March 8, 2021

Washington Redskins Week 7 Preview: Tennessee Titans

If there’s a week that the Washington Redskins need to and can get back on track, it is week seven against the struggling 2-4 Tennessee Titans.  Both teams have issues for different reasons, and it appears that the Redskins woes are self-inflicted at times, or just due to lack of overall talent.  Tennessee, like Washington, has suffered injuries to the quarterback position and will look to get their season back on track once Jake Locker is fully ready to go.  If trends continue, a Jake Locker return to the lineup can only spell disaster for the Redskins defense.

Washington finds themselves in quite a predicament in 2014.  Their rookie head coach has piloted the team to a 1-5 record.  Quarterback Kirk Cousins has been efficient enough, until he makes that first mistake.  That’s when “good Kirk” quickly becomes “bad Kirk”, and the mistakes start to mount.  For those that are comparing Robert Griffin III and Kirk Cousins, regardless of where you stand on that issue, the numbers do not lie.  Griffin, through 30 career games, has amassed 17 interceptions.  Cousins through 13? 18 picks.

Say what you want to about Griffin’s pocket awareness, decision making in said pocket, and overall off field “antics,” but he takes care of the ball.  He does not fold under the pressure of the game.  Robert Griffin III does not hang his head on the sideline.  He is a project, to be sure, as Griffin has a long way to go to keep himself healthy and on the field and performing like 2012 RG3 on a regular basis.  But the potential is still there.  Cousins, meanwhile, is what he is at this point.  He is an outstanding backup that most teams in the league would be lucky to have, but that is about it.

Cousins will need to secure his first ever win as a starter this weekend against Tennessee if the Redskins have any hope of posting a respectable record in 2014.  Jake Locker will be returning to the lineup, and the Redskins linebackers will have a tall task of containing Tennessee’s solid wide receiver corps and breakout fantasy tight end Delanie Walker.  The positive to all of this, though painful to watch now, is that Washington is getting plenty of experience in for their two young but promising corners, David Amerson and Bashaud Breeland.  Young linebacker Will Compton, in place of the injured Perry Riley, will look to get plenty of experience against the talented Tennessee tight end Walker.  These players are not only intriguing to watch for this game, but for the remainder of the season as well.

Keys to the game

Contain Delanie Walker

Walker has had a solid start to his season, amassing over 400 yards and three touchdowns in the first six weeks.  Inconsistent starting and play at quarterback is the only reason why these numbers aren’t even higher.  The Redskins have struggled mightily against the tight end this year, and some of that is due to the wildly inconsistent coverage skills of linebacker Perry Riley.  Last week, in place of the injured Riley, Will Compton stepped in and impressed in this area.  He will need to do it again against the versatile Walker.

Get the ball to Jackson

My goodness.  That’s all you can say about the deep ball connection between Cousins and wide receiver DeSean Jackson over the past two weeks.  Cousins has gone over the top of defenders to Jackson and zipped the ball on the slant route which Jackson took to the house.  This connection needs to continue.  This is why the Redskins brought him here.  Jackson isn’t the presence in the locker room you need.  He isn’t a great blocker (he’s actually pretty terrible).  Bruce Allen, Jay Gruden, and yes, especially Dan Snyder, brought DeSean Jackson here for this.

ESPN 980 personality and former player Chris Cooley was critical of Jackson this week for his lack of blocking, but how is this shocking to anyone?  The Redskins knew what they were signing up for when they quickly snatched up Jackson after he was inexplicably released from Philadelphia.  The good outweighs the bad.  There’s plenty of both, to be sure, but Jackson is one of the most electrifying players in the NFL.  One can only hope that once Griffin returns, they are still able to utilize him.

More Alfred, and even more Helu

The Redskins need to get going on the ground if they want to have any hope of winning another game.  Weapons like Jackson, Garcon, Reed, and Roberts are rendered useless without an effective running game.  As many have suggested since Gruden arrived, the Redskins will eventually move away from the zone blocking scheme.  It is complicated, and without utilizing plays like the read option, it hurts in the pass protection area because linemen that are required for zone blocking are typically smaller and more athletic, which describes the current state of the Redskins offensive line.

When the zone blocking scheme does go away, Alfred Morris will have to adapt or die.  He has largely relied on the scheme and the threat of his quarterback as a runner.  Helu, on the other hand, seems to fit the mold of running backs that made Gruden as successful offensive coordinator in Cincinnati.  He is quick and elusive; the Redskins would be better served to get Helu more touches on Sunday.  This isn’t a knock on Morris, but most successful NFL teams are employing a two back system these days. It’s imperative that the Redskins strive for the same.

Our Predictions

Joe Ziegengeist

Redskins will finally get a win in this one, but the defense will still have us shaking our heads.  What’s the over/under number of weeks until Haslett gets fired?  Redskins 27, Titans 24

Dave Nichols

I think the Redskins could win this game, but it’s going to be up to Kirk Cousins to take care of the ball. Some of his interceptions have simply been inexcusable and he has to protect the ball better. You’d think that Jay Gruden would utilize the running game to a better extent to allow Cousins to get into better passing situations. The Titans aren’t very good either and they’re on the road, so I’ll very tentatively say… Redskins 20, Titans 17.

Joe Miller

This is a game the Redskins should win. Washington, despite being 1-5, still has the 7th best offense in yards/game and 10th best defense in yards allowed/game whereas 2-4 Tennessee ranks 22nd and 20th respectively in those categories. But can anyone really trust the Redskins and their -9 turnover differential (worst in the league)? If they lose this one, somehow an ugly season would become distinctly uglier.  Redskins 24, Titans 20

Neil Dalal

To put it bluntly, Tennessee has little talent on their roster. They struggle to run the ball with their rookie and struggle to execute in the red zone with a veteran QB with less experience than Kirk Cousins. The defense should be able to hold off a team that barely put up enough points to beat the Jaguars last week and Cousins should be able to orchestrate enough drives without mistakes to bring home the victory.  Redskins 20, Titans 13

Washington Redskins Roster Moves: Chris Cooley, Keiland Williams, DJ Johnson all return

The Washington Redskins have made several moves this week in the wake of Sunday’s last-minute loss to the New York Giants. On Monday, the team placed TE Fred Davis on the reserve/injured list — ending his season due to an Achilles injury — and signed former Skins’ TE Chris Cooley.

Cooley (6-3, 243), a fan favorite and the franchise’s all-time leader in receptions by a tight end, was released by the Redskins on Aug. 28, 2012. He spent his first eight seasons with the Redskins and posted 428 receptions for 4,703 yards and 33 receiving touchdowns.

“I called Chris when we landed,” Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan told reporters Monday afternoon. “I asked him what type of shape he was in. He said he was in pretty good shape. I asked him if he would like to come back. He said he did. We’re excited to have him. I trust Chris. If he says he’s in good shape, he’s in good shape. Hopefully he can help us this next week.”

Today, the team announced signing of two more familiar faces to the burgundy and gold, adding RB Keiland Williams to the roster and CB Domonique Johnson to the practice squad. RB Ryan Grant was released to make room for Williams, while Emmanuel Arceneaux was let go to add Johnson. Both players have been with the Skins before, with Williams seeing game action in 2010 with five total touchdowns that season.

Below is the team’s press release on Williams and Johnson.

LOUDOUN COUNTY, Va. – The Washington Redskins announced today that they have signed free agent running back Keiland Williams and released running back Ryan Grant. The team also signed cornerback Domonique “D.J.” Johnson to its practice squad and waived wide receiver Emmanuel Arceneaux from its practice squad.

Williams (5-11, 230), now in his third NFL season, rejoins the Redskins, the team that originally signed him as a college free agent on April 29, 2010. Williams has played in 35 career games with three starts, compiling 125 rushing attempts for 459 yards and five rushing touchdowns. He also has 49 career receptions for 380 receiving yards and two receiving touchdowns.

Williams spent his rookie season in 2010 with the Redskins, rushing 65 times for 261 yards with three rushing touchdowns and adding 39 receptions for 309 yards and two receiving touchdowns. He was acquired off waivers by the Detroit Lions on Sept. 4, 2011, and played in 20 games with Detroit from 2011-12 before being released on Oct. 18.

Williams played collegiately at LSU, where he played in 47 games with three starts, rushing for 1,699 yards and 17 touchdowns. He was part of the 2007 squad that defeated Ohio State to win the BCS National Championship. Originally from Lafayette, La., he was born on Aug. 14, 1986, and attended Hargrave Military Academy in Chatham, Va, where he became the first running back in school history to rush for more than 1,000 yards (1,325 as a senior).

Johnson (6-1, 191) spent Weeks 10-12 on the Redskins’ active roster during the 2011 season but was inactive for all three games. He has appeared in 10 NFL games, all with the New York Giants, playing in three games in 2009 and seven games in 2010. In addition to his time with the Redskins, Johnson has appeared on the active roster or practice squad of the Giants, Denver Broncos, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Minnesota Vikings, Philadelphia Eagles and Indianapolis Colts during his career.

Johnson played collegiately at Missouri from 2004-06 before transferring to Jackson State. He played in 24 career games in two seasons at Jackson State where he totaled 66 tackles, 27 passes defended and 10 interceptions, two of which he returned for touchdowns. In 2008, he was named second-team All-America by the Associated Press and first-team All-Southwestern Athletic Conference. He was born on Nov. 7, 1985, in Texas City, Texas, and attended La Marque (Texas) H.S.

Grant (6-1, 222) was signed by the Redskins as a free agent on Sept. 26, 2012. He appeared in one game with Washington, rushing once for five yards. Arceneaux (6-2, 215) was signed to the Redskins’ practice squad on Sept. 3, 2012.

Washington Redskins Kickoff Breast Cancer Awareness Month


LOUDOUN COUNTY, Va. – The Washington Redskins are embarking on several initiatives to promote National Breast Cancer Awareness Month throughout October at both FedExField and Redskins Park.

Tanya Snyder, wife of Redskins owner Daniel M. Snyder and NFL Breast Cancer Awareness Spokesperson, Chris Cooley, the Redskins’ franchise leader in receptions by a tight end, and the Washington Redskins Community Relations Department, in partnership with the American Cancer Society, will kick off the month-long campaign by hosting the fifth annual All-Star Survivors Celebration at Redskins Park on Oct. 2.

More than 20 area women currently battling breast cancer, or “All-Stars,” will attend an afternoon of pampering, support and celebration. The breast cancer survivors will receive new jeans donated by Gap Inc., as well as new wigs, scarves, makeup and a custom-made pink and burgundy Redskins jersey.

The All-Stars will also be wearing pink New Era caps on-field during player introductions at the Redskins breast cancer awareness game, which will be held on Sunday, Oct. 7 against the Atlanta Falcons.

The game will feature:

Game balls with pink ribbon decals used for every down and pink kicking tees
Pink equipment for players including: cleats, wristbands, gloves, sideline caps, helmet decals, captains’ patches, chin straps, shoe laces, skull caps, sideline towels, eye shield decals and quarterback towels
Pink coins used for the coin toss
Pink sideline caps for coaches and sideline personnel and pink ribbon pins for coaches and team executives
Pink caps, wristbands, whistles and pins for game officials
On-field pink ribbon stencils and wall banners
Pink goal post padding in end zones
Breast cancer awareness pompoms, shirts and wristbands for cheerleaders

Fans attending the Oct. 7 game will be welcomed by Mrs. Snyder and hundreds of Zeta Tau Alpha members distributing THINK-PINK!® ribbons and breast cancer awareness educational materials. Mrs. Snyder and ZTA started the campaign for breast cancer awareness in 1999. At the time, the Redskins were the only team in the league to participate.

Thirteen years later, 20 of the 32 teams in the NFL participate in the ZTA THINK-PINK!® campaign. With the founding and continuous support of Mrs. Snyder and the Washington Redskins, ZTA created a national model for its THINK-PINK!® breast cancer awareness and education campaign throughout the NFL.

On Oct. 25, Mrs. Snyder will be honored by the Men Against Breast Cancer organization with the Gloria Heyison Inspiration Award for her breast cancer awareness efforts.

Cooley, Hightower placed on IR; out for the season

The Washington Redskins announced today that they have placed tight end Chris Cooley and running back Tim Hightower on the Reserve/Injured list. Earlier in the month, Dr. Jeffrey Lovallo performed surgery on a broken hand suffered by Cooley in the Redskins’ Week 6 game against Philadelphia.

At Redskins Park today, coach Mike Shanahan discussed the injuries to Cooley, one of the longest tenured Redskins.  “Well, just the conservation we had with Dr. [James] Andrews, he’s the expert in that area and he thought it was in the best interest of Chris to go on IR to give it a little rest, to give time a chance to rehab it [and] not over-push it like he has been doing. And obviously he took the doctor’s advice and we agreed with it.”

Shanahan was asked if Cooley would also receive treatment or surgery on his injured knee as well.  “I can’t say that. I think they’re going to give it some time after obviously the hand [and] give his knee a chance to get a little rehab on it to see where it goes. But right now I don’t think anyone is sure.”

Shanahan spoke about how Cooley was never really able to be himself this season due to the knee injury, but is hopeful that Cooley, an eight-year Redskins veteran, will return as a productive member of the team.

Hightower (6-0, 222) was in his fourth season and his first as a member of the Redskins after being acquired from Arizona via trade during training camp. He started in five of six games in which he participated during the 2011 season. Through six games in 2011, Hightower led the Redskins in carries (84) and rushing yards (321) and led the Redskins’ running backs in pass receptions (10), receiving yards (78) and receiving touchdowns (one) as well.

Wide receiver Santana Moss is out as well with a broken bone in his hand.  Moss said he wasn’t disappointed, shrugging it off as part of the game.  “Any time you break something or you hurt something, you want to come back and give it time to heal. It’s a long season. I’m going to deal with it – do what I always do and think positive. Hopefully, something positive comes out of it.”

LB London Fletcher, QB Rex Grossman, CB DeAngelo Hall and T Trent Williams all missed practice as well.

Eagles expose Grossman as Redskins lose 20-13

Rex Grossman threw four interceptions and was replaced by John Beck late in the Redskins 20-13 loss to the Eagles. (photo by Brian Murphy)

The Washington Redskins flagship radio station — owned by Dan Snyder —  ran a promo for this week’s game with the Philadelphia Eagles during morning and afternoon drive-times all week, mentioning the “first place” Redskins.  Though true at the time, any fan of this team would have told you about the prematurity of the language of those ads.

Sunday, all the warts of this team were exposed, as Michael Vick carved this team up once again during the competitive portion of the game, and quarterback Rex Grossman threw four interceptions, resulting in a 20-13 victory for the visiting Eagles, salvaging Philly’s season for at least the next week. [Read more…]

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