There is Plenty of Blame to go Around With the 2014 Redskins
After watching the Redskins vs 49ers game yesterday, fans of the Washington Redskins are understandably angry.
Some believe the team will go no where with Robert Griffin III as the quarterback. Some believe the offensive line wouldn’t allow ANY quarterback enough time to be successful in Jay Gruden’s system. But they all agree that this isn’t a very good football team.
It’s going to take upgrades at several key positions and improvement from others on the team in order for them to get better. Jay Gruden needs to improve his coaching tactics as well, part of being a successful head coach is finding the effective plays that fit your players and the game situations. No NFL head coach can be successful without a good gameplan and Gruden’s has been flawed time and time again. The Redskins are a team that should be looking towards success in the running game in order to open up the passing game, not the other way around.
Runningback Alfred Morris has more rushing years in the last three years than any back in the NFL, yet he just had his first 100-yard rushing game of the season against the 49ers. Many times this season Gruden has abandoned the rushing attack in favor of a more “pass-happy” game-plan that doesn’t fit the teams dynamics.
Gruden has also showed he’s still wet behind the ears as an NFL coach. He needs to learn to address players and issues “in-house” and keep that out of the media. For example, you don’t see other coaches tossing their players under the bus individually, it just doesn’t happen.
Much has been said about RGIII’s contract recently and it appears there is a common misconception on the details of his deal. Griffin is signed through the 2015 season and will count somewhere near $7 million in dead salary cap space next year, no matter if he’s cut or not. It makes very little sense to release him this year, it also makes very little sense to give him his 2016 option year ($18 million) as well.
Basically what that means is Griffin will enter next year with the Redskins without a deal moving forward. That gives Griffin incentive to either develop faster and produce, or face being a free agent in 2016.
Training camp in 2015 will likely be highlighted by an open quarterback competition between Griffin, possibly Colt McCoy (he currently is signed to a one-year deal) and likely a veteran free agent that Gruden will bring in. The future looks dry for Kirk Cousins in DC as he hasn’t dressed a single game since RGIII returned from an ankle injury 3 weeks ago.
Many Redskins fans are baffled at why Colt McCoy is not the starter after leading the team to a win over Dallas. Fans need to realize that Washington gave up tons of draft picks for Griffin and wasn’t going to turn their back on him just for Colt and after only one game (Houston) for Griffin in the Gruden system. The main reason the Redskins won that game on Monday Night Football in Dallas was because the defense didn’t give Tony Romo room to breathe. McCoy simply didn’t lose the game, even though he threw a horrible interception in the end-zone that killed a certain scoring opportunity. McCoy’s arm strength does not match Griffin’s either and if you check both of the qb’s stats and track record you will find that McCoy doesn’t match-up well to Griffin at all. Let us not forget that there is a reason this is Colt’s third team in three years, it’s likely no NFL team views McCoy as a starter.
Colt does let go of the ball sooner and reads defenses a bit faster than Griffin. That’s a fact most should already know since Colt is a pocket-passing game manager, a role Griffin is still learning. It’s going to take time for that to come, Robert has depended on his legs in every offense he has ever been in, including the Shanahan’s.
This team’s number one issue no matter who the quarterback is, is protecting the signal-caller, and the offensive line is simply not getting it done in pass-protection. Rookie Morgan Moses made his first NFL start at left tackle in place of the injured Trent Williams on Sunday. It was a day Moses will probably want to forget as he didn’t do a very good job of protecting Griffin’s blindside at all.
Right tackle Tom Compton, who took over for the ineffective Tyler Polumbus a few games back, hasn’t been much better. Add in Chris Chester and Shawn Lauvao’s poor performances this season and it should not be hard to understand why the Redskins QB’s have had issues all year.
On the other side of things, the Redskins defense has been up and down this season. Playing great against Dallas and then not so great against Minnesota. Yesterday the unit looked impressive despite multiple injuries and did enough to win getting three turnovers. But as far as the season goes they have been inconsistent at best.
Many Redskins fans are confused as to how the team went from throwing everything at Tony Romo, to dropping back in 5-10 yard cushions in zone coverage and letting Teddy Bridgewater have all day in the pocket. I will admit the confusion on that situation stretches to me as well as I don’t understand a lot of what Jim Haslett does. Years ago I called him a “witch-doctor” with his schemes, meaning when it works, it’s great, but when it doesn’t it leads to a lot of head-scratching and wondering what exactly he was thinking.
At the end of the day, facts are facts, at 3-8 this team needs to get better all over the place and there is plenty of blame to go around.