colt McCoy on 71 such attempts. There’s usually a strong plexiglass effect with big play-action DVOA swings, so this isn’t necessarily the panacea that will goose Griffin’s stagnant career. But Jay Gruden’s play-calling came under fire a bit during his inaugural D.C. campaign, and given the success Griffin experienced with play action his rookie season, this seems like a prime area where Gruden could help his quarterback.”

          Those stats seem to indicate that Gruden called roughly the same play action passes with Griffin than without. The history of these stats also suggest that just because Griffin was great with PA last year it doesn’t necessarily mean he will be next year.

        • redskinsnameisheretostay - Jul 3, 2015 at 12:16 PM

          ““The scheme also works by allowing the QB to quickly release the ball.” This is the affect of the fake-run cause. On 3rd and 8 that affect is eliminated because the cause is no longer believable.”

          Not true! If you stretch the defense with a spread formation using play action it would be foolish to eliminate the possibility of a run. Giving someone on the defense side to think in such a manner would allow the QB and easy decision by giving the ball to the runner for an easy 1st down or more. The defense would still have to watch the run on a play action even on 3rd and 8. Your postiion on this would only suggest a play action in a pro set formation. There are many formations that can be run on a play action.

        • bangkokben - Jul 4, 2015 at 9:49 AM

          Man, you seem to a different view of what is play action. There is no run option in a play action pass regardless of the formation. You can run play action out of the pistol with a zone-read look but if it is a pass then the play called was a pass. The receivers would’ve blocked if it was called a run and the o-line would’ve blocked differently if it were a run. Although ‘ineligible man down field’ is not called as often as it can, it is still a penalty if a linemen releases down field prior to the pass. The o-line then sells the run action initially before pass blocking. These plays can be run from multiple formations each with varying degrees of subterfuge. Some are designed to be quick hitters – where the line isn’t really pass blocking – and others are designed for deep routes where it is imperative that the line pass blocks.

        • redskinsnameisheretostay - Jul 3, 2015 at 12:19 PM

          Remember Bang that in 2013 RG3 was recovering for both a ACL and MCL tear. I can easily conclude the play action became less effective because RG3 was not close to physically being 100%.

        • skinsgame - Jul 3, 2015 at 4:44 PM

          It may seem believable on paper that you can spread a defense out and hand off on 3 & 8 but it’s being attempted nearly never, by very very good teams, and there’s a good reason for it. It’s a give up play where you’re keeping your punter in good position, usually.

        • redskinsnameisheretostay - Jul 4, 2015 at 10:41 AM

          “Man, you seem to a different view of what is play action. There is no run option in a play action pass regardless of the formation.”

          Of course the play action is selling a run while executing a pass. The whole point though is that a defense can’t just ignore even the remote possibility of a run. The idea in a play action is that defense doesn’t know it’s not a run: It may cause hesitation in a blitz, take a safety out of coverage, etc.

          Anyway my whole point initially was not using passing schemes or even offensive schemes with more frequency that RG3 is most comfortable running. The kid has had ot endure a severe injury, front office drama, and a rookie coach. This is not the best environment for grooming a QB. I really hope Cavanaugh can change this and I’ll bet you that he will implement some spread schemes or even read options plays to allow RG3 to work with tools he has excelled in the past.

      • Skulb - Jul 3, 2015 at 7:44 PM

        The problem isn`t the play calling. The stats just prove that the Redskins were league average at calling PC. But it isn`t as effective when you`re on long fields, playing from behind and the plays that are called aren`t executed. When Griffin was successful he was a threat both as a runner, handing off to Morris AND passing deep. Go watch the tapes of his 2012 season. If it had just been play action he would have been shut down pretty easily. But because of the deep threat defenses couldn`t comfortably commit to run defending because they risked being burned. And they couldn`t double up in the secondary because of the threat of runs. The balance won the division for Washington in 2012.

        • Trey Gregory - Jul 4, 2015 at 12:18 AM

          You’re right about that ballance. It was a beautiful thing in 2012. People can say what they want about the Shannahans, but they knew how to tailor an offense to their player’s strengths.

          Now, I 100% believe that was a gimmicky offense to help a rookie transition to the NFL, and we shouldn’t revert back to it. RG3 needs to develop, not regress. But that doesn’t mean Gruden should have RG3 dropping back every play like he’s Peyton Manning. A lot of young guys just aren’t being groomed in college to be pocket passers anymore. That doesn’t mean they can’t turn into great NFL QBs. Gruden just needs to accept that he has who he has, and work on developing RG3 in a system in which he can grow, but also succeed. There isn’t just one way to win in the NFL. I’m wondering if Gruden really believes that or if he really is this stuck on his system.

        • Skulb - Jul 4, 2015 at 12:59 AM

          I agree with that. And the 2012 offense would have been a lot more gimmicky if it wasn`t for the fact that Griffin was actually deadly accurate with his long balls. People couldn`t rush him because of that. And almost every time they tried he burned them.
          What I missed a bit last year was fake handoffs on passing plays. If you do it well the people watching on TV even lose track of who has the ball. The 2012 success to me came because opposing defenses were kept guessing on every snap and you could see their hesitation. If Griffin hadn`t injured himself I actually think they had a decent shot at the SB that year. That`s how good they were, gimmicky or not.
          Last season all you could see was growing confidence that the Redskins offense was harmless no matter what they tried. Go watch the Seahawks game for an example. And that comes from not having a credible dual threat to base play action off.
          I really hope Griffin can get back to running the offense at least somewhat like he did in 2012. But he doesn`t necessarily need to run all the time. He just needs to threaten the run and go for it more often if the running and passing game is good. That`s when it`ll really do damage.

          And he has to learn how and when to slide.

        • Trey Gregory - Jul 5, 2015 at 8:37 PM

          You’re exactly right. He doesn’t need to run all the time. He just needs to threaten it. Also, when he does have to scramble, he needs to keep his eyes down field and run to keep the play alive. I think Wilson is overrated as a passer at this point in his career, but I love the way he runs to keep plays alive. He rarely runs to hold on to the ball, but instead waits for a receiver to throw to. If RG3 can capture that, I think he will be pretty deadly.
          And yeah, what happened to that deep ball of his from 2012? I always read about people saying his deep ball has always been innacurate. But I remember it being just downright lethal in 2012. The Thanksgiving gave VS the Cowboys stands out to me in that regard.

        • Skulb - Jul 5, 2015 at 8:57 PM

          One of my favorite games when it comes to this stuff is actually the narrow week 2 loss to the Rams in 2012. They did everything right, more or less, for two and a half quarters and then blew it with simple mistakes toward the end.
          But already there you could see a team pretty easily frustrating the simplistic run game you get if you dump everything on Morris and PA.
          It was either Robinson or Hankerson who dropped a long pass at one point in the fourth quarter before Joshua Morgan managed to push the Skins out of FG range by throwing the ball at someone. The first broke the confidence of the people involved in the passing game and the second directly lost the Skins the game.

          Anyway, the Rams succeeded in frustrating the Redskins offense RGIII had so much success with that year. A couple mistakes less and it would have been a win anyway of course. But they really should have won comfortably, so that`s why I keep coming back to it. The Rams cracked them there, like it or not. And with a healthy RGIII and everything.

          OK rambling I notice. Anyway, the point was that you do need the damn passing game, lol. Go watch Redskins @ Rams in 2012 over again if you don`t believe me!

        • Trey Gregory - Jul 5, 2015 at 9:10 PM

          I completely agree. There are a couple things from 2012 that people (other than diehard Redskins fans who watched every game) seem to forget. I said it in 2012, and it’s still true; Alfred Morris will never get the credit that he deserves for RG3s rookie success. The run game was such a threat without RG3 that defenses had to respect it, which opened up the passing game a bit. Morris also churned out a lot of yards to extend drives and win games. He deserves a lot of credit for that season.
          Also, you won’t see it if you just watch highlights, but if you go back and watch all the games, RG3 was actually brilliant and extending plays like I just said Wilson does. I’m a Baylor Alumn, so I’ve been watching RG3 for a while. I actually thought he was going to be a NFL bust because he just liked to pull the ball down and run too much in college. Then he completely changed my mind in 2012 because I saw him, multiple times, scramble to keep the play alive, keep his eyes downfield, and throw the ball once the play developed. To me, it looked like RG3 had all the tools to slowly transition his game into more of a pocket passer. Then…. obviously something happened. I know a lot of people blame he injury, I personally think it’s more mental. Either way, it happened. But I do know it’s in him somewhere, and he can play at a high level when he’s comfortable. I think Gruden needs to find a balance between comfort and pushing him to grow as a NFL QB. If Gruden can do that, they might have a lot of success together. But that success DOES hinge on the passing game. RG3 has got to figure out how to be comfortable in the pocket, go through progressions, and get rid of the ball fast enough. I think the rest of the team is good enough to put together an acceptable season if he can just handle that much.

        • Skulb - Jul 4, 2015 at 1:07 AM

          I suppose I should specify that when the Redskins offense on occasion wasn`t harmless the defense was leaking like a siv instead. That they managed even four wins with this rotating incompetence is perhaps the greatest wonder of the 2014 season. Like Rich said earlier this week; when the Redskins do things badly they don`t mess around.

    • berniebernard666 - Jul 3, 2015 at 10:39 AM

      and ANOTHER THING…..when Reed is healthy why is Gruden not using a double tight end set. Both Paul and Reed on the field would present a nightmare scenario if Bill Bellicheck had them in New England. and those boot legs throwing to Paul or Reed are few and far between yet seem to work every time.

      Is Gruden afraid to use successful plays more than once per game?? it makes you wonder.

      • Trey Gregory - Jul 4, 2015 at 12:34 AM

        Every team is different though man. Plus Reed and Paul are hardly Gronk and Hernandez, and RG3 is hardly Tom Brady. If you put that 2nd TE in the field, you’re taking another player off, and you want your best players on the field. I know a lot of fans think we’re pretty set at TE, but I disagree. Reed has the potential, when healthy, but the rest aren’t so great. Paul is basically a WR playing TE.

        In a two TE set, the TE usually isn’t lined up as a blocker. The TEs are really more receivers than TEs. You can still run a spread without two TEs, and just leave more receivers in the field. Plus defenses have done a lot to counter the two TE sets the last few years. They’re getting bigger corners and more athletic linebackers to line up with the TEs. It’s still a matchup problem, but the defenses are doing a better job countering them. I’m all for getting more creative and innovative. I think RG3 can excel in a spread offense. I’m just saying not to get too caught up in just one formation. Two TEs aren’t necessarily the answer.

  2. mr.moneylover - Jul 3, 2015 at 8:37 AM

    The problem with the redskins and the play action is that they didnt use the play action that much to me …it throws defense off balance because they dont know if robert Griffin gonna run the ball or if alfred Morris gonna keep the ball and this goes back to the point I been making all off-season redskins was to predictable and can jay gruden make adjustments on the fly if he have too ???? Jay gruden claim he knows what system his team comfortable with running we will see how this team mindset will be on week 1….last year week 1 against the texans play calling was too predictable and they really looked unprepared when they had the whole summer to get it fix…week 1 will tell u how this season will go…will they go down fighting this year ??? Will they be gun shy and give they opponents way to much respect before the end of the half ??? Or will they dominate they opponents and be cocky while they doing it ??? Thats what ill be looking at week 1 I dont care about pre-season because redskins aint lose a preseason game in like 2 years but when it get real they fall flat on they face my focus is week 1

  3. troylok - Jul 3, 2015 at 8:51 AM

    I don’t think the use of one type of play more guarantees success. I think it does make a statement on the coaches’ lack of taking advantage of certain situations. Gruden seems to have the passing game down; however, he seems to struggle with how to use the run or run fakes to his advantage. I hope he has learned a few things and I hope his assistant coaches will add a little more creativity to the playbook. We will see.

    • berniebernard666 - Jul 3, 2015 at 10:49 AM


  4. gholmesbm - Jul 3, 2015 at 9:10 AM

    Play action can only be effective if opponents respect the running game. In 2012, the Redskins running game was huge, and this helped make play action passing extremely effective. In the last couple of years, the running game has become less effective, and accordingly so has the play action passing game.

    In particular, on third down, play action passes are effective if you could run for a first down as a realistic option. In 2014, both our short yardage conversion on the ground was poor, plus we were often in third and long situations, where running was not realistically going to convert a first down. So, teams could sit on a pass play.

    Play calling may be a part of this problem, but it is all a part of a whole. To me the solution requires:
    (a) Execution: run the ball better, on all downs (improved OL play and decisions from backs)
    (b) Skills: have a breakaway run option (with speed) to compliment AM (Griffin, Thompson, Jones, Williams)
    (c) Skills: improved QB decision-making and timing
    (d) Skills: be able to throw to backs more successfully (Jones, Thompson, Williams)
    (e) Play calling: Call running plays more often, on all downs
    (f) Play calling: the above will allow you to call more play action passes, and open up the passing game generally

  5. redskinsnameisheretostay - Jul 3, 2015 at 10:01 AM

    Many contend it was the play action that made our running game more effective. RG3’s injury and poor development hurt our running game by not utilizing the play action more.

    “…plus we were often in third and long situations, where running was not realistically going to convert a first down. So, teams could sit on a pass play.”

    Rich provided a statistic that proves contrary to this viewpoint and one that Gruden inaccurately used most the season. On average the team was only barely below avertage in third and long situation yet Tampa Bay, one of the poorer teams in the NFL, was in more worst situation in third and long but much better statistically in converting third downs.

    • bangkokben - Jul 3, 2015 at 11:24 AM


      The Redskins average 3rd down was 7.5 yards. That is not a play action down. Neither is 3rd and four. Tampa converting a longer average has nothing to do with Washington but everything to do with Tampa. Nor does the stat suggest Tampa used play action on those conversions.

      • redskinsnameisheretostay - Jul 3, 2015 at 12:35 PM

        This was intended to be a reply to gholmesbm. The bottom statement was providing the contrary response to the idea that we were often in 3 and long situations.

        My top statement is in response to his other comment…
        “In 2012, the Redskins running game was huge, and this helped make play action passing extremely effective.”

        I contend that it was the play action out of the read option that made the running game effective.

  6. dcfaninecuador - Jul 3, 2015 at 10:13 AM

    Play action works if the opponent fears the run. When you are being out scored by 11.2 points ( taking out the Jags), nobody is worried about you running the ball. The Redskins were not “pass happy” last year. They ranked 16th (out of 32) in run/pass ratio. Playing from behind made it LOOK like they were pass happy (and, btw, when you have DeSean Jackson, Pierre Garçon, Andre Roberts, why WOULDNT you want to throw the ball to get you back into a game?). Gruden tried to work with the talent he had on offense. Unfortunately, the OL and defense did not have enough talent to allow successful execution of the game plans. I think the proof is in the fact that no QB was successful and all three have different “skill” sets. The improved personnel this year will show a marked difference in the execution of plays.

    • mr.moneylover - Jul 3, 2015 at 5:56 PM

      U can blame alfred Morris and the O-line

  7. ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Jul 3, 2015 at 10:33 AM

    The Skins were a hot mess last year.

    I don’t know if play action is the answer….Griffin’s footwork and pocket awareness have to improve, period.

  8. berniebernard666 - Jul 3, 2015 at 10:46 AM

    regarding this suspect play calling from Gruden….why do we never see the Redskins come out and just throw on the first 7 or 8 plays. Everybody expect the Redskins to run on first down and whenever they pass on 1st down it is ALWAYS…and I mean ALWAYS a run on 2nd down.

    When will Gruden do something creative to help the running game like open up the game with 6 or 7 straight passes, Because when you are predictable it makes it a lot easier to stuff the run. This crap of run on 1st and 2nd down and then be FORCED to pass on 3rd down is so predictable and if I can see it, I am sure that Defensive Coordinators who watch film see it. Perhaps that is why the offense didn’t work?

  9. timwillhidetimwillhide - Jul 3, 2015 at 12:01 PM

    So far Rich has taken 2 of the 3articals I posted from Football Outsiders and expanded on it. Im hoping he does the same with the third. Thanks Rich.

  10. timwillhidetimwillhide - Jul 3, 2015 at 12:04 PM

    The main thing that Play Action does is Slow The Pass Rush. RG3 has always shown when given time he puts up points Period..

    • bangkokben - Jul 3, 2015 at 12:11 PM

      Time is one thing but the timing of the offense is another thing. PA does slow down the pass rush (when it’s called in the right situation – 4th and 20 not so much) but it also allows the quarterback to hit the receiver in the timing of the play. More time on a drop back isn’t going to help if you missed the timing of the play design. Then you have busted play and you have to improvise.

      • timwillhidetimwillhide - Jul 4, 2015 at 5:18 PM

        Not all plays are gonna go by timing. A lot of plays are disrupted by Press coverage wich messes up the timing Thats why there are progressions the QB has to go through and Play Action is specificly used to slow the defensive reaction so the WR gets open or to slow the pass rush to buy the QB time to find the open receiver…

        • bangkokben - Jul 4, 2015 at 5:25 PM

          I don’t have a problem with Robert’s timing on play-action. I have a problem with Robert’s timing when it isn’t play-action. Even if the line gives enough time (see FO’s QB pressure stats) both Robert and Kirk are 27th and 25th in the league when not pressured. More time isn’t the answer. Play action is AN answer but last year running it 42% of the time would’ve been stupid. You have to take in consideration the state of the running game and the situation.

        • bangkokben - Jul 4, 2015 at 5:49 PM

          Here’s a quote from Keim’s piece in which he responds to what Mark Brunnel said:

          “As I’ve said in the past, the coaches put perhaps half of the 58 sacks allowed last season on the protection; you can disagree or argue, but that’s their assessment but they also rightly felt the line needed to be upgraded and will have two new starters.”

          He said this again in an early piece but that time he said half on the quarterback. Just FYI.

        • timwillhidetimwillhide - Jul 5, 2015 at 12:09 AM

          I took a second look at that article about pressure that you seem to be stuck on that one point to discredit RG3 and pin most of the sacks on him which just isn’t true. I watched every game and that Oline got pushed back at the snap almost every time. Especially on the right side The GM wouldn’t take that high of a pick on the guy they did plus take 2 more in the same draft if that wasn’t the case. As far as those stats go Both QBs being ranked in the bottom 10 shows how bad the Oline was especially since they both came from the same team. The Reason RG3 is ranked lower is because of the amount of sacks he took. They put more weight on lost yardage than they did bad passes and also didn’t count interceptions within the last 2 minutes of a game even if the game was close and it was a game losing throw which is dumb. Also they even stated that its near impossible to rate the QB due to such a need for others to perform. Another factor is the Defensive front they were each facing. The 49ers have a great front 7 and Tampa Bay had a great Dline there problem is they had a bunch other bad pieces on Defense and offense. That ansers the 2 teams you keep Quoting. He was given time in the Vikings game and he put up points. As far as timing on plays his first year in an offense with Obviously Bad Pass Blocking. Lets pass judgement with a second year in the system and hopefully a better Pass Blocking Oline.

        • timwillhidetimwillhide - Jul 6, 2015 at 1:52 AM

          For everyone who thinks the Oline wasn’t that Bad 41 Sacks where attributed to the Oline. Count them up yourselves. A lot of fans where saying the TEs and RBs counted for some of the 17 remaining sacks that doesn’t leave a whole lot on the QBs does it?

  11. skinsgame - Jul 3, 2015 at 4:49 PM

    Often, the Redskins were down by 2 scores or more by mid 2nd quarter. Tough to sell a run when the other team knows your QB is inaccurate and is essentially daring you to beat them with the run. This is where I expect the biggest difference to show and the extreme upgrade of Callahan over Foerester.

  12. berniebernard666 - Jul 3, 2015 at 9:05 PM

    Well, after all of these comments and after everything everybody says, the bottom line is the Redskins should improve and Griffin will improve…..because if he doesn’t he won’t be back and next years draft will be all about WHICH quarterback the Skins are drafting. And Scott M is good at that. So don’t worry bout a thing.

    • Trey Gregory - Jul 4, 2015 at 12:48 AM

      Is he good at that? I could be mistaken, but wasn’t he part of the group that took Alex Smith over Aaron Rogers? Then he said, while at Seattle in 2012, they wanted to draft Cousins but Washington did it first, so they went with Wilson instead. That’s two strikes in my book.

      I love that Scot is working for our team and I have a lot of confidence in him. But drafting QBs isn’t an exact science, and our GM doesn’t necessarily have the best track record there.

      • Rich Tandler - Jul 4, 2015 at 5:41 AM

        A lot of teams blew it on Rogers.

        As to Wilson, McCloughan advocated for drafting him and Cousins was still on the board when Seattle took Wilson at No. 75. Cousins’ didn’t go until pick 102.

        • Trey Gregory - Jul 5, 2015 at 2:30 AM

          Ok. Like I said, I could have been mistaken. I didn’t look it up first. And yeah, a lot of teams missed on Rogers, but that wasn’t my point. My point was that I don’t know of any history that indicated Scott M is good at drafting QBs. In fact, the only history I know of indicates he’s kind of lousy at it. I’m not trying to comment on how the rest of the league is at drafting QBs, and I’m certainly not saying I could do any better. I’m just saying that I have no reason to be overly optimistic that we will draft a better option than RG3 if we try in 2016 or later. That’s the thing about when fans call for letting a starter go. It only helps if there’s someone better waiting to take the job.

        • Trey Gregory - Jul 5, 2015 at 2:39 AM

          Oh, and sorry Rich, I just noticed I was replying to you. I really enjoy your articles and I respect your opinion on these subjects a lot. I would love to hear more about your opinion on Scot M and drafting QBs if you have any more thoughts. Or if there’s even a good option to hope for in the 2016 draft. I personally don’t see any sure fire upgrades over RG3, no Andrew Luck types, but maybe you have some thoughts?

  13. Skinz4Life - Jul 3, 2015 at 11:44 PM

    Seriously? You can’t run play action with a weak line. 1). There wasn’t much time and 2). We needed Morris and the tight ends to block when it was time to go down the field. Archives

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