September 26, 2017

An early look at the Washington Redskins’ in-house free agent options

When the Washington Redskins season came to a sudden end at the hands of the Green Bay Packers Sunday afternoon, heartbreak fell over the DMV. The reality is that the Redskins were a much improved football team and no longer the laughing stock of the league. With Scot McCloughan at the helm, Redskins fans should feel confident about the stability of the franchise for the first time in years.

Knowing McCloughan’s work ethic of always evaluating talent, he will get right to work on offseason moves, starting with resigning key pieces before Free Agency begins on March 15 at 4 p.m. Here is a list of all 21 of the Washington Redskins 2016 free agents and determining who must be back or who the franchise could afford to let walk. [Read more…]

Washington Redskins fall apart after good first quarter once Aaron Rodgers and Packers return to form

REDSKINS TAKE SECOND-HALF LEAD, BUT PACKERS PROVE TOO MUCH TO HANDLE

(Photo by: @NFL)

(Photo by: @NFL)

The Washington Redskins were looking for their first playoff victory in a decade when Sean Taylor helped Joe Gibbs and company knock of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Unfortunately, their demise was foreshadowed by points left on the field in the first quarter as the Redskins were up only 11-0 instead of 16-0.

From that point on, Aaron Rodgers returned to his reigning MVP form and shredded the Redskins defense with an assist from his run game. Green Bay finished the game outscoring the Redskins 35-7. Washington dropped their fourth straight playoff game, 35-18, and will head into the offseason. Though disappointing now, the franchise is in good hands with General Manager Scot McCloughan.

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Washington Redskins pound Cowboys with multiple record-breaking performances

The Washington Redskins arrived at Jerry World with nothing to gain in the standings with a victory. That being said, Jay Gruden had the “intent” of winning a football game with the healthy bodies he had available. Facing off against the Dallas Cowboys and their fourth quarterback of the year, the Redskins got everything they wanted out of the game as a great tuneup before the playoffs. Washington continued momentum and Kirk Cousins broke some records on the way to a 9-7 record via a 34-23 win against the archrival Cowboys.

Dallas started the game off with a three-and-out thanks to a drop on third down even though Will Blackmon fell down in coverage against Cole Beasley. Washington punted after a single first down picked up but saw Jordan Reed break Chris Cooley’s franchise record (83) for most receptions in a single season by a tight end. Kirk Cousins also joined Jay Schroeder and Brad Johnson as the only people to throw for over 4,000 yards in a single-season. The Redskins offense got the ball back after Kellen Moore went three-and-out again because of hurried throws from a strong pass rush.

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Washington Redskins: Dominant early, gutty performance late equals Skins first road win of season against Bears

Even with a disappointing loss to the Dallas Cowboys, the Washington Redskins and Jay Gruden know that everything they want to achieve is still obtainable. The Redskins still control their own destiny in the playoff hunt, but they know that there was no longer room for error. Against the Chicago Bears on the road, it looked like Washington might run away with things early by jumping out to a 14-0 lead, but an inability to capitalize on turnovers allowed Chicago right back into the things. Thanks to another great game from Jordan Reed and the heavy foot of Bears’ kicker Robbie Gould, Washington escaped Soldier Field with their first road victory of the season, 24-21, and move to 6-7 on the year.

Usually things do not go well for Washington when they are forced to start with the football instead of deferring to the second half; that changed today. Kirk Cousins was a perfect 5 of 5 for 60 yards on the drive including a strong throw to Rashad Ross outside the numbers for a third-and-12 conversion. Jordan Reed came up huge with two first down thanks to extra effort and yards after the catch. Alfred Morris scored from one yard out for his first touchdown of the year to give Washington the early 7-0 lead.

[Read more…]

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 3 Friday Press Conference Wrap Up

On the last day of media availability from the Washington Redskins, 48 hours removed from their second game of the regular season against the St. Louis Rams, head coach Jay Gruden and offensive coordinator Sean McVay. For a complete recap of all the injuries the Redskins are dealing with this week click here.

Ever since the departure of special teams coach Danny Smith, the Redskins have had a horrible special teams coverage unit. It was evident last week when Jarvis Landry won the game for Dolphins with a back breaking punt return touchdown. Things do not get any easier for the Redskins this week as the electric Tavon Austin has already burned Washington in the past. Gruden said that the team has discussed limiting Tavon Austin’s quality touches on punt returns and punter Tress Way understands this game plan.

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Washington Redskins: Monday Wrap Up after 17-10 Loss to Dolphins

So what did we expect? Things looked good when the Washington Redskins were up 10-0 although all fans had to be thinking they should have been up even more. Then when the punt coverage team gave up a house call that Tress Way blamed himself for not getting enough hang time, fans had watched this same story unfold multiple times before. The Redskins hoped that playing winning football would quite all of the off the field drama surrounding the franchise, but instead they are the same team from years past that choked away a lead.

Today things were shaken up quite a bit at Redskins Park as signings and waiving took place along with the loss of key starters.

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Washington Redskins: When it comes to football, Skins choke against Dolphins

Today marked the first time the Washington Redskins were able to let their work on the field talk for them in an effort to get out from under the past few weeks of constant drama. All the players knew that they had to block out the noise and hope they could put everything behind them with a win. Unfortunately, after cruising early the Redskins were unable to finish off the Miami Dolphins and fell 17-10.

As surprising as it might be, the Redskins actually dominated Miami for the first 28 minutes of this game. Kirk Cousins was helped out early with 35 yards from Alfred Morris on the team’s first drive where they marched down the field on 12 plays to get the early 3-0 lead. After a three-and-out from the defense, Cousins orchestrated another drive double-digit play drive but was rewarded with a missed field goal. The Redskins hoped that missed opportunities would not haunt them later in the game.

[Read more…]

Washington Redskins: Week 1 Wednesday Press Conference Wrap Up

Prior to the Washington Redskins Week 1 matchup against the Miami Dolphins, head coach Jay Gruden and starting quarterback Kirk Cousins spoke for the first time since Sunday.

First, and something we of course could not forget to mention, is the status of Robert Griffin III. The former franchise quarterback was against limited in practice as he is cleared for non-contact activity, while the team waits for written, not verbal, results of the tests he underwent a few days ago. The written report should come in with the next day or so. Since the organization cannot be sure that Griffin will be ready to backup Cousins on Sunday, the mentality is that Colt McCoy will be QB2 and the depth chart behind Cousins will work itself out once everyone is healthy. [Read more…]

Washington Redskins: Analysis of Preseason Home Opener Win over Lions

GRIFFIN CONCUSSED AFTER HIT REPEATEDLY BEHIND WEAK LINE

Another costly preseason victory for the Washington Redskins, Robert Griffin III left the game on his fourth series with a concussion and right shoulder stinger, though head coach Jay Gruden said RG3’s shoulder is “okay”. Griffin had no time all night as he was hit on six of eight drop backs, the result of using inconsistent  Willie Smith at left tackle and Brandon Scherff still just being a rookie in this league. You can see all the vicious blows Griffin took last night as well as the play he got hurt on below.

Besides Robert Griffin III, who could be out for upwards of a week and possibly not ready for Week 1 of the regular season, the Redskins also lost another special teams stud. Adam Hayward went down on kickoff coverage with a knee injury that many are reporting is a torn ACL, which would place him on the IR for the second straight year (tibia fracture). Having already lost Niles Paul last week to a dislocated and fractured ankle, the Redskins will put a premium on special teams play to round out their 53 man roster.

The quarterback play was similar to last week against the Browns. There is simply too small of a sample size to evaluate Griffin, who now may be out for the foreseeable future. The small part did he did play looks awful much in part to the fact he was hit on six out of eight drop backs with only one, in which he got hurt, being his fault. For those who will bash Griffin, they will get their chance to see Kirk Cousins and Colt McCoy battle it out on the practice field while RG3 is out. Both backup quarterbacks played well last night; however it all must be taken with a grain of salt as they were playing against a backup secondary who were giving up open soft spots left and right.

The running backs were one of the lone bright spot for the Washington Redskins. After only providing 24 yards of support on seven carries for Griffin, also possibly the result of a weaker offensive line, we saw explosive runs behind the backup line. Rookie Matt Jones got things started with a 24 yard rumble up the middle with a good cut to make a defender miss mid way through. Chris Thompson also had a nice run around the right side and similarly to Jones made a defender go for a slip and slide ride with a smooth cut. Finally, the speedster Trey Williams put his track like ability on display with a 38 yard run down the right sideline. Although the Redskins combined for a whopping 179 yards on the ground on 40 carries, 81 of them came from these big plays.

Again the starting defense was shaky coming out of the gates. Yes they were missing the likes of DeAngelo HallBaushad BreelandRyan Kerrigan, and Junior Galette, but fundamentally they were not getting the job done. Throughout the game the Redskins could not sustain tackles and bring the ball carrier to the ground individually. From the starters, Keenan RobinsonDavid Amerson, and Chris Culliver were all guilty of that. The nice part however was the rest of the defense’s swarming to the football to make the additional yardage gain minimal through gang tackling.

The up and down nature of the starting defense continued with the coverage in the passing game. At times Matthew Stafford, without arguably the best receiver in the game Calvin “Megatron” Johnson, was simply dissecting the gaps in the defense (similarly to how Cousins and McCoy would return the favor). The Lions quarterback had four passes, out of his eight, for double digit yard gains. In the end the Redskins defense did a decent job preventing the Lions from entering the red zone. Both drives stalled for the Lions and they settled for a 49 yard Matt Prater field goal over the course of their two drives. Jason Hatcher was a key pass rusher in stalling both drives as he twice hurried Stafford into not converting on third down.

Now lets take a look at whose stock is rising and whose is falling as the Redskins continue their evaluation process to cut their roster to 53 players by Saturday, September 5th.

  • UP: Tackle Tom Compton. With all the problems on the offensive line yesterday, Compton who was used multiple times as a blocking tight end (trying to fill the void of Logan Paulsen), did an effective job. The backup lineman has the mobility to sustain blocks down field which allowed Alfred Morris to gain a 10 yard clip on the opening possession. With Brandon Scherff moving to guard, opening an extra roster spot at tackle, Compton is all but a lock for the final roster.
  • DOWN: Tackle Willie Smith. For Gruden to say Smith played “pretty good” is laughable. The tackle was playing in place of Pro Bowl left tackle Trent Williams who could have gone it it were a regular season game. Smith was beat repeatedly. Three times Lions defenders got clean shots on Griffin around the outside. Smith was bailed out the fourth time from the fact that Scherff got blown up quicker than he did. If Ty Nsekhe shows he is the least bit competent in being a backup tackle, the journey man Willie Smith will continue his journey right out the door.
  • UP: Punter Tress Way. Arguably the Redskins most worthy player of a Pro Bowl of All-Pro selection might just be their dynamite punter. In a special teams that has been horrendous over the years, the Redskins might have found their changer in field position for the next five years. Way led the league in gross punting average at 47.5 yards. Last night Way averaged 51 yards on four punts and helped his coverage team with directional punts that helped limit punt return yardage to a total of 13 yards.
  • DOWN: Guard Brandon Scherff. Yes he is a rookie and yes he was not the only problem on the offensive line, but the 5th overall pick was absolutely bull rushed straight back into Griffin on a drop back. If Scherff is going to worth the value of his draft pick, he MUST at least develop into a above average guard where he supposedly more suited to start his development. Scherff also had a somewhat tough time on running plays as the Redskins got no substantial runs running to the right where he anchors the line with Morgan Moses. Scherff would say postgame that the play of the offensive line is “unacceptable” and says he needs to work on “everything”.

Everything moving forward will depend on the recovery timetable set for Griffin who has to pass the league’s strict concussion protocol before being able to do any work in practice. Head coach Jay Gruden has already come out and said he imagines Griffin to still be the starter. This might be frustrating for some who want to see Cousins or maybe even McCoy to get another shot at the starting job, but to me you cannot give up on Robert yet even though this is his third straight year with an injury.

Important Dates:

  • Face the Baltimore Ravens for the third preseason game (“dress rehearsal”) in 8 days on 8/29 at 7:30 PM.
  • The final cuts to a 53 man roster will take place over the next 15 days by 9/5.
  • Season and home opener against Miami Dolphins on Sunday, September 13 in 23 days.

 

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