Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Fantasy Football 2014 Prognostications

With the Gruden West Coast offense and the DeSean Jackson signing, here's the general consensus from the media, mixed in with my own opinion:

1. Jackson's own numbers won't match his own career numbers from last year. He's the #2 option behind Garcon.
2. Garcon will see fewer receptions but his yardage and TD total may increase since there are plenty of other threats.
3. Alfred Morris will run inside the tackles more but will probably yield playing time to the speedier Roy Helu, who is more of a threat in the passing game.
4. Jordan Reed can be a difference-maker running drag routes and down the seam as long as (1) he stays healthy, and (2) the offensive line sufficiently protects RG3.
5. RG3 will have a much better year than last year. He'll be used more similarly to Russell Wilson and use his running ability to scramble and buy time rather than be a huge part of the running game offense. So his running total may be even less than year but he'll be much more effective throwing the ball.

Thursday, April 03, 2014

DeSean!

What an exciting signing and way to shake up the NFC East! Suddenly, the Redskins have a potent offense so long as they can stay healthy (knock on wood). Given his small stature, it's somewhat surprising that Jackson hasn't experienced long bouts of game absences due to injury. We've already seen firsthand how talented RG3 and Jordan Reed can be but we have also seen them both miss games.


A second reason to love DeSean Jackson - he hails from my Alma Mater, UC Berkeley. As a college player, Jackson led a few talented Cal squads and even made the cover of the EA Sports NCAA '09 game, two years removed from his last game.

On the flip side, though, Rich Tandler makes a great point on CSNWashington.com about the very limited window Washington has before contracts start blowing up in the next 2-3 years. Despite core talent being young, if they all perform as well as expected, the team won't be able to keep everyone.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Summary of Preview Heading into the Season

This Washington Post article nicely summarizes things to watch out for as we inch closer to the midpoint of the season:

http://m.washingtonpost.com/blogs/football-insider/wp/2013/08/17/redskins-training-camp-what-weve-learned-and-the-questions-that-remain/

Curse you, Blogger app, for not making it simple to hyperlink!

Here's my assessment from digesting all the news.

1. The pass rush with be better thanks to the return of Orakpo, assuming he stays healthy

2. Helu will be able to provide speedy depth to spell Morris

3. Garçon and Fred Davis will help the passing offense tremendously 

4. The secondary is still a question mark since the rookies will take their lumps, Thomas is out for the season, Meriweather is still not 100%

5. When called upon, Kirk Cousins will be able to step in and perform as ably as he did at the end of last season

6. I suspect the running game will be less effective with defenses around the league gearing up to stop the read-option and because the Skins will be confident in their own passing attack and so they will resort to the pass more frequently. As a result, the Skins are far less likely to repeat as the league's top rushing offense which would have negative implications around ball control, turnovers, and pressure on the defense.


Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Third Year Players

Tarik El-Bashir of CSN Washington reminds us that the Skins have retained a surprisingly high number of their 2011 class. In fact, it seems like everyone!

Led by Ryan Kerrigan, the draft class also features contributors like Leonard Hankerson, backup Rbs Helu and Royster, reserve safety DeJon Gomes, converted TE Niles Paul, waiting-to-break-out star Jarvis Jenkins, and speedster Aldrick Robinson.



To answer the question El-Bashir posed, I think this year will see the elimination of Gomes and Royster, Paul, and possibly Robinson from the roster. I predict the RB situation will be Helu as the backup with one of the two RBs winning the 3rd RB spot, assuming that they can be pass-catching threats out of the backfield as well as special teamers. Niles Paul will also likely be an odd man out, as it seems that Jordan Reed is almost assured of a spot, Davis is the starter, and Logan Paulsen is entrenched as the blocking TE.


Saturday, April 27, 2013

2013 NFL Draft

The draft has come and gone. With blue-chip prospects missing from the top of the draft, this was a year the Skins benefited by using that additional bargaining chip for RG3.

How did the Redskins do? They got exactly what they needed. Most importantly, they drafted a likely starter at safety alongside Brandon Meriweather in Fresno St. player Phillip Thomas in the fourth round. In addition, depending on how quickly 2nd rounder Amerson develops, Jim Haslett may be able to move DeAngelo Hall to safety also.

Jordan Reed is an intriguing prospect as a multi-talented threat. I believe there was an effect of addition by subtraction when Fred Davis was injured. How so? Logan Paulsen is a much better run-blocker than Davis and Kyle Shanahan probably leaned on the run more heavily with Paulsen as the primary TE than he would have with Davis still in there. Jordan Reed will basically push Niles Paul to develop - and if he doesn't, then he should lose his spot.

Instead of two scat backs, I would have liked to see the team draft another RB in the mold of Alfred Morris - a 5-10, 210 pounder, as a backup 1-cut downhill running workhorse. Neither Helu nor Royster seems capable of filling that role.

As a Cal alum, I'm shocked that Keenan Allen fell all the way to the third round. He was projected to go as a mid-to-late first rounder. Certainly the Skins should have drafted him instead of Jordan Reed if he was still available there. In fact, it may have made sense to draft Allen instead of Amerson as my guess is that Allen will be a better pro and have a decent career. Not sure about Amerson. Allen would be a great #2 to complement Garcon.