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Need to Know: How much change on the Redskins O-line?

Jan 12, 2016, 5:35 AM EDT

Redskins-O-line-vs-Eagles-2

Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, January 12, 63 days before the start of NFL free agency.

Five thoughts on the 2015 Redskins

—We won’t know if the 2015 Redskins had a good season until we see a good chunk of the 2016 season. In isolation, a 9-7 season with no wins over a team that finished with a winning record and a playoff spot by virtue of winning a very down NFC East is not a great accomplishment. But it they are able to consolidate their gains and build on this year and win double-digit games next year then 2015 or at least post a winning record and content for a playoff spot will have been a very valuable stepping stone. Back-to-back playoff seasons have eluded this franchise since 1991-1992. But if they slide back to six wins or worse then 2015 will have been a fluke of a weak schedule and a weak division.

—Both Colt McCoy and Jay Gruden had high praise for quarterbacks coach Matt Cavanaugh. McCoy said that he was the team “MVP” even though he wasn’t a player. Gruden said that his presence “was a big benefit to all of us.” The more I look at the quarterback play this year compared to last year and how much smoother the whole offensive operation was in 2015, I have to wonder why in the world they came up with the idea that they could do without a QB coach in 2014.

—The position I am going to watch very closely is the offensive line. Based on pass protection you could make a case that they should stand pat. But looking at how poorly the run game went, wholesale changes could be in order. On top of that, Gruden and Scot McCloughan need to decide if they are going put Kory Lichtensteiger and Shaun Lauvao, both of whom missed a good chunk of the season with injuries, back in as starters. It will be an interesting puzzle to put together.

—Will DeSean Jackson be back? This is a tough one. In 2015 he was a rare weapon at times and he can be a waste of well over half a million dollars of cap space per game at other times. Cutting him would save a net of $6.75 million in 2016 cap space. What Gruden and McCloughan will have to figure out is how much the presence of Jackson had to do with Kirk Cousins scalding-hot finish to the season. Because if he wasn’t providing some benefits beyond his 30 receptions for 328 yards and five touchdowns for his $9.25 million cap hit then there needs to be a serious cost-benefit analysis applied to his situation. And I don’t want to hear that he was injured; if he hadn’t blown off a lot of OTAs and hadn’t taken it easy in camp after suffering a mild shoulder sprain he probably would not have suffered the hamstring pull a few plays into the season (that’s by his own admission, by the way).

—I’m somewhat skeptical of talk that DeAngelo Hall will be a starting safety next year. He just turned 32 and he has missed more games due to injuries in the last two years (20) than he has played (12). His salary jumps up to $4.25 million next year, giving him a cap hit of just over $5 million. Given that confidence in his ability to be able to make it for the majority of the 16 games has to be fairly low it’s hard to justify that salary cap expense. Perhaps a redone contract with a lower base salary and some per-game roster bonuses would be a better fit.

Timeline

—The Redskins last played a game two days ago. It will be about 243 days until they play another one.

Days until: NFL combine 43; NFL free agency starts 63; 2016 NFL draft 107

In case you missed it

  1. troylok - Jan 12, 2016 at 7:07 AM

    I know this sounds crazy, but what if they moved Scherff to center? Kouiandijo could then be put in at right guard and the team would have a monster o-line. They can let Lichtensteiger, Compton and Lauvao walk and draft bigger, more athletic linemen. I know Nsekhe isn’t a youngster but there aren’t that many serviceable gigantosaur maulers at tackle in the league so I would keep him around. I am not a LeRibeus fan, but he can be adequate as a backup guard and tackle, so maybe keep him around at rock bottom pay.

    I think that if the team had a choice between spending big on Desean or getting a big possession type receiver, I’d go with the big guy. Having said that, you can’t ignore DeSean’s big play ability and if they can get him in with a contract that is heavy with workout incentives, then keep him.

    As for Hall, they have to let him go. They need to come up with good young, durable solutions at safety. I think this is their first round draft pick.

    • sikologik - Jan 12, 2016 at 10:29 AM

      I agree with you on Hall, and the need (hope; it’s not like they’re everywhere or easy to come by) to get a big, rangy safety for the free spot. I will say though, that I was impressed with D. Hall’s play after switching to safety. Specifically, I think he played the run quite well. He’s a serviceable backup with a restructured contract. There are other questions at safety too though. In particular, what to do with Duke? IMAO, he’s been a bust with the Redskins. Perpetually injured. And what about Jeron Johnson? Admittedly, I didn’t know a lot about him when the Redskins went and got him, but I assumed, since he came from Seattle, that he would see a lot more playing time than he did. There are questions at safety, and possibly answers already on the roster, but I suspect a need to address it in the draft, and in the first round, if the right man is available. I do think it’s the weakest link on the team.

      Letting DeSean Jackson go might be okay. I think a lot of that depends on Rashad Ross. He’s the other burner on the team, and in the second Cowboys game anyway, he showed off his ability to get deep. Now, maybe that was because the Cowboys had stopped playing, maybe not. I don’t know, but I’ll bet that Colt and Ross had worked a lot together in practice over the season (both being second string and all), and clearly the timing was down. Can Ross run routes? If so, he can be a serviceable replacement for Jackson, though I’d prefer he get one more year of experience first. I live in Philly, so I’m pretty intimate with Jackson’s behavior when he wants a new contract. We’ll see how that shakes out, but one thing I would absolutely not tolerate is a bunch of krapp from him about getting paid. If that starts up, help him find the door.

      The offensive line is a bigger riddle. We ran the ball effectively early in the season with Kory L. and Shaun Lauvau in there. I’d have to go back and look at the stats, but it seems to me our inability to run the ball coincided pretty closely with those two injuries. Obviously Trent Williams and Brandon Scherff aren’t going anywhere, and I think Morgan Moses shows some promise as a starting right tackle. I’m not sure we need wholesale changes on the offensive line, but I do think we should address it in the draft, and in the earlier rounds. Probably not the first round, but perhaps the second and third, we look to bring in some guards, one with experience at center.

      At the end of the day, comparing last year’s offseason to this year’s, it’s clear that McCloughan knows what he’s doing. When he showed up last year, it felt like the entire roster needed an overhaul. Just one year later, and I think this team is in really good shape. Maybe a little rough around the edges, and in need of some experience, but by and large, there’s a core football team here.

      Anyhow, that’s my $.02

      • babyteal1 - Jan 12, 2016 at 4:10 PM

        Let DeSean go??!!….you lost me there. Ross is no replacement. Other than that I liked the post…carry on!!

      • bangkokben - Jan 12, 2016 at 6:06 PM

        Speed is one thing but Jackson’s ability to separate AND track the ball is unmatched. The Redskins had Aldrick Robinson for a while and Anthony Armstrong – both burners. It would be great if Ross develops into a legit receiving threat but I’d be surprised if he caught 20 balls next year. Bottom line, if Jackson is going to be replaced he best be replaced with another receiver that teams have to defensively game plan for not just a guy that runs a 4.2.

        I’d like to see the ‘skins draft the best player available but hope he is a DL or ILB. As for drafting OL, if it is a center that would be fine. Josh LeRibeus, Spencer Long, Brandon Scherff and Arie Kouandjio are guards this organization has RECENTLY drafted – all in the top four rounds.. Maybe Callahan needs another year with some to get the blocking more consistent but drafting at that positon would make a negative statement about the group. This team has a bunch of needs to keep going to the same well. There are zero players on defense that scare the opposition. it’s just a bunch of over-achieving average guys – which is a good foundation.

    • bangkokben - Jan 12, 2016 at 5:49 PM

      Can’t let Hall go until they have a solution for him. Ihenacho? We’ve been on this revolving door for years. Drafting Rambo and Thomas and not resigning any of the holdovers was the WORST solution for the secondary. Work something out with the two we have AND draft a guy. Hopefully Jarrett can make a full recovery both physically and mentally. Nerve damage as a young man is nothing to scoff at.

      Dashon Goldson counts $8M against the cap next season and that’s exactly how much savings it would be to release him. Hall counts $5,062,500 and the savings for releasing him is just $3,437,500. The best that I can tell is that the Redskins are currently $4M+ under the projected cap with plenty of options for trimmings. Everyone looks at the value of Garcon and Jackson but if the choice is between Garcon ($8M in savings), Goldson ($8M in savings), or Jackson ($6.75M in savings); I’m keeping the offense strong and cutting Goldson. Hopefully all the vets can be reworked to more cap friendly contracts without having to pay the piper later on. Hatcher is done but counts $8,734,375 next season and releasing him will only save the cap $4,234,375. Then there are guys like Perry Riley, Shaun Laovoau, and Andre Roberts who count $5M each against the cap with savings of $4M, $3M, and $3M respectively. Of course the $16M Griffin clears will be used mostly on Cousins but anything less than $16M will help carry Garcon and Jackson one more year until their contracts are up.

      • Trey Gregory - Jan 13, 2016 at 2:07 AM

        That was a great cap run down Bang. I think it’s worth noting that Hatcher may retire, in which case we get all that cap back. I think keeping Hall for one more season makes sense too. We need some continuity. People should t underestimate Goldson’s leadership on the team, and we’ve done A LOT worse than him at the position. But there’s also Junior Gallette and Tereance Knighton to sign (if Scot so chooses) and what to do at ILB? Will be interesting.

        • bangkokben - Jan 13, 2016 at 10:25 AM

          I believe the ‘skins have twenty or more FAs so who the ‘skins work with will be interesting. Fans like PotRoast but I don’t think the team believes it got value from him. Gallette’s contract shouldn’t be much more than it was should it? Here are the Redskins FAs.

          Terrance Knighton 34DT UFA $4,450,000
          Colt McCoy QB UFA $1,500,000
          Logan Paulsen TE UFA $1,333,333
          Darrel Young FB UFA $1,323,333
          Kedric Golston 34DT UFA $1,100,000
          Alex Smith TE UFA $870,000
          Pierre Thomas RB UFA $870,000
          Will Blackmon CB UFA $870,000
          Cary Williams CB UFA $745,000
          Mason Foster ILB UFA $745,000
          Brian De la Puente C UFA $745,000
          Junior Galette 34OLB UFA $745,000
          Josh LeRibeus G UFA $714,081
          Frank Kearse 34DE UFA $660,000
          Duke Ihenacho S RFA $660,000
          Tom Compton RT RFA $660,000
          Kirk Cousins QB UFA $643,172
          Keenan Robinson ILB UFA $630,027
          Alfred Morris RB UFA $555,775
          Chris Thompson RB ERFA $540,000
          Will Compton ILB ERFA $495,000
          Tress Way P ERFA $465,000

        • Trey Gregory - Jan 13, 2016 at 4:22 PM

          Just about Galette, yes, it will be tons more. Look at the contract Kerrigan got or the contract the Saints gave Galette just… I believe it was in 2014. He is in the same pedigree as Kerrigan. Maybe not elite in the sense of a Jouston Houston, but one of the better 3-4 OLBs/edge rushers in the league and he will want to get paid as such.

          Now, he’s still getting money from the Saints. So it will be interesting to see if that factors in. But he could go to another team and fetch a market price. So if we want him, I expect we will have to pay him. It’s worth it too, in my opinion, assuming he learned not to be a distraction in the locker room. Having bookends that good is invaluable. Most teams don’t have that much talent on the edges. But the ones that do, wow. Look at Baltimore before and after Suggs went down. Look at Denver with Ware and Von Miller or KC with Houston and Hali. It’s a rare luxury to have two guys capable of double digit sacks. You have to pay for it, but it can transform a defense.

          The rub is that Smith had a monster rookie season. 8 regular season sacks for a rookie edge rusher is phenomenal. So maybe they roll the dice, hope it wasn’t a fluke, and roll with Smth and Kerrigan. But I a lot of NFL analysts (not me, but a lot of people) would say that Gallette is a better pass rusher than Kerrigan, and he came to us still in his prime unlike someone like Hatcher. It’s so rare for a pass rusher with that much talent, at his age, to hit the street. It was a big damn deal for us to get him and I guarantee the defense would have been so different with him. Sooo, do you let a commodity like that walk and hope Smith can perform? Or do you keep him and move smith to DT with his hand in the dirt where a lot of people thought he was better suited anyway? It’s probably the most facinating FA story this offseason for us. Maybe second only to Cousins’ new deal.

        • bangkokben - Jan 13, 2016 at 5:56 PM

          I don’t see it being a break the bank type deal. He’s coming off injury and the whole reason the Redskins got him is because no one wanted him with the video and he had to prove it on the field. I had suspected it would be picking up from where they left off but the fact that the suspension has been served does increase his value to other teams.

        • Trey Gregory - Jan 13, 2016 at 6:44 PM

          Yeah, you never know. Buuut we got him for around $800,000 I believe. Coming from a blockbuster contract that he got in NO. It was a one year prove it type thing because of those issues. The injury complicates things, but it’s not going to drop his value that much. We were also no the only team interested in him.

          Now, do I believe he will get a similar deal to Kerrigan? No. But more than what we’re paying him now? Oh yeah. I think that’s what started this conversation. You asked if he would get much more than what he’s getting now. I just can’t imagine a world where he’s not getting significantly more than $800 thousand a year. If not with us, he will fetch it somewhere else. We have right of first refusal, but other teams will offer him a good chunk too. He’s going to take up quite a bit more cap space. I won’t pretend to know exactly what that will be, but I’ll be shocked if it’s not quite a bit more.

          As far as Knighton, I don’t know how the team couldn’t feel like they got good value. We picked him up on a cheap one year deal too. 4 mil a year for one of the better nose tackles around is great value. Now, I understand if people don’t think he lived up to his reputation. But I think we had value there. It will be interesting to see what they do if it’s between him and Gilette. Junior may be more impactful, but it was well documented that Knighton added tons of leadership for the whole team. He played well too. Maybe not lights out, but make tackles will never amaze you with stats. It’s harder to gage their impact. We also have a couple guys, like Baker, who can play the position. But depth is important and he is one of the better 0 techniques around. Lots of decesions to make.

        • bangkokben - Jan 14, 2016 at 10:28 AM

          I’m turning my tune on Gallette. He will require more but how much? Idk. The timing of his release really benefited the Redskins in his signing. Is it double, triple, quadruple? Are teams still willing to give him a multi-year contract? I’m not so sure since the conduct issues are still likely a concern but his cap hit will be more than last year.

          As for Knighton, after the first quarter of the season, he went dormant for another six games before being hit and miss. Moreover, do you pay a part-time player that much? The reason he wasn’t given a multi-year deal by ANY team is because of his weight. Still, he had the 2ND highest cap hit of any 3-4 DT according to overthecap.com. He also played in just 34.9% of the defense’s total snaps. That’s fourth on the team for d-linemen behind Baker (58.4%), Hatcher (51.1%), and Jean-Francios (36.4%) according to Football Outsiders.

          I don’t have any skin in the game so I don’t care one way or the other whether they resign him. So far, I trust the organization when it comes to these decisions. I would’ve rather had Leonard Williams over Scherff from last year’s draft but likely any decision that I disagreed with (Cousins over Griffin, Scherff over Williams, or Ross over Spencer) I saw the other side to it and moved on. So I’d rather find a younger cheaper option here and use the money for Hatcher’s replacement but I can see the rationale to keep him and find a replacement later.

          By the way BJ Raji is available, the same age as Pot Roast, played a higher percentage of snaps for Green Bay, cost less last year, and may fit better in Barry’s version of the 3-4.

        • Trey Gregory - Jan 14, 2016 at 12:10 PM

          Well, I respect your opinion about Junior. You have good points. We will just have to wait and see!

          I actually didn’t know BJ Raji is becoming a FA. I would be surprised if GB didn’t resign him, but you never know. He’s a very good player too.

          Now, I need to prefrence this by saying I’m currently a Baylor student (has nothing to do with RG3. Just got out of the military and went there.) So, obviously I’m a Baylor football fan. Baylor doesn’t have a lot of top talent going into this draft. But look out for Andrew Billings. I’m in love with this kid. He broke Mark Henry’s Texas state high school weight lifting record. Meaning, he’s strong. No other kid coming out of Texas has ever lifted more weight than him. He also has a good motor, has the body for a nose tackle, and a great attitude. He also has the skills. I mean, he would just push double teams back on skates and still get pressure on the QB. He’s phenomenal to watch, and he will be available. It’s a bit of a stretch to say we could get him with the 21st pick. But maybe some teams overdraft a player because he was in the SEC and let a Big12 guy slide. If he’s available, we should at least consider it. I may prefer an ILB or a DB. But I would have a hard time passing on a guy like Billings.

        • bangkokben - Jan 14, 2016 at 2:17 PM

          I’m all for best player available and if he fits that bill, great. Sounds like the kind of guy that would be a good replacement. I admittedly know little about college talent but 34NTs often can be taken later. I know Shelton was a high pick last year and there’s usually a guy or two taken in the first round. Maybe this guy is that guy. I know Jonathan Allen from local HS – Stone Bridge and national champion Alabama may be a 3-4 end for the ‘skins at #21 as well. As successful as the season was, there are plenty of positions on the team that the Redskins could target.

        • Trey Gregory - Jan 14, 2016 at 1:48 AM

          I’ve been crazy busy today and I apologize that I haven’t really had time to look anything up to make this conversation more productive and less speculative.

          It would be great to look up the average contract (excluding rookie contracts) for edge rushers (3-4 OLBs and 4-3 DEs get paid similar) who can consistently produce double digit sacks. But I don’t have that time.

          I was able to look up Junior’s contract with the Saints though. 4 years 41.5 million. Not far off from Kerrigan’s (5 years 57.5 mil; but also remember galette was awarded his contract earlier, when the cap was lower) So, essentially 10 mil a year. Yes, I know the cap hit doesn’t evenly work out like that and it fluctuates year to year. I’m just saying for simplicity’s sake.

          Now even if you’re not buying that he’s going to fetch top dollar. Let’s cut that contract in half. That’s still 5 mil a year. That’s over 5x what we’re currently paying him, and it’s not anywhere close to his market value. Market value is about 10-11x what we’re currently paying him.

          We also saw Scot M. make Kerrigan the second highest paid linebacker in the league, second only to Houston who produces double the numbers Kerrigan does. Kerrigan will carry a cap hit of 8.5 mil for 2016 and 11.7 mil for 2017. The cap hit continues to rise but averages out at about 11 mil a year. Scot also grabbed Galette up when he was toxic and pit his reputation on the line for him. So we know our GM values OLBs/edge rushers because of what he’s willing to pay for them or do to get them. If Scot continues this trend, but follows your advise a bit and factors in the injury and off the field issues, I’ll guess Junior carries a cap hit around 8 mil. Significantly more than what we’re paying him now.

          However, I don’t think the injury will affect his contract. Players get hurt, it’s part of the sport. He was also injured before the season, had time to heal, and is already back to working out. He will have ample time to prove his health before they offer him a contract. His suspension has also been served, and he completely disappeared from the media this year. Meaning he stayed out of trouble. Dude is about to get paid, again. You simply don’t go from a 4 year 41 mil contract to signing some kind of 4 year 4 mil contract. It’s not happening, in any universe. He signed this contract because the Saints were still paying him and he just needed a place, for one season, to prove he’s still capable of being a pro. If we don’t pay him, someone else will, and we will let a rare and tremendous talent walk out the door.

        • bangkokben - Jan 14, 2016 at 10:44 AM

          I just don’t see many teams giving Junior a multi-year deal. I think he still has to have a prove it year deal. Achilles injuries usually take a full year plus to get the same explosion back. Is DeAngelo Hall a step slower? I think for a guy who relies on speed that that alone would be the issue and then there is the on and off the field history. The only thing recent was the classless tweet to the Saints when the Redskins made the playoffs but history is still history and Gallete had a similar intensity with teammates as one Vontaze Burfict. I’m not saying he’s the same guy in any way but there are reports that the contract and becoming a captain made him unbearable to teammates. As for a prove it deal, it may be $4M-$5M. but I’d be SHOCKED if anyone signed him to $8M a season for one year let alone multiple ones.

          Here is a link you may find interesting:
          http://overthecap.com/position/3-4-outside-linebacker

    • Trey Gregory - Jan 13, 2016 at 12:31 AM

      @Troy: I haven’t had time to read all the replies so sorry if someone already said this. But no, moving Scherff to center is an awful idea. I get where you’re going, but no. Him and Moses are gelling. We have a very young and promising right side of the line. No reason to blow that up and start the chemistry over for something that Scherff may or may not be good at. Just because he’s a good guard and could maybe be a decent tackle some day doesn’t mean he had the altitude to play guard. Also, if you think Kouianjo would be a good guard, then why not just move him to center? What’s the logic in moving an already good guard to center (a position he’s never played) instead of moving the backup center, to center, just because he maybe could be a good guard?

      I have no interest in telling Lauvo to kick rocks. The run game tanked after he left. I know he didn’t have a great year in 2014, but to be fair, almost nobody on the team did. Basically Trent Williams and Kerrigan and that was it. Plus that was pre Callahan AND pre moving into a power scheme, which suits him better. He was playing well before his injury, and there’s no reason to think he wouldn’t have gotten better as the season went on, just like the rest of the line. We have both tackles and both guards, a lot better than most teams, why release that for an unknown? We just need a center, and frankly, Corey L. is a pretty damn decent center. Not great, and he is undersized, but he’s above average. The OLine was not a problem this year. I’m fine with trying I find a decent and cap friendly option at center in FA or drafting one in a mid-late round. But we need DBs and ILBs so, so much worse than any position on the OLine.

      You also said something kind of contradictory. I think I know what you meant, but usually Olinemen don’t get bigger AND more athletic. It’s one or the other. Shannahan liked athletic. That’s why the linemen (including Corey L.) were so undersized.

      I completely agree about letting Desean go for a lengthy receiver though (assuming the guy is good and not big for no reason.) I’ll take the length, that’s one thing this team desperately needs and Cousins hasn’t had. Even Reed is undersized for a TE. But I hope Ross is the first cut, he’s no solution for Desean. He’s terrible. As someone else said, speed isn’t all Desean has. He’s more than a burner. But the guy is lazy, he doesn’t give good effort on the field, and I personally think he’s a cancer in the locker room. It’s easy to get caught up with his play in the field, but he takes away too. Draft a guy like Corey Coleman to replace him and we’re set. Or just draft some damn length!

  2. sidepull - Jan 12, 2016 at 7:31 AM

    I hope they get a real Center somewhere in their upgrades.

    Ty can ball. I think that guy is more than a back up. Maybe they can give him a shot this year next to TW? I know hes a “LT” but hes a baller and I hope they find a way to get him on the field more.

    Djax. I just hope if he leaves DC he doesn’t stay in the NFC East. I guess it could be a bit of a nightmare seeing him paired up with Odell or Dez…He really is a unique player but a number 1? I dunno. If it came down to it I would want Garcon.

    • babyteal1 - Jan 12, 2016 at 7:43 AM

      I agree on the center position. Desean and Garcon will both be back.

      • sidepull - Jan 12, 2016 at 8:13 AM

        I hope you are right. I want them both back as well. I am kinda done with the “hes a great route runner” story on Ryan Grant and Ross is no Djax. Crowder was a nice pick up by Scot!

        • Trey Gregory - Jan 12, 2016 at 11:26 AM

          Ross is awful. I hope they get rid of him. A complete waste of a roster spot.

          There’s obviously so much more to doing what Desean does than just being fast. I’m so sick of hearing “Ross is a burner too.” If that’s all it takes we would just recruit track players to stretch the defense and never catch a ball. He did it pre season against guys who didn’t even make rosters, but didn’t do anything against real players.

      • Trey Gregory - Jan 13, 2016 at 12:37 AM

        I sincerely doubt both Garcon and DJax will be back. Too high a cap hit for aging receiver lacking length.

        This was talked about a lot this offseason. How basically they would both last this season because we wouldnt save enough cap space if they were cut but at least one would be gone next year. Now, that’s no guarantee that they didn’t play themselves into another year. But I’ll be shocked.

        I personally would be happy if Desean left, assuming they either find a #1 in FA or draft a likely future star in the early rounds of the draft. I think Garcon had what it took to be a #1 a couple years ago (remember how crazy clutch he was in 2012-2013?) but maybe not anymore. Still, I love his toughness, hands, and attitude. I want him back. I also wonder if Desean really is the kind of guy Scot M. wants in the locker room. A lot of GMs and coaches talk a big talk about character, we wil see how serious they are.

  3. babyteal1 - Jan 12, 2016 at 7:40 AM

    You keep DeSean!!!! We would be crazy to let that deep play ability leave. And don’t tell me Ross is the answer/replacement.

    Redskins first pick will be an inside linebacker. Our inside linebackers are below average at best which contributes greatly to our inability to stop the run. These guys should be tackling machines aka London Fletcher.

    • Trey Gregory - Jan 13, 2016 at 12:47 AM

      Other teams do just fine without a Desean type receiver. Without that deep play ability. Think Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker, they are a great duo and they’re not like that. They’re long, and fast enough, and they threaten defenses. But they’re not exactly deep threats in the sense Desean is. Do either of the team’s in last year’s SB have a guy like Desean?…. No. Mike Wallace is like Desean, and his teams aren’t doing so well. Dez, D. Thomas, Julio, A. Jeffrey, Keenan Allen, Amari Cooper, Antonio Brown, ODB….all of them are guys who either have length or great rout running abilities and they’re able to work both the slot and the edge. That’s what we should be looking for. Desean basically does one thing. Jordy Nelson is the closest WR I can think of who’s a deep threat on a good team but he also has length and does a lot more than 1 or 2 chuck plays a game, then acts as a decoy the rest of the time.

      I think Desean is a good player, and I know he does a lot more than run fast in a straight line then catch a ball. But he isn’t diverse enough, doesn’t do enough, and he isn’t worth the cap hit or headache. I know it’s hard to say bye to talent. But it’s time. Just ask yourself, would Bill Belichick have Desean Jackson on his team?

      • skinsgame - Jan 13, 2016 at 4:51 AM

        Jackson doesn’t have a big cap hit, not for a player with his potential. And while that’s a good list of WR’s you put up there, none of them played in last years Super Bowl either. None have a ring at all. I only say that because it goes to show that having the games best receiver doesn’t equal championships. Having several pretty good ones might though.

        • Trey Gregory - Jan 14, 2016 at 2:05 AM

          Very good point about having several fairly good receivers. I love it actually. Like Seattle for example. But none of their receivers carry Desean’s cap hit (9.25 next year, which is plenty for a guy like him. Doug Baldwin’s contract will max out at 5.6 mil in 2016 while Julian Edelman’s cap hit is 4.4 mil in 2016). Brandon Marshall’s cap hit is at 9.5 mil next year, and I would so, so much rather have him than Desean.

          I would also consider Edelman a top WR. Now, maybe that’s just because he plays with Brady, but from a production standpoint, yes, he is one of the best. Gronk is also one of the league’s best receiver. The line between TE and WR gets more and more blurred every year, and let’s be real, Gronk is a receiver for a lot of the time he’s on the field.

          I also mentioned Jordy Nelson, who does have a ring. (And Desean doesn’t either btw so I could say keeping Desean doesn’t mean a championship).

          But back to either having multiple good but not great receivers or 1 or 2 great ones with more range than Desean. I simply want a bigger body. That’s not everything but it’s an area we’re really lacking. My point with that list of receivers was that they all threaten defenses without Desean’s deep threat ability. They’re plenty fast enough. But they also threaten in ways Desean is simply physically unable to do. Plus, he’s kind of soft. Plus, he makes bonehead plays. Plus, no where, and I mean nowhere, have I ever read that he’s any kind of a leader. I’ve read that he’s a distraction (even though maybe some of that was unfair) but he had a rep for all that negative stuff a lot more than the positive stuff. I’m fine letting him go. But to reiterate, only if we pursue another good option in FA or in the early rounds of the draft. There’s a few real nice receivers in this year’s draft. I’m actually not sure about the FA market, but I’ll be sure to look that up.

        • skinsgame - Jan 14, 2016 at 8:12 AM

          Oh, I’m all for improvement with size at WR. I JUST THINK Desean will be here next year and I happen to be all for that as well.

        • Trey Gregory - Jan 14, 2016 at 12:01 PM

          Okay. I got you. Well, it’s just one more very interesting decesions for the staff this offseason. There’s a few of them.

  4. skinsgame - Jan 12, 2016 at 8:17 AM

    Last year Chris Chester was the obvious weak link on the O line, this year it’s anyone playing center. For the money and accolades he gets, I don’t see Williams driving the line of scrimmage forward either. Maybe a new center and the LG spot gets addressed or healthy and Williams benefits alongside.

    Hall is a nice player to have around and probably real good for the locker room but he’s not a good safety. So how bad is Jeron Johnson if Hall could displace him from the position he was brought in here to play?

    • Trey Gregory - Jan 12, 2016 at 11:28 AM

      Good question about Johnson. It’s like he kicked a coach’s dog or something. I would love to hear a truthful account, with no coach speak, about what happened with Johnson this season. Because I had high hopes for him and he never really even got a chance to show what he had in a game.

      • bangkokben - Jan 12, 2016 at 6:24 PM

        I think the bottom line with Johnson is that he doesn’t have what is needed to be an NFL safety. He was a special teamer in Seattle and they used him there but for whatever reason he wasn’t a good fit at safety here – wouldn’t be the first FA bust at safety here. I thought with Jarrett getting hurt that some safety was going to have to replace his snaps. Not Johnson. According to FO the DB snap counts on defense were as follows:

        75 Goldson
        75 Hall
        75 Blackmon
        71 Breeland
        53 Dunbar
        8 C. Williams
        00 Johnson (26 on special teams)

        By the looks of the snap counts we were rarely in dime against Green Bay and we used Jarrett quite a bit in both nickle and dime during the season.

        Also, FO has Jeron Johnson being in on 196 defensive snaps for the season or a bit more than 18%. He was in on defense against Dallas for 54 snaps (79%) where the secondary was torched for 400+ by Kellen – not an NFL QB – Moore.

        • Trey Gregory - Jan 13, 2016 at 12:16 AM

          Yeah I was shocked that Johnson didn’t see more time with all the injuries too, especially vs GB. The really telling thing to me was that Ihenacho got the job over him. Johnson was brought in to start, truly, and he didn’t even make it to camp as the starter if I remember correctly. I have nothing personal against Ihenacho, but I don’t think he’s a very good safety. Some people love that he’s a thumper in the run game, but his coverage skills are atrocious. In today’s pass happy NFL, I want my safties to be better in coverage than hard hitters. I also think that playing style is why he’s always hurt.

          My point though, was that Johnson lost the job to a guy I don’t think is very good. I had high hopes too. He saw such little actual playing time (besides ST) in Seattle, but when he did, he was good. Brilliant sometimes. But we’ve heard that story with Seattle DBs multiple times. They look good in the system and around a cast of all pros then bust when they leave. Still, I would have liked to see him get more of a chance. Some guys, some really good players, aren’t good practice players. They don’t do well in practice but come alive in games. The opposite is true too. Some guys are amazing in practice but awful in games (I have a feeling Ross is one of those guys and that’s why we shipped off a draft pick for his awful play). I just would have liked to see Johnson play a whole game, maybe two, and see what we really have there. All signs point to him being a bust, but you never know. I’m fine with keeping him for depth and ST though.

        • bangkokben - Jan 13, 2016 at 7:45 AM

          My guess is that he’ll be a special teamer next year but the guy had chances and sucked. Dallas week 17 for instance. He came in after Jarrett was down and Moore suddenly had room to throw. Sure he was the last resort but that was due to him being horrible. Even Trenton Robinson played before him and lost his job in the process. Moving Hall to safety with little practice/experience was deemed a better option. This wasn’t just a practice thing. He had his chance on the field (196 snaps) to make a case for himself. As for Ross – hate on him if you will, I don’t care; but we gave up zero draft picks for him.

        • Trey Gregory - Jan 13, 2016 at 10:01 AM

          @Bang: wrong, we have up Evan Spencer for Ross. It was down to one last WR spot. Spencer, who we drafted as a project player, who had length and a big body, and who was drafted to be a ST stud to develop into a bigger receiver for us. We took Ross instead, who is small like the rest of our receivers, who had been cut (I think 6 times previously) because he’s terrible, who torched a bunch of 3rd stringers in the pre season but was awful against real competition, and who really didn’t do anything on ST outside of one return. We have plenty of other guys who could return kicks, even Roberts took one to the house too. We did give up a deft pick for Ross. I get Spencer was hurt, but it’s not like he tore an ACL. He had a concussion. Worst decesion of the pre season.

          And I get what you’re saying about Johnson, it’s impossible to defend him after this season. But Kellen Moore didn’t throw all over us because of him. That’s just an extreme stretch. We got up to a big lead, took some starters out on offense, and basically signaled that we were dialing back. The whole defense relaxed a bit. Moore didn’t throw to Johnson every time.

        • bangkokben - Jan 13, 2016 at 10:37 AM

          Moore is just an example. He’s not an NFL QB in any stretch – dialing back or not if you’re an FA and here is your chance to show you belong on the defense the Cowboy “C” team shouldn’t be torching you. As for Spencer, him getting the concussion made the decision along with keeping a QB with a concussion. The team then settling with an injury settlement says all you need to know about what they thought about him. To me it’s not a big deal AT ALL that a 6th round WR who didn’t make any noise on offense when given ample opportunity in the preseason lost to an undrafted journeyman. Do you think that Spencer would’ve scored any points this year let alone push Roberts off the active list? No way.

          The ‘skins will likely have another shot at him at some point. Here is from his wikipedia page: “The Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed Spencer to their practice squad on September 22, 2015.[10] This united him with his father, Tim, who at the time was the Buccaneers’ running back coach.

          He was promoted to the active roster on December 22, 2015.[11]

          Spencer is the youngest son of retired NFL running back and current running backs coach for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tim Spencer.[5] Spencer’s older brother, Cole, is an area scout with the Washington Redskins. During the 2015 NFL Draft, Cole called on behalf of the Redskins to tell his younger brother that he was going to be drafted.[5]”

          I wish the best for him but everything about his NFL career suggests personal relationships have got him through the door.

        • Trey Gregory - Jan 13, 2016 at 5:02 PM

          I think you maybe misunderstood what I was saying. No, I don’t think Spencer would have scored any points. I think he would have strictly played special teams. He was drafted in the 6th round for a reason. That being that he is a project and has a lot of developing to do. You don’t draft a guy in the 6th round and expect instant results. Unless you’re Mike Shannahan and you draft a RB I guess.

          I do think he would have been better than Ross. It’s about the long term. Good teams develop talent, that’s how it works. He has the physical tools to help us down the road. We need bigger receivers and bigger special teamers. A concussion is a one or two week injury, and is usually suffered by no fault of the person. He did not have anywhere close to ample time to prove anything. He hardly played in the pre season at all. But we did use a draft pick on him, so obviously the GM thought something if him. But it was also reported that something was mostly special teams with a possibility of being a larger WR for us later. We want to build a big physical team, then we keep guys like Spencer to thump on ST.

          Ross is small and was a waste of a roster spot. I think they got caught up in trying to prove hard work pays off on this team (which is obviously a good thing) and got blinded by his effort and performances (where he was fighting for his life) against 3rd stringers and didn’t see the lack of talent. Maybe neither guy would have worked out, but I would have rather stuck with our draft pick and worked in his development. Ross was a rare poor personnel decision made this offseason.

          Oh, and I don’t buy that someone made an NFL roster because of their dad. Maybe a job in the offices somewhere, but not a roster spot.

        • bangkokben - Jan 13, 2016 at 6:44 PM

          I was all for Spencer over Ross going into the final pre-season game but good organizations cut their 6th rounders all the time. It’s a numbers game and not all of the draft picks are going to make the team. For me, I trust the organization to make the right decision on the last spots on the roster and move on. I have no problem if they rewarded the last spot to a guy who outworked a draft pick who unfortunately got injured. There are plenty of other injuries and suspensions the team is trying to accommodate for. He could’ve stayed on IR like Spaight for a concussion but the young man wanted to play and he got the opportunity to play (on the practice squad) with the team his Dad is – for now – a coach. If the Redskins REALLY like him, they’ll get another shot at him. But you don’t find it the least bit coincidental that the two NFL teams he’s been with are a team where his dad is a coach and a team where his brother is a scout? If Ross was a waste of a roster space, it was a good waste. Two TDs. As for next year, I’d rather have a guy like Ross than a 3rd string QB. Spencer was drafted to basically be a gunner on punt coverage and for that we still need some upgrades. He was also impressive on kick offs. Now with Hopkins kicking that is not as valuable as it was before. Like you said we all have our pet peeves and it looks like you don’t want any draft pick cut before he finishes his rookie contract. LOL.

        • Trey Gregory - Jan 14, 2016 at 8:18 PM

          Ha. No man. Cutting draft picks isn’t really a peeve. It does hurt a little because it makes you think, why didn’t we just draft someone else? Like…. La’el Collins, with that pick. Have his exclusive rights and try to work something out from there. But the main reason was because I didn’t buy into Ross from the start. There’s a guy like him every single pre season. There’s always some pre season darling. A guy who puts in a bunch of effort, does well against 3rd and 4th stringers, and wins the fans hearts. But none of that really masks that they just don’t have what it takes to perform at a high level in the NFL. It was Lache Seastrunk last year. Houston Bayes and Trey Williams as well this year. I just thought they made the wring choice this year. If we were going to keep a guy who wasn’t going to contribute, I would rather it be a big bodied WR who we could develop.

          But I respect your opinion about trusting the team and Spencer. But I don’t give Ross a whole lot of credit for two whole TDs when he had quite a few opportunities. Especially while Desean was out. Crowder, Desean, Roberts, Grant, and Thompson can all return kicks. Also, if Ross wasn’t on the field for that TD, one of those names or Reed would have been to catch it instead. I just think he was a waste. But it’s not a huge deal one way or the other. I just want him off the roster next year. I certainly hope he isn’t part of a long term plan.

        • bangkokben - Jan 15, 2016 at 9:14 AM

          So what’s the problem IF Ross develops? He already has made strides from when he came into the league. I agree about pre-season but the team doesn’t just see pre-season they see practices against their top guys. Griffin wasn’t benched just because a few plays in pre-season. The same for Ross. If he gets replaced, fine; but wanting him to get replaced sounds petty and personal. There were plenty of other guys in other positions at the bottom of the roster making zero contribution of any kind DURING the season. I hope Ross develops into something but if doesn’t, no big deal.

    • Trey Gregory - Jan 13, 2016 at 12:54 AM

      Oh, @skinsgame: I don’t know how I missed your comment about Williams but come on man. Maybe I don’t understand what you’re really saying, but the dude is great. Easily, easily one of the top 3 players on the whole team. Is this what we’re reduced to? Complaining about our only pro bowler?

      Let me ask, does he give up sacks? No. Do we run to his side, most of the time, because he does move guys in the run game? Yes. Does he miss games with injuries? Not really. He’s hurt a lot but he plays through it. If anything maybe he gets some really frustrating offside penalties, but he’s the least of our problems.

      If your point was that he doesn’t play that great compared to other pro bowl/elite left tackles…then I guess you’re entitled to your opinion. But I think the guy is fantastic. Defensive linemen want nothing to do with him. I don’t know what you’re talking about with him not moving the line because basically any run yards we got this year were due to him. He also has a ton of passion and hustle. He’s up field making blocks a lot for a big boy. Look around at the ther left tackles in the league and name me 3 better. At worst he’s too 5. Nobody is perfect, I’m sure you can find a bad play here and there. But overall he’s fantastic.

      • skinsgame - Jan 13, 2016 at 5:35 AM

        I’m not saying he’s awful, I’m saying he’s overrated. Sunday was a microcosm… When they had the ball, 1st & goal after Jacksons TD was overturned, they ran behind him twice and lost 2 yards. The week before, in Dallas, the Redskins had their best rushing game in two months, but Williams didn’t even play in that game. Just because the league is currently flooded with mediocre LT’s doesn’t make Williams exceptional. The statistical breakdowns (especially in the running game) just don’t match the enthusiasm around him. He reminds me of Kerrigan a little in that regard.

  5. celeoinc - Jan 12, 2016 at 8:22 AM

    I’m going to say this: Kory LichtenSteiger is a loser. Everybody says he is our best center, but our line protected better without him. It would not surprise me that he was the one leaking all the bad stuff about RG3 to the media. When the media would say that the line did not like RG3, if you do the math, he was the guy. Of course RG3 did not help himself either by talking too much and not performing on the field. My point here is not to talk about RG3. He’s gone and I’m believe in Cousins. I’m totally fine with Cousins being our QB, but this Kory Lichtensteiger needs to be gone. We play our best games when he is not playing. Again it would not surprise me that he is the famous anonymous source coming out of Redskins Park.

    • timwillhide - Jan 12, 2016 at 9:46 AM

      All the anonymous source info stopped once Cousins got the Job. Coincidence???? Wonder who it was???? No reason to say anything once you are starting. Just saying

      • sikologik - Jan 12, 2016 at 10:33 AM

        LOL you write that kind of stuff and expect intelligent people to take you seriously.

        • timwillhide - Jan 12, 2016 at 10:47 AM

          Who was it then?

        • captblood3000 - Jan 12, 2016 at 12:40 PM

          Haslett.

  6. Tramell - Jan 12, 2016 at 9:01 AM

    It is an accomplishment. The other 3 teams in the East did not do it and we’re thought to be better. Why does this team never get any credit from its media coverage? Cousins, Reed, Garcon, the O-Line all had good seasons. Will Compton, Knighton, Breeland, Preston Smith all had good seasons. When did 9 games in the NFL mean nothing? I guess only when the Redskins do it. Sad, man.

  7. Tramell - Jan 12, 2016 at 9:07 AM

    I agree that Lichtensteiger should be replaced. He’s not strong. We gave up more sacks when he came back. The line held up better against the Panthers, Cowboys, Patriots and Jets without him. Draft a new center in 3rd round. I hope we get RB Ezekiel Elliot in 1st, FS Deon Bush in 2nd and C Nick Martin in 3rd.

    • pdxskin - Jan 12, 2016 at 11:36 AM

      I’ve been thinking the exact same thing about Ezekiel in the 1st and Nick Martin in the 3rd – neither is a reach at those points and would both address needs (sorry folk, but ALMO is not likely to be brought back). Not so sure about Deon Bush in the second round, I think you may be over-valuing him at that point, but certainly taking the best available DB would make sense at that point.

      • Trey Gregory - Jan 12, 2016 at 1:54 PM

        Not to state the obvious, but so much will change in the next couple months in regards to what we know about the available players in the draft. There will be guys who shoot up draft boards we’ve never heard of, and guys some of us value will fall based off the combine or how they stack up the the collective group or interviews or doing something stupid or whatever. So I think it’s a little early to say we should or shouldn’t take someone. I also truly believe we shouldn’t draft for need. We’re rebuilding a team, and we don’t have a lot of depth anywhere. We need to just fill the roster with talent. Take any position you think we’re set at. One or two injuries and it’s now a position of need. We can’t afford to pass on the best available talent.

        All that said, there’s so much RB value outside the first round. We also used a 3rd on a RB last year and Jones should improve a lot with a full offseason. Elliot in the first, I don’t love that. If we were going for need I would so much prefer an ILB, safety, or corner. I’m also fine with another offensive linemen being taken high. I hope Scot builds a damn monster defense and keeps building that OLine. The skilled positions won’t be as big a need if we do that.

        • babyteal1 - Jan 12, 2016 at 4:18 PM

          ILB for sure!!

        • bangkokben - Jan 12, 2016 at 6:50 PM

          You can only keep 8 or 9 O-linemen on the roster. Right now here are the locks for next year:

          Trent Williams
          Brandon Scherff
          Morgan Moses
          Spencer Long

          Here are good bets to be on the team:
          Arie Kouandjio
          Ty Nsekhe

          Possible cuts:
          Shawn Lauvao ($3M cap savings)
          Kory Lichtensteiger ($2.95M cap savings)

          Free agents:
          Josh LeRibeus (UFA)
          Tom Compton (RFA)

          So depending what the front office’s view is on Lauvao and Lichtensteiger will determine the draft strategy. They could draft some guys and then “Chester” either Lauvao and/or Lichtensteiger. But my main point is that there is a numbers game and the Redskins are likely looking at two new o-linemen plus or minus one.

  8. Tramell - Jan 12, 2016 at 9:13 AM

    Wholesale changes on the O-line? Are you kidding? Scherff, Williams, Moses and Lauvao are not going anywhere. Bank it.

  9. Tramell - Jan 12, 2016 at 9:17 AM

    Wholesale changes on the O-line? Are you kidding? Scherff, Williams, Moses and Lauvao are not going anywhere. Bank it. I’m tired of DeAngelo Hall. He plays soft coverage whether at safety or corner. He’s too small for an effective safety. I know people want to compare his situation to Rod Woodson and Charles Woodson but they were bigger and better.

  10. Jhk - Jan 12, 2016 at 9:40 AM

    With a more improved o-line and better o-line coaching RG3 could’ve produced similar stats that Cousins did. The protection was better in 2015 than in previous seasons.

    • bb - Jan 12, 2016 at 9:56 PM

      Get real. Ridiculous

  11. Darren - Jan 12, 2016 at 12:04 PM

    Rich come on man. The team improved a great deal. Especially with young offense. Only gonna get better. Didnt beat team with winning record, really, we have lost all those games in past. We averaged 30 or more points against them in end. Great improvement! !! Much better next year!

    • Trey Gregory - Jan 12, 2016 at 2:12 PM

      @Darren: Rich has a point. We got an easy schedule because of our record last year and we took advantage of it. There’s nothing wrong with that though. They do the schedule like that to get teams back on track. But I think we should all brace for a more challenging season next year. The team could actually play better and end up with a worse record because of a harder schedule.

      But I do think people are making WAY too big of a deal about not beating a team with a winning record. It’s not like we had a lot of chances. We played 3 of those teams in the regular season then the Packers. But really look at it.
      1) Cousins grew a lot this season, he isn’t the same guy that he was week 1. At least two of those games (maybe all 3 depending on when you think Cousins hit his stride) happened before Cousins really put it together.
      2) Then he faced one of their teams in his first ever playoff game, Gruden’s first as a HC, and so many young player’s first. So many players say you have to learn how to win in the playoffs, that it’s different than the regular season. Then we faced GB and their MVP QB who finally put it together himself. It’s understandable that we lost. The experience is invaluable though.
      3) This is a journey. First Cousins hadn’t won any games on the road, until he did. Then he hadn’t won two in a row, until he did. He never had a winning season, until he did. He also never started a full season, until he did. He’s growing and so is the rest of the team. This is truly year 1 of a rebuild after all. They will get over that milestone next and continue to grow.
      4) and most obviously, this is a team thing, the whole team lost those games. We had so many rookies and young players who will be better next year, we will draft some good ones next year for support, and we will bring in more FAs. The team is growing and people lost sight of that because they made the playoffs. They forgot that this team wasn’t even supposed to be .500 and they’re supposed to be taking another couple years to rebuild before they were considered contenders. I’m personally very excited about how things are going.

      • bangkokben - Jan 12, 2016 at 8:05 PM

        Trey, first of all, I agree with your bullet points and most of what you said, however, I have a bit of a nit-picking thing with this one sentence: “We got an easy schedule because of our record last year and we took advantage of it.”

        Agreed it was an easy schedule (I’d been saying all off-season and in season that our fans were over-thinking the “strengths” of our opponents) and agreed that our team took advantage of it. But here’s where I disagree – it had little to do with our record, more to do with the common games (14), and most to do with the down division.

        The division was down due to injuries across the board. The Redskins and Giants led the league in games/quarters missed by starters, the Cowboys had all their eggs in one injury prone basket, and the Eagles didn’t seem to care about injury history as they “upgraded” talent for significant injury history.

        The entire division played home and away games against each other, the previous-season all-under-.500 NFC South, and the one team wonder AFC East. Those 14 games for the most part determined the division winner.

        Washington 7-7
        Philadelphia 7-7 (still lost head-to-head tiebreaker with Redskins)
        New York 5-9
        Dallas 4-10

        As for where a team finishes the previous season, here are the NFC East differences between the first through fourth place schedules as well as the combined records of that schedule both last year and this year:

        Packer, Seahawks (2014 24-8) (2015 20-12) Cowboys lost both.
        Lions, Cardinals (2014 22-10) (2015 20-12) Eagles got crushed by both.
        Vikings, 49ers (2014 15-17) (2015 16-16) Giants beat San Fran and got crushed by Minn.
        Bears, Rams (2014 11-21) (2015 13-19) Redskins won both.

        So the significance of these schedules are minimal. Take the Packers and Seahawks. Both teams that lost a place in their divisions yet got the “benefit” of playing the 4-12 Cowboys as part of their first-place schedule. These were victories for both teams but these teams also lost to the Panthers that were first place but 7-9-1 the previous year. The schedule is a good way to bring competitive balance but its affect is actually minimal.

        Here are the schedules for next year:

        Redskins (Panthers, Cardinals 28-4)
        Eagles (Falcons, Seahawks 18-14)
        Giants (Saints, Rams 14-16)
        Cowboys (Buccaneers, 49ers 11-12)

        Advantage Cowboys but as long as the Redskins do well against the division (4-2 or better) and do better in the common games (AFC North and NFC North) they should compete for the division.

        • Trey Gregory - Jan 13, 2016 at 10:36 AM

          @Bang: Hey man. Look, it’s great that you got a pro football focus account and started looking stuff up. That’s great. But you really don’t need to break down how a schedule works for me. I, and everyone else, knows that we play each team in our division twice. It’s really not worth saying.

          I know our conference was awful, I know that conference games have a lot to determine the record, I know how all of this works. It’s also still true that we had one of the easiest schedules of all the teams!

          And GB got rewarded with Dallas on their schedule? Dallas? The team who was almost in the NFC playoff game last year? Dallas was supposed to be a good team. When they made the schedule, they made it expecting some teams to be good and some to be bad. It doesn’t always work that way, we ALL know that. But seeing as how the schedule makers can’t take away division games, then gave us a softball schedule the rest of the way, what’s your point?

          after reading every word you just wrote, I really don’t understand your point or what we accomplished outside you getting the chance to list off some stats.

        • bangkokben - Jan 13, 2016 at 10:51 AM

          The schedules are predetermined YEARS AHEAD (since 2002) outside of the TWO games that count for place. The reason the schedule is so easy is because the teams expected to be good within the division were not. The Cowboys went from 12-4 to 4-12. So from preseason schedule strength to actual schedule strength that is a difference of 16 games. It has nothing to do with “schedule makers.” It is like the tides or the seasons. Sometimes you get an unusually warm winter and the Redskins took opportunity and made something with it. The same situation happened in 2011 and the ‘skins couldn’t take advantage of it. This division has been down more often than not in the past decade and yet seldom have they took advantage of easy schedules.

        • Trey Gregory - Jan 13, 2016 at 2:41 PM

          It’s really just every 4 years. There’s a rotation where every team plays each other every 4 years, which counts for 8 games, plus the 6 conference games, which leaves two others that are determined based off how well you performed last season.

          So, if you thought I overstated the importance of the record from last year, okay, you could have just said that. Although we DID have one of the weakest schedules in 2015 and 2014’s record DID have something to do with that. So what does it really matter? My point was about how our Wins and losses could be affected negatively even if the team improves because chances are our schedule will be tougher next year. I don’t really know what we accomplished here.

        • bangkokben - Jan 13, 2016 at 2:58 PM

          Trey, perhaps we went around the mountain on this but my pet peeve is the fallacy of the last place schedule. You are the most reasonable about it and I agree with your primary point that the team could improve yet not improve in results but the bottom line is how the division stacks up against the schedule. As for the weak the schedule it is entirely because of how bad the division was.

          Here’s some math – not that you care – but lets look at how this past season’s strength of schedule was at this point last year, separate the division games from the common non-division games and see how it played out.

          After last season, this year’s schedule had a winning percentage of .479 – aka strength of schedule – (122.5 wins to 133.5 losses – Carolina had a tie). After the season the SOS was .465 (119-137). A net of -3.5 games. So the schedule was NEGLIGIBLY easier (1.4%) than anticipated. But how?

          In the division, the six game SOS was .583 (56-40) but after the season it was .354 (34-62). A massive difference of 22 games and a 22.9% decrease. The Redskins went 4-2 in the division.

          Conversely the eight common games outside the division had a preseason SOS of .434 (55.5-72.5) and an actual SOS of ..563 (72-56). Net +16.5 games and a 13.9% increase. The Redskins went 3-5 in these games.

          Looking forward the Redskins have a 2016 SOS of .492 (126-130). It could be much harder if the division bounces back but there are likely to be enough ebbs and flows in the rest of the schedule that it remains within a few percentage points either way.

          Bottom line, you have to beat who is on your schedule whether it is the 12-4 Cowboys or the 4-12 Cowboys.

          Next year’s schedule will be harder because they will have six games against playoff teams (compared to just four this past year) and four more games against teams that are one year removed from the playoffs. However, this has little to due with the first place schedule. The Cowboys will have six games against playoff teams, the Eagles will have seven, and the Giants will also have six.

        • Trey Gregory - Jan 13, 2016 at 3:55 PM

          Yeah I get your point, and we all have out pet peeves. It’s cool.

          I think you would agree (and said a little bit) that this is all fluid too. You never know when a team like Carolina will go from only 7 wins to 15 or a team like Dallas will go from 12-4 to 4-12, so the SOS can greatly change.

          My real point was just that, chances are, we will have a tougher schedule. Think about if, instead of the Rams and Bears we played the Bengals and Cardinals. We would probably be 7-9 instead of 9-7 even though the team would have still shown tremendous growth and accomplished a lot. I was saying that when you’re rebuilding, or when a team is so bad and has so far to go, they can improve a lot without it showing up in the record.

          This team could improve this offseason then take another step forward during the 2016 season and still only win 7,8, or 9 games. I just want people to be aware of that so, if it happens, they don’t go losing their minds about how Gruden and Cousins are awful and everyone should be cut and 2015 was a fluke and everything is awful.

          A true rebuild takes 3-4 years if nothing goes wrong. We’re still a couple years away from where we should expect winning seasons and to compete for and in the playoffs. But we appear to have mostly the right people in place and appear to be trending in the right direction. All that is required now is patience while those guys get the job done. Fans shouldn’t come out with pitchforks if we don’t improve our record or make the playoffs. That’s all I was really trying to say there.

        • bangkokben - Jan 13, 2016 at 5:56 PM

          Exactly. Agreed. However, we could tell them until we’re blue in the face and little will change with the deliberately ignorant. Take Seattle. They went from 7-9 and winning their home playoff game in 2010 to 7-9 and 3rd in their division in 2011. Then they went 11-5 wild card winners before two Super Bowl appearances. The Redskins hopefully having their QB will be on a faster trajectory but the schedule suggests a Seattle type curve. Of course, the schedule could break our way and be easier than anticipated. Maybe Carolina is a one-hit wonder. Maybe Carson Palmer can’t make it through all of 2016. Bottom line, those in the fan base with an anti-Gruden/Cousins agenda will use whatever fits their agenda to sell it.

        • Trey Gregory - Jan 14, 2016 at 1:27 AM

          Couldn’t agree more man.

          Damn, and I hope we are on a Seattle type trajectory. After all the lows this team has had, I’ve said all I want is a team that people respect. That people don’t just automatically dismiss as awful or bottom feeders. I would be so happy if they turned into more than that.

          Indeed, hopefully things go smoothly with Cousins and that launches the franchise. I’m a big fan and supporter, so I hope nobody misinterprets what I’m about to say. But I’m just being cautiously optimistic about his level of play next year. He hit a really, really high note at the end of the year and most QBs would have a hard time sustaining that level of play. Also, as much as I love and believe in the guy, he still has some growing to do which makes me anticipate a few lumps next year. I just hope the team continues to grow around him so he can just focus on his game and grow. If all that happens, this team could be scary here pretty soon.

  12. sikologik - Jan 12, 2016 at 12:17 PM

    LOL you write that kind of stuff and expect intelligent people to take you seriously.

  13. fraja926 - Jan 12, 2016 at 12:26 PM

    I think if you see any major changes it is going to come via draft, otherwise you can look for them to build from within. Scot said that the most important part of the team is 5 thru 35 and reiterated the point that it is most important to build from within and through the draft.

  14. Donnie - Jan 12, 2016 at 2:50 PM

    Kirk cousin s still sucks and so does that so called coach. They didn’t deserve the playoffs and Mr. Griffin didn’t deserve the disrespect and I’m sure he’s gone but not forgotten. Good blessing s RG3. Sad situation for those skins and I don’t expect next season to improve.

    • Omar Shinaishin - Jan 13, 2016 at 10:12 AM

      It’s a sad situation because they benched an ineffective QB for one who broke EVERY SINGLE REDSKINS QB PASSING RECORD? Really? SMH.

    • Trey Gregory - Jan 13, 2016 at 4:02 PM

      It’s like people think that if a coach or a player is a super good guy they should never be fired, benched, or cut regardless of performance. Come on man. I love RG3. He won a Heisman for my college, randomly was drafted to my pro team and gave me one of the most exciting years of football in my life, he personally hit me up on Twitter to thank me for my service, and he still does great things for my school. None of those are reasons why he should be a starter for this team though. He was beat out by better competition. It’s that simple. You can say he would have done as well or better, but you don’t really know that. What we do know is 2013 and 2014 were awful and two desperate coaching staffs benched him. We know he lost the locker room and the guys didn’t want to play for him anymore, you can’t succede if the team isn’t behind you. It was simply time for someone else to get a shot.

      Now, I think he has something left in the tank, just not in DC. He didn’t trust the coaches, they didn’t trust him, it was a recipe for disaster. But if he goes and gets a fresh start, maybe sits behind a veteran like Romo for a year or two, then I think he can be a special player in any kind of offense again. But it was time to move in. Washington got their new QB, who absolutely does not suck, and RG3 is going to get his fresh start. It worked out for everyone. No need to be salty about it.

  15. wildbill1952 - Jan 12, 2016 at 4:57 PM

    DeSean deserves to be back. His mere presence opens up the offense and limits the double teams other teams can employ. Yes he was injured and hopefully he learned he needs preseason as much as anyone. But he was a model citizen and a team leader despite all the rumors that came when the Iggles let him go.

    As far as the OL, 3 out of 5 are keepers. Williams, Scherff and Moses are definitely first string material. Whoever the Nebraska fan is in the front office, it’s time to dump him and have him pick for talent, not alma mater. Long was a stupid pick. Not saying he isn’t an average OL, but bringing in someone who was hurt his senior year in college, in the third round, when expected to go in the 5th when healthy, was just plain dumb. He needs to be replaced on the first team along with Leribeus and Lichtensteiger. Keep some of them as backups, but the center on the Redskins couldn’t move any nose tackle all year, nor in previous years, nor push the LOS in short yardage. If Alex Mack is available as a cap casualty in Cleveland, pick him up. There really isn’t any outstanding center in this year’ draft, although the centers from Alabama and USC top the list.

  16. David - Jan 12, 2016 at 7:40 PM

    People say that Hall is not a good safety, however Gruden says he may be, I am expecting Hall to be around next year. Skins had a good year, I am expecting the team to build on this over the off season and come back better next year

  17. JOHNNY B - Jan 12, 2016 at 7:48 PM

    I think that we need to keep Hall. With our defensive back issues this year with the injuries and players that we picked up in free agency not stepping up we will need a contingency plan. Just need to renegotiate his money. Dejax was a big part of Cousins turn around It dropped back some of the defenses. Unless we can draft another speedy wide out I see him coming back. The o-line needs more work but we do need Lauvao back at left guard. Our run game was a lot better before he went down and Lichtensteiger went down and it got worse. We need a good center big and dominant and young. Get one and keep Lichtensteiger as a backup. He is good at center and guard. Our offense is good not great but our defense sucks. This off season needs to be focused on the defense. Getting more dominate players to fill the gaping holes on the field. More speed and strength with the linebackers and safeties.

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