A Burgundy and Gold Obsession
Game 12 - Philly. No biggie. Just a season in the balance ...

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  1. #1
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    Default What To Be Frustrated About And What Not To Be

    Last night's game was certainly a bucket of cold water over the shoulders. Not because anyone expected the Redskins to win 16 games but because when you show up fairly healthy and the other team looks like a MASH ward you should be abel to take advantage that given week.

    The Redskins didn't take advantage and that is usually the difference between an average team (which the Redskins probably are going to be at 7-9 or 8-8) and a team with a vision for reaching the postseason and the confidence to carry it off.

    But of all the hand wringing that has gone on and WILL gone on for the next 13 games it is time I think to separate out those things which are not really amenable to change and those things which SHOULD change and which a good coaching staff will get a team to overcome in time.

    In regards to the former, forgive Rex Grossman. Grossman is a 31 year old journeyman quarterback who can keep a team in most contests with a bit of support. But he has not been nor will he ever be a player that elevates an offense and makes plays with his arm or his feet that consistently wins games.

    The Redskins most glaring weakness right now at a single position where the impact is felt week to week is at quarterback.

    The Redskins have enough talent on offense where an elite talent like Aaron Rodgers or an emerging Josh Freeman probably would have made the plays last night to pull this game out against a Dallas secondary that was scrambling to keep up with Moss, Davis, etc.

    But without clearly superior talent surrounding him at the skill positions and the offensive line Grossman is going to struggle against a good front seven.

    The other thing that is not going to change until the next offseason is the mix on the interior OL. The Redskins haven't been able to run the ball at all against the two solid fronts they have faced in NY and Dallas. At one point Hightower had 10 carries for 28 yards on the graphics board last night. That's not all on him obviously. The Redskins have some undersized OL, but the fact is they might not just be undersized but undertalented. Will Montgomery, Chris Chester and Kory Lichtensteiger were all acquired on the cheap on waivers or as street free agents. The team is going to have to make an investment here.

    The Broncos are famous for having an athletic OL with players that were considered undersized for their time in the league, but let's face it the names on that line included pro bowler Dan Neal and Hall of Famer Gary Zimmerman as well as ex-Redskin Mark Schlereth.

    On the other side of the fence, there are the things I expect to see change.

    One of them is the improvement of the special teams. Last week there was a blocked field goal because of a missed assignment inside against a 6'7 player. This week there was a botched hold. On top of that there was Brandon Banks consistently bringing the ball out from deep and running kicks back short of the 20 yard line.

    Those exta field goals last week and this week could have been game changers. Romo would have needed a touchdown instead of a FG on that last drive after the 3rd and 21 conversion and the Redskins D didn't give up a TD in 60 minutes.

    I also expect the pass defense to improve with the return of Landry and of Phillip Buchanon after his suspension. Landry was miscast as a free safety but in the short and intermediate zones he can be a disruptor in the passing game. Buchanon is despite the high draft pick used on him, still a significant upgrade from Kevin Barnes.

    The Redskins are still lacking a shutdown corner and seem more suited to zone. Last night, in a critical moment Haslett decided to roll the dice on that third and long knowing he had a 5'10 cornerback trying to cover a 6'4 receiver in Dez Bryant. And no one has ever confused DeAngelo Hall with Charles Woodson or Asomugha.

    The other thing that is still on the come is the development of younger players who despite their contributions are still making mistakes. This includes Ryan Kerrigan who got sucked inside on the Felix Jones run in the second half.

    At some point during the season one also hopes we see receivers like Paul, Hankerson, Austin active and making a contribution. The team has better receivers around Moss than last year but Gaffney, Stallworth and Armstrong are limited in what they can do and how they can challenge a defense.

    But, in the end, let's not spend 16 weeks blaming Rex Grossman for the losses this team sustains because the GM, coaches and fans all knew what Rex brought to the table, good and bad before season started.

    This is not the Colts, where an untimely injury to a HOF quarterback has landed them with 40 year old Kerry Collins and Curtis Painter as the signal callers.
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    thats a great post, I would include among things that wont change _ London Fletcher is not a banger, on several plays he was either engulfed or simply pushed out of the way by far larger men, when allowed some room, he uses his speed and quickness to get to the ball, wwhen allowed to go downhill, he made several plays at or near the LOS but when he has to react, thats when he gets blocked. he isnt going to get much bigger or stronger and until we find a banger to play beside him (and LA isnt gonna be that guy as I had hoped) we will be susceptible to inside runs and counters. Lorenzo did agreat job scrap on a couple plays but he simply needs better coaching and instincts at ILB.

    We are young, and have some talent at several spots, but we dont have depth and we dont have skill at certain spots, tbh our Oline is terrible, Williams is decent but not special, I would almost prefer to move him to RT and get an elite LT in the draft if we arent in position to get a blue chip qb. I would be happy if we went with the shotgun approach next year in free agency and the draft and went almost all oline.
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    This is what I have been thinking all morning, BD.

    We all knew this team was at least a year, and maybe two, away from being something. We were all looking for improvement this year and we have gotten it, even last night.

    But let's not kid ourselves. Rex is still Rex which means some good stuff and some bad stuff, which is really no different from any other QB in the league not named Manning, Brews, Brady, Rogers or Rivers, right?

    The offensive line is better but I fully expect either our first or second round pick next year to go for a lineman, either a G or a RT. The WR corps is better also but still not there. Sure, we kept 8 of them but every week we have a different arrangement of active and inactive guys from this bunch.

    On defense we are week in the secondary, in our line rotation and, even though he had a decent game last night, Rocky's spot. Getting Landry back this week and Buchanon back after the bye will certainly help the first thing. Losing Jenkins in preseaon cost us in the second thing and it is what it is till next season. Riley may or may not step up enough to take the place of McIntosh at some point during the season.

    We have made strides. Perhaps big ones. But not big enough for anyone to realistically think more than Wildcard and even that is, to me, a best case scenario where several other teams screw themselves out of it for us to get there.

    In the end though, I think the strides are enough for one season. At least it appears so at this point.
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    For years now, YEARS, now I've been on about the O-Line. Yeah, it's improved by jettionsing turnstile Rabach, but we just shifted people around for the most part. We need two nasty, Russ Grimm type guards inside. I hope Bruce Allen is looking for some right now. I also agree that if we don't suck enough for Luck, we should look for another LT. Williams has been around long enough now to be playing better than he is. I'm just concerned about the "lazy" label he had coming out of college and wonder if he would be any better at RT than he is at left
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    The Redskins aren't looking for power blockers like Grimm who at 275 was huge for a guard when he came into the NFL in 1981.

    Shanahan is looking for smaller, faster guys. Chris Chester was not resigned by the Ravens because they thought he was only average at the point of attack in their power game. But because he was atheltic and could pull, the Redskins looked at him as a solution at RG.

    Lichtensteiger was a street free agent at 6'2 and 292. That's small even for a center these days. But guard? Not in the NFC East.

    And so far in the NFC East, the Redskins OL in 2 games has been unable to establish an effective ground attack.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bulldog's Twin View Post
    The Redskins aren't looking for power blockers like Grimm who at 275 was huge for a guard when he came into the NFL in 1981.

    Shanahan is looking for smaller, faster guys. Chris Chester was not resigned by the Ravens because they thought he was only average at the point of attack in their power game. But because he was atheltic and could pull, the Redskins looked at him as a solution at RG.

    Lichtensteiger was a street free agent at 6'2 and 292. That's small even for a center these days. But guard? Not in the NFC East.

    And so far in the NFC East, the Redskins OL in 2 games has been unable to establish an effective ground attack.
    That's because Shanny hasn't adjusted to the NFC East. Back in the day, I used to love playing finese teams like Denver, because we KILLED them with smash mouth lines. Nothing has changed here. As you said, we've faced two NFC East teams and even though we beat the Gints, part of the win came from their injuries. Had their line been intact, we may well be 1-2 instead of 2-1.

    I understand Shannys line scheme, it's just that we may have to look for some hybrid players that can both pull and stand their own in the East
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    Agree with your original post BD. We had a ton of holes to fill this offseason and we've done an admirable job filling a lot of them. But we still have some to go, most notably at QB and the OL. Hopefully we take care of those over the next offseason. Until then, I think our top end might not be as high as we'd like.
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    Very nice take on things Bulldog. Well put.

    I especially agree with Grossman. I think the options were limited, and he was the best bet available. But I liken our team to the Colts, who with a great QB are all-world, but bottom feeders without him. All we need is top 8 QB and we will make the playoffs every year with what we have. Look at Romo, he can make nobodies at WR look good.

    Shanahan has to recognize that and go for it. Grossman is a stop gap and we will be wasting good talent on this team unless an all out effort is made for a bonified franchise QB. There are plenty of young QB's in this league that are making good, and we need to make the move now (ie offseason.)

    We are not that far away, 1-2 years, not at all. There are plenty of worst to first stories, we need not have to wait. Bring me a competitor, bring me the guy who refuses to lose (with a strong arm I'm tired of noodle arm).
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