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Need to Know: Running of Redskins RB Jones best thing to come out of Browns game

Oct 4, 2016, 6:01 AM EDT


Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, October 4, five days before the Washington Redskins go up the road to play the Ravens in Baltimore.


Today’s schedule: No media availability

Days until: Eagles @ Redskins 12; Redskins @ Lions 19; Redskins vs. Bengals in London 26

Final look at Redskins vs Browns

—The best thing that happened all game was Matt Jones’ running. He didn’t always pick the right place to go but when he decided he committed and the results were good. He is averaging 4.5 yards per carry, an improvement of over a full yard over his 3.4 average in his rookie season. And the average hasn’t been padded by any long runs; Jones’ has a 25-yard run as his long and his second-longest is only 16 yards. He is earning that average. We are still early in the season so it’s too soon to proclaim that the Redskins have their next star running back. But the calls for a veteran running back and/or for Robert Kelley to get more carries have faded. We will see what Jones can do.

—I looked at the disputed Duke Johnson fumble several times in slo-mo, back and forth and I think the Browns may have received the wrong end of the call. After the ball came out it looked like Will Compton got two hands on it quickly. But his knees weren’t down. If he has possession and a knee down it doesn’t matter if Johnson comes up and grabs the ball; Compton would be down by contact. The ball gets lost in the pile, however, and you can’t see if Compton still has it by the time his knees hit. Johnson comes up with it pretty quickly. This is one of those situations where the replay system is flawed because it’s hard to prove a negative, that the Redskins never had possession of the ball down by contact. You lose sight of the ball. If I had to make the call from just the video I’d award the ball to the Browns. The call on the field stood properly because there was no evidence to overturn it. But a call that stands on replay isn’t necessarily the right one and I don’t think this one is.

—Did the call lose the game for the Browns? They were moving the ball and they were past midfield. But they had managed to finish off only one extended drive with a touchdown all game, on their second possession of the day. There was no guarantee that they would have made it in for the go-ahead touchdown or even a tying field goal. And the Redskins did not score on the ensuing possession. However, getting the ball near midfield did flip field position. Tress Way punted down to the two yard line and a few plays later Cody Kessler threw the interception to Josh Norman and the Redskins scored their clinching touchdown after that. The missed call wasn’t decisive but it did help Washington.

—By scoring four touchdowns in five red zone opportunities the Redskins’ efficiency there jumped from 21.4 percent to 36.8 percent. They are still 29th in the NFL but if they can get their percentage up in the 40’s they will be fine. As you might suspect, they ran the ball a lot more in the red zone on Sunday. In the first three games they threw 23 passes and ran 10 times in the red zone. That translates to 70 percent passes. Against the Browns they passed five times and ran eight, 61 percent runs.

—Kendall Fuller had a solid NFL debut. He played 45 snaps (62%) and led the team with seven solo tackles. The rookie was solid in coverage. If he remains competent Dashaun Phillips will have a tough time getting his nickel corner job back.

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In case you missed it 

  1. redskins12thman - Oct 4, 2016 at 7:10 AM

    Besides the “win,” Jones / increase in running plays and Fuller were the best “results” of the game.

    How did Phillips get to start three straight games? What are the Redskins seeing?

    • renhoekk2 - Oct 4, 2016 at 8:48 AM

      To be fair whoever it was that was playing slot for CLE Sunday, they are not as good as Sterling Shepard, Cole Beasly or Eli Rogers. Fuller had a little easier assignment this past weekend than Phillips did the first three weeks.

      • redskins12thman - Oct 4, 2016 at 9:24 AM

        Very good point; we should have a wait and see for Fuller until he lines up against Jordan Matthews as I don’t think Ravens are as good in slot as Rogers, Beasley and Shephard either. Ravens mixes it up more: FB, 2 TEs, RB all actively contribute to pass receiving too.

        Fuller was second on tackles and led team on solo tackles on a team that missed a lot of tackles.

    • bangkokben - Oct 4, 2016 at 11:02 AM

      Rewatch the first half — especially on 3rd down — and it’s pretty obvious why both Fuller was the backup and not having Norman travel was plan A.

      • redskins12thman - Oct 4, 2016 at 11:27 AM

        Thanks. I will re-watch.

        When Breeland is healthy, should he cover the slot and then either Dunbar or Toler play outside corner opposite Norman?

        Norman rebounded nicely in 2nd half; was he not traveling then?

        • chimps000 - Oct 4, 2016 at 12:30 PM

          great question- how much did norman travel with pryor in the second half- to me on tv it looked like he shadowed him still, but they could have had him travel presnap and then play zone after the snap as they did a lot against the giants per

          Or did norman just figure out how to play Pryor as he said in the post game

          And i wonder how fuller did vs toler, hard to tell on tv copy i need cooley or someone breaking down coaches tape.

        • bangkokben - Oct 4, 2016 at 4:00 PM

          I’m with chimps on the break down. As for Dunbar, it looked to me that he played safety in cover two often. Again Cooley’s analysis would be helpful.

  2. redskins12thman - Oct 4, 2016 at 7:13 AM

    A quarter of the way through the season:

    On the positive side:
    The Redskins special teams have been tremendous. Fewest punts in NFL (sign that scoring a lot since only 3 4th downs not converted and committed just under two turnovers a game) with half pinned deep in opponent territory. Tied for lead in field goals made and not one missed. 2nd highest punt return average.

    As expected, Top 5 receiving team. Cousins doing an excellent job of spreading the ball around. Appreciate that receivers are patient. Shown improvement in red zone efficiency; Steelers would be good model for us. Cousins needs to show more mobility to extend plays as needed and scramble for yards to keep defense honest if everyone is covered.

    We are averaging 4.4 yards per carry. I would have been happy with 4.3 or 4.2 yards per carry. Very good job by Matt Jones (just as McCloughan advertised); good job from offensive line / TEs — just need to minimize the penalties. Playing call has been more balanced — more commitment to run.

    In sum, special teams has delivered; offense has mostly delivered and has improved.

    On the negative side:
    Washington has given up a league high 101 first downs and Washington is the only team to have given up as many as 33 rushing first downs.

    Washington has allowed opponents to convert a league high 57.4% of third downs; the next highest is Detroit at 47.1%

    Washington has given up a league high 349 penalty yards (per ESPN at least by one measure:

    Washington is 30th in rushing yards conceded and 31st in yards per rushing attempt conceded.

    Washington is 29th in total yards conceded per game, averaging 413.5 yards.

    In sum, defense has been opportunistic but otherwise very weak, among the worst in the NFL.

    Baltimore’s defense has given up, on average, the fewest total yards per game (256), 176 in the air and 80 on the ground. Let’s see how the Redskins offense but I’m more concerned about our defense as they have been unprepared for most games this season.

    Meanwhile, Flacco and West have produced 346.3 yards per game, 252 in the air and 94.3 on the ground. Baltimore posted 412 total yards against the Raiders defense, which entered the game ranked at the bottom of the league in total defense. But I felt the Raiders defense played vastly superior to the Redskins especially in terms of tackling, 3rd down conversion 5/17 – half of our average and applying QB pressure. Just like the game against the Raiders, I expect Ravens to run West, or potentially Dixon or Forsett (depending on who is active) until we stop them. Smith is main receiving target but Flacco likes to spread it around to 9 targets.

    The Ravens had 5 holding calls (3 in passing situations, 2 running) and allowed two sacks. Two were on LT James Hurst who stepped in for injured rookie Ronnie Stanley. 1 was on LG Ryan Jensen who steep in for injured rookie Alex Lewis and the 2 in running situations were on center Jeremy Zuttah. However, Lewis is expected back in the lineup and Stanley is probable as well and with Redskins’ inability to apply pressure, I’m not sure this matters.

    We need Breeland, Cravens and Kerrigan as soon as possible.

    I’m fine with another ugly win as next we face the undefeated Eagles who soundly beat the Steelers.

    • ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Oct 4, 2016 at 7:30 AM

      I’m sure it will be West…they benched Forsett for him and West delivered against the Raiders.

      BTW Mark Bullock has a nice piece on our defensive problems.

      That was a case of players being beaten. But there were also plenty of plays where the coaches didn’t put the players in the best position to succeed. Last week, I looked at how Washington struggled to defend the run with six defenders in the box in its nickel package. The Browns took notice and attacked this flaw too.

    • redskins12thman - Oct 4, 2016 at 8:38 AM

      Cooley says I should cool down on Jones assessment: not a “natural” runner, doesn’t run well to his left, misses blocks, etc. he gave him a 7.0 grade (i.e., just a guy). If Jones doesn’t give up the ball and averages 4.2 or 4.3 yards per carry (as Rich says he’s at 4.5), I’m very happy with him!

      • chimps000 - Oct 4, 2016 at 10:03 AM

        haven’t listened to cooleys grades yet, but that’s what i see, a guy who looks to be average at his best. I think fans like his height and weight and the fact he was a high draft pick (3rd round), personally i would like to see kelly get some carries and see if he is better. It wouldn’t surprise me.

        It’s a major reason why i don’t like using high draft picks on RBs, i think dallas made a mistake in taking elliot 4th overall- as well as a mistake in taking a guy with nerve damage in his knee in the second round. They seem to throw more picks at questionable players than any team in the league.

        • Trey Gregory - Oct 4, 2016 at 12:39 PM

          I agree Chimps. I don’t like high round RBs either. Maybe if you’re pretty damn sure they’re going to be special you take them around 20. But not 4th overall.

          But most of the time I’m fine with a 5th round RB or later. Maybe a 4th.

      • Trey Gregory - Oct 4, 2016 at 12:37 PM

        Cooley also isn’t the end all be all of assessing football. And he does, at times, say things just to light up the phones. That’s his job. Saying the starting RB is “just a guy” after the best game of his career. That’s a pretty classic “light up the phones” type move.

        But what is that grade in context? Like, is AP a 10, Frank Gore a 9, and someone like Chris Ivory a 7? Because I can live with that.

        • ET - Oct 4, 2016 at 12:52 PM

          Hah, yeah, I don’t quite get Cooley’s grading scale.

          Also: somebody at ESPN radio tell Cooley to back off the f$&@’ing mic. Too many plosives. Give the man a pop shield. Please.

        • Trey Gregory - Oct 4, 2016 at 12:59 PM

          I may have been a 9-10 in my younger days but if a girl called me a 7 right now I would high 5 her.

        • redskins12thman - Oct 4, 2016 at 1:04 PM

          I agree with you but:

          1. Cooley has 9 years of NFL experience versus my 0 years of NFL experience; when my untrained eye aligns with his assessment, I have confidence in what we are both seeing on the coaches film, and

          2. no one else does these in depth player reviews. If more people did these assessments, I would review and compare all assessments across the board. It takes time and hard work and others don’t invest the time required to do a good job at it.

          Cooley’s scale: 10 is a Hall of Fame performance, 9 is All-Pro, 8 is very good, 7 is “just a guy”, 6 is a back-up and 5 and lower is not NFL grade. Especially with WRs / TEs, it’s apparent that getting action helps your grade, but if you work hard to get open and QB misses you, you’re not penalized. Cooley looks at full game, i.e., blocking, other roles important for receivers too.

        • Trey Gregory - Oct 4, 2016 at 4:36 PM

          Cooley is a very good analysts. I just enjoy giving him a hard time because he seems to enjoy giving other people a hard time too. I get that he’s looking at individual performances and not a career. Jones wasn’t anything special but he looked great in context of how he has look and how our run game has looked overall. He’s a young player with lots of upside in my opinion.

        • chimps000 - Oct 4, 2016 at 1:07 PM

          I hear you. I also think you could be right that jones could develop into a better player, based on your argument that he didn’t get a ton of carries at florida and is greener than most
          backs at this point.

          I generally feel that RBs don’t improve a whole bunch, that it’s one of the more instinctive positions on the field, but i am sure there examples of guys who didn’t shine until year 3 or 4.

          And maybe if he can lower his pads and play with a chip on his shoulder he could really improve- i thought crowell runs like a guy who is afraid of losing his job, with huge urgency, and matt jones runs like a guy with tenure.

        • bangkokben - Oct 4, 2016 at 5:06 PM

          Trey, you continue to say this sh!t without even listening. He said basically everything I said during the game — which is why I’m totally biased for him. He said that the line blocked their balls off and Jones should’ve averaged seven yards a carry after the first two drives not the 3.5 that he did at that point. He also pointed out that Jones got four yards on a carry where the blocking was for zero, that the 25-yard run that Jones ran off right before Cousins inexplicable sack was the best run of his Redskin’s career since he put everything together: vision, speed, power, pad level, etc. He also mentioned how his upright style get’s him turned around and that he has to watch that because it leaves the back of his head exposed. By now, he’s concerned that somethings don’t come natural to him — especially his vision. Hey, but you’re in the media so you’re predisposed to cynicism because you know the tricks of the trade. I get it; but suppose you’re right, it doesn’t make it any less true.

          As for the grades: 7.0 is just a guy but a starter in this league, 8.0 is a high level starter maybe a pro-bowler, 8.5 is and all-pro, 9.0 and higher is HOF for a day, and no body gets a 10.0. It’s not complicated unless you meditate on it. 6.0 is a back-up.

        • Trey Gregory - Oct 5, 2016 at 2:33 AM

          Yeah I get it. Cooley is a cold evaluator. He takes it all in and tells the truth the best he can. But it was also Matt Jones best game as a professional football player. I get that Cooley isn’t going to let that influence his decesion but it also leaves out trajectory. It is disturbing that some of thisnisnt more natural for Jones. But he has improved. And it seems like he’s starting to improve more and more. Some guys just take a little longer.

          And just as a side note. I like having fun and all that but truly, anybody who works in sports talk radio, part of their job is to say things to get people to call in. These guys get into fake arguments with each other all the time just to show the contrasting sides even though they actually agree. It’s a bit and it’s part of the job. And most of them have no problem admitting it if you ask because they also admit theyre in the entertainment industry. Cooley is an entertainer more than a member of the news media. And I don’t mean that as an insult at all. That’s basically all of sports talk radio.

        • bangkokben - Oct 5, 2016 at 8:29 AM

          Yep all sports talk radio is caller driven, all bits are the same, all markets need the same approach throughout the year even during football season and are just working up controversy. Of course it’s entertainment but there is room for nuance and your blanket statement shows how much you get it. If your point is that everything that Cooley says shouldn’t just be accepted as fact, duh. However, during his film breakdowns he’s been spot on for the three plus years he’s been doing it and he’s been consistent in both ripping and praising players depending on their performance.

        • bangkokben - Oct 4, 2016 at 5:10 PM

          Never mind, I see your earlier comment and 12th’s.

    • colorofmyskinz - Oct 4, 2016 at 11:12 AM

      I think we all know that if our defensive play continues to perform like it is, the luck will run out and playoff hopes will fizzle. Have to have a rocking defense to compete in the playoffs. Quite honestly, that is the more important side of the ball in the playoffs. Every offensive team has proven they can put up 30 points by the time they hit the playoffs. So what make the difference is how well they defend points.

      So at this rate, we might win the division, but I would expect to see a loss in the first game after the divisional win.

      • redskins12thman - Oct 4, 2016 at 11:29 AM

        I would die for a rocking defense; I just want NFL average defense at this point.

        We have to beat the Eagles and Cowboys first before we talk about winning the division.

        • ET - Oct 4, 2016 at 1:16 PM

          With an average defense (14th-18th overall), this team would be formidable. While the D has a chance to improve this year, I doubt we’ll crack the top 20 this season. The Skins are currently 29th overall. Philly and the Ravens are #1 and #2 respectively.

  3. sidepull - Oct 4, 2016 at 7:26 AM

    What comes around goes around. Sometimes the Redskins benefit from a call and sometimes they get a bad call. Wasn’t it Brutons “interception” in the end-zone last week? I dunno, these games can get so tight that whoever has the ball last wins the game and a blown call can be devastating. I dont think the Browns were going to win that game. But thats just speculation. That was a great put down to the two by the Way,

    My conspiracy theory: Maybe it is nothing. What I find disturbing is the NFL’s “special attention” to Josh Norman. I heard he has been drug tested three weeks in a row, he gets “talked to” by the refs before the Giants game, he gets a call for his bow and arrow display on the sidelines, which has been done by other players without incident, a $48K fine for a hit that was not even worth that stiff of a fine. I swear they are trying to nail him for anything and everything. Its only 4 games into the season. At this rate I swear it only a matter of time before he gets a suspension and wont it be convenient if its before the next Giants game? Its like they are trying to get him labeled as a malcontent, drug using, cheap shot artist. If anybody needs to be drug tested every week its Odella Beckham Jr. To Normans credit he has handled it all pretty well. Did he do something to tick off management? Thoughts? Am I reaching?

    • redskins12thman - Oct 4, 2016 at 7:31 AM

      Yeah, there were many questionable calls against the Redskins especially in the two conference games. There have been two phantom calls against Scherff.

    • redskins12thman - Oct 4, 2016 at 7:56 AM

      It’s the ESPN the Magazine article, where he insulted the league, Goodell, the union, referees among others, coming back to haunt Norman, I would guess.

      • sidepull - Oct 4, 2016 at 8:01 AM

        Well that would explain the added negative attention. Self inflicted.

      • chimps000 - Oct 4, 2016 at 8:39 AM

        yea i wish he wouldn’t have said the refs were crooked… he definitely hurt himself.

        He’s playing so well i’m ok with it, spilt milk now.

      • renhoekk2 - Oct 4, 2016 at 9:10 AM

        As a DB you can almost understand his point of view. The league has made it impossible to play the position. The way they officiate pass plays is comical. WR’s get away with pushing off and “pick plays” all game. Touching a WR is a penalty in today’s game. The only way Norman doesn’t get a penalty and fine on that play is to stop running and let the WR catch the ball. If that is what the league expects from defenders then that tells you something is wrong with the game today. If the league doesn’t want a defenseless WR hit, then they should not allow WR to run across the middle of the field. Instead they want defenders to not him them and let them catch the pass. The only pass patterns that should be allowed in the middle of the field are curl routes where the WR is not “defenseless”. WR’s running across the field are by definition defenseless if the pass is thrown to them because they are running and looking back at the QB and not prepared to take a hit. Stupid.

        • chimps000 - Oct 4, 2016 at 12:42 PM

          completely agree- as stupid as how they rule the catch. How about what it was when i grew up- pre calvin johnson contortions- two hands, control and either two feet down or an elbow or knee down. Done.

          None of this “through the ground” nonsense. It’s so stupid, because the contorted interpretation that changes with every game actually biases the calls against great catches, but the league changed the other rules to promote yards and catches. Schizophrenic.

        • metalman5150 - Oct 4, 2016 at 12:46 PM

          If the league doesn’t want a defenseless WR hit, then they should not allow WR to run across the middle of the field.

          Correction: Instead of flagging the defender for the hit; flag the QB for throwing his receiver into imminent danger.

    • metalman5150 - Oct 4, 2016 at 9:13 AM

      There’s a whole PFT article from last year, of Jason Hatcher basically saying that Ref’s do, in-deed, have a biased against the Redskins’ namesake. And that bias, according to Hatcher, most certainly propagates into the yellow flags on Sundays. He’s a player, a former player now, and I’ll take his word on it. Mike Carey eventually, just stopped, would not, officiate any more Redskins games.

      • redskins12thman - Oct 4, 2016 at 9:33 AM

        It’s a shame when people can not let their outside biases impact their ability to do their job but I guess that’s one of the hardest things to do as a human.

        But sometimes we all need to take a stand (just as Carey probably felt he was doing). I would boycott Seirus Innovation, Carey’s ski and snowboarding gloves, face protection, and other cold-weather accessories company as well as anything to do with SnowSports Industries America where he is also involved. #HTTR

        • Trey Gregory - Oct 4, 2016 at 12:47 PM

          I think it’s more of a subconscious bias than them going out to screw the Redskins. Everything they hear and see about the team is negative. With terms like “racist” and “bigot” attached. A lot of people can’t help but have a subconscious bias against something like that. It’s understandable. Like the way many Americans feel when they see a Muslim walking through an airport.

          People have to understand that’s not going to change or get better. This organization will get less and less young fans because people won’t want to wear what they perceive as a racist logo, free agents may pass for the same reason, and people (including refs) will have a natural bias against the team. The price of a name.

  4. colorofmyskinz - Oct 4, 2016 at 8:51 AM

    Great game and Jones looks to be very competent. I think we have to give a good deal of his success to Koulandjo and Long. These 2 linemen made a huge difference on run blocking.

    I appreciate what Kory has done for our team, but retirement might be the best choice. Lauvao will have a hard time taking it back from koulandjo.

    Nice line upgrade!!

    • redskins12thman - Oct 4, 2016 at 11:33 AM

      It’s one game, against the Browns, so let’s see it replicated against Ravens, Eagles, Bengals and Vikings.

      If Kouandjio was better than Lauvao and Long, why didn’t he beat out both / either of them when he had the entire off season to do so?

    • Trey Gregory - Oct 4, 2016 at 2:03 PM

      Lauvao is the best LG on the team. Let’s not kid ourselves. It was good to see Kouandjo get his ears wet but he has a long ways to go.

      Kory is very good at some things. Zone blocking, pulling to get in front and block, and calling protection at the line. But he is bad in the power run game. That’s not what he’s made for. Long appears to be better than Kory in power. That just happens to be what Gruden wants to do more. So yes, our run game should improve if Long plays center.

      Get Williams, Lauvao, and Long next to each other and we should get a very good push from the left side of the line.

      • redskins12thman - Oct 4, 2016 at 2:14 PM

        What’s your guess as to what run game will look like if Sully plays center and Lauvao or Long plays guard?

        • Trey Gregory - Oct 4, 2016 at 4:12 PM

          If Sullivan is anything like his old self? Just fine if we’re talking power. I don’t know that anyone other than Williams and Kory are athletic enough to be particularly good zone blockers. But I think Williams and Lauvao play well together. I don’t know if it’s just familiarity or if their strengths compliment each other or what. But they get a push when given the opportunity to play power. The weakness in the power was Kory (who I gave a lot of support to this summer btw). Also think about Long/Sullivan blocking with Scherff. Those are some big boys.

        • bangkokben - Oct 4, 2016 at 5:13 PM

          Well, according to the part I heard for Cooley, the run blocking was better than the ball carrying. If that is true, why change up the line?

      • Rich Tandler - Oct 4, 2016 at 2:16 PM

        I think the saying is that he got his feet wet. So that he’s no longer wet behind the ears. Don’t even ask me how that works. :)

        • Trey Gregory - Oct 4, 2016 at 4:09 PM

          Lol. I knew that sounded wrong when I typed it. I even thought about it and decided it worked. At least I didn’t combine two words. I’ve been known to do that.

  5. redskins12thman - Oct 4, 2016 at 9:15 AM

    Cooley’s offense grades versus Browns:

    Scherff: 8.9 (could be better salesman for screens)
    Reed: 8.7 / A- (needs to clean up penalties; screen blocking)
    Williams: 8.5 (talked about getting beat on a couple of plays)
    Long: 8.0 / B+
    Cousins: 7.7 / B
    Moses: 7.5
    Crowder: 7.4
    Garcon: 7.3
    Jackson: 7.2
    Kouandjio: 7.2 (some “rookie” mistakes; confident if he can eliminate mistakes / penalties, can play)
    Jones: 7.0 / C+
    Davis: 6.7

    Reed, Williams (we’ve come to expect it from them) and Scherff were beasts. Continued strong play by starting WRs. Very glad to see Long and Kouandjio marked highly too. Still think Sully at center and Lauvao (if healthy) or Long at LG could be better, but Long’s high grade is reassuring. Let’s see how the line does against the Ravens, which will be a much tougher test.

    With the amount of snaps DHall, Bruton & Phillips got, basically played until injured, I wonder about some of the team’s assessments of players… especially when Fuller seemed to have a stronger game than Phillips have had; hope Fuller can stay healthy.

    • ET - Oct 4, 2016 at 12:45 PM

      I remain baffled by the Phillips v. Fuller decision. Yeah, Phillips looked very good in preseason—I’m ok that he got the nod for the Steelers game, and I’m ok with giving him a chance to redeem himself in the Cowboys game. But he should’ve either been benched at the end of game two or before the Giants game. (Maybe we didn’t have the right personnel active for him to sit during the ‘Boys, however.)

      At any rate, while Fuller is still making plenty of mistakes, at least he doesn’t look confused and reactive out there. And I think the injury to Breeland gave him some time off at a critical juncture. He needs to keep his confidence up.

      • redskins12thman - Oct 4, 2016 at 1:13 PM

        renhoekk2 did make a very good point that Browns’ slot play is not like Steelers, Cowboys or Giants. We need to see Fuller against, Eagles, etc. Maybe have Breeland play nickel back and Toler / Dunbar opposite Norman if Fuller needs more time to develop.

        • ET - Oct 4, 2016 at 1:27 PM

          I’d be fine with that—Breeland’s good in the slot, or he has been.

        • Trey Gregory - Oct 4, 2016 at 1:56 PM

          There’s also that Fuller is a rookie who is probably playing this type of zone scheme for the first time in his life (although I could be wrong there.) He’s coming off a significant injury where he missed a lot of good developmental time in college. It’s not unreasonable to think he just wasn’t/isn’t really ready to roll yet. It can take two years to fully receiver from some of these injuries. Maybe he still has a little weakness or something? Maybe it’s just learning the scheme? Who knows.

          But this stuff makes a lot more sense if you assume the team knows something that you don’t. They talk to these guys, they see them in practice, they know their medical, they hear them in the film room. Not us. Fuller was ehhhh, OK in his first start. Doesn’t mean he’s going to be good or suck. I don’t expect to see his full potential this season. But yes, I’m thankful his first NFL start wasn’t against Victor Cruz or Sterling Sheppard. We don’t need another CB getting his confidence shattered.

        • redskins12thman - Oct 4, 2016 at 2:21 PM

          So true: “But this stuff makes a lot more sense if you assume the team knows something that you don’t.”

          I agree 100%, but I’ve rarely seen three players — DHall, Bruton and Phillips — play so poorly in three straight games and not seen their snap count reduced…. that’s the puzzling piece. I realize I have no insight as to how the other reserve Redskins DBs are playing, but it’s still hard to comprehend.

        • Trey Gregory - Oct 4, 2016 at 3:26 PM

          I get it. And you’re right to question it and be concerned. But these are professional coaches and staffs who have a lot more information than we do. Some fans (not you) get real worked up about this stuff and start screaming that the coaches are idiots and all need to be fired. But those fans are working with a fraction of the information. Nobody gets to be a coach at this level if they’re an idiot. There’s good and bad NFL coaches but they’re all smart guys who know what they’re doing. Some are just better at it than others.

          It’s easy to say “fire him, bench him, cut him,” but a lot harder to replace someone with equal or better talent. There’s also the health and development of young players to consider. Paxton Lynch is probably the best QB in Denver. But they started Simean because they see Lynch as the future and don’t want to stunt his growth. Lynch also is probably still learning the system. Fuller is a young player who i guarantee still has a lot to learn. We’re not going to a SB this year. So why sacrifice the future to try and eek out an 8-win season? If you look at all these moves in the context of they don’t believe this is a very good team and they’re trying to focus on winning 1-3 years down the road then a lot of this stuff makes even more sense.

          And we don’t have any good safeties. So that’s that. Ihenacho sucks and Blackmon is in the same boat as Hall just with less time playing the position. Mystery solved. They’re all terrible and the coaches put out the guys they thought were the lesser evil.

        • redskins12thman - Oct 4, 2016 at 3:47 PM

          As the season approached and people were questioning quality of starters / depth, we heard a lot about D-line, C, LG, RB and OLB after Galette went down.

          Safeties should have been at the top of the list with D-line.

        • redskins12thman - Oct 4, 2016 at 3:54 PM

          Excellent point about “health and development of young players.” Sometimes, you throw a Wentz or Prescott in, and they do well… other players require more time. It’s so tough to tell what works and / or what’s best for each player.

          Sometimes, it seems to vary by positions. RBs seem to be the easiest to “plug and play” and WRs often require more time; OBJ was strong from the start but now should have better mental approach as a player.

          Physical strength / athletic ability seems to be important for O-linemen. Top draft picks can start from day one but often lower level picks need a year or two under their belt before they can be regular contributor.

          What do you see?

    • Trey Gregory - Oct 4, 2016 at 1:59 PM

      Ok so Trent Williams (and all pro) and Desean Jackson (some argue a top 10 receiver in the league and truly one of our best players) get an 8 and 7.2 from Cooley? That puts Jones 7 into better context. If Jones is just a point down from an all pro, I’ll take it.

      • redskins12thman - Oct 4, 2016 at 2:16 PM

        Okay. Also, Cooley just evaluates the play in this game (independent of how player normally plays / other games)… Archives

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