Not sure if it's been mentioned, but on a side note, Dexter Manley is going to be profiled in the 2015 lineup and his episode is slated for 9/25.For those who missed it the first time it aired, A Football Life with Sean Taylor is on at 9pm.
Following that is another good one, Lyle Alzado.
More at the link aboveThe Redskins went 7-25 the past two years, so it’s not surprising that no one is picking them to win the Super Bowl — or even be competitive in the NFC East — heading into the 2015 season. A main reason for the pessimism is the team’s instability at quarterback. Robert Griffin III was proclaimed the starter in the offseason and he didn’t even make it to Week 1 before losing the job to Kirk Cousins. While quarterback is the most important position in all of sports, having an elite one isn’t necessarily a playoff prerequisite. If Cousins’ supporting cast can reach the following goals, the Redskins could be a winner this year even if their quarterback play is mediocre.
Season goal: Run the ball at least 500 times
Over the past five years, 19 teams recorded 500 or more rushing attempts in a single season. Of those teams, 16 won at least eight games and 12 had double-digit victories — including the Redskins in 2012, when they won the NFC East behind the top-ranked rushing attack. Here’s a list of quarterbacks on a few of those teams that made the playoffs: Nick Foles, Colin Kaepernick, Matt Schaub, Tim Tebow, Matt Cassel and Mark Sanchez. The Redskins claim they’re committed to the run this season after rushing only 401 times in 2014. With Alfred Morris — who has averaged 292 carries and 1,320 rushing yards a season in his three-year career — and bruising rookie Matt Jones, the Redskins have a backfield that could wear down defenses.
Season goal: Don’t allow more than 30 sacks
Last season, eight of 12 playoff teams allowed 30 sacks or fewer and none allowed more than 45. The Redskins’ quarterbacks were sacked 58 times — the second most in the league. Washington put a lot of effort in improving the offensive line this offseason, drafting Brandon Scherff in the first round and bringing in offensive line coach Bill Callahan from Dallas. They also made Trent Williams the highest-paid tackle in NFL history. Results were mixed this preseason, but the move from Griffin to Cousins should help. Last season, Griffin was sacked 13.4 percent of the times he dropped back for a pass while Cousins was sacked only 3.8 percent. The NFC East had two of the top four pass-rushing teams in the league last season (Giants and Eagles), so the revamped line will be tested.
Season goal: Have a receiver with 20 catches of 20 yards or more
Last season, nine receivers in the NFL reached that benchmark and seven of them played for teams with winning records. The Redskins have shown they have big-play ability. In 2014, they had 20 40-yard receptions — five more than any team in the league. While big plays didn’t translate to wins for the Redskins, the other five teams with at least 12 40-yard catches last year did have winning records. When they’re going deep, the Redskins will mostly turn to DeSean Jackson, who had a team-high 16 20-yard catches in 2014. The 28-year-old has reached the 20-for-20 mark in a season twice in his career and both times (2010, 2013) his team, the Eagles, made the playoffs.
Defensive front seven
Season goal: Hold teams to 3.7 yards or less per rush
While a good pass rush can help any defense, it wasn’t necessarily a catalyst for wins last season. Only one of the seven teams that recorded 45 sacks or more made the playoffs. A better indicator of success was how well teams defended the run. Five defenses held teams to 3.7 yards per rush or less last year and those teams won an average of 11 games. The Redskins, who allowed 4.1 yards per rush in 2014, have beefed up their line with the additions of 354-pound nose tackle Terrance Knighton and 300-pound end Stephen Paea to improve on a run defense that ranked 12th in yards allowed a year ago. This preseason, coach Jay Gruden has said he’s been encouraged by the Redskins’ stout run defense...
More at yon linkageThe only way this preseason could have rightfully ended was with former Redskins coach Mike Shanahan being asked by Dan Patrick to name an NFL sleeper team for the 2015 season. And really, there was only one option.
“I think Washington will be much better than people think they will,” Shanahan answered. “I think Washington will play good.”
Sure, you’d expect a team with a top 10 NFL quarterback would out-perform the widespread predictions of it being the NFL’s worst team.
But that it took Shanahan, of all people, to elevate Washington from the league’s presumed cellar is a truly magical way to enter the regular season.
What else did Shanahan have to say? You could probably guess. Here, for example, is the former coach, when asked by Patrick about Robert Griffin III’s future in the league.
“I think that’s a good question,” Shanahan said. “I think the first thing Robert has to decide is does he want to go back and run some of the things he did in 2012 that made him a Pro Bowl player and rookie of the year. You know, Robert does have a lot of talents. You could see those talents in 2012. And over the last couple of years, they’ve changed schemes, and you can see being a dropback quarterback isn’t natural for him right now.
“He does have a lot of skill, a lot of talent, very smart guy; he still has a big upside,” Shanahan said. “So the question is — I think everybody’s question — can he go to another team that has run some of the things that he did early in his career when he had a lot of success, and will he be successful? And I think only he can determine if he wants to do that. Over the last couple years, he didn’t want to run that type of system, so I’m not even sure if he wants to do it.”
Shanahan went on to say that the problem was never that Griffin was friends with owner Dan Snyder. Coaches want their quarterback and owner to have a great relationship, Shanahan said, and such relationships were never a problem for him during prior stops in Denver and San Francisco.
“I just think that once the owner and the quarterback decided that the type of offense that we were very successful with in 2012, that you really don’t want to run a lot of those plays, you want to throw more and you want to throw less, and you get other people involved, it takes away from the coach,” Shanahan went on. “And I think Jay Gruden’s in a situation where he’s going to run his attack, and he’s going to get a quarterback that gives him the best chance to be successful running his attack, and that’s based on practices, that he sees guys do every day in practice.
“And he’s going to pick the person that gives him the best chance to win,” Shanahan said. “And that’s what you’re looking for in a head coach, picking out the best players and letting them compete. At the end of the day, players know. A player knows who the best players are, and as a head coach, you better play the best players or else you’ll lose your football team very quickly...”
Yeah, clearly Mike Shanahan is all about taking responsibility for his own performance.Dan meddling? Naw...football people have been running the franchise for years.
Glad he doesn't meddle anymore.