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    Default Planning for 2018

    I am assuming Jay Gruden is returning as head coach and the team will finally sort out the qb situation without having to give Cousins the $34M franchise tag for a third year of living in limbo.

    In this post I am talking more about what certain players and coaches can do irrespective of additional talent that may be added in free agency and the draft. It's hard to handicap what the FA/draft class is going to add before we see them in the preseason and really Weeks 1-4 of the regular season.

    To start, the Redskins came out of the preseason and played a flat, uninspired game in the opener against the fellow NFC East Eagles. No one knew exactly how good the Eagles would be this season, but the Redskins effort was clearly not good enough to win a game against a solid/good team.

    So, to me Step #1 is Gruden needs to organize a more physical camp and preseason.

    The CBA prevents certain activities, but Gruden needs to emulate Bellichick and make sure his starters get enough work in the preseason so that they are sharp to start the season.

    Brady and other veteran players played in Games 3 and 4 of the preseason. Here we really didn't let Kirk Cousins play much or try running anything like a real offensive set when he was in those preseason contests.

    To me that contributes to the fact that Kirk often comes out and isn't sharp the first couple of games of the season.

    Step #2 is to look at the history and do what we can to get some players prepared to play a 16 game schedule.

    For example, Morgan Moses is 6'6 and over 335 at RT. He is a very good player. But I have notice the past 2 years he has had consistent ankle/lower leg injuries which may be caused by him carrying around a bit too much weight for his frame.

    Instead of playing at 335 plus, if we could get him down to 325 to start the season perhaps he would be able to sustain himself better.

    You can also look at players like Stacy McGhee that came into camp overweight and work these guys more in camp and the preseason to get them down to a playing weight where they are more effective.

    Notice that once the season started and McGhee after 5-6 weeks started to contribute more and was able to stay on the field for repeated snaps before getting gassed.

    The other area I think the team was unprepared for and seemingly waited until the season to straighten things out was the passing game.

    Despite the fact we had essentially two new wide receivers in Pryor and Doctson joining Crowder in the lineup, Gruden didn't see fit to maximize their time on the field in the preseason games to get these guys going in a positive direction.

    I am amused when I hear comments like 'we don't want to give too much away' in the preseason or in our camp looks because opponents can tee of on that during the season.

    Working for 4 games in getting Cousins and McCoy continually throw slants, crosses and deep outs to Pryor, Doctson, Quick and others we had on the roster was going to give our opponents too much of an advantage?????

    I would submit the OPPOSITE happened. The Redskins after an unproductive preseason tried to get their passing game going DURING the season hoping that guys were going to get on the same page on the fly and that everything would work itself out.

    If we had pressed harder, we might have seen earlier on that this wide receivers group was raw from top to bottom and perhaps we needed to make a trade or pick up a veteran receiver in August to boost our passing game chances during the season, especially early on.

    But we didn't do anything. We didn't go out and test the guys we had and make them work in the preseason to improve and we didn't make any moves to provide some veteran leadership for guys that were still learning how to play WR in the NFL.

    Pryor is 28 but is in essence a second year player at WR. He was an unfinished product coming out of Cleveland last year and Gruden should have known that he and Josh needed a LOT of work to be counted on in the passing game.

    There were a number of receivers that were released or switched teams over the late summer and the Redskins stood pat with the group we had.

    Not enough cap space?

    Release DeAngelo Hall and his $1.8M cap hit. As it turned out the 34 year old former corner only played in 2-3 games for the Redskins in 2017. It was obvious that he was not part of the team's plans going forward, his status on the protected list seemed to be a way of giving him that extra year with the team as a thank you for past services more than anything else.

    But the problem with that is the Patriots, Steelers, Saints, Panthers, etc. weren't doing this.

    If the team had been a bit more intelligent in the offseason, they could also have cut loose Shawn Lauvao and his $5M salary and gone with John Sullivan at center and Spencer Long at LG.

    That would have provided the team with some reserve cap room to get a veteran at WR or another position.

    Overall as we move forward we need to be more PROACTIVE in managing our roster and be FASTER in moving guys out like Lauvao that are not value vs. their cap hit and what we can release them for.

    In his case, we had another player we could have retained to play inside and make the transition. We should have made the move.

    We also should have made the move at WR once we saw that Pryor and Docston were struggling to get ready for the season in the offense and they and Kirk didn't look smooth or prepared to start the first few games.
    Last edited by Bulldog's Twin; 01-01-18 at 02:11 PM.
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