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Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—Cornerbacks, schedules, pass pressure

Jul 16, 2016, 6:13 AM EDT


Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, July 16, 12 days before the Washington Redskins start training camp in Richmond.


—The Redskins last played a game 188 days ago. It will be 58 days until they host the Steelers in their 2016 season opener.

Days until: Preseason opener @ Falcons 26; Final roster cut 49; Cowboys @ Redskins 65

The Redskins week that was

Where do Breeland and Norman rank?—A former NFL cornerback ranked the top seven cornerback tandems in the NFL. The Redskins’ duo of Bashaud Breeland and Josh Norman was not among them. I’m not sure that they should be but I do think that they belong right beside the corners from one division team that did make the list.

Analysis shows Redskins 2016 schedule very difficult—Based on last year, this is true. But you never know how tough a schedule really is until you line up for the games. The Redskins were supposed to be easy W’s last year but that turned out not to be the case. The Cowboys were going to be impossible to beat; they went 4-12. If you want to worry in advance, feel free. But injuries and changes in teams’ fortunes can change the picture rapidly so we’ll see what happens.

Cousins needs to improve handling pass rush—The good news was that the Redskins’ QB wasn’t under pressure a lot, thanks to good blocking and his ability to get rid of the ball quickly. The bad news was that when he was under pressure his performance dropped off more than that of all but one quarterback. It’s something that Cousins will have to work on if he is going to take the next step in his development as an NFL QB.

Redskins by the numbers—Ball protection—I started looking at some turnover numbers in games that the Redskins won and lost and found a few interesting patters. For one thing, they had a very difficult time overcoming their turnovers.

Redskins fans the worst in the NFC East? For Real?—The methodology on this post is interesting and it seems to be subjective but some of the results don’t make a lot of sense. Redskins fans worst in the NFC East? Chiefs fans among the worst in the NFL? Not buying it.

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  1. ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Jul 16, 2016 at 7:54 AM

    2016: The year of Cousins on the tag.

  2. redskins12thman - Jul 16, 2016 at 8:02 AM

    Great posts this week Rich. I found it very interesting that “of the top 12 teams with the most time-consuming average drive only two, the Redskins and Seahawks, made the playoffs.” This fact is a little counter-intuitive to me, but it probably has to do with winning the field position battle, an offense that can exploit defensive weaknesses for big plays, etc.

    I also liked the discussion on how well Cousins does when he is not pressured, how he can improve on pressure situations as well as how important it is for our defense to make adjustments to be able to put pressure on quarterbacks throughout the game. It would be great if the Redskins could get one more sack per game and several more pressures per game this season.

    I was strongly in favor of signing Cousins long-term by this past week because I can’t see a scenario where the Redskins wouldn’t want him to be part of the team for the next three seasons and it’s just going to cost the team more, probably materially more, regardless of how Cousins performs this season. There’s a chance that not signing Cousins long-term could add to the “noise” this season, but it will be hard to match the RGIII years in terms of noise, and I think Gruden and Cousins have done, and will continue to do, well at diffusing it.

    In terms of schedule, you are right that the level of parity in the NFL and the ability of teams to go from worst-to-first from season-to-season makes it difficult to predict how difficult the schedule / opponents will be. Still, fans should not get excited if the Redskins start off very well (5-2 or 6-1) because that’s what the Redskins should / need to do. The reason is: games #8-14 are particularly challenging on paper. If the Redskins still make the playoffs after starting the season 4-3 or worse, I will be absolutely amazed. I believe it’s how the Redskins perform in games #8-14 that will be the true indicator of where this team is at, irrespective of the first seven games of the season.

  3. skinsgame - Jul 16, 2016 at 9:21 AM

    Hopefully Cousins has a monster year and the team pays him next offseason. This is how good teams run though, using every advantage for themselves. If this somehow messes with the psyche of Kirk Cousins then they’d be better off not committing to a long deal with him anyway. My guess is, he gets tagged next year and they hammer out a big deal at that point. Nearly every other key player in the team can be extended at any time.

    • Trey Gregory - Jul 16, 2016 at 12:22 PM

      Because QBs are supposed to be inhuman? No emotions or perfectly normal responses?

      • skinsgame - Jul 16, 2016 at 2:40 PM

        No, but if he’s “rattled” by things like only making $20 million on game day, he’s probably a head case.

  4. colorofmyskinz - Jul 17, 2016 at 1:03 AM

    Not signing Cousins was a huge mistake. We knowingly added drama to come. Washington just can’t go one year without drama. Thanks Snyder. Only $16M per year offer?? Pathetic. Skins will be paying through the nose next year, mark my words.

    Poor cap management decision here. We will be paying about $9M more per year than their offer next year. Idiots. There is only a 5% chance Cousins has a worse year than last. Get ready for the headlines and locker room drama over Cousins contract estimates all year long. Poor vision of the impact of this foul decision.

    I knew we could not go one year without drama. The only way our organization can operate.

    Not happy with this one. Scot or was it a Snyder overrule? You bet.

    • Trey Gregory - Jul 17, 2016 at 2:53 AM

      OK. I’ve been very outspoken that I think they should have paid Cousins. But I can’t even begin to agree with you because you’re being so absurd.

      How on earth do you figure there’s only a 5% chance Cousins gets worse? I would love to see that research.

      And we (multiple regular posters here) have explained, at length, why it’s just incorrect to blame Snyder for all of this. Why can’t you just let it go?

      I don’t want a season of drama either. But I guarantee complaining about Cousins not getting a deal will only contribute to the drama. So, the deal didn’t happen. Cousins is playing on the tag and there’s nothing we can do about it. It’s over. Let’s move on. Archives

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