October 23, 2014

Washington Redskins QB Colt McCoy Wednesday media availability

From a team press release:

On if his time away from starting has made him a different quarterback:

“Am I a different quarterback? I would say I’m older, maybe a little bit stronger. I think I’ve learned from a lot of my past experiences, and I’ve watched a lot of good quarterbacks play. Hopefully by doing that, you naturally gain a little bit of confidence even though you’re standing on the sidelines. I think that would be probably accurate.”

On if his shoulder injury from college affected his tenure in Cleveland and if it is still an issue:

“You don’t ever want to make excuses or bring up injuries from the past. I was well enough to play, but with a nerve injury you really have to stay on top of it. Any quarterback who has had one, it’s been a real issue. Mine was a real issue, but I’d like to say I’m over that now.”

On how special it would be to start in Dallas:

“Yeah, it’s really unbelievable. I can’t even sometimes take my mind there. But, I’m really just trying to approach this as a professional and know that this is our next game, this is our next opponent. It’s a game in our division that we really need to win. This week is really important, and I think it’ll be helpful for me to get some reps. I didn’t have any reps last week, so I’ll get some timing down with the receivers, with the O-line, work on our silent counts – a lot of things that I just hadn’t been able to do. So, it’ll be a huge week in practice for me to get more comfortable with the guys, but obviously this is a huge game for us and our season. We need a good, sharp week.”

On the journey from being a successful college quarterback to a backup in the NFL:

“It’s tough, it’s tough, but I wouldn’t change some of my past experiences. I’ve learned a lot from them – a whole lot. I’ve seen a lot. My path in the NFL so far has been a lot different than other guys, but I’m thankful for the things I’ve learned and the experience I’ve gained. I’ve been in some good places with some good coaches, and like I mentioned after the game, I really feel confident with our coaches here, with our players here with this organization. My teammates have welcomed me in. They kind of surrounded me and helped me last week and hopefully they’ll continue to do the same thing for me this week. If we go down there to Dallas this week – and Jay [Gruden] mentioned after practice that this is a huge game for us, but it’s defense, it’s offense, it’s special teams, it’s everybody, you know? I didn’t go in and win the game last week. Our defense played well. They got some nice stops for us. The guys kind of brought me in and they played well around me, and I just distributed the football. Hopefully, we can do the same thing this week.”

On if the uncertainty about whether or not he is starting is distracting:

“My focus is I’m just going to prepare as the starter. There’s nothing else that I can do. The decision is not up to me. What I can control is what I can control. The reps that I get, the time I spend up here preparing for Dallas… They’re obviously 6-1, a great football team. We’re going to have to bring our best game to Dallas on Monday night. My focus is just to take it day-to-day, not look forward to anything but live in the now and approach it just like I would every other week.”

On if he has received encouragement from quarterbacks Kirk Cousins or Robert Griffin III:

“I feel like we have a pretty solid room. There’s always been good communication since I’ve been here, and I don’t think that will change. I don’t think that will change at all. When Kirk was starting, we were both really supportive of Kirk, and when Robert was starting, Kirk and I were both supportive of Robert. It is a competition every day. I’ve had to approach my job that way ever since I’ve been in the NFL. I don’t think that will change me. The only difference is I’m taking the reps this week and I’m preparing to start.”

On if it is a mental challenge to keep from playing outside of himself with this ‘huge opportunity’:

“Yeah, I guess it could be. Like I said, I am really just focused on right now. We are going over first and second down, their base defense. I am really just trying to get a grasp of what they do, how they play. They have beaten a lot of good teams, a lot of good quarterbacks. So, we obviously know that this is a huge task for us as an offense. I just don’t want to get caught up in this ‘huge opportunity’ thing. I just want to go out there and be who I am – that is who I am every day in here – be confident and play the best football I can play.”

On if he agrees with Head Coach Jay Gruden that it is helpful for the team to know its starting quarterback early in the week:

“Yeah, I would agree with that for sure. I think just for your team, that’s accurate.”

On the last time he started a game in Texas:

“I started my rookie year, we played in Houston. I think that would probably be the last time – when I was in Cleveland, we played in Dallas but I was the backup.”

On how it important it would be for him to start in the state of Texas:

“I was going to get a few tickets before I wasn’t playing and now it has turned into a laundry list. I don’t want it to be too big of a distraction though. I am excited about going back to Dallas. It is going to be a lot of fun.”

On receiving his first snaps with the first team today:

“It felt good, it felt good. I think the biggest thing for me is getting on the same page with guys like DeSean [Jackson], Pierre [Garçon], Andre [Roberts], Jordan Reed – working with Alfred [Morris] and Roy [Helu, Jr.]. Those things, you know, naturally as a quarterback, you know where the guys are supposed to be but throwing to them in the rhythm and the timing of the play is – you can’t replace those reps that you get in practice. That is huge for me, that is huge for my confidence and even though we were pretty efficient in the game Sunday, we’ve still got to keep working, spend some time with each other and I think that will be huge this week.”

On what confidence he can carry into this week after the final drive last week:

“Yeah, that was huge for us. We really, really needed to win that game. We didn’t necessarily want to have to win it at the very end of the game, but for our offense to step on the field and put a drive together and go down and get a field goal to win was huge. I think the team and the coaches and our organization will build off of that. You know, I certainly hope so. As an offense, for us as a unit, you know that was big too, doing that at home, something we really wanted to do was win that game and that was big for us. So hopefully there will be some carryover there for sure.”

On if the locker room feels different for Dallas Week after winning last week:

“Yeah, I think that any place that you play or anywhere you are, you know games in your division are obviously – there is more excitement and more focus. So, yeah, you can definitely feel it in the building for sure. Going down there on Monday night, for us as a team, we just have to do what we do best and that’s focus, control what we can control, practice well, in order to prepare ourselves for the challenge we have on Monday night.”

Washington Redskins coach Jay Gruden Wednesday media availability

From a team press release:

October 22, 2014

Redskins Park

Head Coach Jay Gruden

On what he saw in quarterback Colt McCoy:

“Well, we know that in college he was one of the most successful quarterbacks to play. He’s a winning quarterback. He got drafted and started some games, some meaningful games and record-wise didn’t have a lot of success, but just watching him play quarterback, we know he has got talent. He was on the streets and we needed a third quarterback for training camp – somebody to come in here and compete. He was the perfect fit. I always liked the way he played – his accuracy, his toughness has always been a strong quality of his. We want to give him some opportunities. He knew coming in that we had Robert [Griffin III] and Kirk [Cousins] and he was going to be the No. 3 guy, and he just wanted an opportunity to come in, learn the system, and if his number was called, he’d be ready.”

On what quarterback Robert Griffin III was able to do in practice today:

“Same stuff. He’s just moving around. He did some team drills today. He looked good. We’ll find out from the trainers how he feels right now, then tomorrow morning will be the big thing. Another day’s work tomorrow, we’ll see how he progresses.”

On Griffin III’s role in practice today:

“He was quarterback. He did a little bit of everything. First-team, second-team, third-team, he did it all. So did Kirk [Cousins], and so did Colt [McCoy]. We just alternated. Today was a bonus day for us. We did some stuff against cards and did some stuff ones against ones. It was a good day’s work. Everyone got a little piece of it.”

On if McCoy is still the starter for Monday night:

“Right now, yeah, he is.”

On if Griffin III showed anything different from last week:

“No, he’s progressing along. It’s just a matter of watching him. It’s not so much watching him run. I think he feels OK running right now. It’s just a matter of how he feels tomorrow. There’s certain movements – rolling out to the right, rolling out to the left and cutting back – we’ve just got to see how he handles that. But, the big thing is getting him back comfortable into the pocket and throwing the ball to the receivers, getting his timing down. There’s a lot of that that has to take place also, so he’s coming along at a good clip like we thought he would. We’ll see where he is tomorrow and the next day.”

On if the likelihood Griffin III plays on Monday increased today:

“No, it’s about the same. We’re still going to measure him. It’s up to the trainers and doctors right now. They’ve got to clear him, No. 1. Like I said, No. 2, he has got to feel good. But it’ll be a process of how he feels tomorrow, how he feels the next day, and how he’s throwing and how he’s playing the position.”

On Griffin III’s accuracy during practice:

“He didn’t have a lot of clips. We weren’t out there very long. In routes versus air with the receivers, he missed a couple, threw a couple good ones, and when he did scout team cards, he threw a couple of good ones, and in the team period he did a nice job. All of the quarterbacks did. So, we’re just going to take it day-by-day.”

On how to judge Griffin III’s performance without live game situations:

“That’s the whole thing. It’s not so much about how his leg feels – it is, but it’s about taking plays with the pass rush coming at him and the live reps that he hasn’t had since Houston or since Jacksonville, which is a long time ago it seems like. So, the big part of it is, ‘How do we progress him along and get him the reps in practice?’ There’s only so many you can have. That’s the biggest issue – that and getting the timing with the receivers and just playing the game.”

On linebacker Keenan Robinson winning NFC Defensive Player of the Week and the brace on his arm today:

“Yeah, I think he just has a little strain. He’s OK. Keenan is one of those players, as a young player, you go through some rough patches, but when you play through it, you can see the progression of these guys. [Bashaud] Breeland had a good game the other day against Tennessee also. So, these young players getting these meaningful reps – the ones that continue to get better and better are the ones that are going to be special-type players and I hope that for Keenan. He had a great game. They’re all banged up a little bit right now. It’s a preventative brace right now. He’ll be fine, but we’re happy that he won the award and deservedly so.”

On what Griffin III must do to be ready to play:

“I think he has got to take the reps, he has got to see the routes, deliver some passes accurately and on time under a little bit of duress in the pocket and move around. You know, when he runs he has got to run both directions full-speed. Obviously we can’t simulate any contact – we can’t tackle him, you know, that’s the one thing. The biggest thing is No. 1, the doctors have got to clear him and then he has got to go through a couple good days of practice of actually running, asserting some energy on that thing and then see how it reacts the next day. Is it going to swell up? Is it going to be sore? And then also still evaluate him from the process of getting back into football shape and football form. So, there is a lot of variances to whether or not we think he will be ready for Monday night. Health-wise, No. 1, then obviously, is he ready physically getting back in the flow with the wide receivers with the timing, the accuracy and all that.”

On if he would rather wait another week for Griffin III:

“That could be the case. We will wait and see. Like I said, we will talk to him tomorrow. I am in no rush today to make any crazy decision but I really want to see how he is feeling tomorrow and then we will get another good day of practice tomorrow and go from there. But if we had to wait for another week or another two weeks or after the bye week, then so be it, but that will not be my call initially.”

On how difficult it is to distribute reps in practice:

“That is the hardest part because if Colt [McCoy] is going to be the starter, he hasn’t had a lot of reps himself, he needs them all. You start to throw another quarterback in the mix and then you would like to get Kirk [Cousins] a couple reps. And, you know, that’s rough because then DeSean [Jackson] has got to run another 20 routes down the field and they get tired and crabby at you. You’ve got to try to get your quarterback ready that you are going to play. And we are going to try to make that decision as fast as possible. I’ve already made the decision it’s going to be Colt. I said that Robert [Griffin III] would be the wild card possibly if he is ready to go and that still hasn’t been decided yet.”

On the go-ahead touchdown by the Tennessee Titans:

“I think they had a play-action fake on there and Ryan [Clark] played the run a little bit too aggressively. And I think out of the corner of his eye he saw our defensive back fall down, so he probably picked him up which left [E.J.] Biggers high and dry in the slot. It was an unfortunate play. It was a good play by them. We had the play earlier in the game a couple times and defended it quite well, but that one they got us, made a good play and Charlie Whitehurst saw it and made a hell of a throw.”

On the hierarchy of making the decision on Griffin III:

“Yeah, Larry [Hess] has got to clear him first, you know, say ‘Hey, he is ready for full contact,’ That’s No. 1. And then, No. 2, Robert’s got to feel in his mind that he is ready to go – I know that he is going to say, ‘I’m ready to go.” He was ready to go four weeks ago probably in his mind. After that, it will be a football decision whether or not we think he is ready to go not getting any reps for the last six weeks or whatever how long it has been. And that’s a long time for a quarterback, you know? It’s one thing to play offensive guard maybe, miss five or six weeks and come right back in, but at quarterback with the cadence, the reads, the progressions, the audibles, the timing with the receivers, that’s a little more difficult, especially for a young guy.”

On if he looks to err on the side of caution with Griffin III:

“I try to take this injury itself into its own entity. This is a different type deal. I am not going to assume the fact that he has been injured before that he is going to get injured again. If the doctors say that he has no risk of that thing getting reinjured – if it’s stable, they feel like he can go through a game and get tackled  and one little turn is not going to do a lot of damage, if they feel like it is stable – then we will go from there. But I am not going to take past injuries into account.”

On if guard Shawn Lauvao having shared a huddle with McCoy in Cleveland is helpful:

“Shawn Lauvao? Shawn Lauvao hasn’t talked in the 12 weeks that I have known him [laughter]. I don’t think that matters. Colt’s got – I think everybody is a great fan of Colt’s and all those linemen, they just listen to the play and say ‘Ready, break’ and they go down their own way, man. They don’t know the difference.”

On if he hopes the decision about the starting quarterback would be made by Friday:

“Yeah, I would think so. I’d like to make the decision tomorrow after practice, really. Just because I want A) the team to know who the quarterback is , B) the quarterback to know who the quarterback is, and C) we need to know who it is for game plan purposes. So, we will battle this thing and try to get a better idea tomorrow after practice where we are going.”

On if the options for Griffin III this week are either being the starter or being inactive:

“Yeah that – probably leaning towards that. He is either the starter or inactive, most likely. If he gets cleared, he is cleared. If he doesn’t get cleared, then he will wait another week or two or three after the bye week.”

On linebacker Trent Murphy and what he saw from him in practice:

“He worked in his normal position. He took Brian’s [Orakpo] spot. Yeah, he is outside linebacker and him and Ryan [Kerrigan] are going to be moving around… Yeah, both sides, they are working both sides. They know both sides, they can play both sides, they can go into strength, they can go away from strength, they can go right and left. So, they do a good job moving them around. They want to make sure we get Ryan an opportunity to match on both sides of the line, same with Trent.”

On if he is comfortable with the progress he has seen from Murphy:

“Yeah, you know he has done a good job. He has come in here, he has played behind those two guys, been a good quality backup. When Brian [Orakpo] has been a little bit dinged up before or when he needs to give Ryan [Kerrigan] a break, he has been a good No. 3 for us. Being a No. 3 and being a No. 1 are a little bit different, so he is going to have really to make sure his stamina is in place and make sure his mental toughness is in place because they are going to come after him.”

On why he is confident McCoy is the guy for this big stage and how Kirk Cousins has reacted to the change:

“Well, Kirk is disappointed, no question about it, but he knows the position. Baseball pitchers if they walk a couple guys they get taken out for a reliever every now and then. Kirk, we weren’t very good on third down and we were turning the ball over too much, so I thought it was important to give somebody else a try and not so much I’m blaming Kirk for the third down failures and the turnovers, but it is more so let’s give Colt a shot because he has done his job and done well in the offseason program and training camp and when his number is called out at practice and he had a great second half. So I just thought more so the fact that Colt deserves an opportunity to start based on the production of our offense on third down and the turnovers.”

Washington Redskins Game 7 Review: McCoy and Forbath lift Redskins to first win in five weeks

“I just told the guys, I looked them in the eyes and said, ‘Hey, I’m going to do my job, you do yours and we’re going to win this game.'” –Third-string QB Colt McCoy

Jay Gruden saw enough of Kirk Cousins’ latest effort and decided it was time for Colt McCoy to take the reins of the Washington Redskins offense.

McCoy relieved Cousins at halftime and threw a 70-yard touchdown pass to Pierre Garcon in his first attempt of the game, and Kai Forbath completed the comeback with a 22-yard field goal as time expired to lift Washington to its second win of the year, beating the Tennessee Titans 19-17 on Sunday at FedEx Field.

Cousins had a bad interception and fumble in the first half, prompting Gruden to make the switch at intermission.

“I just through Colt has earned the right to get an opportunity if Kirk struggled in the first half [and] turned the ball over,” Gruden explained. “That’s the basic reason. Had I not thought Colt would’ve been ready, I would’ve stuck with Kirk, but I just thought Colt was ready to go. I know he felt ready. He’s been chomping at the bit to play, but he’s always been a supportive backup. And this time, when his number was called, he produced.”

Life of a third-string quarterback in the NFL can be tough, but McCoy showed preparedness when called upon. “All I know is my responsibility on this team is to always be ready to play,” McCoy said. “I was just thankful for the opportunity and I just wanted to go out there and play to the best of my ability and lead my team – this team – to a victory and we were able to accomplish that.”

In a first half that shared the entertainment value of grass growing, the Redskins (2-5) turned the ball over on two of their six first half drives — Cousins fumbled with 5:20 to go in the first quarter and was intercepted by Wesley Woodyard with less than three minutes to go in the second.

A half-ending intentional grounding by Cousins sent the Redskins off the field to a mild chorus of boos — jeers that might have been greater in number and volume if those in attendance hadn’t grown so accustomed to that degree of ineptitude.

Two Forbath field goals were the Redskins’ first half tallies, while Kendall Wright’s touchdown catch from Charlie Whitehurst helped provide the Titans’ 10-6 advantage.

The long touchdown from McCoy to Garcon early in the second half sparked life into both the Redskins’ players and fans. Garcon stayed in bounds by only a couple of inches sprinting down the left sideline, gathering a short hook pattern, shaking a defender, then outracing two Titans defensive backs on the way to the end zone.

“That was a great play by Pierre and I would love to get him some more touches,” Gruden said. “He is a good receiver, tough guy after the catch. Just hasn’t happened for some reason. We have to do a better job of game planning and getting him some balls where he can get more involved in the game because he is really good after the catch.”

The play even surprised the man that threw the ball. “Yeah, I didn’t know Pierre [Garçon] was that fast, first of all,” McCoy said. “I told him that in the locker room, too. But Pierre is such a good, easy target to throw it to. He has great body control. I threw a little back shoulder hitch to him and he made the play to put us up, so hats off to him.”

Forbath kicked another field goal early in the fourth quarter to make it 16-10, but Derek Hagan made just his third catch of the season, for a touchdown, with 7:41 to play. Forbath’s game-winning kick came after a 10-play, 76-yard drive — including a key pass interference penalty drawn by wide-out Desean Jackson — that gave Gruden a chance to display his clock management skills, and Tennessee’s attempt to ice Forbath was unsuccessful.

Gruden liked how McCoy directed the two-minute offense to get into field goal range.

“Colt had some freedom to check out and we called something in the huddle for us. Overall, we were trying to get some looks that Colt would understand, plays that we want to get to, being very specific with him and he did a very good job.”

McCoy finished the day 11-for-12 with 128 yards and no interceptions.

Asked if he’d made any decisions about next week’s starter against the Dallas Cowboys on Monday night football, Gruden replied, “No, not yet. No, but it’s a good sign the way that Colt finished the game, ran the offense – very smart and very efficient, did some good things.”

Five takeaways from Washington Redskins Game 7 win against the Tennessee Titans

Here are the five biggest takeaways from the Washington Redskins’ 19-17 win to the Tennessee Titans:

1. Kirk Cousins struggles to inconceivable levels.

 Kirk Cousins has taken a lot of heat this week leading up the game and many thought he would have a chance at redemption against a weak Tennessee Titans team. After an amazing lofted pass with air underneath to Niles Paul for a big 50 yard gain, things took a turn for the worse. The drive stalled in the red zone and the offense had to settle for a field goal.

On the next drive, Cousins held the ball way to long and the pressure stripped him of the ball giving Tennessee great field position. Again Cousins was able to move the ball down the field and again fall short in the red zone by settling for another field goal. The last straw was after the defense came up with an interception where Cousins returned the favor right back by throwing the ball right at Wesley Woodyard in the middle of the field.

2. Colt McCoy takes over at the half, provides a spark immediately.

The move was needed and somewhat obvious. On McCoy’s first pass attempt to start the second half he hit Pierre Garcon on a seven yard curl route. Garcon did the rest by making the initial defensive back miss and speeding away from the safety for a 70 yard house call.

On the next drive McCoy was again able to march the team down the field on an eight minute drive, but again the drive stalled for the team in the red zone. After a three and out, McCoy came back and orchestrated a nearly flawless game winning drive. He was quick and strong on his decisions against heavy blitzing pressure from the Titans, he took what he was given and moved the team down the field for the eventual game winning field goal.

3. Defense and special teams play better than we are accustomed to, but still make mistakes.

There were mistakes made by the defense and special teams by extending the Titans drives but there was only one major lapse in coverage and not many missed tackles that lead to yards after contact. The one blown coverage can be credited to by E.J. Biggers who let Derek Hagan get behind him and Charlie Whitehurst did make him pay by delivering a strike for a touchdown. On the only other touchdown given up by the defense, they were clearly fatigued. They had forced a punt and gotten an interception but after a penalty by special teams and interception by Cousins, the Titans were able to eventually score on their third try.

As a whole the defensive unit played quite well by making solid tackles and breaking up some passes at the same time; however even though they created some pressure they need to start completing the play with a sack. Special teams played well today by turning a poor Tress Way punt into a recovered muff to set up the Redskins’ player of the game Kai Forbath. Forbath was perfect on four field goal attempts including the game winner, he was also better on kickoffs.

4. Penalties galore.

The Redskins had seven penalties for 50 yards, many of which came at key moments of the game to extend drives for the Titans. Trent Murphy offside on punt to give the Titans a first down. Ryan Kerrigan’s sack negated by illegal contact on Baushad Breeland. Jason Hatcher sack’s negated by illegal contact on Will Compton. Tom Compton illegal hands to the face negates Desean Jackson’s potential second amazing catch of the game.

However, in playing an equal bad franchise in the Titans they did their part by returning the favor in bad penalties. Tennessee racked up 96 penalty yards on 11 infractions. The most key foul was a pass interference call against Jason McCourty who grabbed a hold of Desean Jackson’s arm on a deep ball that set up Kai Forbath’s eventual game winning chip shot.

5. We now turn the page onto Dallas week.

The only major injury going into next Monday is to Brian Orakpo who has a possible torn right pectoral muscle, not the same side as in 2011 and 2012. He will receive a MRI tomorrow to figure out the true injury.

Gruden and the coaching staff will now turn their attention to the ever hot Dallas Cowboys. The defense will have to try and contain Demarco Murray who is having a career year thus far. The quarterback situation seems to shape up as if Griffin looks sharp during practice on Wednesday he could get the start; otherwise McCoy has the edge over Cousins.

DSP’s Washington Redskins Postgame Show: Game 7–Tennessee Titans

Dave Nichols and Andy Holmes of District Sports Page discuss the Washington Redskins 19-17 win over the Tennessee Titans and consider the state of the roster and rest of the schedule.

Check Out Football Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with DSPs Redskins Radio Shows on BlogTalkRadio

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

OPINION: For Washington Redskins, time to say ‘hello’ to Helu

With the 1-5 Washington Redskins off to a poor start (yet again), it’s not too early to start considering changing things up. Jay Gruden indicated as much in his press conference Monday, saying that the coaching staff would look into doing just that. When later asked if that meant potential personnel changes or certain players getting more playing time, he responded, “Yeah, that’s something to take into account. We have to look at that. We have to look at the guys that aren’t playing. There’s a reason why we have the guys in front of them, but we’ll see if there’s a way we can upgrade our roster.”

He went on to say that the primary changes to which he was referring involved meetings and practice routines, but nonetheless, with a team playing as poorly as the Redskins are, the door should be open to less prominent players getting more playing time. One such player is running back Roy Helu. [Read more...]

Washington Redskins Game 6 Review: Cardinals dump Redskins in desert

Kirk Cousins threw three interceptions, including one which was returned for a touchdown with 29 seconds left in the game, and the Washington Redskins lost to the Arizona Cardinals 30-20 on Sunday.

The Redskins (1-5) committed four turnovers, all in the fourth quarter.

It was the Redskins’ fourth straight loss and 13th in 14 games.

[Read more...]

Washington Redskins Week 5 Analysis: Defensive Notes

The Washington Redskins defense had an up-and-down night against the defending Super Bowl Champion Seattle Seahawks Monday Night in the Redskins’ 27-17 loss at home. At times, they looked absolutely porous, allowing the Seahawks offense to move the ball at will, while at other times showing flashes of dominance.

The Redskins were certainly aided by a total of 13 penalties for 90 yards against the Seahawks (the majority of which on the offense), but I don’t quite buy into the notion that this is what kept the Redskins in the game.

More than likely, you’ve heard by now that the Seahawks were ‘robbed of three touchdowns’ negated by penalties. But if you actually examine each instance, you’ll see that two of those cancelled touchdowns occurred on the same drive which ultimately resulted in a successful field goal. The third occurred on a drive where they went on to score a touchdown anyways. So in essence, all in all, instead of scoring a possible 14 points on those two drives, they ended up scoring 10 points. A four-point difference is a lot different than ‘three touchdowns’.

Additionally, penalties are always an issue for the Seahawks. In their Super Bowl winning season last year, they had the most penalties in football.  To imply that if Seattle limited its penalties, Washington would’ve been blown out is an exercise in futility because it ignores reality. It’s part of who they are.

Sorry, rant over. Let’s get to the notes:

[Read more...]

Five takeaways from the Washington Redskins Week Five loss to the Seattle Seahawks

Here are the five biggest takeaways from the Washington Redskins’ 27-17 loss to the Seattle Seahawks:

1. That great mobile quarterback, just not ours.
Russell Wilson is the epitome of what all Redskins fans hope Robert Griffin III will become again. He burned the Redskins defense early when contain was not maintained, gashing them for big play runs on the first drive that ended in a touchdown. The read option always had the defense questioning their positioning. Wilson ran for 122 yards, a Monday Night Football record, where many yards were after contact and missed tackles. The Redskins at time did a great job with their base defense but having to account for a quarterback that can extend plays was too tough. [Read more...]

%d bloggers like this: