A Burgundy and Gold Obsession
Injuries or not, this one we gotta have.

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  1. #1

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    Default Skins Quotes 12/01/17


    December 1, 2017

    Head Coach Jay Gruden

    On injuries:
    “Yeah, only two really were Morgan [Moses], he has an ankle sprain, it’ll be a day-to-day once we come back; and Mo [Maurice] Harris is in the concussion protocol deal.”

    On if he’ll consider sitting starters to get them healthy:
    “I think it’s going to be a player-by-player basis. I think if they’re good enough to go, they need to go. But we’ll see how they’re doing from a longevity standpoint. We obviously don’t want to hurt anybody’s future – if it’s a chance to injure themselves long term. But, you know, if it’s just a nagging ankle sprain or something like that where they just can play through it, then they’ll play through it. We’ve got to dress 46 guys out there and we’ll dress the healthiest guys we can.”

    On what went wrong other than the turnovers:
    “Well I think, glaringly, I think the dropped passes, No. 1 we had a couple big drops early in the game offensively. Defensively, we Redskins had four three-and-outs in a row. They came out ready to play, without a doubt. So I was impressed with the way they came out and played. Offensively, you know, the drops hurt us. And then the fumbled punt and then the punt return for touchdown. We just got behind the eight-ball and couldn’t dig ourselves out of it. Once we cut it back down to 10, we fought back down to 10, then they had the long drive for touchdown to seal the deal that held the ball for six minutes in the fourth quarter. So, lot of factors involved. I was impressed with the way our defense came out, but obviously the dropped passed and turnovers killed us.”

    On the team’s readiness to play:
    “I think we were ready. I just said we had four three-and-outs in a row. Our defense came out ready to play. I mean we had four three-and-outs in a row, that’s not easy to do. And we had big field position; couple key drops hurt us, which are uncharacteristic. Then we fumbled a punt. Actually we had the dropped pass that resulted in an interception then we fumbled a punt and they had a punt return for touchdown. I wouldn’t say we weren’t ready to play. I think, one, they made a couple plays and, two, we didn’t make the plays we normally make, you know?”

    On his assessment of special teams’ performance this season:
    “Well last night, actually the last two times we’ve played Dallas, they had the blocked field goal that resulted in a touchdown at the end of the half, which killed us. And then last night we had a couple major FUBARs – the dropped punt, the punt return for touchdown, the kickoff return we might’ve been able to let out of bounds, we returned it, resulted in a concussion for Mo [Maurice Harris] – so there were three or four instances on special teams that, you know, wasn’t up to par for us. But overall I think our special teams has been OK, we just haven’t had the splash plays on special teams, the momentum-changing plays that you look for on special teams. Especially in these close games, I think when you have as many close games as we’ve had, sometimes it’s a special team play that’ll put you over the top, we just haven’t had many of them. So we’ve just got to figure out ways to change the momentum on special teams that we haven’t done other than the New Orleans Saints fake punt there backed up.”

    On how he assesses the team’s effort:
    “Well I look for, you know, guys running to the football on defense – which I think they were doing, I really do. I think these guys are hustling on defense, they were getting off blocks, we were gang-tackling, we were tackling well for the most part of the game. You know, exception of that last drive there, they had two key third-down conversions, and then the [pass interference] call that gave them the ball first-and-goal at the one. Which, you know, is a questionable deal. But I think our defense played extremely hard. Offensively, you know, guys are playing hard. We just missed a couple TE stumps, dropped a few balls here and there, it’s not because a lack of playing hard, it’s just [that] we didn’t make a few plays that we normally make.”

    On if he feels limited on special teams because of injuries:
    “Yeah, a little bit. Last night we had to dress eight offensive linemen and that takes away from somewhere. We only dressed three safeties and one of them is D Hall [DeAngelo Hall] who doesn’t do much on special teams. Then Mo Harris got hurt early in the game, which was going to be a special teams player for us. We were down to three receivers. So we were kind of short in a lot of departments there. Unfortunately for us – special teams and that has a little bit to do with it. [Deshazor] Everett, who is starting at safety, is also playing all of special teams. [Quinton] Dunbar and Fabian [Moreau] played pretty well on special teams. Our outside backers have to perform better – [Ryan] Anderson, [Chris] Carter and Junior [Galette] doesn’t play special teams. So we were a little bit thin there. Josh Harvey did OK on special teams, Josh Harvey-Clemons. Zach Vigil is starting at linebacker and had to play some special teams so we were a little bit thin from a personnel standpoint just because of who we had dressed and a couple of the injuries in the game. Zach Vigil missed some time with an injury. Obviously I said Mo Harris. So we were a little bit thin.”

    On what happened on the Dallas Cowboys punt return for a touchdown:
    “I think first of all, it starts with the punt. The actual punt, it wasn’t Tress’ [Way] best punt. The hang time was poor and it was right in the middle of the field. That’s number one. Then number two, we didn’t get off blocks good enough. They did a good job blocking our flyers, our gunners so to speak, and then we didn’t get off blocks and missed a tackle there in the hole.”

    On having the long weekend:
    “That’s going to be a big benefit, a really big benefit. To get people out of the building for a couple days to refresh, refocus and get ready for the fourth quarter of the season. One, hopefully we will get some guys back. Hopefully Chase Roullier comes back with his hand. Maybe we will get some other players back like – get guys back healthy. Matt Ioannidis, maybe get that cast off his hand and get Terrell McClain back possibly. Hopefully Morgan Moses gets good news on his ankle and can come back. So, hopefully we will get some healthier guys, some refocused guys and finish this season strong.”

    On if he will look at players at different spots for the last four games of the season:
    “We’ve been doing that all year. So I think it is a matter of trying to get these guys ready to play, number one. We want to finish strong. We want to finish with a winning record. We want to get to 9-7. We want to get to 6-7 first. We are going to play a really good San Diego team, or sorry a L.A. team. They are battling themselves into the playoff race and it’s going to be a great battle. But we definitely want to finish strong.”

    On the run defense:
    “They did pretty good job for the most part. It was towards the end of the game, the fourth quarter, where they got some big hits. They [Dallas Cowboys] wore us down just a little bit. We didn’t do a good enough job on offense to possess the football, but for the most part they stuck with the running game. They have an excellent tight end and very big offensive line and Alfred [Morris] was able to find some holes there later in the game. But it wasn’t anything schematically. It was just a matter of us getting off blocks, maybe wearing down towards the end with the defensive line - were a little bit banged up there towards the end. And obviously our linebacking core, with Zach Vigil coming out of the game. You saw Zach Brown kind of limping around out there. He wasn’t at his full bill of health. They competed and battled and did the best they could, but wore down a little bit towards the end.”

    On LB Zach Brown’s injury:
    I think Zach will be fine. He is beat up, but hopefully these couple days will be a big help for him.”

    On LB Martrell Spaight’s ankle and if it is still bothering him:
    “Yeah, there is no doubt that it is. That’s another part of the special teams deal. He was beat up a little bit and like I said, Vigil went out there. He was beat up a little bit. Zach Brown was beat up a little bit. So that whole linebacking core was not doing too well - health wise.”

    On deciding whether T Trent Williams will continue to play or have surgery:
    “I think the big thing is the timeline. Let’s find out what the timeline is for the surgery if he has to have surgery, number one – what type of surgery it’s going to be and how long it’s going to put him out. We’ll take all those and then figure out what we’re going to do with him. If he’s good enough to finish the season, he will finish out the season. We need him and Kirk needs him. We’ll go by what the doctors say and how Trent feels and make our decision with Trent.”

    On if TE Jordan Reed has a similar injury timeline situation:
    “Yeah, same thing. Very much so. We’ll talk to Jordan about how he’s feeling and get the doctor’s opinion on everything and that’s really all we can do at the end of the day. Talk to the player, talk to the doctor and then we’ll make a decision moving forward on a week-to-week basis or a season-basis.”

    On how he would evaluate QB Kirk Cousins’ performance:
    “I think Kirk competed. You saw him take some big shots in there. He scrambled – made some big throws down the field under duress. Obviously when you lose the way we lost, it’s hard to give anybody a ringing endorsement. But for the most part, I think Kirk competed and really did the best he could with the situation he was in. Coming from behind, two-minute drill … they knew we were going to pass. He was stepping up and making some throws. There was some throws I’m sure he wish he had back, maybe some reads, but for the most part, I was happy the way Kirk played. I wouldn’t say happy, but I was impressed, I guess, is the word. Whatever.”

    On the status of DL Jonathan Allen:
    “No, nothing really. He’s free to start practice next week and we’ll take a look at him and see where he is. He’s a guy that we may not rush back. We may just want to get him fully healed before we even think about putting him out on the practice field. That’s going to be up to the trainers, again, so we’ll wait and see on that. But he is making great progress.”

    On why OL Ty Nsekhe struggled playing right tackle:
    “Yeah, I think there were some. For the most part, when you’re playing ever y snap at left guard and getting ready to play left guard during the week and then all of a sudden, the second possession or the third possession, whatever it was, you’ve got to go play right tackle. It’s a totally different technique and all that stuff. I think it was just him not playing right tackle for some time. He’s been on the left side and spelling Trent at left tackle and then he obviously tried to play left guard and then to be thrown in at right tackle, I think he had a few issues there. I thing moving forward, we’ll try to get him in a spot where he can play and focus and play that spot. Unfortunately, he’s had to play all three – left guard, left tackle and right tackle. It’s easier said than done for these guys. It’s a different stance. It’s a different technique. It’s just totally different to be a left guard, left tackle, and then all of a sudden play right tackle. So, naturally he’s going to have some plays where he struggles, but for the most part, he played OK from time to time.”

    On if he will use Nsekhe as a left guard or swing tackle:
    “That’s a good question. I think we’d like to put him at left guard. I think we were excited at the thought of having him and Trent on the same side. Unfortunately, we haven’t been able to keep them both on the field for very long and see how that works out. Ideally, if Trent is able to play the last four games and Morgan gets healthy, I’d like to leave Ty at left guard and see how he does – see how he progresses at that position. But in the meantime, until we get Morgan or Trent back healthy, he’s going to have to be the swing tackle or play one of the tackle spots assuming one of those two guys can’t play. But if they both can play, then he’ll play left guard. [Laughter] We just don’t know.”

    On the challenge of getting RB Samaje Perine more carries:
    “Yeah, we tried to get him going and then he went out of the game for – I think it was two or three series, he was out. He was getting checked out on the sideline for an injury so we had to wait a couple series for him to get back and cleared, so that was an issue there. We tried to get the running game going and unfortunately, I think we had four or five first down runs that were zero or less yards which obviously put us behind the 8 Ball as far as down and distance is concerned and it wasn’t quite good enough. We’ll continue to keep trying and get the running game going because we desperately need it to get going to take some pressure off the quarterback and the pass protection.”




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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Skins Quotes 12/01/17

    One thing has become an iron-clad lock.

    When the Redskins falter in one of these prime-time games for their playoff lives, special teams ALWAYS plays a role AGAINST us.

    We are the team that misses the field goal like Hopkins did last year on a chippie against the Bengals.

    We are the team that allows Dwayne Harris of the Giants to return a kick for a TD against us in a loss to the Giants.

    Last night, we have up another return TD where it appeared the entire Redskins coverage unit was out of position and a step slow down the field.

    THAT is very rarely mentioned among all of the other disappointments.

    But in the Allen and Gibbs years, special teams was usually an area of the team where the Redskins got POSITIVE CONTRIBUTIONS in big victories against NFC East opponents and key out of division rivals such as the Bears and 49ers.

    The well is dry.
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  3. #3

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    Default Re: Skins Quotes 12/01/17

    100% in agreement. I’ve said it a lot - the Redskins rarely have all 3 units show up at the same game. And although our punting and kicking has been super solid even with the injury bug rearing its head, our coverage teams have been awful.

    Seems like a Dan Snyder could go out and find the best ST coach in America and make him the highest paid ST coach in the NFL.

    I don’t understand why we continue to accept failure at that staff position.


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  4. #4
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    Default Re: Skins Quotes 12/01/17

    One thing I noticed is that Jamison Crowder since he is now taking on a more detailed role on offense at WR has slacked off on special teams.

    As a returner he seems reluctant to field the ball an really take a stab at a physical return.

    As a coverage guy down the field he rarely puts himself in position to make plays any longer.

    I think he has developed starter's disease - once he gets to play in the regular offense he looks not to get hurt on special teams.

    We need to get these types of players off teams if they are really contributors as starters or if they are as Crowder is now, still growing as a receiver, he needs an earful about making a contribution on teams as well.

    Notice that the defense with Manusky finally seems to have turned a psychological corner. Where they are getting beat, they not only acknowledge it but seem mad about it.

    The players on offense and special teams seem very UNEMOTIONAL about losing with the exceptions of Trent and Brandon.

    Most of these guys come off the field and you can't read them. It's almost as if they are already thinking about what's for dinner.
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  5. #5
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    Default Re: Skins Quotes 12/01/17

    Crowder just may be afraid of getting injured like BT said or screwing the pooch if he touches it or both on punt returns. In any case - he needs to be replaced as a PR.

    As a receiver I think a big problem is how they to place him on the field. The dude is a smurf and isn't gonna win many contested catches. Kirk has 8 int's and 5 are when targeting Crowder. Stop throwing to him in the middle of the field. Jamison gets more targets than any one else but not that many more to excuse the 5 int's.

    Crowder - targets 79 - Catches 51 (64.6%) - yds 628 - 1 TD/5 Int/6 fum - 29 1st downs - played 65.5% of the snaps
    Doctson - targets 45 - Catch 24 (53%) - yds 354 - 5 TDs/0 int/0 fum - 17 1st downs - played 65.7% of the snaps
    Davis - targets 51 - Catch 35 (68%) - yds 542 - 1 TD/ 1 int/1 fum - 20 1st downs - played 74% of the snaps
    Grant - targets 50 - Catch 36 (72%) - yds 417 - 4 TDs/1 int/0 fum - 24 1st downs - played 55% of all snaps

    Guy is the least productive with the most opportunities.
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  6. #6

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    Default Re: Skins Quotes 12/01/17

    Quote Originally Posted by Boone View Post
    100% in agreement. I’ve said it a lot - the Redskins rarely have all 3 units show up at the same game. And although our punting and kicking has been super solid even with the injury bug rearing its head, our coverage teams have been awful.

    Seems like a Dan Snyder could go out and find the best ST coach in America and make him the highest paid ST coach in the NFL.

    I don’t understand why we continue to accept failure at that staff position.
    Well, it's Norv Jr's job to identify who he wants. Haslett, Barry, and Kotwica fall on his lap.
    Snyder will pay whoever. He isn't, and shouldn't be, picking who that is.
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  7. #7

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    Default Skins Quotes 12/01/17

    Obviously Gruden owns all of it. He has already corrected the Barry error. Snyder needs to use that checkbook to help entice a major upgrade on ST.

    Haslett? Now you’re just piling on - keeping him on was an org/$$ decision.


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  8. #8
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    Default Re: Skins Quotes 12/01/17

    I love Brian Mitchell's post-game comments (TIRADE) about the outcome of the Dallas game and the Redskins demeanor as a team.

    Regarding special teams, he raised the obvious question of why a unit that has struggled on returns and coverage for years and has had some key FG misses on makeable tries in crunch time, continues to employ a coach in Ben Kotwica that has VERY LITTLE NFL experience, at least of the winning variety.

    He was what special teams coach in NY with the Jets for 1 or 2 years?

    Brian is right. We need a guy like a Wayne Sevier or Joe Avezzano was in the past - a guy that knew special teams upside and down and had won big in the past while getting several generations of players to buy into their approaches.

    In that regard, I go back to the Bellichick example. How many years in a row does Bellichick allow a team weakness to remain a team weakness?

    Good coaches use the offseason to evaluate and plug the gaps not only in the draft and free agency, but in terms of coaching and approaches on offense/defense/special teams.

    Special teams continue to defeat us in big games - we NEVER are the ones that get the 100 yard kickoff return to win a game like Thursday night's.

    It has to change this offseason or really Gruden needs to go.

    Gruden has been the HC since 2014. He gets a honeymoon for starting with no #1 picks playing for the team from 2013 or 2014 due to the RGIII trade.

    So, his first year was going to be limited in any event because the younger core players were not there.

    But we have some of these players now, in fact more than a few.

    The draft has produced some good young players that are improving on an individual basis. Kendall Fuller, Montae Nicholson, Matt Ioannidis, Jonathan Allen - to go with guys like Brandon Scherff from 2015 and veterans in their primes like Trent and Josh Norman.

    Our front office has done a decent job. In fact a good job.

    But our draft pickers/scouts/player personnel guys have been undermined in some respects by Bruce Allen and Jay Gruden.

    Gruden didn't want to draft a TE or RB high because he believes 100% in Jordan Reed and thought that Kelley and Mack Brown were prospects worthy of developing.

    Those were mistakes.

    While bringing in Vernon Davis last year as a free agent was a savior for the offense - it only pointed up how we CANNOT COUNT on Jordan Reed.

    And we can't count on ANY of the tight ends to be consistent blockers at the point of attack.

    Going into the 2018 draft and free agent period we NEED to find MORE at tight end, running back, AND wide receiver.

    Gruden also championed the cause of Shawn Lauvao who over the past 2 years was the weak link in our offensive line.

    Perhaps NOW after his contract has expired and he is on IR, we can go into the offseason and pull in an established veteran LG who we can plug in next to Trent and not have to face these OL questions again in 2018.

    Meanwhile, Bruce and Co. have all but prevented the team from selecting a capable quarterback prospect in the draft.

    So, Kirk Cousins remains in a dominant position vis a vis the team in re a new contract because there is no other immediate option.

    Even as Bellichick had Brady three years ago, he still spent a #2 pick on Jimmy Garroppolo.

    The Packers did the same thing in 2005 taking Aaron Rogers at #2 4 in Round 1 despite having a Hall of Fame passer in Brett Favre.

    So, why couldn't we do that here? Kirk hasn't won any Super Bowls for us. He doesn't deserve any more than being paid the salary he has negotiated with the team.

    In the name of competition and the future of the team the Redskins needed and still need to continue to add talent across the roster and that includes quarterback.

    Taking Nate Sudfeld at the end of Round 6, a player whose footwork Chris Cooley described as a rookie as being 'abysmal' doesn't count as a 'solid' prospect.

    The other area Mitchell ripped the team was in Cousins' comment that the team did in fact put out real effort to win the Cowboys game.

    I didn't think this team really played hard for 60 minutes, and Mitchell backed that up with his observation.

    He said that Kirk can say what he wants to 'support his guys' in the media, but Mitchell could tell the that while the Redskins were not laying down against Dallas they certainly were not performing as a focused, energetic football team either.

    Mitchell wondered out loud as I have why Cousins himself is not doing more ON the field to get the team out of these funks, regroup and come back strong to contend for a victory at the end.

    It appears to me and evidently to Mitchell and Doc Walker as well that once things start to go bad for the Redskins on the field with a bad play, ref's call, or turnover there is NO LEADER - be it Kirk Cousins, Jay Gruden, Ryan Kerrigan, etc. that exerts his will on the team to check themselves and not lose focus and continue to compete HARD.

    I think DJ Swearinger has those instincts and may with more seniority here develop into one of those players. Trent Williams mentally is a top flight competitor, unfortunately he is a 'lead by example' type and not someone that is going to go up and down the bench and shame guys when it appears they are starting to lose their edge.

    Kirk?

    I don't see Kirk Cousins as an emotional leader of men. Yes, he can throw TDs and he supports his teammates, refusing to pass off the blame the way RGIII did in the past.

    That's 50% of the 'leadership thing'. But he is missing the other 50%, which is the VOCAL, VISIBLE ON FIELD actions to snap guys back into attention.

    When Crowder bounced that pass for an INT in the red zone and Docston dropped a couple of balls that would have been first downs, Cousins needed to get in their grilles and demand better of them!

    Instead the offense quietly left the field and went to go sit on the bench.

    Already mentally beaten.
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  9. #9

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    Default Re: Skins Quotes 12/01/17

    That's a great post Bulldog - some really good insight here.

    Couple of thoughts:

    1) Agree on Kirk. It's strange - because there are times we see the fiery guy. Then there are games where he seems almost detached. I think seeing some obvious emotion is needed at times. And I'd say that's even more true of Gruden. I don't think throwing a fit on the sideline necessarily changes the game, but there are moments when it's called for - and we never see it. I'll also add - why do guys never get benched on this team? Jamison Crowder single-handedly ensured we had no chance against the Cowboys. Seemingly zero consequences for it.

    2) I think the team found a kid with a lot of potential in Jeremy Sprinkle. Why they continue to put Niles Paul out there who may be able to block a little, but is worthless otherwise, instead of giving Sprinkle reps - I don't understand.

    3) We've done well overall with the first 3 rounds of the draft. But we treat the later rounds as if they don't really matter. I have no idea what the team saw in Nate Sudfeld. If they thought he was a hidden gem that could really develop - fine. But to spend the pick and then release the guy, that just compounds the issue.
    Last edited by Boone; 12-02-17 at 01:37 PM.
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    Default Re: Skins Quotes 12/01/17

    Maybe now we'll see an expanded role for Sprinkle but I don't know. Davis had 2 catches on 2 targets against Dallas, one in each half. He also has the most separation from his defender (per NextGen) of all the Washington receivers almost every game so he's open to some degree but it looks like they almost avoid throwing to him. I find it unlikely they will do much more for Sprinkle but one can only hope.

    Have the Skins reached a point to where they sit Kirk after 2 or 3 quarters if he is getting pounded and the game is getting out of hand score wise? It doesn't seem likely that they're going to get a reasonably healthy OLine by the end of the season. Chargers are #4 in sacking the QB but are last in giving up rushing yards. Dallas, Az & Denver all about the middle of the league in getting sacks so I could see the game in LA go South in a hurry. Whether or not Kirk should be doing more to avoid sacks isn't the point it's more of is it an acceptable risk.

    I'd say you still start Cousins but be willing to sit him to avoid an injury. They may say there's still a chance for the playoffs but that's just ridiculous at this point. Besides, they have never won a playoff game in a 9-7 season in their entire history. I'm not saying tank the balance of the year just where is the line at for avoiding injury. Luck, no Oline for years now, is really beat up & he took a lot of sacks.
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  11. #11

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    Default Re: Skins Quotes 12/01/17

    Doubting that Crook will be here next year, I'd play him every play, to protect Colt.

    Crook has made a Kings ransom the last 2 seasons. Might as well get every penny out of him we can.
    If someone's gonna get broken, might as well be the guy who's on his way out the door.
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    Default Re: Skins Quotes 12/01/17

    I agree that most of the Redskins recent success with younger players has been in Rounds 1-3.

    However, there ARE guys like Matt Ioannidis (5th), Montae Nicholson (4th), Jeremy Sprinkle (5th), Josh Holsey (7th), and even practice squad pickups like Byron Marshall and Maurice Harris I think have some talent and an ability to be NFL players.

    Unfortunately, the Redskins ARE VERY slow to make personnel changes UNLESS they are forced to do so due to injuries.

    Gruden and Co. stuck with guys like Shawn Lauvao, Niles Paul, Terrelle Pryor, DeShazor Everett and DeShaun Phillips too long.

    We finally have some reps for Sprinkle, some reps for Harris, a role for Byron Marshall now that Kelley and Thompson are out for the season.

    Marshall has good athleticism and is a dual threat as runner and receiver.

    He may be a better option in 2018 than Robert Kelley.

    I could see him taking early down reps with Thompson being the third down specialist again.

    Perine is OK IF you are going to commit to running a one-back offense where Samaje can see the holes and go side to side.

    He's not a good back out of the I-formation and the Redskins keep trying to pidgeon hole him into that set despite the negative results.
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