Redskins Roundup: Pierre Garcon will truck you
We start with our must-read of the day: An update on ex-Redskins QB Doug Williams, who was fired by Grambling earlier this season under very controversial circumstances. Williams is now a stay-at-home dad, but much in demand and is pondering a return to the NFL, perhaps the Redskins.
Who is getting it done and who is not on the Redskins? Find out in the DC Pro Sports Stock Report.
The Redskins Stat of the Day is provided by WR Pierre Garcon.
Speaking of Garcon, QB Robert Griffin III is impressed with his receiver, particularly on the play against the Vikings where he took a short pass from RG3 and plowed his way through several Minnesota defenders for 32 yards.
Griffin admired Garçon’s style. “He’s a running back playing receiver. Everybody saw him truck that safety against Minnesota so he does some freakish things,” he said. “He’s got a really – I say it’s a good attitude, but he’s a tempered guy out there on the field and he plays that way at receiver which you don’t see very often. If you get the ball in his hands, he can do some damage with it.”
The Redskins offense feels optimistic about what it can achieve this weekend and going forward because of what they’ve been doing recently:
The Redskins are a different offensive team since they last played Philadelphia in a season-opening 33-27 loss. It starts with quarterback Robert Griffin III, who has returned to being a threat running or throwing. In the opener, his legs weren’t an issue.
And when Griffin starts to play this way, the offense is different. In the first four games, Washington moved the ball fine, ranking ninth in yards per game at 390.8. But the Redskins are a running team and they only averaged 106 rushing yards in those games.
But in the last five games Washington ranks first in rushing yards per game (187.40 — 26.40 yards ahead in fact) and first in yards per rush (5.21). During this time, they’re second in yards per game (426.21).
OL Maurice Hurt came off the Physically Unable to Perform [PUP] list yesterday and practiced with the team. DE Adam Carriker did not come off the PUP list and ESPN 980 AM reported Carriker will not play this year. All head coach Mike Shanahan would say of Carriker is that “he can’t go.”
The Redskins will give new WR Nick Williams a chance to return punts on Sunday if he can prove his worth in practice this week. “You get a chance to see guys, when they are activated, how they practice and how they do things and that’s what we’ll try to do is make that evaluation and decide what gives us the best chance to win,” said Mike Shanahan yesterday.
Speaking of Nick Williams, he’s pretty happy to be on the active roster.
Mike Shanahan has one more year on his contract to coach the Skins and says he’s not worried about a contract extension, although multiple media reports have him asking team owner Dan Snyder for one.
“I’ve got a contract for next year. I’ve got a contract this year,” Shanahan said. “I’m concerned about our games. I’ve been very lucky – I’ve been in this profession for a long time and your focus is on your job. And I say that with all due sincerity – it’s something I do not think about.
“Any time I talk about a contract, if it’s with a player or a coach, it’s always after the season. Once we get started we don’t talk about it because we’ve got to focus on each game, and if you don’t focus on the game you take away from what you’re trying to accomplish.”
RG3 is still taking too many hits. The Vikings hit him 18 times last Thursday, far too often. Fortunately, he seems to understand this.
Denver pounded him as well three weeks ago. Lest anyone think this is just because he runs, just know that a storyline in Indianapolis this season — as it was a year ago — was the number of hits on quarterback Andrew Luck. But he’s bigger than Griffin and hasn’t had two ACL surgeries.
“Bottom line, I can’t take those amount of hits,” Griffin said. “You don’t want to be hit that much. A lot of great quarterbacks don’t get hit that much. It’s not just me, it’s a lot of things that go into that. We just have to get better.”
He’s right; it’s not always on him, of course. Last week, the Minnesota Vikings applied quick pressure up the middle, mostly through center Will Montgomery and guard Chris Chester. There are times receivers aren’t winning one-on-one routes enough. But there are times Griffin can help himself. Against Denver, for example, there were times in the pocket that he held the ball for three seconds (though, again that was sometimes caused by receivers not getting open; other times it’s a need to get rid of the ball quicker).
And against the Vikings, Griffin said there were two hits in particular he could have handled better. He was crunched at the goal line by four defenders while attempting to score. Running back Roy Helu was wide open in the right flat and could have made a similar dash, but Griffin took off and didn’t see him. Griffin said he could have avoided this hit by sliding, but he was trying to score.
“If I’m put in that situation again, then yeah maybe I will slide,” Griffin said. “I think if I hadn’t slipped, I probably would have gotten in. Once I did slip it was probably best to get down and avoid that hit.”
The Redskins face the Eagles this Sunday, a team that ran over Washington in the first half of the season opener. Despite preparing for the game for months, the Redskins defense seemed to have no idea how to stop the Eagles. Washington Defensive Coordinator Jim Haslett expects that to be different this time.
“There’s a lot more film on what they’ve done …so it’s nice to see on film because you’re not surprised like you are in the first game. Once you get to this game, during the season, they’ve shown most of their wrinkles and you get to see it on film, what adjustments they’ve made and what defenses have done to try and keep them off balance.”
The Washington Post asks whether the Redskins would prefer to face Nick Foles or Michael Vick at QB. To me, the answer is obvious: The Skins should never want to face Mike Vick. Ever.
In four career starts for Philadelphia against Washington when he plays for more than one quarter, Vick is 4-0 and has thrown for 10 touchdowns and two interceptions while running for three more scores.
His performance in the Eagles’ 59-28 win exactly three years ago tomorrow was one of the best ever by a quarterback against the Redskins.
The Philadelphia Eagles will start QB Nick Foles against the Redskins this weekend. Some are calling it the most important game of Foles’ young career.
Foles made his first career start almost exactly a year ago, on Nov. 18, 2012, at Washington. He completed just 45.7 percent of his passes and threw two interceptions. Five weeks later, he faced Washington again at Lincoln Financial Field. His numbers were much better – 32 for 48 for 345 yards, one touchdown and one interception – but the Eagles lost again.
Three of Foles’ five career interceptions have come against Washington. He hasn’t thrown one in 136 attempts this season.
Indeed, Foles’ numbers this year are impressive. He has 16 TD passes and 0 INT. Can’t do much better than that.
Good news for the Redskins is that they are healthy, as they were last week — everyone eligible to practice did so.