April 22, 2021

Washington Redskins 2014 Season Preview Part III: Wide Receivers

All this week leading up to the Washington Redskins 2014 season opener against the Houston Texans on Sept. 7, District Sports Page is taking an in-depth look at the players that will make up the 53-man roster to start the season in a position-by-position breakdown.

Monday, Neal Dalal took a look at the Quarterback position.
Tuesday, Eric Hobeck examined the situation at running back.

This is the preview of the wide receiver corps.

[Read more…]

Five takeaways from the Washington Redskins preseason finale win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Here are five big takeaways from the Washington Redskins’ 24-10 preseason finale win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Thursday night and the implications:

  1. The Washington Redskins have had a good preseason avoiding injuries in their first three contests, and they survived the huge scare when Morgan Moses went down with a knee injury last Saturday against the Baltimore Ravens. Unfortunately this week that was not the case as knee injuries were sustained by NT/DE Chris Neild and LILB Akeem Jordan. A source with knowledge backed up Jay Gruden’s belief that it is very likely that Neild has a significant ACL tear of his right knee according to ESPN 980 Radio. This could very easily open the door to a roster spot for Clifton Geathers, massive body that showed agility and power off the ball. Jordan is believed to have a non-major tear to either his MCL or ACL, but is preliminarily not having an end to the season quite yet. ILB is one of the toughest roster spots to project this year where guys will be cut that could produce this year. One huge thing that is helping Will Compton is his ability to play “Mike” & “Jack” positions. Jordan can only play Mike and Adam Hayward only Jack. Thus, the next men up for Washington at these positions are Geathers and Compton who have now possibly secured jobs for the rest of the year.
  2. The next toughest position to project for the Redskins is clearly at the running back position. Since Roy Helu did not receive any playing time it is safe to say that he has secured a roster. Chris Thompson needed a hall of fame performance to even creep back into the mind of Gruden as his durability is in question constantly. Thompson had two bright moments in an otherwise vanilla performance: he had a 25-yard catch and run reception and nearly an amazing touchdown run where he broke two tackles, one in the backfield, to lunge short of the goal line. That subpar performance opened the gates to Silas Redd and Lache Seastrunk who both improved their stock quite well, while Evan Royster saw limited playing time in which he did next to nothing. Redd was the workhorse with 79 yards on 14 rushes, while Seastrunk had a more mediocre six rushes for 23 yards. The thing that Seastrunk has had on his resume since the beginning is his speed, which differentiates him from rest and it is tough to cut a guy who can a take screen pass 80 yards for a touchdown as he did in the game.
  3. The battle at wide receiver was more of the usual as Aldrick Robinson and Ryan Grant continued to shine. Robinson managed 75 yards on five receptions off eight targets, while Grant posted a similar 73 yards on five catches on a mere six targets. The things that stands out to coaches is Aldrick’s motivation to run full speed ahead on a perceivable go route to attract both the cornerback and safety, clearing the way for Chris Thompson’s 25-yard reception. On the flip side, Grant runs great routes, has good hands and is focused. Two guys who have done nearly nothing wrong this offseason have given Coach Gruden the easy decision to have quality depth behind an already elite receiving corp.
  4. A topic of speculation comes from the quarterback position as third stringer Colt McCoy played the entire game with most of the second string weapons. McCoy posted great fantasy numbers with 321 yards and two touchdowns, but had two end zone interceptions which dropped his QBR down to 105.7. Numbers that are both appropriate and welcomed for a third stringed quarterback, but not numbers to assure a roster spot on a team that may be looking to keep an extra guy in another area. That begs the question was this McCoy audition to show Gruden that he would be idiotic to cut such an asset? Did backup signal caller Kirk Cousins not play because he is about to be traded to the Rams? Or maybe he should have played to potentially raise his worth even more? All of these are possible explanations, but we will never know the answer. If Cousins is indeed staying with the team for the season, then McCoy is probably not needed.
  5. The preseason is over and now it is time to look forward and start scheming against the Houston Texans. Gruden will have to put some fairy dust on his current starting offensive line to keep Robert Griffin III clean from the dynamic bookends of Jadeveon Clowney and J.J. Watt. As fans we are all anxiously awaiting the start of the 2014 season and cannot wait!

Washington Redskins Training Camp Report: Patriots Practice

The Redskins hosted the New England Patriots for the first time before they take the field Thursday night in the teams pre-season opener. First year head coach Jay Gruden stressed using the opportunity to practice against a quality opponent as a learning experience. The Redskins have become familiar with each other, to an extent the offense knows what to expect and the defenses’ “tendencies” and vice-versa. When you bring in 90 new players and coaches it forces players to read and react in more of a game-like situation which is telling for the coaches of both staffs’.

A few players shined against the new competition in Richmond. Bacarri Rambo had a few solid plays in coverage, however, that was never the concern with Rambo, his tackling is what will need to improve greatly in 2014 if he wishes to stick around. [Read more…]

Washington Redskins Game 6 Review: Skins beat Bears in shootout 45-41

So far this season, fans, media and the team itself have been waiting for Robert Griffin III to truly look like the dynamic playmaker they saw last season. Sunday, against the injury-depleted Chicago Bears, Griffin looked his best yet, leading the Washington Redskins to a huge 45-41 win over the Bears, to raise their record to 2-4 before heading off to a showdown with the Broncos in Denver next weekend.

Griffin threw for 298 yards and two touchdowns on 18-of-29 passing, but he looked his best all season running with the ball, carrying 11 times for 84 yards, much from the read-option formation. On the second play from scrimmage, Griffin called his own number and burst around right end for 23 yards and continued to run the keeper all day long. That first drive ended up with a 38-yard Kai Forbath field goal, but it set the precedent for what the Skins offense would do all afternoon.

The Bears took advantage of a short field after a 37-yard Sav Rocca punt and answered with 47-yard field goal by Robbie Gould. On the ensuing possession, Griffin made on of his few mistakes on the day, lobbing a pass toward Leonard Hankerson on the right sideline that was picked off by Charles Tillman and returned to the Skins 10-yard line. It took the Bears just two plays to score, with Matt Forte scoring the first of his three touchdowns of the day on a two-yard plunge.

But the Redskins took the kickoff and marched down the field, going 80 yards on 13 plays, capped by Roy Helu, Jr.’s 14-yard scoring run from off-tackle right, which was exquisitely blocked up front to make it 10-10 just after the start of the second quarter.

On the next play from scrimmage, Reed Doughty broke up a Jay Cutler pass intended for Alshon Jeffery, and the ball hung up for Brian Orakpo to gather in and rumble 29 yards for the first pick-six of his career.

Two possessions later, Bears QB Jay Cutler was sacked by Chris Baker — first of Baker’s NFL career — and came up lame. He was helped off the field and into the Bears locker, where it was announced that he sustained a groin injury and would not return. Josh McCown replaced Cutler and created difficulty right off the bat with his mobility, as his first play was an 11-yard scramble.

Later in the quarter, another special teams breakdown led to a Bears touchdown. Rocca punted to the left sideline to pen return specialist Devin Hester in. Unfortunately, Hester broke back to the other side of the field, broke containment, and sprinted up the right sideline untouched for an 81-yard TD to tie the game at 17.

As was the theme of the day though, the Skins offense went right back to work, this time going 74 yards on 11 plays, culminated by Griffin’s three-yard touchdown pass to Jordan Reed in the right corner of the end zone on a fade pattern. Reed had a 15-yard catch earlier in the drive and ended up with 9 catches for 134 for the day, both career highs. The Skins held a 24-17 halftime lead, but things got even crazier in the second half.

The Bears first drive resulted in a missed field goal, but on their second possession Forte burst through the line and went 50 yards for a touchdown to tie it back up. But Griffin led the Skins right back, driving 83 yards on eight plays, including a 30-yard completion to Aldrick Robinson, before Helu carried three yards to put the Skins back up 31-24.

Chicago used a 28-yard completion from McCown to Jeffery, then a 15-yard personal foul on Brandon Meriweather, to get in position for Forte to carry six yards for his third TD of the day to tie it at 31.

This time, the Redskins used a quick strike. On second-and-nine, Griffin had Josh Morgan streaking wipe open on a 20-yard crossing route, but instead heaved it 45 yards to Robinson, who made the catch between Tillman and safety Chris Conte, who fell after bumping Robinson trying to get into position. Regardless, the longest pass of the season resulted in a Redskins touchdown and 38-31 lead.

The Bears next drive stalled at the Washington 31, after Orakpo and David Amerson harassed McCown on second and third downs respectively and the Bears settled for a 49-yard Gould field goal. Following a Skins three-and-out, Chicago went back to work. McCown hit Brandon Marshall for the receiver’s biggest gain of the day, a 44-yard catch and run off a slant route, and after a touchdown pass was nullified by an illegal formation penalty, the Bears made the next one stick, as McCown connected with tight end Marcellus Bennett for a seven-yard score, giving the Bears their first lead since the first quarter.

The Redskins took over with 3:57 to play at their own 20-yard line. Griffin found Reed for 26 yards on the first play of the drive. Later, he connected three times with Pierre Garcon for gains of seven, nine and six yards. On third-and-4 from Chicago’s 13, Griffin hit Reed for a 10-yard completion and on first down, Helu broke it up inside for his third touchdown strike of the day, to provide the 45-41 margin of victory.

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