Saturday, November 25, 2006

Pointing fingers

Bits and pieces of news reports provide clues to what's gone wrong with the Redskins' season. The answers come down to poor play by the offensive line and by the defense.

On Wednesday, The Washington Post's Howard Bryant quoted Skins defensive lineman Philip Daniels after he watched film of the Tampa Bay game. "Missed tackles, assignments, just being where you're supposed to be. Not attacking blocks, the lead blocks, that kind of stuff," Daniels said. "That's the stuff I see. That's the stuff we're not doing well. Everyone has to be accountable."

The article Redskins Proving Easy to Run On pointed out that opponents are running consistently to the weak side to exploit the Redskins defensive right. "On film, the Redskins saw that defensive end Andre Carter was being pushed outside enough to create a large space, and weak-side linebacker Warrick Holdman could not fortify the line. The result was a gaping hole on the left side of the defense for the running backs to run through."

ESPN analyst and former Pro-Bowl quarterback Ron Jaworski watched tape of Jason Campbell's performance in the Buccaneer game. Jaworski and NFL Films producer Greg Cosell focused on Campbell's play in five key plays. While the pair found Campbell to be an NFL-level quarterback, they pointed out instances where offensive line play deprived the team of scoring opportunities. Both tackles Jon Jansen and Chris Samuels were pushed back in the pocket to disrupt the pass. Howard Bryant wrote about their finding in the article To Analyze Campbell, 'Jaws' Goes Straight to Video.

Rick Snider's article in last Monday's Washington Examiner, is the first to acknowledge that the Redskins collapse is not due entirely to Mark Brunell. He wrote in Campbell good, teammates not so much "The defense allowed 181 yards rushing and the team lost for the second time this season to a rookie quarterback. The offensive line couldn't block a baby from his bottle. The Redskins didn't crack 10 points until the final minute. No, changing quarterbackwasn't the answer in the Redskins 20-17 loss at Tampa Bay on Sunday."

In A coach at a loss, Washington Times Ryan O'Halloran gives his reason why the Redskins are 3-7.

"The Redskins reached this point for several reasons. They approached the offseason falsely thinking they were closer to the top of the NFL than they were. Wrong move. Second, Gibbs stayed with Mark Brunell too long. Campbell wasn't ready to start Week 1, but he should have played in Week 3. Third, the offseason approach -- overpaying free agents, trading for a young player -- worked better in 2004 and 2005 than it did this year. Player evaluation and acquisition is a hit-and-miss game, and the Redskins have far more misses than hits. As a result, the Redskins still need some of the same things they did last year: a pass-rushing defensive end, a safety, a complementary receiver."

O'Halloran then posits his list of offseason moves the Skins should take; the first of many such posts, I'm sure.
After pointedly saying that the team was not living up to its abiding principles, Coach Gibbs held a team meeting Wednesday. Jason LaCanfora's Post article Thursday reported that the coach said the team had to improve on its fundamentals. On Friday, Michael Wilbon reported that the coach actually ripped the team a new one, an appropriate move that comes a month too late.

A post on Hog Heaven says the Redskins issues start with Joe Gibbs. It concludes that Gibbs is also the answer.



Ricker said...

I believe the problem lies in the coaches, meaning that Al Saunders and Greg Williams are not only on the same page they are in two different books. They both have huge egos and one them will probably take the head job when Joe calls it quits. The question is which one? Do we really need Assistant "head" coaches? Who is the offensive coordinator for the Giants? or Cowboys? or Colts? right, not a household name is it?

Master4Caster said...

Seems to be something to that, but you have to be an insider to see it. Joe read the team the riot act last Wednesday and it seems to have worked.

Hope it lasts.