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Need to Know: Moses now in comfort zone at right tackle for the Redskins

Oct 16, 2015, 5:13 AM EDT

Here is what you need to know on this Friday, October 16, two days before the Washington Redskins play the New York Jets.

Read and react

Comments from Jay Gruden and Joe Barry along with my reaction to them.

Joe Barry on the Falcons’ last drive against his defense:

Our mentality was they needed a touchdown. You have a different mentality when the two-minute starts on what they need—do they need a field goal or do they need a touchdown? I’m a firm believer in our rush and coverage . . . We got them to fourth and two with 30 seconds left. We’ve got to find a way to win a down. Whether it’s a sack-fumble, whether it’s a tipped pass, we’re going to make them earn everything they get. We didn’t make the play. They made the play.

React: For all of the discussion about soft coverages and not being aggressive enough, doing anything on a football field does ultimately come down to players making plays. With the Redskins’ depleted secondary, the odds were against them no matter what the scheme. That said, I would have liked to see a little more pass pressure with Atlanta’s main receiving threat, Julio Jones, obviously hampered by his hamstring injury.

Jay Gruden on Morgan Moses’ performance this year:

“I think reps, number one, since training camp and OTAs – really since training camp – and then the comfort level playing right tackle. Like I said before, he played left tackle his last two years at Virginia and then we tried to flip him last year and he wasn’t quite ready. Everything was backwards to him. His sets were different, but having another year under his belt playing just right tackle, I think it’s helped him out the most. And [Offensive Line] Coach [Bill] Callahan has done an excellent job with him. The comfort level with his pass sets, his combination blocks on the right side is the big difference.”

React: Moses has been the Redskins’ biggest surprise contributor this year. Not much was expected of him since he missed the entire offseason program rehabbing his injured foot. Plus they drafted Brandon Scherff fifth overall to play tackle. But they made the shuffle on the line in training camp, Scherff moved over a slot, Moses moved in a right tackle. He has been far from flawless but he has played well enough to think that he will be a solid part of the line going forward.

Barry on his defensive philosophy:

“You know, there’s three things that we’ve really preached since the very first meeting we had back in May. That’s to compete, to be physical and to finish. We’re never going to be satisfied and we’re definitely not satisfied yet. As long as we show up every day and we compete and we play physical and we finish, I think those are the things that we are always going to be striving for and make the fans of the Redskins proud.

React: Of course we have a long way to go this season but it’s so far, so good for Barry’s defense. They are not dominant by any means but they have improved on a lot of meaningful categories including net yards per pass attempt, total yards per game, and, on the bottom line, points per game by almost a full touchdown. And they have done this with a secondary that was not very good to begin with and has had to deal with multiple injuries on top of that. Again, it’s too early to come to a conclusion that Gruden’s controversial decision to hire Barry was the right call. But things are looking up almost a third of the way into the season.

Gruden on the need to get bigger chunks of yardage:

“It’s a matter of when we do take the shots making something out of them. We do need to get more plays in chunks. You know, it’s difficult against a defense like this to think that you’re going to go — we’ve had a lot of good 15/13/14-play drives, I think more than anybody in the league. But we do need to work on our long gains, chunk plays somehow, whether it’s in the running game, screens, or shot plays down the field.”

React: The Redskins’ ability to grind out long drives of 10 plays or more (14 this year with 12 of them resulting in scores) is very useful. But they also could use an occasional quick advance down the field. The Redskins have just two quick strikes this year, drives that started in their own territory that took six plays or fewer and resulted in a touchdown. You’re not going to get those every game but it’s hard to grind out those 10-play drives because each snap increases the odds of a penalty, turnover, missed assignment, or other miscue scuttling the possession.


Today’s schedule: Practice 11:55; Jay Gruden and Sean McVay news conferences and player availability after practice, approx. 1:00.

Days until: Redskins @ Jets 2; Bucs @ Redskins 9; Redskins @ Patriots 23

In case you missed it

  1. abanig - Oct 16, 2015 at 7:22 AM

    I told a lot of wahoo fans that never thought Moses would amount to anything that he just needed time to develop at RT.

    I don’t hear any of them chirping now…

    • abanig - Oct 16, 2015 at 7:57 AM

      Redskins average 4.7 ypc w/ Djax in the game & über 4 ypc w/o him – John Keim

    • mr.moneylover - Oct 16, 2015 at 9:14 AM

      I think it was more of the nfl analysis experts that said he was a bad pick for us…but hes proving ppl wrong

    • brucefan1 - Oct 16, 2015 at 11:03 AM

      Morgan’s one of the happiest surprises of the season!

      And I’ll be glad to chirp that I predicted against it; didn’t think MM was quite tuff enuff. (Curses! Wrong … AGAIN!)

      Guess that makes me a “wahoo” fan!! (That designation kinda sounds cool, tho. WAAAAHOOO!!!)

    • ET - Oct 16, 2015 at 2:30 PM

      I’m a Wahoo that didn’t think Moses would be able to cut it—though I wasn’t vocal about it, just slightly sad. I thought Moses had the smarts and physical attributes for the pros, but not the technique. He’s gotten better across the board, thankfully. I’m happy I was wrong.

    • captblood3000 - Oct 16, 2015 at 8:28 PM

      That was mostly deepball, abanig. For other reasons, Rich banned him. Cut off the head, and the body dies.

      • abanig - Oct 17, 2015 at 3:07 AM

        I’m not just talking about here, particularly on message boards. A lot of Virginia fans on various Redskins message boards – of course – and almost 100% of them totally ripped Moses since they started reading reports in his rookie offseason that he needed development with his technique. I never doubted the rawness these fans saw at Virginia and that’s the reason Moses went in round in round 3, and not in round 1 because of his potential but many said he’d never amount to nothing in his rookie season which I always found quite ridiculous.

  2. colorofmyskinz - Oct 16, 2015 at 7:29 AM

    Yea loved Moses the day we drafted him and he introduced us to his beard.

    We have got to get the ball deep in the begining of our possessions to open up running lanes. We also have to stop running on every first down. That is crazy. We will never get the run game going again unless we mix it up.

    We have to get the run game going to win.

    “What got you there will not keep you there…” – famous quote in Marshall Goldsmith

    Why do we think this does not apply to football???

  3. gonavybeatarmy - Oct 16, 2015 at 8:41 AM

    It’s widely accepted that it takes three years to adequately assess the success or failure of a draft class. That said, the 2014 Skins’ draft, the first post-Shanahan draft, is beginning to look pretty darn successful eighteen months later. Despite again not having a first round pick, the Skins acquired Murphy, Moses, Long, Breeland and Grant, all of whom are contributing in various ways. There’s no reason to get carried away as no probable future Hall of Famer in the group, but a respectable class thus far. And, since Forbath was released this season, drafting Hocker in the seventh round appears, in retrospect, to have been a forward-thinking decision.

    It has been reported that the Skins through Allen’s leadership were one of a small handful of teams that used McCloughan’s consulting service in 2014. That sure appears to be the case from afar.

    • mr.moneylover - Oct 16, 2015 at 9:11 AM

      Spencer long is great at pass protection but he gotta improve on his run blocking skills and he will be solid

  4. mr.moneylover - Oct 16, 2015 at 9:09 AM

    Josh leberius suppose to start at center this weekend this game got a lost writing all over it its bad enough that spencer long struggle to get to the second level and on top of that jay gruden dont make adjustments in the game this is very bad news for the redskins

    • boysheadcoach - Oct 16, 2015 at 10:27 AM

      Yeah, we know, you don’t like the coach, we get it, it’s really all you have to say (repeatedly for 6 weeks). Got anything else to contribute that might be a positive observation, with all your vast experience of “WATCHING” NFL football Coach?
      There will be NO coaching change this season , no matter how many times you say “you” don’t like what he is doing or not doing. I see many great things happening that in the long term will prove out to be a solid foundation of players to build upon. Tell me you don’t honestly see that happening.
      And please, punctuation is a wonderful thing.

      “Spencer long is great at pass protection but he gotta improve on his run blocking skills and he will be solid”
      Most positive comment you have made in a while. Good stuff!

      • hail74 - Oct 16, 2015 at 1:04 PM

        Yes after every game we get the” don’t adjust after halftime” line. Even on the thread Rich had up about a few weeks ago about how Gruden adjusted after halftime. Tiresome and one of those arguments that are impossible to prove unless your privy to the game plan Sunday morning.

  5. sidepull - Oct 16, 2015 at 10:05 AM

    Moses is gold. He filled a much needed position on that line and it will get better with a year of playing under his belt.

  6. bangkokben - Oct 16, 2015 at 10:38 AM

    Stephone Heyer, anyone?

    The undrafted right tackle that replaced Jon Jansen – that we thought we could build with. My point is let’s see how this plays out a little more before we give our self a pat on the back. I, like the rest of you, want to believe we’ve got the right guy and that he will grow into the position. Here are two things that can derail that: 1) injuries – part of the game and unpredictable; and 2) coaching change – new system and new philosophy can change a player’s career path. Pierre Garcon was a number 1 receiver in Kyle Shanahan’s system. Roddy White was a number 1 receiver before Kyle Shanahan’s system.

    In conclusion, I’m happy for Moses, happy for the team and happy with the team’s direction; but if that direction changes for the worse – which is quite possible – then change could come and Moses might just be another potential gem that was in the best system for his talents and never reach that potential in another.

    • timwillhide - Oct 16, 2015 at 2:19 PM

      Big difference between Moses and Heyer. Heterosexual routinely got mauled by the guy he was blocking and I don’t recall anyone thinking he was any good. In fact I remember people being in bewilderment that they even had him on the roster let alone kept trotting him out there.

      • bangkokben - Oct 16, 2015 at 3:19 PM

        From 2009:–redskins-heyer_saug26-story.html

        Love this quote from salty Joe Bugel:
        “Stephon Heyer’s way ahead of everybody, man,” offensive line coach Joe Bugel said Tuesday. “He’s a legit tackle. He’s improved tremendously. This is his third year. He’s been through all kind of torment and torture by me for three years. He deserves this opportunity. He’s taking advantage of it.”

        When Shanahan came in there was thought that Heyer’s “skills” would translate to Shanahan’s zone blocking system. But, lobster face went ahead and traded for an injured Ray Brown and then gave him a boatload of cash after one year before going in other directions.

        Heyer is nowhere close to Moses in physical ability.

        The point is that coaching and system has a ton do with whether a player develops or not and if Gruden tanks as some fans expect – even want – then Moses is starting over in a new system. It could go fine if that happens or he could be like Alfred Morris, Robert Griffin, David Amerson, or anyone else that doesn’t benefit from change.

        • abanig - Oct 16, 2015 at 7:23 PM

          Shanatan traded two picks for “Jamaal Brown,” Ray Brown played for Gibbs. I wish we had Ray Brown in his prime after Jansen and before Moses.

          When Heyer was coached by Buges, he was better. When Buges left it was all downhill.

          Just like Rinehart and Dockery, they didn’t fit the zbs well.

      • abanig - Oct 16, 2015 at 7:45 PM

        Vinny, Bugel and Zorn liked Heyer enough to continually start him and talk about him in a positive light. Most fans never thought Heyer should Jeb been a starter or even active on game days. Most fans wanted to draft a 2nd round or mid round OT to develop behind Jansen & Samuels as they were aging late last decade. The skins refused to do it until they drafted Reinhart, but the quickly thought he’d be a better fit at OG & not OT in 08. :-/

      • timwillhide - Oct 16, 2015 at 8:34 PM

        Heyer lol

  7. brucefan1 - Oct 16, 2015 at 10:44 AM

    Yep … I was front & center amongst those who didn’t think Moses would make it to the promised land this season (think I used that same weak joke then, too!). Didn’t think he was quite tuff enuff, and that RT was The Sheriff’s job to lose (as did many on the Skins staff, I’d wager … if I enjoyed wagering).

    Be glad to admit how happy I am to be wrong!

    And, on an even lighter note, I don’t know about what purpose “chirping” about my miscalculation would serve? I thought chirping was reserved for things one was complaining about! Also, if misjudging Morgan’s potential makes me one of ab’s “wahoo” fan — whatever THAT means — so be it. (Sounds kinda cool anyway! LOL)

    • brucefan1 - Oct 16, 2015 at 5:57 PM

      Hey! That lost comment FINALLY showed up! Second post within a few hours for which that I hadda endure delayed satisfaction! (So, I’m old; we get satisfaction in different ways than you kids do!)

      Wish it hadn’t taken so long; it woulda saved me from drafting that other one on the Moses topic — which actually showed up BEFORE than this one! Haha! Go figure.

      (I do like that rewritten one better, tho — hadda more pleasant tone. And no “promised land” joke. Yikes)

      Guess the fun never stops at Need To Know! ;^}

      • Rich Tandler - Oct 16, 2015 at 6:30 PM

        Trust me, I’m trying to get this issue fixed. Thanks for hanging with me!

  8. ET - Oct 16, 2015 at 3:10 PM

    The injury report this week is pretty grim. Williams and Lichtensteiger are out, Lauvao’s already gone.

    Will Nsekhe start at left tackle? Moses? Tom Compton? Popping LeRibster in at center doesn’t give me (or anyone else) any confidence, either.

    It’s gonna be a rough day against the Jets’ DL.

    • abanig - Oct 16, 2015 at 7:37 PM

      It’s been reported that Ty Nsekhe will start at LT, so get ready for the quick passing game. Screens to wrs & rbs, quick slants, quick outs. Maybe thag softens up the jets at some point and we can hit Ross or “hopefully” Djax on a deep one.

      • timwillhide - Oct 16, 2015 at 8:29 PM

        Get ready for the short passing game????? Pretty sure that’s what we’ve bin doing

        • abanig - Oct 17, 2015 at 3:03 AM

          Yeah, but even quicker. We’ve been doing a mix of quick passing game and intermediate stuff. For example 3 or 4 of Cousins’ ints this year and both of his ints last week were in the intermediate range. The intermediate range is where I’ve noticed Cousins struggles the most, just like Rex Grossman. Kirk struggles in the area in the middle of the field behind the linebackers and before the safeties, even if a WR is open 15-20 yards downfield in that area, he usually seems to miss them.

    • timwillhide - Oct 16, 2015 at 8:32 PM

      I think leblehhh may actually play pretty good at center. He has the right build for it.

      • abanig - Oct 17, 2015 at 2:59 AM

        Yeah, he may be a better center than guard. I don’t think he’s going to be better than Kory L right now, but maybe in time he can develop into a decent center. Archives

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