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    B Burner's Burning Questions: Week Fourteen Grades, Evaluations, Questions

    Greetings from BBQ. We hope you are having a good holiday season.

    Week fourteen is in the books and now we take a look at how the entire team fared against the Eagles. Everyone is happier this week - from coaches to players to fans and even to pets. We will try to make some sense of it all as BBQ hands out grades, evaluations and questions. Feel free to offer your own grades, evaluations, questions, and opinions.

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    Week Fourteen Grades, Evaluations, Questions


    Greetings from BBQ. We hope you are having a good holiday season.

    Week fourteen is in the books and now we take a look at how the entire team fared against the Eagles. Everyone is happier this week - from coaches to players to fans and even to pets. We will try to make some sense of it all as BBQ hands out grades, evaluations and questions. Feel free to offer your own grades, evaluations, questions, and opinions.

    Let’s take a look at week fourteen.

    Quarterbacks:
    Question: Oh, that pick six was ugly – what do you give him for a grade this week?
    Answer: As we mentioned last week, he can’t do it alone. Kirk Cousins made a poor choice and a poor throw on the pick six. The rest of the game was quite good when you consider that he faced a stout defensive line and won on the road against a division rival. The struggles of screen passes to running backs needs to be corrected.
    Grade: B

    Running Backs:
    Question: Can we now see how a good rushing attack will win games?
    Answer: Robert Kelley and Chris Thompson had touchdown runs of twenty-one and twenty-five yards respectively. The Redskins had a balanced attack on Sunday. Those stats are not mutually exclusive and the game plan produced positive results in the running game.
    Grade: A-

    Wide Receivers:
    Question: Should we still be concerned that the Eagles are very interested in bringing back DeSean Jackson next season in light of everything we’ve seen in recent weeks?
    Answer: Again, the answer is a definitive no. Ask yourself a question. It is the last opportunity to play for your final contract – how would you perform? It is nice to have him at his most determined. Let another team pay Jackson for his performance in these few remaining games.
    Grade: B+

    Tight Ends:
    Question: Was Jordan Reed used as a decoy on Sunday?
    Answer: Likely so. It seems like the strategy worked. The hope is that he can continue to heal. This new and determined Reed is great to see. The old Reed would’ve been out longer. His role on Sunday seemed obvious and the game plan for him was effective.
    Grade: B

    Offensive Line:
    Question: How nice was it to get Trent Williams back and how did Arie Kouandjio perform?
    Answer: Now you can see why Williams is considered to be one of the best left tackles in the game today, perhaps the best overall. He adds stability to the line. Arie Kouandjio had a couple of mistakes, but a solid game overall. On the Chris Thompson touchdown, Williams and Kouandjio led the way and Brandon Scherff along with Morgan Moses provided excellent downfield blocking as well. A good game by this unit.
    Grade: B+

    Defensive Line:
    Question: What grade would you give their effort against the Eagles?
    Answer: Better than last week: Aggressive. Determined. Intensive. Focused. Detailed. It wasn’t perfect, but they performed much better than the two previous outings. To do so on the road against a division rival deserves respect from the pundits and fans alike.
    Grade: B

    Linebackers:
    Question: And what grade would you give to this group?
    Answer: Ryan Kerrigan and Trent Murphy (he also figures into the defensive line grade) gave spirited efforts once again and it paid dividends this time, but we can’t ignore the improved play of Mason Foster and Preston Smith.
    Grade: B+

    Cornerbacks:
    Question: Do we give Bashaud Breeland a pass after a woeful first half and better in the second stanza?
    Answer: Breeland did have a rough first half, but the touchdown was not completely on him. The OLB on that play was supposed to drop back in zone coverage and failed to do so. That being said, this experiment (having Breeland as the slot corner) deserves another week to see if it is effective. Josh Norman has his usual solid game and Quinton Dunbar improved throughout the game.
    Grade: B-

    Safeties:
    Question: Should Su’a Cravens become the permanent starter at strike safety?
    Answer: BBQ believes so and that would allow him to become a true strike and hybrid at the same time. Duke Ihenacho, a good special teams player, can’t find consistency as the strike. Neither can Donte Whitner. If the injury that Cravens has is not serious, then it is time for him to start. The hope is that Will Blackmon will be healed this week from the concussion protocol.
    Grade: C+

    Special Teams:
    Question: Are we back to worrying about Dustin Hopkins?
    Answer: No. Dustin Hopkins demonstrated why he is needed on this team the previous week. You hang on to a young kicker who has a very strong leg. Tress Way had another solid outing and the kickoff returns were very good.
    Grade: B

    Coaching:
    Question: Well, what can we say about the coaches this week?
    Answer: Let’s start with the offense. Gone were the silly penalties such as delay of game, false starts, and other mental errors. It was wasn’t perfect, but it was consistent as the number of runs and passes were nearly equal.

    Let’s continue on with the defense (yes, this scrutiny deserves more than one paragraph for the second week in a row). Line play was improved and they combined with the linebackers to get four sacks. The Eagles passing attack was not as potent as the numbers suggest (a final drive padded those numbers) and their rushing attack was somewhat stymied.

    Special teams continued to do well, but a missed field (not that lengthy, but not a “gimme” either) didn’t help.
    It was reported that Jay Gruden went on a very loud, profanity-laden, and massively angry tirade against the team after the Cardinals game. Did the team respond or still come up a bit short against a rival that has gone 2-8 over its last ten games? Let’s put it this way. The Redskins won against a determined division foe on the road and that always elevates the grade overall by one full mark.
    Grade: B+

    How would you grade each position and the coaching staff? Many of you seem willing to part with Joe Barry in the offseason – Gus Bradley and Todd Bowles could be available – which one would you prefer? Did Arie Kouandjio earn a starting spot at left guard or does he need more time? How much of the upcoming draft should be spent on defense? Are you happy to have Trent Williams back? Are the Redskins still in the playoff picture? On to week fifteen. We’ll see you next week with grades, evaluations, and questions.

    Hail to the Redskins!
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    I don't think Arie's 'ready' to start but I'd put him in and live with the growing pains. It's not like he's that far away. Hopkins? I'm disappointed in him but not worried. Breeland's had a rough year so I get why they'd move him to the nickle spot but would rather see Blackmon/Cravens there and just not use that formation as much.
    Neither Bowles or Bradley have a lot of years as a DC in the NFL but they've done well. I don't know how Todd feels about Wa. He's been a coach a long time since retiring as a player (93) and none in DC. Could be it's just opportunities haven't lined up well over the years. But maybe bring Todd in to replace Fewell and promote Fewell to DC? Too big of a step down for him? And I don't have an issue with Gus however Todd, a former player with the Skins, might get a better initial relationship with the players. Gus probably gets fired (he's had 4 years); Todd will wind up as a scapegoat in NY, fired or not.

    A couple of recent articles on whether or not Barry is playing for his job. One by Kiem and one by the Post. I generally avoid the Post but the article was referenced by Kiem.

    Kiem link: Redskins determined to run ball more; Joe Barry's coaching future - NFL Nation- ESPN it's a bit down the page at section '3'.

    Post link: https://www.washingtonpost.com/sport...=.be580637130e

    Joe needs the defense to show some improvement somewhere by the end of the season. Don't be the worst at giving up 3rd downs, cut down the number of points given up - something. He hasn't been blessed with talent, which might save him, but they should have been improving as the year went on.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnssBass View Post
    Joe needs the defense to show some improvement somewhere by the end of the season. Don't be the worst at giving up 3rd downs, cut down the number of points given up - something. He hasn't been blessed with talent, which might save him, but they should have been improving as the year went on.
    Emphasis mine.

    Yeah, that's where I am. The scheme may be fine (and it may not be), but if the players are constantly taking bad angles, missing tackles, etc at some point that comes back on the coaches. I suspect Barry is on his last legs here. If we miss the playoffs, I think that's a given. If we're one and done in the playoffs, I think he's gone. If we win a game or more, it gets hard to justify a firing.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Barry View Post
    “We’re not getting it done right now,” Barry said during his weekly news conference on Thursday. “I’m not getting it done.”

    Barry equated the defenses performance to that of a struggling student. “If a math student simply isn't getting the good grades on math tests you could say, that kid's just dumb,” he said. “Well, I look at it as the teacher's not getting it out of him.”

    While the players bear their share of the responsibility for the team’s inability to stop the other team, he said that the door swings both ways.

    “Obviously a player's got to play and make plays on the field,” he said. “But as a coach I believe I've got to get them to play better. I've got to get us to tackle better. I've got to get us to win on third down better. I'll turn over every rock to get what the issue is solved. because that's my job as a coach.”

    This is from over two months ago. Based on his own standards alone, he should be a goner.

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    Norman has gotten a lot of media attention locally.(wonder why?)

    In one radio interview he offered his take on the back end performance as guys just being 'nervous' in certain situations,
    (my take is almost as if too much info is being processed in their minds plus that 'third down thing')

    He's not sure why but he's trying to get the guys to calm down, trust technique, their instincts and the other guys......just play ball.

    He thinks the majority of the calls (and changes on the field) are OK. He says most times the guys start out good but lose their leverage, usually a technique thing. The situational thing might be not fully assimilating stuff from film study or if they do, the bright lights cause brain farts (my term )

    Some pundits also point out that Bree's problems might be because he's using too much hand stuff allowing the opponent to use it against him to gain leverage. He should make contact, release and just run with the guy maintaining leverage.

    All of this is probably a mix of guys and coaching, the coaches can teach, train and drill but only the players can get it done and doing it on the field game time mentally and physically is the talent.

    Maybe a different coach can better read how certain guys can handle stuff or motivate them in different ways, dunno.

    With the talent now on the team, all of the different position changes and new guys (vet and youngin) could mean the proper mix is just hard to figure week to week or just simplify things so what instincts and confidence (what's left) can take hold.
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    I think we might have found our inside linebacker for 2017 in Martrell Spaight.

    He has decent size, better than average speed, and hits like a ton of bricks.

    Gruden was quick to single him out as someone he feels good about going forward.

    While I like Compton's 100% effort mentality, his physical limitations have really shown in recent weeks.

    We really need to upgrade the speed and tackling ability on this defense and Spaight may be one step in the right direction.

    That 2015 draft keeps coming back with players that get on the field and help make a difference.

    Unfortunately, we are not getting much out of the 2016 class this year.

    And that really hurts because with a solid offense returning from 2015 you would figure a LOT of our improvement from this year's picks would come on defense.

    We have gone around on the Doctson pick. But need SO MUCH on defense, I can't believe there was not ONE prospect on the DL, LB or DB/S that didn't come close grade-wise to matching Doctson as a BPA-type selection, while also filling a critical need.

    Cravens has had his moments. I think he is a keeper and will grow into what is a difficult role for a rookie - trying to learn the linebacker and safety positions while seeing time on the field right away.

    But he has been carrying this class.

    Kendall Fuller looks OK. As a #3 pick, I would have looked DL here, especially an inside DT or linebacker.

    The Redskins said Fuller was to them a #1 pick in ability and was therefore a value pick in Round 3.

    But what I have seen so far is a guy that quite frankly looks like a #3 pick seeing his way through a tough rookie season in the NFL.

    He has not separated himself athletically or in terms of play-making ability that you would expect from a true blue chip prospect.

    The rest of the draft behind Fuller seem to be guys that won't be on the roster in 2017, may not even make it to camp.

    Ioannidis is a guy they use to give Hood and Baker a blow for a few plays a week, but he has been tasteless, colorless and odorless so far in terms of plays made on the field.

    Anyone remember a quick penetration and tackle for a loss? Anyone remember a key quarterback pressure or sack? Forced fumble?

    Sudfeld is a developmental qb and may be something down the road, no one was expecting anything out of him in 2016 so I am not critical of the pick or what he has done or not done so far.

    The last two picks, Steven Daniels and Keith Marshall, were injured in camp and ended up on IR.

    But at the time they were placed on IR it didn't look like either one of them was going to make the final roster.

    Kelley and Mack Brown had passed Marshall on the depth chart at running back.

    Daniels wasn't going to beat out Spaight or Foster at inside linebacker and unlike veteran Terrence Garvin didn't play special teams.

    Again, a couple of these guys may end up being solid contributors but overall this draft doesn't seem to be one that will be memorable for the organization.

    Scot continues to trade picks in the draft.

    My question is when are we finally going to LOAD UP on picks and come out of the draft with 11 or 12 selections like New England usually does?

    He needs to move down in 2017 in the draft and pick up those #3-#5 middle rounders that Seattle and New England use as the bread basket of their team's future development.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TomE View Post
    Norman has gotten a lot of media attention locally.(wonder why?)

    In one radio interview he offered his take on the back end performance as guys just being 'nervous' in certain situations,
    (my take is almost as if too much info is being processed in their minds plus that 'third down thing')

    He's not sure why but he's trying to get the guys to calm down, trust technique, their instincts and the other guys......just play ball.

    He thinks the majority of the calls (and changes on the field) are OK. He says most times the guys start out good but lose their leverage, usually a technique thing. The situational thing might be not fully assimilating stuff from film study or if they do, the bright lights cause brain farts (my term )

    Some pundits also point out that Bree's problems might be because he's using too much hand stuff allowing the opponent to use it against him to gain leverage. He should make contact, release and just run with the guy maintaining leverage.

    All of this is probably a mix of guys and coaching, the coaches can teach, train and drill but only the players can get it done and doing it on the field game time mentally and physically is the talent.

    Maybe a different coach can better read how certain guys can handle stuff or motivate them in different ways, dunno.

    With the talent now on the team, all of the different position changes and new guys (vet and youngin) could mean the proper mix is just hard to figure week to week or just simplify things so what instincts and confidence (what's left) can take hold.
    I think it certainly is a mix of lack of talent AND coaching, but the fact that Bree is regressing and guys continue to have leveraging problems indicates to me that we have a deficiency in coaching on that side of the ball. Our D continues to look lost to me, an indication of brain farts and over-thinking (to use your terms).

    So Barry should have tried to pare things down a little and let the players play to their strengths, which it doesn't look like he has done.

    The next three games are all winnable if the D doesn't shit the bed. If we get into a shootout with any of them, anything can happen. It'd be real nice to see the D clamp down on the opposing team's O and make them play from behind. I would feel a lot better about our D and Barry if they could make that happen a couple of times over the next three weeks.
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    The coaches were not flexible in their approach to what is a roster still in transition in 2016.

    Chris Cooley and others were clamoring for Robert Kelley to get a chance to run the ball but we wasted a number of weeks to start the season continuing to start Matt Jones despite his poor vision, inability to key blocks, and hold onto the ball.

    On defense, Joe Barry's scheme has shown itself to be one that doesn't work unless you are the 1985 Bears or 1978 Steelers.

    His approach is to have left and right corners and a slot starter and not move them around based on matchups/talent/etc.

    For that system in the backfield to work you have to have two pro bowl caliber corners and we have one.

    So, all other teams had to do was stay away from Josh Norman and put their best receiver (Dez Bryant, Stefon Diggs, etc.) in the slot and take advantage of their #1 player going against our #3 corner.

    Barry let Stefon Diggs catch 10-11 balls for 164 yards and a TD. Made him look like Gary Clark in his prime.

    That would never have happened under Richie Petitbon.

    The other part of Barry's system that doesn't work is discarding the traditional notion of a split in skills and responsibilities between the strong and free safeties.

    His scheme treats all safeties as if they are interchangeable. At least on this team, they are NOT.

    Duke Ihenacho is a strong safety, good in the box forcing the run, blitzing on long yardage downs and helping to double guys in the short and intermediate zones in coverage.

    What he is not is a guy to count on running with Odell Beckham 50 yards downfield trying to support Breeland in coverage.

    Ihenacho simply doesn't have the athleticism to keep up with those players.

    We need a deep safety with cover skills (ie Blackmon) to help double Beckham on those plays.

    But Barry doesn't want to change up his scheme to allow for those kind of in-game decisions.

    But those kind of in-game decisions is what the best coordinators in the NFL get paid for!!!!!!!!!!!!
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    Although Barry doesn't escape responsibility, the failure of the secondary to execute properly falls primarily on their position coaches.

    Kendall Fuller especially has been an absolute sieve.
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    I agree with all of these assessments.

    Don't be surprised if Perry Fewell is let go. That's if Joe Barry goes. Robb Akey is very likely gone. Greg Manusky could end up staying. Kirk Olivadotti - hard to say. Aubrey Pleasant - probably gone.

    I think Scot takes a DL as early as the third round and likely one of the fourth rounders - maybe both.

    If the Redskins lose on Monday, they are likely out of the playoffs. At that juncture, winning against the Bears is likely and then losing to the midgets probably happens. They would be picking around 16th or 17th overall. I think Scot will trade down if possible.

    But if the Redskins win out, they are picking 23rd or lower. I don't think he trades down at that point.

    The first overall pick is likely a skill position. Free safety. Cornerback. Running back.

    Second pick is likely a mike. Third is probably another WR - someone like Cupp from Eastern Washington, Davis from Western Michigan, or Dupre from LSU.

    Fourth round picks are likely DL and another could go in the fifth. The latter rounds will likely see special teamers that double as linebackers, safeties and corners. An OL could be grabbed late.

    Trying to get in the mind of Scot is a tad easier after two drafts, but he does like having multiple picks. Trying to figure out when that happens is an exercise in futility.

    I think Spaight could do well as the second mike while a rook can be groomed as the mike who makes the calls at the LOS.

    Cousins is going no where. Hope a long term deal can be completed early in the offseason.

    I think Rob Kelley can be a great relief back, but we need a home run hitter there.

    I think we do try to keep both Jackson and Garcon - at reasonable prices. Eh, wouldn't be surprised to see Jackson walk though.

    Part of me would not be surprised if a TE is drafted in the latter rounds, but my gut says that we re-sign Vernon Davis.

    I think another player that will be re-signed is Sullivan while Lichtensteiger is gone.

    Thinking that we will really like the Doctson pick at this time next year. Same for Fuller. And Cravens, of course.

    Trent Williams is a warrior and I think he has four more good seasons at LT. I think he will slide inside at G for an additional two or three years.

    Dan Snyder should give Scot a new contract this offseason. He's worth it to lock him up early.

    That's enough hot air from me this evening.
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    Great input, BB

    If they let Kirk Olivadotti go, he'll be back. Just like the last 20 or so times they've let him go. For whatever reason DeSean doesn't seem to fit their scheme well. How much are you going to pay a guy that's 4th on your target list? I think he's played well I just don't see him having a big payday if he stay's. Garcon will probably want more than the Skins will pay but you never know. How far will he step down from $8 million @ year?
    They haven't burned Davis out, no reason he shouldn't come back. Blocks well and catches 1st downs. Sullivan's gotta pretty sweet gig and he backs it up when called on.
    I don't know how high they'll go in the draft but besides the obvious down DL vacancy they need an LB who can tackle RBs. At least one.
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    My choice for a new DC in DC? Mike Vrabel. He will be a good one.

    As for Garcon, he will not get a huge contract from anyone. I think he comes back on a deal that is favorable to both sides.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Burgundy Burner View Post
    I think Rob Kelley can be a great relief back, but we need a home run hitter there.
    Could we have found a home run hitter in Mack Brown today ?

    We saw the difference in speed on that 61 yard run.
    I don't think Kelley could have pulled that off. He probably would have been caught from behind.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fear The Spear View Post
    Could we have found a home run hitter in Mack Brown today ?

    We saw the difference in speed on that 61 yard run.
    I don't think Kelley could have pulled that off. He probably would have been caught from behind.
    getting caught can be a good thing on a tie game or close game with less than 3 minutes left
    i think that is the third long run we have had at or near the end of a game this year by three different backs
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    Jackson is gone I think unless he gives us a big discount look for a team to sign him for 13 plus million is what he will get. We will have other options
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fear The Spear View Post
    Could we have found a home run hitter in Mack Brown today ?

    We saw the difference in speed on that 61 yard run.
    I don't think Kelley could have pulled that off. He probably would have been caught from behind.
    Quote Originally Posted by redskins26 View Post
    getting caught can be a good thing on a tie game or close game with less than 3 minutes left
    i think that is the third long run we have had at or near the end of a game this year by three different backs
    Red Zone Brown timed out as the fastest on the day. Something like 23 MPH.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnssBass View Post
    Red Zone Brown timed out as the fastest on the day. Something like 23 MPH.
    Yeah according to the NextGenReplay he was really motoring.

    I actually really liked our 3 back look yesterday. Nice change of pace options.
    Kelly is tough to stop, a real grinder and battler. Then Thompson switches up a gear.

    The wheels on Mack really looked good at the end of game when he was fresh and the D was tired. I like that formula. Maybe McVay and Gru paid attention tonight. Here's hoping.

    In other news... Browns win! RgIII in concussion protocol last I heard.


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