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Examiner: Five Questions Facing the Redskins Heading Into Week 6

Washington Taylor beat Panthers

Lanky Livingston

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Keim makes a great point - the pass-rush is almost nonexistent without Rak. Some of you have said he is one of the most overrated players in the league, but his absence from the D the past couple games has been palpable. Whether or not he has more than one pass-rush move, that move gets him in the vicinity of the QB, and helps out the overall pass-rush immensely.

They better figure something out, because no pass-rush coupled with this secondary is a killer! (Despite the fact that the Redskins covered fairly well against the Falcons).
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1. Will Robert Griffin III play?

He passed the conditioning tests Tuesday and will practice Wednesday, according to team and league sources, so that's a good sign. If no symptoms return, then he'll play against the Vikings. This will bear watching, especially with the sort of hits he's been receiving, though he was only hit three times Sunday -- one just happened to be vicious. Consider it the life of a mobile quarterback who happens to be a rookie.

2. Will he change his ways?

He'd better not. OK, he'll have to alter them a little just to stay healthy (as he has on the zone read handoffs by raising his arm). But Griffin was drafted because of what he could do with his arm and legs. His legs, and the threat of what he might do, help power this offense.

3. Where's the pass rush?

Good question. The Redskins covered well vs. Atlanta, but the pass rush has been nonexistent for several games. They tried a few blitzes, some stunts and nothing worked. Losing Brian Orakpo clearly has changed things. Ryan Kerrigan's pass rushing was too quiet Sunday. He had the touchdown, but there was little pressure otherwise. They don't have a player in the secondary who's considered a strong blitzer.

4 Will Kai Forbath make a difference?

Who knows? The kid has never attempted a field goal in an NFL game. So nobody knows how he'll fare. It typically takes kickers longer to mature, but that only comes through real game experience. However, Billy Cundiff was not going to improve. Maybe Forbath will. There's your hope. The pendulum has swung back to needing patience with a young kicker. Enjoy the growing pains.

5...

Click link for the rest.
 

Ax

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1. Will Robert Griffin III play?

Yes.

Will he change his ways?

Only the part that includes throwing the ball away, running out of bounds, and sliding. Which, contrary to a lot of what I've read, he was NOT trying to slide when he got hit. He was foolishly trying to cut back inside, and slipped, while absorbing a monster hit that he bares full responsibility for.

Where's the pass rush?

A day late, and a dollar short. Rak is definitely missed. Our coaches seem to be at a loss of how the scheme things to lessen the blow. My advice? You're losing rushing 3 and dropping into soft man, or zone coverage. Crowd the line, play bump and run, and scheme some blitzes that get us a free runner at the QB. Every other team in the league seems to do it more than we do. That's coaching.

Will Kai Forbath make a difference?

Yes. He is destined to one day join the Redskins Ring of Fame. Because I say so.

Why can't they win at home?

Soft defensive play.
 

Elephant

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The absence of a pass rush is coming from the interior of that line as well. I would say that Carriker's absence is felt as much as Rak's. And for goodness sake, why is Chris Wilson getting so much playing time? Is Rob Jackson injured?
 

Lanky Livingston

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The absence of a pass rush is coming from the interior of that line as well. I would say that Carriker's absence is felt as much as Rak's. And for goodness sake, why is Chris Wilson getting so much playing time? Is Rob Jackson injured?
Haslett is a moron. That's my answer, anyway.
 

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Haslett is a moron. That's my answer, anyway.
On this we can agree...

Edit: And the fact that we were rushing three against the Falcons doesn't help our pass rush. I guess that was a catch 22 though...rush 3 and cover all their weapons or...
 

Henry

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I'm no Haslett fan but he did what he could on Sunday.

If you blitz and they pick it up ... with our secondary? Touchdown.

If you rush three or four and make them march down the field, make them earn it, maybe they'll screw up (which they did some) but you lose TOP (which we did, badly) and you're defense wears down.

Considering how potent the Atlanta offense is I thought the defense did ok. Giving up a net 17 points (including a 50+ yard FG) isn't terrible. We aren't going to see much better, that's for sure.
 

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Yeah, my guess is if anyone on this board had been told last week that we would give up just 24 to the Falcons at home and the defense would score a TD we all would have called it a win. I know I would have.
 

Burgundy Burner

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Virginia

I hate it when Redskins reporters steal my BBQ format!!! :)

And yes, Forbath will make a difference.
 

Lanky Livingston

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Yeah, my guess is if anyone on this board had been told last week that we would give up just 24 to the Falcons at home and the defense would score a TD we all would have called it a win. I know I would have.
Exactly...24 points with a DTD would have been music to my ears if you told me before the game. I've expressed why I didn't think they were successful on offense many times, so I'll just say this one was on them, NOT the defense.

I would like to see more pass rush though.
 

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I think 3rd down conversions are the real key. I won't bother looking up the exact 3rd down % but it's at the bottom if not the very worst in the league. I'm certain the entire coaching staff is aware of the problem. Even with a modest improvement this team can win some games
 

Cycleans

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Ok I looked it up on the NFL.com site the Skins are ranked dead last in 3rd down %. they are only converting on 23% of 3rd downs. Browns are at 27%, Tampa bay at 26% are the other 2 teams with similar results
 

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Elephant

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And I think the lack of success on 3rd downs is a direct reflection of our OL. 3rd and short should be a first down with Morris running the way he does, but the defense stacks the box. 3rd and long requires protection to give Griff time to go through his progressions.
 

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I could be mistaken but it seems like RG3 hasn't developed a true go to guy in the passing game. I know during the preseason he and Garcon had a promising trend. I think the 3rd down percentage will go up a bunch if he can find that guy. Fred Davis? A healthier Garcon, Hankerson without the alligator arms.
 

Lanky Livingston

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Hmmmm....rock solid 3rd down option, a safety valve, ultra reliable receiver who always seemed to find the soft spot in a zone, or get open somehow right when it was needed most...DAMN I wish the Redskins had a guy like that. Don't possibly know where someone like that could be found either! DEFINITELY not sculpting pottery in Ashburn or anything like that.
 

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You beat me to it Lanky! I think it's time to get Cooley back in here. He may not be the fastest, he may not be as strong as he once was, but he gets open on critical downs and rarely drops passes.

I was thinking about this today, where is our Ed McCaffrey?
 

Bulldog

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Where is our Rod Smith? Where is our Gary Zimmerman or Dan Neal?

Yep, a lot is still missing.

The points to watch topic of this article are to a point BS.

The simple fact is losing teams often lose games in the fourth quarter. It's not conditioning or poor coaching. It's a lack of talent that can be exploited by other teams.

And as far as the close games, didn't we watch Norv lose a bucket full of close games here over 7 years?

Losing teams often lose close.

Unless you are 2-14 bad which this team is not.
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micks113

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Here's the deal fellas. Griffin is highly accurate and has always hit his targets. Our receivers can't make the catch. I guess they suck. Garcon has been rendered ineffective. But you can't ask anymore of Griffen, he can't throw em and catch em too.

Now as for lack of 3rd down conversions, that's on the offensive coordinator by now. Last in the league is an indictment on Kyle's 3rd down playcalling. They need more creativity, but then again, if those receivers don't make their catches on first and second, third down is a crap shoot. I have yet to see a screen pass to negate the pass rush and get the first down. Its been there over and over but is not called. Kyle sucks at this. Houston peaked under him and look where they are without him! Kyle's probably reached his 3 yr peak in DC too, but there is a conflict with dealing with that situation and I won't go there.
 

Bulldog

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Yep, this isn't college. Coaches usually don't hire family to work a major spot on the staff like OC.

They do hire sons to work as quality control assistants or even as juniors in the front office side of the game.

But rarely again as major players and it all goes back to steering clear of any appearance of favoritism in a professional business, which NFL teams are now viewed as being.
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