Sunday, July 27, 2014

Jay Gruden: Pass Heavy or Balanced Offense?

(The word around some of the league is that Jay Gruden is a pass happy play caller and doesn't stick with the run long enough. With a workhorse type running back like Alfred Morris I believe there will be balance. But is that anything new for Jay Gruden?
Via washingtonpost.com  )
      Hail Redskins Nation!!!! We are almost a week into training camp and the first preseason game is right around the corner. With all the anticipation for this upcoming season they're also plenty of questions. One of the questions I'm going to focus on is the play calling of our new head coach while he was the offensive coordinator for the Cincinnati Bengals. The hiring of Jay Gruden was met with mixed reactions around the NFL. Some said it was a good hire for the Redskins and the development of the franchise quarterback Robert Griffin III with Gruden being a ex-quarterback. Others say that he's not ready to be a head coach and have plenty of questions on how he will run the team, can he command respect from the team being such a player friendly coach, and as a coordinator was he too pass happy and abandoned the run sometimes even when it was working.

    I've went back and looked at the stats while Gruden was the offensive coordinator in Cincinnati and the results will be a shock to most. In the three years he was calling plays he ran the ball an average of 44% of the time. In 2011 he ran the ball 455 times out of 990 plays which is around 44%, in 2012 he called 430 out
Redskins Nation is hoping to see plenty of Alfred Morris's
baseball swing in 2014.
Via sportsillustrated.cnn.com
of  970 plays which equals about 44%, and in his final season with the Bengals the numbers were 481 rushes out of 1095 offensive plays and that's 43%.

Now if that isn't balance I don't know what is. I believe we will see even more balance with this offense since Alfred Morris gets stronger the more carries he receives. When the running game gets going it forces the defense to bring a eight man down in the box to try to make it harder to run.

The problem with that now is that the addition of DeSean Jackson and the NFL receptions leader from 2013 Pierre Garcon, you can not leave either one of those guys one on one on the outside. I'm very anxious to see how defenses will try to defend this potentially potent offense. For the first time in a long time the Redskins offense can dictate to the defense instead of vice versa.  That is as long as they don't fall behind early an have to play catch up and are forced to abandon the run like many times in 2013. With a Pro Bowl running back like Alfred Morris in the backfield, I'm sure Jay Gruden will have no problem calling run plays and have play calling balance.


 Redskins Nation stayed tuned for more Redskins news coming. Be sure to keep an eye out for more Redskins news, information and articles on IIWI. Soon will be adding more local sports to the blog. Coming soon you will be able to read about the Nationals, Capitals, and Wizards. I'll keep you updated as to when I will start covering those local sports teams. Be sure to follow me on Twitter @TattooedScorpio or Porter III on Facebook for all Redskins news, info and other local pro sports. Be sure to give my good friend, fellow writer and editor a follow @IIWIISkinsBlog for extensive breakdowns, the weekly (GBU) The Good The Bad The Ugly during the season and great articles also. Thanks again for all your support,love,and feedback. As always #HTTR

***If you want to hear about the Redskins, Nationals, Capitals, Wizards or any of the D.C sports teams be sure to check out Sports On The Hill Podcast on Monday nights starting at 7pm est. We cover all sports every week and give you only the REAL news and not the gossip or rumors. #DCSportsWithoutThePolitics isn't just a catch phrase....it's what we do. Go check out our social media pages to stay on top of all the latest sports news and highlights or you can check out our website www.sportsothp.com You can like our page on Facebook Sports On The Hill Podcast or follow us on Twitter and Instagram @SportsOTHP . You can also check out our new page SportsOTHP Apparel & Accessories on Facebook and Instagram @SportsOTHPapparel  and on Twitter @SportsOTHPgear . Appreciate the support for our show and now you can show it with hoodies, sweatshirts, T-shirts and more. Be sure to like and follow all of our pages for all the sports news, highlights and breaking news. Would love for you to call in at 347.884.9299 or stream it live. Here's the link to #VictoryMonday over the Rams. RedskinsTalk starts at the 2 hour mark  bit.ly/SportsOTHP69

Saturday, July 26, 2014

A Message To The IIWII Readers


(Won't be long until we're back at FedEx)
Dear Constant Readers of IIWII,

If you've been one of the 12 or so folks who've been reading the site since day one, you've probably read some of what I'm about to write here on the blog already in the past. If you're new to the site, first, welcome and here's a brief history lesson.

In 2008, I created IIWII with the intent to do a general pop culture (Comics, TV, Movies etc.) with the occasional focus on some Redskins games and maybe sports. It was the blog of some guy who called himself "Walking Deadman" who wanted to share his takes on some things and write a review from time to time.

Less than six months later, IIWII evolved into a mostly Redskins blog with the occasional off-topic commentary or goofy music video that I'd post when I got bored (which some readers told me they hated and to get back to writing about the Redskins). From 2009-2011, IIWII peaked content-wise about the 'Skins and came up with some weekly favorites including The Meaningless Mock Draft and The GBU (Good, Bad, Ugly). IIWII was being read by people.

We even got some love from former Redskins.com blogger Matt Terl as he linked an article on some You Tube footage I found on a punter and a brief mention by the Washington Post on my coverage of a fight that happened in the stands at FedEx.

Along the way, we had the article explaining why the Washington Redskins are the Washington Redskins (name-wise) and where "Redskins" (at least pertaining to the football franchise) came from.

.....This was over two years before the current "name debate" hoopla and if some sports writers, media and politicians actually did their homework or read some nobody's blog then there wouldn't be much of a controversy today. Yeah, I probably just destroyed any potential media and/or political aspirations..... oh well.

In 2013, I decided to try to give myself  some more exposure by joining another website as a writer. I was contacted by Ray Smith and Kiel Maddox and asked to write for their up and coming site Son of Washington. I knew both Ray and Kiel from my ExtremeSkins days and there seemed to be a good mix of content and chemistry. I even got to interview my first Redskin, Phillip Thomas and a few other NFL players and Redskins greats while at SOW.

The great news for IIWII was that I was able to bring in fellow writer Tattooed Scorpio to help with the writing chores here while I split time between the two sites. TS has really done a wonderful job here and I'm really glad he has time to do this along with his really job and is a part of the IIWII family.

But things change. My real-job changed which now limits my time to write. Ray and Kiel left SOW to start a new site called HailBlog. And SOW continues to do great with new management and has goals to be one of the largest local media outlets in the area. I wish them all well.

I've decided to come back to where things started. I wanted to get back to my roots and share my perspective on all things Redskins as a current fan and occasional member of the media/blog community. So expect a lot more from IIWII this year as both myself and TS will be providing insight and content on your Washington Redskins.

There's a ton of places you can go to find Redskins coverage, we hope that IIWII will be one of them.
Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The New Faces Of The Washington Redskins In 2014: Players Edition (Free Agents)

The biggest surprise of the off season was landing DeSean Jackson less then a week after shockingly being cut by the  Philadelphia Eagles.
Via Redskins.com 





    Hail Redskins Nation!!!! It's two days until training camp opens and I know Redskins Nation is as excited as I am. With that being said welcome to the final edition of the new faces the Redskins. With the salary cap penalty finally over with and the Redskins with a little over 30 million in salary cap space they did not hesitate to spend. We've all heard this story before but this season was different. For one the team actually has a General Manager that had a plan and knew what needs had to be address on team coming off a terrible 3-13 season. Some of the first signings were quiet and under the radar, which caused some concern for some of Redskins Nation. I personally didn't mind this approach because we have seen what happens when this team makes the big name acquisition. But low and behold on April 2nd, less then a week after DeSean Jackson was unexpectedly cut the Redskins made the biggest signing. By signing Jackson they have successfully accomplished two things.It will be key in weakening a division rival by taking their second best player on their team. It will give this team a play making gamechanger since that has drastically changed how this team will be defended. DeSean is a key acquisition but they're other important signings for the offense and defense. Let me breakdown a few of these free agents for you starting with the offense:


Colt McCoy(16) seen here practicing with Robert Griffin III(10)
and Kirk Cousins(8) during OTA's in June.
Via Espn.go.com
Quarterback: Colt McCoy
  This was sort of a surprise for me but being that Rex Grossman wasn't going to be re-signed the team needed a third quarterback. Colt was highly touted at the University of Texas and was being talked about as a first round draft pick but a unfortunate injury in the BCS title game against Alabama dashed those hopes. His injury caused him to slip to a third round pick of the Cleveland Browns. He had some success and was the starter for 2011 but ultimately was traded to San Francisco at the end of 2012 to be a backup. He can help RGIII and Kirk learn the new offense since he has plenty of experience doing this being that he's learned five different offenses in five seasons. I don't see him making any impact this season (which is a good thing) but it's nice to have a some what experienced QB on the roster.



Shawn Lauvao(77) and rookie Morgan Moses hustling to the next
drill during OTA's.
Via Riggosrag.com
Offensive Guard: Shawn Lauvao
    One of the first things Head Coach Jay Gruden said was that he wanted to bring in bigger more physical lineman. One of the newest additions to the line is this 6 foot 3 inch 315 pound Shawn Lauvao. An offensive guard with a nasty streak from Cleveland. He's also agile enough to run the zone blocking scheme the Redskins will use and plays with a tough bulldog mentality. Gruden got a good look at Lauvao after three years in Cincinnati and watching him twice a year when they played Cleveland and Lauvao was a starter. The team targeted this young talented lineman at the start of free agency and got their man. This move allows Kory Lichtensteiger to move to his more natural position of center and made Will Montgomery expendable. As of right now Lauvao is penciled in as starter at left guard and will add more power to the power run game on the left side beside Pro Bowler Trent Williams. That' a lot of attitude on that left side. I guess we know what side they are running on when it's 4th and 1 in the fourth quarter with the game on the line.


The versatile OG/C Mike McGlynn shown here signing his
contract and looking to push for a starter spot on the O-Line.
Via Blog.redskins.com
Offensive Lineman: Mike McGlynn
      Another addition to the offensive line that will add size and strength to the interior. He's poised to compete at offensive guard and center positions. With his size (6-4 325 lbs) he will push the incumbent interior lineman who on occasion last year got pushed back by bigger defensive lineman. The word is he plays center better then guard. So Kory better bulk up and really show what he can do because in my mind if McGlynn can repeat his play from Indianapolis he will send Kory to the bench and become the starter. Getting more physical in the middle of the line is key for the running game and passing game. Too many times last year the middle of the line got pushed back into the quarterback and caused problems all year. The competition should be good and the preseason games will determine who gets the nod as the starter.





Andre Roberts was penciled in as the #2 WR until the signing
of  DeSean Jackson which bumps him back to the #3 WR.
Via Hogshaven.com
Wide Receiver: Andre Roberts
    When Andre Roberts signed here in March he was set to be the #2 wide receiver. That lasted for about a month. Until the biggest signing of the off season  when the Redskins signed DeSean Jackson. That was a shock to all in Redskins Nation including Roberts, who knows that with the addition of such a great play maker that put him back into the role slot receiver. Roberts said after the signing if he knew that DeSean Jackson would be added here that he would've  thought about signing elsewhere. Coming from his recent situation in Arizona being bumped to the #3 receiver last season after a stellar 2012 season in which he actually had a better yards per game average and more touchdowns the Larry Fitzgerald that year. One other major reason he signed here was to work with our franchise QB Robert Griffin III. He sees his potential and believes as I do that the  quarterback will return to his 2012 Rookie of the Year form. Roberts is set to battle for both return jobs on special teams. He returned both in college at the Citadel and his first two season in Arizona but because of his increased role in the offense his returns were limited. Andre now has settled into his role and now realizes that he might not get the ball as much as he would like. So each an every time you get the ball you have to make the most of it because you don't know how many more touches you'll get. I feel Roberts will make a impact for this team with his ability to get open and make people miss. Either on special teams or offense I believe he will win this team a game or two next season.


Can DeSean Jackson give the Redskins the deep threat  they
have not  had in a very long time?
Via Timesdispatch.com

Wide Receiver: DeSean Jackson
  Now the biggest acquisition of free agency for the Redskins. DeSean Jackson is young, dynamic, quick and deadly from anywhere on the field. All Redskins fans know how deadly this little guy is after his years in Philadelphia . His moves, speed and elusiveness makes him a nightmare to cover and game plan for. This one addition I believe will make the offense one of the best in the league. The only concern is the rumors of this young superstar having off the field issues. At this point he has said and done all the right things and from what I hear he has been a excellent teammate and a professional. Jackson can take the top off of any defense and can also catch a short pass and take it to the house. That aspect of his game and the addition weapons the team has, fans might get horse from singing "Hail To The Redskins" after all the touchdowns. I see this addition of talent and bulldog attitude will rub off on the offense and give them a much needed edge and feisty nature. With Jackson being paired with Pierre Garcon they are poised to become one of if not the top pass catching duo in the league.





                                                                   Defense



ILB Darryl Sharpton was one of the first signings and his
 experience and special teams play will help this team in 2014.
Via Fansided.com
Inside Linebacker: Darryl Sharpton
 With this team in desperate need of ILB's and special team improvement they addressed both issues with this signing. At 26 and decent linebacker size and speed Sharpton plans to push for the starting Jack linebacker beside Perry Riley Jr. He has had some injuries during his pro career but feels 100% and ready to contribute to help this team get better in any way possible. He is a underrated linebacker but with his ability to play the run and special teams he will be an improvement.Even if he doesn't win the starting job he should get some snaps on the defense throughout the season. He will be a solid special teams player and helpful teaching the younger linebackers on this team.






This eight year vet plays ILB and contributes on special teams
both needs of the Redskins this season.
Via Redskins.com
Inside Linebacker: Akeem Jordan
  Akeem Jordan is another signing to help bolster the linebacker corp and a slumping special teams unit. Jordan is a eight year veteran with starting experience that can surely help this team get better and more consistent as a unit. He is a local kid with ties to the area and was drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles in 2007. Jordan played for Kansas City last season and totaled 67 tackles and two forced fumbles. He should be another solid addition to the defense and special teams units. He will also push for the starting Jack linebacker position. At age if 28 he's young fast and will add to the competition all throughout camp.





Adam Heyward was signed to bolster the terrible special
teams unit which was a constant theme this off season.
Via Redskins.com

Inside Linebacker: Adam Heyward
   Adam Heyward hasn't started much in his eight year career but he's known more for his standout play on special teams. He was the special teams captain for Tampa Bay Buccaneers the last two seasons and led the unit with 11 tackles in 2013. It will be a battle between him and the incumbent Redskins standout special teams player Niles Paul for the captain of special teams. Hopefully with the added talent at linebacker and special teams these three players alone should help both those units with added depth, youth and consistency which they desperately needed.

Tracy Porter is the had the game clinching pick 6
against Peyton Manning in Super Bowl XLIV
Via Redskins.com

Cornerback: Tracy Porter
 Now with the linebacker corp getting key additions the secondary also needed some help also. Once the team decided not to re-sign Josh Wilson they needed a veteran nickle CB  to go with the young inexperienced CB's already on the roster. Tracy Porter has had a up and down career but last year was his first season playing in all 16 games. That was the first time in his career he accomplished this and hopefully going forward he can continue this trend. He set career highs in tackles (88) and sacks (1.5) last season in Oakland where he played good but not great. He is an upgrade to the secondary that needed it greatly. With the increased emphasis  being put on pass rush that should help this secondary improve on a terribly inconsistent 2013. Richard Crawford (if healthy), Chase Minnifield and rookie Bashaun Breeland will push Porter for the nickel cornerback position. Porter is coming off shoulder surgery so he better get the rust off quickly because I know these young guys are hungry and wanna get on the field and contribute.


Jason Hatcher had 11 sacks last season which outproduced
the defensive line for the Redskins in 2013.
Via Washingtontimes.com
Defensive Lineman: Jason Hatcher
  This was another signing that is great for the team two fold. By signing Jason Hatcher away from the Cowboys they added a piece they were missing and weakened a division rival. Hatcher signed a team friendly deal but it was also player friendly with 10.5 million in guaranteed money. This was done because of his age and now with his recent knee surgery to clean it out this seems like a wise move. His presence in the interior of the D-line should help wreck havoc up the middle and allow Brian Orakpo and Ryan Kerrigan to be less of a focal point to play meet at the quarterback. It's important for Hatcher to prove that last year wasn't a fluke and try to match his production. I don't expect him to surpass his sack total from last season but I'd be happy with about eight sacks as long as Orakpo and Kerrigan are in double digits in sacks. With him being 31 that normally would be a concern but since he wasn't a starter until a couple years ago. He has low miles so to speak and the team hopes he can repeat his performance from last season and bolster the D-line. We will see how healthy Hatcher is when training camp starts. If he is limited but still able to participate I'd be happy but reports are he was already off crutches and was doing well in his rehab. He is not the long term answer to improving the pass rush but for now let's hope he causes enough problems for opposing offensive lineman as he did for ours for all those years.


   These are my top free agent signings that I believe will make an impact and help this team improve and get better each and every week. If there are any topics you all would like me to write about or even have an opinion about feel free to hit me up on Twitter or Facebook. I want to keep you informed with the information you want to know about.

    Redskins Nation stayed tuned for more Redskins content coming soon. Just two days until training camp so be sure to keep checking for more Redskins news, information and articles. Soon will be adding more local sports to the blog. Soon You will be able to read about the Nationals, Capitals, and Wizards soon. I'll keep you updated as to when I will start covering those local sports. Be sure to follow me on Twitter @TattooedScorpio and Porter III on Facebook for all Redskins news, info and on other local pro sports. Be sure to give my good friend and editor a follow @IIWIISkinsBlog for extensive breakdowns also. Thanks again for all your support,love.and feedback. As always #HTTR

Thursday, July 17, 2014

The New Faces Of The Washington Redskins In 2014: Players Edition (Rookies)



The Redskins second round pick Trent Murphy seen here working with the new OLB's coach Brian Baker. He led the nation in sacks last season with 15. His huge hands and workmanlike style of play should work in his favor in the NFL.
Via Washingtonpost.com

  Welcome back Redskins Nation. I hope you enjoyed the first edition about the new coaches and now we get into the players edition. As Bruce Allen said at the end of last season " The team will have between 20 an 25 new players on the roster for the 2014 season in order for the Redskins to be better". With that being said, I'm gonna breakdown all these new editions down by rookies and free agents. This edition will be dedicated the rookies which were brought in to help bring youth and talent to a team that was lacking both. This will be the first time General Manager Bruce Allen has 100% control over teams draft picks and in my opinion he did a pretty decent job. Every GM has head scratcher draft moment and Bruce Allen had one for his first draft but I'll get into that later. Overall he drafted players of need and with a special teams background to help improve the weakest unit of the team. We all know that you truly can't judge a draft until three years after to see how the players develop and adapt to the advanced speed of the game. After saying that, I'm gonna give the new GM a B at first glance. Bruce Allen was able to turn six draft picks into eight and was still able to stick to his draft board and still got the players he wanted in the process. Well lets get to know these rookies:



Trent Murphy led the nation in sacks and
and the PAC 12 in tackles for loss in 2013
Via Csnne.com

With their first pick in the second round the OLB from Stanford Trent Murphy was Washington's first selection. Some so called expert analyst say that he was a reach at pick 47 because his lack of explosiveness getting to the quarterback. I can understand their point but when you lead the nation in sacks you have to be doing something right. He has ideal size at  6 foot 6 inches and 261 pounds, hands the size of baseball mits and knows how to use them. Trent also loves to play special teams and wants to excel at every part of his game. Special teams included We all know in the NFL it's not how you start it's how you finish. With his high football I.Q and high motor I believe Trent will help get pressure on the QB. That will help this rebuilt secondary by making the QB get rid of the ball faster and sometimes that leads to mistakes and bad reads which most times results in turnovers.The coaches were trilled with Trent's progress during OTA's and mini camp saying "If he made a mistake one time he would get corrected and not make it again". Trent Murphy can be one of the missing pieces to this defense. Hopefully Brian Orakpo, Ryan Kerrigan and Jason Hatcher can  wreck enough havoc to help solidify this defense that's trying to rebuild after a inconsistent 2013.




OT Morgan Moses was drafted in the third round to
bring competition to the RT position.
Via Arrowheadaddict.com


As part of the trade with the division rival Cowboys the Redskins received an extra third round pick. With pick number 66 they drafted 6 foot 6 inch 325 pound OT Morgan Moses from the University of Virginia. His height sometimes is a detriment because of him not bending his knees, lunging forward and  also sometimes taking plays off. He was able to make up for those flaws with his arm length and athleticism in college but in the NFL it will get him in trouble very quickly. It was noticeable during OTA's and mini camp but he did show improvement in the mini camp. During his impressive four year career in college, he started at left tackle and right tackle and missed only two games due to injury and in one of those games he still came in to play. In 2013 while playing LT he only yielded two sacks in 509 pass attempts. He was put up against three of the top four pass rushers during the season when he faced them and shut all of them out. You may have heard of them if you follow college football. Vic Beasley, Jeremiah Attaochu and Kyle Van Noy. He has the talent and skill but just has to perfect his craft and get consistent at staying low. With Tyler Polumbus under contract for one more year this allows Moses to not be thrown into the fire and have to learn on the job but to be able to develop and become more consistent. With  Moses slipping to the third round he feels he has a lot to prove to himself and the league. We will see how much it motivates him to be better and possibly take his place on the offensive line at some point this season.

After missing most of the 2013 season due to
injury OG Spencer Long is ready to push for a starting job.
Via Csnwashington.com
 With the teams second 3rd round pick the Redskins drafted another young tall, long offensive lineman. OG Spencer Long out of Nebraska at pick number 78. Long is coming off back to back seasons being cut short due to injury. The most recent injury in mid October he tore his MCL and PCL but says he 100% and ready to compete for a starting job on the offensive line. In college Long was known as a play to they blow the whistle and a little after type of guy. He has a nasty streak and knows how to use his size. At 6 foot 4 inches and 314 pounds he has ideal size and has the mobility to get to the second level but sometimes doesn't use his hands well in space. He is not the most athletic guy but he makes up for it with his work ethic and mauler attitude. Before injury he was talked about potentially being a first round draft pick Long starting at OG at Nebraska as a sophomore and junior which goes to show his work ethic and determination being that he was a walk on as a freshman and earned a scholarship after it was all said and done. He was one of 16 student athletes to earn the prestigious National Football Foundation Student Athlete Awards which includes a 18,000 dollars scholarship which he plans to put towards medical school. He was also the senior captain for Nebraska and even tho he was injured he continued to impact his team and his leadership helped his lineman throughout the season.  He is poised to push Chris Chester for the starting right guard spot and will have to have an impressive training camp and even better preseason games for that to happen.



Bashaun Breeland is a long, rangy, feisty defender who doesn't
mind getting physical in coverage and in run support.
Via Orangeandwhite.com
In the fourth round the Redskins addressed their inconsistent secondary by drafting Bashaun Breeland out of Clemson. He is a heck of an athlete and very strong in run support his issues come with his hands. He grabs and uses his hands too much for the NFL and has to improve that by improving his technique, positioning ,and jamming at the line. His size and speed is what dropped him to the fourth round. He's only 5 foot 11 inches and weighing in at a light 197 pounds he will have to bulk up to deal with the big physical receivers and  powerful running backs in the NFL. His 4.65 seconds in the 40 means he doesn't have the make up speed  necessary if a receiver gets behind him. So he has to make sure to jam at the line, perfect his technique and keep hands off the receivers after five yards.  He was a standout on special teams and is a prime contender to become gunner which is one of the tougher positions on that unit. He will be in a tough battle with the incumbent young DBs like Chase Minnifield, Richard Crawford, and E.J. Biggers to crack the secondary but as we all know competition breeds greatness.


Ryan Grant isn't explosive or have ideal size but he is a precise
route runner and plays with a chip on his shoulder but might be
a practice squad player.
Via Sportsnola.com

 In  the fifth round the Redskins made an unexpected draft choice of Ryan Grant a wide receiver out of Tulane. With the additions of DeSean Jackson, Andre Roberts and the NFL League Leader in receptions Pierre Garcon this pick was a little of a head scratcher to me. Grant isn't a speedster or an elusive guy but what he lacks in explosiveness he makes up for with precise route running and playing with a determination to prove himself each and every play. One of his knocks is his lack of size, strength and physicality.To me that's what makes him a target for the practice squad. It will give him a chance to learn, develop and gain strength which he will need to do being a slot wide receiver. Grant has the ability to play inside or outside which is becoming a theme with this core of WRs and that ability will give the opposing defenses fits trying to match up.While at Tulane he had back to back 75+ receptions and 1000 yard receiving seasons. His career was shorten by a hernia surgery that ended his 2011 season early but came back with a vengeance with those back to back seasons and earned First Team All-CUSA honors. He has superb hands and catches almost anything thrown his way but he does has to improve his blocking especially in the run game since the Redskins ask their WRs to do a lot of down field blocking.



After another draft day swap of picks with Tennessee the Redskins moved back and gained a additional seventh round pick. With the pick in the sixth round the offense got another dose of game breaking speed and elusiveness when they selected Lache Seastrunk from Baylor. He is a very fast running back with break away speed, stop on a dime cutback move and has the ability to take it to the house from anywhere on the field at any given time. Unfortunately Lache has some developing to do because of the type of offense that Baylor runs. The running back position was not asked to pass protect or catch out of the backfield which is a must to be a third down back in the NFL. He can be the change of pace back that the team was looking for when they drafted Chris Thompson last year but because of durability issues Thompson never got a chance to show what he could do. That's one of the main reasons Seastrunk is here. Another reason is because Coach Gruden pretty much said during OTA's that he likes what Roy Helu Jr brings to the table but it would be good to have a back that has the game breaking speed to change the game and field position at any given time. One other issue with this speedy running back is sometimes he goes east and west too much trying to avoid would be tacklers instead of taking whats there and sometimes it cost him yards. He ended up at Baylor after transferring from Oregon and had to redshirt a year but in the two seasons after that setback he had a impressive 7.6 yards per carry for a career at Baylor. Another impressive stat from his college is that five of the 19 career touchdowns he has went for at least 68 yards. If this young talented running back wants to get on the field with the offense he will have to prove he can catch the ball out of the backfield, pick up blitzes and pass protect when needed. Lache has a inside track on a roster spot by trying out as a punt returner and kick returner on special teams. Just a side note but Lache Seatrunk is part Native American and he doesn't have a issue with the name of the team that drafted him when asked. It's a lot of competition for those return spots and he will definitely have to impress the coaches and show that he can step his game up to the NFL level in the pass protection and receiving game.


Ted Bolser is a big target at 6-6  252 pounds
but has a lotto learn in the blocking game.
Via Indiana.247sport.com
  With the teams next to last pick in the seventh round Washington selected Ted Bolser out of Indiana University. This big target in my opinion is headed to the practice squad mainly because he has plenty of room for improvement in all aspects of his game. The most glaring is his in line blocking. He has to get stronger to be able to seal the edge on certain runs and in college he did not do this well or consistently. During OTA's and mini camp he had some drops and mental lapses which did not help his case of making the opening day roster.How can you consider yourself a pass catching tight end and not catch the ball? His hands were good in college being that Boster had an outstanding career at Indiana. He is the All Time Leader in receptions for a tight end in school history with 117. He was elected team captain his senior season and also finished his career as the 20th Hoosier to record 100 catch and 1,000 yards over a career. Last season he was tied for fifth best tight end in the nation with six touchdowns and also made five tackles on special teams and loves playing on special teams. With Jordan Reed's concussion concerns going forward I understand drafting another pass catching TE and with a year on the practice squad maybe Bolser can fine tune his game and blocking to get him on the roster in 2015.




Zach Hocker is a kickoff specialist with a huge
leg but the question is can his FG accuracy win
him the job as a rookie.
Via Collegefootball.ap.org

With the eighth and final draft pick K Zach Hocker out of Indiana University was the final selection in 2014 for the Redskins. Hocker has an impressive touchback percentage of around 60+ % with a average of 66.6 yards per kick. That alone would have Kai Forbath packing his bags but it's not only about kickoffs it's about field goal accuracy most importantly. Now we all know Kai doesn't have the strongest kickoff leg but he has been consistent and accurate at field goals since he signed with the team. The problem is starting opposing field position. With Kai's inability to consistently kick touchbacks the Redskins have been in the bottom third in opposing field position both of Kai's seasons here and that effects the offense and defense. There has been talk of keeping two kickers on the roster but I can't see that happening. If Zach can consistently get touchbacks and can hit a few 50 yarders in preseason games I believe he will unseat Forbath and make the starting roster. With the terrible special teams play last season it's a strong possibility. That's why there has been such an emphasis on special teams this season and hopefully we will see a much improved unit in 2014.






 Redskins Nation stayed tuned for the free agent edition coming soon.  Just one week until training camp be sure to keep checking for more Redskins news, information and articles. Be sure to follow me on Twitter @TattooedScorpio and Porter III on Facebook for all Redskins news, info and on other local pro sports. Be sure to give my good friend and editor a follow @IIWIISkinsBlog for extensive breakdowns also. Thanks again for all your support,love.and feedback. As always #HTTR

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

The New Faces Of The Washington Redskins In 2014: Coaches Edition

The new faces of the Redskins front office General Manager Bruce Allen and Head Coach Jay Gruden
Via Hollywoodlife.com

Hail Redskins Nation!!!! Times flying by and it's less then two weeks until training camp. I know that you fans are as excited as I am to get the 2014 season underway but before we can do that we have training camp and preseason games. Not to mention cutting this 90 man roster down to the best 53 football players to help this team win. This offseason we've had some additions and subtractions to the Redskins Nation. We all know about the firing of Mike Shanahan, most of his staff and the hiring of Jay Gruden, so I'll skip all of that other nonsense. Now the buck stops with Jay Gruden as the Head Coach. With that being said I believe three new members of the coaching staff are just as important and key to the Redskins success going forward. In my humble opinion Brain Baker the Outside Linebackers Coach is one of if not the most influential hire. The next important new coach  to me on the staff is Kirk Olivadotti Inside Linebackers Coach who has been a part of the Redskins Coaching Staff previously from 2000 to 2010 in many different defensive capacities. Last but most certainly not least there's Ben Kotwica Special Teams Coordinator who will bring much needed discipline (from his Army background) to this unit that desperately needed it last season. Let's learn a little about these new coaches:


Brian Baker Outside Linebackers Coach
Via Redskins.com
  Brian Baker is the Outside Linebackers Coach and comes with over 30 years of defensive coaching experience in the NFL and the college ranks. He has an impressive resume of pro bowl talent that he helped develop in his very detailed and effective coaching career.  Coach Baker has had stops in St.Louis, Carolina, Detroit and Minnesota and working with talents like Julius Peppers, Robert Porcher, DeMarcus Ware, and Kevin Williams which all made the pro bowl under his direction. Last season Coach Baker was the OLB's coach for the Cleveland Browns and helped their defense rank third in the AFC and ninth in total defense in the entire NFL. With Coach Baker's attention to detail and the ability to develop already talented players into play makers and game changers. I can only hope to see Brian Orakpo and Ryan Kerrigan become the havoc wrecking duo that the Redskins and fans alike have been waiting for. With all the new techniques and pass rushing moves that this veteran coach can teach this young talented group and the fact that Defensive Coordinator Jim Haslett says he will be more aggressive using the OLB position. I would not be surprised by a bust out season of a 20 plus sack campaign from our starting OLB's but a lot of things will have to work in the teams favor for that to happen but it is possible. Now its not just gonna be up to Coach Baker to teach these players but they have to execute on the field and with his track record I don't see that being an issue as long as the defense stays generally healthy.



   
Kirk Olividatti Inside Linebackers Coach
Via Redskins.com

  The Inside Linebackers Coach is Kirk Olividatti who also has a well rounded resume of college and NFL defensive coaching experience in his 14 years. Now some of Redskins Nation may remember Coach Olividatti started his NFL coaching career here in 2000 as a Defensive Quality Control/ Defensive Backs Assistant and worked his way up to Defensive Assistant working directly under the DC in 2011. Through his time here coaching he at one point or another was a coach for the defensive line, linebackers and defensive backs that ranked in the top 10 in defense and gave up the the fourth fewest yards in the NFC and seventh in the NFL throughout those seasons. With those nice stats and over a 10 year coaching tenure here he belongs to an impressive coaching club with this team called the Redskins Honor Roll of Assistant Coaches. Other notable coaches on this distinguished list are: Joe Bugel, Richie Petitbon, Larry Peccatiello, and Wayne Sevier. Coach Olividatti left here in 2011 to go the University of Georgia and coach the inside linebackers. He had success there also by helping develop talented college ILB's into NFL caliber talent such as Jarvis Jones, Akeem Dent, and Alec Olgetree. With Keenan Robinson coming off back to back injury shorten seasons, the steady but under achieving Perry Riley slated as the starters hopefully helps turn these two players into a steady and well rounded players that this team needs to be successful. With more talented depth at the ILB position he will have his hands full to develop this young linebacker corps into improved unit that can make an impact each and every game.



Ben Kotiwica Special Teams Coordinator
Via Redskins.com
 Now all of Redskins Nation knows how bad the special teams were in 2013, not only in coverage, in return teams and starting field position so basically the entire unit. With that being said welcome the new Special Teams Coordinator Ben Kotwica. He doesn't have quite the long coaching tenure as the previous two coaches but what he lacks in coaching experience he makes up for it in life experience. Coach Kotwica has a Army background flying helicopters for more then 1000 combat hours in Iraqi Freedom II. His military background should help add discipline to a unit that desperately needs it. On his resume he has two years as Quality Control with the New York Jets and just completed his first full season as the Special Teams Coach with the Jets but instead of re-signing with the Jets he decided to come to D.C to help try and improve a struggling unit of a year ago. The Jets totaled 10 return touchdowns combined on special teams during his time there which was tied for second in the NFL during that time. Unfortunately the Redskins gave up touchdowns on special teams but didn't get to the end zone at all in 2014. hopefully Coach can change that for the better. The team already helped Coach Kotwica out by drafting players that are special teams standouts and getting some key free agent with the same reputation in the NFL. With the quality additions of Adam Hayward, Akeem Jordan and Darryl Sharpton this unit should be much improved but as we all know after last season there is no where to go but up. An improved emphasis is already been seen at OTA's and Mini Camp with position coaches also helping with the limited special teams practice time. Coach Kotwica says that by having the position coaches such as WR's Coach Ike Hilliard,  DB's Coach Raheem Morris and ILBs Coach Kirk Olividatti it helps drive the point home about how important special teams are. The returners will be decided during training camp and should be a heated battle between Chris Thompson, Lache Seastrunk, Andre Roberts and the rehabbing Richard Crawford. Hopefully one of these players can help spark a unit that could use all the help it can get.

Jay Gruden Head Coach
Via Redskins.com


   Now last but definitely not least the new Head Coach of the Washington Redskins Jay Gruden. This Ex -Quarterback is a breathe of fresh air in Redskins Park and looks to have formed great relationships with his players and coaches so far. He doesn't have your typical NFL coaching background but him being a ex-QB I believe he will help the team and our young dynamic quarterback Robert Griffin III make that  next step to becoming a elite team and QB in this league.

 He has been around football for basically all of his life and has had ups and downs like many in this game. Most fans know his more famous brother, Super Bowl winning coach Jon Gruden but most don't know that Jay worked on those staffs in Tampa Bay where Jon won his title. He served as an assistant to the Offensive Coordinator, assisted on play calling, player development, and game plans for Sundays games.

This is Jay's first head coaching job in the NFL but he was a head coach in the United Football League where he started out as a Offensive Coordinator under then Head Coach Jim Haslett. Once Haslett left to come here to be the Defensive Coordinator, Jay Gruden was named the head coach and a year later he was hired to be the OC for the Cincinnati Bengals. Now the classic misconception is that Gruden is a pass happy play caller and doesn't stick with the run but if you check his three seasons in Cincinnati they were top 10 in rushing attempts all three seasons. I do expect to see an increase in pass attempts but still expect a balanced attack.

The Redskins (after a active off season) have bolstered their receiving core with the BIG acquisition of gamebreaker DeSean Jackson and the versatile former Arizona Cardinals WR Andre Roberts to play primarily in the slot. This offense has the potential to be a top 10 offensive group but the offensive line will be key and Jay has already made some adjustments there. I believe Jay will add diversity and a killer instinct to this talented but inconsistent offensive group. The thing that stands out to me about this offense is that for the first time in a long time the offense will be able to dictate to the defense how the game is gonna be played instead of the defense dictating that to the Redskins. For example if the defense puts eight defenders in the box to stop the run then the passing attack will remedy that. If the defense goes two high safeties to stop the passing game then Alfred Morris will pound them on the ground. If they go single high safety and try to bracket the outside WR's and contain the run then the middle will be soft and Andre Roberts and the second year standout TE Jordan Reed will eat defenses alive. I can't wait to see how defenses try to stop this potentially potent and deadly offense. Training camp starts in less then two weeks and we wont know how dynamic this offense will be or how good this team will be but the start of the Jay Gruden Era has been very positive and productive. I believe the Redskins and their franchise quarterback Robert Griffin III are in good hands.


   Redskins Nation stayed tuned for the new players the team has added in 2014 in my next article. Will be coming out soon. Be sure to follow me on Twitter @TattooedScorpio and Porter III on Facebook for all Redskins news, info and on other local pro sports. Be sure to give my good friend and editor a follow @IIWIISkinsBlog for extensive breakdowns also. Thanks again for all your support and love. As always #HTTR.