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Need to Know: Five things we’ve learned about the Redskins so far

Aug 22, 2016, 5:25 AM EDT


Here is what you need to know on this Monday, August 22, 12 days before the Washington Redskins cut their roster to 53 players.


Today’s schedule: Practice 1:10; Player availability and Jay Gruden press conference after practice, approx. 3:15

—The Redskins last played a game that counted 225 days ago. It will be 21 days until they host the Steelers in their 2016 season opener.

Days until: Cowboys @ Redskins 27; Browns @ Redskins 41; Redskins @ Ravens 48

Five things we have learned about the Redskins so far

The Redskins have been through two and a half weeks of training camp and they have played two preseason games. While we have no definitive answers about the team yet, there are some things that we have learned:

The running game still needs work—Perhaps a lot of it. Matt Jones had a solid camp but two of his big issues, fumbling and injury, sprang up against the Jets. Rookies Keith Marshall and Robert Kelley haven’t done much yet and the team has an average of 3.3 yards per carry so far.

DeSean Jackson is ready for a big year—The veteran is entering a contract year and he is ready for it. Jackson has been one of the stars of camp, hauling in deep passes from Kirk Cousins on multiple occasions. He did not miss a practice or even take a traditional veteran’s da off, a very good sign for a player who struggled to stay healthy last year.

The defense could be improved—During the preseason last year the Redskins had trouble when the other team’s No. 1 quarterback was in the game. Not so this year. Against the Falcons and Matt Ryan the defense forced two three and outs. The Jets’ Ryan Fitzpatrick was able to generate two three and outs and then six plays and a punt. Ryan and Fitzpatrick combined to complete 4 of 13 passes for 43 yards. That comes to a combined passer rating of 30.8. There is a small sample size warning here but it is an improvement.

Josh Norman could be worth the money—All big-money free agents say they are going to work to show that they deserved their mega paydays but Norman is putting his work ethic where his mouth is. He stays at least 30 minutes after practice working on his game. After one practice in Richmond he caught 500 passes from the JUGS machine. Then after working overtime in training camp he spent more time with the fans signing autographs and posing for pictures than just about any other player. All of that is no guarantee of success on the field but it does show that, unlike many other Redskins free agents, he is doing all he can to be successful.

There is a real competition at left guard—Many thought that Spencer Long was just a placeholder for Shawn Lauvao at left guard. But with just one preseason game to go to decide (the fourth one doesn’t count) Long pulls the duties most often associated with being the starter. He has had the majority of the first-team reps and he has started both preseason games. Lauvao may end up with the job but he still has some work to do to get it.

Su’a Cravens will be well worth the draft pick—The Redskins’ second-round pick has made some plays in practice and he was all over the field in Atlanta. He’s going to make some mistakes but he will more than make up for them with some big plays.

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  1. colorofmyskinz - Aug 22, 2016 at 6:27 AM

    Agreed with all of these key learnings. The only thing I would add to the Running Game segment is that we are Code Red. The line has hardly improved with runblocking. And that is with 3 new blocking TEs. That shows us how horrible our line is with setting running lanes. I think Callahan has focused too much on pass protection and not the line establishing an agressive pop off the snap. Why can’t our line push the opposing defensive line off the ball by 2 yards like good running teams do? There has been zero development here. Center is a key position we and the team identified for fixing this and it looks like we are still left with well below average here. Kory is honestly a placeholder for next years FA or draft. It almost would be worth trying Long at center with Lauvao at LG with the number ones next week. I know everyone says Kory is like the quarterback of the line and is smart, but man he is also weak. He is too small for center in the NFL nowadays.

    Then add absolutely no depth with experience at RB and we have a disaster on our hands. With the running game as our worst skill last year, with it easily identified we needed a center, and it easily identified that we needed to draft high or take a key FA player at running back (we knew we needed one when we let Morris go), we set ourselves up for this CODE RED situation. I give the GM a grade F- here. Everywhere else he did great but this is a horrible failure.

    Again, other teams might as well pull their 4 linebackers off the field and place 6 corners on the field to defend our huge pass offense. No one needs to worry about us running the ball.

    • sidepull - Aug 22, 2016 at 8:21 AM

      Indy took our C. Had Indy passed he would have been in a Redskin uniform today, not Doctson I believe. I wanted them to draft, build the lines inside out. NT/DT and a C. I wanted Sheldon Rankins. I wanted Booker in the 4th. Needless to say it was a pretty frustrating draft to watch for me. All I gotta say is be glad us fans are not the GM’s. I would pick for need every daggone time. Bad business doing that I guess. And most importantly I think the worst decision ever is cutting Alf. See he wasnt doing anything here and I understand the argument to show him the door, but that run blocking ugh, I just dont think he was what Gruden wanted. They thought they saw Beast Mode in Jones and what they got was Least Mode.

      • sidepull - Aug 22, 2016 at 8:37 AM

        As an aside Booker is getting ready to bump Hillman out of a job. And Alf might bump McFadden.

        • hail74 - Aug 22, 2016 at 10:22 AM

          Booker is hardly having a sensational preseason against the backups but yeah he could easily replace Hillman because Hillman has had his chances and done nothing and Booker is a rookie. Alf could replace McFadden because McFadden could be cut for 2million in savings and Dallas only has around 5mil now.

      • colorofmyskinz - Aug 22, 2016 at 8:38 AM

        Can’t disagree with antything written here at all. Totally agree. CODE RED. Play 6 corners and no linebackers and we are toast.

        • redskins12thman - Aug 22, 2016 at 11:04 AM

          I don’t know. I’d like to see how Reed, Paul and Davis do against that formation… At the same time, I hope the running game improves as I believe it will help the Redskins when playing against the better opponents.

      • bangkokben - Aug 22, 2016 at 8:42 AM

        Alf wasn’t cut. He contract was up and the Redskins didn’t make any effort to re-sign him. Had they re-signed him, i”m sure the comments here would’ve been something about the definition of insanity, blah, blah, blah. This was in the works as soon as Jones was drafted last season. McC was never an Alf fan. Would we be hearing the same thing if Hopkins was missing field goals or Way shanking punts. Sometimes the organization goes without competition. They did that in 1999. The Redskins didn’t resign Terry Allen and instead handed the job to Stephen Davis who played fullback the year before. Davis got 1405 yards in 14 games. Sometimes these things work out. It may look right now after two preseason games that it’s not working out but what is certain is that it’s way too early to say definitively.

        • sidepull - Aug 22, 2016 at 9:34 AM

          Semantics but I didnt mean cut per se, more like handed him walking papers, whatever, he was not going to get resigned. Writing was on the wall. Hes not here and the Redskins didnt want him was the point. Yea I was just pissed. I am hoping it works out for the best. Its just hard to see a dedicated, loyal, employee that shows up every day for work, doesnt gripe, doesnt call in sick…get axed for and unproven RB. I never felt that about a Terry Allen. We will see I guess. NFL…. epitomizes not for long right?

        • bangkokben - Aug 22, 2016 at 9:52 AM

          Yeah. The Redskins didn’t want him and he’s not here and neither is anyone else. Morris was a great team player and likely will continue to be in Dallas but as far as “getting axed for an unproven RB,” that — if we’re comfortable with your semantics — is happening in Dallas. He didn’t get “axed” here and likely won’t in big D but he’s certainly getting replaced by an unproven RB.

          Let’s face it. Morris didn’t have a good year last year and that limited his opportunities as a free agent. He signs for less than two million a year to compete for a starting job that then changes to competing for the top back-up after the draft.

      • lorcanbonda - Aug 22, 2016 at 11:07 AM

        Let go of Indy taking the Center. There is nothing for it. We all had the players we wanted, but you are comparing them to a no-show, at least until Doctson’s achilles is healed. Rankins was also drafted before we had a shot, yet he just broke his leg, so he is out for the first half of the season anyway.

        The fourth round is the one that I wonder about. We could have gotten Evan Boehm, Billings, Deon Bush, or Devontae Booker. Any of them could be a help in the long run. But there is nothing to compare it to until next year — until then, it will the pick that got away from the man who swore he wanted ten picks in this draft.

        • ET - Aug 22, 2016 at 2:53 PM

          I remain puzzled by the 4th round inaction as well. The 3rd-5th represent good value, and we gave up that pick for little in return.

        • lezziemcdykerson - Aug 22, 2016 at 7:36 PM

          This is spot on. I know I’m going to get killed for this but, it’s almost better for us to swing and miss on a first rounder than not even pick in the fourth. At least for this year’s draft and especially when considering the GM has built his pedigree on being the late round whisperer. 1st round busts happen every year but going into the season we had so many needs MADTV guy said he wanted 10-12 picks. Meaning why are we trading out of a round when we could’ve traded back a few spots and possibly gotten the same (ball park) pick as the one we got for 2017? Truly don’t get that move. That 4th round was stacked.

        • Trey Gregory - Aug 23, 2016 at 3:51 AM

          I don’t know why you would get killed for that comment. I don’t necessarily agree, but I think I understand your point and I get it.

          I think whiffing on a first round pick really hurts. But A) Doctson isn’t even close to a busy yet. People need to relax about that. We won’t know if he’s a bust or not for years. B) whiffing on a first round pick is only a big deal if you miss out on first round talent. But if you find a red or blue chip player in the later rounds, then it’s all good. Every GM misses on picks. Every single one.

          I hate that we traded out of the fourth with some really good players sitting there. Andrew Billings was a very talented prospect (more so than Ioannidis) and we could have had him in the 4th. Also the RBs we missed on in either the 4th or 5th (by drafting Ioannidis instead of another DE/DT in the 4th).

          Scot gets a little carried away with the trades. Trading for more picks isn’t always good. You miss out on the better talent. Example: in 2011 we traded down in the first round. We got Ryan Kerrigan, who is a really good player. But we could have had JJ Watt, who is a generational talent. I don’t want extra picks if that’s the price we pay. And passing on a 4th round pick while your team is in year two of a rebuild is bewildering. The rebuild is now. We need to develop guys now to be the next crop of starters starters in 2-3 years.

    • redskins12thman - Aug 22, 2016 at 9:04 AM

      I’ll withhold judgment on rushing attack (as well as other areas) until the regular season begins but there are definitely warning signs that this key developmental need has been unsuccessfully addressed. It is revealing that Al Morris and Christine Michael leave Redskins and have Top 5 NFL production both in total yards and in yards per carry (6.0 and 5.8 per carry). The unfortunate situation is, production aside, Matt Jones and Chris Thompson are not durable.

      I have to believe Redskins will monitor every single RB waived by NFL teams and I expect them to sign one when teams go from 75 to 53. Redskins rookie RBs are showing well but not enough to take that 3rd string spot.

      Charley Casserly said Redskins are better at running football when Spencer Long plays center instead of Cory Lichtensteiger; this comment surprised me! On 4th down attempt, Ryan Grant did not block well; I have to believe we won’t see that assignment in the regular season but the whole line did not do well when that yard was needed. Chris Cooley feels Moses and Scherff are slow going to 2nd level, unsure why, and Moses regularly demonstrates poor technique in the preseason games. I wonder if the Redskins coaching staff agrees with that observation?

      • Trey Gregory - Aug 22, 2016 at 11:23 AM

        Moses has had some surprisingly bad technique in the preseason so far. Maybe it’s just getting back into the swing of things. Maybe he’s really not that good. I don’t know. But, just as with most of this stuff, we’re not actually going to know until the regular season.

        • redskins12thman - Aug 22, 2016 at 11:36 AM

          Didn’t hear much about Moses technique last season so I assumed all was well…

        • Trey Gregory - Aug 22, 2016 at 12:18 PM

          I don’t remember him being bad. In fact, I kind of remember him being pretty good. We would have to go back and rewatch to really be sure, but it seemed like he was doing well.

          So, multiple explanations are common: he’s just taking a while to get going again but will be fine for the regular season; he plays hard when his job is on the line but relaxes and slumps when he’s firmly established; it was a fluky one year performance; success made him think he can stop working; pre season games bore him so he’s just half assing it; etc., etc.

          I really have no clue. But all is well if he shows up week 1 and plays well. I have let some of this preseason stuff get to me too. But we’re all really overreacting to some of this stuff. Only time will tell. I will be seriously concerned if this kind of stuff isn’t fixed by week 5 or 6. The first 4 weeks of the NFL are always strange and sloppy.

        • redskinsnameisheretostay - Aug 22, 2016 at 6:53 PM

          It was Moses improvement with his technique that earned him the starting tackle spot and allowed to move to a more natural position at guard. Moses does tend to be slow getting to the second level at times but it’s utter nonsense to think Scherff is slow getting to the second level when it is known throughout his career to be the opposite. Overreaction is the correct issue here since both these players are still just second year starters. Neither will perform perfectly this early and I recall many blocks from both where defenders were shutdown where they stood. You have to look at the complete picture. Some here are poor evaluators of blocking. I’m not claiming to be an expert but a novice evaluation would be an upgrade from what I’m reading here.

        • redskins12thman - Aug 22, 2016 at 10:17 PM

          Re Scherff, when Cooley made comments about Scherff was slow going to the 2nd level, he did not imply Scherff had poor technique; Cooley was unsure why this was happening — perhaps coaching, perhaps the team was trying to disguise what they intend to do, who knows…

          Scherff had very strong rookie season, including I believe only three penalties, and I have no reason to believe his second year won’t be stronger in all aspects of the game.

        • Trey Gregory - Aug 22, 2016 at 11:08 PM

          I have seen a few people (not necessarily here) criticizing Scherff. Most of them clearly don’t understand what’s really going on though. They’re critiquing the whole OLine and make comments like “and the (player) decided to let a linebacker run right pass him instead of blocking him….” They don’t understand assignments, different protections, that sometimes guys are purposely unblocked, all that stuff. And a lot of people don’t seem to understand that offensive linemen purposely move backward in pass protection. As in, they literally step back. These fans soon the helmets move back and think guys are getting pushed back against their will every play.

          Scherff has been playing really well in my opinion. Of course he’s not perfect. Even the best Olinemen get beat from time to time. But he more than holds his own. I think he’s getting close to being a Zach Martin type player who gets the accolades every year. The run blocking could improve, but some of that has to do with the guys around him. And it’s also normal for a young guy. He’s progressing really fast and is the last guy I’m worried about on the OLine. Even after Williams because of Williams’ injury bug.

    • mtskins - Aug 22, 2016 at 10:10 AM

      Color, Weren’t you predicting big things for Keith Marshall and Matt Jones just two short months ago. Now you are calling a Code Red?

      • Trey Gregory - Aug 22, 2016 at 11:32 AM

        A lot of Redskins fans were pretty obnoxious about how awesome our 7th round running back would be because Scot Jesus Christ McCloughan drafted him and “he’s really fast guys.” How quickly things chance.

        Lache Seastrunk, Trey Williams, and Keith Marshall. The holy trinity of delusional Redskins fans.

        • bangkokben - Aug 22, 2016 at 12:04 PM

          Maybe Seastrunk is available. ;-)

          Alas, he signed with the Jets nine days ago and didn’t get a carry against the ‘skins. Here’s what he’s been doing this year according to his wikipedia page:

          Calgary Stampeders
          On May 19, 2016, Seastrunk signed with the Calgary Stampeders. On June 19, 2016, Seastrunk was released.

          Saskatchewan Roughriders
          On June 26, 2016, Seastrunk was signed to the Saskatchewan Roughriders’ practice roster.

          New York Jets
          Seastrunk was signed by the New York Jets on August 13, 2016.

        • Trey Gregory - Aug 22, 2016 at 12:22 PM

          Seastrunk was my boy in college! But truly didn’t show any inclination to having a NFL skill set. I could probably say this 100 times a day for the rest of my life and people still wouldn’t get it. But it’s not about measurables. Football is so much more than height, weight, and how fast they can run in a straight line (I know you know this, I’m just venting).

        • ET - Aug 22, 2016 at 3:01 PM

          And then we have Christine Michael, who seems to be doing nicely for himself behind another semi-suspect line in Seattle.

      • crussell75 - Aug 22, 2016 at 5:26 PM

        Yeah – to give up on Jones is just plain stupid. He’s going to be a good one for us. The o-line has to create at least a little space or any running back is going to get clocked. He’s been playing behind the line of scrimmage all pre-season.

        • redskins12thman - Aug 22, 2016 at 10:25 PM

          I don’t think anyone is giving up on Jones in any shape or form; some of us wonder who will be starting “every down back” if Jones is injured — maybe one of the rookies or someone waived by September 3rd or Thomas… that’s all

      • redskinsnameisheretostay - Aug 22, 2016 at 7:00 PM

        I think Marshall is a worthy investment at the 7th round. His injury issues make him a raw prospect that needs development. He should be on th practice for at least one season if not 2. Nothing should be expected of him in his first year. At that time it was more like who’s Todd Gurly?

        I recall the 5 star prospect he was out of high school. He has good size and speed but was caught injured and behind a glut of talent at RB.

  2. garg8050 - Aug 22, 2016 at 6:31 AM

    1. Secondary could be very good.
    2. D-line/OLBs will have a difficult time generating a pass rush. With a better secondary, should be able to blitz more to comlensate.
    3. O-line is still better at pass protection than run blocking.
    4. Cousins has grown as a QB and is in complete control of the offense. Doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll have a better statistical season, however.
    5. RB position should have been addressed, even with a 2nd tier free agent before training camp started.

    • ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Aug 22, 2016 at 8:57 AM

      6. Long needs to stop falling down on run-blocking assignments.

      • Trey Gregory - Aug 22, 2016 at 12:24 PM

        Some of the falls have kind of bewildered me. It’s not even just him. There have been some falls (especially on defense) where it’s clear they tripped over the other team. Not a big deal. But some falls along the OLine in run blocking have been bizarre. Nerves maybe?

  3. Mr.moneylover - Aug 22, 2016 at 8:29 AM

    NT postion is still a question mark ?

  4. Tyler McCray - Aug 22, 2016 at 8:45 AM

    Rich when was the last time you saw Jones run over someone? On one of his fisrt runs Friday night when he tried to side step a corner back and got tackled down by his ankle.why didn’t he truck That guy?? That look bad. Also on the play he got hurt he needed to turn up field and take the 1 or 2 yards he would have got. Instead the D caught up to him and he got slung to the ground. He seems to be a good change of pace back but not a guy who will run over someone. Shame on us for not signing someone who could be that back.
    Also Thomson looks great for what he does but he is not a #1 back.
    I agree to an earlier post to a grade F right now for the fa/draft for help in the run game. Be it by linemen or running back.

    • Rich Tandler - Aug 22, 2016 at 10:23 AM

      @Tyler McCray Why does a back have to run over someone to be effective? Better to elude them.

      • ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Aug 22, 2016 at 10:35 AM

        People miss the Riggins era. And the Super Bowls.

  5. bangkokben - Aug 22, 2016 at 8:52 AM

    Complaining about this team’s running game is like complaining about having a beautiful girlfriend but she has a horrible taste in shoes. So the hell what? This team’s strengths can compensate in this era of football.

    • hokietaa - Aug 22, 2016 at 9:49 AM

      Nice post

    • hail74 - Aug 22, 2016 at 10:27 AM

      Yes but did you see how good her old shoes looked on her friend?! I’ll never forgive her.

    • renhoekk2 - Aug 22, 2016 at 12:31 PM

      If they had a running game to go with their passing game they would be legit SB contenders. If teams had to commit 7 or 8 players to stop the run they would be impossible to defend. Instead defenses can defend the run with 5 to 6 players at this point. The used a 3rd rd pick on Fuller who looks like a backup at this point. It’s nice to have DB depth, don’t get me wrong. but improving a starting position is more important than having depth at another. There were more talented RB than Jones or Marshall available in the 3rd-5th rds of April’s draft. They opted to add DB depth, trade the 4th rd pick, draft DL depth in the 5th and trade another 5th rd pick. To me that is indefensible.

      • bangkokben - Aug 22, 2016 at 12:48 PM

        I agree that an effective running game could make this offense championship caliber. However, that’s about it.

        There’s no use complaining about the draft because our draft opinions are regurgitation that we have gleaned from so called experts. That worked just fine when Vinny was making the picks. Even Shanahan drafted his players that might work in his system but few transcended his system. Even still, Jordan Reed, Ryan Kerrigan (could’ve been JJ Watt), and Trent Williams are solid picks.

        As for defenses, let’s see how they attack the offense. I don’t see them stopping this offense and good just as easily project hyperbole opposite of what is feared on these pages every day.

        • Trey Gregory - Aug 22, 2016 at 4:00 PM

          Ben, I know you like saying the run isn’t as important as it used to be. That is true, but misleading. Because that’s like saying the pass didn’t used to matter. It did, they just swapped importance. The run game is less critical, but still important. Not because “the run sets up the pass.” That’s just a saying. But because it’s all connected. A solid run game helps clock management, helps your defense play better, is critical in bad weather games, helps set the tone of the offense, offers less chances for turnovers, and forces the defense to play you different. Without a strong run game the defense can dictate how they want to play you against the pass. That’s not what you want.

          The hear is more important to the human body than the liver. You can survive if your liver isn’t functioning properly or even live a few hours with a knife sticking out of it. You’ll die if you get stabbed in the heart. But the rest of your body won’t feel right if your liver isn’t functioning well. Football is the same way. It’s all connected. Every part matters. Some more than less but they all accept each other. You will have a less effective defense and pass game if you can’t run the ball. That hasn’t changed.

          Running the ball, and run defense, still matter. It’s probably a little over reactive to get too upset about the draft because maybe some rookies could have helped, maybe not. But both were huge team weaknesses last year and they weren’t addressed. The response to that shouldn’t be “oh well we will be good passing the ball” (which is not a foregone conclusion btw) but instead we should demand excellence from our team across the board.

          What made Brady’s last super now so impressive was that he completed 37 of 50 passes vs. a great defense. But that was with arguably the best QB to ever play, and a really good defense of their own. That’s not s good strategy (and wasn’t New England’s strategy) to win for most of the season. The Seahawk’s were impressive too, almost beating New England for their second Super Bowl in a row, because they barley threw the ball. He completed 12 passes the entire game. I want to say 3 in the first half. And they were seconds from winning the super bowl. So let’s not over exaggerate how unimportant the run game is. We will be facing multiple defenses in the neighborhood of thst Seattle team. Unless Brady is our QB, we’re going to need to run the ball. Passing 50 times on a defense like Minnessota is a great way to have a 5 int game.

        • bangkokben - Aug 22, 2016 at 5:20 PM

          Trey, THIS team doesn’t have to excel running the ball to be effective. It is that simple. This team has a very efficient passing game that attacks a defense short, intermediate, and deep. It has a fantastic scheme, talented receivers, and a quarterback that is quick in making a good read. An average run game would make it hum like a Ferrari but it isn’t dependent on the run game to work. It is dependent on the health of Cousins, Reed, Jackson and Williams. Now if two of those cogs go down and the running game is what it is, then there would be serious ramifications and running the ball would jump to the top of the priorities. It’s not every team needs to run like Seattle or throw like New England, or be top ten in both. Drafting a running back wasn’t neglecting the running game and neither was not replacing the center.

          As far as: “A solid run game helps clock management, helps your defense play better, is critical in bad weather games, helps set the tone of the offense, offers less chances for turnovers, and forces the defense to play you different.” Nearly everything on that list can be compensated by the short passing game. The Redskins were near the top in time of possession without a run game last year.

        • redskinsnameisheretostay - Aug 22, 2016 at 7:16 PM

          Well stated Trey and I agree the run and pass game are interrelated. The run setting up the pass is more than just a saying when you look at what it did for Russell Wilson’s early development. The fact as someone stated here that you force the defense to add bodies up close to stop a feared rushing offense opens up opportunities for the passing game that the Skins rarely saw last season. This is where the run can set up the pass. As for me, I just want to see more balance here because the amount of first and second down passes will eventually work against most offenses.

        • redskinsnameisheretostay - Aug 22, 2016 at 7:26 PM

          Fantastic scheme my a$$. How’d the scheme work out against the better defenses? This is not Green Bay or New England whom even at an elite passing level has shown the need to move to running the ball more. This is an offense that played a weak schedule in an even weaker division. If that’s your benchmark for defining a Fantastic Offense then many can argue this being delusional fan talk. Let’s revisit this idea later this season. I’ll greatly credit you if this team thrives with your ugly shoes analogy.

          Watch how Carolina dominated our defense. That’s the balance this team should drive for on offense.

        • bangkokben - Aug 22, 2016 at 9:07 PM

          The scheme worked fine. The execution wasn’t always sharp — especially against the better teams and it wasn’t the lack of run game or the offense that lost those games it was the defense but sure blame the scheme. Also, I’m not referring to the past but the present. Let’s see what happens. As for Carolina, they have completely different personnel and a scheme that fits it’s personnel. The Redskins would be ridiculously ineffective trying to Carolina’s offense which did dominate our defense. Hopefully, the changes on defense will prevent that domination from happening but again, it wasn’t the offense allowed the team to get dominated.

      • Trey Gregory - Aug 22, 2016 at 3:57 PM

        I’m not going to criticize McCloughan for taking Fuller in the 3rd. I’m not going to ever criticize him for drafting BPA. That’s how championship roster are built. Drafting to fill immediate holes is how you chase your tail.

        Of course Fuller looks like a backup. He’s a rookie 3rd round pick. It’s completely unreasonable to expect any rookie drafted out of the first round (and sometimes even first round guys) to contribute right away. The draft is not where you go to find immediate help. It’s about the long run.

        But I will criticize McCloughan for him manic obsession with trading draft picks. Not using that 4th while there were really promising prospects available was probably a bad call. We will never truly know, but probably. Andrew Billings was right there for the taking. A guy who would have been a 1st or 2nd round pick 5-10 years ago (maybe even 3 years ago). He would have been a fantastic fourth round pick in 2016. The future of our Dline would look a lot more promising and he maybe even could have started this year. And that’s not based off what I heard from “draft experts.” That’s based off me watching hours and hours of him play, personally talking to his former high school coaches, and talking to some of the guys on Baylor’s staff. My opinion of him is based off his work ethic and him as a person as much as his athletic ability (which he was tons of). Then of course he wasn’t the only player available. There were talented RB prospects available. And, in 2016, you can find a quality starting RB (and 3-4 DT) in the fourth round.

    • ET - Aug 22, 2016 at 3:05 PM

      If she has horrible taste in shoes and terrible taste in music, man, we have a problem.

      (How far do we want to extend this analogy?)

    • redskinsnameisheretostay - Aug 22, 2016 at 7:05 PM

      Maybe you prefer Arena football more with how you discount a need for the running game.

      • bangkokben - Aug 22, 2016 at 8:52 PM

        Nope and I don’t discount a need for a running game. This team doesn’t need to be a run first team and the running game should be adequate for THIS team to be successful. If it was 2014, THIS running game would be grossly inadequate.

  6. ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Aug 22, 2016 at 11:02 AM

    Also, people forget you don’t make the Hall of Fame off what you did in the preseason.

  7. renhoekk2 - Aug 22, 2016 at 11:57 AM

    I criticized Scot M last week for not bringing in competition for Jones and now a few days later the neglect is manifesting itself. Sure they will probably add a player at some point, maybe during cuts, maybe after the first game to save some money, but it’s unlikely that at this point it will FIX the problems with the running game. They need an upgrade in talent at the position, not just another body. Maybe they can get lucky and a team with an overabundance of good players at the position will cut someone loose and they can sign the player. What they needed to do was sign a decent FA or draft a RB. If the plan is to have Cousins flinging the ball around 45-50 times a game, historically that doesn’t usually lead to a lot of wins in the NFL.

    • redskins12thman - Aug 22, 2016 at 12:15 PM

      The issue at RB is more about durability than of talent (i.e., both but more the former than latter). We will find RBs who can play and have recently released several RBs who are good.

      The issue of talent / consistency is on OL / TE run blocking. That’s where the Redskins need to bring in OL players for an upgrade to running attack without sacrificing pass protection. Arie got rave reviews but has not challenged for a starting spot. When Lauvao and Lichtensteiger were out last season, the Redskins struggled, and while TEs are back / signed, they still need to work on their run blocking technique based on pre-season reviews so far (haven’t heard much about Paulsen’s performance so far).

      • bangkokben - Aug 22, 2016 at 12:25 PM

        There will be no new faces on the OL. The group is set.

        The simplest fix is to throw the ball more, to use the short passing game, and mix it up with intermediate passing. Not only is that a simpler fix but a better use of talent. That doesn’t mean the Redskins won’t run the ball or that they only need to run 10% of the time but that is more effective than trying to be a pound the rock team.

      • Trey Gregory - Aug 22, 2016 at 12:26 PM

        Ari hasn’t really been playing well either. I’m starting to think that was a lot of hype about nothing.

        • renhoekk2 - Aug 22, 2016 at 1:00 PM

          Agree. I’ve been playing close attention to Kasitati at RG because I thought he was an under the radar UDFA signing. Has only played 4th qtr of both games but from what I can tell he has been perfect to this point. Has not been beaten once in either pass pro or in the running game. Has even had a few “pancake” blocks were he has driven his man to the ground. I understand the level of competition is not great but he has looked better that Ari or LeRibeus to this point.

  8. bangkokben - Aug 22, 2016 at 1:28 PM

    Every year we hear talk about how the Redskins are going to cut some talented players. Perhaps this is the year. It’s got to be, right? Here are the Redskins’ cuts from last season:

    Cuts to 53: LB Houston Bates, WR Reggie Bell, RB Mack Brown, FB Jordan Campbell, OT Takoby Cofield, DE Corey Crawford, DB DaMon Cromartie-Smith, S Akeem Davis, WR/CB Quinton Dunbar, TE Je’Ron Hamm, LB Sage Harold, C/G Tyler Larsen, WR Colin Lockett, LB Terrance Plummer, C Austin Reiter, DL Travian Robertson, WR Evan Spencer, DL Robert Thomas, TE D.J. Williams, RB Trey Williams, DT Jerrell Powe

    Cuts to 75: TE Ernst Brun, LB Dyshawn Davis, TE Chase Dixon, CB Tajh Hasson, LB Alonzo Highsmith, CB DreQuan Hoskey, WR Tony Jones, K Ty Long, TE Devin Mahina, G Bryce Quigley, OT Willie Smith, CB Thomas Wolfe, CB Bryan McCann

    Five TE and none worth looking at this year.

    • redskins12thman - Aug 22, 2016 at 2:42 PM

      Yes, last year only Bates and Dunbar joined the roster and made solid (not spectacular) contributions at ST and DB respectively, however Redskins are substantially deeper this season compared to last season. Everett, Riley, Garvin, Hood, Jefferson, Paea, Paulsen, Toler and Trail are sitting on top of the bubble, and probably just under half of them will not make the opening day roster. For instance, last year, the Redskins would have killed to have Paulsen healthy and playing.

      • bangkokben - Aug 22, 2016 at 5:00 PM

        We resigned two of our own cast offs to the active roster … eventually. None of the other guys made any significant contribution on any other team and that is the point. This year, you’d have to think that if Hood, Riley, or Toler didn’t make the final 53, they could make an impact on the right team. As for the bubble guys that have never played significantly, these seem to be the ones fans constantly wring their hands over potentially losing. Despite increased competition, it just doesn’t happen.

      • Trey Gregory - Aug 22, 2016 at 5:39 PM

        Yup. That’s how rebuilds go. It’s starts with not having enough quality starters. Then you get them and work on quality depth. It isn’t mutually exclusive in reality. We’re working on the starters and depth. Then we will constantly be working on new starters because guys depart. It’s hard to build a truly deep roster.

        But don’t count some of these guys out either. Nobody saw Baker having the season he had at this point in 2015. Paea was the DT coming off a spectacular season and he was the starter. Baker elevated his game and took it. Don’t count out some other guys doing that too. Or even a bounce back year from Paea.

        • redskinsnameisheretostay - Aug 22, 2016 at 8:25 PM

          I constantly asked to see Baker on a 3-4 DE spot when he played NT. I then stated Baker would beat out Paea for the right side. I hardly call myself an expert on these matters but Baker’s combination of size and speed was apparent on the field. I hardly consider him a hidden gem

    • redskinsnameisheretostay - Aug 22, 2016 at 8:21 PM

      Hmmm! What about the cut made after the first game last season? I think some team made good use of that player.

      • bangkokben - Aug 22, 2016 at 9:10 PM

        Second game. Made the final 53 and as far as I know, was never on the bubble. I’d trade Amerson for Foster, Blackmon, and Hopkins. Good thing he put the PS3 away in Oakland. Archives

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