This Ole Fart Thinks: Redskins vs. Lions
OK, let’s all climb back on that ledge once more. Yes, we are 0-3 and are allowing yards and points at record levels but, let’s keep it in perspective. If you take away the first game when we ambushed the Saints (the same way Philly ambushed us) we are pretty much at the same place we were last year after 3 games. The Defense was allowing points and yards at record rates (we are about 3 points one way or the other when comparing points allowed from last year to this year) and the third game against Cincy made RGIII look vulnerable and like a rookie. Moreover, the next 5 or 6 games were not much better. It wasn’t until we hit rock bottom and ran off the final third of the schedule that we finally looked like a playoff team.
For certain, past success does not guarantee the same this year, but if we can turn the team around and beat a very beatable Oakland team on Sunday, we have a bye week and will then get back Jackson and Jenkins to support a very battered front 7.
As bad as the Defense has been, I still think this is all about the hangover from RGIII’s injury. He is learning to physically be an NFL QB all over again. This time without his blazing speed that made him nearly unique. Only a younger Vick had the same kind of speed that made opponents look like they were walking while he was running. Now RGIII is fast, but so are the defenders closing in on him. I think his elusiveness and overall speed and quickness will return, but it will be the latter third of this season before we actually begin to see it.
He is also struggling with thinking rather than just playing instinctively. That will also come in time. I don’t think he makes that poor throw that resulted in the interception by next year. If it took Peterson 6 mediocre games to get his legs under him last year, it can be expected it will take RGIII at least that long to start to feel confident and comfortable on his knee. He will get there, it is just going to take time. It may also realistically be next season, when he has had a full offseason to practice and prepare, before we see the real blossoming of RGIII. The future remains bright, it just may not come as quickly as we all want it to. Still, I expect enough incremental improvement with each game to lift the overall performance of the team. As it was last year, as RGIII goes, so the team goes.
On to other subjects. I don’t think Haslett gets retained after this year, but unless you want the likes of Morris or Slowik functioning as Def Coordinator you should hope that Shanahan doesn’t fire Haslett any time soon. What makes anyone think that a control freak like Shanahan is going to turn over the Defense to someone he hasn’t become close to? And with a week or 2 to get his Defense in place? Ain’t gonna happen. There will be some changes in personnel packages (like Rambo going to the bench) but the coaching staff will remain in place until the offseason.
I do think that if Tanard Jackson gets reinstated, he will be on the field in 2 weeks unless he has totally let himself go, or no longer wants to play. I don’t expect we will trade for anyone or sign any veteran players now. We are still very tight against the cap and that is one reason why we wont be signing Kerry Rhodes, or trading for someone like Byrd. Next year moves will happen but not this season.
On to some more comments
The major critique I have with the Offense is how unimaginative we are with the running backs. I don’t understand why we don’t throw to Helu or Young out of the backfield. It is like a long handoff rather than a downfield pass and once those guys get into space they usually just have to beat 1 man to get a substantial gain.
I loved the way we were using Reed. Too bad he got hurt, but once he gets back he is going to develop into a reliable weapon. Also, get Paulson involved more. But I also understand he and Paul are being used as extra blockers.
I think we still need to keep getting Hankerson and Robinson the ball. That was a killer drop by Robinson, but you cant use him once or twice a game. Hankerson is getting the ball more, and although he still drops some, I think he will continue to progress. Morgan unfortunately looks like the exact same receiver as last year. He loves to block but has little speed or separation and so all his catches are for short yardage.
The Offensive line actually played better against some really tough linemen in the Detroit game than I thought they would. It could have been a whole lot worse. Against Oakland, it needs to be a whole lot better
Defense. What can you say except they cannot tackle? Dreadful dreadful performance 3 weeks in a row. They better put a hat on Pryor and McFadden this weekend or it will be ugly again.
Fletcher needs to come out more in favor of Barnett. Riley cant be matched on speedy backs. Orakpo needs to remember that run stopping is part of his position requirements.
The secondary? I think I would take a chance and cut Thompson and bring up Minnifield. At least he could tackle in preseason and Thompson has been worthless in the return game. Amerson is taking his lumps but shows flashes of being a solid corner. He gets beaten on double moves– always has, but the interceptions will come. Meriweather looked like he just wanted to prove he could finish a game. Hopefully he gets his game back, but keeping him a a single high safety 30 yards downfield is not his game. He needs to be closer to the line.
I would also give Gumbs a few plays. At least he seems to enjoy hitting people.
And one big “I was wrong”. I never suspected we would ever see Potter kick a successful FG in the NFL. So maybe the sky wont fall if Forbath cant play this week?
Will we beat Oakland?? Yes we will.
30- 24 as RGIII has another 300 yard effort- this time in a win