A Burgundy and Gold Obsession
Is it August yet?

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  1. #1
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    Default Redskins under-achieved b/c of Gruden and offensive coaching staff

    Forgive me if this is discussed in other threads. I searched and didn't find it, and feel like it's worth it's own discussion.

    Looking back at the bitterly disappointing losses to the Giants and Panthers, and various head-scratching moments that happened throughout the season, I feel like Gruden and McVay really let the team down during games at the most critical times. I know a lot of fans will say that the Skins' offense was top 5 in yards, and that it was the defense that couldn't stop anybody, and I agree with those facts, but that's not why the Skins are not in the playoffs imo.

    First, and most importantly, Gruden and McVay absolutely shot the pooch with play calling against the Giants yesterday. It was as though they had 2 plays in the playbook: 2 yard run, and long developing, play action bomb. I don't know if this was a lack of preparation, an inability to see what was happening right in front of them, or just pure panic, but they blew it, and they kept making the same mistakes all game instead of making adjustments. Maybe they thought the Giants were just going to rest everyone and roll over, even though everyone else in the football world knew that wasn't going to happen. The game plan they constructed was very clear: commit to the run early and then go deep off of play action. A rather boneheaded game plan imo considering the Giants have been absolutely dominant against the run for the last half of the season, and the Skins have struggled to run the ball against good defenses all season. This game called for a more west-coast game plan. The Skins should have opened up with a lot of short, high percentage passes. Let Cousins, who is known to be a little shaky early in big games, get in a rythem and build confidence. Let the deep receiving corp all get their hands on the ball early so their not forcing it when they finally do get their chance. Let guys like Davis and Crowder get rolling against 3rd and 4th DBs knowing that the Giants' top corner was out for most of the game. Let the passing game open up the run game instead of vice versa. Instead they went run, run, play action deep, several times early, asking Cousins to make tough completions under pressure. They stuck with this game plan all game, and looked as if they were baffled why it wasn't working. When you're down by 10 in the third quarter and kill a drive by going deep on 3rd and 6, you're just ****ing up.

    Gruden and McVay seemed to do this kind of stuff all season when it mattered most. I called it "outsmarting themselves", which I found myself muttering during games all season. This "outsmarting themselves" was most apparent in the redzone, where Gruden and McVay choked all season. When you've got guys as quick as Crowder and Jackson, and guys as big as Reed and Davis, 4 yard touchdown passes should be almost automatic, but that didn't happen. Instead the Skins would drive the ball down the field, and then grind to a halt in the redzone, time after time. About the only play the Skins don't have a perfect receiver for is the fade, which they must have tried 20 times.

    The only coaches I was particularly impressed with this season were Barry and Callahan. I know fans got frustrated with Barry going to conservative, and I felt the same way, but that defense made critical stops or caused critical turnovers when the team needed it most all season, and they did it with mostly pedestrian talent.

    Overall, I'm really not too high on Gruden and McVay at this point. I do think they did a good job of developing players, and getting players to play hard, but they just don't seem very clever to me. The team doesn't feel like a smart team to me, and it showed with poor play-calling and stupid penalties at the most important times. I'm not sure if I'm saying it's time to start over. I don't think I'm there yet, but I'm definitely disappointed in the offensive coaching, and think the team's poor performance
    on offense at the most critical times cost them the playoffs.
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  2. #2
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    The best coaches seem to get that extra 10-15% out of their rosters that no one expects.

    With this team I agree it too often seems the opposite - namely, that we leave things on the field undone that could help us win some of these games against some mediocre opponents.

    Gruden himself by my count has already come out two or three times and congratulated the other staff after losses, noting that the Redskins were not only beaten on the field but in terms of X's and O's as well.

    He says he wants to win, but clearly doesn't believe in the statistics that show the way to win is by establishing and stopping the run, minimizing turnovers and negative plays and THEN being able to make impact plays in critical situations with you most talented players.

    He has the latter part down. He believes in the 60 yard TD pass to DeSean Jackson.

    But he evidently doesn't believe in being able to run the ball on third and two in a make or break game instead of throwing a thirty yard pass downfield!

    The Cowboys won 13 games this year because they could do both - run the ball effectively AND pass the ball and be efficient in the red zone.

    Even teams like New England that are clearly led by a passing quarterback still at critical times depend upon the run.

    LeGarrette Blount has over 1,000 yards on the season and has scored 20 plus touchdowns for a 14-2 team.

    Going back to the earlier NE title teams, Belichick got 1,600 yards from Corey Dillon on the ground one of those years and over 1,000 yards from Antowain Smith the year before.

    The Redskins ran the ball for 38 yards on Sunday!

    Against Carolina, the Redskins ran the ball for what, 29 yards?

    The simple truth is that Gruden and McVay believe in and depend upon the pass and as in Cincinnati Gruden is limited by the fact his quarterback, while solid, is not an upper echelon elite performer that is going to put the team over the top.
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  3. #3
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    Redskins didn't even underachieve this year but over achieved last year we are right on schedule.
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