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Need to Know: Five who need to step up for the Redskins to beat the Bucs

Oct 24, 2015, 6:18 AM EDT


Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, October 24, one day before the Washington Redskins host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

5 who need to step up for the Redskins to beat the Bucs

It’s “code red” as the Redskins take on the Bucs. In order for the Redskins to avoid going into the bye with the taste of a home loss to a mediocre opponent, a few players need to step up.

QB Kirk Cousins—He needs to have a game good enough to halt the chatter that he should be replaced. The backup quarterback, whether it’s Colt McCoy or Robert Griffin III, has already become very popular with some fans and at some point an alternative could start looking good to Jay Gruden. Throwing for 225 yards with two touchdowns and no picks in a win would go a long way towards quieting things down and help the Redskins pick up a badly needed “W”.

OL Josh LeRibeus—The fourth-year player didn’t get embarrassed in his first start at center against the Jets but he wasn’t very good, either. His contract is up after this season and if he can’t prove that he is capable of starting or at least being a viable backup there isn’t much point in keeping him around. The Redskins need to run the ball if they are going to win and if they are not strong up the middle against the Bucs that will be difficult to accomplish.

RB Matt Jones—Since rushing for 123 yards in Week 2, Jones has run for a combined 69 yards in three games. He appears to be recovered from the toe injury that kept him out last week and if Chris Thompson (doubtful, back) can’t go Jones will have to step in and take on the third-down role. The Redskins are 33 percent on third-down conversions over the last two weeks so we’ll see if Jones can help turn that around.

CB Bashaud Breeland—Most of the players on this list are struggling to one degree or another. You can’t say that about Breeland, who would have been up for defensive player of the week honors after his three-takeaway game against the Jets had the Redskins won. But he needs to keep it up and continue to create turnovers while covering either 6-5 receiver Mike Evans or 6-5 receiver Vincent Jackson.

LB Ryan Kerrigan—We’re a little over one-third of the way through the season so his 3.5 sacks almost have him on pace for a double-digit total. It’s not like he has disappeared this year but more is expected out of him. A couple of sacks of Bucs rookie quarterback Jameis Winston and a few hits and hurries on top of those would help the Redskins do what they need to get done defensively.



Today’s schedule: Walkthrough at Redskins Park; no availability

Days until: Bucs @ Redskins 1; Redskins @ Patriots 15; Saints @ Redskins 21

In case you missed it

  1. garg8050 - Oct 24, 2015 at 7:09 AM

    I think the team will respond well and come away with a victory. Assuming Reed can play, i think the offense will be a lot more efficient, especially on 3rd downs. That should help get the running game going as well. I see a 24-13 sort of game.

    • colorofmyskinz - Oct 24, 2015 at 7:37 AM

      My list in order of priority:
      -Gruden better have fixed the 3rd quarter problem and the first down running issue
      -Morris number 1 of players better prove he needs to start above jones
      -Riley better prove he needs to start by being a tackling machine and nit getting burned in coverage
      -pot roast better prove himself in this prove it contract
      -Kerrigan and Murphy need to show what I know they have.

      • skinsforever38 - Oct 24, 2015 at 7:51 AM

        I agree on everything but Murphy. What has he shown since he’s been in the league to even justify his second round selection? Preston Smith has shown more as a rookie than Murphy has shown in 2yrs.

        • colorofmyskinz - Oct 24, 2015 at 10:40 AM

          Murphy can be a beast. I think they need to move him in Riley’s position a get a real edge rusher. If galette comes back he would be it with Preston behind him. Murphy is a better run stopper and tackler than edge rusher.

        • ET - Oct 24, 2015 at 1:26 PM

          Murphy is a very good player, but he may not be a good edge rusher. While his sack totals aren’t great, he contributes in other ways, particularly on run downs. I think he’ll continue to get stronger and better, as will Preston Smith.

        • jonevans511 - Oct 24, 2015 at 6:39 PM

          I agree. Murphy is usually stout against the run, i have to admit, but against the Falcons he got absolutely manhandled and on stretch plays he was single handedly responsible for several big runs by Freeman. Now obviously he’s not the only one who slacked against the run in that game, just pointing out the fact he’s got to be more consistent.

      • mrhart76 - Oct 24, 2015 at 8:17 PM

        Morris can’t beat 8 players in the box. They load up because our passing game doesn’t scare anyone.

        • skinsgame - Oct 24, 2015 at 10:20 PM

          Morris goes down on the first hit now. Excuses are running out.

  2. troylok - Oct 24, 2015 at 7:15 AM

    I’m surprised you didn’t mention Scherff. He’s regressed from savior at right tackle, to savior at right guard, to serviceable right guard and I really don’t know where he is after the Jets game. I know he’s not in danger of losing his job – yet – but with Long performing and Kouandjio chomping at the bit, the leash can’t be too long.

    • colorofmyskinz - Oct 24, 2015 at 7:25 AM

      Agreed here. Rich why my posts never make it??? Getting frustrating.

      • Rich Tandler - Oct 24, 2015 at 8:14 AM

        A help ticket has been submitted, hopefully will be figured out in the next few days.

        And it’s not just you. I fact, it’s pretty random, some go up, some don’t.

        In any case, apologies, and the techies are aware.

        • troylok - Oct 24, 2015 at 8:16 AM

          I wonder if that is linked to random emails being deleted on Hillary’s server…

        • colorofmyskinz - Oct 24, 2015 at 10:41 AM

          Hey rich. It really only happened with a new posted comment. It has never failed in a comment intiated with a “reply”.

        • brucefan1 - Oct 24, 2015 at 12:49 PM

          Fwiw, some of my “replies” have been lost in the ozone, so they are not exempt. (Durn techies … whattta THEY know about football??!! LOL)

          But even more concerning — for our host at least — is that Rich may actually have to approve some (all?) of these comments before they will post. That’s what I gleaned from a reply he made to my latest whine (strictly tongue-in-cheek, mind you!! ;^}) about this situation recently.

          If that is the case, then there has GOT to be place for him in Heaven.

  3. colorofmyskinz - Oct 24, 2015 at 7:24 AM

    Agree with these. But, if Morris is taking snaps, I hope he does not, then he of all of these needs to step up more than the others. If he is starter and takes 20 runs, it better be for more than 90. Morris is my greatest disappointment of the year and should be number 1 on this list.

    Riley should be number 2 and pot roast number 3. Pot roast has been nonexistent for his paltry 10-20 snaps per game. He needs to prove it in his prove it year and I don’t think he has. He starters out great but has been a huge flop in my opinion. Riley needs to step up to his start of year form too.

    I would place Robinson as number 4. We need him to step up as team vocal leader and we need him to be a tackling machine.

    I agree with Kerrigan but u would add Murphy. Murphy came alive for one play set to close eagles out. I want to see that every play set.

    Morris should be number one on the list. He has the most to prove. Time to prove it or ride pine the rest of the year with Jones. We pretty much know jones will prove it.

    • jonevans511 - Oct 24, 2015 at 6:43 PM

      You’ve been disappointed with Hatcher? Really? His stats may not jump off the page but literally everyone I’ve heard who has analyzed the film has said he’s been wreaking havoc and setting up huge plays nearly every game. I won’t pretend to know Barry’s scheme inside and out but he seems to be working his tail off and is in the backfield frequently. Am I missing something? I am not calling you out or saying you’re wrong either, I was just surprised that you mentioned him specifically.

  4. cowboyhater - Oct 24, 2015 at 8:46 AM

    #1 priority……don’t abandon the run game!!! Those of you who talk about Morris lack of production need to realize that only getting 11 attempts will not get him going. He is a back that wears down a defense. Gibbs would use Riggins this way. Riggins would avg about 3 yards per carry in the first half and then when the defense wears down he takes over late in the 3rd qtr closing out the 4th. Morris is the same type of back. When we see Cousins attempting 43 passes like last week, that is asking for trouble.

    The front 7 need to step it up. They were dominant early in the year now they are getting gouged by our opposition running backs. What happened to that stout front 7? Too many missed tackles, and Pot Roast is not clogging the middle like he needs to to free up our MLB’s to make plays.

    Lastly…the injured players need to get back on the field…Really with the Jackson hamstring? That has gone on way too long. Beast mode came back in 2 weeks!! Culliver needs to suck it up and get back on field, but put a fork in Hall..he is done. Reed is a great talent but too soft for this game. He needs to retire. Bottom line.. i’m frustrated because they are not the field with their teammates trying to get a win for their team. Suck it up and get out there!!

    • Rich Tandler - Oct 24, 2015 at 8:51 AM

      Morris is not a back who wears down a defense. His best average per carry is in the second quarter, the third is worse than that, and the fourth is his worst, by far. You can say it all you want but there simply is no evidence that Morris gets better the more work he gets.

      And you’re not alone in being frustrated with Jackson’s hamstring. But comparing him to other players isn’t really apples to oranges. Lynch and Julio Jones don’t rely on speed nearly as much as Jackson does. They can operate at less than full speed, Jackson can’t.

      • cowboyhater - Oct 24, 2015 at 9:21 AM

        The stats you mentioned may be true…but only getting 11 carries will not do it for this team. My point is really more about abandoning the running game. Plus Morris is not a game breaking back, and is more for power,. Any back that has that type of talent becomes more effective as the defense gets worn down from early punishing carries in a game. That is just football common sense. Since you take statements literally…let me rephrase it…Morris needs more carries to be effective in the running game. No matter what quarter they are in.

        As for Jackson I understand what makes him special, but when I compare players I compare the actual injury, not style of athlete they are. point is that he has been nursing this injury too long. He needs to get back on the field to help his team win games.

        • Rich Tandler - Oct 24, 2015 at 10:02 AM

          Point is that some can play at 80% speed and still be effective. Jackson can’t.

        • goback2rfk - Oct 24, 2015 at 11:50 AM

          A 3 to 4 week injury has turned into being out for almost 2 months without a date set for return. Jacksons ass is cut after this season. Save almost 9 mil on the salary cap and get rid of the dead weight.
          What a wimp.. My hammy , oh I think I got a “twinge” in it. Let me stop the discussion of how I can’t get back on the field and lets talk about my home getting broke into.

          Ross is a burner, why don’t they send him deep throughout the game. I would replace Jackson with Ross temporarily and look for another burner in the draft in the late rounds. Maybe find a steal.
          Jackson was a much better player when he returned punts also. He does not do that for us he is to much of a wimp for that. Might get hurt the 1st time he tries. I am over Desean Jackson – CuT.. CuT… CuT.

        • brucefan1 - Oct 24, 2015 at 12:59 PM

          Appears like we MAY have an agent provocateur on our hands … trying to stir the pot with outrageous demands. Kinda sounds like the kinda guy who cries out about ANY diplomatic crisis, “WaR! WaR! WaR!” LOL

          (But then, any commenters who have proclaimed that GRIFFIN has to go because he can’t stay healthy, pretty much has to say the same thing about DJax, lest they come off as hypocrites.)

        • Hitsports - Oct 25, 2015 at 9:28 AM

          DeSean reinjured his hamstring lady week. Also, ring to get him back the lady two weeks probably set him up to reinjured it. All you can do is rest it until it’s healed just like a groin.

          Also, Alfred Morris gets hit in the back field regularly. We don’t get very much push on interior runs, and these are primarily his runs in this offense. Our biggest carries were on tosses, but we stopped running them.

        • Rich Tandler - Oct 25, 2015 at 10:24 AM

          He did not get re-injured last week. He broke up some scar tissue, was a bit of a scare but not a re-injury.

          Just for the record.

  5. timwillhide - Oct 24, 2015 at 9:28 AM

    I think only 2 people need to step up.

    1. Gruden needs to call more pass plays down field past 10 yards.

    2. Cousins needs to be more accurate and connect on passes over 10 yards.

  6. Trevino - Oct 24, 2015 at 9:44 AM

    1. Cousins
    2. Gruden
    3-5. See number 1

  7. timwillhide - Oct 24, 2015 at 9:45 AM

    Only 2 people need to step up.

    1. Gruden needs to call more passes down field past 10 yards and run the ball more.

    2. Cousins needs to be more accurate and connect on passes over 10 yards down the field.

    • Rich Tandler - Oct 24, 2015 at 10:05 AM

      Oh. I guess it’s not really a team game. And Kirk and Jay need to button up against the run.

      • brucefan1 - Oct 24, 2015 at 1:00 PM

        RT’s FEISTY today! Nice.

      • timwillhide - Oct 24, 2015 at 8:50 PM

        If they don’t turn the ball over and they stretch the field then the run game will be better the defense will get more rest and be more stout against the run. They were better against the run in the games they won

    • ericstylezz - Oct 24, 2015 at 10:30 AM

      I’d have to agree, we’re terribly predictable and we don’t have Brady or Barry Sanders in the backfield so there has to be multiple threats present for our offense to work. Kirks nosedive is just making defenses hungrier and more aggressive against us.

    • hail74 - Oct 24, 2015 at 11:03 AM

      So you’ll be ok if our defense gives up multiple big plays like last week? They’ve been getting gashed and it’s not just late in the game after cousins throws a pick.

  8. ericstylezz - Oct 24, 2015 at 10:27 AM

    The defense is blameless and has played great. If we weren’t continuously handing the ball back to other teams via INT’s and 3 and outs then the D wouldn’t be on the field so long. Probability has to factor in at some point when you’re asking 4 overweight guys to bring it every play. Be realistic!

    • hail74 - Oct 24, 2015 at 11:01 AM

      The defense started off the 3rd fresh but gave up a 7 play drive with plays of 24 and 11 yds sprinkled in it. The very first play after the pick they allowed Ryan Fitzpatrick to run right down the middle of the field for an 18 yd td. Hardly great or blameless.

  9. goback2rfk - Oct 24, 2015 at 12:03 PM

    Players that need to step up:

    1) Rex Cousins – One more shitty multiple INT game and the Skins lose I don’t see how he keeps his job. Kirk better show something on Sunday cause there are no more excuses left for the 4th year signal caller.

    2) Ryan Kerrigan – Kerrigan has all but disappeared from the defense. His play looks awful. He does not look as explosive nor is he getting a lot of pressure on opposing QB’s. We need a big game from Kerrigan.

    3) Andre Roberts – Droperts must make everything of his little bit of play he gets. No drops, no fumbles, I would like for him to make a couple key plays like on 3rd down this game. If not I do not see how he stays around.

    4) Jordan Reed – If Reed is able to go he needs to have a huge game to make up for all that time he has missed over the years. I want to see Reed go huge on Sunday. I am talking over 100+ yards and 2 TD’s. Get the talented TE fully involved.

    5) Keenan Robinson – While having a quiet but somewhat productive year Keenan has done some good things. All the linebackers will need to step up on Sunday. I would like to see some sacks or disruptive plays. Maybe a forced fumble out of Keenan or a game changing play. All linebackers must step up. Stop the run. Can not have Martin gash us for 150 on Sunday.

    • brucefan1 - Oct 24, 2015 at 4:33 PM

      Hehehe … he said “Droperts” ! LOL

  10. red - Oct 24, 2015 at 12:52 PM

    Guys that need to step up for me this week obviously first is k. Cousins. He needs to not throw a pick. Probably not gonna happen but he doesnt need yds and tds i could live with a 195 yd 1 td no pick performance. Not gonna happen. Next is j crowder show us why you the future. I can see him going 7 for 75 or better realistically. Alf Morris please come back to us. We still love you! K. Jarrett your turn to step to the mike. Come up with a pick cement your role as nickel cb or future safety. Finally i want sum pot roast. Dt is the hardest position to judge because if he is having a impact it will show up on other ppl stats like if he collapses pocket kerrigan or baker gets a sack or if he pushes his guy back into the rb someone else gets the tackle etc.. On another note i think this is the best team talent wise in years why are the expectations so low? We could still win division… But thats not gonna happen i think we lose against bucs because you dont go “code red” this early. I think a change is coming we fired our kicker and i think the gm told gruden without saying anything you could be next…..

    • goback2rfk - Oct 24, 2015 at 4:36 PM

      Morris is being completely phased out of the offense. He is a hold out from the 2012 Rg3 spectacular days. His days are numbered. I would like to see Jones get more carries this game.

  11. mr.moneylover - Oct 24, 2015 at 1:23 PM

    I hope trey wiilliams play well and matt jones need to have a solid game because we dont know what alfred morris gonna do in this game….I think kirk cousins gonna throw the game away if its a close game…but my bold prediction is that tampa bay gonna be up two scores at halftime kirk cousins gonna struggle and get bench during halftime and we will see colt mccoy in the second half and we will come back and win my 3 colt mccoy saved the day

    • colmac69 - Oct 24, 2015 at 3:50 PM

      Going out on a limb with that prediction are u not!!!!!!

      McCoy with comeback win…..outstanding

      Winning keeps the coaches job safe..oh wait a minute u want them to paddle the coach out the door……can’t win this game then

      U better decide what you wanting

  12. brucefan1 - Oct 24, 2015 at 5:04 PM

    Oooof! A lotta wailing and gnashing of teeth going on here over the one game that the Skins may actually be FAVORED in this season! Not much going on the Redskin Reservation to instill much confidence within the tribe these days, apparently.

    So many factors leaning in the Redskins favor; playing a Bucs team featuring the #31ranked defense which has been shredded by the passing game, led by a rookie QB who actually has a rating and a “QBR” lower than the guy the Skins trot out, playing at home, and with (and this is KEY) a Code Red alert declared by their HC, I — who usually disdains predictions — actually am hard pressed to see how they lose this one.

    I mean, if Jay can’t find a way a way in THIS game to exploit that swiss-cheese pass defense (especially if JReed & Trent are back!), and Joe B. can’t find a way to get Jameis’s head spinning like he needs an exorcist, then it might never happen for the Skins this season!

    • ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Oct 24, 2015 at 11:38 PM

      I think you’re right.

      It’s just hard not to remember thinking that same thing when Tampa Bay came to visit last year.

  13. goback2rfk - Oct 24, 2015 at 5:34 PM

    “Code Red” should be more like “Code Pink” for the pink slip that is coming to Gruden at the end of the year.
    Jay knows his ass is on the line and the only thing that can save him is some wins. He knows going into the bye 2 and 5 is not an option if he is going to continue as HC.

  14. Toni - Oct 24, 2015 at 7:19 PM

    Why is Grudens name missing?

    • Rich Tandler - Oct 25, 2015 at 6:22 AM

      If you’ll notice, all of those listed are players.

  15. skins26portis - Oct 25, 2015 at 12:18 AM

    This is a Home game and if you want to be a good team it starts at kicking ass at home. We need to start fast and get up early so our defense can play with a lead. If our defense gets turnovers we need to turn them into TD’s not settling for FG’s. I knew last week we had not chance at beating the Jets with 6 offensive starters missing the game. This week we do get back Trent W. J.Reed and M.Jones. On defense we need C. Culliver back to help our depleted secondary. Kirk C. needs to play with confidence and let the ball fly. Missing D-Jax is big as you can see P.Garcon is not a #1 WR and he can be taken. J.Crowder needs to continue to make plays when his number is called. I really like our new Kicker he has been a nice surprise, lets hope he continues to make FG’s when its needed. HTTR lets get a win.

  16. Capital Defense - Oct 25, 2015 at 12:06 PM

    Jackson to IR- hell Bryant of the cowboys broke a bone and will play before that softy
    SWITCH TO A 4-3 DEFENSE, my god how much better would Kerrigan and Murphy, Preston and #52 be with another DT on the field? We are wasting our best talents on defense jamming a square peg into a round hole!
    Trade that soft TE who keeps bumping his head.

    Have a great day! :) Archives

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