Skip to content

Need to Know: Around Redskins Park—Will things start to click for Cousins?

Sep 23, 2016, 5:14 AM EDT


Here is what you need to know on this Friday, September 23, two days before the Washington Redskins visit the New York Giants.


Today’s schedule: Practice, noon; Jay Gruden and Sean McVay press conferences, player availability after practice, approx. 1:30

Days until: Browns @ Redskins 9; Redskins @ Ravens 16; Eagles @ Redskins 24

Thoughts from around Redskins Park

—Will things just suddenly click for Kirk Cousins like they seemed to last year? If I had to bet I’d say yes but it’s no sure thing. There is a concern that defenses have figure out what he does well and are taking that away. That makes some sense but it doesn’t account for plays like the overthrow of the pass to Crowder on the first drive or firing a pass right to the safety when he should have thrown it into the stands. It doesn’t seem to be anything that can’t be fixed but he needs to hurry up and fix it.

—Will the Redskins be able to run the ball against the Giants? Based on the small sample size so far this year, probably not. David “Snacks” Harrison has done a good job of shoring up the middle of what was a soft defense last year and the Giants have given up just 77 yards per game. For their part, the Redskins have rushed for 68 yards per game, 26th in the NFL. But Washington is seventh in the league in yards per carry at 4.7. Perhaps if they actually try running the ball—they are dead last in the league with 29 attempts—they just might have some success.

—So who starts at nose tackle now that Kedric Golston is out for the season? According to the unofficial depth chart it’s Cullen Jenkins, who is backed up by Ziggy Hood (who is the co-starter at right DE along with Ricky Jean Francois). But they haven’t really started a nose tackle in either of their two games so far. Against both the Cowboys and Steelers they opened in nickel with two defensive linemen. The identity of the starting nose tackle seems to be something of an academic point. According to Jay Gruden, Hood, Jenkins, Chris Baker, Francois, and rookie Matt Ionnidis all can play the nose. But with the Giants being a predominantly passing team they are likely to open in nickel again.

—It doesn’t look like there are any personnel changes in the secondary on tap for Sunday. The word around Redskins Park is that David Bruton will remain the starting strong safety and Dashaun Phillips is going to stay at nickel cornerback. It’s tough to draw the line where you stop giving a guy a chance to get his feet under him and when you just have to move on a try somebody else. At 0-2 the Redskins are close to that line but they don’t think that they are there yet.

—It will be interesting to see if Josh Doctson continues to get more snaps. He played 12 against the Steelers, many of them in garbage time after the outcome was decided, and then 19 against the Cowboys in a game where every snap was meaningful. And as Doctson’s playing time goes up, whose will go down? It could be Pierre Garçon, although his snaps increased from 40 to 49 from the first game to the second. But between Garçon and Jackson the former seems to be the least likely to return and if they are going to start getting the receiving corps ready for next year they might as well start now.

Tandler on Instagram

Breeland with a pick over the middle #Redskins

A video posted by Rich (@richtandler) on

In case you missed it 



  1. garg8050 - Sep 23, 2016 at 5:27 AM

    Terrible effort by Grant on that clip…cannot let the CB beat you to the inside there. On the flip side, good play by Breeland.

    I think the team will be better offensively this week on 3rd downs and in the red zone. A lot of the improvement will come in the form of play calling; better run/pass ratio. As long as the Skins do the fall too far behind, I think McVay will commit to the run more. That should make the play action and boots more effective.

    • skinsgame - Sep 23, 2016 at 7:50 AM

      What makes you believe that McVay will change his play calling? The run was working against Dallas and he didn’t let that phase him. “Dann, pesky successful plays!”

      • abanig - Sep 23, 2016 at 1:17 PM

        Yep. As Cooley said, if it’s working keep doing it until they stop it. It’s like we’re trying to out cute ourselves to show how many weapons we have or something.

        • Trey Gregory - Sep 24, 2016 at 4:10 AM

          I finally calmed down enough to go back and start rewatching the game closer. Those running plays weren’t flukes. Our O-line got a decent enough push and Jones was running more patient. He would step up, wait for it, and then hit the hole. It was good running for him.

          I can’t comprehend why they abandoned it. Even vs. the Steelers, we were in that game until the 4th. We could have ran a lot more in both games. And maybe I’ve been slightly harsh to Cousins (but just slightly). Because he did look sharp off play action. He just melted when the pass rush teed off. We have to run to set up that play action.

        • abanig - Sep 24, 2016 at 12:34 PM

          Yep, the running game hasn’t been bad, the coaches just haven’t committed enough to it and Cousins has checked out of some running plays, esp in the redzone which turned out to be bad decisions.

          Cousins hasn’t been bad, he was better vs Dal than Pitt. He’s just missed on 3 or 4 big throws. He has to hit on those throws if we want to turn this season around.

        • Trey Gregory - Sep 24, 2016 at 1:32 PM

          Yeah. Honestly if Cousins makes 4-5 more throws then he looks fantastic and everyone is happy. Maybe it’s not all that bad.

        • abanig - Sep 24, 2016 at 2:22 PM

          If he hit on the pass to Crowder, one to Garcon on the come back route in the end zone, and two to Djax, we would have put up 28 more points. Not to mention that the pass he threw to Doctson which was under thrown should have went to Djax as the first read and could have been a TD.

        • Greed - Sep 24, 2016 at 7:51 PM

          Yeah cousins is not playing awful but those 3-4 throws are the one’s that is the difference between winning and loosing

  2. abanig - Sep 23, 2016 at 6:53 AM

    Guaranteed loss with Bruton and Phillips out there. Victor Cruz vs them in the slot equals $ for the Giants all day long…

    So disappointing

    • garg8050 - Sep 23, 2016 at 7:01 AM

      I think they both start. And if either struggles early or blows an assignment, I bet we see Breeland move to the slot and either Toler, Blackmon, or Dunbar at CB and Ihenacho at safety.

      • sidepull - Sep 23, 2016 at 7:52 AM

        They must really be down on Dunbar. I see Spaight has been cleared and will practice. I am glad hes OK.

        The Redskins had lots of opportunity to execute during both losses. I hope they dont embarrass themselves and play up to the moment. It is a big game, its in the division, its a win this team needs badly.

        Pats last night…thats a team that just out coaches and thus outplays most all the time. Pretty impressive with some good players missing. How thye do it I dont know. Just wow.

        • colorofmyskinz - Sep 23, 2016 at 8:07 AM

          Wish we could figure out how to get Spaight on the field. He is a tackling machine. Best tackler and run stuffer on the team hands down.

    • colorofmyskinz - Sep 23, 2016 at 7:57 AM

      Don’t forget D-“can’t tackle”-Hall. Nacho, Sua, Everette, fuller, are all better options than, Bruton, Phillips or Dhall.

      • abanig - Sep 23, 2016 at 1:33 PM

        Hall needs to play better, but at least he’s capable of it and we don’t have another answer at FS besides him and don’t even say Blackmon because Blackmon was lost vs 2nd & 3rd teamers in the preseason.

        I’m not convinced that Bruton and Phillips can play that much better than they’ve played the first two weeks of the season.

        They must have some serious dirt on the coaching staff. Lol

    • ET - Sep 23, 2016 at 12:00 PM

      I’m hoping the entire secondary is on a short leash for this game. Perform or get pulled. Unlikely given what we’ve seen so far, but I have to think (or hope) Phillips in particular will be on a short leash.

    • Trey Gregory - Sep 24, 2016 at 4:13 AM

      I’m paying extra close attention to Bruton and Phillips when rewatching. It’s embarrassing. They look confused a lot. Bruton appears to be out of position a lot. It’s almost like he’s too anxious to prove himself. He seems on edge.

      Phillips just seems bad though. It’s disturbing that Fuller couldn’t beat him out.

  3. colorofmyskinz - Sep 23, 2016 at 7:06 AM

    As much as they are saying, “there are 14 more games and everyone of them is important”, I absolutely don’t buy that story and no one on the team does either.

    Losing this game to the Giants would be a complete disaster. Going 0-3 and losing your first 2 divisional games would be a death nail and it would be virtually impossible to make anything of this season if they lose.

    Rich – what are the stats of a team that goes 0-3 to start a season and then go to the playoffs, with 2 of those losses being interdivisional? I bet not too many have done it.

    If that is the case, this game is CODE RED. Why don’t they call it like it is? This is a MUST WIN game and they need to start preparing like it is an elimination game.

    I have heard reports of, “we are treating our preparation this week just like every week we prepare”. Well how the freak is that working for you? The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. Why don’t they admit their preparation has been lasidaical? And they gave brought a new intensity into their practice. Or we have made changes in our game planning that we believe will make changes in our outcomes. Instead we hear stuff like, “we make our game plan and stick with it no matter what” when asked about halftime adjustments or game time adjustments.

    I just don’t sense an element of urgency or change in preparation, planning, personnel changes at starting positions… As if everything is ok.

    I would rather them treat this game as an elimination game not just one of 16 and a body of work.

    Not liking what I am seeing or hearing. This week is clearly CODE RED. As our coaches continue to bury their heads in the sand…


    • colorofmyskinz - Sep 23, 2016 at 7:18 AM

      After watching last nights game with NE making huge gaming adjustments week to week, especially with a 3rd string QB and no backup it is amazing. Their game planning and plays were completely disagreement to accommodate the situation they have.

      Contrast our coaches like Barry thinking everything stays the same no matter who is on the field, and no matter what we stick to our plan. That is assnign completely assnign.

      Why don’t the watch perfection and model it?

      I am almost convinced we absolutely do not have the right coaching staff. Did you hear Barry saying they can’t even get plays into the player from the coach??? WTF??? Should of had that down in June. The Mike backer and coach are the same. I am completely miffed…

      • Jimmy kubas - Sep 24, 2016 at 5:40 PM

        I wish Barry would blitz or just be more aggressive on D…we just look like we just going through the motions.. Imo

    • bangkokben - Sep 23, 2016 at 10:53 AM

      Kansas City went 1-5 LAST YEAR and got to the playoffs as a wild card winning out. Going 0-3 down three games in the division would be horrible but not too big a hole to get out of. As of now, the Redskins still control their own destiny (down to the Giants and Eagles by two games with two games against both, Down to Dallas by a game with another game coming). Going down 0-3 and you need help and it would be a tough road to get to the playoffs but hardly over. The worst case scenario is that Philly beats Pittsburgh, Dallas beats Chicago, and Washington loses to the Giants. In that case, there is zero reason to expect playoffs BUT it could still happen.

      • sidepull - Sep 23, 2016 at 11:59 AM

        I am hanging in until every stinking ounce of probability and shred of hope squeezed out that they make the post season has been eliminated and squashed!

        • redskins12thman - Sep 23, 2016 at 12:55 PM

          I’m kinda there with you but based on their play to date and the lack of adjustments, I can’t see the Redskins beating the Bengals, Packers, Cardinals and Panthers; if this is the case and they lose this weekend, the best they could do is 9-7, assuming they win all their other matches including at Baltimore and versus the Vikings. So, those ounces are diminishing at a very rapid pace. A win this weekend would be huge.

        • mtskins - Sep 23, 2016 at 3:02 PM

          I’m on board as well just like every other season. Like Ben said worst case is if Eagles, Dallas, and Giants all win. But if they can somehow go into MetLife and beat the Giants they definitely have a shot at the playoffs. Next four games after that are winnable, especially after seeing the Ravens struggle to beat the Browns. Never know what will happen with the Bengals after a flight to London.

          As far as the Vikes, Packers, Cardinals, and Panthers go let’s wait to see what kind of teams we will be facing by week 10. A lot can change during the course of the season. The Vikes already look a lot less intimidating on paper, although they handled Rodgers and Co. last Sunday.

          Definitely agree with Rich though. Don’t have a whole lot of time for Cousins to work the kinks out of his game.

        • Trey Gregory - Sep 24, 2016 at 4:04 AM

          I agree the next four games are winnable. But I wouldn’t underestimate Baltimore. They struggled in a divisional game. That’s just how divisional games are. The Cowboys were one of the best teams in the NFC in 2014 and we were awful. But we beat them. Doesn’t mean Dallas sucked.

          But after those four games: we won’t have any wins except against the division and the Bears. All those other teams are just further along than us and should win pretty easily. It’s amazing to me that people are still doubting Minnesota. That defense is for real, they can still run the ball without AP, they have some decent receiving options, and Bradford might actually be an upgrade over Teddy once he settles in. That’s a loss. If we win the 4 games after the Giants, split with the division, and beat the bears then this will be a good season. And it will have been a good recovery from a bad start. No playoffs though. We’re not ready for that.

      • Trey Gregory - Sep 23, 2016 at 2:03 PM

        But who cares if they miss the playoffs? The season isn’t over just because they can’t make the playoffs. I still want to win. They could still go 8-8 or 9-7 and have a great season to build off of and avoid an offseason of doomsday articles. Just win guys. That’s all I want. Playoffs will come in due time.

        • nikoknight - Sep 23, 2016 at 2:45 PM

          I think you’re right Trey, and you have been pretty consistent in your stance on that. I, like most fans, perhaps jumped the gun on this team. Maybe winning the division was actually the worst thing that could have happened to the fan base. Let’s not forget, this team won a total of 7 games the two previous years combined. There’s definitely talent on this roster, but most playoff teams do not have as many glaring holes as the Redskins do at this present time. So really, who cares if they miss the playoffs? Execute and improve week to week. Let’s see the young guys get some meaningful snaps. Continue moving forward and in the right direction.

        • smotion55 - Sep 23, 2016 at 3:19 PM

          That there is the most realistic comment all week After the 3rd draft and season with this GM there should be higher expectations. 8-8 would be a great season this year and it will give everybody a whole lot more clarity on this vision Rich is talking about. Everybody forgets how far down the team has been for 20 years.

        • bangkokben - Sep 23, 2016 at 4:16 PM

          I am fine with this too but play off contention is what it is all about. It is hard to judge a team that loses when it needs to win but wins when there is nothing on the line. Furthermore, rarely does the way a team finish carryover to how it starts the following year. True. Win and then look at the standings.

        • COSSkinsFan - Sep 23, 2016 at 8:50 PM

          Playoffs? Playoffs? I’d be happy if we could just win another game. Sorry I couldn’t resist. Before the Steeler game I thought we could win 11 games and thought that 10 wins were likely. I didn’t expect much from our defense. I think Kerrigan has been his normal consistent self, Breeland has taken too much criticism due to being isolated one on one through scheme or late safety help. Dhall is still learning and I think being late in coverage has been a bigger problem than his run support. The D is playing predictablyour bad. We knew we weren’t gonna run 50/50 buy passing nearly 80% is crazy, we need to keep the defense off the field as much as possible. If Cousins performed as well as the last part of last year we would easily be 1-1 and possibly 2-0. That doesn’t mean he shoulders all the blame. Some of our issues have just been bad luck while others are correctable. When will it happen? That’s why we watch. We must simply execute better. If we win Sunday which we all know it’s been difficult there for us, we get the Browns and could easily be 2-2. The season is not over.

  4. redskins12thman - Sep 23, 2016 at 7:10 AM

    Watching TNF, I’m sad to say that the Texans looked a lot like the Redskins and the Patriots looked like the anti-Redskins. It showed the importance of minimizing mistakes, just having each player do his job and executing a solid but simple game plan…. the Redskins would look so much better if they did these three things, but so would a whole bunch of teams. That’s what the Redskins need to do and have not yet done: minimize mistakes, each player focus on his playing well and executing a solid but simple game plan and not beating yourself. A component of the game plan needs to neutralize the very best players on the opponent.

    If the above occur: Kirk Cousins game will start to click… If the defense is giving room for Kirk to run, he may need to do that on occasion. Take what the defense gives you.

    We continue to be fixated on D-line, but the two safety spots and nickel are the three positions most in need of attention followed by the linebacker corps. For sure, more penetration would help the team, but the two safeties and nickel are the Redskins weaknesses that opponents have exploited and will continue to exploit. Barry owned up to the failure here; if this area is key to the loss on Sunday, we need a change because the report card shows already that the level of play so far is below that of starters. The coaches clearly lack confidence in five players: Blackmon, Ihenacho, Fuller and, if Breeland covered the slot, Toler and Dunbar and that lack of confidence may be merited.

    When you have Jackson, Garcon, Reed and Crowder playing at such a high level, I think you play Doctson when he is really ready to do his job. It’s not like the Redskins starting receivers are the weak point in need of replacement; they’re one of the top strengths! Last week, Doctson’s play was the lowest among all offensive players per Cooley.

    • colorofmyskinz - Sep 23, 2016 at 7:29 AM

      We could easily put Sua in for Bruton and Evertte in for Dhall. Evertte was balling all preseason. Everette and Nacho are both better than Dhall. They just need to make a change here. Fuller was balling too. I have not seen Dhall or Phillips “ball” yet. Get them off the field!

      • sidepull - Sep 23, 2016 at 8:00 AM

        I dunno. It will be interesting to see how they play and who they play. I have feel they are stubborn to a fault. Its not like they dont want to win. Last week the offense could have put up enough points to win in spite of Joe Barrys defensive game planning.

        • bangkokben - Sep 23, 2016 at 10:57 AM

          Exactly. The offense should’ve put up 35. Do that and then see if the secondary is a problem.

    • bangkokben - Sep 23, 2016 at 11:03 AM

      I agree that those five DBs you listed seem to have no favor with the coaches.The amazing part is how well Blackmon and Dunbar played last year when forced into action, yet they can’t buy a snap. Toler, to me, seemed to be always out of position but then benefited from bad throws to make a play. Coaches don/t miss that. Good play but you were beat. Same with Fuller but he has been beaten like a drum. I don’t know about Ihenacho. You need your safety to be able to cover — especially against Eli.

      • redskins12thman - Sep 23, 2016 at 1:04 PM

        Yeah, I think Trey said that Ihenacho struggles at coverage.

        • Trey Gregory - Sep 23, 2016 at 2:00 PM

          And he was right ;)

          But nothing would make me happier than for him to force me to come back, appologize, and admit I was wrong. He’s struggled greatly covering in the past. But, maybe he got better. I doubt it, but maybe.

        • redskins12thman - Sep 23, 2016 at 2:18 PM

          I understand that Norman and Breeland “ball,” but how did we become so sold on cornerbacks when we can’t find a 3rd player to do well at Nickel?

        • Trey Gregory - Sep 23, 2016 at 2:36 PM

          What do you mean by sold on CBs?

        • redskins12thman - Sep 23, 2016 at 4:06 PM

          When considering positions of strength we generally said: WRs, TEs, CBs… which = sold

        • Trey Gregory - Sep 23, 2016 at 5:05 PM

          Well I think CBs are still a position of strength. But that’s relative to the team. If we had Denver’a front 7 then our D-line would be the position of strength and we might want to improve the secondary.

          To partially answer your question, some people like to count their chickens before they hatch. People were throwing Fuller’s name around as an upgrade before ever seeing him take a snap. He could be an awful bust for all we know. People also saw Dunbar have a single decent season and then expected it. Things change once there’s tape on you. And frankly sometimes you just get lucky and have an unusually good season. But it’s foolish to look at an undrafted player who changed positions and had a decent rookie year and count him as a strength moving forward. There needs to be a larger sample size. It takes years to figure out who these guys really are.

          People were also a little too high on Breeland. I’m sure you remember some people saying he is actually better than Norman. That’s rich. He’s a very good corner. But he’s not an all-pro. People said we have strong CBs because of Norman and Breeland with the hope that somebody could step up in the slot because we have a bunch of guys with potential behind our top 2.

          People saying CB is a strength also haven’t been proven wrong yet. We have only played two games. We don’t know anything about this team yet. Breeland is a good corner and will play better (he’s already put in some good play this year). Norman is PFF’s top ranked CB so far. And we will see what happens with Fuller. Nothing is written in stone yet.

      • abanig - Sep 23, 2016 at 1:23 PM

        But Bruton can’t cover and hasn’t been great in run support. If they’re worried about Nacho in coverage then to me the answer is simple, play Blackmon opposite Hall in passing situations. On 1st downs play Cravens or Nacho as the other safety.

        Bruton on the field is a losing proposition and Phillips hasn’t been within 5 yards of covering a WR all year. I have a feeling that Blackmon, Dunbar, Toler or even Fuller can’t be worse than Phillips in the slot.

        It just can’t be possible. Not humanly possible! Lol

        • Trey Gregory - Sep 23, 2016 at 1:58 PM

          But there are no obvious passing down anymore. That’s every down. Teams are starting the game in nickel these days. There’s just no such thing as an obvious running down. If they see Ihenacho out there and think they can get him to cover a TE they will check and the line and attack him all day. You can’t sub like that anymore. Either you can cover or you can’t play. There are HOF MLBs and SSs who wouldn’t make a roster today because all they did was stuff the run and couldn’t cover.

          We need 3 down players on the field. Preferably versatile guys who could be playing multiple positions to help disguise the coverage. If we’re subbing in run/pass specialists, it tips our hand. Plus we will get killed on no huddle when we can’t get Ihenacho off the field.

          And can I just say that Blackmon was a nice surprise last year because we found him on the street but he didn’t really play that well. I remember seeing some pretty awful grades on him. Now he’s learning a new position. I don’t think he’s the answer.

        • abanig - Sep 23, 2016 at 2:48 PM

          Then make a team one dimensional by playing your base D more.

        • abanig - Sep 23, 2016 at 2:50 PM

          Blackmon got beat by #1 wrs. Phillips is getting beat by #3 wrs, big difference

        • Trey Gregory - Sep 23, 2016 at 2:15 PM

          I’m all for trying Fuller in the slot and Cravens at SS btw. I’m just not sure any changes are going to lead to better results. We lack the overall talent to really have a good D.

        • abanig - Sep 23, 2016 at 2:55 PM

          I do realize we aren’t uber talented on d but even our best D players aren’t playing well. Smith has been a ghost, Breeland has been bad, Baker and Kerrigan haven’t done much and Hall hasn’t been good at FS yet.

          Even the guys we expected to carry us aren’t playing well. I don’t know what Barry can do to change that. These guys have to play better if we have any chance of improving on D.

        • Trey Gregory - Sep 23, 2016 at 5:16 PM

          Kerrigan is on pace for a double digit sack season. And he has a forced fumble. His play vs. the run was disappointing in the Steeler’s game but he was better week 2. Breeland has been put in some impossible situations and isn’t playing that bad. He held AB to less yards than Chris Harris did last year. Smith is a young player and I’ve consistently said people shouldn’t get too high on him yet because he’s still developing. He has some great plays then others where (I’m serious) he looks like he just quits. He did that in college too. But he hasn’t played bad. I’m also not sure what the complaint about Baker is? Maybe sinners to go back and rewatch but I haven’t noticed him playing particularly bad.

          We’re being a little overly critical and too fast rushing to judgement. I don’t know, maybe your expectations for the front 7 were higher than mine but they’re playing about how I expected them to. Everyone but Cousins is playing how I expected them to. We’re a team in year 2 of a rebuild and the talent on the roster reflects that. We don’t have a great defensive roster so we’re going to give up yards and points and probably win about 7 games this year. That’s the reality of the talent level on this team. Getting mad about it, benching people, and firing coaches won’t change that. It’s year two of a five year rebuild.

        • bangkokben - Sep 23, 2016 at 4:12 PM

          It certainly can be possible. Remember all the complaints about the safety play and then Madieu Williams brought a new low? It certainly can be worse.

          By the way, I’m not necessarily advocating the status quo but rather patience. There’s a reason for these guys to be the starters and two games is a bit knee-jerky to make conclusions. Guys new to starting shouldn’t have to be a succeed or fail situation when the back-ups are just as likely to be equally bad.

          As for Scot, he seems to be the safety strike-out artist. Jeron Johnson and now Bruton. Who is doing pro scouting?

  5. 226thebeatdontstop - Sep 23, 2016 at 8:01 AM

    It doesn’t really matter what the Redskins do or how they line up if they allow Eli to sit in the pocket chilling with that dumb smirk on his face he will pick them apart.

    Barry’s stubbornness on his scheme and playing guys who are not producing will ruin this season. I just don’t kno why this guy was hired with a track record like he has.

    This defensive staff had all off season to figure out a scheme that could generate pressure on the quarterback, so far year two they have failed. Joe Barry must be fired now to save the season……

    And for all these people who say we had to pay Kirk he is the franchise etc Did any of you watch New England and see ho they are able to find guys and tweak their scheme. A third string quarterback played flawless last night in shutting out Houston and they actually gave their running back 24 or 25 carries….There is no excuse why the Redskins with a so called genius play caller cannot figure out how to get Jones 20-25 carries a game and devise a vertical game plan that utilizes Garcon, Jackson and Reed ..Focusing on Dotson is ridiculous

    • colorofmyskinz - Sep 23, 2016 at 8:12 AM

      McVay is 30 years old and Barry can’t get plays on to the field. Those are our coordinators.

    • redskins12thman - Sep 23, 2016 at 9:57 AM

      Yup. Eli is going to look for the quick release; let’s see if the Redskins are up to the challenge.

      • redskins12thman - Sep 23, 2016 at 1:06 PM

        One addition, in play action, Eli will look at long and intermediate routes too.

    • bangkokben - Sep 23, 2016 at 11:06 AM

      Yep. It’s all the co-ordinators’ fault. The Redskins are dripping with Griffin-esque talent but are destroyed by bad coaching.

      • abanig - Sep 23, 2016 at 1:26 PM

        I don’t believe that one bit. The players aren’t winning one on one match ups on defense. That’s the main problem.

        On offense, they aren’t balanced enough and Kirk is pressing.

        Those things improve just a little and we are playoff team.

        • bangkokben - Sep 23, 2016 at 4:13 PM

          I agree 100%. My first comment was sarcastic.

    • Trey Gregory - Sep 23, 2016 at 12:31 PM

      So I’ll ask you again. What specifically is wrong with Joe Barry’s scheme and what specifically would you do different that has a realistic shot of working with this roster?

  6. ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Sep 23, 2016 at 8:36 AM

    Murphy was making plays against the Cowboys, he deserves to get on the field more.

    • sidepull - Sep 23, 2016 at 9:31 AM

      Agree. More of that Murph.

    • ET - Sep 23, 2016 at 3:23 PM

      Unless they’re foolish, we should see a fair amount of Murph. He looked great against one of the best OLs in the league. Stickin’ to Eli would only be right :)

      • Trey Gregory - Sep 24, 2016 at 4:34 AM

        Yes. Murphy is a DE. It’s nice that the staff finally realized that and he’s getting more credit from the fans.

        He actually got a decent number of snaps in the game but you may not ha e noticed because they insist on playing him as an OLB. He was dropping into coverage (as was Smith who was horrible at it btw). Murphy is a nickel DE in this defense. Just let him pass rush. Stop trying to force him to be an OLB when he’s not one.

  7. renhoekk2 - Sep 23, 2016 at 10:16 AM

    Last season the Redskins dropped back to pass 57% of the time. This season it is 79% of the time. The league average is 59%. If you had an offensive philosophy that your QB thrived in, why would you change it. What made Gruden and McVay think they needed to create a new identity offensively? I’m sure if McCloughan was building a roster to run the Air Raid offense he would just hire Mike Leach to run it. McCloughan kept talking about building a big, tough, physical team, then they go out and decide to run a finesse offense. Doesn’t make sense. Why draft Scherff and Jones if you’re just going to throw it all game.

    • bangkokben - Sep 23, 2016 at 11:17 AM

      “What made Gruden and McVay think they needed to create a new identity offensively?”
      Since you’re using last year as a reference, because the run game created way too many negative plays. It’s not about the average (0, 2, -2, 20 = 5 ypc but 75% negative plays). If the qb executes the game plan, he’s not fourth in yards passing, he’s first and by miles.

      “Why draft Scherff and Jones if you’re just going to throw it all game.”
      What part of either of their games suggests that running the ball is their strengths? It should be but it hasn’t been. Not by miles. One decent game against a poor run defense (Dallas) hardly bucks a trend.

      • bangkokben - Sep 23, 2016 at 11:18 AM

        Having said all that, not running the ball in the red zone in the 4th quarter with the lead was ABSOLUTELY inexcusable.

      • renhoekk2 - Sep 23, 2016 at 3:01 PM

        I’m not implying they should become a run first team, but maybe going from 57% to say 65% would be enough to offset some of the negative run plays. They were more successful running the ball than Dallas was even with their OL and 1st round RB. But Dallas KILLED them with their play action because of the threat of run. It’s bad enough they are passing it almost 80% of the time, but if you don’t run the ball you can’t use play action. That is a big part of the TE passing game. Get the LB to bite on play action to allow the TE more space to operate. Most of the passes to the TE are 3 yard curl routes instead of the bigger chunk yardage plays. You make the other team take a part of your game away from you. Make them prove you won’t be able to run the ball. You don’t just give that away before the game starts. That’s insane.

        And all we heard after the draft was how Scherff was a big, mean, nasty mauler of an OL, and Jones was a physical, bruising back. How that was the type of players McCoughan wanted and that was going to be the Redskins new identity. I’m sure there were at least a dozen articles attesting to that. Tough to be mean and nasty playing patty cake with pass rushers, or be physical and bruising running pass patterns. If the plan all along was to become the NFL version of Air Raid, then why use a first round pick on an OL. Plenty of guys who can only pass protect adequately enough in later rounds. And why draft a 6-2 230lb RB at all if you want to throw the ball. It sure seems like they are wasting those two picks doing what they are doing now.

        • bangkokben - Sep 23, 2016 at 4:07 PM

          I agree with you about the %s but they’re not out a whack by PURE design. I think they have been aiming for a 60-40 ratio but the situation has skewed it more than abandonment. The play action worked so well for Dallas because the Redskins defense sucks at stopping the run and wasn’t going to let that happen two weeks in a row. The Redskins have also been successful using play action early in games.

          I don’t care what the scouting reports were for either Jones or Scherff. Scherff hasn’t blown anyone up in the run game in 16 out of 18 games and one guy doesn’t make a running game. There’s theory and then there’s reality. Even though the passing game should be theoretically better it hasn’t been because of sub-standard QB play this season. Theoretically Scherff and Jones should form the foundation of a solid running game. Well, that hasn’t been the reality either but not just for two game but their entire careers. Scherff is too often slow off the ball and Jones despite his size is too often not getting yards after contact. Couple that with a center and left guard that aren’t consistent in winning their individual battles along with improved but not consistent tight end play and the only thing consistent about the running game — penalties — and we’re complaining why don’t we go for the thing that averages three yards a play call instead of the thing that averages more than seven. As for wasting those picks, Scherff is a super solid pass blocker and Jones is great in the screen game.

        • ET - Sep 23, 2016 at 5:48 PM

          “But Dallas KILLED them with their play action because of the threat of run. It’s bad enough they are passing it almost 80% of the time, but if you don’t run the ball you can’t use play action.”

          Agreed. As we talked about earlier in the week, Cousins does well out of play action. Personally, I think it forces him out of his analytical mindset and into more reliance on mental presets and muscle memory. Getting Kirk’s head out of the equation is somewhat helpful. Obviously he still needs to make reads and diagnose coverages, but seems to be less apt to draw a bead on his primary target in play action. These benefits are in addition to the “traditional” benefits of play action (increased odds of success in run game, etc) that still apply.

        • Trey Gregory - Sep 23, 2016 at 9:10 PM

          You had it dead on right the first time. Cousins needs to think less and that’s part of the system. Every QB does better when they can think less and just react.

          I’ve recently become borderline obsessed with how Bellichick runs his team. I find it absurd that every team doesn’t run the Erhardt-Perkins offense because that has a lot to do with it. But we don’t so I have to live with the West Coast. But we can still simplify it for Cousins. Even when Brady is in the game, it’s a pretty simple offense. Just the same formation over and over but guys run different routes. And Brady usually goes right to his first read. That’s what gets the ball out so fast.

          I was listening to someone talk about it earlier today and they said in one game they charted Brady threw something like 48 passes and went to his first read something like 35 times. That’s simple catch and release. Sure there’s still some reading the defense to check into the play and all. But it’s mostly just knowing where a guy will be and getting the ball to him before the defense can react.

          I think we need to take pressure off Cousins with the run first and foremost. But also with simple reads and quick throws. Get this man back in track and build his confidence. Then maybe we can do some more. But no QB in the league is being asked to don more than Kirk Cousins right now. That’s insane. Want to know why he’s failing? Because he’s throwing the baml more than Drew Breese and Aaron Rogers. That’s not a good idea.

        • ET - Sep 23, 2016 at 5:50 PM

          Ooops, forgot to close the italics tag …

        • Rich Tandler - Sep 23, 2016 at 8:00 PM

          Fixed it for you.

  8. COSSkinsFan - Sep 23, 2016 at 1:39 PM

    When you lose, football becomes a game of what is. We had many chances against Dallas, the Crowder and DeSean over throws, the inaccurate deep ball to Doctson, the fumble we didn’t recover, the missed pi call in the end zone against Garcon, the difficult but catchable ball to Doctson before the int and then the int itself. As far as Pittsburgh yes they are the better team but if we had scored td’s, the first quarter could’ve put us on track for the upset. What if Kerrigan recovered that fumble and what if Breeland intercepted the first td to AB. Let’s hope for no Sunday evening what ifs. Few teams in the league can overcome throwing away all the opportunities we have had, hopefully we can start capitalizing on them soon.

  9. greed - Sep 23, 2016 at 2:37 PM

    the question is when will it CLICK

  10. mightyjester - Sep 23, 2016 at 3:25 PM

    The truth is Kirk got paid and now his fire is gone. He may say he has to prove his worth blah blah sure. He doesn’t really have to prove anything. It’s kind of hard to care about a game when you already have enough money to live your whole life comfortably. Becoming wealthy has changed Kirk.

    • Trey Gregory - Sep 23, 2016 at 3:35 PM

      We don’t know that to be true. It’s pure speculation and I’m not buying it. He seems to care plenty to me. He seems visibly upset when he doesn’t do well.

      Plus there are countless counter examples to what you said. Brady manages to play at a high level while probably having more money (between his endorsements, salary, and wife) at home than any other NFL player. He still has a fire. As does Aaron rogers, Drew Breese, Andrew Luck, Russell Wilson, and so on.

      Is it so impossible that he’s just having a bad start? That he cares and is trying but has had two bad games? Not even awful games mind you. Just some bad throws at critical times. He’s also not getting much help from the run game or defense. It’s completely unfair to say Cousins doesn’t care because he got paid at this point. Besides, I’m sure he very much wants a contract that pays him $20 mil a year for the next 5 years.

      • mightyjester - Sep 23, 2016 at 4:33 PM

        I’m just saying he doesn’t care as much. I think he will turn it around.

        • mightyjester - Sep 23, 2016 at 4:36 PM

          Literally his life was on the line last year. That pressure, I think, made him better. Now it’s gone.

        • Trey Gregory - Sep 23, 2016 at 4:44 PM

          I get it. You came on a little strong for my taste but I get it. And Cousins is going to keep getting criticized until he plays better. The easiest way to quiet the critics is to start playing lights out. It’s just obviously not that easy.

          I think motivation and pressure play key roles in how players perform. But I personally don’t believe Cousins has stopped caring because he got paid on a one-year deal. I think he wants more, and I would too.

          Also, his life wasn’t exactly on the line last year. Cousins could earn great money as a career backup without all the stress. Or he could have a long career working in a donor relations at Michigan State. A lot of college QBs who don’t make the pros end up doing that. Cousins was fighting to establish himself as a starter last year. And now he still is. I just don’t think it’s fair to assume money changed him. We don’t really know that. But we do know they are last in the league in rushing attempts and the defense can’t stop teams from scoring. He’s not getting a ton of help. It’s just two games. Let’s see how the season plays out before we jump to any conclusions.

        • ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Sep 23, 2016 at 8:31 PM

          I think it’s the opposite.

          He’s playing tight as hell because of the pressure.

        • Greed - Sep 24, 2016 at 7:57 PM

          For one of the few times Trey I agree with you, don’t think the money affecting kirk fire either , remember he started slow last season too , but that’s just it at 20 mil$ you can’t afford to start out slow year after year , we should be complaining about every other position except the QB Archives

Follow Us On Twitter