Redskins Roundup: Heading up to Philly
Have a look at a discussion on Inside the NFL between ex-Redskins CB Darrell Green and former Bengals WR and current broadcaster Cris Collinsworth. They discuss what’s wrong with the Redskins and who the team’s leaders are. Green has some interesting things to say about London Fletcher and Robert Griffin III.
On the injury news front, DE Stephen Bowen (knee) and CB DeAngelo Hall (foot) were limited in practice, though head coach Mike Shanahan said both should be fine for Sunday’s game at the Philadelphia Eagles.
For the Eagles, TE Brent Celek [hip], CB Bradley Fletcher [pectoral] and QB Michael Vick [hamstring] were limited in practice. LB Mychal Kendricks [knee], LB Jake Knott [hamstring], OT Jason Peters [quad/pectoral] and S Earl Wolff [knee] did not practice at all yesterday.
The last time the Redskins played the Eagles was opening night and the defense was completely humiliated as the Eagles moved the ball at will in the first half and amassed almost 300 rushing yards in the game. Washington’s defense played better in the second half and the team has to hope that shows they can tighten the screws a bit. OLB Ryan Kerrigan says stopping the run and RB Lesean McCoy will be top priority.
Nick Foles and Michael Vick attack a defense differently. Here is how they do it.
John Keim has a fascinating look at how penalties have affected the Redskins this season. Some of it may surprise you.
You probably won’t be shocked to learn the Redskins punt return team is 30th in the league and the kickoff return team is 31st in the NFL.
Desmond Bieler argues the Redskins need to use their running backs more in the offense:
In general, good things happen when the Redskins run the ball — they are tied with the Eagles for tops in the league at 5.1 yards per rushing attempt. So even if they’re seventh in the league in rushing attempts per game, why not get the ball in the hands of Alfred Morris and Roy Helu Jr. more often? The Chiefs’ running backs (primarily Jamaal Charles) account for 29.5 percent of the team’s passing targets. Compare that to the Redskins, who throw to their running backs only 9.2 percent of the time.
More targets for Morris and Helu — and does anyone think Helu gets the ball enough?— not only mean higher-percentage plays for the Redskins, they get the ball out of Robert Griffin III’s hands that much sooner, sparing him that many more hits.
The Redskins are 3-6 for the third straight season, but defensive coordinator Jim Haslett isn’t close to giving up on the season:
“I said it last week, I said, ‘I feel good about where we’re at.’ I love the way our guys practice and they’re into it. Teams that are going downhill don’t practice the way we practice. Those teams are negative. We don’t have that here. We’ve just got to go out and put a whole game together. I’m talking about offense, defense, special teams. We’ve got to put a complete game together on defense, offense, special teams. We do that then we’ll get things rolling and we haven’t done that. … I think once as a team we get one of those, we get it together, then you can get things rolling.”
The Redskins defense hasn’t applied much pressure on opposing quarterbacks in recent weeks, but Haslett is committed to the 4-man pass rush. He has a good reason why, actually:
“Last week we had a number of times where we had great pass rushes,” Haslett said. “That’s not an excuse. I don’t know how many times Ryan [Kerrigan], Brian [Orakpo] had opportunities to get to the quarterback where they were grabbed and held. That was more disappointing than anything. I thought a number of times we did a great job rushing the quarterback. We didn’t get there more for that reason than anything.”
Overall, Haslett said, he’s content with the four-man rushes. Kerrigan leads the Redskins with 6.5 sacks, Orakpo has 4 and Barry Cofield has 2.5. End Stephen Bowen does not have a sack.
Here’s more to consider: According to ESPN Stats & Information, the Redskins have allowed only 28.9 percent of third downs to be converted when using a four-man rush. They’ve allowed 41 percent to be converted with five or more rushers. But they’ve recorded a sack on 6.9 percent of pass attempts from a four-man rush compared to 7.3 percent from five-plus rushers.
Some Amerindian tribes want Congress to revoke the trademark protection currently enjoyed by the Washington Redskins.
“It’s unacceptable in the 21st century, and I wish the owner of the Washington football team and the NFL would realize that,” said Brian Cladoosby, the chairman of Washington state’s Swinomish Indian Tribal Community. Cladoosby is also the president of the National Congress of American Indians. “You wouldn’t come up to me and say, ‘Hey, Redskin, how you doing today?’ Just like you wouldn’t go up to an African-American and use the N-word.”
WR Josh Morgan tries to stay upbeat despite a reduced role playing for his hometown team.