Saturday, August 31, 2013

Defensive Observations Redskins vs. Bills

            The third preseason game is usually the dress rehearsal for the starters but with the short week and crazy preseason schedule, the Redskins only played their starters for about 20 snaps instead of the normal half of the game. With this development, it would mean that the second, third and fourth stringers would get a lot of reps and the 2nd stringers would be going up against Buffalo's 1st string defense and offense. This would be a good test of the team’s depth that they've been building over Mike Shanahan's tenure as the head coach.

            What impressed me the most with the defense was the relentless pursuit, everyone getting to the ball, the comfort level of all the players knowing the system and being in pretty good position throughout the game. This would also be a good test for the defense. The up tempo pace that Buffalo uses is similar to the tempo that is going to be utilized by the Philadelphia Eagles who will open the season against the Redskins on Monday Night Football. Jim Haslett even showed a different look that most coordinators wouldn't show in preseason, but I guess with the season so close to being here, he couldn't help himself.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Defensive Observations Of Redskins VS Steelers

Hey Redskins Nation! First off, I want to say thanks for all the positive feedback for my previous articles from my followers, friends and family. You can subscribe to It Is What It Is.....Another Redskins Blog by entering your email address on the right side of the page. You'll receive an email message when new articles are posted on the blog.
 Now to the business of defensive football against the tough Pittsburgh Steelers. The defense was much improved against the run. The young secondary took some strides in the right direction but still show they have a lot to learn in the NFL, but that's what preseason is for.

-Barry Cofield made his presence felt early and often before his injury. He was stout against the run and even got a sack and several pressures by man handling Pro Bowl Center Maurkice Pouncey.
-David Amerson looked impressive for a second game in a row by not being afraid to come up aggressively on the run and getting physical with the WRs.

-What can you say about Ryan Kerrigan other than .....BEAST with a sack, forced fumble, INT for a touchdown and wreaking havoc all over the Pittsburgh offensive line.

-Something else that stood out again was the strength of Brandon Jenkins. To be classified as a speed rusher he has shown strength to push opposing tackles and guards into the QB.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Least Of The East? The Philadephia Eagles

(2012 was a tough year, 2013 might not be much better for the Eagles. Photo: Johnathan Newton/Washington Post)
As we get closer to the season, it's time to take a look at the NFC East. In this case more or less, IIWII is going to look at why each team could be the worst team of the division. Yes, non-Redskin fans, that includes the Redskins.

But to start this off, we'll look at the team most likely to be the cellar dweller of the NFCE when the season ends: The Philadelphia Eagles.

The Eagles are starting over. For the past thirteen years, the Eagles have had Andy Reid at the helm of the franchise. Well, Andy and his multiple playoff runs that lead to one Super Bowl appearance and nothing much else is gone. He's not the only one, as the team decided to scrap the high salaried veteran corners Nnamdi Asomugha and Dominque Rodgers-Cromartie.

The Eagles made an interesting move in signing Oregon head coach Chip Kelly. Kelly has an amazing offensive scheme but many have wondered if the high tempo, quick paced scheme could succeed at the NFL level.

(Cooper's first mistake was the Chesney concert)
The Eagles have already had some early struggles during camp. They have lost three players already to ACL tears in WR Jeremy Maclin, WR Arrelious Benn and LB Jason Phillips. Plus, they also have issues with backup WR Riley Cooper as he said a racial slur on camera during a Kenny Chesney concert.

So here's 5 questions I have about the Eagles heading into the season.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Defensive Observations Redskins Vs Titans



            Finally the football season is here ... well the preseason, but hey it’s finally some tackle football against opponents in different team colors. Even though Robert Griffin III would not play, hearing that all three rookie DBs would be starting the game had me excited to see how they would adjust to the speed of the game and the superior athletes at every position on the field. I saw some good, some bad and some ugly but with it being their first real NFL action that’s pretty much what you should expect.

          Let’s start with the 2nd round pick David Amerson. He looked like the cornerback the Redskins envisioned him to become. He was solid against the run, pass coverage was very good and even got a break up in the process. I liked his physical play, field presence and that he didn't look lost under the bright lights. Now here comes a little good and bad with the 6th round pick Bacarri Rambo.

         The good is he didn't get beat for any big pass plays, which was one of the main reasons the defense was one of the worst pass defenses in the league last year. He did unfortunately learn that the speed of the NFL is unforgiving if you make a mistake and there is little room for error. It wasn't totally his fault being that Brian Orakpo looped too wide on his crash down and allowed the speedy Chris Johnson a cutback lane. After that there wasn't anything the FS could have done but watch CJ2K run to the end zone.
He also received an unnecessary roughness penalty after the 2nd touchdown run of the 1st half. Typical rookie mistake in judgment
especially for a safety.

        Now the ugly comes in with the 4th round pick Phillip Thomas.
His night ended early after getting rolled up on trying to make a tackle and sustained a bruised foot. He will have a MRI on Friday to see how serious it is.
Brandon Jenkins got a lot of snaps and I see why there was talk about him being the steal of the draft. His pass rush skills are good but will get better with experience. However, he did help to cause some havoc while he was in there.

       The 1st team defense played well except for the long run we already spoke about. Pass coverage was good as a whole but the run defense must get back to the basics and stay sound with their gap assignments so they don’t get gashed but with it being the first game and first time for live tackling, I expect after they watch film that it will be corrected by next week’s game. Now here's a breakdown series by series form the Titans game:

            1st Series: (Starters) The unit as a whole was solid against the run and the pass. Amerson had a well-timed pass breakup. Brian Orakpo got good push on 3rd down to help collapse the pocket for sack. Brandon Jenkins also got a good push to help Ryan Kerrigan get the 1st sack of the preseason.

            2nd Series: (Starters) Brian Orakpo took a bad angle and rush lane and Chris Johnson made him pay with a quick cutback and the last line of defense Bacarri Rambo broke down took quickly and paid for it with a quick juke and burst by Chris Johnson and tie ball game 7-7. It didn't help that the Redskins were assessed a 15 yard celebration penalty (Fred Davis’ taser dance) leading to a short Kai Forbath kickoff and short field for the Titans.

          3rd Series: Orakpo got his 1st sack of the preseason with a good rush angle around the tackle to ultimately get to the QB. The tackle almost held him but by then it was too late
. Chase Minnifield is a physical corner with good size but is a bit grabby. On the 3rd down completion he had good coverage but lunging a little put him out of position and the result was a 1st down completion. The running backs were using cutback lanes because the backside pursuit wasn't there. The Redskins had an opportunity for a stop on 4th and 1 but DL got little push and gave up the 1st down. The end result? The defense got gashed again for a touchdown run. To make things worse, it was during this drive that Phillip Thomas was injured.

          4th Series:  The defense forced a 3 and out.  Kedric Golston and Brandon Jenkins created a good push on 3rd down but there should have been a completion with a wide open man in the flat where Jenkins had vacated. Not sure if that was his blown assignment by him rushing the QB.

          5th Series:  Good coverage by DBs and solid push by the D-Line. Chase Minnifield
with great coverage and showed closing speed with a good pass breakup. Dejon Gomes takes a bad angle and worst tackle attempt on 20 yard gain on a 3rd and 17. The team showed good penetration against run and Rob Jackson with a good pass knock down to force 4th down. End of the Half.

                                                    2nd Half

        1st Series:  Dejon Gomes with another bad angle and miss-tackle but Jerome Murphy was there to clean up with a tackle for loss. Richard Crawford with solid coverage once again Brandon Jenkins getting good push and showing how strong he is to go with his speed rush. Phillip Merling got a good push and batted a ball on 1st down Darryl Tapp got some penetration and containment on 2nd down and Gomes with a solid hit on 3rd down to force the punt.

          2nd Series: Dejon Gomes playing better in the 2nd half all be it against 2nd and 3rd stringers. Had solid coverage on 3rd down to help force 3 and out.

          3rd Series:  Good penetration on 1st down. Bad miss-tackle by Roddrick Muckelroy mainly because he didn't wrap up. Good push by Jarvis Jenkins and forced QB to step up and right into the path of Phillip Merlin for the sack. A penalty by the defense give the Titans a 1st down twice on this drive.
Richard Crawford makes an exceptional INT attempt that the officials reviewed and ruled it incomplete but it was great effort he just has to hold on but was a great play anyways. Once again Roddrick Muckelroy made a costly mistake and bites on play fake and touchdown pass thrown to his man. 21-14 Titans.

          4th Series: Three miss-tackles on the very 1st play from scrimmage. On the play LB Jeremy Kimbrough dislocated his shoulder and is most likely done for the season and headed to the IR. Most important thing is the defense forced a punt even though the Titans were down 1 point and never got the ball back. 22-21 Redskins Win.

          We saw some good and some bad in the 1st preseason game abd there were a few injuries that hopefully won’t be too costly. The offense looked in sync and a few guys stood out to me. Hopefully the team will keep up the hard work and study film of this game and move forward and get better so that the Washington Redskins can defend the NFC East Title and make a long run in the playoffs.
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