Monday, October 17, 2016

Better without Jordan Reed

Blasphemous, right? On the other hand, here is why saying that the offense is better without Reed makes sense. In the passing game, Jordan Reed is a security blanket. If he's out there, offensive coordinator Sean McVay is more likely to call plays for him (McVay was formerly the TE coach) and Cousins is more likely to look to throw to Reed. Without Reed in the game, McVay needs to distribute the ball more and defenses won't key clamp down just on the Skins' best TE.

In the running game, Niles Paul is a better blocker. Witness the Matt Jones touchdown right before halftime. Not saying that Reed may not have made the same block at the point of attack but Paul definitively made the play that enabled the Jones sprint outside.

The other notable difference on offense is at Center. Spencer Long has been playing in place of the injured Kory Lichtensteiger. I'm not someone who watches game film so I can't definitively said Long is an upgrade but here are the facts:
  • Long is six years younger (25 vs. 31)
  • Long is bigger (6'4" and 315 vs. 6'2" and 292)
  • Long has been injury-free (vs. Lichtensteiger's seond consecutive year on IR and a torn ACL that led to IR in 2011)
Long had a nice pulling block against the Browns to spring Chris Thompson free for a big gainer. He was also in position to make a key block during Jamison Crowder's screen pass TD against the Giants although Trent Williams ended up taking out that defender as well as Keenan Robinson.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Marc Trestman

Fired! Not surprising. The Skins are getting into the habit of getting coordinators fired. 

Last year, the Saints canned their DC Rob Ryan after Washington torched them for 47 points in Week 10.

Sunday, October 09, 2016

Redskins vs Ravens - Escape!

Washington sneaked into Baltimore and escaped with a win over a superior team. The Ravens easily could have have kept running the ball at the Skins over and over again but inexplicably stopped the ground game. 

Instead, without injured wideout Steve Smith, Joe Flacco and the Ravens offense was flummoxed by Joe Barry's defense. 

The Skins benefited not only from a failed but aggressive call with the poorly executed fake field goal but spectacularly from the fumbled interception into the end zone.

Yes, Washington certainly played competitively and had missed opportunities of their own. Most importantly, I was really confused they they had 3rd and 1 six times and tried passing on ALL SIX of those plays. They failed ALL SIX times. Yes, the Ravens defense is stout but the most convertible type of 3rd down is 3rd and 1! Matt Jones could have attempted to push the pile, they could have tried a QB sneak, they could have tested the edge, they could have even run a naked QB bootleg if they wanted to keep their pass-heavy look.   

That said, if the Ravens had done nothing but call 15-20 more running plays, the game easily would have tilted in their favor. 

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Redskins vs. Steelers

Washington was completely outmatched. The Steeles had a balanced offense, able to both run and pass effectively. 

The Skins' offense couldn't run the ball nor stop the run when they needed to. Joe Barry should have changed it up early to have Norman match up with Antonio Brown after the first score. 

Sean McVay should have adapted when Couins wasn't getting pressured with just three or four rushers. He should have taken more time to survey the field and let his receivers find soft spots in the zone.

If the coaches don't adapt, this is going to be an extremely long season.

Thursday, September 01, 2016

Glimmer of Hope for the Running Game?

Mack Brown had an impressive tune-up in the final preseason game. He was a practice squad player last year, signed as an undrafted free agent. However, he looked decisive in his cuts, he followed his blocking, and he showed off speed to score on the long run.

It's hard to tell how much credit to give when many of the players out there won't be on the regular season rosters. Nevertheless, there's at least a glimmer of hope that Brown and/or Robert Kelley can push Matt Jones and Chris Thompson to uplevel the running game. If not, I hope Scot McCloughan feels comfortable dialing up Pierre Thomas' number.