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Need to Know: Tracking the lineup changes around Redskins Park

Sep 30, 2016, 6:14 AM EDT


Here is what you need to know on this Friday, September 30, two days before the Washington Redskins host the Cleveland Browns.


Today’s schedule: Practice 12:05; Jay Gruden and Sean McVay  news conference and player availability after practice, approx. 1:30 p.m.

Days until: Redskins @ Ravens 9; Eagles @ Redskins 16; Redskins vs. Bengals in London 31

Around Redskins Park

—It appears that the left side of the starting offensive line for Sunday is set. Trent Williams will stay at left tackle (the move that was the people’s choice), Arie Kouandjio will get is first NFL start at left guard and Spencer Long will play center. John Sullivan is likely to be active but he will play center only if Long can’t. I know that there is some trepidation about Kouandjio since he has only one NFL snap on his resume. But if a fourth-round pick can’t play guard after two offseason programs, two training camps, and a lot of practices and meetings something is very wrong.

—The Redskins have to find out if Kouandjio is a viable option at left guard for the long term. It will be surprising if both Shawn Lauvao and Kory Lichtensteiger are back next year and it’s possible that both will be gone. Week 4 is not necessarily the time for tryouts and experimenting but when two starters in the interior of the line go down you are forced to make moves that are less than ideal.

—It’s possible that 2015 draft pick Austin Reiter would be starting at center on Sunday if he was still on the team. But the Browns signed him off of the practice squad and he could start for them against his former team. They like the way he progressed over the offseason but it appears that he was on the first 53-man roster only because Long was dealing with an ankle injury and they wanted Reiter available. Gruden said that he was let go after Long was healthy because he was the third center and he didn’t play much guard.

—We will have to see how things shake out at cornerback with Bashaud Breeland (andkle) definitely out and Dashaun Phillips (hamstring) likely sidelined. Josh Norman (who is unlikely to follow Terrelle Pryor) obviously is the one starters but we may not find out what the rest of the lineup is until they line up for the first snap on Sunday. Greg Toler started against the Giants as the third CB so he might start opposite Norman. Or it could be Quinton Dunbar, who is best suited to play on the outside. Third-round pick Kendall Fuller will be active and he should see some snaps in the slot.

—The picture at safety seems to be clear with DeAngelo Hall out for the year. Will Blackmon is the starting free safety and David Bruton remains at strong. That’s not exactly a tandem that inspires a lot of confidence, with Blackmon still learning his spot after nine years as a cornerback and Bruton struggling to adjust to the defense. Should Duke Ihenacho play more? I think he should at some point but his injury history makes it hard for the team to have much hope that he can contribute long term. But it’s a long season and it seems likely that Ihenacho will get his shot somewhere along the line. The fourth safety, Deshazor Everett, is still viewed as primarily a special teams player.

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  1. redskins12thman - Sep 30, 2016 at 6:22 AM

    Given Bruton’s poor play, it’s surprising how few snaps Ihenacho has gotten so far. The coaching staff have “thrown” safety and nickel back play into the general category of areas we need to improve, but several people have cited this area as by the worse played of any positions on the team. Look for opponents to continue to exploit it.

    The fact that Lauvao and Lichtensteiger are injured this early in the season should come as a surprise to no one as this is the same situation the Redskins faced in 2015.

  2. Prospero - Sep 30, 2016 at 6:33 AM

    To keep him on the roster and not start/play Iheanacho because of his “injury history” is possibly the dumbest thing ever. You play him and if he gets hurt then you bring in someone else.

    • chimps000 - Sep 30, 2016 at 8:09 AM

      some of the coaches decisions on who gets playing time this year have been incomprehensible.

    • Mr.moneylover - Sep 30, 2016 at 10:13 AM

      Exactly… Redskins coaches must struggle to teach players they scheme…if you accept average play then you gonna get average rusults…I will move nacho up to start get D. Everett ready to be the backup make Bruton the special teams guy until he improve his play on defense

      • Trey Gregory - Sep 30, 2016 at 12:35 PM

        And you have no idea if any of those moves would be an improvement.

        These moves aren’t really that hard to understand if you assume the backups are worse than the starters. Which is the case for most backups and starters league wide.

        • ET - Sep 30, 2016 at 12:56 PM

          Bruton is rightly inspiring a lack of confidence.

          Yeah, I get it, the knock on Nacho is he’s poor in coverage. But he can play the run well, hit, and tackle—three things we haven’t seen Bruton do well at all. I didn’t expect the guy to be the Second Coming of Earl Thomas, but I think it’s fair to say Bruton hasn’t met expectations.

        • Trey Gregory - Sep 30, 2016 at 2:03 PM

          I completely agree that Bruton has been awful. And I’m fine with them trying a blow up doll at FS over him if they think it could help. My only point is that we don’t know if Ihenacho, Everett, or anyone else will actually be an upgrade. Some people are assuming it can’t get worse, but it can. People said that about Goldson too. Look where we are now.

          We’re not in practice or the meeting rooms with these guys. Ihenacho might really struggle to remember his responsibilities for all we know. But I do know that he hasn’t impressed me a day in his life and I’m not convinced that he will be any better than Bruton. People are just criticizing the staff for not starting a player when they don’t actually know that player would be an upgrade is all I’m saying.

        • chimps000 - Sep 30, 2016 at 2:39 PM

          But trey- the point is that when a starter plays at a very low level- that’s the time to try someone else. You could be right, the coaches may have been playing the best guys in bruton, Phillips and D Hall,
          and the backups could be worse.

          The only problem with that is we have seen Blackmon and Dunbar makes plays in the regular season NFL , and no one has seen bruton (outside of one great play on which he was actually beat) or Phillips make a play. D Hall made some plays last year, at least, although he looked terrible this year.

          And maybe Phillips and bruton look good in practice, but practice is not the same
          as a regular season game. Joe Barry does not have the coaching resume where I automatically give him the benefit of the doubt.

        • Trey Gregory - Sep 30, 2016 at 3:27 PM

          Yeah I’m with you. I’m playing devil’s advocate a little bit. I would like to see Dunbar and Blackmon get a chance too. I have no faith in Ihenacho. But sure, let’s see if he can surprise me.

          I’m just saying that before we go criticizing the coaches for being idiots let’s at least consider that they know something we don’t. The only thing worse than bad players is a player who is constantly out of position. Because at least a bad player can be a decoy to the QB not to throw if he’s in the right spot. Maybe the backups are struggling to know their assignments or something.

          But yes, I completely understand and support the idea and want to give the backups a shot. I just won’t be shocked if they don’t do any better.

  3. colorofmyskinz - Sep 30, 2016 at 6:40 AM

    Arie WILL perform! Long will do well. The running game will change.

    I am excited about this new look. We have a line that can push people with this configuration. Watch Matt jones come alive. When he clears the first level he is dangerous. I think we will see him reek havoc in the second level this game.

    Dhall was a great leader but poor executor at his new role. Horrible tackling skills. You hear that code out of every coach and player interview about him. Anything is an upgrade here with out depth chart.

    Nacho’s injury was a broken bone. Requiring surgery screws and pins. Much better than a ligament injury. They heal strong. There are no nagging injury issues with him. Get him on the field and Bruton off. I trust Denvers D coordinators much more than ours and that is how they viewed those 2 in the line up. Have to get Nacho on the field.

    Doctsons injury is a nagging one. I had it. I was running at elevation training for an event. I had peaked with a 20 mile trail run at 8,000ft elevation in 2.5 hours. Then traveled on plane for a week with no recovery. Then felt great from the elevation work and started run really fast distances the next week. I ran about 60 miles that week hitting speed averages of 6.75 min/mile on 10 mile runs… BAM Achilles tendinitis. My Achilles was on fire so bad I could not touch my toes. Every time I did, it felt like a knife going straight into my heal where the Achilles attached. It was so bad I thought it would be better to just rupture and get the surgery vs trying to fight through it and find a way to heal.

    I did I this therapy with a trainer that used coconut butter and a scraper. Daily they scraped the tendon with the scraper longitudinally to create scar tissue over the tendon that would heal in the direction of the tendon to make it stronger. I did it for 6 weeks and then stretched for another 6 weeks. 12 weeks off. Once I completed the treatment and the time off with stretching it was like new. That was 5 years ago. I am 48 now and can still run distance with speed with no issues.

    The therapies and time off will heal Doctson. He will be great for us.


    • redskins12thman - Sep 30, 2016 at 7:02 AM

      I’m really hopeful Kouandjio plays well, but I wonder why he didn’t challenge Long for starting Left Guard spot when Lauvao was recovering from his surgeries …. the Left Guard was there for the taking and Kouandjio did not grab it, but neither did Long.

      Each injury is unique, but it sounds as if the Redskins should have shut Doctson down for a longer period of time. I think part of the problem was Doctson might not have come clean, at first, about the specifics of his injury. If the Redskins had fully shut Doctson down mid-May and received daily treatment, he would have recovered by mid-August. Instead, the treatment / approach has not worked. With the options of Reed, Jackson, Garcon, Crowder, Davis and Paul among others, this is absolute insanity; they’ve just pushed back by months when he can really contribute. Get Doctson 100% and then have him return.

    • Mr.moneylover - Sep 30, 2016 at 10:18 AM

      I think by the middle of the game they will put trent Williams at guard and bring in Ty Nesheke…Arie Kouandjiou seem like he got weaker seem like he cant move his guys last year everybody thought he shouldve started over spencer long ….I hope he prove me wrong…I still like the option of trent Williams playing guard

  4. skinsgame - Sep 30, 2016 at 6:52 AM

    Last September, Scot signed Mason Foster and Will Blackmon and both ended up having nice seasons for street hires. Hopefully we’re all happy with his September OL additions later on.
    At some point it seems Cravens would get a look at SS. The coaching staff seems to be stubborn and insistent on keeping players that are productive to minimum snaps. Dunbar is another one who should be on the field more. Dunbar was a WR they turned into a CB. Why not turn him into a FS instead of not using him? Why put D Hall back there when he was so tiny and out of position after over a decade at CB?

    • redskins12thman - Sep 30, 2016 at 7:09 AM

      Yeah, McCloughan was fantastic last season. Don’t forget about picking up Hopkins in September!

      I’ve heard that Cravens is considered slow for a safety but a great fit for dime linebacker; really like Cravens so obviously want to find spots where he can productively contribute.

      There was so little NFL starting safety experience among the players brought into camp albeit with some very successful, if older, cornerbacks being converted to the new secondary role; it was a risky move and one that is hampering the team right now.

      Is this year’s defense better than last year’s defense?

      • chimps000 - Sep 30, 2016 at 7:57 AM

        the defense is definitely not better than last year- looks worse.

        btw it might not have been mcloughan last year who was primary in getting mason foster and will Blackmon- Cooley suggested on one podcast
        it might have been Bruce Allens’ connections.

        We went into the season with the oft
        injured lichctensteoger and lauvao, both of whom were also fairly expensive. We let go the backup center reliter who looked decent in preseason and who was promptly picked up by another team. The 4th round guard koundjio looked terrible in preseason- but I think he should get a shot to play against the Browns, lets see what he has.

        Mcloughan paid money for the free agent bruton who has been playing like the worst safety in the league. He got no competition for matt jones who looks like a mediocre player at best.

        Cravens looks like a playmaker, fuller can’t even get on the field in a secondary that is devoid of talent minus Norman- talk about a red flag. Doctson can’t get on the field, when he did the offensive coaches force fed him fades that weren’t even close to being completed.

        I’m sorry, but mcloughan did not have a good offseason. He gets one more full season in my eyes, but I’m not exactly impressed at this point.

        • bangkokben - Sep 30, 2016 at 11:50 AM

          He gets every season from here to Kingdom come as far as I’m concerned. There is a middle ground between perfection and failure! Geeze

        • Trey Gregory - Sep 30, 2016 at 3:45 PM

          I think McCloughan should get a minimum of 5 years before anyone even thinks about moving on from him.

          He’s still a fairly new NFL GM (this is only his 4th season ever doing it) and he’s bound to still make some mistakes and learn from them along the way. But good GMs aren’t all that easy to find.

          Sometimes teams catch a break and things go faster. Sometimes teams get unlucky and things go slower. But generally speaking, most people who work in the NFL say a full rebuild takes about 5 years to really do right. As in, set up for long term success and not just be a flash in the pan. So McCloughan isn’t even halfway there yet. He’s pushing cap space (in the form of not signing contracts too) and draft picks toward the future to help when this team is more ready to make a real push. He knows what this roster is. He knew what he assembled before the first game. It’s not his fault some people got unrealistic expectations. But if we’re this bad in 3 more years then sure, we can start talking about his replacement. There’s a lot that can happen between now and then though. Starting with a different coaching staff (which I don’t actually want but would be he logical next step if we’re going to fire people)

        • chimps000 - Sep 30, 2016 at 11:37 PM

          that was overly harsh, I want to really like Mcloughan and the job he is doing- obviously he knows more of football than I ever will. He has made some good moves. He works for a dysfunctional owner, and really who knows how much influence snyder still has on player personnel. Historically, he had a huge amount of influence, and the influence was toxic. Now we are told he is in the background. Ok.

          I think there should be clear improvement in the overall roster in 3 years- 3 years is a reasonable time frame to make an initial judgement of a GM, but that means by the end of next season. Maybe in this case, given the huge amount of dysfunction due to a bad owner, we should give the GM more than 3 years, before we revert to Danny playing fantasy football again.

          I didn’t like his recent draft, but I could be dead wrong. I didn’t love his 1st round and 3rd pick his first draft, but I could be wrong. His judgment on Bruton versus Goldson (who wasn’t great) looks dead wrong. His lack of bringing in a back to compete with matt jones, his lack of moves on the DL besides bringing in Reyes who has done nothing, look suspect to me. His willingness along with Bruce Allen on getting norman was a home run, I was skeptical, but he deserves credit for that. I didn’t think Norman’s influence would warrant the cap hit, but I am happy to be wrong.

          I want a team that is run and coached with intelligence and rationality, and hopefully the skins are heading that way.

    • chimps000 - Sep 30, 2016 at 8:05 AM

      Dunbar looks too small to play safety. I would also like to see Cravens at safety, he looks fast to me on the field, but maybe he is too slow for safety, I don’t know.

      There’s a reason bruton was a career backup before
      he came to Washington.

      And altho i
      complained about mcloughan providing no competition for jones, I think kelly could be successful, but these coaches seem not to want to try other players besides bruton Phillips matt jones… it takes injury to get them to try someone else when the starter is just not getting the job done. Incomprehensible to me- it’s not like those 3 guys including D Hall Had ever had NFL success.

      • bangkokben - Sep 30, 2016 at 11:56 AM

        There was also a reason Antonio Brown was selected in the 6th round. Same for Tom Brady. Reasons change. Just sayin’ it was worth a shot.

        • Trey Gregory - Sep 30, 2016 at 3:49 PM

          But Antonio Brown looked good from the second he stepped on a NFL field. So did Sherman. So did Terrell Davis. So did Alfred Morris. So did Arian Foster. And Brady had Bellichick as a coach. Bruton has had a long time to prove who he is and I think he’s done that.

          The frustrating part is that we wouldnhave a very good special teams captain on our hands if he wasn’t supposed to be the starter. But Jarrett got hurt, Goldson didn’t work out, and McCloughan didn’t want to sign older players to an expensive deal so we’re kind of hosed at safety no matter who plays. I suspect he’s scouting safeties, centers, DTs, DEs, and OLBs extra close in hopes of finding some long term solutions for next year.

        • bangkokben - Sep 30, 2016 at 4:56 PM

          There are plenty of guys that have developed their skills too. I’d argue Sherman as one as well as Norman. Neither were great day one. Perhaps we disagree on Sherman.

          As for scouting safeties, there are a couple of unrelated aspects to consider. First, the overwhelming need for youth at the position does not guarantee a selection. Sometimes the talent isn’t worth the cost. Second, McC hasn’t done well with that position here. Jarrett looked like a keeper but not a starter. Cravens too — not a traditional every down safety. Johnson, Bruton, Goldson, Hall, and Blackmon hardly even qualify as stop gaps.

        • Trey Gregory - Sep 30, 2016 at 5:11 PM

          Are you saying there’s a serious drought of good safeties coming out of college? Because I completely agree but I’m not sure if that’s what you were saying. Clearly though, if that’s true, it’s going to affect McCloughan from drafting a good safety. And the free agents are getting paid too much because of it. Converting college WRs to DBs is going to become more and more normal. I think jarrett had starter potential. Maybe not this year but we wouldn’t be any worse off if he was starting.

          Norman is a good example of someone who got a lot better. But he wasn’t ever bad. He just wasn’t great. And it only took him 3-4 seasons to really break out. Sherman was a good college player but he switched positions. That stunted his development a bit but you could see the potential from day one. Bruton has been around a while and just hasn’t ever looked like more than a ST guy. Reggie Nelson might be a good example if a late bloomer at safety.

        • bangkokben - Sep 30, 2016 at 5:48 PM

          Bruton got a bunch of snaps on D last year. Sometimes a stop gap is all you can do. There are very few good safeties coming out that it inflates their value. Going into the draft it was thought that Karl Joseph would be available when the Skins picked. Nope. My issue with fans bitchin about the safety situation is that there would’ve been dire consequences had the Redskins signed an FA safety or drafted one. No Norman, no Reed extension, having to trade up in the draft, etc. Going into the season we all knew that the position was a giant question mark — especially once Junior went down — yet better offensive execution could’ve overcome the poor safety play. It’s not about fixing every issue but overcoming every obstacle.

        • Trey Gregory - Oct 1, 2016 at 4:30 AM

          Yeah I agree with that. To be clear, in case I haven’t been, I’m perfectly happy with how McClougjan has handled this. Because I realize this takes time and he can’t handle every problem all at once. If he fixes safety then a draft pick or free agent somewhere else doesn’t get on our roster.

          When I say the thing with a Bruton bugged me I mean when talking to fans this summer who were trying ton convince me the Redskins were a Super Bowl team. So when a I mentioned some holes in the roster, like safety, they say “oh we got Bruton. McCloughan signed him so he’s going to be great.” That’s what bugged me. It led to these inflated and unrealistic expectations about what this team would accomplish and now I have to hear everyone bitch when it didn’t go according to their delusion.

          I think McCloughan is doing a fine job for what he started with. He took over a 4 win team and fans expect playoffs after one season. It’s going about exactly as I imagined it would. He’s focused on first getting the best all around players he can. Then, if he has the luxury of picking their position, he’s starting on the edges (where the real money is made) and working in. So positions like Safety, ILB, and DT will be the last on his list unless one falls to us in the draft. Doesn’t mean he doesn’t see the need. He just sees a greater need somewhere else. And it’s not about 2016. It’s about sustained success. He’s pushing resources toward the future. Clearly. He could have spent $200 mil to get a short term solution. And we could probably win a playoff game or two for a year or two. But then we would be like the Saints and have massive cap issues and dead cap space and keep digging into a hole because everyone would expect to win because of the 3 to 4 really good players on the team.

          McCloughan pushed something like $15 mil of cap space to next year and is stocking up on draft picks instead of using them. That should be a clear sign to everyone that he wasn’t trying to make a playoff push this year. He knew what the roster was and how much more work it needed. It’s not his fault if fans convinced themselves there was a championship team in Washington. It’s not like we’re a safety away.

        • ET - Sep 30, 2016 at 5:43 PM

          Is there a drought of safeties, though? I’d argue that there are two issues: A.) high-potential players being funneled to higher profile positions (CB, WR) and B.) a lack of patient development at the pro level, similar to what we see at quarterback (and, arguably, tight end). Just because a player isn’t NFL ready on Day 1 doesn’t mean they can’t sit and learn.

        • bangkokben - Sep 30, 2016 at 5:50 PM

          Good points.

        • Trey Gregory - Oct 1, 2016 at 4:41 AM

          I think those, and a couple others, are reasons for why there is a safety drought. Talk about any position that the NFL is struggling to find and I think it’s really about the NFL refusing to adapt to these players coming out of college more so than none being available.

          But sometimes it really is about a lack of preparation. There’s plenty of college TEs but they’re all just big receivers. Hardly and TEs block in college anymore. O-linemen hardly ever put their hand in the dirt in college. And a lot of college safeties are really more CBs than anything else. The best athletes get funneled into those other positions like you said.

          It also works the opposite way. One reason there’s a QB problem is because in HS they’re taking the best athlete on the team, calling him a QB, and having them do nothing but tuck the ball and run. So that’s who the colleges get and they use their skill sets accordingly. Then the NFL sees them and says, “ehhhh let’s roll with Blane Gabbert. He’s a better QB than Trevon Boykin.” Kids from good schools and parents with money (like Andrew Luck) can afford great coaching to teach the kids great fundamentals from a young age so there’s still a few sound NFL QBs coming out of college. But the NFL needs to learn how to work with this new breed in my opinion. At all positions.

      • ET - Sep 30, 2016 at 1:32 PM

        Deangelo Hall never had NFL success? Coulda fooled me. I thought he had a respectable career.

        Even though he didn’t have a great season, Hall shouldn’t be dragged into this particular conversation.

        • chimps000 - Sep 30, 2016 at 2:45 PM

          at safety.

        • ET - Sep 30, 2016 at 5:35 PM

          Got it.

      • Trey Gregory - Sep 30, 2016 at 3:11 PM

        It bothered me that Bruton, a career backup, was brought in to be the solution too. Like the plan was he was just going to sprout wings after 9 years. I’m all for giving guys a chance but we should have hedged out bet a bit. It’s especially frustrating when I think about some of the other safeties who were available in free agency.

        But I guess I’ll just keep saying his over and over. I don’t believe McCloughan believed this team was ready to compete yet. I don’t think he was trying to assemble a roster that could go deep into the playoffs. I think he’s trying to assemble and develop some long-term pieces (Scherfd, Cravens, Fuller, Doctson, Crowder, Jones, Norman, Smith, Spaight, Reed, Moses, Dunbar, Compton) to be on a championship team in 2-3 years while trying to put some patches on other spots until he identifies his long term solution. That’s why he didn’t commit to Cousins. That’s why he didn’t signs someone like Reggie Nelson or Alex Mack. That’s why he drafted Doctson (so Garcon and DJax could go), etc. etc. If you think about it like that, it’s all going according to plan. He could have spent $200 million in free agency like the Giants but they’re a win now team and we’re not. His eyes are set just a season or two down the road. And if that really is the plan then this team should be a serious playoff threat next year and a possible NFC Championship threat in 2. That’s how it went in Seattle. But we have to lock down the QB first.

        • bangkokben - Sep 30, 2016 at 6:21 PM

          I agree mostly with a few exceptions. Bruton wasn’t brought in as the starter but to compete. Ihenacho was re-signed to compete and Cravens was drafted as a safety/dime backer. That’s three possibilities costing a 2nd round pick and totaling approximately $3.5 million in 2016 cap room. That is hedging our bets. The redskins couldn’t spend $200 million in a win now approach. The Giants could and they still have room for next year. I think the reason for the Redskins not spending is because the available guys weren’t worth the value. You always end up overpaying — at least slightly — and this years FAs were getting more than the Skins could afford. Had Norman been available at the beginning I doubt the skins could’ve landed him.

    • bangkokben - Sep 30, 2016 at 8:37 AM

      Don’t forget Dustin Hopkins. Best pick up.

      • chimps000 - Sep 30, 2016 at 9:54 AM

        true- Hopkins was a great pickup. I don’t mean to be overly critical, every team has misses. It’s more damning to me when a guy like bruton is brought in as the starter and he has never shown he has that ability in his 4 year career. We could also put that on the coaches though- maybe bruton was brought in as a backup, but the coaches don’t like ihenachos hair cut. Relying on bruton and D Hall and matt
        jones going into the season- to not even mention lichtensteiger- was questionable.

        • bangkokben - Sep 30, 2016 at 11:43 AM

          I don’t see how any of those moves or lack there of aren’t on the GM. Bruton has been around for 7 years. Before that there was Jeron Johnson who couldn’t sniff the field. There are limited resources and limited solutions so I don’t get too worked up about a solution not panning out. The troubling part is why Duke isn’t even getting an odd snap.

  5. troylok - Sep 30, 2016 at 8:13 AM

    There is no conspiracy when starting Bruton over Ihenacho. Simply put, Bruton is the better athlete AND he is not prone to injury. Ihenacho is what he is: an in the box safety with limited range. They will give Bruton some time to get the position nailed down because in the long term he had greater range than Ihenacho.

    BTW, if Kouandjio has a solid game this weekend, the team might decide to keep him there. Lauvao’s ankles can’t be trusted and special “K” could use the reps.

    • bangkokben - Sep 30, 2016 at 8:44 AM

      I was right there with on your rationale after week one and I’m willing to give it another week — what else can we do — but Bruton has to improve because he’s not getting it done.

    • redskins12thman - Sep 30, 2016 at 8:52 AM

      I’ve also heard that Ihenacho may have challenges in pass defense, but when reviewing the play of Redskins players, Bruton and Phillips have consistently been assessed as very poor (i.e., not NFL level) with DHall not far behind. You need football IQ and strong fundamentals, not just athleticism, at the position you are being asked to play. The team may not have a better player on the roster, but then we need McCloughan to work his magic.

      Only Colts, Bucs and Saints have given up more points than Redskins; also we are last in opponents 3rd down conversion percentage, 30th in yards per play and per pass, 29th in yards per game and 24th in yards per run. While there is room for improvement everywhere, its the safeties and nickel back that have been the weakest spots.

      I hope Kouandjio does well, but he has yet to beat our Lauvao or Long.

    • chimps000 - Sep 30, 2016 at 9:58 AM

      the Denver coaches disagreed with you, and through 3 games this year bruton couldn’t beat out any starter in the league. Ihenacho at least I have seen with my own eyes make plays. Bruton is routinely out of position and late- oh and he misses tackles.

      How bruton stays as the starter is beyond mysterious. If they give ihenacho a game, and he looks worse than bruton, by all means go back to bruton. But the guy should get a chance.

      Injury history is irrelevant, if he gets hurt bruton comes in anyway.

  6. renhoekk2 - Sep 30, 2016 at 9:55 AM

    If you never draft a Safety before the 5th round this is what you end up with. (Cravens was technically a safety but they don’t have him playing there so that doesn’t count.) Scraps from other teams and converted CB’s because they can’t run and cover anymore. If they neglected any other position this much fans would be outraged. But every season they throw a bunch of retreads or late round draft picks back there and we think “looks better than last season”. Except it never is. All we hear is how this is a passing league but yet they completely neglect 40% of the secondary year after year. Who does that? And the lack of talent there is also a problem in the run game. A lot of those 5+yard runs are from missed tackles by the safeties. Other teams are finding competent safeties somewhere, right? Why has it been impossible for the Redskins to find them for so long? They do realize the last good safety they had was a first round draft pick, don’t they? I mean that’s not a coincidence is it? I can’t believe we keep coming back to this mess. It;s not like they haven’t given us enough reasons to walk away for the last 25 yrs. If Philly fans weren’t so repellent I would start following the Eagles, but I can’t stand the thought of being associated with that pack. It’s sad when one of the things you are holding out for is the firing of Gus Bradley from JAX and that your new GM will be smart enough to hire him and get rid of the vacuum of air you have coaching the defense now.

    • chimps000 - Sep 30, 2016 at 10:41 AM

      just to play devils advocate teams only have so many high draft picks, and the skins had a bad roster for years. Shanahans record as GM is not good, the rg3 trade set the roster back, and mcloughan hasn’t been here two full years yet, he deserves 3.

      The oline was neglected horribly for years, and now at least we have some solid players- LT RT and RG, all first three round picks, and a real strength of the team. The pass protection has been very good in general, we have great skill players, if we have above average QB play this team could make the playoffs again this year.

    • bangkokben - Sep 30, 2016 at 12:06 PM

      By all means pick another team. This team drafted two safeties in the first round — men that should still be playing in the league. Only QB has had more resources thrown at it. Save your outrage for Philly.

    • Trey Gregory - Oct 1, 2016 at 4:11 AM

      Gus Bradley run a 4-3 and his team is a mess.

      Yes, if you draft a player in the first round they should be good. But safety isn’t the only position lacking and it wasn’t for the past two drafts. We could not have Scherff and our Oline could be a lot worse. We could not have Crowder or Doctson and the outlook of our receiving corps would look bad after this year. We could not have Smith and our pass rush/OLB depth would look even more awful. We could not have Fuller and the young talent at CB behind Norman could look pretty grim. There would be other issues if we drafted a safety high and this team is in no position to be choosey about positions. It needs upgrades in every position group.

      Also, there’s a pretty big problem if the safety is doing the tackling in the run game. Sure, every now and then they’ll need to help. But it’s mostly the front 7. Compton has been the soul cause of a few of those big runs. So, by your logic, we need to draft an ILB in the first next year. But oh, we need a safety too so and ILB and safety in the first. But oh, if the D-line tackles the RB then the ILB and SS don’t have to do we need an ILB, safety, DT, and DE in the first round next year. Anything else?

  7. smotion55 - Sep 30, 2016 at 11:20 AM

    It is time for the young guys to play and they need to find out what kind of depth they really have. Start Dunbar and Fuller in the slot. I would play Craven’s as much as possible and feel he will make plays to make up for his lack of experience. No better way to get it. I would play Duke and if he gets hurt then so be it. Then we just don’t bring him back next year.

    The playing of Kouandjio and if he is ready was well said, and it is time to see where he is at. It just seems like a lot of smoke about Reiter. I thought Reiter was very active in pre season and knew of the weight gain but was unsure if he knew the calls. If he was doing that well then why put him on the practice squad. I thought he was worth a roster spot just because of all the old and injured on the line that they already knew about.

    If Doctson is not ready by the game next week then shelve him for the year. Cooley said in pre season that he questioned his desire to play football and toughness so if he isn’t ready be next week let him sit out a year and figure it out.

  8. sidepull - Sep 30, 2016 at 4:11 PM

    Hope Spaight plays.

    • sidepull - Sep 30, 2016 at 4:12 PM

      A lot.

      • Trey Gregory - Sep 30, 2016 at 4:37 PM

        Over Compton?

        • sidepull - Sep 30, 2016 at 5:25 PM

          No Trey your correct. Its Compton all the way. I just want to see Spaight get the chance to put a slobberknocker on somebody. Its just wishful thinking.

  9. James Boddie - Sep 30, 2016 at 7:10 PM

    If they don’t want to be soft on money players. Norman man up Darrell Green did Bailey did in a conference better then ours for year. 2 hall of fame corners and they have rings, and don’t forget Deon Sanders he played baseball game first then flew in and shut down the very best man up Norman or you will just be another rich could have been one of the greats forgotten and soft

    • Rich Tandler - Sep 30, 2016 at 8:52 PM

      What you are proposing would be akin to what the Redskins did with Albert Haynesworth. Albert became an All-Pro by getting into the backfield and disrupting and the Redskins wanted him to do gap control. Norman became an All-Pro playing in a zone, not following playing man to man.

      If the Redskins try to make Norman into something he’s not he will become a bust and the Redskins will have noboby to blame but themselves.

      • Trey Gregory - Oct 1, 2016 at 4:02 AM

        Exactly. Norman is an elite zone corner. Let him do what makes him special.

        People want Williams at guard, Norman in man, Baker at nose, next they’ll want Reed at RB.

  10. greed - Sep 30, 2016 at 7:33 PM

    Rich quickly can u explain how signing another team practice squad player works , does the current team have a chance to block a player frow being picked up by another team ?

    • Rich Tandler - Sep 30, 2016 at 8:48 PM

      They can do it as long as they pay the player for three weeks at 53-man roster salary. The original team can’t block, although they could either offer the player more money to stay on their PS or offer them a spot on their own 53. But the option is up to the player.

      • Greed - Oct 2, 2016 at 12:31 PM

        Thanks rich , your the best #HTTR Archives

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