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Need to Know: Next steps for Redskins’ Williams and Moses in 2016?

Jun 6, 2016, 3:51 PM EDT


Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, June 7, 51 days before the Washington Redskins start training camp in Richmond.


—The Redskins last played a game 149 days ago. It will be 97 days until they host the Steelers in their 2016 season opener.

Days until: Redskins training camp starts 51; Preseason opener @ Falcons 65; Final roster cut to 53, 88

Player quick hits

Here are some quick thoughts on some Redskins players based on what I’ve heard and what I’ve seen in OTAs.

—We will learn a lot about OT Morgan Moses this year, whether he will continue to improve and work his way into the upper echelon of right tackles in the league or if he will be an adequate player who the team will look to replace on an annual basis.

—A healthy offseason is a good sign for OT Trent Williams. He will almost certainly make his fifth straight Pro Bowl appearance and if the Redskins exceed expectations serious All-Pro consideration is a strong possibility.

—DE Stephen Paea is set up for a solid season, with a year in the system under his belt and a realization that he will have to earn his snaps; nothing will be handed to him because of his contract.

—I don’t think that WR Rashad Ross is in much danger of not making the roster but he is in danger of being stuck on the bottom of the depth chart again. He had some issues handling the ball during OTAs, something that conveys a lack of focus.

—I am wary of talk of how well OLB Junior Galette is recovering from his torn Achilles. Assessments coming from the rehabbing player and his teammates are generally highly optimistic. I’ll be convinced when I see him on the field.

—I’m very interested in seeing how the rest of DB DeAngelo Hall’s career shakes out as he changes positions coming off of two injury-riddled seasons. If he stays healthy and plays well at safety he could add a few more years into his career but if he can’t play at least a dozen games his future will become very cloudy.

Stat of the day

The Redskins were out rushed by 396 yards last year, gaining 1,566 yards on the ground while giving up 1,962. They haven’t been that bad in net rushing yards since 2010 when they gave up 580 more than they gained (1461-2041).

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  1. redskins12thman - Jun 7, 2016 at 5:49 AM

    If a player beats out Rashad Ross for the Kick Return starting role and he has not shown improvement in route running, couldn’t Ross be in danger of not making the team?

    • bangkokben - Jun 7, 2016 at 9:53 AM

      That’s two conditions that have to go against Ross and then there would have to be one or two players that beat him out. Looking at the roster, what is the probability that that will happen? Marshall, a 7th round rookie RB, could win the kick return job but he is a rookie and there would have to be someone to fall back to, if he were to fail during the regular season AND either someone would have to beat Ross out as the 6th receiver or another position would have to warrant just keeping five receivers. It’s certainly in the realm of possibility but I’d put the odds at 30-35% at everything aligning against Ross.

      With the new touchback rules (ball placed at the 25), kick returners may get more opportunities to return with many special team coaches trying to pin teams within the 25. This along with Ross’ experience in actual NFL games gives him the upper hand to keep his roster spot.

      • redskins12thman - Jun 7, 2016 at 9:17 PM

        Agree 100%. Thanks for sharing the new touchback rule; I find this interesting …. as there had been movements to reduce the number of returns and this new rule, as you point out, will go in the opposite direction, and increase the number of returns. Are there any other major rule changes that have occurred?

  2. redskins12thman - Jun 7, 2016 at 5:58 AM

    Does anyone know about the challenge of learning a playbook / new system. Is it mainly the terminology used to disguise the play / match-ups and the number of plays that is the challenge? I’ve got to imagine that the concepts / techniques are fundamentally the same, but the nuances change and the language changes to hide the play. It’s like learning a code that disguises the play. Is that correct?

    • redskins12thman - Jun 7, 2016 at 6:03 AM

      I meant this specific for a defensive player (Rich’s comment on Paea above)?

      • bangkokben - Jun 7, 2016 at 10:17 AM

        i think it’s primarily the responsibilities and knowing how they mesh with the other positions/responsibilities. Initially it may be verbiage but after that it may be doing a different thing than what you’ve been doing your entire professional career.

        I’m going to go out on a limb here and assume you know soccer and give a soccer analogy. (Crazy, I know.) Suppose you’re a defender, a sweeper specifically, and it has always been ingrained to you to be goalside and stay between the goal and the highest attacker and clean up anything that get’s in the back. Now, your team implements a flat four backline that is uber-aggressive in the offside trap. You’re still a central defender but your responsibilities and how you play your position are radically different and it’s going to take you time to adjust and play the position correctly.

        • redskins12thman - Jun 7, 2016 at 10:07 PM

          This is helpful. I follow football, ice hockey and soccer so the analogy works for me in helping to understand some of the challenges that D. Hall and other converted CBs face in transitioning to Free Safety. How would this apply to Paea? Is he being asked to perform different responsibilities compared to his time with the Bears?

    • troylok - Jun 7, 2016 at 10:41 AM

      I think different systems are different in their degree of difficulty. The playbook might have, say, eighty plays in it, but depending on the position, there may be three or four variations of each play. For instance, as a receiver your primary play is a fifteen yard post, but if the corner lines up tight, that route might change to a fly route or, if the defense is showing blitz, you have a hot read which might be a five yards and out. For that same play, the QB might audible to a run if he sees the safeties playing deep, and then the receiver’s job turns into blocking. So, you might have eighty plays but with variations, it is really like 320 plays. Every position has some nuance of these variations.

      You hear some veterans moving from one team to another say all that they need to do is get the terminology down. I think that is true for similar systems, but if a system is all that different, a veteran might have just as much trouble getting the playbook down as a rookie.

      Finally, there is the old adage that you don’t practice until you get it right, you practice until you can’t get it wrong. This is all about knowing the playbook so well that it becomes instinctive. I think this is a bigger deal than some people think. There are probably a handful of plays in every game where someone maybe didn’t do what they were supposed to do, or their reaction time was off, or they free-lanced (big shout out for Lavarr Arrington).

      • redskins12thman - Jun 8, 2016 at 3:17 PM

        This is helpful. I will think more about the importance of systems of play and players practicing until “they can’t get it wrong.”

  3. colorofmyskinz - Jun 7, 2016 at 6:13 AM

    Moses will work his way into that echelon. Williams all pro year if stays healthy. Paea better step up for us this year. Ross dropping balls without pads??? Wow. I don’t care how fast he is, he is zero threat without being able to come up with the ball. Might as well be running wind sprints by himself. I don’t think he can ever replace DJax. DJax is not great just because of his speed, he is great for his ability to run underneath balks and make the catch. Ross most definitely does not have that skill. I would be thinking about moving on from him if he continues with all thumbs catches. Gallette is going to be a beast going full bore, regardless of healed or not. He is the raging bull we have always needed. Hope he stays healthy. He will be a huge difference for us. DHall is working hard and hope he is comfortable making the big hits to stuff runners. Because that is what he is signed up for. Gotta be able to lay the wood playing that position and I am still not convinced he can.

    How about injury update reports in detail? There has to be enough information to determine Paul, Paulson, Lauvao, Kory, Jones, Thompson, Paea, Gallette, Riley, inhencho, fuller. Did I miss any?

    Thank god DJax finally showed up. Maybe enough speeches from all of the team leaders about how it was ok to be the only one that is missing voluntary workouts that finally got to him?? Everyone one of those interviews from Kerrigan, Williams, Cousins, Gruden saying it was ok to miss was code for get your azz out here… Lol

    • Korey - Jun 7, 2016 at 8:00 AM

      Hall can hit don’t be fooled by how bad this team has been over the years. Look at the film last year once he made the switch, he laid some wood.

    • ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Jun 7, 2016 at 8:55 AM

      How about injury update reports in detail?

      I recall asking Rich about that earlier in the season. I believe his answer was the team doesn’t conduct physicals until training camp, and media availability after those are done is when we get the answers.

    • John - Jun 7, 2016 at 12:23 PM

      Moses is a pro bowler in waiting. Unfortunately there are other right tackles ahead of/better than him. The first year was Shaky but then so was the whole line, except Williams. Leaving him in one spot and having Sherrf next to him has made all the difference. Its like having Jacoby and Grimm learning and growing together back in the 80s.

      Put a fork in him, he’s done. What good is his speed if a: he can’t learn the playbook and his responsibilities as a receiver and b: can’t catch the ball. With 4 receiver spots filled and maybe only 5 this year because of all the tight ends, he could easily get caught in a numbers game.

      He’s been good in the past. It remains to be seen here. How does he mesh on the field with the Skins? He is also coming off an Achilles, so I’m sure he’ll be hesitant for a while.

      Perhaps he will be hungry after last years injury season and being in a new position/system.

      Finally in camp. A no contact, shorts, jersey and helmet camp. As I said before, no big deal his not being around. His spot is locked down and they don’t have anyone else on the roster that can blow the top off a defense. These mini camps and OTAs benefit the rookies and free agents who’ve not been in the system assimilate. It also gives the QB enough receivers to throw it to. Being they don’t get deep into the playbook or game planning, its not accomplishing much. That’s why its voluntary. Back in the day Riggins would miss practice because he was in traction and Gary Clark missed plenty of practice but come game time they made it happen. DJax possibly pulling a hammy is always in the realm if possibilities, just part of being a fast twitch guy. Santana lost the better part of 2 seasons due to hammys.

      Let’s leave the pom poms aside and see what happens. To much excitement over nothing at this point…

      • John - Jun 7, 2016 at 12:48 PM

        Paea was a d tackle in a 4-3 in Chicago. Herr he is a defensive end in a 3-4. Similar size bodies but different responsibilities. A 4-3 tackle usually lines up over a guard and takes on blocks with the intent of funneling the ball carrier to the middle linebacker.

        Here in the 3-4 as an end he shoots the gap and looks to stop the ball carrier on the way to the QB. The 3-4 end is more like a 4-3 tackle in that he is focused more in than out, crashing down as opposed to coming off the edge.

        Of course being comfortable with the guys around you and knowing what they are going to do helps, that and being healthy.

  4. lezziemcdykerson - Jun 7, 2016 at 8:31 PM

    Lawdy Lawdy we know who asked this question. Mike Jones, who? Mike Jones politely told him we don’t know who he had on his board so saying it’s one way or the other is a futile argument. Too many variables the largest of which we don’t know who he had ranked where AND wr was low on the perceived “need list” so hard to call it a need pick in the first place. Still scratching that skull b? I bet he emailed him back like “still a need pick” lls.

  5. blazerguy234 - Jun 8, 2016 at 4:02 PM

    I think the new rule ..placing kick offs at the 25 yd. line will reduce the number of attempted run backs. The team will have a bit better field position by not trying a return. Trying to kick the ball short of the end zone can be dangerous because of all the things that could go wrong. If a team is behind and could use a big play..that might be a time to try a return.
    Football at this level, while very still football..not rocket science. A rookie like Doctson will be given some basic routes to get started. what will allow him early success is his ability, and find the ball in space.
    Him being on the a distraction for defenses because of what he can do. I think one concern is him not running into one of his own receivers by going the wrong way. On plays where the Skins are in the red zone, him being on the field should really help Reed (granted, hasn`t needed much help). Similar to DeSean running a deep route…it will take guys away from covering other receivers…no matter that the play was not for him Archives

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