The game recap is going to be delayed until Friday. I know, by then you've probably read everybody else's take on the game by now, but I'm going to try and look at something's that the Skins were (or weren't) doing that affected the game. Maybe more focus on the O-line and D-line. It's easy to say that the run game isn't working b/c there are no holes opening up. It's also easy to say that there's no push on the D-line. The question should be asked "why isn't this working?". Is it one player? Is it the scheme? Is the team out of sync? I'll be looking in particular at the lines on the next recap, so you might find something new and interesting.
Redskins News and Notes
- The Larry Johnson cut should be no surprise. I think the loss of 10 yards on the toss sweep against the Texans sealed the deal for Johnson. Now I know everybody is saying the same thing: "He was cut because he doesn't play special teams". That's true, but there's more to it than that. Right now look at Johnson and Portis and compare-- there's not much difference really. Neither play 'teams. Neither are great pass catchers. Portis is one of the best blocking running backs in the league (if not the best), Johnson isn't that great. They also run the same. That's the key. At this point in their careers, both seem to play a grind and pound the ball style where they hit the hole hard and drive the ball for 2-3 yards. That seems to be one of the problems with the current running game-- RB vision. Portis seems to get better as the game goes on, finding holes created by the zone scheme and taking whatever the defense gives the Skins. Johnson never seemed to be that "one cut" back (ie. RB sees a hole, makes a cut and takes off) and while Johnson looked good at camp, if the Skins feel that Keiland Williams can be the next star of this scheme, then the Skins are making the right move to give Williams' more snaps and slowly transition him to be the next starter (plus, he seems a better fit in situations where the Skins may throw to the RB).
- O-line transition: Who really are the starting 5? We know that Artis Hicks, Casey Rabach and Trent Williams are part of that group, but throughout the last two weeks we've seen rotation at both the LG and RT positions. At right tackle, the rotation may be in part to Jammal Brown's conditioning (ie. football shape). He missed most of the off season work with the Skins and he also missed parts of camp and the pre-season based on his sore hip. While Stephon Heyer isn't a major upgrade, he is in shape and seems to improved upon his run blocking somewhat better than in previous years. At LG there seems to be competition between Derrick Dockery and Kory Lichtensteiger. Until these positions are settled, I don't expect the run game to be stellar. From what I know about zone blocking, the blockers really need to be in sync which then opens multiple holes. The running back then picks the open hole (based on what the defense is giving). If the timing is wrong or somebody misses a block however, the play gets blown up or the running back has to slow up to try and find a hole-- thus, you don't get much or lose yards.
- The NFC East is wide open. Dallas is just sloppy. On paper, they do look to be one of the better teams in the NFL. Too bad the 2010 Cowboys remind me of the Norv Turner (and Jim Zorn) Redskins. Their lack of discipline, poor coaching (has Jason Garrett ever heard of a run game?) and media hype has turned this team into the utter 0-2 mess that it is now. Don't expect this week to be that much better and with the 'Boys heading to Houston to play a very good Texans team (Note: the Texans average 32.0 ppg, in two weeks Dallas hasn't even scored 30 points- they've scored 24).
The Eagles are in a state of flux and they hope Mike Vick can be the guy that takes them back to glory. I love to watch Vick play, he's one of the most exciting players in the game. Maybe he'll be better in Philly because he's making more of an effort. The key however, will be how he throws the ball and how many drops his WRs/TEs/RBs start to pile up. Vick has little touch on the ball and those rockets lead to drops.
The Giants just look horrible. I know they're 1-1 but it doesn't look like the Giant teams of past years that would just out pound the Skins. Brandon Jacobs doesn't want to be a Giant anymore and I'm starting to wonder if the players are no longer buying into Tom Coughlin.
The Skins are a better team but not there yet. That said, looking at the NFCE, it looks like anyone could be the champion at this point.
- Jason Campbell benched. I was hoping it would work out for JC in Oakland, but it just doesn't look like it will. So far we've just seen Jason Campbell type performances, to the point that the Raiders went with Gradkowski and it worked. I think JC just doesn't feel the pass rush like better NFL QBs do and Campbell's accuracy is questionable. If only Campbell was running a Joe Gibbs 1.0 system and playing with the Hogs, then he might be a pretty scary QB.