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Need to Know: How much will Redskins’ rushing game improve in 2016?

May 20, 2016, 5:05 AM EDT

Matt-Jones-tackles-vs.-Falcons Getty Images

Here is what you need to know on this Friday, May 20, four days before the Washington Redskins start OTAs.

Timeline

—The Redskins last played a game 131 days ago. It will be 115 days until they host the Steelers in their 2016 season opener.

Days until: OTAs start 4; Redskins training camp starts 69; Preseason opener @ Falcons 83

Hot topics

—The Redskins were 20th in rushing yards last year and 29th in yards per rushing attempt last year. But to me the most damning stat was their No. 32 ranking in rushing DVOA. The rating takes the strength of the opponents into consideration so the ranking indicates that nobody did worse running the ball than the Redskins in terms of the quality of the rushing defenses they faced.

—But it is possible to make big jumps in this category. In 2011 the Redskins were 20th in rushing DVOA; in 2012 they were second. Now, it should be noted that the Redskins aren’t likely to have two dynamic additions to the rushing game like they did in 2012 with Robert Griffin III and Alfred Morris coming on board. But the Raiders were 32nd in rushing DVOA in 2014 and improved to 24th last year. That’s still not where you want to be but it’s a step in the right direction. The Bucs improved from 31st in 2014 to 11th last year. I’d look for the Redskins’ 2016 improvement to be something in between that of last year’s Bucs and Raiders.

—When you stop and count heads at inside linebacker you’re looking at quite a logjam. You have holdovers Perry Riley, Will Compton and Mason Foster. Then there is rookie Steven Daniels and first-year player Martrell Spaight. They signed Terence Garvin as a free agent. And Adam Hayward, a veteran leader who has a relatively light $985,000 cap hit, is still on the roster. If Hayward is healthy that means seven players will be competing for a maximum of five spots. That will be interesting to watch.

—As for Daniels and Keith Marshall, his fellow seventh-round pick, perhaps fans should tap the brakes on their expectations of them. There were 39 seventh-round picks last year. Of those, 20, just over half, did not play in a single game. Only seven even appeared in as many as half of their teams’ games. Six players had at least one start and they started a combined 12 games. That doesn’t mean that Marshall and Daniels will not contribute; Scot McCloughan is certainly capable of finding a late-round gem. But seventh-round picks do face long odds and if they are able to contribute at all it should be viewed as a pleasant surprise and not something that should be expected.

—Many were concerned about Trent Murphy’s ability to gain enough weight to be able to survive on the defensive line. Maybe he’s not there yet but he’s working on it.

In case you missed it 

  1. colorofmyskinz - May 20, 2016 at 5:40 AM

    Running game will improve for multiple reasons:
    – our passing game will be an extreme threat and will making rushing easier
    – Callahan will have had 2 years with the line developing them
    – we are focusing a lead back where last year it was the “share” philosophy, time for Jones to focus, and warm up
    – one will be more healthy with a feature RG, whoever wins that role this OTA
    – we might even have a new center through a FA trade, or player conversion

    Hayward is going to be the cut. 10 years and cannot stay on the field with major injuries. He is not the future, Daniels, Spaight are. Garvin is a little small for ILB.

    Daniels and Marshall will not look like 7th rounders and will shock most.

    HTTR!!

    • colorofmyskinz - May 20, 2016 at 6:21 AM

      By the way, Murphy will be a beast at DE at 288 by start of season!!! That will be one tough DE!!

      • troylok - May 20, 2016 at 9:06 AM

        If it’s all muscle, then I agree. If it’s all beer gut, it’s going to be a short preseason for “big Trent”.

      • redskinsnameisheretostay - May 22, 2016 at 8:59 AM

        288 is about 20 pounds under what you ideally want at DE in a 3-4. He needs more weight. Trent hasn’t shown much in the way of getting off blocks to make plays. I’d be surprise he can do that at DE if he couldn’t at OLB.

        • Trey Gregory - May 22, 2016 at 2:01 PM

          I think this is one of the most interesting stories of this offseason. Can he add that extra weight? And will it pay off?

          Despite being over drafted, Murphy has potential. He gets a ton of hate because he wasn’t worth a 2nd (and our 1st overall that year) but he’s not an awful player. And many thought he was a more natural DE anyway. So I wonder if going back to his college position, that he excelled at, will pay off? I’m cautiously optimistic. If nothing else I think he can help the run D.

          But even at his current weight. Isn’t 288 about right for a 4-3 end? So even if we have Baker and Paea playing end in base he could already be and idea DE for a sub package right?

          Let’s just hope his continued work with Mr. Miyagi pays off and he gets better with his hands/shedding blocks. This is a defining year for him.

        • redskinsnameisheretostay - May 22, 2016 at 4:46 PM

          I think you’re right about Trent being a more natural DE than OLB. He may have been played out of position all along. I guess for me, I have concerns about his ability to demonstrate any power coming off blocks. I normally don’t see him get much push even on TEs. However, the added weigh may put him at his better playing weight. I think you are also right about 288 being enough to play 4-3 spots at DE. However as an every down player, I’d expect he needs at least 10 more pounds and ideally a tad over 300 may help him if he doesn’t lose much game speed with the extra pounds.

    • bangkokben - May 20, 2016 at 9:53 AM

      We continue to see things from opposite perspectives but I do agree that theoretically that the pass can set up the run and that year 2 with Callahan should help the OL. But we will have to see if the passing offense was so effective because of the team’s commitment to the run. it’s one thing to try to pound the ball and then use play action and another thing to spread the field and sling it and then slip in runs against nickle. As for Callahan, do we give the guy too much credit? The biggest improvement on the OL came from Morgan Moses who missed all of the off-season with a Lisfranc. Those that actually worked with him were ineffective, not playing, or switched positions.

      Hayward might actually make the team because of the re-importance of kick-off coverage due to the new touchback rules. Garvin, too. That was his thing in Pittsburgh. As for being too light, Cravens weighs the same and is learning the same position.

      There is no reason to have unrealistic expectations on our 7th rounds. Hope; cool. Expectations; silliness.

      Lastly, you clearly meant LG since Scherff is engraved as the starting RG.

      • ET - May 20, 2016 at 10:29 AM

        Once again, we’re mostly in agreement. But I have a tough time seeing how Hayward makes the roster with a number of younger, cheaper, more durable options readily available. My bet is Spaight and Garvin lock up the last two ILB spots.

        • bangkokben - May 20, 2016 at 10:42 AM

          For Hayward, I simply think he has a chance — if he doesn’t get cut in the next 11 days. Price shouldn’t be factor since it’s just a couple hundred K more than the others and the Redskins will have $12.5 million in cap space come June 1st. I suspect they’ll want him around for training camp to be a special teams example. He then will have to show the coaches how unexpendable he is to have a place. Maybe the team keeps more ILBs then OLBs. I’d take him over Houston Bates, personally, and use Murphy at both DL and OLB, if necessary. Garvin was an OLB in Pittsburgh so he too could be the 4th OLB if necessary.

        • redskinsnameisheretostay - May 22, 2016 at 9:05 AM

          It’s easy to see Hayward making the team because he was a standout and team captain on special teams, provides leadership, and as Bang stats is not expensive. As long as Hayward can make plays still as a special teams player, he’ll be on the 53 man roster.

        • Trey Gregory - May 22, 2016 at 2:13 PM

          As far as the above conversation about Hayward. Doesn’t Garvin add everything that Haward does, but more? And he’s younger and not coming off a serious injury?

          Hayward may have been our special teams ace. But Garvin was one of the best ST players in the league. And he’s a McCloughan guy. He comes from a winning organization and Scot has talked about wanting to bring those cultures to Washington. Hayward is a holdover from the losing culture.

          Keeping Hayward would also basically be a one year rental. His career can’t last much longer, as he’ll be 32. But Garvin could be a ST rock for years, he’s 25.

          It’s also possible that we suffer a rash of ILB injuries and need one of these guys to start. I would prefer to see Garvin starting over Hayward.

          And maybe we should just keep this West Virginia train rolling. I’m joking here. But maybe McCloughan is a WV fan and just wants to stockpile their former players. It’s worked out okay for us so far.

        • redskinsnameisheretostay - May 22, 2016 at 4:54 PM

          I don’t think it hurts the roster to have both Garvin and Hayward. I’m still trying to familiarize myself with Garvin but I think we have a serious need for the type of leadership and respect that Hayward garners. However, he needs to prove he can stay healthy. I agree about his age putting him on the short list. If Hayward shows any signs of slowing down then he is probably a roster cut. Recovering from an injury can have a major impact on a player his age. If Hayward can show that he is still capable on the field then I’d like to see the team keep him since I liked him when he was on the field and he cost so little against the roster.

        • Trey Gregory - May 22, 2016 at 7:38 PM

          Well we can just only have so many guys. And we need to be developing young players for the future too. With real game experience, even if it’s just sparingly. They can’t get that on the practice squad. Plus you risk losing guys through waivers. I’m talking about guys like Daniels and Spaight here.

          So while I understand all of Hayward’s leadership, don’t forget about Bruton. Everything Ive heard about him said he was that ST leader for the Broncos. And I think Garvin might actually be a better player. He’s a tackling machine. It sucks to see good players go but we have a logjam at ILB and there’s a lot going against Hayward.

          I could see them keeping him through camp for his leadership and mentorship ability then cutting him. He’s obviously not the future at the position.

      • Trey Gregory - May 20, 2016 at 12:28 PM

        The pass truly can set up the run. Just like the run can set up the pass. Instead of stacking the box because you have a guy like AP or Marshawn Lynch the D will play back, maybe in nickel maybe not, but they’ll play back a bit. It works both ways.

        • bangkokben - May 20, 2016 at 6:54 PM

          Norv was great at setting run up with the pass. Pass on first down. Run on second down and eight.

      • redskinsnameisheretostay - May 22, 2016 at 9:01 AM

        It’s a passing league now and so thinking the run sets up the pass still can be viewed as the opposite perspective.

  2. redskins12thman - May 20, 2016 at 6:33 AM

    You ask one of three really important questions the Redskins need to address this season and hopefully the answer is “a lot”. Which companies publish the DVOA statistics? Trying to outscore the best teams in the league with just an air attack is not a formula for long-term success. Keeping opponents guessing whether we will run or pass will lead to more victories; it will also allow us to better control the game clock.

    Re linebackers, of the 90 players announced for OTAs, 18 are linebackers. There are 9 solid options at LB (Bates, Compton, Daniels, Foster, Galette, Kerrigan, Riley, Smith and Spaight) battling for 7 or 8 spots and this does not include Cravens at the dime linebacker spot. So at least one of the above (probably Bates / Spaight) plus 9 more veterans / college free agency acquisitions (Shiro Davis, Ejiro Ederaine, Carlos Fields, Terence Garvin, James Gayle, Adam Hayward, Willie Jefferson, Lynden Trail and Mike Wakefield) must be fighting for a chance to be special teams standouts right? Garvin has done well in special teams on the Steelers (and the same for Bruton (Safety) on the Broncos.

    Re draft picks, I just want at least three to contribute this season in a meaningful way: Doctson, Cravens and at least one other draft pick.

    • Hokietaa - May 20, 2016 at 7:43 AM

      I think we will get 2 more at least….Fuller and Ioannidis.

  3. ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - May 20, 2016 at 6:43 AM

    It was kind of scary watching us fail to get running yards last year, even in games with teams whose D’s routinely got shredded on the ground.

    Here’s hoping it’s just because of a lot of new faces on the O.L. that needed time and coaching to gel.
    ~

    • ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - May 20, 2016 at 8:06 AM

      Specifically, remember the Giants?

      November 29, 2015: We lost 20-14. We rushed 37 times for 105 yards. 2.8 yards per carry.
      ~

      • troylok - May 20, 2016 at 9:52 AM

        What really concerned me was how defenses knew a running play was coming a mile away. Bringing in Compton as a blocking tight end was one dead giveaway. I don’t know how much flexibility Cousins has with audibles, but it seems there were more than a few times where the safety was cheating and we still ran the running play. When they brought Young in as fullback, it was also a dead giveaway because everyone knew that guy was not going to carry the ball or have a pass thrown to him. Gruden needs to learn how to punish a defense for trying to guess about the running game – even if that means calling an audible to pass to a blocking tight end or running play action with a one wideout set.

        • ET - May 20, 2016 at 10:35 AM

          Agree!

          At the risk of beating a dead horse, not making use of Darrel Young (other than as a lead blocker) showed a real lack of imagination in playcalling.

        • John - May 20, 2016 at 10:56 AM

          Compton was used as a blocking tight end because we didn’t have one. Remember Paul broke his ankle, Carrier blew out a knee, Paulsen had a broken foot and God help us if Reed blocked (holding). That and they cut the rookies and it was a while before they got Alex Smith.

          Regards DY, neither Gruden or Callahan, much less the league are fullback friendly in the running game. How many times in the past has DY carried the ball to be considered a threat, other than the odd short yardage play?

          There are very few inline tight ends available these days. Even fewer coming from college because of the prevalence of the spread. Scot M answered that question during post draft press conferences.

          Regarding 7th round picks, I see Daniels sticking. Not so sure about Marshall.

        • John - May 21, 2016 at 9:31 PM

          You make it sound as though Compton was in as a blocking tight end during every game, all season long. Not the case. Compton was in as a blocking tight end, mid to late season because the guys who were supposed to be at that position were on IR or were unreliable blockers. That and oh, it was not until they got Alex Smith off the street late in the season.

          Regarding DY most teams rarely use a fullback. Its far more common to see 3 wideouts or 2 tight ends. DY also rarely ran the ball for Shanahan or Gruden.

  4. bangkokben - May 20, 2016 at 7:43 AM

    Washington was 6th in passing DVOA last year. As long as they keep that up, the running game is NOT THAT BIG OF A DEAL.

    • John Clampitt - May 21, 2016 at 11:52 AM

      Nor was a decent QB coach and OK offensive coordinator, when he had talent to work with. Hard not to be seen as a whiz kid, with the group he had to work with in Dallas in the 90s. Norv however would blow games by throwing the ball when he should have run the clock out with the running game.
      Perfect example, a season ender, 2003 with Miami. Miami was playing New England, before the Super Bowls. Miami was up, running with Ricky Williams and New England was not stopping him (31 carries 185 yards). Instead of running the ball until the Patriots stopped it, Norv got one of the bum QBs (Jay Fiedler) of the time, throwing the ball. What happens? New England comes back and wins by a field goal (27-24). It costs the Dolphins a shot in the playoffs. He did that plenty of times with the Skins.

      • bangkokben - May 21, 2016 at 1:52 PM

        Oh, I agree. He was his own worst enemy. He also could develop a solid power running game. Sure, he had some good backs to work with (Emmitt Smith, Stephen Davis, Ricky Williams, Lanainian Tomlinson, and Adrian Peterson) but he used these guys to their strengths.

        • John - May 21, 2016 at 7:39 PM

          When his teams had players they got to the playoffs but never accomplished much, except Dallas which was loaded (QB, RB, WR, TE, Line) not to mention a deep defense in the front 7. It made it easy for Jimmy Johnson.

  5. renhoekk2 - May 20, 2016 at 9:08 AM

    There were 23 RB’s that went in the draft and another 25-30 that were signed as UDFA. Even if only a third of those guys make a roster, that means there will be 16 new RB’s in the NFL. Some may fill holes that were already on the roster, but I’m guessing 10 or so will be taking some jobs. So I’m going to say, without any historical data to prove my speculation, you can add at least 10 names to the current list of veteran free agent RB’s that are out there. That doesn’t include the 34 or so rookie RB’s that did not make another team’s roster. So if they go into camp with the current group of guys there will another 45 or so guys to choose from to add another RB when the season starts. No idea who they will be, we’ll just have to wait and see.

  6. troylok - May 20, 2016 at 9:16 AM

    I think the offensive line has to get a little nastier in order for the running game to improve. LeRibeus really didn’t add much last year, which kind of surprised me because he came into the league with a reputation of having some attitude. Long doesn’t blow people off the line. Lichtensteiger grew up in Shanahan’s crack-back style of running game where the idea was more to redirect a defender than to blow them away, so he’s not bringing much, either. That’s why I think moving Scherff to center would pay big dividends. That move could also get Kouandijo in at guard. Then you hope Lauvao can make it back to anchor the other center position.

    BTW, getting a legitimate blocking tight end back in the lineup could help the running game. Last year they were bringing Compton in as a blocking tight end and every team keyed on that as a running play. A blocking tight end might put a little more mystery into the running game.

    • babyteal1 - May 20, 2016 at 9:53 AM

      Give it a rest on Scherff to center….it aint happening.

    • goback2rfk - May 20, 2016 at 10:05 AM

      Rg3, ruined Shanahan who should still be the Redskins coach. Rg3andOut sabotaged Mike and is the reason the man cant get a job now. I hope Rob takes a beating week 4 at FedEx field. Lets go defense.

      • bangkokben - May 20, 2016 at 10:29 AM

        You say a lot of stupid stuff but that was the stupidest.

      • ET - May 20, 2016 at 10:49 AM

        “Rg3, ruined Shanahan who should still be the Redskins coach. Rg3andOut sabotaged Mike and is the reason the man cant get a job now.”

        Is this a real comment or All-Pro Trolling? I can’t tell. Beautifully done, sir.

      • kenlinkins - May 20, 2016 at 11:04 AM

        I am not buying the “RG3 ruined Coach Shanahan” stuff (or even the Shanahan ruined RG3 stuff). If NFL GM’s or Owners felt Mike Shanahan could win them the Super Bowl he would be coaching today. I wish both RG3 and Shanahan good luck (unless it effects the Redskins). Much like an Ex Wife, thinking to much about them after they are gone doesn’t help you move forward. You never win a race beating a dead horse.

    • Trey Gregory - May 22, 2016 at 12:13 PM

      Seriously. Scherff to center is a terrible idea. I think I explained why like 3 months ago. And what makes you so sure he would be better at center than Long? Our center situation really isn’t that bad guys. Let it go.

  7. skinsgame - May 20, 2016 at 9:52 AM

    Rich, what’s your source of optimism that that run game improves? You never really said.
    I’m with Ben, I don’t think the run game is a big deal at all if the passing game is working. The Patriots often get by on a mediocre or worse run game and their aerial stack and defense is why.

    • wvredskins - May 20, 2016 at 10:29 AM

      The run game is a big deal. If we want to take that next step we have to have an established run game IMO. We are not the Patriots and Kirk Cousins is no Brady.

      • skinsgame - May 20, 2016 at 2:53 PM

        I didn’t say Cousins and Brady were equals. The comment was about an offensive approach.

    • bangkokben - May 20, 2016 at 10:33 AM

      The Redskins rushing attack was so abysmal that they were ineffective against Dallas, New York, and Phiadelphia. These defenses were 29th, 21st, and 28th, against the run in DVOA, respectively. Yet the Redskins were 4-2 in these games. The Redskins also beat New Orleans, Buffalo, and Chicago (27th, 30th, and 32nd against the run in DVOA, respectively). So the Redskins faced a bunch of teams that were terrible against the run and managed a 7-2 record against them. They also lost to Atlanta which was 25th. 7-3. By and large, the ‘skins were ineffective against these teams rushing the ball with a few exceptions. Some of these teams had bad pass defenses as well but with a average running attack perhaps those three losses would’ve been wins. Not big news. Everyone knows the running game stunk but the fix is in. John Riggins, Stephen Davis, or Tre Johnson aren’t walking off any buses. If the Redskins improve in the run game in will because the players on the team have improved and/or the scheme/attack has improved. No sense wringing our hands about it.

      This year “we” face some tough run defenses:
      ARI 2
      PIT 5
      CAR 6
      CIN 8
      BAL 12
      DET 14

      Sling the snot out of it.

      • ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - May 20, 2016 at 1:27 PM

        We also benefited from an abnormally high number of turnovers going our way, Ben.

        Those things have a way of evening out. Picking up the running game would help compensate when our takeaway margin returns to earth.
        ~

        • bangkokben - May 20, 2016 at 6:12 PM

          This is actually not true. See below.

          Fifteen teams took the ball away 25 or more times while seventeen teams took the ball away 23 times or less. The Redskins defense got 27 takeaways which was tied for eighth. Here are the seasons since the Redskins switched to a 3-4 base defense, the number of takeaways, where that ranked in that particular season, the league median, and the differential to the median:

          2015 27 8th 24 +3
          2014 19 25th 25 -6
          2013 26 16th 26 0
          2012 31 5th 24 +7
          2011 21 23rd 24.5 -3.5
          2010 27 15th 25.5 +0.5

          Last year was in no way an outlier but more of an expected outcome. In the six seasons since the switch the Redskins have 151 takeaways compared to the league median over the same time of 149. That’s painfully average.

          Now, so you don’t take the position that it is all random and a turnover creating machine can’t be developed, let’s look at Seattle over the same time frame but starting in 2010:

          2010 22 27th 25.5 -3.5
          2011 31 9th 24.5 +6.5
          2012 31 5th 24 +7
          2013 39 1st 26 +13
          2014 24 20th 25 -1
          2015 23 16th 24 -1

          Then again, maybe it’s just pure chance.

    • princewilks - May 20, 2016 at 10:33 AM

      I’ll tell you why. You should never compare the Patriots and the Redskins. For once, the quarterback position is manned/played differently. There’s a big difference between their defense and ours. Also, they have a genius head coach that is a film rat and knows how to exploit weaknesses and use his her personnel to do what they do best, vs our coach who is still learning the game and how to coach and makes mental, in-game errors from time to time. Not to say Gruden is necessarily an idiot, he is improving compared to his first year, but forgive me if don’t think as highly of him as I do of Belichik.

      If that doesn’t answer your question, then nothing will.

      • bangkokben - May 20, 2016 at 10:48 AM

        “his her” ??
        As high of Bill Belichik as you think, do you think he should use the new special restrooms? Not that there is anything wrong with that.

      • skinsgame - May 20, 2016 at 2:45 PM

        I wasn’t comparing New England to Washington, I was comparing tendencies and outcomes. New England is a prime example of a successful team running a “pass first” scheme. That’s where the comparison ended.

  8. kenlinkins - May 20, 2016 at 11:26 AM

    If I was a young RB, the Redskins is where I would like to be trying to make a team. No where to go but up, no monster with a firm hold on the number one spot, an O-Line that is young and has a chance to be better in 2016, and a coach who is looking for someone to carry the rock in a break out fashion. It doesn’t get any better for a young RB looking for a chance / shot to get a NFL job. So, there it is RB’s, red meat just waiting for the right guy with the right stuff. IMO RB’s are found in the NFL, not made. So, who wants it! (should be interesting to see if someone can).

  9. abanig - May 20, 2016 at 11:29 AM

    Running game will improve if our blocking tight ends and especially the starting interior lineman stay healthy. I know I sound like a broken record but our running game started to crap out after Lauvao & Kory L got hurt.

    Then, before the season even started we lost Niles Paul & Logan Paulsen – our blocking tight ends – it’s hard to have s good running game when the blockers In front of you are gone and replaced by people who are young and sometimes miss assignments or guys like Jordan Reed who really don’t want to block at all, and when they try, they hold.

    Take away the holding calls on JReed, Trent Williams and others last year – when we did have good positive runs – and I’m sure our running game would have been about average.

    I’m not sure how much penalty yardage we accrued on positive runs by Jones & Morris last year, but it had to be hundreds of yards. When those runs get called back, it changes your game plan. For one, the playcaller is going to some lose faith in the running game. Two, it its you back to second and long or third and long which means you went from a down when you could have run the ball to a definite passing situation.

    • bangkokben - May 20, 2016 at 11:44 AM

      Doesn’t really matter if you’re a broken record or not.

      The issue is that Lauvao and Lichtensteiger are coming off devastating injuries and are a year older. They also “produced” on a ridiculously short sample. The guys who filled in need to play better. The tight-ends need to block better. Whether Paul, Paulsen, or Davis actually block better remains to be seen. Holding penalties are often reasons for the big runs but half the time it was simply getting caught with bad technique — outside shoulders and/or arms extended — while not effecting the outcome of the play.

      • abanig - May 20, 2016 at 11:56 AM

        Well as I said all that needs to improve and our starters have to stay more healthy.

        Lauvao had a big injury but Kory L missed about 3/4 the year with his neck issue, came back played in the playoff game and our offensive line seemed to play better.

        • bangkokben - May 20, 2016 at 5:07 PM

          Lichtensteiger missed most of season with a nerve issue. Maybe by now he can improve his strength but he played because LeRibeus’ season long track record. The Redskins gave up more sacks against Green Bay than in any other game last year and continued to be ineffective running the ball. (Take away a 25 yard run by Thompson and a 19 yard run by Morris and the Redskins were 16 for 40 running the ball.) The line arguably had it’s worst game of the season.

        • skinsgame - May 20, 2016 at 6:20 PM

          The line was worse that game. I have no idea why they thought switching centers out after nearly 12 games was a good idea. Lichty was rusty and slow.

  10. ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - May 20, 2016 at 1:28 PM

    Mark Bullock has a look at the Redskins running game today.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/football-insider/wp/2016/05/20/a-closer-look-at-the-redskins-running-game/
    ~

    • bangkokben - May 21, 2016 at 8:38 AM

      That was a good article. It seemed to confirm my suspicions as well — the Redskins remained primarily a zone-running team despite all the talk about moving to power running. Let’s see what they do this year.

      • kenlinkins - May 21, 2016 at 1:36 PM

        I remember asking a few people after the Rams game to explain how you get the Center 10 yards down field and outside the numbers making a block with a Power Running System (on Jones 40 yard TD). I do like the idea of limiting the running system to 8 – 10 plays that the Redskins can also go play action on with a TE and not an extra OT in the game to force the defense to play honest (unless they find a OT who can run 4.65 and has a good set of hands).

        • John - May 21, 2016 at 9:41 PM

          Early in the season, they had 3 tight ends (Reed, Carrier and Dixon?). At times they had all 3 out there. At one point, they cut Dixon (mid season?) and not long after, Carrier blew out a knee. That’s when they started using Compton as a blocking TE, otherwise, nobody would have been in that spot. They eventually signed Alex Smith off the street, but it was a few seeks before he played. Thanks to the use of the spread in college, there are fewer and fewer tight ends that can block consistently. Enough of this whining about Compton as a blocking tight end.

  11. Jlb12300 - May 21, 2016 at 6:05 AM

    The biggest reason our rushing stats were down last year was for a good part of the season no Djax. The teams wanted Cousins to pass the ball to force more interceptions. So they focused on stopping the run. This year will be different with so many weapons on the offense ,defenses will be forced to focus on the passing game. The run game will be in the 10th to 15th range this year. Total offense will be top 5 . Bank on it.

  12. Ilovetrent - May 21, 2016 at 12:50 PM

    Video of Trent socking richard Sherman. Best I’ve seen! That’s what we need on this team. More Trent. It’s not tiddlywinks

  13. John - May 21, 2016 at 3:50 PM

    Funny how I mentioned that they should have played Leribus in the playoff game. This was before the game, but folks poo pood the idea because they had to many supposed issues with Leribus. The pass protection was better with Leribus and he had been playing most of the season up to that time and Kory was coming in cold after several weeks of inactivity. As they say “you go with who brung you”.

  14. Marshall Lamm - May 21, 2016 at 7:21 PM

    And what round was Alfred Morris taken?

    • Rich Tandler - May 22, 2016 at 6:03 AM

      Ah, the one exception that is supposed to disprove the rule. You are going to find a player like Morris in the draft once a decade, if that. If you want to base your hopes for the season on a fluke like that you’re headed for trouble.

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