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Need to Know: Surprise contributors helping the Redskins

Nov 19, 2015, 5:11 AM EDT


Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, November 19, three days before the Washington Redskins play the Carolina Panthers.

Five thoughts and observations from Redskins Park

—There is no reason to get all nervous about Matt Jones fumbling. Alfred Morris had four in his rookie year, three of them recovered by the other team, and nine in his first two seasons combined and nobody was screaming for him to get glued to the bench.

—I’m keeping my eye on the inside linebacker spot this week. Will Compton seems to have one of the spots locked down but not necessarily for every snap. Last week I thought that Perry Riley was only playing because Keenan Robinson was injured but he responded with his best game of the year, including an acrobatic interception. I wouldn’t be surprised to see all three of them rotate situationally through the game.

—I’m going to do a post on what Trent Williams said about Morgan Moses’ play in the next day or two but the second-year player is getting high praise from both players and coaches. “I think he’s playing at a level of right tackle as good as anybody in the National Football League,” said Jay Gruden said of Moses after the Saints game. When training camp started nobody figured he would play much of a role at all this year. It goes to show you how much and how quickly things can change in the NFL.

—Speaking of unanticipated contributors, Will Blackmon wasn’t even on the roster Week 1. His play has essentially pushed DeAngelo Hall, the Redskins starting cornerback since the middle of the 2008 season, to safety. It’s hard to think of what a disaster the secondary would have been with Hall and Chris Culliver missing significant time with injuries had they not found Blackmon.

—Gruden said that there were “a couple of little skirmishes out there” during practice on Wednesday. “We’re just competing, man, that’s it,” said Blackmon. “Nothing crazy, just a lot of testosterone out there.” Perhaps this has happened at this time of year before but I don’t recall it happening often. This is a good sign; you have to like the feistiness out there a week before Thanksgiving.


Today’s schedule: Practice 11:35; Jay Gruden and Joe Barry news conferences and player availability after practice, approx. 1:30

Days until: Redskins @ Panthers 3; Giants @ Redskins 10; Monday night Cowboys @ Redskins 18

In case you missed it

  1. garg8050 - Nov 19, 2015 at 5:44 AM

    Any word on whether de la Puenta will replace Leribeus in the starting lineup? Two of those snaps on Sunday were horrendous. Only a matter of time before it costs them a turnover.

    • CousinJohn - Nov 19, 2015 at 8:25 AM

      There were tons of high snaps during the patriots game, it was nuts.

  2. colorofmyskinz - Nov 19, 2015 at 6:15 AM

    Agreed with Jones vs Morris’s fumbles first 2 years. Morris has had issues with the drops for sure. Some of those were RGIIIs fault. Some were on read option plays where Morris would have never expected RGIII to give him the ball. RGIII had a problem of never taking the pull on read option plays after his injury. Even when RGIII zKnew the run okay to Morris option was bust, he would still never take the pull when he should have. That caught Morris off guard and caused some of those fumbles.

    Yes Blackmond was a great in season find. Not so sure about DHall at safety though. He is not the greatest hitter or tackler. That move does not seam to be the best. But sure I like 4 corners that could start.

    I really like how our early season players injuried are coming back for last half of the season. I guess that is the benefit of a pile of injuries to starters in the preseason and first game. Allows them to comeback with some freshness for second half of season while other teams are accumulating injuries throughout the season to where second half of season are with a thinner roster.

    Panther have only played Seahawks and Oackers as tough teams. The other 7 wins they have are with teams in the bottom half of the NFL. I said I was not impressed with the undefeated season. People here have me big grief. Sure I get it. It is still hard to win every week even when you are playing the bottom half of the NFL. Well guess what, this week they are playing a team in the top half of the NFL and it will not be as easy as the other 7 wins they have had. I still stand bye that. So continue to shrewd me now.

    I said weeks ago that a win/loss at NO would either create a winning streak or losing streak, respectively. I still stand bye that prediction.


    • redskinsnameisheretostay - Nov 19, 2015 at 8:00 AM

      “Some were on read option plays where Morris would have never expected RGIII to give him the ball. ”

      LOL! The read option ran with RG3 was off the pistol formation with RG3 making the decision if Morris get’s the ball to play through the run or deviate from the play by RG3 taking the ball himself. From there RG3 could run or pass. The running back (i.e. Morris) in this scheme has no expectation as to if he gets the ball or not, it’s completely up to the QB. Man, you try on just about every article to apply some BS about RG3 that is just not true. You watch the game like Cowboy fans would.

      • redskinsnameisheretostay - Nov 19, 2015 at 8:13 AM

        ” The running back (i.e. Morris) in this scheme has no expectation as to if he gets the ball or not, it’s completely up to the QB. ‘

        I need to rephrase this statement some: The running back should always be ready to receive the hand off in this situation since the run is the initial design of the play. There should no instance where the running back has no expectation to receive the hand off.

        RG3 was better than any QB I can recall in decoying a hand off. Even most RG3 detractors should agree to that.

        • kenlinkins - Nov 19, 2015 at 10:40 AM

          100% correct, the KEY to the Read Option is getting the RB to understand that “You may or may not get the ball, but you must always act like you are getting it”. The Read Option was developed to counter pass rushing DE/OLB types who were running up big sack numbers and making OT’s look bad. The target was to stop the DE/OLB in his tracks when facing a squared off QB who could take the edge or hand off to the RB who could run inside the DE/OLB (i.e. make the DE/OLB the weakness). Back in 2012 each DC was thinking “how do I counter this move with these over paid pass rush only DE/OLB types that where getting killed”, and the answer was to always take the QB, hit him no matter what as it protected the edge and helped stop Read Option-play action pass on roll outs (i.e. let the ILB get the RB if he gets the ball). Back in the days of LT the idea was to run right a him with a RB to slow down his pass rush. The Read Option was the next step in this line of thinking as young OC’s hit the NFL from the college ranks and wanted to test the old rule of “you can not run THAT in the NFL”. IMO the Read Option has a place in the NFL but must not be over used as a single / main stay offense system, but mixed in where you need to “shock or slow” down a DE/OLB who is beat the heck out of your OT and hurting your QB.

        • redskinsnameisheretostay - Nov 19, 2015 at 10:57 AM

          I completely agree Ken. Read Option is something to use like the shot gun or no huddle. It’s a part of the over recipe for the offense.

        • hk2000 - Nov 20, 2015 at 6:26 AM

          That’s exactly right!! This is not the only person who looks for ways to dump more blame on Griffin, it’s like they’re scared of him and want to make sure he stays down by continuing to kick him while he IS down.

        • brucefan1 - Nov 19, 2015 at 3:13 PM

          “Pretty good article”

          So NICE ya hadda post it TWICE, right Tim? ;^}

          I agree, it was a good article … went thru a lot of well-reasoned theories as to why Griffin is on the bench and Cam is in the MVP hunt. (With no accusations about Griffin being on the outs cuz he’s a bad guy, or lazy, or a poor teammate, or a “diva”! How refreshing!)

          To me, the main reason Cam is UP and Roberts is DOWN is simple; WINS & LOSSES.

          If the Skins had somehow managed to win in 2013 & 2014 (super defense; great running game; top-notch special teams …who knows?) but Griffin played pretty much the same as he did, I think RG would STILL be the Skins QB (and Shanny would still be the HC!) and he’d getting praised for doing enough to keep the team in the “W” category.

          On the flip side, watch out if by some quirk of fate the bottom drops out for the Panthers and they start to lose at lot, and Cam’s passing levels stay the way they are, but his “mojo” goes south and his big plays go away — or worse yet, help the opposition — then all this “Cam Love” will turn on him REAL fast. And all his “celebration dance” apologists and those who poo-poo his poor sportsmanship will suddenly stifle their tunes, or change them completely.

          And just like that, HE will be seen as a bum, like Griffin is now. Such is life in the fickle NFL!!

        • redskinsnameisheretostay - Nov 19, 2015 at 6:09 PM

          I think the best point in the read was Carolina showed the patience in allowing Cam to develop while building players and a scheme around him. The Redskins went in the opposite direction for RG3 when they hired Gruden.

          It also helps that Cam has been able to stay on the field more. As for a bigger body QB can avoid injury better well some of that doesn’t seem to hold true when you look at Luck’s recent injury issues. The hits and abuse his body has absorbed has started to catch up on him.

        • brucefan1 - Nov 19, 2015 at 8:02 PM

          “As for a bigger body QB can avoid injury better well some of that doesn’t seem to hold true”

          True. If you take the kind of hits that behemoth Cam (intentionally?) or big ol’ Luck (unintentionally) take throughout a season, you know something is eventually gotta give.

          As far a Griffin is concerned, if he doesn’t show in his next NFL life that he’s greatly improved in the crucial art of self-preservation, then there may be little hope for him ever putting together a full season. But I’m pretty sure he’s too smart not to do that.

        • bangkokben - Nov 19, 2015 at 9:00 PM


          “I think the best point in the read was Carolina showed the patience in allowing Cam to develop while building players and a scheme around him.” I’d agree with this but take it from a different perspective.

          I think the MAIN problem is that the Redskin’s COULDN’T be patient or perhaps better put were robbed of some of that patience due to injury and recovery. But along those lines and perhaps more importantly, the team COULDN’T build the team around Griffin. Losing the picks was a calculated risk that was considered worth it but when the $36M cap penalty was imposed then we were left with zero resources for building around Griffin. As far as scheme, not having a true football man in charge is probably what was at fault there. Choosing Gruden because he was a west coast guy (same as Shanahan – in the macro sense) that had success with a young QB from a college spread system was a miscalculation by the FO. This was far from an ideal fit and speaks to the short-term mindset the organization has been mired in for twenty years. Instead of thinking what is the best long-term solution, they looked for what was the shortest bridge.

        • redskinsnameisheretostay - Nov 20, 2015 at 9:17 AM

          “I think the MAIN problem is that the Redskin’s COULDN’T be patient or perhaps better put were robbed of some of that patience due to injury and recovery.”

          I agree with everything you stated and the crux of the issues started with the severe knee injury. Life in the NFL is short and everyone wants a superstar. I thought we had one with RG3. However, If I could return back to 2013 as a FO guy for the Redskins then I’d elected to not play RG3 in games. Used that time to develop him in practice and allow his leg to fully heal free from the brace. Move Cousins to the starting line up. Because when you actually think about it; why did both QBs get selected in the same draft if not for a circumstance like what happened back then? Anyway, I know many fans and probably myself would have had gripes about not seeing RG3 in 2013 but in the long term this may have been the best scenario to play out.

          Okay I’ve digressed once again now back to the current starting QB and hoping for a nice upset at Carolina.

    • 226thebeatdontstop - Nov 19, 2015 at 10:11 AM

      Are you serious? First I am a Redskin fan now that you are aware of my allegiance I can begin.

      First all teams suffer major injuries that’s why scouting and knowing what type of players your team needs for depth us important.

      This coaching staff particularly Gruden has so far demonstrated that when the run is taken away which I guarantee you Carolina will do ,Grudens play calling becomes predictable.

      When Cousins is under duress or pressured which he will be Sunday his lack of creativity shows and the cluster of interceptions start. Let me be clear Carolina has a very good defense .

      The Redskin defense cannot stop the Carolina run game, their tightend, or Cam because of his threat to run or pass..
      Until Gruden or Cousins demonstrates they can win division and conference games against good teams with defense I have no faith in them moving forward.

      • bangkokben - Nov 19, 2015 at 11:00 AM

        No one denies Carolina’s defense or their superiority. I almost always have issue with color’s takes. His “misremembering” of Morris’ fumbles for instance. However, when it comes to the quality of opponent of “your” Carolina Panthers, i do not.

        Your pomposity is absurd. Guarantees for the other team. With fans like that…
        Why bother watching the games if YOU KNOW what’s going to happen? Do you even watch the games? Or are you just one more Gruden/Cousins naysayer that posts about their failures without knowledge of their successes?

        As for stopping Carolina’s run game, tight end, or quarterback. I’ll agree on the running game although the ‘skins do have the potential to limit this area. The Redskins have been heaps better at defending the TE position this year. Last year they were virtually guaranteed to give up 20+ fantasy points to the TE (touchdowns, yards, and receptions – so no it isn’t insignificant). Actually just over 10 points per game according to which was 3rd worse in the league. Now they are 5th BEST in the league giving up just 5.13 per game. So considering Olsen is a beast but basically the Panther’s only receiving threat, I’ll take the ‘skins in this match up. Cam? He HAS to win to prove that his team isn’t over-rated. Let’s see what he does. He certainly is a physical threat and can beat the team with his arm, legs or even back.

        As for Gruden and Cousins, it is hard to play when your team becomes one dimensional but they deserve the credit for the four game home winning streak. This is another opportunity for them to prove the naysayers like yourself wrong. But let’s look at your point of view first. You take a clearly superior team like the Panthers or the Patriots defending their home turf and say, “If you can’t beat these undefeated teams on the road, you (Gruden and Cousins) don’t deserve my respect.” If anything deserves Chad Johnson “Child Please” or S T F U it is that sentiment right there. When victory comes, it’s guys like you that are the first to point to the Panthers strength of schedule.

  3. redskinsnameisheretostay - Nov 19, 2015 at 8:26 AM

    As a surprise contributor I’d include Dustin Hopkins. His performance has helped to elevate the special team play.

    • bangkokben - Nov 19, 2015 at 10:52 AM

      Agreed. Good pick up by the team; exceeding expectations.

    • brucefan1 - Nov 19, 2015 at 4:51 PM

      “His performance has helped to elevate the special team play”

      Speaking of special teams play, the Skins kick defense better be ready, willing and able to stop Panther returner Ted Ginn, Jr. Seems like that dude is close to breaking a long at any time! Yikes!! Tress Way better boot ’em DEEP — and keep ’em away from #19!

      (Btw, I totally agree about Hopkins. I felt pretty smug last Sunday when considering how much the better the Skins got of the Hopkins vs Forbath switch. LOL)

  4. skinsgame - Nov 19, 2015 at 8:37 AM

    It should be noted that Morris averaged 4.8 YPC and 100 YPG during his rookie year. He also touched the ball almost twice as much as Jones. To this point, Morris was literally twice the RB Jones has been and he earned a greater degree of tolerance because of his overall results. There is reason to worry about Jones. As of now he’s earned the fumble grumblings about him. Hopefully he figures out how to hold on better.

    • redskinsnameisheretostay - Nov 19, 2015 at 9:39 AM

      That’s all true but I have doubts that to fix a very talented rookie RB’s fumbling issue is to bench him or limit his carriers in the game. Especially in Jones case where he is a rookie. I don’t believe Jones has been used as well nor as often as he could on offense. He can be a tremendous contributor to the offense and dramatically increases opportunity for big plays.

      • skinsgame - Nov 19, 2015 at 6:55 PM

        I’m not sure how to fix fumbling tendencies other than getting the player to buy into ball security and hope he holds onto it. Benching doesn’t work, I agree, but if he continues to fumble, he’ll get benched for performance.

    • ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Nov 19, 2015 at 9:49 AM

      You can’t mention Morris’ rookie year without including RGIII and the read option. Do you remember how often the camera was fooled on the play…did RGIII keep it, or did he give it to Morris?

      Since then, RGIII isn’t the same, the rules aren’t the same (defensive players can hit a QB running the read option whether or not he keeps the ball), and our offense isn’t the same.

      I’d guess that Morris would still be effective in a pure zone blocking scheme, e.g. what Kyle Shanahan is running in Atlanta. But we’re not a pure ZBS anymore, whatever your opinion is of that.

      I love the Alfred Morris story as much as anyone, but Jones is a better fit for the scheme Gruden is running. IF he can correct the ball security issue, Jones probably will be the future starter.

      • redskinsnameisheretostay - Nov 19, 2015 at 10:48 AM

        Yep, when the rules changed to allow defenders to treat the QB in a read option like a running back that played a bigger role in limiting usage of the read option than anything else. Yet some here think the DC have figured out a way to stop it.

        • brucefan1 - Nov 19, 2015 at 5:09 PM

          And yet, some teams still make heavy use of it; Newton: 82 carries 366 yds, Russell Wilson: 64/355, Tyrod Taylor: 47/243 — in 7 games. (Not even gonna mention the benched Kaepernick’s 256 or the R-O hybrid Alex Smith’s 235!)

          Go figger!

        • redskinsnameisheretostay - Nov 19, 2015 at 6:18 PM

          Don’t get me wrong; I’m a huge read option advocate. The rules may have made the ability to run that offense more difficult, they haven’t made it obsolete by any means. Even Cousins is using the read option with Matt Jones in the backfield.

        • brucefan1 - Nov 19, 2015 at 7:29 PM

          “Even Cousins is using the read option”

          Yes, I have noticed that, with more than just a trace of irony!

  5. bangkokben - Nov 19, 2015 at 9:48 AM

    Jones fumbles are still a thing to be concerned with. Morris in is rookie year wasn’t splitting carries with Hightower, Helu, or Royster. He WAS the bell cow. Jones has fumbled the ball three times in 85 attempts. That’s 1 out of every 28 1/3 carries or had he had Morris’ rookie workload, 12 fumbles for the season. Morrris’ fumble rate for his first two seasons was one fumble per every 68 8/9 carries. It’s better now which is probably Rich’s point that you can get better at this.

    Now, I will give Jones the benefit of the doubt for the last fumble against New England when he was hit behind the line in less than a second after receiving the ball. That goes partially on the interior line for not at all maintaining a block. Incidentally the same thing happened against New Orleans and Jones not only held on the ball but got the 1st down on 3rd and 1 getting hit by two defenders instantly behind the line. Finally, that is what I’ve wanted to see from him.

    • redskinsnameisheretostay - Nov 19, 2015 at 10:51 AM

      “Jones fumbles are still a thing to be concerned with. ”

      Sorry but showing the ability to rip off 70 plus yards catching the ball and 40 plus running negates an early indicator of a fumbling issue. Give him more opportunity and see if it continues to be a factor. Limiting him because of a “perceived” fumbling issue is nonsense. After all, we are talking about THREE fumbles regardless of the number of carriers.

      • bangkokben - Nov 19, 2015 at 10:57 AM

        Agree to disagree if we must but no where did I say he had to be benched. I thought his use in the Saints game was appropriate but didn’t it bother you that he didn’t score on that drive he was given every carry that began at the Saint 21? I liked what I saw from him and he deserves credit for his part in the 78 yard catch and run but he broke zero tackles on that play. You don’t think Chris Thompson scores on that play?

        • redskinsnameisheretostay - Nov 19, 2015 at 11:05 AM

          “for his part in the 78 yard catch and run but he broke zero tackles on that play. You don’t think Chris Thompson scores on that play?”

          He didn’t need to and did his job by following the blocking. I don’t think you can say if or if not Thompson would have scored. Look Thompson is looking very impressive as well. In terms of usage, I’d like to see Morris and Jones splitting carriers by at least 50% with Jones getting the bulk of the carrier. Thompson should still be getting the primary role as the 3rd down back.Morris might be better utilized playing off of Jones instead of the current scheme to start Morris out as the primary runner.

        • bangkokben - Nov 19, 2015 at 11:08 AM

          Again, I disagree. You base Jones getting the bulk of the carries on his big play potential and we both agree he did his part on the screen but his lack of scoring in the red zone and fumbles is reason enough to keep the status quo. I’m more inclined to believe a turnover by Jones will be the team’s detriment this week than a turnover by Cousins.

        • redskinsnameisheretostay - Nov 19, 2015 at 11:30 AM

          Well it’s big play potential with the limited experience he has that has me wanting to see what he can do starting out as the primary running back. I also don’t think it’s good for Morris to replaced by Jones after he struggles. They’ve done that a few times this season and it normally hasn’t provided positive results. Morris will most likely not get the space to run like he did against the Saints. So my expectation is we’ll see Morris start out again getting 2 maybe 3 yards a pop. As the running game slows to a slumber, they’ll then put in Jones to face a motivated defense.

          “I’m more inclined to believe a turnover by Jones will be the team’s detriment this week than a turnover by Cousins.”

          I’m not sure why since it’s not about who commits the turnover but the circumstance of when the turnover occurs. Jones is still a rookie that needs work. However what he has already proven he is capable of as a rookie is exceptional and 3 fumbles shouldn’t curtail his opportunities.

      • redskinsnameisheretostay - Nov 19, 2015 at 11:00 AM

        I see it appears my comment indicates you suggest limiting Jones. However, I don’t think that is in any way what you are suggesting. I agree, his recent fumbles need to be watched carefully, but I just don’t think it should change putting Jones in the game in any situation at this point.

        • bangkokben - Nov 19, 2015 at 11:12 AM

          I agree there. He still should get his carries and get his plays both in pass pro and going out on routes. I just don’t think he needs to start getting some of Morris’ carries or some of Thompson’s plays. I like it the way it was Sunday. Of course, when you have success, you can have a good ratio. When execution is not there everything starts to go pear shaped.

      • squawonthewarpath - Nov 19, 2015 at 6:41 PM

        Totally agree Stay.

  6. 226thebeatdontstop - Nov 19, 2015 at 10:20 AM

    As a Redskin fan I’m also a realist there is no way they win Sunday for the following reasons:

    The Redskin defense cannot stop an athletic quarterback with an arm or a team running pistol to set up pass or run

    The Redskin defense cannot stop Carolinas running game or tightend

    The Redskin offense will be shut down because Carolina will shut down the run, Cousins will be under pressure all game. Cousins hasn’t shown the ability to create off script, Grudens play calling becomes very predictable ,Cousins will have a bad game., multiple picks,fumbles etc..

    I hope I’m wrong but the Giants,Jets, Patriots teams with good defense an run games makes the Skins look like who they really are.
    The Saints were horrific,it translated to fools gold in believing suddenly Gruden and Cousins are special, there not!

    • redskinsnameisheretostay - Nov 19, 2015 at 11:13 AM

      I don’t see all hope eliminated here for the Redskins. However, I do believe many here have this assumption that Redskins can beat this particular undefeated team. They have Carolina viewed as an overrated team with few good wins. I also think it is because of the lack of flashy statistics. I doubt the ones stating this have even watch Carolina play. The Ravens lived off of “no flash” for a decade, were able to win with consistency and also added some SB victories. Carolina I believe has won in similar ways even though the make up of the team is different than the Ravens with Lewis.

      It’s going to be very hard to get a win Sunday for the Redskins but it is possible. However, I swing the possibility to somewhere like 30%. The defense hasn’t faced this type of QB this season and this will most likely be the best defense the offense has seen this season.

    • bangkokben - Nov 19, 2015 at 11:53 AM

      Look, if you’re going to claim to be a realistic, you need a better sense of reality.

      “The Redskin defense cannot stop an athletic quarterback with an arm or a team running pistol to set up pass or run”

      Which Redskin defense? When did this defense face either of these scenarios this year? i don’t remember any team using the pistol formation against the Redskins this year. And it appears that you still think this is Jim Haslet’s defense. It is not. It is DIFFERENT! Let me count the ways:

      Different scheme – a 3-4 under that is now a one-gap system
      Different coordinator – Joe Barry
      Different D-line coach – Robb Akey
      Different D-backs coach – Perry Fewell
      6 Different defensive starters
      and 13 Different defensive personnel
      That’s over 20 differences!

      As for shutting down Carolina’s run game, that is the big question.

      As for shutting down the tight end. The Redskins have been giving up an average of 7.6 passes and 42.8 yards per game to the Tight End. I will take those averages.

      Carolina may shut down the run but this did not matter with Tampa nor did it matter with Atlanta. The question is whether Cousins will fall trap to Carolina’s zones. Cousins was under pressure against New Orleans, New England, and Tampa and did not wilt. Nice argument but it has holes.

      Other than your points about running the ball and being able to stop the run, they lack… what’s the word…yeah, REALITY.

      • gasngo14 - Nov 19, 2015 at 6:39 PM

        way to keep him in line ben! :)

    • jonevans511 - Nov 19, 2015 at 5:34 PM

      Except the Giants absolutely do not have a good defense or run game, lol. Their D is average, and their run game is worse. Giants have been able to win and/or stay in games with clutch plays by Eli and the receivers and then a couple big defensive stops. Making a couple stops each game doesn’t equate to a good defense; They have had some good secondary play for the most part, but pre-JPP they had 9 sacks through the first 8 or so games.

    • brucefan1 - Nov 19, 2015 at 7:48 PM

      226thebeatdontstop posted “The Saints were horrific,it translated to fools gold in believing suddenly Gruden and Cousins are special, there not!”

      Sure, the Saints the defense is bad, but it had been THAT bad only once (@ Philly) before Sunday. The Redskins seemed to make them look worse than ever. And don’t dismiss how well the defense played. They were even more impressive than the offense to me!

      As I’ve been saying all week, I saw something different in this Skins’ team last week. More concentration … more focus … more confidence?? SOMETHING! A better attitude than I had seen in them in a long time.

      Maybe it WAS just an opponent that didn’t come ready to play. Maybe is was them getting healthy again. Maybe something clicked in practice last week that then they brought to the game.

      Whatever it was, I loved what I saw. And if that’s the mindset they are going to with play going forward, I think these last 7 games could be verrry interesting!

  7. kenlinkins - Nov 19, 2015 at 10:49 AM

    All rookie RB’s fumble the ball. Even the great John Riggins had SIX his first year on about 180 carries. If they are running hard they will fumble as they learn how NFL players try and set them up to drop the ball. It is just something coach’s hate but must live with when playing rookie RB’s.

  8. John - Nov 19, 2015 at 1:37 PM


    Great blog! Can you please explain why Cousins was picked to be the starter for this team. He brings a lot of things to the table that RG3 and Colt don’t. He has had some interceptions that to many have cried about. In previous seasons we got to see him when the team had all ready tanked and last year when he slowly receded as he saw his chances fade. This year he has had some ups and downs but has shown growth and seems to have turned the corner. For some reason, some think a magic fairy is going to drop down, waive her wand and grant us a franchise (Tom Brady, Big Ben or other superstar) qb.
    From what I’ve seen he’s a lot better than most of the other qbs that have been here since the goog old days of Gibbs 1. Now if we can just surround Kirk with more quality talent…

    • redskinsnameisheretostay - Nov 19, 2015 at 2:24 PM

      I won’t speak for Rich but I seriously doubt he wants to even revisit this question. The short answer is that Cousins is a better fit for this west coast system than RG3. Cousins is also a better fit for Gruden. I’m sure most and even Rich may agree with that.

      Some of your above comments are biased towards Cousins just like other you “think” are biased towards RG3.
      1) He does not bring more to the table than RG3. They are different QBs but being a better fit for this system doesn’t make Cousins a better QB.
      2) Talks of surrounding Kirk with anything more than a jersey should be left to the end of the season. He has talent around him, you just fail to only see his abilities and none of the other players he has as weapons.

      Kirk already has Morris a proven RB, Jones a huge potential back with big play ability. Thompson who has shown great YAC off catches recently and has done a solid job picking up blitzes. He has Jackson one of the best deep threats in the NFL, and a stalwart in Garcon. He has a young guy with some big play ability and sure hands like Crowder. He has a young promising offense line that has helped keep him upright at a league low so far this season. IMO, the running game sputtered because the passing game was too conservative for too long into the season. Carolina will provide more details as to where his offense is overall. However, your presumption that Cousins is a sure bet now, and we should be looking for better talent to compliment him is misguided and premature.

      • John - Nov 19, 2015 at 5:20 PM

        My point regarding Cousins is that he’s the best you have and can get at present. Drafting that “star quarterback” is a crap shoot unless you have a year where several come out like in 2004 (Big Ben, Eli and Rivers) or you get “the guy” (Andrew Luck) because your team was 2 – 14 and he landed in your lap that year. Damn lucky there, all those years with Manning, he gets hurt, then boom, they get Luck.

        The Skins drafted Heath and Luck. The Chargers drafted Leaf. The Chargers drafted Russell. All not the answer.

        Having said that, it should be easier to get known quantities in a center, a receiver with size and speed, a stud defensive lineman, a quality safety, to name a few. We have decent players but no real impact players like a Watt, Bryant, Reed, Hurley and so on.

        • redskinsnameisheretostay - Nov 19, 2015 at 6:04 PM

          “My point regarding Cousins is that he’s the best you have and can get at present. Drafting that “star quarterback” is a crap shoot”

          In that case i agree. I’ve not seen any Quarterback coming out of college that even comes close to Andrew Luck or RG3’s potential in 2011. The potential weak QB draft is not just based on my opinion but the current reporting by many so called pundits in the media.

          I see no issue focusing 1st round draft on a position other than a QB if Cousins shows consistency at a high level. Cousins doesn’t have to be elite. I like Preston Smith to play a Watt role in the future, however if they can acquire a serious talent at D-line in the 1st then go for it. However, I think there are bigger needs at other positions like safety and corner. Hall is past his prime now and I wouldn’t consider Blackmond a long term solution.

      • John - Nov 19, 2015 at 7:00 PM

        Keep in mind that while Kirk played a few games in each of the last 3 seasons, his playing time was touch and go. The role of the backup, not getting snaps with the first team, running the scout team and then playing at a moments notice without the timing with the receivers, etc.

        That being said, it takes an average of 2-3 years of consistent playing time for young quarterbacks to become comfortable as the game slows down for them. The system fits him well, time is all he needs and some technique work (footwork to get the ball on target to lead receivers better, etc.). Otherwise he gets everyone lined up (notice fewer last second timeouts to avoid delay of game penalties), counts, double counts, adjusts protections, audibles, runs through progressions, throws to spots and moves in the locket to help the line. His interceptions have come down but he could run ocassionally to get yards when the play goes off schedule. Just little things at this point.

        While I hate us having to see them march 70 to 80 yards per series, at least when the game is on the line in crunch time he performs because he is used to having to go 80 yards.

        I’d much rather have Kirk with his few issues as opposed to one of the guys who has bounced around the league like Fitzpatrick or Flynn or some rookie who has a long way to go.

  9. JOHNNY B - Nov 19, 2015 at 6:39 PM

    I have to say the game against the Panthers is a winnable game. Their defensive stats are kinda like ours in the first couple of games. They have been more consistent than us but the teams that they have faced are not that good. They know how to find your weaknesses. Like Green Bay no offensive line and no real receiving threat. With a good pass rush they shut them down. Seattle never had a good offense or line just a good defense. So they shut them down. Now we are starting to get our offense clicking and our defense. Now I am not saying that we are better than those teams or that Kirk is better just our offense together is better. If you put Rodgers as our qb we would win. Our o-line is better than Green Bays so we should be able to get the passing game going also get the run game going a little. Now our defense is getting better this is the time for them to focus on the run and keep Cam from running. Force them to pass and shut them down.

  10. JOHNNY B - Nov 19, 2015 at 6:53 PM

    O I forget to mention that the Panthers have played 3 teams with a bad O-line 2 teams with a rookie qb and 1 team with the worst defense in the nfl. Good stats to think about. Lol

  11. goback2rfk - Nov 19, 2015 at 8:16 PM

    Any NFL team can beat any other NFL team on any given Sunday. Certain things will need to fall in place, however, the Skins have a shot at this one. Certainly we need to run the Panthers over to keep this thing close. Going to have to try and keep the #3 offense in the league in the Carolina Panthers off of the field.
    Run those assholes over Skins!

  12. lorcanbonda - Nov 20, 2015 at 3:17 PM

    Morris had to have three to four times the number of carries in his first year vs. Matt Jones — it’s not just the number of fumbles; it is the rate.

    Matt Jones’ fumble rate is a problem, and it is something that he needs to work on. Archives

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