April 22, 2021

Washington Redskins: Week 14 Injury Report

Although not as bad as earlier in the year where you could not count the number of starters out for a game on one hand, the Washington Redskins are back to losing out on important members of their team. If they want to have any chance of winning the weakened NFC East, they will have to get the most out of their healthy players against the Bears on Sunday. To put in nicely, the Redskins are “a little banged up right now” according to Jay Gruden.

With the shortened week following a Monday night game, Washington held a walkthrough on Wednesday.

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Washington Redskins: Week 13 Tuesday Wrap Up following division letdown against Cowboys

Even though the Washington Redskins still control their destiny in the NFC East and have everything “still available” to them, according to head coach Jay Gruden, they made their lives a whole lot harder on Monday Night Football. The Redskins had an opportunity to be a full game lead in the division and put Dallas out of their misery with an early offseason. Unfortunately, poor offense against the blitz, miscues from DeSean Jackson and Dustin Hopkins, and another ineffective ground attack foreshadowed a heartbreaking loss. On Tuesday, Gruden addressed the local media over a conference call as Washington now turns their attention to a road matchup with the Chicago Bears.

Despite Alfred Morris playing just eight snaps on offense, including no action after the first quarter, Gruden maintains that he is the team’s first string back. Gruden chalked things up, running back coach Randy Jordan‘s decision to utilize Matt Jones more, as how the game played out. Matt Jones averaged 2.7 yards a rush for 49 yards while Morris, on a third of the carries, finished at just two yards per attempt. “We didn’t get anything we wanted out of any [offensive] package” according to Gruden, clear from the total of three points on three turnovers forced by the defense.

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Washington Redskins: Cousins takes advantage of bad Saints defense and score most points since 2005

In a “must-win” game for both the Washington Redskins and the New Orleans Saints, both sides faced off on a beautiful fall day at FedEx Field. Although Drew Brees still can orchestrate one of the most elite offenses in the league, Washington knew they would have their chances to put up points as well against a bad Saints defense. After an early shootout that resulted in a tie game, 14-14, the Washington Redskins scored 33 unanswered points

Things got off to a rocky start to say the least for Washington. Kick returner Rashad Ross made the cardinal sin of reversing his field, multiple times, and ended up running about 60 yards to get out to the eight yard line before a penalty moved the ball back to the four. Then after a big run by Alfred Morris was called back for a hold on Morgan Moses, Washington might have been looking to simply give Tress Way room to punt.

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Washington Redskins: Week 7 Injury Report

The Washington Redskins had SIX starters missing during last Sunday’s game against the Jets and that certainly did not help in the third quarter meltdown. Those six do not even include the additional three who have landed themselves on injured reserve. It has been a body bag kind of year for the Redskins who are hoping they can get some reinforcements back before heading into the bye week.

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Washington Redskins: Week Six Monday Recap following another third quarter let down to Jets

Kirk Cousins takes over as Washington Redskins starting quarterback. (photo by Brian Murphy)

(Photo by Brian Murphy)

It turns out that the Washington Redskins comeback victory against the Philadelphia Eagles gave everyone a sense of false hope that they would not again be the cellar dweller of the NFC East. Now after yet another collapse after halftime against the New York Jets, we are all back to reality that the Redskins are still years away from contention. Hopefully Scot McCloughan can continue to work his magic in player assessments and that rebound will be coming within the next three seasons, not a decade. Today head coach Jay Gruden, you have to start to wonder maybe how much longer, reflected on yesterday afternoon’s loss.

As is expected with inconsistent quarterback play, many of the questions addressed concerned the state of Kirk Cousins as the starting quarterback for the Washington Redskins. As Gruden explained yesterday, he is behind the “young” Michigan State product because “he’s getting better and he will play better”. Coach Gruden honestly believes he is “not trying to make excuses for or baby anybody”, but he has yet to find the right balance of defending his players and holding them accountable for game-changing mistakes.

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Washington Redskins: Week 6 Injury Report

The Washington Redskins had their worst case of the injury bug last week against the Falcons when four starters on the 22 man roster, not including those who have already had their season ended on injured reserve, were unable to play. DC fans hope that last week’s injury casualties would be the worst of the season, because the Redskins are arguably able to defeat the current undefeated Atlanta franchise is they have impact players like Chris Culliver or DeSean Jackson at their disposal. This week when Washington travels to take on the New York Jets, they may be even more shorthanded relative to last week.

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Washington Redskins: Monday Wrap Up After 24-10 Victory over Rams

The big news from Jay Gruden today had nothing to do with the Washington Redskins impressive 24-10 victory over the St. Louis Rams yesterday. Instead, it had to do with the Redskins waiving former second round pick David Amerson just over two years removed from being the team’s top draft selection in 2013. Although this seems like a big deal because it is the highest drafted player the Redskins have ever released, his ineffectiveness has been clear throughout his rookie and sophomore season before finally being given the boot with the position more than stable than when he arrived.

On a more pleasant note, Gruden also talked to the media about the positives of yesterday and also gave an injury update for Thursday’s game against the Giants, which is fast approaching.

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Washington Redskins: 2015 Outlook for Defense

We have looked at the Washington Redskins offense last week. This week we looked specifically at the defensive line, linebackers, and secondary of the burgundy and gold. Now it’s time to look at the defense as a whole, a unit that last year looked worse than a college team under the helm of Jim Haslett. Defensive coordinator Joe Barry might have gone 0-16 in the same role with the Lions, but there is almost no where but up for him to take the Redskins defense.

Similarly to our outlook for the offense, we will go through each unit projecting their grades for the regular season and then develop a projected Week 1 Depth Chart (which will NOT included the suspended Baushad Breeland).

  • Defensive Line: B+. The Redskins might not have any flashy stars like J.J. Watt that we can become enamored with in the trenches, but they have quietly put together a strong group of veterans that get the job done. Ricky Jean-Francois, Stephen Paea, and Terrance “Pot Roast” Knighton should help solidify a unit that struggled doing anything in non-blitz situations. As long as they accomplish occupying more blockers than they are rushing from the line, that play will be a success. Penetration and giving linebackers open lanes to the ball carrier would be a bonus that would put them is company with some of the best lines in the league, but we must temper expectations to start.
  • Linebackers: B. The lone addition to the unit was Junior Galette and as long as he stays on the field by avoiding off the field issues, he will be an important asset for the team. The unit is quite strong at OLB with Trent Murphy and rookie Preston Smith looking accomplished enough to fill in sparingly, but the there are still concerns for the linebackers in coverage. If they can keep the number of times they are exposed in the pass game to a minimum and play strong run defense while also pressuring the quarterback, it will be another unit for the Redskins that GM Scot McCloughan has upgraded.
  • Secondary: C+. It is simply too soon to tell how the defensive backs will look come the regular season and how much of an improvement they will be over last year’s dreadful unit. DeAngelo Hall might start slowing down at the age of 31 after coming off two torn Achilles injuries. Possibly three new starters to fill out the unit could lead to communication problems as many have been unable to stay on the field due to nagging injuries already. The secondary may improve as the season goes along after recovering Breeland and see a chemistry build, but right now it is too soon to say the unit will be anything but average.

Projected Defensive Week 1 Lineup:

  • LDE: Stephen Paea, Frank Kearse, Kedric Golston
  • NT: Terrance Knighton, Chris Baker
  • RDE: Jason Hatcher, Ricky Jean-Francois
  • WLB: Ryan Kerrigan, Preston Smith
  • MLB: Perry Riley, Adam Hayward
  • MLB: Keenan Robinson, Will Compton, Martrell Spaight
  • SLB: Junior Galette, Trent Murphy (could be flip-flopped if Galette has not quite gotten comfortable yet)
  • CB: DeAngelo Hall, Justin Rodgers (Rodgers could be cut from the roster when Breeland returns)
  • CB: Chris Culliver, David Amerson
  • SS: Duke Ihenacho, Jeron Johnson (with Johnson’s lengthy hamstring injury, Ihenacho will probably begin the season as the starter)
  • FS: DaShon Goldson, Trenton Robinson, Kyshoen Jarrett

Bottom line: If the defensive line is effective in occupying blockers allowing the linebackers to stop the run and put pressure on the quarterback without all out blitzes, the secondary will benefit by having less time to be exposed.

Washington Redskins 2015 Season Position Outlooks: Linebackers

The Washington Redskins linebacking core last year was mediocre at best. As fine of a year as Pro Bowler Ryan Kerrigan had with 13.5 sacks, the rest of the unit was pretty underwhelming. The Redskins got nothing out of oft-injured Brian Orakpo and rookie Trent Murphy who was rushed into a starting role that he was not ready for. This year with the addition of talented OLB Junior Galette and a much improved defensive line, the outlook is brighter.

If there is one thing that is a positive out of the linebacking core than probably no other unit on the team has is its youth. Adam Hayward, 31, is the only player projected to make the team that is over 27 years old. It starts with the probable starters Galette and Kerrigan, both 27, on the ends with Keenan Robinson, 26, and Perry Riley, 27, inside. Then the Redskins can fill in young developing role players in second round picks Trent Murphy, 24, and Preston Smith, 22, outside of Will Compton, 25, and Martell Spaight, 22, on the inside.

This is the way that a developing team works, having starters in the prime of their career with younger players getting ready to take over in the years to come. The current format also allows the Redskins to have fresh bodies at all times without missing a beat. Furthermore, they will not be paralyzed if someone goes down with an injury because of the depth they have across the unit.

With bookends of Galette and Kerrigan, two guys who have a combined 44 sacks over the last two seasons, you can expect opposing quarterbacks to have to step up in the pocket to avoid the corner rushes. If teams decide to double the outside rushes, you can expect big sack numbers from Jason Hatcher and Stephen Paea up the middle. In the end, it should be a win-win for the Redskins pass rush if everything goes to plan.

Inside, it is up to Robinson and Riley to shadow backs and tight ends in the passing game while filling gaps in the run game. They will likely reap the benefits of coming unblocked in the running game due to the improved defensive line, but will still have to react quickly to mismatches the other team took advantage repeatedly last year in the passing game. It will also be key for the duo to make sure all the plays are understood correctly by their teammates on a defense that could see up to 6 new starters Week 1. These fundamentals will have to be worked out during the remaining preseason games.

Thanks to the defensive line and addition of Galette, we should see an improvement from the linebackers this season that should lead to more competitive games.

Projected Week 1 Depth Chart:

  • SLB (Strong Side): Junior Galette, Trent Murphy
  • MLB (Mike): Keenan Robinson, Will Compton, Martell Spaight
  • MLB (Jack): Perry Riley, Adam Hayward
  • WLB (Weak Side): Ryan Kerrigan, Preston Smith

Washington Redskins 2015 Season Position Outlooks: Defensive Line

After taking a look at the Washington Redskins positional outlooks on the offensive side of the ball last week, DSP takes a look at the defensive side of the ball starting none other than the defensive line in the Redskins 3-4 system.

When General Manager Scot McCloughan came to town, he made it clear that he wants big nasty physical guys playing for him. That starts with beefing up the guys in the trenches, the ones battling at the line of scrimmage: the linemen. McCloughan made one noticeable addition to the offensive line with the drafting of 6′ 5” 319 pound Brandon Scherff as well as letting wore-down veterans Chris Chester and Tyler Polumbus to move on. However, on the defensive line McCloughan loaded up with quality veterans while, similarly to the offensive side, removing the past their prime players like Barry Cofield and Stephen Bowen.

So lets meet the new Redskins on the defensive line:

  • Ricky Jean-Francois signed a three year $9 million deal with the Redskins this offseason as McCloughan’s first noticeable addition to the team via free agency. Francois was a gem of a draft pick by McCloughan in the seventh round of the 2009 Draft while in San Francisco and after getting cut by the Colts, McCloughan scooped up one of his earlier prizes for pennies on the dollar. Francois will likely be a backup defensive end but will see plenty of playing time in the rotation that head coach Jay Gruden hinted to recently to keep the older linemen fresh.
  • Stephen Paea inked a four year $21 million deal with the Redskins and is probably the biggest prize for Washington this year. The former Bear was simply an individual that McCloughan had his eye on when he was originally drafted in 2011 as an athlete with incredible strength. After starting no games in his rookie season, Paea was the Bears starting defensive tackle for 83% of their games in the past three years. The former Oregon State Beaver is coming off of a career year with 6 sacks, 24 tackles, 3 passes defended, and 2 forced fumbles.
  • Terrance “Pot Roast” Knighton agreed to a one year $4 million deal with Washington towards the end of free agency which may end up being one of the biggest steals of the year. Pot Roast might not be the flashiest players but at 340 pounds he demands a double team and is one of the elite run stoppers in the NFL. Knighton will not fill up the stat sheet because be is neutralized with double teams, but it allows others around him to make a play on a free run or stunt that the former Bronco created.

With the likes of Coefield, Bowen, and also former second round pick Jarvis Jenkins gone, the familiar faces that remain include last year’s prized free agent signing Jason Hatcher, Knighton’s buddy Chris “Swaggy” Baker, long time Redskins veteran Kedric Golston, and well traveled Frank Kearse.

One can expect Hatcher to join Knighton and Paea as the starters on the line with Francois and Baker getting lots of playing time as well. Although Golston and Kearse will both see consistent playing time, they will likely be the least used of the seven big bodies

After getting next to no pressure on opposing quarterbacks last year without blitzing, McCloughan has done an impressive job retooling one of the many weaknesses from last year. You will probably not see too much of an improvement from the line based on statistics. But if one sees a noticeable increase in the number of sacks from the rest of the defense, a decrease in the yards allowed per rush, and the observation of more pressure on opposing quarterbacks, you can thank the defensive line.

Projected Week 1 Depth Chart:

  • RDE: Jason Hatcher, Frank Kearse
  • NT: Terrance Knighton, Chris Baker
  • LDE: Stephen Paea, Ricky Jean-Francois, Kedric Golston

Be sure to check back in tomorrow for an outlook on what can be expected out of the linebacking core highlighted by recently extended OLB Ryan Kerrigan.

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