Akh’s Thoughts: Halfway done
Five points at the midway point of the season:
1-Go back and watch just the offensive plays against the Steelers. When the skins tried to line up and out-execute their defense(and I’m excluding all the plays with drops), the Steelers had a lot of success against the Redskins’ offense. The Redskins’ production seemed exclusively due to misdirection and gimmicks. And compare this to the Steelers, who didn’t do much on offense that was complicated(they ran that WR option pass and that was it for gimmicks for the rest of the day) and they were able to essentially control the entire game(albeit against a poor redskins defense) Smoke and mirrors on offense is not a long term plan for this team, most because you get diminishing returns on your misdirection the more you use it and also because Rg3 is far too talented a passer to waste a season of his development on something that you’re not going to run long term anyways.
2-A positive story halfway through the season, Jonathan Dwyer’s performance notwithstanding, is how improved the run defense has been. And a lot of that has been the play of Jarvis Jenkins. His knee injury might have deprived him of becoming the DLine penetrator that he was at Clemson Community College(and what we briefly saw in the 2011 preseason) but he can become an Aaron Smith/Brett Keisel type 5 tech who is an immovable object against the run. I would love to see, next season(and assuming that they stick with the 3-4) Carriker and Jenkins at the DEs and a real NT to team with them. Also, Rob Jackson and Perry Riley have improved dramatically playing the run.
3-The redskins are still on pace to shatter the NFL record for passing yards given up. A pace for over 5000 passing yards given up, which would beat the previous record by 300 yards. I don’t think I have to say anything more about this.
4-I hate to beat a dead horse on the two coaches bravely attempting to run the defense/offense, but its getting rather clear that both are outmatched at their job. Barring some miracle, Jim Haslett will stay the season and then be fired. His contract “extension” allows the skins to dump him after the season for no extra money owed(that should have been a red flag for Jim, but oh well). There’s been a lot of chatter that Raheem Morris was stashed with a promise for the DC job. I don’t know. I don’t think that the skins would have done that knowing that a move back to the 4-3 would probably be in the cards. As for Kyyle, I give him credit for adjusting what’s he run in the past to try and coax production from a talent poor collection around Rg3 and to minimize the impact of a poor Oline, but his playcalling is still substandard. Too many slow developing gimmicks especially against smart defenses and that Morgan pass to Rg3 is just asking for trouble in multiple ways. Stick to what works and out hustle your opposition.
5-I was thinking this before Sunday’s drop-o-lympics, but what RG3 and the skins really need os a big sure handed target…and its going to be a TE, not a WR. I serious doubt that the skins are going to bring back Davis for anything more then a 1 year “prove yourself again” contract(and that someone else will pay him more on a gamble). And Logan Paulsen has been a nice surprise for the team, but he’s not a long term answer. With 19 million in cap room committed to Garcon, Morgan and Moss for 2013(along with it being hard to get out of most of that), I believe that the skins should and will target a large pass catching TE early in the draft. They have the deep threats in Garcon, Morgan and Hanktime but they need a sure handed chainmover. And boy is it a good draft for a 6-6+ tall pass catching TE.
Summarizing each game in 3 sentences or less:
Vs. Atlanta: Good news: there’s no Qb controversy between RG3 and Cousins. Bad News: don’t expect much in a trade for Cousins in a season or 2. Atlanta was just clearly the superior team.
Vs. Minnesota: Basically a replay of the Bengals game, but the Vikings scored FGs when the Bengals scored TDs. Then they turned the ball over a ton. Also, don’t run the loose cover 2 on RG3.
Vs NY Giants: You can’t turn the ball over that much against any NFC East team on the road and expect to win. Also: FECKING COVER VICTOR CRUZ.
Vs. Pittsburgh: Another “X team was just clearly the superior team” game. The Skins tried to be cute, the Steelers just out-executed the skins across the board. And Dick LeBeau is 15-1 against rookie Qbs for a reason.
Players who stood out in a good way:
Chris Chester: Having a very solid season. I wonder what changed.
Logan Paulsen: Filling in for Davis nicely. Not a long term solution but I’ve been impressed.
Lorenzo Alexander: He’s got a good chance to make the pro bowl as a special teamer but filling in for Orakpo and Fletcher, he’s been playing consistently well.
Keenan Robinson: He hasn’t looked like a rookie in filling in for Fletcher.
Santana Moss: In limited use, he can be very effective(if it’s a wise decision to pay 4 million a year for a 4th string WR who splits time with the 5th string is another discussion). If you use him too much, his drops become a major issue. But he deserves credit for big TDs in 2 games so far.
Players who stood out in a bad way:
Ryan Kerrigan: Had a INT pick 6 against Atlanta, otherwise has been very quiet over the last 4 games.
Leonard Hankerson and Josh Morgan: Just too many drops and brain farts. I’m worried about both.
Josh Wilson: You can criticize the entire secondary frankly, but Wilson is regressing too much.
London Fletcher: Fletcher is a warrior and gives his all out there…and they need his leadership on the field, but he’s becoming a liability in space more and more now.
Trent Williams(against the Run): He’s been very solid against the pass, but too many brain farts in run blocking for me.
Pass offense: B. Teams seem to be adjusting to the passing attack, even when they use misdirection.
Rushing offense: B+/A-. Still effective even though teams are adjusting to Morris. Struggling to get 3rd and shorts is still mystifying to me.
Offensive coaching: C. Horrible playcalling by Kyyle, RG3 has bailed his bad decisions out a lot.
Pass defense: F-. Worst. Redskins. Secondary….evah.
Rush defense: B/B+. They were doing well until Jonathan Dwyer made me rue not starting him in fantasy.
Defensive coaching: F. Just start packing Haslett.
Overall coaching: C/C-. Shanny needs to make changes on defense pretty badly.
My Redskins Mock Draft for 2013:
2nd: Tyler Eifert TE Notre Dame. He should drop into the early 2nd with so much talent coming out. They need him to be RG3’s security blanket.
3rd: Prentiss Waggner DB Tennessee. Sort of a FS/CB hybrid, they’ll find a use for him.
4th: Daniel McCullers NT Tennessee. If he’s only 360, I’m a size 4.
5th: Tanner Hawkinson OT Kansas. The RT of the future.
5th: Demontre Hurst Cb Oklahoma. A straight of out central casting 5-10 180 lbs cover CB.
6th: DJ Swearinger SS South Carolina. A hitter who can ballhawk. Can cover better then his tools suggest.
7th: Kenjon Barner Rb Oregon. He’ll drop due to his size, but could be a great ZBS slasher.